US election terms

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Re: US election terms

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:10 pm

Harry, as a white person who I assume voted for McCain, do you by your own logic consider yourself to be a racist because you voted for someone of the same skin colour as yourself?

When as a black person you're still treated as though you're at the bottom of the heap nearly 150 years after your ancestors technically stopped being slaves, you're entitled to hope that a talented candidate with brains, direction and drive might just be a better bet than an erratic old has-been with no new ideas and abominably poor judgment, regardless of their race.

If the majority of those people who share Obama's skin colour also voted for him, this does not indicate that they are racists. What it indicates is that they have a less delusional grasp of reality and a better sense of priorities than those who couldn't or wouldn't see past their own prejudices and narrow self-interest.

I suggest you try harder to look at things from other people's point of view for a change.
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Re: US election terms

Post by Tony Farg » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:47 pm

ooooooooh.
That "for a change" must have hurt!
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Re: US election terms

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:54 am

.. sad ..
National Nine News, Thursday November 06 2008

Supremacists indicted over Obama 'plot'

A federal grand jury in Memphis, Tennessee, has indicted two white supremacists accused of plotting to kill Democrat Barack Obama and dozens of other black people.
Twenty-year-old Daniel Cowart and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman were arrested last month, before Obama won the presidential election.
They were indicted Thursday on charges of possessing a sawn-off shotgun, planning to rob a licensed gun dealer and threatening a presidential candidate.
Authorities say they plotted a killing spree that would end with them attacking Obama while dressed in white tuxedoes and top hats.
Court records indicate Cowart and Schlesselman conceived the plot on their own and it fell apart quickly.
The pair is being held in custody without bond.
.. he must be protected and given a chance to realise HIS dream ..

WoZ 06/11/08
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Re: US election terms

Post by hsargent » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:00 pm

I could have voted for Colin Powell in a heart-beat so I don't believe I am racist. I voted conservative regardless of the color of skin. I still stand with my statement. I would have voted for Condolesa Rice. That would have been a race, Condolesa versus Obama!

But now I will respect our new President and hope that his leadership team leads us well.
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Re: US election terms

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:36 pm

But now I will respect our new President and hope that his leadership team leads us well.
That is something I am very happy to agree on.
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Re: US election terms

Post by PhilHunt » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:02 pm

I find it very strange that in America there is a general consensus that the populations should back whichever candidate is elected to office. In Europe this type of dedication to a 'leader', 'commander' or whatever Al Gore called George Bush after he had the election stolen from him (oops), is unheard of. If someone is a Conservative in the UK and Labour wins, they spend the next four years moaning about what a shoddy job the government is doing, refusing to appreciate any improvements the elected officials may make. In Italy it's even more polarised and people support their party like a football team. Lots of housewives vote the same as their husbands on the simple principle that their husbands know best. In the past, husbands used to actually go to the polling stations for their wives and cast the vote for them as obviously women were unable to vote sensibly; I digress.

In one way, I deeply admire the American peoples mindset. In another, I find it dangerous. Obviously my ideas are formed by my cultural upbringing, but since moving from my home country to one in which I am not allowed to vote and have to sit back and watch, I've started to see the ridiculousness of many peoples blind support for political parties. More times than most, people do not even listen to what the candidate is offering, or even care. They see the colour of their party as an idea, or life choice, which represents them best. I would say this holds true for the UK as well.

An interesting feature of this election is the way in which the Republican camp tried to undermine Obama by saying he was too eloquent. Obama's acceptance speech may be one of the greatest speeches an American president has made since Kennedy; probably even better. He has a gift for public speaking which reminds me of Shakespearean or Roman speeches. The Republican camp tried to represent this as a flaw, claiming that they were 'only words' and that what America needs is a handy-man or plumber to fix the country. Does anyone else find it strange? The idea that the President should be less eloquent in order to be more successful. It's almost as if education is seen as a detractor from successful leadership. Surely our leaders should be great public speakers. They should inspire the population with their oratory, not reduce them to laughter or puzzlement. Italy has continually voted for a businessman to be Prime Minister, even though he quite obviously has not improved the economic situation (Italy currently has the highest national debt of any country in the Euro zone) but they vote him again and again despite his vulgar language, undiplomatic behaviour, constant faux pas and derision from abroad.
I personally think that a political leader should be eloquent, as he works predominantly through words and speech. Let the ministers behind the scenes be the monosyllabilic number crunching pen pushers.

I would be interested to know what the people who frequent this board think of Obama's speeches.
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Re: US election terms

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:54 pm

Don't worry, Phil, there will be no shortage of sniping partisanship directed against President Obama in the years to come, especially when (as he inevitably will) he makes errors of judgment or commits his own faux pas.

However, I can understand why Harry and many others whose natural inclination was not to vote for him are nevertheless prepared to acquiesce in his election more or less graciously for the time being.

Partly there is a constitutional reason for this, insofar as the president of the United States is not only its political leader, he is also its head of state and overall military commander. This is different to the United Kingdom, where the prime minister is the political leader but the Queen is still (unfortunately) the titular head of state.

Perhaps a more fundamental reason is that voters in the USA of all stripes have lately found themselves having to acknowledge the depth and range of the problems that urgently need to be addressed and fixed in their nation, and they want to help their president-elect to succeed in this task. Few Americans, regardless of party affiliation, want to see their country sink into bankruptcy and anarchy, and it seems to me that many Republicans too are therefore willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, at least to begin with.

Turning to some of your other points, there's also less of a tradition in the USA of the pathetic and unattractive combination of whining and apathy which is so prevalent in the UK. Whatever their faults may be as a nation, on an individual level most Americans are a lot more energetic and positive about improving their situation than the British tend to be.

As for McCain's complaints about Obama's eloquence, while this tack was popular with his hard-core base, it clearly failed to persuade the substantial slice of middle-ground voters that presidential candidates depend upon to win. It was just one more misjudgment among many in his hapless campaign.
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Re: US election terms

Post by PhilHunt » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:00 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote: Turning to some of your other points, there's also less of a tradition in the USA of the pathetic and unattractive combination of whining and apathy which is so prevalent in the UK. Whatever their faults may be as a nation, on an individual level most Americans are a lot more energetic and positive about improving their situation than the British tend to be.
I totally agree with you there. One thing I love about my American friends is their positive attitude. Europeans are so painfully cynical that sometimes it's hard to know when they are being honest of just hiding under a mask of indifference. Sometimes I think they hide their ignorance under a cloak of apparent irony. Since moving away from England I can now look back on how destructive this attitude is.
Italy has a different problem and that is the inability to move away from past and tradition. This navel gazing is setting the unsuspecting Italian public up for a rude awakening in early 2009 when the economy takes its inevitable nose dive.
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Re: US election terms

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:00 am

.. Erik and Phil .. can I have some of what you are smoking or would you just lend me those glasses you are looking through .. you are trying to tell me that the Latin Americans don't whine, that the Cuban Americans don't whine, that the African Americans don't whine, that the Native Americans don't whine .. OH COME ON !!! .. god bless america is no different to any other place in the world when it comes to its breakdown of whingers, whiners, moaners, go-getters, up-beaters and any other group you care to mention .. the only difference is that in other countries the general population doesn't believe the pulp spin they are fed and actually face the reality .. and Phil on your analysis the Americans weren't navel gazing when their economy collapsed .. oooops make that is still collapsing .. they KNEW what was coming in the morning ??? .. and they still believe the spin that all is well in Washington because this expert or that expert says it is so .. the only weapon of mass destruction that the US has found lately is their economic policies .. one day the general population of America will begin to realise that they are NO better than the rest of the world or any of the other races that inhabit that world .. that their systems of government and their form of democracy is not somehow supreme .. that they have all the same problems INSIDE their own country that they try to stereotype to other countries .. and when that happens and when they make that quantum leap we may have a lot more social justice in the world and a lot less war ..

WoZ the whiner in one of the lesser democracies
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Re: US election terms

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:03 am

WoZ, your rant misrepresents my opinion by exaggeration.

I only said "there's ... less of a tradition in the USA of ... whining and apathy ..."

I never claimed that nobody in the USA -- which, by the way, does not yet include Latin America -- whines.
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Re: US election terms

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:32 am

.. Erik I had originally written Latinos but thought it may not be PC and didn't make the connection with the geographical area of Latin America when I changed the wording .. I should have used Hispanic Americans and the reason I placed them first is because they are the largest non-whining ethnic minority in the US ..

WoZ
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Re: US election terms

Post by Tony Farg » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:30 am

I'm not able to analyse Obama's speeches in the way that some of you clearly can, all I can observe is that his oratory really connects with me, and I think he does it terribly well.
Thank gods the voters got it right. (or at least less wrong than they could have)
Signed:
Just a wingeing pom.
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Re: US election terms

Post by hsargent » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:59 pm

I have always wondered about the Prime Minister design of government. Here is someone that was not elected by the whole nation. I would think that that would be undesirable and the obvious Party affiliations would impact the Check and Balance that was so intelligently built into the US Republic system.

The eloquence concern was based on how one can promise things that obviously have a great appeal but can not be provided without going through the Congress. Now the only real constraint is the Senate lack of 60 by the Democrats that give the filibuster threat. That is strange in itself. We also have the Supreme Court which is a more stable, long-term institution./

It always hurt how much that Bush was criticized. This was easy to do but few people knew what all he knew that he had to live with and could not disclose. Obama has now had his first Security briefing. Bush wisely told Obama a year a go to leave wiggle room with his promises. He is learning why that was good advice.

It is easy to criticize about the holding of the terrorist which were captured. But there is the issues of if they are released, no Nation wants them back! What can be done?

I amazes me that we have to be concerned about following the Rules of War and handling prisoners. (I've forgotten the name for that a the moment.) But I don't know of any of our enemies over the last 70 years who have followed those Rules. The Rules say the "soldiers have to be in uniform or they are considered spys. But who in Iraq or Afghanistan use uniforms!

But I digress. I think you should watch the transition and see how Bush handles that. It seems so far to be very much as a gentleman and statesman.

When Clinton came in, he refused the input from the Bush 1 team. There have been books written as to how poorly that transition worked.

When Clinton went out, his people were very petty. Example that they glued the desk drawers closed in the offices.

I am convinced that Obama is very intelligent. I hope that lots of the liberal ideas which he expressed in his various writings. I pray that he will select a good team and will separate himself from Pelosi and her wild-eyed, sarcastic leadership.

Another of our great Democracy designs is that Obama is beginning his quest for another election in four years last week! He has to consider the voice of the people.

Sorry I got so long winded but the US government is something to be proud of regardless of who is elected.
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Re: US election terms

Post by PhilHunt » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:51 am

hsargent wrote:Sorry I got so long winded but the US government is something to be proud of regardless of who is elected.
Sorry Hsargent, but I just can't agree with that statement. The government is a body of elected and often unelected individuals, whose actions you can agree with or disagree with. I choose to disagree with many of the policies and decisions of the Bush administration.
It is easy to say that Bush was a Commander and Chief reacting to a terrorist threat, but the truth is, Clinton kept that threat contained and under surveillance during his time in office (remember the first bomb attempt on the Twin Towers. I don't remember Clinton invading Iraq, Afghanistan and bring America into an unwinnable war on a concept over that) and if it wasn't for the obvious oversight of the Bush government, there would have probably never been 9/11.
This government has also seen in spiralling inflation, debt, and corporate corruption. To me, this shows a government which has failed its citizens, and I can already see that the Republicans are going to hand over the problem to the Democrats and then spend the next four years saying its their fault; and unfortunately the majority of the American people will probably believe them, as people have short memories.

So, in conclusion, a government is not something to be proud of by default, the same way that I do not respect old people by default. These are social constructs that are put in place to keep people stupid. If I respected all old people by default, I would have to respect Nazi concentration camp guards. It is blind stupidity to respect a collection of people purely because they are in a position of power or of a certain age. If that were the case, we should all give the Nazis, Stalin era Communists and Thatcher's Conservatives a jolly good handshake for being such jolly good elected people.

Rant over....I need a coffee.
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Re: US election terms

Post by hsargent » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:27 pm

Phil Hunt
the Republicans are going to hand over the problem to the Democrats .
It's interesting how the Republicans are going to be blamed when Clinton was not blamed for his hand off! Clinton had Ben Laud en in the sights of a missile and refused to fire.

Respect for a government is the design and not always the implementation. Checks and balances, three components, a Constitution that has had minimal amendments.

Hope the coffee was good.

You should have a perspective that I don't having lived in Germany and Italy. I have only visited a few and read some. I do have a perspective of age that you don't appreciate yet.
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