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In this order

 

-environment(I'd like that to include animals but it doesn't for legit runners)

 

-honesty...I'd rather have an honest dictator I completely disagree with than someone thats two faced like a few of the people running near the top

 

-border control(I don't really have much of an opinion on either side so long as there is an ENFORCED law)

 

-education

 

-getting respect back from the rest of the world

 

-an honest economy...every cent of extra surplus tax money should be put into our debt before anything else is done with it.

 

-harsh punishment for violent criminals

 

-someone intent on not giving any slack to corporations...this doesn't mean being fair...this means screwing them over for years as punishment for the past

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I guess this should go here.

 

Do any of you think voting actually makes a difference?

 

Maybe a small difference here and there, but overall any president that gets elected will go on the present course of humanity, contributing to its destruction through totalitarian agriculture without thinking they are doing anything wrong.

 

I know its a nihilist though, but voting and putting someone in charge still leaves us as humans unable to save ourselves or our world.

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I dont think it makes much of a difference in the end and that could be because I'm not mainstream enough. I look more at the purpose behind my vote. I like the argument that voting is immoral since you are forcing some type of control and extortion on others (usually since politicians like taxes and regulations). Though if you are voting for a candidate that wants to defend all civil liberties, and wants to diminish the size and scope of government power, then I think of voting more as a form of mainstreamed, peaceful self defense which I prefer to people having riots and killing and all that unpleasantness. In any case its people taking in information and then acting on it. If enough people act as a group I think they'll get their representative.

 

Another point to consider is that your vote is only as powerful as the position you are voting for (assuming you vote for the victor). The president usually does not have so much power. There has been a radical shift especially with GWB to take more power to the executive. So if things were more balanced within the federal government your vote for a senator or congressman should mean just about as much as your vote for a president. Its as though we just put all the energy into the president and really the president should be checked by a congress, they should be as equally important so at some point in voting you should be able to cast a vote that matters in some way.

 

The options for voting also impact the value of your vote. I wont be surprised if in this election by the time the primaries and conventions are over, there are not many differences between the two nominees, and in that case your vote really wont matter much. I think the votes matter a great deal more now since there are numerous people to vote for. If one group is in control though then your vote for another group will matter.

 

 

In thinking quite a bit about how a vote matters, i'm coming to realize there are different ways in which a vote matters. Individual level, group level, party level etc. So its a mixed bag. Your vote only matters to a certain extent, and depending on the ideals it may matter very little. But if it matters to you that is worth something. Also why you vote is a good measure to help determine if your vote matters. Self expression, to drive debate or to change the nation. All of that is up to you and your candidate.

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I think the vote will matter. If a republican wins the base will be very happy since they can veto most bills passed by the senate...if a democrat wins the democrats in congress and the senate can be extremely liberal with the laws the push considering their numbers.

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About the "does voting even help" argument.

 

I like the saying that if you didn't vote, you can't complain about who gets elected.

 

Yes, I do think it matters tremendously. Think if everyone stopped voting. The government would do away with that right and then we would really risk becoming a dictatorship country.

 

I know I'm the eternal optimist, but I feel it really does matter.

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As long as one of us is enslaved none of us are free. True words. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Freedom is nothing if it is not free. The whole bid for who is a better person is flawed in the sense that nobody is better. As long as you want someone to rule over you and judge you and be everything someone of given power will be you will never be happy. If leaders were given everything they needed or nothing we would have a true leader. A true philosopher king. Politicians are winners yet seek more, what logic is in that? When your choices are either left or right and not freedom from either there is no point in being involved and your energy should be used for something greater than choice.

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sounds like you believe in anarchy then, Gyre.

 

As flawed as our country is, and true, we have made some bad decisions over the past 230 some odd years, and especially over the past few years (i.e. electing Bush whom I'm sure majority of us here did not have a hand in whatsoever)...

 

this is still America. This is still a country (IMO) that we are damn lucky to live in. Our founding fathers were about freedom and even if we don't agree with every decision that is made, I do take some offense to your post Gyre. But then again I take a slight offense to people from other countries coming into an American based board and bashing our polictical system and saying how f*#kd up our country is... not a huge offense because everyone is entitled to their opinion, and our leaders have made some bad decisions so certainly, some of it is warranted... but still.. its a bit disrespectful and something I would never do in a UK based board, etc... but whatever... that is their choice.

 

Anyway, I still have a good amount of American Pride. We have no idea how damn pampered, spoiled and fortunate we are to receive certain luxuries just by being born here.

 

I still believe in voting and the constitution. Must we always throw the baby out with the bathwater?

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I believe in no-thing. Inside of every truth there is held a question and you can choose to ignore that question or listen. Even freedom is a binding contract. Freedom without discipline yields poor fruit. Funny that it is the shortcomings of these founding fathers that yields good fruit although sickly looking much as a meat eater would look at a vegan. So it is the way you may view anarchy. I agree that we are lucky(luck being opportunity meeting preparation) to live past the age of five in the overpopulated world we live in. Our founding fathers owned slaves, it is not so hard to see them today under the golden arches. Yes with this opportunity we can too be pampered, spoiled, and fortunate(while taken only for good would invite all bad simultaneously). Should one have to Receive universal freedom and liberty? Who among you can judge another persons worth? It is not granted say but it is found within each person.

 

veggieprincess-

"Our founding fathers were about freedom and even if we don't agree with every decision that is made, I do take some offense to your post Gyre."

I understand your offense but not your argument. Would you though, agree with my argument at all, other than your 3 comments of poor decision making skills of the establishment?

 

Maybe if our government didn't frown upon other systems of government there wouldn't be beef. We are a government that has a constitution which in effect would keep human liberties open to freedom, democracy has nothing to do with that where 49% of the people have less freedom than 51% of the people. I do not think we should ever move backwards but we can choose what we take with us on the journey. We must not take for granted or choose the ability to restrict others freedom. Keep in mind that I may not be for you but I am not against you either when interpreting my intent within my text. Everything is meant to be jovial.

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sounds like you believe in anarchy then, Gyre.

 

As flawed as our country is, and true, we have made some bad decisions over the past 230 some odd years, and especially over the past few years (i.e. electing Bush whom I'm sure majority of us here did not have a hand in whatsoever)...

 

this is still America. This is still a country (IMO) that we are damn lucky to live in. Our founding fathers were about freedom and even if we don't agree with every decision that is made, I do take some offense to your post Gyre. But then again I take a slight offense to people from other countries coming into an American based board and bashing our polictical system and saying how f*#kd up our country is... not a huge offense because everyone is entitled to their opinion, and our leaders have made some bad decisions so certainly, some of it is warranted... but still.. its a bit disrespectful and something I would never do in a UK based board, etc... but whatever... that is their choice.

 

Anyway, I still have a good amount of American Pride. We have no idea how damn pampered, spoiled and fortunate we are to receive certain luxuries just by being born here.

 

I still believe in voting and the constitution. Must we always throw the baby out with the bathwater?

 

Because a significant proportion of the members here are from the US, the rest of us have to shut our mouths about issues we have with your political and social systems? That is complete rubbish.

 

Whether we like it or not, decisions made by the US affect everyone. So therefore, I believe I have just as much right to an opinion as any American citizen.

 

I really don't get national pride or patriotism. You cannot help the country you are born in, nor where you live until you are an adult. So why take pride in something that is completely out of your control.

 

Also (and I am equally disapproving of the UK) what does the US have to be proud of? Withdrawing from Kyoto? Invading Iraq? Invading Iran? Selling arms to Iraq and Iran? Funding and directly involving themselves in "Administration changes" all around the world to suit their interests? The majority of the population having no concept of a world beyond their own borders? A lack of genuinely free health care? The biggest gap between the richest and poorest people in the world? Many of the most fundamentally extreme religious zealots in the world?

 

Need I go on?

 

National pride is a dangerous thing, and it should be avoided.

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Personally I don't think national pride is a bad thing...its the stereotypical American National pride thats bad. National pride can be a good thing that brings people together...it doesn't need to bring people together and make the rest of the world hate us...it does in this case because so many Patriotic Americans are so moronic.

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think all countries have good and bad things.

 

being happy to be born somewhere is not the same as feeling better than being born somewhere else..

 

if superiority takes the place from being happy there is something wrong.

 

I beleve more in international solidarity. you can't blame people for being born in any country.

 

world is complex think we should not forget that.

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If the prez is doing a bad job I dont care if you voted or not. maybe you didnt like who you could vote for. Why vote for someone you dont like then complain about them, or the other person you dont like. Poor job performance is poor job performance. Please complain, there has not been a great president for quite some time. And please PLEASE stop voting for these people just to be voting. Its destroying us and some of the rest of the world by giving a semblance of legitimacy to the rule of some person most probably dont want in that position to begin with.

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being happy to be born somewhere is not the same as feeling better than being born somewhere else..

 

I agree completely.

 

Where some may view American pride as being arrogant or superior, I am humbled and greatful and feel lucky to have been born here and to have ancestors that date back to the Mayflower.

 

Some of us are very ashamed at the decisions that our policitical leaders have made over the past decade, and we don't agree with 99% of them. But how should that take away all of our American Pride and the ideals that this country was founded on? It doesen't. Again, I'm always the eternal optimist, hopeful for a better tomorrow.

 

Anyways, I'm not saying you don't have some very valid points Johnathan. Especially where Kyoto Protocol is concerned. I just like to focus on what we can do differently and what may still be within our control, and I remain hopeful for the future, as opposed to what has been done in the past that we have no control over.

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I am more against humanity than governments. No, maybe the course of humanity is what I am against. No matter who we elect we still try to force our rules over natural laws, destroy or assimilate those who arent on board with our way of culture, and keep going on a path that will destroy this world.

 

I guess if we elect certain presidents, maybe they will pass some laws to slow global warming. i But it isnt going to be stopped. People all over the world, especially the ruling elite, would rather eliminate species and destroy our atmosphere for gains in money than keep biodiversity wide spread and forests alive.

 

Unless we stop our culture from acting like this, no matter who is in charge, humanity will die, leaving a legacy of disease and death in its wake. It means a drastic change. It means stopping population growth. Which means stopping food overages. Which means living again by natural law.

 

Every bug, wild animal, and plant on this earth live by laws that govern correct growth. What makes us so special to live against a law that everything else follows? We broke this law, and we have seen where it leads us. We dont need to progress, we need to degress. Not revolution, but devolution.

 

It seems extreme. But we have 500,000 years of history where we have worked with nature, and our world thrived. But in the last few thousand years, we have made a complete mess of things. Our current path doesnt work. And electing different leaders every few years or so isnt stopping this from happening.

 

A longer life span seems nice, but at what cost?

 

I do enjoy the freedom I have. If I didnt have this freedom, I wouldnt be able to think like this. But it wasnt my ancestors who fought in wars to give me this freedom.

 

It is mine because I am human. Freedom isnt a law. It isnt a right. A "right" is something someone gives you. Its on a piece of paper somewhere saying that. But I dont need someone to tell me I have a right to freedom. I am an animal, of species human, and there are no rights over us. We as humans always had freedom. But because of laws and rules, we needed to define what freedom is. Give it a name, give it a right.

 

If I lived in a country where freedom of speech was hampered or brutally limited, it wouldnt make a difference who I am and what I would think. Because all though they can stick a tank in front of me or a gun to my head, it still will never take away who I am. Thats freedom. It isnt given, we have always had it.

 

Ok. Thats my rant. Pick it apart if you want

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I should shut up now, but after reading jonathons and others post about national pride I remembered a an interview when the World Cup was in Germany. They were asking a store owner who was selling flags of different countries, and asked them about sports and patriotism.

 

She said something like:

 

"We do not have a lot of patriotism in Germany. We learned our lesson. The patriotism we see in America scares us. Its the type of patriotism we had here that put Hitler in power."

 

Im not saying all the people in America who have pride are like this, but the majority of America to me seems to be heading this way.

Edited by dontxhide
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sounds like you believe in anarchy then, Gyre.

 

As flawed as our country is, and true, we have made some bad decisions over the past 230 some odd years, and especially over the past few years (i.e. electing Bush whom I'm sure majority of us here did not have a hand in whatsoever)...

 

this is still America. This is still a country (IMO) that we are damn lucky to live in. Our founding fathers were about freedom and even if we don't agree with every decision that is made, I do take some offense to your post Gyre. But then again I take a slight offense to people from other countries coming into an American based board and bashing our polictical system and saying how f*#kd up our country is... not a huge offense because everyone is entitled to their opinion, and our leaders have made some bad decisions so certainly, some of it is warranted... but still.. its a bit disrespectful and something I would never do in a UK based board, etc... but whatever... that is their choice.

 

Anyway, I still have a good amount of American Pride. We have no idea how damn pampered, spoiled and fortunate we are to receive certain luxuries just by being born here.

 

I still believe in voting and the constitution. Must we always throw the baby out with the bathwater?

 

Because a significant proportion of the members here are from the US, the rest of us have to shut our mouths about issues we have with your political and social systems? That is complete rubbish.

 

Whether we like it or not, decisions made by the US affect everyone. So therefore, I believe I have just as much right to an opinion as any American citizen.

 

I really don't get national pride or patriotism. You cannot help the country you are born in, nor where you live until you are an adult. So why take pride in something that is completely out of your control.

 

Also (and I am equally disapproving of the UK) what does the US have to be proud of? Withdrawing from Kyoto? Invading Iraq? Invading Iran? Selling arms to Iraq and Iran? Funding and directly involving themselves in "Administration changes" all around the world to suit their interests? The majority of the population having no concept of a world beyond their own borders? A lack of genuinely free health care? The biggest gap between the richest and poorest people in the world? Many of the most fundamentally extreme religious zealots in the world?

 

Need I go on?

 

National pride is a dangerous thing, and it should be avoided.

 

Great stuff Jono. I get really annoyed by the "Pride" thing as well, because I also understand that we don't have a choice in it.

 

It's almost like celebrating our own birthdays. We didn't do anything. We should thank our parents, not throw a party for ourselves.

 

Anyway, yeah the US can be a scary place when more than half the country is convinced that we are better than everyone and our lives have more value than those citizens of other nations. That really, really bothers me!

 

Anyway, good stuff to think about.

 

There are some great things about the US too, but lots of scary things and problems as well.

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You can insult my murderous government but dont insult my poor bleeding country (let alone the people in it). I like our founding principles and I like the land that is america. I like most of the people here. Am I ashamed to be from the US, no. I cant say that I'm proud either. There are many beautiful places on the planet and many nice people. I also dont think rights come from government, and that government should have a very insignificant role in the life of any individual. I am much more proud to be able to live as I feel, buy what I feel etc. And even those things are being limited by the US govt. All in all I'm proud of who I am and where I come from but no so much as who's running the show. Why would you be proud of someone else so removed from you like politicians?

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They don't actually have to be removed from you. For you Paul isn't all that removed from you since the two of you agree so much. For me I'm not so far removed from someone who's willing to take away certain liberties...things that Americans do that hurt others that they feel they should be allowed to do. In the perfect world I'd love for there to be no laws at all but people in general do evil enough things...it would only get worse in my opinion if we get more liberties than we already have.

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I'm not really proud of Ron. I'm proud when I help build a house or reach a new max. I've even met ron, but he's just a guy and we agree on many things. The world isnt perfect, there are rules to live by just about everywhere, especially if people come into contact with each other. I think that will always be the case. And of course there will always be differences as to how far these rules go. I'm of the opinion that we've got about as many rules as we need for the time being, infact so many rules nobody can follow them all. There's enough oppression on the planet to go around, and giving an institution more reason to rough up people is a plan that lacks compassion.

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I don't think it has to be about roughing people up if people are reasonable. Its illegal for people to drink and drive...people do it and they get roughed up by police sometimes...fine with me.

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