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election USA

By john.a.wills ·
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Here we are with election preparations in full swing in the most powerful country on the planet, with a wealth of subjects at issue, and no-one on TR is starting a discussion. Perhaps that is because all of the precandidates for the presidency are so dreadful, but at least we might discuss which would be the least harmful in office. I remember being frightened when Ronald Reagan was elected President, but, although he did some bad things ( e.g. stopping the IBM trial, pardoning Edmund Calley, ...) he did one colossal good thing: he smashed the Kremlin Empire, and he was in general no disaster such as I had feared. Maybe we can look forward some similar virtue in one of the Republican precandidates (the Democrats are all under the joint control of PPFA and AIPAC, so they're out for the seeker of least evil).

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I'll do it

by AV . In reply to election USA

I'm not sure anyone on TR is interested in joining in anymore, but I'll post something. Geez, this place was so vibrant at one time. Its a shame it died. I know people lurk here, so I'll put myself out there. Maybe someone will comment, maybe not. I hope they do.

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The two major parties stink, and the people know it.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to election USA

I think that explains both the popularity of Trump and Sanders

The PACs have such absolute control over both parties as to make the parties irrelevant. There is now the connected, and the outsiders. NEITHER party represents the people anymore.

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You needn't have said "any more"

by john.a.wills In reply to The two major parties sti ...

The question is how we make the least bad choice. Looking at the PACs' preferences may give us some clues. Which PAcs's policies are evil and which happen to be good? Very powerful ones are AiPAC (on both parties), PPFA + NARAL on the Democrats and the NRA on the Republicans. I consider all these evil, but which is less damaging to the state's purpose, viz. securing such god-given rights as those to live, bodily integrity, liberty and property?

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The PACs exist to gather money, which is only a problem because....

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to You needn't have said "an ...

There is something for sale.

When the USA was founded, the federal government was, by design, made weak in the COTUS, and then in the 9th and 10th amendments, the limitations of the federal government were further defined.

The founders KNEW of corruption on a national level and by design, sought to limit the purchase of influence by limiting the influence that could be purchased.

Personally, I am libertarian (with a small "l"), and am annoyed to no end when I mention the malfeasance of one party or individual in that party and am treated to more howling and hissing than could be produced by a choir of scorched cats. Then, the inevitable labels are thrown around and am called a member of the opposite party I am criticizing, and a propagandist for whatever ideology supported by same party. It is this extreme binary thinking that is getting us deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.

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You are wrong on a couple of points, Locrian Lyric

by john.a.wills In reply to election USA

The present CotUS makes the federal government more powerful than it had been under the first constitution. The framers wanted the federal government to be able to suppress any further rebellions like Shays' Revolt instead of them going on indefinitely or until the State gathered enough force. And, indeed, there was such a revolt during George Washington's first term, in western Pennsylvania; the federal troops, under the direct command of the Commander in Chief, suppressed it.

CotUS seeks to prevent government corruption chiefly by the separation of powers. It is - in the proper historical meaning of the word - a liberal rather than a libertarian constitution.

PACs do not exist to gather money but to focus political activity on specific issues, regardless of party. At present the NRA does its most successful work via the GOP, PPFA + NARAL via the Democrats, with AIPAC doing a very good job on both parties, albeit to an ill end.

And my mention of the PACS was to suggest a way of differentiating candidates.

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No, not wrong.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to You are wrong on a couple ...

There is no "current" COTUS, it is as it has ever been, only it's being ignored with the Bill of Rights all but ignored these days, with even the third amendment being trashed.

I know all about PACs, but what was getting right to the point: They are buying influence by funding candidates. The more we depart from federalism, and the articles of the constitution which CLEARLY define the role of the federal government, the more power there is to be purchased. The most flagrant case in recent history was Citigroup getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar, influencing the wording of a financial bill.

The proper context of the COTUS is LIBERTARIAN, which is clear by perusing the federalist, anti-federalist, and other writings from the founders at the time.

Again, there was no FIRST constitution, there were the articles of confederation, which were found lacking for several reasons, one of the more egregious being the tariffs that states were slapping on each other, which led to the commerce clause.

While the COTUS ***DID*** make the federal government stronger than it was under the articles of confederation, it's express purpose was to safeguard liberty

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Liberals and Liberals and Liberals

by john.a.wills In reply to election USA

I was remiss in ascribing to one meaning of the word liberal the "proper historical meaning". There are at least 3 political meanings of this rather abused word. I was certainly not using it in the common modern U.S. sense of "half-baked socialist". Let us look at the other 2 meanings.

A couple of centuries ago there was a complex political movement in Europe which led to the formation of the U.S. and the French Revolution. The German Liberal party (F.D.P.) claims in its propaganda to be an heir of the two revolutions, but actually the movement led to 3 political tendencies: socialism as now represented on a world level in the Socialist International; liberalism as now represented on a world level in the Liberal International and corporatism now represented on a world level in the Centrist-Democrat International. Of course, corporatism was already present in the guild system of medieval Europe, and liberalism and socialism also have deeper roots. What the three had in common was a commitment to human rights and a prejudice for democracy, making a common movement of the 17th and 18th centuries. This common basis is sometimes called liberalism (even by The Economist, which one would expect to confine its use of the word to the more specific tendency), and it was in that sense that I said that the U.S. Constitution was liberal.

When we look at the 3 specific tendencies we can discern a deviation in each from the common heritage, a forgetfulness of the common ground. Such a forgetful liberal we call libertarian, a forgetful socialist we call communist and a forgetful corporatist we call fascist. All three put the specific ideas for effecting the purpose of the state above the purpose itself. I do not believe that the framers of either the first or the second constitution of the U.S. were forgetful of the purpose of government. The flow of ideas in major U.S. parties has been for the most part liberal, with variations embracing socialism (special conditions for credit unions over other banks is definitely socialist) and corporatism (the medical profession is regulated in a more or less corporatist manner) for some parts of the economy. We need not go into how the half-baked socialists came to be called liberal.

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Modern liberals are quite illeberal

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Liberals and Liberals and ...

The articles of confederation were never a constitution.
The division started long ago, wit the forces behind the American revolution being for liberty and the ones for the French Revolution being for equality, with two VERY differing results. One of which was Patric Henry nearly losing his head over the matter. And yes I know of the mutation of the terms where liberal means anything but in the USA. The only point is that they're not half-baked any longer, but complete socialists. The intent of the American constitution was to create a weak framework of a government with deliberate spanners placed in the works in case change should attempt to manifest too quickly. The two major parties are far from liberal in anything save spending the people's money with less restraint than a fully inebriated sailor in a cat house after an extended stay at sea. The difficulty so many people who call themselves libertarian (small "l") or Libertarian is that the state has far exceeded it's clearly outlined constitutional grasp. The great philosopher Robin Williams also pointed out a problem by stating "The trouble with the supreme court is that they keep re-writing the constitution with an etch-a-sketch."

While said cosmetically, his point was nonetheless a valid one. The last 70 years or so has seen an increasing tendency to have justices appointed by ideology rather than obedience to the constitution and it's intent. The most egregious example being the ruling supporting the internment of the Japanese, where the FDR court essentially interpreted the constitution whichever way he damn well pleased.

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Back to the subject

by john.a.wills In reply to Modern liberals are quite ...

Do we know what the purpose of government is? If we do, do we know, for the purposes of this election, what the UN System, the World Trade Organization, the International Court of Arbitration and the International Criminal Court, at the top level; NATO and the OAS a step down; and then NAFTA and the U.S., are doing contrary to this purpose? I am not asking whether we know how they are failing in that purpose or with which of their activities we disagree. That, in choosing the President, should be our first concern.

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