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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

The "Why I'm Voting Republican" Video

The "Why I'm Voting Republican" Video

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I've been a Democrat all my life, and I've had some pretty choice things to say about the Republican party on occasion, but I've never said it so bitingly, or with such entertainment value, as this.

To all my Republican friends, please accept my apologies in advance. I know what an exaggeration (and, in some places, a grossly unfair exaggeration) this video is -- but it sums up a lot of what I feel.

If I may be speculative and philosophical for a moment, I find that my political leanings and votes are usually driven more by "social" issues than by "economic" or "foreign policy" issues. This year, environmental/energy policy is top on my agenda.  Abortion policy, issues of intimate privacy, and the ability of families to call themselves families, are also very high up there.  I'm also a pretty severe skeptic about corporate power.  As Clarence Darrow once put it, "Better that the government control the railroads, than that the railroads control the government."


  • *sniggers* Oh, that was great. Maybe we should make something like that for FrP (the most right-wing party we've got) to unveil the results of their politics... Hmmm...

    No wonder I like you, Ken. ;-J And the Clarence Darrow quote is great (but who was/is he?).

    • Thanks, Berte.

      Clarence Darrow was the most renowned US criminal defense lawyer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and arguably in all of US history. He pretty much always represented the powerless against the powerful, or represented defendants whose causes he believed in. One writer called him the "attorney for the damned." There's a dramatic biography of him by Irving Stone.
  • The current administration has been a particularly bad one (and I say that as a Republican), but I hate, hate, HATE that being conservative and wanting small government has to equate to war mongering, corporate loving, environment hating, bigotry...etc. I'm really sorry you feel even a little bit like this video.
    • I owe you a response.

      First of all, I'm sorry that I provoked that reaction; I was afraid that I might.

      The major parties are both coalitions of disparate groups who share some agendas, but not others. The agendas overlap, but they also shift over time. Hence any single characterization of the parties is going to be misleading.

      The small-government model of conservatism is an old and honorable tradition that we can trace back to the beginning of the 20th century. We see "small government" Democrats too, although admittedly in smaller numbers.

      But the "small government" conservatives, by themselves, are insufficient in numbers to sway a national election. To win such an election, these classical economic conservatives must usually join with other subgroups whose agendas, while not identical to the flambouyant satire in the video, do share some of their features.

      Being a Democrat also puts me together with people whose agendas make me uncomfortable. There are labor union groups, for example, who would trade both economic stability and environmental protection if it meant protecting jobs based on seniority. There are groups who jealously look at the demographic composition of any institution and cry racism or sexism if it deviates from the desired proportions. There are people who look for excuses to be offended at the remarks of others (the "PC" crowd). And I could go on.

      For me, then, joining any large political party means associating yourself with people you'd rather not. I guess it's a choice of which outliers you'd rather have standing next to you. Not an easy choice.

      The video represents not the classical economic conservatives, but the outliers. And I can easily imagine your being as offended by being associated with them as I would be to be tarred with the same brush as, say, the crowd on the left who want to treat the entire State of Israel as a racist invention.

      So I apologize again.
    • I'm sorry -- I know that you, personally, don't equate me, personally with all that.

      It does bother me that there are people out there on both sides of the fence who would assume things about me just from my saying that I vote Republican (and I should clarify that -- I'm not a registered Republican -- even at eighteen, when I registered to vote, I knew I did not want to be registered with either party) as a rule. Like the guys I worked with in the Navy Reserve who would make cracks about gays (My gay brother died of AIDs).

      Which is why in general I avoid political discussions -- I would rather have my values be personal than associated with such a varied group as either the Republican or Democratic party.

      On another note. Your mention of Israel reminded me of my port of call in Haifa, Israel when I was still active duty. I had wanted to go there since I was about sixteen (I don't really know why). We weren't there long, and I had duty one of the days, so I signed up for one of the tours. One of the things I will never forget was how the air physically hummed at the Wailing Wall (and there weren't that many people there at the time). Religion is another thing I don't discuss a lot, but I find it hard to believe that anybody could feel that air and not realize that there is something greater and that faith and prayer have a power beyond our comprehension.

      OK -- I'm in a weird mood today -- thank you for your response. I'm sorry again for my earlier outburst. I know it wasn't personal.
    • There are groups who jealously look at the demographic composition of any institution and cry racism or sexism if it deviates from the desired proportions. There are people who look for excuses to be offended at the remarks of others (the "PC" crowd).

      I particularly detest those sorts of people. Ugh. Small-minded folk riding on the back of the genuine attempts to fix things, stretching the intent waaaay out of proportion (and often for their personal aggrandisement).

      It's a pity that our countries basically only have a choice between two political parties, that the 'granularity' of our representation in government is so horribly generalised. Do you think we'll ever get to a point where a form of government can exist where the populace can have much finer 'control' of what goes on, what policies are adopted?

      If we all had (secure) computer terminals and could vote on issues independently and separately of any 'big party' coalescence or influence ... ??
      • Hm... My observation is that increased granularity is not necessarily a good thing. In Israel there are so many political parties that no one party has ever been able to obtain a majority in the Knesset without a coalition of smaller parties. This seems to create some inconsistency in policy.

        As for direct personal control of the government by the vox populi, the thought makes me tremble. Without significantly better general education of all classes, I think most decisions so made would be poor ones. (...he said, effectively eliminating any chance he ever had of achieving elective office...) I'm more of a Whig than a populist.
        • Without significantly better general education of all classes, I think most decisions so made would be poor ones.

          Yes, that's my fear too. Self-interest would rule supreme, with people only interested in short-term outcomes. Mind you, a lot of that is happening now anyway :-(

          I've always maintained that the best form of government is a dictatorship ... the only problem is that you've got to find the right dictator :-)
  • I'm a conservative Republican as well as a socially conservative Catholic, so I think the best thing would be for me to not view this video. I've had enough stress over the past two weeks to add politics into the mix. That said, Go McCain! :)
    • Whoohoo! (also, he's a fellow alum of the Naval Academy, so we're definitely in his camp)
    • I admire your self-restraint, Annette. I'm not sure I'd be able to keep from looking, if the situation was reversed.

      McCain is a good man. I'm going to oppose him in the election, but I admire him on many levels.
  • That was funny in a sad way....

    See, I'm kind of stuck. My vote was going to be for Hilary...now I don't know what I'm going to do. My husband & son for that matter feel the same way. I'm not a fan of either MaCain or Obama.

    There are some very dark years coming, so I'm not sure which one will cope with it better.
  • Sometimes I actually like being from a country that gave up on voting and it's politicians. It is possible to sort not make a choice. Because really there is none. OK we have an election about every year and less and less people turn up every time.But instead of seeing new people, who are actually trying to solve problems like making sure inflation stops and that people do not worry that the cities might not have central heating come winter and doing something to be sure there is gasoline that one can actually afford on a salary of $300, we get people who would rather fight for who is the ruling party as if they were deciding who was the biggest bully on the playground. It would have been funny to watch if it wasn't so sad. So I watch (sometimes) I laugh (often) and prefare to not associate myself with politics at all.
    P.S. I liked the video.
    • Thanks, Rosa. I understand the distinction you're making, but here too, the political parties often behave as if they care more about winning than about anything else.

      And did I tell you my grandfather was from Rovna?
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