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American Politics -- 3 on 3

By olprof67 ·
Heading into what seems to be the most polarized election in 40 years, I'd like to postulate a new theory of the dynamics of the electorate in recent days.

As a number of writers have noted, ideology became a much stronger component of the political spectrum with the coming of age of the baby boom in the late 1960's. The Democrats' faith in central planning began to fragment in the wake of Vietnam, while the Republicans' social conservatism became a drawback in the attempt to recruit young voters.

The more ideologically-oriented of liberal voters were drawn to a number of movements, usually with a different single issue at the core but united in opposition to what was identified as the military-industrial complex, while disaffected Republicans split between traditionalist single causes (abortion being the most prominent) and a growing Libertarian movement.

Note too, that despite their emergence, the more ideologically-oriented of each side tended to carry a strong prejudice against the opposite core party. Though Greens and Libertarians might be able to engage in intelligent and cordial discourse, it is rare to find a Libertarian who doesn't carry a deep-seated predisposition against the Democrats, and vice-versa.

Now add to this mix the disaffected populist wing of both parties; the most socialistically-oriented of the liberal Democrats, and the populist conservatives who have emerged in the wake of Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity et. al.

With the electorate again polarized, and the better-educated of both sides locked in place by ideological commitments, it could well be that the final outcome may be affected by a last-minute indiscretion by the disaffected wing of either party.

Ladies and gentlemen, please comment.

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Singing is Fun! ~LoL~ Did anyone else catch Schoolhouse Rock?

by admin In reply to yeah! It helped my math.

I am beginning to wonder if anyone else watched Schoolhouse Rock, perhaps they should be running it as a public service on the non-cartoon prime-time stations! :)

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Schoohouse Rock Preamble.

by Montgomery Gator In reply to yeah! It helped my math.

I cannot recite the Preamble to the US Constitution without singing it, because of Schoolhouse Rock. Then again, I could not recite it at all if it was not for Schoolhouse Rock.

(I also liked the Interjections Schoolhouse Rock, except I substituted my own interjctions to make it a little more "saltier", so to speak (certain 4 letter words, which were fun for a 8 year old to shout, because they were naughty).

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What about the Dead voters

by Montgomery Gator In reply to beer 2 beer or Year to Ye ...

What motivates dead voters? It has been said that dead people in Illinois and Texas made the difference to elect Kennedy instead of Nixon. For some reason, the Democrats have been much better at getting dead people to vote for them (including here in Alabama, particularly in some counties to the west of Montgomery). They have been able to even get people who voted Republican while alive to vote Democrat once they died.

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by onbliss In reply to About Short-Sight ... and ...

Does it mean poor folks? What does it mean :-) thanks.

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Some Examples

by olprof67 In reply to Beer-to-Beer?

To me, it means the crowd at professional wrestling matches and monster-truck rallies.

It means the people whose idea of news is found at supermarket checkout counters.

It means the people who can't tell science fiction from hard science.

It means the people who would eat the seed corn.

A modest-sized portion of the electorate sometimes reverts to extreme short-sight; the fate of school-bond referenda in small blue-collar communites is one of the best examples.

And unfortunately, both major parties have sunken to some new lows in recruiting among this group in recent years.

Personally, this writer believes that the vast majority of those on this fringe of society can be sufficently enlightened. Service in the military or groups such as the Peace Corps would be one route.

So would a requirement of completion of a basic course in citizenship. We require education of drivers and hunters....why not voters?

The thrust of this argument is that people should be taught to enter the voting booth with more concern over what they have to lose than what they might think they have to gain.

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thanks for the reply...

by onbliss In reply to Some Examples

can it also mean as people who are easily swayed by emotions, rhetoric, empty promises; and people who are only interested where the next dollar comes from and not what's gonna happen to their that kinda deal?

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Of Course.....

by olprof67 In reply to thanks for the reply...

But my original point, and still my main point, is that a late-season incident invloving the "gut reaction" component of either coalition could be the deciding factor in what has become the most vicious campaign in my memory.

As a case in point, it's been argued that in 2002, the Democrats lost the Minnesota seat held by the late Senator Wellstone because the Senator's memorial service (after his sudden death in a plane crash) turned into a somewhat-too-smug glorification of his long allegiance to the DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor) machine which dominates Minnesota Democratic politics, which in turn provoked a reaction from more independent-minded voters.

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My turn to ask the dumb question :-)

by onbliss In reply to New Thread RE: Another Du ...

I know not many people, in the world, really know their country's election process and how the voting goes on.

But should'nt we keep it simple and straightforward for the masses so that, both in theory and practice, the person whom they want to be the President becomes, rather than delegating their choice to the Electoral College and then hoping for the Electors to vote. As someone said it seems not many people understand the Electoral College.

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The Tyranny of the masses....

by admin In reply to My turn to ask the dumb q ...

What if the masses decide they want to elect a President who's campaign pledge is to become a wonderfully helpful Dictator because the masses are weary of the slow change required in the Constitution? Should they be able to vote in a Dictator? Similar things have happened in countries that have a popular vote, and all too often at that.

I would rather they did not have this power- that on a whim or after a bad event they lose their heads and then put up guillotenes so they can watch others literally lose theirs after electing a President who promises to do this for the people to avenge something or other or bring about some temporary fad in social order.

James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 10 makes a pretty clear statement that a Republic is much superior to a pure Democracy: "Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." We have checks and balances to prevent this in our system like the 3 branches- Judicial, Executive and Legislative. We also have our Constitution and Bill of Rights to stop the masses from tyrannical rule over minorities. Add to checks and balances the Electoral College. It protects us from getting really stupid by popular vote directly after, say, a **1 or something even worse. Of course it also protects us from getting too stupid by basing our votes entirely on the supermarket checkout stands, CBS or Fox news. In the event something goes quite awry, the electoral college protects us, at least for a little while.


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Are you saying...

by onbliss In reply to The Tyranny of the masses ...

...that the electoral college can not vote on its whims and fancies? They could elect a dictator too, right?

And, don't get me wrong if my questions seem to be polairsed. I understand all systems have their merits and demerits.

Curious George :-)

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