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Old 03-10-2005, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Political Experiment: Common Ground

I would like to try something here regarding this alleged "common ground" so many of us refer to.

Where does this mysterious inhabitant live? Do we know? We talk about it, but do we really have any clue as to the areas that could be considered "common ground"?

In order to keep this discussion from going into left-field, I want to place some boundaries. Please try as hard as you can to stay within the boundaries.

I know that there a hundred different ways to describe ourselves, but to make it simple, let's stay with the generic "liberal" and "conservative" monikers. I know some of us want to sound eclectic and use fancy names to portray our positions, but in the long-run, most of us fall on one side or the other. So, to keep this from spiraling out of control, can we use these two terms?

Now, for many of us, we pretty much know where the others fall. I'll admit to being surprised every now and then, but for the most part, I think a lot of our positions are predictable.

My question is this:

Can you think of an area where you, for the most part, agree with the other side? Can you think of more than one? Or, are you so deeply entrenched in your own idealogies that there is absolutely nothing the other side can say or do that would appeal to you?

Are you willing to concede a little of your side and accept a little of the other side in order to actually find a solution to some of our problems, or is it more important to you to stand your ground and not give an inch? I'll admit, that on some issues, I feel that way as well. I am hoping, however, that by just finding a little bit of common ground, I may start the trend of looking for common ground (in myself at least). If you look for it, there is a good chance you can find it.

Basically, this is like the old pre-election thread, "say something nice about the other side's candidate", just not specific to a person's political beliefs, but rather the beliefs held by a side as a whole.

I'll start.

I am very conservative and I have no problems whatsoever associating myself with the Republican party, however:

1) I disagree with most Republicans on abortion. While I abhor abortion in principle, I do not agree with making it illegal. To me it is a cause-effect problem, with abortion being the effect. Rather than talk about doing away with abortion, I would rather see us do things that would make abortion irrelevant--in other words, deal with the cause, not the effect.

What I concede: As much as I hate abortion, I would concede to keeping it legal, as long as we work on ways of minimizing it.

How I benefit: Rather than fight about it, our combined efforts could significantly lower the amount of abortions that take place--that benefits all of us and would be much more effective than abortion protests and the like.

2) In regards to social programs, I do side with many Democrats in that some social programs are needed. However, like my abortion position, I think it is cause-effect as well. I would rather us work on ways to make social programs unnecessary rather than expand them and make them even more bloated. I think we spend too much time on the effect and, once again, ignore the cause.

What I concede: I would minimize my oppostion to social programs and "big government" in order to see us work together to make social programs and "big government" less needed in our society. In other words, I would agree to keeping/expanding some programs if given the chance to see some of my own programs implemented.

How I benefit: The hope would be that some ideas would work so well that the number of people recieving "social benefits" would decrease. Ultimately, we would all win. The liberals get to keep many of their programs and the conservatives would get the chance to see some of their programs have a chance to succeed. Right now, both sides fight so much that many plans and ideas never get a "real" chance to prosper (i.e. tax cuts--they have never been given a chance to actually create economic benefits because, in order for them to work, spending must be kept in check)

3) Universal healthcare. In many ways, I completely disagree with the very concept of Universal Healthcare, but, for one reason alone, I would consider it: Money. Our government has this nasty habit of thinking that throwing money at a problem helps solve it, healthcare is one such example. Our gov't spends more per person than any other country in the world, yet we still have millions of Americans uninsured--that makes no sense to me. If there was a healthcare plan proposed, that provided healthcare for all Americans, with no change in the quality of service, for less money than we are spending now, I would support it. Other countries do it, so I don't see why we can't. Hell, I would even agree with it if the proposed plan cost the same as we are paying per person now because we all know that per-person number will go up every year.

What I concede: My oppposition to universal healthcare which is founded in my deep-seated belief in private enterprise and non-government involvement.

How I benefit: Maybe nothing personally, but, if we can do it for less money than we spend per-person now, thana different goal of mine would be achieved. Meanwhile, liberals would get one of the things they have been asking for with great ferver.


Since we will never get anywhere by just pointing out how the other side is full o' shit (which I am guilty of as well), I thought this might give us a better understanding as to how we may be alike in many ways. Maybe the polarizing issues turn out to be less important than the ones we can find common ground.

Put a little effort into it and, who knows, we might all learn something.

And remember, you have to give up a little bit of ground to achieve common ground. Right now, we are all on opposite sides of the field pointing fingers at each other, getting nowhere. Unless we equally agree to give up a little, we won't be able to gain anything.

Side note: It would be interesting if we see themes emerge. Than take that theme and devote a specific thread to it and see if a "plan" could be developed that would have greater appeal than current "plans".
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree with conservatives that free markets and free trade are damn useful, and generate wealth and efficiencies like no other economic system has ever done.

I agree with liberals that fetus's are not living, breathing, thinking human beings.

I agree with conservatives that the world isn't ready for international pacifism.

I agree with liberals that massive coalitions are the only way to prevent a newly polarized world.

I agree with conservatives that there isn't any such thing as a free lunch. Taxes can and do cause damage as bad as poverty and starvation.

I agree with liberals that there isn't any such thing as a free lunch. Debts can and do cause damage as bad as taxes, poverty and starvation.

I agree with conservatives that legally required discrimination is abhorrant.

I agree with liberals that Isreal is a nation that does many evil things every day.

I agree with conservatives that the Palistineans are a people that do many evil things every day.

I agree with conservatives that raising the barrier-to-entry in the game of MAD is a good idea.

I agree with liberals that the missile defence program is a boondagle.

I agree with conservatives that the government should allow people to take their education dollars elsewhere than public schools.

I agree with liberals that the drug war is stupid.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Few quick ones, I'm for civil unions. I think the drug war is stupid, mostly and pretty much limited only in regards to pot however, I don't think the harder stuff should be legalized or even decriminalized really. Prostitution, meh I could care less, I don't want my dick falling off, nor am I that desperate. Something needs to be done with health care, although I'm more for hardcore regulation of the insurance companies, doctor's, prescriptions, etc. then straight up universal health care.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm for the legalization of marijuana

I'm against this dumb bankruptcy law

If I think of more, I'll post them later.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OK, but are you guys willing to concede anything in order to find middle ground on any of this?

I am not looking to see just where you agree with the other side, but how you, individually, can consider another position that, on the surface you might not like.

We are still going to be left with contention, in that not everyone on your side agrees with you.

It is interesting to see where your positions fall outside of your "normal" political convictions, but I would also like to see where you would be willing to give a little ground.

I'll use one of Yakk's as an example:
Quote:
I agree with liberals that the missile defence program is a boondagle.
OK, so where do we go from here? Is common ground possible on this issue? Is there something that can be done, on the conservative side, that would make you more willing to consider it?

Do you see what I mean?
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My biggest issue with the left is foreign policy, for me there is no middle ground because to me they are wrong. When the stakes are high, you don't concede to make nice, you don't work to find middleground when you find your opposition to be completely wrong and backwards.
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmmm...I think that I see where you're trying to go with this, KMA-628. The problem is that it's difficult to keep things on track, in this venue. I think that you're going to have to pick a specific...say, Mojo_PeiPei's assertion that he has no middle ground, as it pertains to U.S. Foreign Policy. Now, find someone with a polar viewpoint and have the two of them hash out a workable foreign policy. Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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BOR -

Rather than me arbitrarily picking a position, I wanted to see if a trend developed that could then be removed from this discussion and worked out in a different thread.

For example, if enough people said they were open to some form of concessions on, say, Drug Laws, then I would know that it is a topic that might be discussed to a fruitful compromise.

Hand-picking one position will just lead to what we have already--pages and pages of "you're wrong" and "no, you're wrong".

Does that make sense?

Then maybe we can start a string of "Compromise" threads, following the trends that develop. Rather than hash out an opinion, we could see if compromise can be reached.

If enough people say, "I can't compromise on foreign policy" then I know to not start a "Compromise" thread over that topic, because it would obviously go nowhere.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree to disagree, politely.


I think that middle ground is established through discussion--there is no line in the sand that I draw and refuse to cross.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I see what KMA is trying to get at. However, I don't think that FP is the way to find common ground. I just don't see why or how conservatives should find a middle ground with lefties (sorry host ) that have been on the wrong side of every FP issue in the past 40 years. Perhaps we could expand this into a drug laws thread and see just where exactly people draw the line.

And oh, I thought of another one. I don't like the idea of govt capping pain and suffering compensation. It just seems to sterile and is in fact, IMO, immoral
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
My biggest issue with the left is foreign policy, for me there is no middle ground because to me they are wrong. When the stakes are high, you don't concede to make nice, you don't work to find middleground when you find your opposition to be completely wrong and backwards.
Therein lies the problem. It is very rare that on such a huge issue there is one 100% right way and an absolute wrong way to do things. It's that kind of thinking from both sides that blows it all to shit.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
I see what KMA is trying to get at. However, I don't think that FP is the way to find common ground. I just don't see why or how conservatives should find a middle ground with lefties (sorry host ) that have been on the wrong side of every FP issue in the past 40 years. Perhaps we could expand this into a drug laws thread and see just where exactly people draw the line.

And oh, I thought of another one. I don't like the idea of govt capping pain and suffering compensation. It just seems to sterile and is in fact, IMO, immoral
Foreign Policy was an example, not a suggestion.

Baby steps, Foreign Policy is a big issue to tackle when we aren't very good and agreeing on much to begin with.

Maybe start small, drug war, lawsuits, bankruptcy law changes, etc.

Once we see what we can do, then we tackle bigger subjects.

Make sense?
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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One issue that came up in a topic recently, which I agree with the Republicans on is capping law suits against physicians , except in extreme cases. I feel that this would allow insurance companies to lower their premiums to physicians and thereby lower our total medical costs and our own insurance.

Unlike the Republicans (and Mojopeipei too, I guess) I feel that war should be a last ditch solution, and we should not preemptively strike another nation. The Democrats don't want to place our country at risk any more than the Republicans, it is preposterous to insinuate that they do.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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this is an interesting idea, kma: good luck with it.

but doesn't it assume that the existing political spectrum in the states represents something like a spectrum of possibilities, and that debate can be coherently framed within that spectrum?

there is a line about the united states that i like: it is a single party state with two right wings.

how exactly would you imagine people who operate outside this framework would be able to find "common ground" with you, if you define the range within which you are willing to work in such a narrow way? more specifically: why would you frame this common ground thing with exclusive reference to the republicans and democrats?

if you want a debate or a dialogue, you should probably concede up front that you cant stipulate all the terms and expect folk to participate...unless what you really want is less a common ground than an affirmation that the context within which political thinking operates at the mass politics level in america right now is either adequate to frame and address problems, or legitimate in itself. if that is your idea, then i dont know why you would go about finding that affirmation in such a backhanded way.

just saying--if you want the kind of conversation you claim you do, open things up and you might find it easier to generate one.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
how exactly would you imagine people who operate outside this framework would be able to find "common ground" with you, if you define the range within which you are willing to work in such a narrow way? more specifically: why would you frame this common ground thing with exclusive reference to the republicans and democrats?

if you want a debate or a dialogue, you should probably concede up front that you cant stipulate all the terms and expect folk to participate...unless what you really want is less a common ground than an affirmation that the context within which political thinking operates at the mass politics level in america right now is either adequate to frame and address problems, or legitimate in itself. if that is your idea, then i dont know why you would go about finding that affirmation in such a backhanded way.

just saying--if you want the kind of conversation you claim you do, open things up and you might find it easier to generate one.
Well, I'm trying to see if we can keep it under control. If I limit it to just the generic "left" and "right", that brings the fences in a little closer and makes it managable.

If you operate too far out of the mainstream political spectrum, common ground would be too far extreme for the rest of us.

Example: For me and guy44, we might be able to come to terms that are agreeable to both of us. Middle ground to he and I would be exactly that, somewhere between left and right.

For you and I roach, middle ground is left of left for me, nowhere near the middle where I am willing to go.

It might exclude you, and I apologize, it is not on purpose.

Unless you see another way that offers a way to actually reach middle ground we two people are so extreme of each other?
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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so wait...your "common ground" thing then really is about setting up terms of agreement and/or debate that simply erases folk who you decide are too far to the left of you--whatever that means--

interesting conception of the notion of "common ground" you've got going there.
its kinda of like tv that way--positions that take too long to outline or dont fit into the format for other reasons simply get no airtime--between the positions that do talk in nice soundbites and look pretty on camera, it is a kind of parlor game, this talk of consensus or common ground. you can congratulate yourself on points in common in discussions amongst people who basically agree with you up front, and simply pretend the others are not there, do not exist.

i notice that some of the forum's more consistent hardline conservatives have no problem posting here...i expect that even some of the militia set would be fine with all this...but no-one from the left of the dlc-dominated democratic party though.

how about that?

how about that?

you might think that that in itself makes your understanding of common ground into a bit of a problem.

why are conservatives so obsessed with controlling the terms of discussion while pretending they are interested in consensus?

but whatever--i have other things to do. have fun with whatever this really is.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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roach -

read my last sentence.

I specifically asked you if there was a better way.

Criticize all you want, that is your option. But don't complain about being excluded when I gave you the opportunity to device a better "plan" and you don't respond.

I am the one reaching out to you for an idea, complain away, but that just furthers my point that middle ground between us is potentially unreachable--even when I offer to look at your input.....which you decide not to give.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think this is a noble experiment, KMA, and I appreciate the name check, but I think that the political spectrum is just too difficult to define.

For example, I don't have a problem with the free market. It isn't perfect, but it is the best system we as humans have created.

However, I would add many qualifiers to that statement: I think the government needs to regulate heavily on safety, labor, fairness, anti-trust, and environmental grounds to ensure a functioning free market system that creates non-monopolistic "good" companies. I think that without such regulation, companies will do untold evil (gilded age anyone?).

I'd be more than willing to stand with self-identified conservatives who are sick of corporate welfare that is little more than rich donors getting the politicians they have bought to subsidize huge and already succesful businesses.

I'd be more than willing to stand with self-identified conservatives who are sick of America violating our free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, with alarming regularity. And this isn't even a partisan issue - Clinton did it, Bush does it. We should stop giving huge subsidies to such industries as agriculture that wind up punishing third-world producers who only have one or two viable exports. When we undersell countries with a competetive advantage in agriculture because we redistribute billions of tax dollars to large agribusiness, we wind up creating severe market inefficiencies while simultaneously supporting the rich few at the expense of both American tax payers and third-world farmers.

But what defines conservative? If you are talking about those in Congress, I doubt they would give more than lip service to those ideals. True conservatve ideologues might agree, but not most so-called conservatives. I don't mean to berate conservatives, but rather demonstrate the difficulty inherent in dividing everyone into two categories.

So do my above positions make me a "liberal?" Tough to say. I mean, I also believe in a far greater socialist state, with taxes on the richest at levels between 40-60 percent, more or less where Europe is at. I believe in universal health care, the legalization of marijuana, and am a staunch civil libertarian. I believe in fully federally funded election campaigns (for the federal level, of course). I absolutely adore the United Nations, while at the same time believe strongly that it needs significant reform. So, I'm way to the left of other self-identified liberals as well.

Still, I agree that on so many issues - and really, I think the main one is abortion, because quality sex education would reduce abortions far more effectively than abstinence only education or no sex ed at all - there is middle ground to be found. (Of course, on issues such as a ballistic missile defense, that can't and won't work, I don't find all that much middle ground.)

Also, Yakk:
Quote:
I agree with conservatives that there isn't any such thing as a free lunch. Taxes can and do cause damage as bad as poverty and starvation.
I think you may be misunderstanding the economic concept of a "free lunch." Conservatives tended to be the ones to use this language in the 1980s to describe the way in which cutting taxes would result in greater government revenue. The argument went something like this: taxes are cut, this improves the economy significantly, which creates a much larger taxable economic base, which allows the government to take in more revenues than before taxes were cut. The "free lunch" now is considered by most people to be as rediculous a theory as "voodoo economics."

Edit: roach, I think I'm way, way to the left of the DLC on most issues. Of course, the biggest problem with the DLC isn't its ideology, but rather its outdated and complacent campaigning and spin practices. If you want to find someone to push for the permanent retirement of Al From, I'm your man.
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
I think you may be misunderstanding the economic concept of a "free lunch." Conservatives tended to be the ones to use this language in the 1980s to describe the way in which cutting taxes would result in greater government revenue. The argument went something like this: taxes are cut, this improves the economy significantly, which creates a much larger taxable economic base, which allows the government to take in more revenues than before taxes were cut. The "free lunch" now is considered by most people to be as rediculous a theory as "voodoo economics."
Economics major here. I don't know what "free lunch" means in politics, but in economics TNSTAAFL usually refers to opportunity cost. The way it was explained to me was if someone gave you your lunch for free, it wouldn't really be free, is because you could be doing something else with your time.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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no time to respond really.
kma: i hope you take the objections i raised in the spirit i meant them to be taken in--not hostile, just perplexed. in terms of actual policy options within the existing order, i am in general agreement with guy44, above.

i'll check in later to see what happens here.
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Old 03-10-2005, 05:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Personally, I agree with quite a few of the "conservative" views. While I am also for abortion rights and quite a few other "Liberal" stances. I am simply of the opinion that both sides are far too corrupted by power (or the seeking of such) to be worth my support as parties, or platforms.
I would hope that some level middle ground exists between these two labels, but there seems to be so much disrespect for each other as to make that unlikely as a general rule. It would seem I have been privy to an interesting position, as I get to try to keep the two sides from killing each other with sarcasm, and subjective disregard for opinion.
I have come to the point in my political understanding that I dont really much care what the Party stands for, or the label entails. I just dont care much for assholes.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tecoyah
Personally, I agree with quite a few of the "conservative" views. While I am also for abortion rights and quite a few other "Liberal" stances. I am simply of the opinion that both sides are far too corrupted by power (or the seeking of such) to be worth my support as parties, or platforms.
I agree with the above. Both the major parties seem to be so corrupt that I (and others probably) are more concerned with what damage the ruling parties are going to do rather than what good things they can do. Their stance on issues depends on where they are getting their money. Just look at the recent bankruptcy bill and then look where the supporters are getting their money. It is so obvious they don't even hide it anymore.

One area I would like to hear different views on is healthcare and health insurance. While I generally believe in capitalism and competition and therefore free open markets, I just don't see that happening in the healthcare field. I have yet to figure out how to shop for healthcare and compare prices of doctors and such. Since there is no (or little) price competition I am willing to concede that we may as well let the government control it. I would welcome opinions of capitalists from either party why we should not and if not how does one compare prices for medical care.

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Old 03-10-2005, 06:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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i am a conservative who can not find any meaningful redemptive qualities about liberal philosophies (or, at least what is commonly described as a liberal philosophy in a contemporary sense). the only sympathy i have with liberals is that there are many who are sincerely well-meaning.

i think there is some confusion on this thread between what is a conservative/liberal philosophy and the distinction it has from republican/democrat agendas. you may say that you favor the legalization of certain types of drugs on the grounds that the government has no domain in that part of society (just ask an uber-conservative libertarian). if you're likely to have more sympathetic ears on the issue from the democratic side that does not mean that your stance is coming from a liberal point of view. rather, that is a conservative view that finds a better home among the democratic party.

i am a republican simply because they are the political apparatus through which a conservative agenda has the most force. when that changes... so will my vote. it's important not to think of parties as one in the same with a particular philosophy or ideology. some people struggle with that, hence the mistaken idea that the current congress practices a policy of small government/fiscal restraint. i can find common ground with democrats and the democratic party. i cannot say that about the current iteration of liberal-minded people.
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Nice post KMA, I am with you all the way. You have obviously given a lot of thought and careful attention to this discussion and deserve the same in kind. Please be a little patient so we can have a little time to "think things through" instead of shouting out partisan opinions.

I will attempt:Affirmative Action

I am a moderate-conservative, but not Republican, so I tend to straddle the line on many issues.

I am against Affirmative Action as it is currently in place (It is very possible that I do not fully understand how it works) in so much as it applies a quota system in an effort to introduce diversity.

I believe that social engineering has not worked as well as its noble intentions and that we need to hit the drwing board agian if we must. I would rather the government stay out of it though but I am willing to compromise "fixing" the problem versus outright elimination.

What I concede: I would be willing to compromise on a "mend it don't end it" concept but it would have to be pretty well thought out. I believe the problem is in the "cause" and would prefer to fix it there as oppose to trying to fix it at the "effect" level.

For example: instead of quotas of underrepresented students into colleges, or busing programs, fix the point of origin. The schools where they come from. Allocate adequate resources to prepare under represented students for college and life. I my opinion, this would better prepare students for college (better preparation, higher self-confidence, self-esteem) instead of accepting underprepared students who will end up requiring remedial programs in college.

How I benefit: In what I see to be a win-win, a quality education can be dipensed to traditionally under represented and under resourced districts giving the students the necessary tools for academic success. Additionally, by removing "quotas", there can be no doubt or question to the qualifications of minority students.

Last edited by jorgelito; 03-10-2005 at 06:39 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm a conservative. I know what a shock that is to everyone.

I couldn't care less if gay marriage is legalized.

I know some social programs are necessary, but I subscribe to the philosophy that what gets rewarded, gets repeated, so government funds should be difficult to obtain. (To clarify further, collecting the money of others should be as hard as having a job.)

I think the concept of a fetus being non-human is scientifically absurd, but I support abortion in the case of rape.

I accept that the US would be worse off without illegal immigrants, but I oppose our present "give them whatever they want" policies.

The current state of broadcast censorship sucks loudly.

Some type of universal health care is necessary. However, it's definitely going to have to be tiered.

Hard-core Christians need to understand that other people are entitled to different beliefs.

The US government needs to start displaying some sanity in regard to marijuana. Current policies are quite idiotic.

The influence of big business on our government should be drastically reduced.

That's all I can think of right now.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Affirmative Action is a good idea--there is a current thread about it, but it really isn't going too well. You could probably script the discussion and name the players without ever reading the thread.

The only problem I see it is always ends up in a heated argument with numerous accusations of racism hurled by both sides.

I do offer a different side to it, though, as I consider myself a "white" victim of AA--I got hurt by it pretty badly in the early 90's--but that isn't really pertinent here, we'll have to see how it goes.

In terms of a mend, how about an automatic grant/student loan for the first year of college for every person that wants to go to college--regardless of race/color/gender? After that, they are on their own for financing.

While it may be a large payout up front for the gov't, the money would be paid back ten-fold in higher income tax payments made by people with degrees that might not otherwise have had them.

I dunno, just a thought.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:30 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Libertarian, here (obvious for those who know me). So what do I believe in that runs counter to my side?
1. I belive firmly in pro-life. 9 times out of 10, the girl going in for an abortion was simply irresponsible and shagged either without protection at all, or did so knowing full well the risks that come even with protected sex. It disgusts me that these girls are not made to deal with their decision as an adult. If you are adult enough to have sex, you are adult enough to deal with the consequences. How many wonderful people have died because little suzy wanted some dick? Imagine how many happy parents are out there that are willing to adopt a baby into a healthy home that go wanting because a doctor thought it was okay to take a hook to the babie's head. Hypocritical oath, says I.

2. There are moments that I think that the best solution for overpopulation is to allow those who are evil and self serving to rule. As horrible and inhuman as it seems, my lower nature does tell me that in order to take care of overpopulation, people have to either die, or not reproduce. Can you imagine Congress passing laws that limit reproduction? People would lose their minds. When I have suggested not allowing people with the genetics attacked to apathy and hate and ignorance to reproduce, I am always shot down. I know I sound like a monster for saying it, but someone has to be devil's advocate in this. I honestly thing that some people should be discouraged from breeding.

3. Free market. One of the most important parts of being a libertarian, and I have trouble with it. I don't think that the government should interfere with the market, BUT right now very few corporations are responsible enough to operate fairly without someone watching over their shoulders. While governmental intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American, without governmental involvment, international banks and their corporations would quickly take over. We want liberty and freedom, but a lot of us aren't willing to be free and liberated responsibly. Kinda like communism, a few selfish jackasses ruin what could be true peace and prosperity for everyone.

Aside from that, I'll always say the only justified function of government is the protection of the lives, rights and property of its citizens. Each citizen is responsible for never infringing on the rights of any citizen of the world and always being eternally vigilant in protecting our freedom and liberty. Each life is worth more than money can offer and taking a life is unthinkable.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:01 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm a conservative.

I agree with liberals on the topic of gay marriage. I know gay people and I don't really care if they decide to marry someone, doesn't effect me.

I agree with some social programs but I am FAR from socialist.

Most other stuff I lean conservative but I am pretty moderate. I agree that abstinence should be taught and focused on, but other methods of contraceptives should also be discussed in sex ed classes. I am not a pacifist, but I do think war should always try to be avoided (I agree with the war in Iraq but ideally I would have liked to seen it worked out in a more peaceful manner). I however, do not support abortion at all and when I am older and married if financial situations are looking alright I do plan to adopt a child.
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Old 03-12-2005, 08:27 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I'm either psychotically far to the Right or psychotically far to the left, depending on who you ask.

I believe that abortion should be legal until the fetus is born, on demand and without apology.
I believe that anybody should be able to own as many guns as they like, as long as they are not legally disabled (ie not a felon)
I believe that animals are just that, animals. They have NO rights.
I believe that AA is counterproductive at this point. Once it was necessary, now it hurts African-Americans.
I believe that homosexuals should be able to do whatever they want, in the privacy of their own homes.
I oppose the war on drugs.
I support the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and Communist China.
I think France stopped being a US ally in 1946.
I oppose foreign aid unless there's some direct quid pro quo arrangement in place.
I oppose the US bowing to "world opinion".
I think the UN should be disbanded, or at the very least expelled from the US and the US withdrawn from the UN.
I think antitrust laws should be enforced.
I think every congressperson who voted for the Bankruptcy Reform Act should be investigated for influence peddling, let the chips fall where they may.
I support the death penalty, even for those who were juveniles when their crimes were committed.
I don't believe in "LIHOP" or "MIHOP" WRT 9/11.
I believe we should give Israel and Taiwan whatever they request as far as military aid.
I believe that if you shout "Death To America!" you should RECEIVE death FROM America.
I believe George W Bush is an idiot.
I believe George W. Bush was a much better choice for America than the alternatives.
I believe that when the chips are down, an idiot with resolve can be better in a leadership position than an intellectual who has no moral compass.
I believe Republicans are misguided.
I believe Democrats are misguided AND that they'd do ANYTHING that they thought would work to hold onto power. They're basically power-whores in my book.
I believe that they DID find WMDs in Iraq, that were left over from the 1980's.
I believe that Clinton should have been removed from office for perjuring himself in court.
I believe LEGAL immigration should be made much easier to accomplish, and that quotas should be eliminated.
I believe all illegal immigrants should be rounded up and deported if they fail to comply with US immigration law.
Immigrants who come to the US in accordance with US law = GOOD.
Immigrants who come to the US in violation of US law = BAD.
I support massive education subsidies.
I support removing the teacher's unions from having anything to do with setting the curriculum. Collective bargaining over salaries = OK. Control of curriculum: BAD.
I oppose using the education system as one of political indoctrination as is done now.

I believe that extremism in defense of virtue is not a vice.
And I believe that for every new law enacted, TWO existing laws should be removed from the books.

/nomex ON
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:13 AM   #30 (permalink)
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
I'm either psychotically far to the Right or psychotically far to the left, depending on who you ask.

I believe that abortion should be legal until the fetus is born, on demand and without apology.
I believe that anybody should be able to own as many guns as they like, as long as they are not legally disabled (ie not a felon)
I believe that animals are just that, animals. They have NO rights.
I believe that AA is counterproductive at this point. Once it was necessary, now it hurts African-Americans.
I believe that homosexuals should be able to do whatever they want, in the privacy of their own homes.
I oppose the war on drugs.
I support the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, and Communist China.
I think France stopped being a US ally in 1946.
I oppose foreign aid unless there's some direct quid pro quo arrangement in place.
I oppose the US bowing to "world opinion".
I think the UN should be disbanded, or at the very least expelled from the US and the US withdrawn from the UN.
I think antitrust laws should be enforced.
I think every congressperson who voted for the Bankruptcy Reform Act should be investigated for influence peddling, let the chips fall where they may.
I support the death penalty, even for those who were juveniles when their crimes were committed.
I don't believe in "LIHOP" or "MIHOP" WRT 9/11.
I believe we should give Israel and Taiwan whatever they request as far as military aid.
I believe that if you shout "Death To America!" you should RECEIVE death FROM America.
I believe George W Bush is an idiot.
I believe George W. Bush was a much better choice for America than the alternatives.
I believe that when the chips are down, an idiot with resolve can be better in a leadership position than an intellectual who has no moral compass.
I believe Republicans are misguided.
I believe Democrats are misguided AND that they'd do ANYTHING that they thought would work to hold onto power. They're basically power-whores in my book.
I believe that they DID find WMDs in Iraq, that were left over from the 1980's.
I believe that Clinton should have been removed from office for perjuring himself in court.
I believe LEGAL immigration should be made much easier to accomplish, and that quotas should be eliminated.
I believe all illegal immigrants should be rounded up and deported if they fail to comply with US immigration law.
Immigrants who come to the US in accordance with US law = GOOD.
Immigrants who come to the US in violation of US law = BAD.
I support massive education subsidies.
I support removing the teacher's unions from having anything to do with setting the curriculum. Collective bargaining over salaries = OK. Control of curriculum: BAD.
I oppose using the education system as one of political indoctrination as is done now.

I believe that extremism in defense of virtue is not a vice.
And I believe that for every new law enacted, TWO existing laws should be removed from the books.

/nomex ON

Except for the first one, I'm with you.

Somehow or other, I think this post should be set to music!
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Old 03-13-2005, 11:34 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative (believe it or not).

I believe that we need social based programs and that along with a much needed health care program and education they should be our primary concern.

I will concede, however, that there are far too many programs and that a vast majority are so caught up in red tape that the people needing the money and programs are often left out or don't recieve all they can.

Solution is to condense programs, make it easier for those that need it to know it is available to them. By cutting down on redtape you allow the money to truly get where it needs to go.

Example: I am trying very hard to find all these grants and loans that the government has to set up recovery houses. What I find is redtape and people saying go to this office..... which when I do they refer me to another office who in turn refers me to another that refers me to the original. This is a waste of money, time and effort and could be reduced to one office that know wtf they are doing.

I disagree with a foreign policy that pays countries that hate us. There is no need to send money to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Isreal, many in Africa, most of the ex-USSR and China/Taiwan that have policies or leadership that do not respect human rights, that take the money and keep it while their people starve. If we want to send aid it should be in the form of food and medicines, it should be sending engineers and workers that can teach those countries how to build an infrastructure.

I cannot concede on this point whatsoever.

I do not agree with "free trade" to countries that subsidize their industries so that they may undercut ours. I believe if China tariffs and subsidizes then we need to tariff their imports or cut all trade relations.

We are in a trade war and we are losing badly because we have gotten fat and greedy and we want everything cheap. This causes jobs to be sent overseas and wages to decrease. For the first time in our history our children will make less than their parents...... there is something seriously wrong here. This is not capitalism, and should not be considered as such when countries are subsidizing industries to destroy ours.

My concession.... tax imports to the point they are taxed by their originating country. Implement a WORLDWIDE MINIMUM WAGE, and retrain laid-off/fired workers for jobs that will pay more. Put more fed money into research and development grants and loans. Implement income taxes on companies that ship jobs overseas.... IE you (the company) send 200 jobs overseas then you (the company) MUST pay the income taxes on those 200 workers, equal to the 200 jobs you (the company) cut over here, until the people you told to walk find jobs. This money goes into retraining the workers.

I agree very strongly that healthcare should be regulated, price freezes should be implemented on all but the elective procedures. That medicines should be sold on a sliding scale basis so that those who have money (but too much to get help and not enough to truly pay for the medicines) should be able to afford their medicines and not have to suffer. That everyone is entitled to and should recieve an annual physical and 2 yearly dental checkups.

Benefits are healthier workers = more productive and happier workers.

I also disagree with Healthcare insurers having carte blanche on what they will pay for and what they won't. If you want lawsuits to go away allow the DOCTORS to determine what a patient needs and how to treat and not worry about cost.

I concede the industry needs to make money, but how much is enough? I think only a doctor can truly know what is best for the individual. The industry must either recognize this or be forced into a strict regulatory situation.

I believe we need to get off the fossil fuels and OPEC addiction and put massive monies into finding cheaper fuels.

NO CONCESSION I CAN THINK OF BUT WOULD LISTEN AS I AM SURE THERE ARE PLANS OUT THERE THAT COULD WORK AND BENEFIT BOTH SIDES. While again, I agree this industry has a right to profit, they need to be held responsible for their prices and that if necessary price controls should be implemented. If they cannot police themselves and find cheaper ways, then the government should.

There are a few more but those are my primary ones.
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:53 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467

I disagree with a foreign policy that pays countries that hate us. There is no need to send money to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Isreal, many in Africa, most of the ex-USSR and China/Taiwan that have policies or leadership that do not respect human rights, that take the money and keep it while their people starve. If we want to send aid it should be in the form of food and medicines, it should be sending engineers and workers that can teach those countries how to build an infrastructure.
I have a problem with the statement about Taiwan not respecting human rights. They're a liberal democracy that does indeed respect human rights. Communist China doesn't respect human rights, but Taiwan isn't part of Communist China. Also, without the US's subsidization of Israel, it would cease to exist within short order due to military intervention by it's enemies. It would not be in the best interest of the US to allow that to happen. Israel isn't the best ally we have, but they certainly still are an ally, and a valuable ally at that. I firmly believe in what JFK said about the "aid any ally, oppose any foe" bit.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:38 PM   #33 (permalink)
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yeah I think pan6467 has Taiwan and China a little mixed up. When did the U.S. government start sending money to China?

What Daswig says about Israel being in immediate danger without U.S. aid was true in 1967 but it isn't exactly the reality today. Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is nothing compared to that of Israel and Egypt's army would be paltry without U.S. aid. I think also the muslim world understands that today, unlike 1967, an attack on Israel would mean immediate U.S. retaliation. Just because a country is our ally doesn't mean we need to completely fund their military or support its every political venture. That's not what JFK was talking about.
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:14 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locobot
yeah I think pan6467 has Taiwan and China a little mixed up. When did the U.S. government start sending money to China?
Well, it's not exactly "sending money," but by granting NTR (formerly called most-favored nation) status to China, imports from China have a maximum tariff of 2% while China maintains a 30% to 40% tariff on US goods.

At least, that information was correct in the 90s. I'm sure someone will let me know if it's different now.
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Old 03-13-2005, 09:44 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention before, this is an EXCELENT thread, KMA-628. I hope efforts like this might help unpolarize everyone.
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:10 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Well, it's not exactly "sending money," but by granting NTR (formerly called most-favored nation) status to China, imports from China have a maximum tariff of 2% while China maintains a 30% to 40% tariff on US goods.

At least, that information was correct in the 90s. I'm sure someone will let me know if it's different now.
That's exactly what I meant. Aid can be given in many ways.... lower tariffs, such as we give China AND Taiwan is one of them. While they continue to tariff the hell out of our products. Plus, they sacrifice workers rights, financials and safety (not to mention subsidize their industries) so that they can sell their products for less. Taiwan is not as bad as China in doing this but they still do it, as does Japan.

We are in an economic trade war and we are losing because we refuse to tariff imports and we refuse to pass on our standards of operating to others. In trade wars it makes no sense to have a deficit to countries that oppose you politically and in every aspect. I am a firm believer that a company producing something overseas should pay the same wages and have the same workers rights as we do.... otherwise, as we are seeing, we cannot compete because other countries will do whatever it takes to take us down.

I find it pathetic that we allow this to the point where our infrastructure, education and standards of living (without massive debt) have fallen so far.

I firmly believe that if we trade with a country, their standards on workers rights and pay must be equal to ours.



As for Isreal, they are a thorn in our side. If they can truly show that they will give Palastinians rights, protect their borders and not in any way show agression to their neighbors, then I would agree to aid them. Also, Isreal is a faux ally, if we were to stop sending aid (because we cannot afford to anymore) they would be every bit as hostile toward us as any other country in the Middle East.

But they do neither. I am thoroughly a believer in what Bernstein wrote in "An American Jew in Racist Marxist Isreal." (I have yet to meet anyone that can argue Bernstein..... link so that you can see for yourself: http://www.worldnewsstand.net/history/Zionist.htm).

When Isreal can show that they support human rights and show true freedom TO ALL in their country, then they can have aid. I am not anti-semitic in any way, but it seems if you argue against Isreal you are labelled as such.


I hope this clears up any confusion on my previous post.

PS Daswig: I agree with the JFK quote also, but whether it is aid or buying their product, shipping jobs overseas and not tariffing the way they do us... it is still aiding those countries that would want us to fall. We cannot continue to have trade deficits with these countries.
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Last edited by pan6467; 03-13-2005 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:29 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Disagreeing with Israeli politics does not make you an anti-semite. It sickens me to know how some Palestinians are being treated. Hating someone for being of Hebrew decent of being of the Jewish faith is anti-semitism.
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Old 03-14-2005, 12:15 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
That's exactly what I meant. Aid can be given in many ways.... lower tariffs, such as we give China AND Taiwan is one of them. While they continue to tariff the hell out of our products. Plus, they sacrifice workers rights, financials and safety (not to mention subsidize their industries) so that they can sell their products for less. Taiwan is not as bad as China in doing this but they still do it, as does Japan.

We are in an economic trade war and we are losing because we refuse to tariff imports and we refuse to pass on our standards of operating to others. In trade wars it makes no sense to have a deficit to countries that oppose you politically and in every aspect. I am a firm believer that a company producing something overseas should pay the same wages and have the same workers rights as we do.... otherwise, as we are seeing, we cannot compete because other countries will do whatever it takes to take us down.

I find it pathetic that we allow this to the point where our infrastructure, education and standards of living (without massive debt) have fallen so far.

I firmly believe that if we trade with a country, their standards on workers rights and pay must be equal to ours.



As for Isreal, they are a thorn in our side. If they can truly show that they will give Palastinians rights, protect their borders and not in any way show agression to their neighbors, then I would agree to aid them. Also, Isreal is a faux ally, if we were to stop sending aid (because we cannot afford to anymore) they would be every bit as hostile toward us as any other country in the Middle East.
I agree with everything above. It seems odd how America is supposedly supporting democracy and freedom in all these small countries, when the largest threat is being granted more and more power, some of it seemingly willingly. Everyone talks about China's military buildup, but nobody really seems to want to talk about their economic threat. They have an inherent economic advantage-huge amounts of extremely cheap labor. And they also have little respect for copyright laws of other countries. If they have 40% tarrifs on our goods while paying their workers 10% of what that same person would make for the job in the US or EU, we put tarrifs on their goods of 100, 200, hell 300%. If an American company relocates there for the cheap labor, their products get the same treatment. Make the economic battle more about how efficiently you can produce, and not how much you can screw your workers.

This should be counterbalanced by labor concessions. I think that many of our factory workers are overpaid for what they do. Their pay does not match the quality of their goods. I don't want to make this into a labor discussion, but I have heard numerous first-hand accounts from employees, supervisors, and large scale buyers that GM products made in America are inferior to even those made in Canada. And I doubt that people would accuse Canada of short-changing their employees.
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
 
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i note that after a few days away there seems to be a consensus here on some basic points: for example, that markets are (a) seperable from the rest of social life an--more problematically--(b) that they are somehow "rational"..both of which are basically conservative discourse markers.

i also note that folk seem to have a hard time with the reality of globalizing capitalism and its implications for nation-states: for all the nationalist rhetoric of most political positions in the american "mainstream" the fact that both republicans and moderate democrats understand capitalism as an unqualified good works at cross-purposes--globalizing capitalism will result in a basic reconfiguration of most aspect of social existence that previously were shaped/regulated/maintained by nation-states. the period of nation-states is on the wane. the mainstream of american politics typically deals with this by not dealing with it--the assumption--wholly arbitrary conceptually, obviously false historically--that markets, left to themselves will result in the greatest good for the greatest number is little more than a political figleaf placed across the more massive problems globalizing capitalism pose--not just for working people, but for the entire spectrum of (increasingly) outmoded nationalist ideologies. the effect is to say dont worry, the invisible hand (or god, take your pick) will take care of everything.

i cant help but think as i read through this that the "common ground" being sought here is a reflection of the extent to which conservative discourse shapes political debate.
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Adam Smith aside, I see a different trend so far.

Here is my take so far:

1) Healthcare/Health Insurance seems to be something that crosses over the parties quite a bit.

2) Free Market Issues (as related to the United States, not the world) - this seems to have some common ground on both sides. The trend seems to follow better regulation, not more. I also see some agreement on enforcement of regulations.

3) Social Programs (i.e. reform or decrease the amount) - seems to have some appeal to both sides

4) I might be stretching a bit, but it seems that Abortion could hold some common ground--I see that pro-lifer's and pro-choicer's seem to both want the number of abortions to be a lot less than they are. This would tell me that both sides may be able to find ground regarding ideas to limit the need for abortion rather than the typical for/against abortion tirade.

Am I reading this right? Do you agree? Disagree?

So far, I must admit to being pleasantly suprised.

Any one care to add more?
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