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Old May 03, 2012, 05:26 PM   #1
Smellincoffee
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What motivates you politically?

Every political party has its own platform, issues which it decides elections will be about. In the United States, these issues are chosen every four years at the national conventions, and the media will chose one at random and run it into the ground after a few months of nonstop blathering before finding something else to talk about. In my youth, the issues I cared about were the issues I'd been led to care about, those present in the "National Conversation" -- that is, those which made the news. As I grew older, though, I developed more independence; my experiences gave me my own opinions and values, my own beliefs about which matters wre important. This led to a disconnect between me and the parties. At first I took this for granted because of the issues in question. For instance, I know that since I live in Alabama, most people aren't going to be passionate about church-state seperation. But the disconnect has deepened with every passing year. At first this was because my own politics were becoming increasingly high-minded: in the mid-2000s, I shifted from a Palin-esque conservative to a social democrat. This made me even more frustrated, but as I continued to be influenced by 'the left', my politics became more individually and community oriented: effecting positive change from the bottom up rather than from the top down. I've since then become more interested in practical matters, and less in ideology, so much to the point that I've found common ground between people who I would have otherwise been repelled by because of ideological issues. Unfortunatey, this has not narrowed the gulf between myself and the politicians. To my mind, they keep blathering about inconsequential points and saying little of substance about the things that matter. They don't appear to be taking problems seriously.

I don't think I'm alone in this, at least not in the United States. People seem increasingly frustrated with the two parties, so much so that they're drawn to whatever third-party candidate they can get. So, ignoring the "national conversation" on the television, ignoring what planks the parties will adopt at their conventions, ignoring everything but your own experience: what matters to you, politically? What changes do you want to see? What are you most concerned about? If you were running for office and felt free to address the issues you thought were important, which would they be?
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Old May 03, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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What motivates me is what is best for the people. What gives the most liberty and control of their own lives and prosperity. I'm a New Dealer from way back because I've seen that it works. And I've seen that nothing good comes from moving away from that.
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Old May 03, 2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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What motivates me is what is best for the people. What gives the most liberty and control of their own lives and prosperity. I'm a New Dealer from way back because I've seen that it works. And I've seen that nothing good comes from moving away from that.
Do you think the new deal can sustain itself?
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Old May 03, 2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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Honestly?

Opposition to theocratic intrusion at any cost. I'll be glad when I feel that I can take up other issues, but this eclipses everything else for me at this time.

If we can reach some kind of equilibrium where everyone feels respected that would be best. Any decent person would want this.

But if the only choice is between doing the political bullying or receiving the political bullying... well, what would anyone choose?

Last edited by AlpsStranger; May 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM.
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Old May 03, 2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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I got interested in politics out of a perverse curiosity and a love of history. Principle-wise, sound scientific principles are a plus, and I'm concerned with similar issues that AlpsStranger posted above. I suppose I buy into those old ideas about civic duty and doing good for the whole.

I'm not part of the major parties in the US, so I end up holding my nose and voting for who I think will do the least harm every few years. Not really a strong motivation, I know.
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Old May 03, 2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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I'm not part of the major parties in the US, so I end up holding my nose and voting for who I think will do the least harm every few years.
I know I'm asking for trouble here, but who is that this time around?
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Old May 04, 2012, 12:18 AM   #7
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I know I'm asking for trouble here, but who is that this time around?
I'll PM you to avoid an early thread derailment. 'Cuz I wuv Smellincoffee disss much!
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Old May 04, 2012, 02:38 AM   #8
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Nationalism motivates me. USA #1. That's literally it.

Insofar as I have a voting pattern, I usually only bestir myself to vote against egregiously stupid people regardless of ideology. Or traitors. I'll vote against traitors.
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Old May 04, 2012, 04:44 AM   #9
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I never could be assed voting but if I did , it would be for the party that taxed me the least

This is not an ideological stance . I would gladly vote for a party promoting higher taxation if I had the slightest confidence that they would spend it wisely. Unfortunately in the absence of this confidence , I would feel obliged to vote with my hip pocket and at least try to be a generous fella.
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Old May 04, 2012, 05:13 AM   #10
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I feel the same as the OP in that the main political parties here in the UK speak a load of mindless waffle. Unlike the OP though I don't really have any strong political views myself. I always go and vote though, just to vote for someone who is NOT the BNP. On the basis that they are all equally useless except the BNP (and possibly UKIP) which are worse.
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Old May 04, 2012, 05:28 AM   #11
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I tend to focus much more on the economic issues, and thus the fiscal side of politics.
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:39 AM   #12
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Yesterday it was sticking it to the Tories.

(local and Mayoral elections here in Londinium).

Turn out yesterday reported to be 32% so far btw. If you want evidence that people are totally put off by politics, there you have it.
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:48 AM   #13
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Abolition of the wage-system. I'm very moderate like that.
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Old May 04, 2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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I don't think it's that bad, it's a bit of a cliche to say it nowadays.
The local elections are insignificant to politics anyway. There remit is basically, where is the new duck pond going to be in the local park?!

Whats so bad about UKIP anyway?
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Old May 04, 2012, 08:14 AM   #15
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Do you think the new deal can sustain itself?

It was doing fine until it was dismantled beginning with the Reagan Revolution. The core of America's socioeconomic problems today starts the dismantling of the New Deal.
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Old May 04, 2012, 08:18 AM   #16
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I'm certainly no economist , which may come as a surprise , but I recall as a child that I could buy stuff labelled "Made in America"
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Old May 04, 2012, 08:53 AM   #17
Cutlass
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I'm certainly no economist , which may come as a surprise , but I recall as a child that I could buy stuff labelled "Made in America"

You still can. But not nearly as much of it is consumer non-durable goods. so you don't see the labels as much. Next time you're out shopping for aircraft engines, let me know what the labels say.
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More Money has been Lost Because of Four Words than at the Point of a Gun. Those words are "This Time is Different."
Taking from the poor and giving to the rich is Why Nations Fail In American we call that Reaganomics.
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Old May 04, 2012, 08:59 AM   #18
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I have a shirt which turned out to be made in America. The label pointedly declares that it was "MADE WITH UNION LABOR". Wonder if that's a coincidence?
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Old May 04, 2012, 09:10 AM   #19
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Abolishing the state, freeing the market.
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Old May 04, 2012, 09:29 AM   #20
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What motivated me politically was the sheer stupidity of the dominant political discourse in Brazilian schools. History and geography teachers would abstain from doing their jobs and instead go on proselytizing about communism. And they were bad proselytizers. I think my politics came as a reaction to that; before knowing what I stood for I figured out it must be something opposite to what those clowns were preaching.

Nowadays what motivates me in Brazilian politics is a profound desire to drive the Workers' Party gang out of power. I vote strategically both in local and national elections based on which vote may be more effective in diminishing their power. This has led me, a proud right-winger, to vote for hardcore trotskyists and for a Green Party pothead. To paraphrase Churchill, if voting for the devil would decrease the power of the Workers' Party, I would at the very least consider it.
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