Tag: America

November 11 2016

In a recent discussion about Bernie Sanders, someone said that he could never have been elected because he was a self-avowed socialist. I called that into question, and (of course) the person responding conflated communism and socialism. After some back-and-forth, they brought up the often-repeated idea that the United States defeated communism. To which I replied…

I don’t know why people keep clinging to the idea that we somehow defeated communism. It’s the same kind of broken logic that leads us to think we can defeat terrorism. We didn’t defeat communism (just ask the billion+ communists) and we didn’t defeat socialism (just ask the millions of socialists living among us). We outspent Russia, which is a wholly different thing. The Cold War ended because the Russians ran out of funds to fight it and the recognition that a nuclear war was pure insanity, not because we beat them with our superior intellect or high morals. And now they’re back to being one of the world’s superpowers. We didn’t defeat shit. We just didn’t end the world through nuclear war. If you don’t shoot yourself in the foot, you don’t get to claim you won the gun fight.

May 21 2013

This is a really excellent explanation of how our financial system works, but it’s probably too much truth for our society to handle. If Americans fully understood the truth it would bring ecoterrorists, liberals, independents, conservatives, teabaggers, and even anarchists together.

September 11 2012

Every time I go through airport security, every time I hear about someone who appears middle eastern being persecuted, and every time people defend our actions in Iraq, I can’t help but think that the terrorists won. They made us fear an invisible enemy, made us afraid of our own people, and drove a wedge between all of us. That is what we should never forget.

January 4 2010

Anyone that says voting is worthless is just cynical and proving nothing. While technically it is true that presidential elections are based on the electoral college (which is a fundamentally flawed system of rounding votes up and down), the important thing about voting is that it is a barometer for the state of the nation. It doesn’t matter that my vote is equal to someone that is a horribly-informed voter during the election. What matters is what happens on the day of the election. And almost every vote is decided before people walk into the election booth.

For example, in 2000, half of the nation wanted Gore and half wanted Bush. Why? Because most people could really care less who won. The entire election appeared as though there were really only two options, and people weren’t that enthusiastic about either of them. The Democrats wanted Gore just because he was one of them and the Republicans wanted Bush for the same reason, but the voting block that actually decides these things was more or less ambivalent. So, that set the tone for the entire election cycle. Few people on either side were capable of changing their minds and the voters that mattered flip-flopped on a daily basis. So, in the end, the vote was so close that the electoral college was used *as it was designed* to subvert the will of the people.

In 2008, things were different. No matter how much fear-mongering the Republicans did, no matter how many lies they spread about Obama’s citizenship and connections to terrorism, no matter how many times they claimed that we would become a socialist nation, the majority of the voters that mattered (the moderates) leaned in one direction. The longer the campaign became, the more obvious it was that Obama was going to win. So, in the end, the vote was not close enough for the electoral college to manipulate the outcome. No matter how much the Republicans claimed otherwise, it was clear to everyone that they lost.

As an individual in a presidential election, your vote doesn’t really matter. That much is true. For every informed voter there is an equally uninformed voter. For every Republican there is a Democrat. For every person that casts a vote based on their values, there is a person casting a vote based on their prejudices. Your vote is equal to all others, technically. But it is not your vote that ultimately matters. What matters is that you vote. A person doesn’t not elect anyone. The people do. And you are one of those people.

Though voting may seem pointless to some, it’s the discussions surrounding the election and the lead-up to it that truly matters. And considering how few people actually vote, each vote is worth far more than one. For every person that does not vote, there is someone that votes for them. And if you’re comfortable letting other people vote for you, then by all means sit at home while “they” think for you.

October 18 2009

Q: American Girl Doll…the new American Girl HOMELESS Doll, priced at $95…Has the world gone mad!?

A: The fact that you find this appalling is proof that we have not, in fact, gone mad…yet. :o)

October 14 2009

Q: Are US politics more contentious than ever before?
Politics sure seem ugly nowadays. Republicans say it started with the left attacking Bush. Democrats say it started with the witchhunt of Bill Clinton’s fondness for big butts leading to impeachment.

And the US has had rough patches in its history, like before the Civil War, when a Congressman was nearly beaten to death with a cane. But that was before the Civil War (!) where the country spent 4 years destroying itself and the death toll was 700,000 Americans….
But also in the early years of the Republic, there was lots of mud-slinging among presidential candidates, and many of our early presidents were involved in duels, so I’m not sure we can compare that time to the 21st century.
So should we be worried at the present state of affairs, or are politics supposed to be full of hatred and name-calling?

A: The fact that the Republicans were pleased that the United States lost the bid for the Olympics and upset that our president won the Nobel Peace Prize just shows how ridiculously contentious US politics have become, particularly among the right-wing. The Republicans don’t care what Obama does anymore; they are against everything he says without even stopping to think about it. Their justification (when they stop to give one) is that the Democrats were immediately against everything Bush did, and it’s somehow not hypocritical if they do it back to the Democrats. Of course, the Democrats had years of examples to draw these conclusions from, but I digress.

We should be worried about the present state of affairs. Unlike positive dissent, they do not spur proper debate. Instead, we get bogged down talking about untruths. Until we can cure the nation of this knee-jerk conservativism, we will be wasting our time and energy on political rhetoric rather than governmental policy.