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Isn't it obvious that the democratic system forces people to be liars?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by thekaje, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Verbose

    Verbose Deity

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    So fail already? That'll teach 'em!;)

    The price of being the best, is that you have to be the best. No comfort zone for you. And no blubbing about it either.
     
  2. AngryZealot

    AngryZealot King

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    Feingold and Kucinich are pretty close. I'm sure there are others, and some on the conservative side as well. Ron Paul maybe.
     
  3. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    OK, to give a fair answer instead of a facetious one, that's not the proper approach to the solution. Rather than using some sort of undoubtedly unjust system to weed out the less educated in the population, we should simply make our best effort to educate as many people as possible.
     
  4. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    By the way, I encourage some of you to check out the first video. He just plain flip-flops. One of those times, or maybe both, he is lying about his goals. Also, normally, this kind of lie is a-ok, and people do not remember it---lying politicians are NOT punished, in general. They're often not even caught.

    I agree that the media is also a problem. Not only are they focused on making money, but hurting the political prospects of that rare popular politician who agrees with you is dangerous and self-defeating, so they tend to run away from that.

    This I completely disagree with. They have a strong incentive/imperative to lie all the time. Just look at my examples: Obama didn't screw up anywhere. He needs to lie to stay viable.

    That's basically what I was saying, too. Except I would say that voting people have very rational positions in their worldviews. They just don't understand how things work, so their opinions on what will have what effect are fundamentally flawed.

    But it is IMPOSSIBLE to get elected advocating bail outs, stimulus, and higher taxes. Yet that is what the country actually needs. So is it rewarding "vague and misleading speech"? No, it necessitates it, and in many cases necessitates flat-out lies. The unpopularity of these things also encourages opposing-party politicians to make noise about the monstrosity of it, even though, in reality, they would probably do the same thing if they were in power. After all, if they didn't do these things, there'd be widespread economic collapse.
     
  5. Munch

    Munch Benevolent Despot

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    Which, at least in political matters, can be improved through free flow of information and open debate. For instance, online forums discussing current affairs... But it is sad generally that busy lifestyles can lead to a lack of interest in politics, in part due to the amount of time required to familiarise yourself with the various aspects of any one issue, and also because of more pressing concerns in everyday life.

    Nevertheless there are times when I look at, say, the music charts and despair for the future of democracy :lol:
     
  6. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Ron Paul.

    /thread

    More importantly, I think this kind of thing is really fostered by a two-party system. The only way for a politician to get elected is to express majority or near-majority opinions, even if they're "lying" by doing so. Someone who honestly and respectfully expresses a view that only a fraction of the electorate would ever hold simply can't win office except in very rare circumstances. I know in the past on CFC there's been some discussion of voting theory like Condorcet methods, but at any rate it's an easy conclusion that the current system encourages both voters and politicians to "game" the system - express views just to win the majority, and vote for the "lesser of two evils" rather than honestly expressing political preference.
     
  7. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    Kucinich and Paul are Representatives and their districts are relatively small. They have little to no impact on policy. They're also "radicals," at least in America. For these reasons and others, it's easier for them to seem consistent. I don't know their records thoroughly enough right now to make a judgement, but my gut is that you're right. My gut is also that they're unelectable beyond their tiny constituencies.

    But Feingold is incredible. I did not know as much about his record yesterday as I do today. I knew a bit, but not this much. He is apparently the most consistent, most obviously honest senator in the senate. His only obvious "lies" and inconsistencies have been on filibusters and campaign spending limits, the latter an understandable pragmatic compromise but the former harder to justify.

    At any rate, you have my tentative concession that Russ Feingold is an amazing, amazing exception to the rule. But why? What makes it so much easier to be this consistent in Wisconsin? Are the people of Wisconsin better educated? (Evidence seems to indicate that, to some extent, they are.) His case is worth considering, and it's also worth considering what kind of visibility and what kind of impact on national policy-making this guy could possibly achieve without going under. As nearly as I can tell, all of his positions have been right (where such judgments are possible). They've been good positions. And his defense of them has apparently been sincere. He has not said one thing and done another.

    So he's a head-scratcher. However, I wonder if, as a president or party leader, he wouldn't be forced make some more compromises.
     
  8. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

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    As long as he or she is willing to accept a single term in office, sure.

    As Maxwell Smart would say, it'll never work, but it's certainly worth a try. We can raise the cost of lying by voting against those who do it more often, and just by calling them on it.

    I agree with Janusi about the media. Of course, part of the fault with the media lies in the media consumers - basically the same folks as the voters.
     
  9. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Patently false.

    Ditto.

    Both of these statements are the result of deliberately taking sound bites out of context while making sweeping generalizations, as your YT video clearly shows.

    Hmm. I guess some people must feel that is necessary to further their own obvious agenda...
     
  10. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    I tend to agree that Ron Paul is at least honest. However, he has a relatively small, homogeneous district. This is true to the extent that: "On November 4, 2008, Paul was reelected. The election was uncontested because the Democrats did not run a candidate."

    Does anyone know how similar a platform the average Democrat candidate in Paul's district has to Paul's own platform?

    This aside from the fact that Paul has bat**** insane positions on things like the Fed. That's not the point here.
     
  11. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    Would you care to be more specific? I personally am not being deliberately malicious. The first video lays out some pretty obviously contradictory stand-alone statements, but I'm open to debating the point.

    In the second video, he is essentially maintaining the same policy while claiming to be doing no such thing. Do you disagree?
     
  12. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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  13. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    Wait, wait, wait. I'm sorry, but this thread is not about the merits of the current proposal. This thread is about politically necessary inconsistency.

    Here is the most crucial section of the video, in context:

    http://www.americanprogressaction.org/events/healthforum/obama_transcript.html

    This is from March 2007.

    To a large extent, this resembles the current plan. But it still seems clear to me that he hopes to phase out private insurance. Any disagreement?
     
  14. Orange Seeds

    Orange Seeds playing with cymbals

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    Every single shape and form of leadership depends on dishonesty because people are too demanding and too short-sighted. If dominion does not rely on verbal and ideological dishonesty it relies on coercion by force.

    Look at archetypal examples of un-democratic governments:
    -China, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Burma
    are those nation's leaders honest, frank and realistic?

    The answer: "leaders lie because people are stupid" is a much better one than one first thinks. Of course, stupid must mean desiring things without understanding implications.
     
  15. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    What, you haven't realized yet that elections are nothing more than two glorified advertising campaigns run by public relations firms? :lol:
     
  16. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    Here's some more prevarication in the face of bizarre allegations:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/axelrods_unsolicited_email_on.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/white_house_blames_3rd_parties.html

    Now, the idea that the White House is assembling an "enemies list" to persecute anybody is bizarre in itself, but the reaction to Axelrod's email, which was obviously intended to be informative, is even weirder. Why so hostile? Why so afraid?

    But more to the point of this thread, the White House backs down and shrugs its shoulders. This is typical politicking and not a case of broken promises or anything, but I think it's relevant because the White House is being dishonest for political purposes.
     
  17. Jazzmail

    Jazzmail King

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    Better education would be nice in a democratic nation.

    Leaders lie because the original purpose of speech wasn't about sharing information, but rather to make the speaker seem better.

    Truth was a useful hack.
     
  18. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    I think Feingold would have been elected in almost any other state, had he grown up there. The fact he was elected speaks more about what sets him apart from other politicians than what sets Wisconsin citizens apart from other citizens (and I live in Wisconsin, so I'm not being biased here, otherwise I would be saying the opposite).

    One could try to make the argument that Feingold's popularity is because of him being more of an 'average joe' (has mortgages, large credit card balances, doesn't drive a new fancy car, etc.), but whether or not that helps him, it doesn't say much about the citizens' values when you look at the other senator from Wisconsin (Herb Kohl) who is the 2nd richest senator in the US.

    http://www3.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=236730

    Note, that the article is 5 years old, so he may have a different car by now.

    I think his popularity has more to do with the 'Listening sessions' (basically town hall meetings) in all 72 counties every year, and that he refuses the automatic pay raises. Even if the pay raise isn't all that much it's the principle of it that matters, and what sticks in people's minds more than the politician's stances on most issues, and if more politicians refused automatic pay raises (that they vote for themselves!) they would help improve their chances of staying in office.

    So with that all he has to do is avoid scandals, not give his opponents opportunities to point out flip-flops* and broken promises, and then now being an incumbent gives him more of an edge**. Any of those could have been just enough to have secured his first re-election in 1998 (which he won by only 3%), and if he had lost we wouldn't know about his consistent vote on the Patriot Act, Iraq War, etc.

    * Flip-flops are a gamble. It can help you secure votes for one election, and why most politicians do so, but it can bite you in a later election or if you do it too much.

    **the guy Feingold beat to get elected in the first place was an incumbent, but was also ironically named 'Landslide Bob', who was nicknamed that because both times he was elected, it was by slim margins....so it wouldn't have taken someone too 'great' to finally beat him.
     
  19. thekaje

    thekaje Godless killing machine

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    He's pretty liberal, though. I'm not sure "any state" would have elected him had he grown up there. If they did, he'd absolutely have to compromise on a huge number of the positions he takes.

    I agree that the fact that he's well known for having an anti-lobbyist, anti-corruption philosophy helps him. But I think the reason he can be so honest is that the people of Wisconsin don't require him to compromise. They accept genuinely sensible positions as being valid positions. So Feingold doesn't need to flip-flop.

    Or, it's possible that he just doesn't care what the people of Winconsin think and votes his conscience. Maybe they respect that.

    I'm still confused. I'd like to read a more thorough analysis of this anomaly of American politics. :crazyeye:
     
  20. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    I'm a sophomore in HS now, but in 8th grade History I learned somethink that makes me fairly certain that this is unconstitutional. :confused:
     

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