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Political Parties

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Political Parties

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 06:31:31

Some quotes to get started.

“If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” —Thomas Jefferson, 1789

“Nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties.” —Alexander Hamilton, 1787

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention … is itself a frightful despotism … sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” —George Washington

“… When the right and capacity to do all is given to any authority, whether it be called people or king, democracy or aristocracy, monarchy or a republic, I say: the germ of tyranny is there. …” —Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority”
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Sat 21 Sep 2019, 07:05:28

In the U.S., outside of a small series of wedge issues that each effect only minorities of the population, issues seemingly picked to divide and conquer an ever increasingly irate, hopeless, and impoverished public, there is no difference between the two parties.

The Democrats and Republicans are both capitalistic, right-wing, authoritarian, fascistic, bigoted, corporatist, war-mongering, control freak parties with nothing of any real substance between them. The only way to tell the difference between them is which groups they target for discrimination against. The Democrats like to discriminate against heterosexual white males and Christians and the Republicans like to discriminate against non-whites, LGBTQs, foreigners, non-Christians, women and the poor. No matter which party is in power, the consolidation of wealth into increasingly fewer hands at the expense of the rest of society, the militarized police state, the forever wars, the coddling of Wall Street, the endless purchasing of laws and policy by K-street lobbyists, the increasingly bloated size of government, the endless deficit spending and fiat money printing, the unconstitutional industrial-scale surveillance of everyone, the declining living standards for the common person, the unaccountable nature of the Deep State, the march towards global ecocide, all continues unchecked no matter how many Americans become frustrated and angry at it all. The American people are then force-fed the belief that the "moderate" or "centrist" political stance is somehow in the middle of this very narrow and extreme set of ideologies presented by the Democrats and Republicans, and that anyone who falls outside of it is an extremist of sorts, even though indeed the composite center of the views of the American people fall far outside of this narrow range of ideology.

The "parties"(if one can honestly claim they are actually two parties and not pretending to be such) also use their clout to keep alternative voices out of the debates and off of the ballots, then expect us to believe that this is somehow a fair system and that we should just go on and accept whatever results we get after they've filtered and vetted all of the processes that determine our present and future. All of this filtering and vetting is then controlled by people who are unelected and are shielded from any and all liability for their actions while they pretend that we get we get the policy we vote for and somehow that makes this all legitimate, ethical or just. Left unspoken is what is often a single digit approval rating in Congress and a rapidly declining approval of and growing disdain for America's leading governing institutions.

George Washington was against political parties in the U.S. for a valid reason. The American people have been stripped of the right to self determination, while at the same time they are being looted to fund this theft then gas-lighted and told that this system and its policy are the result of their choices. And when any of the American people object, the intelligence community puts them on lists and labels them domestic extremists or potential terrorists.
Last edited by The_Toecutter on Sat 21 Sep 2019, 07:41:06, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 21 Sep 2019, 07:16:42

Agreed. I’ve been reading an abbreviated American History on TruthDig. It’s pretty good, has some fresh perspectives. It traces how this developed through the years with the LBJ/Nixon era setting up the current situation. I don’t see much chance out of it without some significant reform and a constitutional amendment.

However no one seems to be talking about it, what such an amendment would look like.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 21 Sep 2019, 07:26:57

I have lived in several small countries, some rich, some poor, but they all shared some important characteristics somehow relevant to what ails the political system in the US currently. Switzerland and Panama where I lived both have populations under 8 million people. Both countries from border to border is under 6 hundred miles.

Small countries are not global powers.
Small countries do not spend a significant part of their GDP on the military.
Small countries tend to become provincial in the issues that dominate political discourse.
Small countries tend to have vibrant mom and pop industries and a lack of corporate influence dominating economic life. You do not see faceless boulevards of chain stores.
Cultural identity in small countries is not burdened with exceptionalism

The USA political system is currently a huge juggernaut of special interests all jockeying for power.

I know this is not popular but the best solution to solve the political impasse of the USA is to break the country apart into several autonomous separate nations.

Bust it up.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Sat 21 Sep 2019, 07:32:10

Newfie wrote:I don’t see much chance out of it without some significant reform


Probably not going to happen without a violent uprising at this point. The policy makers running this society would rather lock this country down in a state of permanent martial law and/or initiate global thermal nuclear war than to give up the status quo that is making them richer and more powerful, a status quo which seems to be trending towards those outcomes anyway.

We're ruled by a bunch of greedy, narcissistic, murdering, control-freak sociopaths, their existence and retainer-ship over the levers of power of which is the primary barrier to significant reform. They want the whole world for themselves, and if they can't have it, their fallback plan is destruction of this world and everyone/everything in it just to spite the rest of humanity who has the audacity to disagree that this is a fair or just or even the best possible arrangement.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 14:17:12

The_Toecutter wrote:In the U.S., outside of a small series of wedge issues that each effect only minorities of the population, issues seemingly picked to divide and conquer an ever increasingly irate, hopeless, and impoverished public, there is no difference between the two parties.

Funny how the US public is so "impoverished", and yet the median household income has surged so much (in current dollars) in the decade since The Great Recession. Oh, and in the last 3.5 decades as well.

And let's remember, that since 1984, inflation in the US has been quite tame on average, especially sin the past decade.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA646N

And of course, let's ignore the surge in interest and movement re raising the minimum wage by a LOT, to help the poor.

Somehow, claiming the same politically motivated nonsense over and over just doesn't stand up to real world facts. But this isn't about actually discussing "wedge issues", is it?

What's next? Telling us about all the "starving" people in the US (as though social programs don't exist to the tune of a good $trillion a year), due to poor diet choices?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 14:21:32

Depends upon how you define “impoverishment”. In purely financial terms you are correct. But we surely seem poor in terms of personal contentment. And our health care is poor by first world standards. And some portions of society seem stuck in fairly dismal conditions which self perpetuate.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 14:21:52

Ibon wrote:I know this is not popular but the best solution to solve the political impasse of the USA is to break the country apart into several autonomous separate nations.

Bust it up.

And then you'd have perfection, like, say, with the EU? :roll: Simple intuitive solutions aren't effective for productive resolution of complex problems.

But they are a popular internet meme. See "The Death of Expertise".
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 14:29:07

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Ibon wrote:I know this is not popular but the best solution to solve the political impasse of the USA is to break the country apart into several autonomous separate nations.

Bust it up.

And then you'd have perfection, like, say, with the EU? :roll: Simple intuitive solutions aren't effective for productive resolution of complex problems.

But they are a popular internet meme. See "The Death of Expertise".


I don't come at this as a popular internet meme, my comments were based on my personal experience living in much smaller countries and noting some of those advantages.

Banks that are too big to fail applies perhaps to countries as well. The USA may have outgrown its geographic boundary in terms of being able to hold itself together as a cohesive state.

Do you read history?
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:11:46

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Funny how the US public is so "impoverished", and yet the median household income has surged so much (in current dollars) in the decade since The Great Recession. Oh, and in the last 3.5 decades as well.


Yet in terms of homes, food, education, healthcare, and other necessities, an hour of work at both the median wage and minimum wage buy less and less, and the debt load keeps rising ever higher to compensate.

Priced in terms of electronic gadgets, computers, entertainment, and plastic pumpkins, an hour of work at median income does buy a lot more. In terms of necessities and productive assets, it buys a lot less. This benefits the rich with lots of disposable income and harms the poor and middle class who have a lot less disposable income, of course.

There's a reason Americans feel they are slipping behind in spite of the government claiming median income increases.

https://money.cnn.com/2015/01/15/news/economy/americans-falling-behind/index.html

They feel they're falling behind because, in spite of the numbers saying they're better than ever, they actually are falling behind.

The U.S. public is basically being pissed upon and told it's raining.

And let's remember, that since 1984, inflation in the US has been quite tame on average, especially sin the past decade.


The CPI's data is suspect. It discounts increases in the cost of housing, or even uses dishonest tactics like substitution. A can of beans that is 16 oz is shrunk the next year to 15oz for the same price, and the CPI claims no price increase occurred for that product. A high quality ground beef that was $5/lb and pink-slime laden hamburger that was $3/lb increase to $8/lb and $5/lb respectively, and then the new price of the pink slime hamburger is substituted for the old price of the quality hamburger, and then the CPI tells us no price increase occurred. Then when products have mandatory quality improvements added, regardless of whether the buyer wants them or uses them, the price can go up while the CPI claims no cost increase occurred, which applies to things like fuel, furniture, automobiles, ect.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4086464-cpi-understates-inflation-skews-expectations

Do this for a plethora of goods and services people use everyday, and magically inflation is now low, even though in reality everyone has seen major price increases on the things they buy, without a commensurate wage increase to go with it. Do this over the decades, and we are now in a situation where a living standard that used to require one member of the household working, supported without debt, now requires both members of the household working, supported using unsustainable levels of debt.

The Chapwood Index tells the real story, and it much more more closely matches what I've seen on the prices of things I buy and use everyday. Typically, year over year price increases on all the items I've bought are on the order of 6-10%. I certainly see this at the grocery store, the hardware store, and on the utility bills, and not the laughable 1.5-3% the CPI claims.

http://www.chapwoodindex.com/

And of course, let's ignore the surge in interest and movement re raising the minimum wage by a LOT, to help the poor.

Somehow, claiming the same politically motivated nonsense over and over just doesn't stand up to real world facts.


I have nothing to gain by talking about this. I'm not in politics.

The real world facts are disparate from the published government numbers. It's not a "conspiracy theory" to point that out.

What's next? Telling us about all the "starving" people in the US (as though social programs don't exist to the tune of a good $trillion a year), due to poor diet choices?


The cost of a diet free of pesticides, GMOs, nanoparticles, growth hormones, BPA, microplastics, and antibiotics in the U.S. is quite prohibitive to most people. The processed semi-edible nutritionally-void flotsam posing as food is comparatively cheap, and heavily subsidized. People buy what they can afford. And they're starving for nutrients, even if calories may be abundant.

The social programs fall far short of meeting peoples' needs. I've lived among people that lived off of food stamps. In order to make it stretch to the end of the month, they had to buy peanut butter, cheap bread, ramen noodles, TV dinners, factory farmed hamburger with pink slime, boxed flavor-packet dinners(like Hamburger Helper), candy, chips, soda, cheap snack cakes, cereal, canned fruits/vegetables(and a nice dose of carcinogens to go with it), and the like. On a calories per dollar basis, these things went greatly further than say, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, grass fed beef, and wild caught fish. If they bought real food, their food stamps would have run out halfway before the month is over.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:17:53

There is, or should be no doubt, that our Consumer culture is broken. Recently I’ve been in a bing pointing out that this Consumerisim is like an extra tax that goes straight to the rich. Don’t know if I’m getting traction in that idea or not.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:34:32

Newfie wrote:There is, or should be no doubt, that our Consumer culture is broken. Recently I’ve been in a bing pointing out that this Consumerisim is like an extra tax that goes straight to the rich. Don’t know if I’m getting traction in that idea or not.


I'm with you and I think this realization opens the door to a non violent revolution.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby careinke » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 02:46:31

Ibon wrote:I have lived in several small countries, some rich, some poor, but they all shared some important characteristics somehow relevant to what ails the political system in the US currently. Switzerland and Panama where I lived both have populations under 8 million people. Both countries from border to border is under 6 hundred miles.

Small countries are not global powers.
Small countries do not spend a significant part of their GDP on the military.
Small countries tend to become provincial in the issues that dominate political discourse.
Small countries tend to have vibrant mom and pop industries and a lack of corporate influence dominating economic life. You do not see faceless boulevards of chain stores.
Cultural identity in small countries is not burdened with exceptionalism

The USA political system is currently a huge juggernaut of special interests all jockeying for power.

I know this is not popular but the best solution to solve the political impasse of the USA is to break the country apart into several autonomous separate nations.

Bust it up.


It's already busted up, we call them States. We just need to take away more Federal Power and give it back to the states where it belongs....
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 06:03:40

I’ve been pondering along similar lines. It seems all really big countries have difficulties with their various factions. India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan. The USA fits right in the middle there. It’s a big country, not everyone shares the same value set. There should be enough room that folks can find someplace comfortable but still provide for mutual aid.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 06:38:30

careinke wrote:It's already busted up, we call them States. We just need to take away more Federal Power and give it back to the states where it belongs....


There is a momentum that would start if you took away enough federal power that the states get a taste of more autonomy. I think they could run with this all the way to nationhood.

Here in Central America you go from one country to the next and you wonder why such differences culturally when the language is the same, the history is the same, the bioregion is the same. You can see this around the world.

Cultural speciation happens.

Compare my daughters who went to Highschool in Seattle in one of the most integrated cultural and racially diverse communities and contrast that to rural communities in the midwest and compare that again to baptist strongholds in Alabama and then again the cultural values of New England. Why not let these regions take off the shackles of federal incompetence and run with nationhood to allow for this cultural speciation?
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:28:08

Ibon wrote:. Why not let these regions take off the shackles of federal incompetence and run with nationhood to allow for this cultural speciation?


Abraham Lincoln showed why not. Trying to break up the US is the road to civil war.

We don't have to destroy the US and break it up into pieces to get limited federal government and more autonomy for the states. We just have to vote for people who will reduce the size of the federal government and return more of the power to the states and local regions.

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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Cog » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 11:31:04

Socialists want more centralized authority, not less. More federalism, not more state's rights.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 12:55:44

We don't have to destroy the US and break it up into pieces to get limited federal government and more autonomy for the states. We just have to vote for people who will reduce the size of the federal government and return more of the power to the states and local regions.


you need simply to look North to see the good and bad about having too many powers in the hands of States (in this case Provinces).

There are some good things. At one point in it's history the former Prime Minister Trudeau Sr attempted to essentially nationalize the oil industry but under the Act of Confederation powers over resources are within the mandate of the Provinces...so that never made it out of the gate. There are still ensuing battles over this but largely the provinces control their resources which is important given that Canada doesn't have an electoral college. Without an electoral college votes in Quebec count way more than pretty much the rest of Canada and hence you see Prime Ministers such as Trudeau Jr pandering to them. If there was a way to take away resources from the other provinces and give them to Quebec (and probably Ontario) Trudeau would almost certainly do that given his only interest is in being re-elected. This is one reason the US should not give up the electoral college, it keeps that sort of regional control over elections at bay.
There are other aspects of Provincial control that probably don't work as well. There are considerable restrictions levied by various provinces which affects inter-Canada trade and transportation of goods. This doesn't do well for the overall economy.
The rules around provincial transfer payments aka taxes (a means by which taxes from one part of the country are taken to invest in another) is good in principle but for the same reason I mentioned above (no electoral college) the transfer payments are unfair if not ridiculous.
Maybe one benefit of the regionalization you see in Canada is that Trudeau doesn't visit out here unless there is a gay pride parade to attend (not sure why that is), he sees no reason to speak to those who would never vote for him and the vote from Western Canada is actually pretty meaningless in terms of what happens in the Federal elections.

my point is to be careful what you wish for, there are pluses and minuses to more powers in the individual States versus the Federal gov't.
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Pops » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 15:37:32

How do you have democracy without people grouping themselves by interest?

Parties are shorthand. I've voted in elections for certain office with no reference to party on the ballot. I'm fairly interested in government but admit to not sleuthing out the resume of every judge or councilman so left the box blank.

Balkanisation isn't any answer, how far are you willing to divide until you get to purity? I live in Washington state, ooooh Left Coast! Not outside Seattle it ain't, eastern WA is Randy Weaver country. No different from any other place where city people have different needs and views than country people. Within cities are affluent neighborhoods where white collar homeowners have completely different demands than service-working renters across town. Are neighborhood warlords the answer?

Politics is either imposing the will of some on the others or balancing the needs of everyone. Partisanship isn't new, it's just advocating for your group of similarly interested people. What's new is for profit partisan media pushing alternative facts, online silos, click bait rage machines.

In Understanding Media in the 60s came the phrase "the medium is the message." Simply, the medium (TV, print, internet, or any technology) has intrinsic effects beyond the obvious. So, in an example Mcluan wrote, " the message of a newscast about a heinous crime may be less about the individual news story itself (the content), and more about the change in public attitude towards crime that the newscast engenders by the fact that such crimes are in effect being brought into the home to watch over dinner."
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Re: Political Parties

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 29 Sep 2019, 16:16:01

Pops wrote:In Understanding Media in the 60s came the phrase "the medium is the message." Simply, the medium (TV, print, internet, or any technology) has intrinsic effects beyond the obvious. So, in an example Mcluan wrote, " the message of a newscast about a heinous crime may be less about the individual news story itself (the content), and more about the change in public attitude towards crime that the newscast engenders by the fact that such crimes are in effect being brought into the home to watch over dinner."


We're way beyond that now. McCluhan never imagined what we've got now. ---- What we're seeing now are innumerable newscasts about imaginary heinous crimes.

We just went through three years of the MSM repeating endless accusations that Trump is a Russian agent. Of course those news reports all turned out to be false, as shown by the Mueller report, but as McCluhan would appreciate, endless repetition of accusations in effect coming into the home can also change public attitudes, even when the accusations are baseless.

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