Third Party & Independents Archives

Stop Falling for It

Politicians are bombarded every election with personal attacks and accusations of working for interests other than what the people need and want.
This happens on both sides.
What is behind it?

Our Politicians 'play us' and we let them.
They know that all they need to win is a good sound bite or video clip.

It seems to me that in every election the candidates, or their supporters, are more interested in getting 'the dirt' on the other guy than getting on with the responsibility of taking care of the people's business.
Here's a recent article called: 'Congress not paying attention to big issues'
This article says that the only thing Congress gets a good grade on is their handling of terrorism.
It must have been written before they passed legislation on the Gitmo detainees and the border fence. Two items that they can go home and brag about in their campaigns.
In another article: 'First Read'
" Democrats' decision (after much internal debate) not to offer a unified position on Iraq "has consequences," he says. Right now, by 42%-37%, more voters say they're more concerned that Democrats "have offered no specific plans or programs to deal with the issues facing the country" than they are concerned that Republicans "have offered no changes that they would make to deal with issues facing the country.""

Many nasty things are said before elections.
The only conclusion I can come to is that both parties are more concerned with being in power than actually doing a good job when they get it.
Whoops. Wrong about that. A spokesperson on 'The Big Story Weekend' just said it's because the voters LIKE the attack ads. He said the only way they will stop is if the voters stop showing how effective they are.

When the elections roll around the main goal is to 'fire up the base'.
Both sides know that if they can do this they have a greater chance of keeping or gaining seats.
Most voters don't pay attention except when it's election time.
The politicians know that if they can fire up their base, and find one news making comment or attack, they should win.

I just wonder if the new tape from Zawahri repeating the Democratic talking points will help ... the Democrats...or the Republicans??
'Bin Laden’s deputy calls Bush a failure and liar
Al-Zawahri also calls on Muslims to fight against 'Crusader plan' in Darfur'

The fact that the terrorists use our own words to promote their agenda should show our leaders that they should really watch what they say.
It's fine if one disagrees with those in power - it's not fine when their choice of words actually helps our enemies.

The first step in creating a 'Better America' would be to show our politicians, on both sides, that we want them to stop acting like they are on a playground in Jr. High and act like adults. This goes for the voters also.
Bush is not the only one with the 'my way or the highway' attitude. It is engrained in most all of us.

Posted by Dawn at September 30, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #185513

Dawn, fine article. One underlying motive of it all is something most voters never think about or even allow it to occur to them. The party that controls government controls a multi-trillion dollar slush fund called federal tax revenues. There is no greater prize, nor greater incentive to destroy American politics and good governance than that.

The trick is for the public to become aware of this fact and award the prize to those who solve more problems than they create and deny it to those who create more problems than they solve.

This would be one of those upheaval years, if only citizens were aware that the prize is theirs to control through their vote, not politician’s to use to buy the public off.

Integrity in government can only live if integrity is found in the voters. We will see on Nov. 7, if the voters have regained their integrity, or are still selling out to the highest politician briber paying them with their own tax dollars. Voters were fools in the extreme in 2004, not for electing Republicans, but for electing so many incumbent Republicans after their record of creating record deficits and lack of progress in Iraq and on our borders.

Polls show they have changed their minds. If integrity is there it means their votes will reflect their changed minds. If it isn’t there, they will fall sucker to same old hype, bribes (pork), and cross-purposed promises they fell for in 2004.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 1, 2006 4:10 AM
Comment #185525

The battle rages, everyone wants something to better their lives and the rules we make blur the edges, pitting man against man until we truly are unaware of what is important.

In the Pledge of Allegiance we all pledge allegiance to our Republic, not to a democracy. “Republic” is the proper description of our government, not “democracy.” I invite you to join me in raising public awareness regarding that distinction.
The distinction between our Republic and a democracy is not an idle one. It has great legal significance.

The Constitution guarantees to every state a Republican form of government (Art. 4, Sec. 4). No state may join the United States unless it is a Republic. Our Republic is one dedicated to “liberty and justice for all.” Minority individual rights are the priority. The people have natural rights instead of civil rights. The people are protected by the Bill of Rights from the majority. One vote in a jury can stop all of the majority from depriving any one of the people of his rights; this would not be so if the United States were a democracy. (see People’s rights vs Citizens’ rights)

In a pure democracy 51 beats 49[%]. In a democracy there is no such thing as a significant minority: there are no minority rights except civil rights (privileges) granted by a condescending majority. Only five of the U.S. Constitution’s first ten amendments apply to Citizens of the United States. Simply stated, a democracy is a dictatorship of the majority. Socrates was executed by a democracy: though he harmed no one, the majority found him intolerable

Posted by: Jeff S at October 1, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #185558

Jeff S,
A stirring reminder of the difference between pure democracy and a republic. We are all feeling the sting of the “tyranny of the majority”. At least, at present, a legislative, judicial, and executive majority.

Who is it that decides which words of dissent help our enemies, and which are “fine”? It sounds like anything that could be construed as “bad”, like the truth, would be helping our enemies. The best and quickest way to help our enemies would be to adopt repressive tactics out of our fear of those enemies, thus becoming more like them.

Posted by: Steve Miller at October 1, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #185570

Our enemies will always use our words against us regardless of what’s said. Not only is this true internationally but personally. They will twist our words to suit themselves and make us look bad. But saying things that will give them ammunition without twisting what’s said ain’t very bright. Specially if it’s not truthful to start with.
It’s been said that the first casualty in war is truth. This is very true in politics too. Our current crop of politicians are more interested in staying in office than they are in representing the folks that put them in office. And they’re willing to twist the truth any way necessary and tell any kind of lie to keep their cushy jobs.
It’s time for the voters to stand up and scream ENOUGH.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 1, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #185588

Jeff S, we don’t have a pure republic anymore than we have a pure democracy. What we have is a Democratic Republic, in which the ultimate power over who leads is determined by democracy, a vote of the majority. Legislation is passed based on democracy. But, the bills designed and put forth to become law are born of a republic in which those elected determine what is best for law, not the people.

Most of the rules of the Congress are democratic - majority decides, a supermajority in some cases. The Republic part of our government was established to accomodate the states giving each approximately equal voice input into legislation, and insuring the absence of dominance of a majority of states over a minority.

It is true enough we don’t have a pure democracy. It is just as true we don’t have a pure Republic. In a pure Republic the Governor of the states would appoint Congresspersons to federal Congress. But, it is the majority of the people who do that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 1, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #185611

Let me explain the simple process we have for choosing our leader. I am sure everyone in America understands this…. If not one could make a case that a simple majority could not explain the process… ummm time maybe for a some type of change.

Many oppose the Electoral College because of the fact that unknowing electors choose their leader and many support it because it was created by the founding fathers. Both sides are arguable and not one side is right. The question is: Can a system be created to satisfy both sides of the American public? The founding fathers created the Electoral College for many reasons. One of the reasons was to give the people the right to have a say on who becomes president and another reason was to give congress the right to choose as well. At the time of the 1787 Constitutional Convention this was a topic that aroused many opposing ideas and opinions. They had three choices, to allow the public direct elections, grant congress the right to elect the president or give electors the privilege of selecting the countries leader. What they were trying to do was to prevent absolute power. Since they had their taste of King George’s way of ruling they were afraid that if they let one group of people choose the president then that group would gain too much power or the president elected would feel too powerful. After many disputes and disagreements the delegates finally reached a decision. Consequently, they created a complex “filtering” process known as the Electoral College. This way both the people and congress could elect the president, or at least that was what was intended. The structure of the Electoral College was similar to that of the Centurial Assembly system of the Roman Republic. “Under that system, the adult male citizens of Rome were divided, according to their wealth, into groups of 100 (called Centuries). Each group of 100 was entitled to cast only one vote either in favor of against proposals submitted to them by the Roman Senate.” - as stated by William C. Kimberling, Deputy Director FEC Office of Election Administration. The Founding Fathers obviously knew if the Centurial Assembly worked for the Roman Republic because they were well schooled in ancient history, but were they sure if this ancient system of elections worked for their present-forever changing day? In order to answer that question they had to put it to the test. The Electoral College is made up of 538 members. Each member represents a state. The electors are equal to the number of representatives and senators a state has. For example if a state has 20 representatives and senators (always 2) than it has 22 electors. But in order to maintain balance between the legislative and executive branches no member of Congress and employees of the Federal Government can become electors. On the Tuesday following the first Monday of November the people in each state cast their votes or in other words cast their ballots for the party slate of Electors representing their choice for president. The party slate with the most votes wins that state’s Electors, meaning that the presidential ticket with the majority votes in a state wins all the Electors of that state. On the Monday following the second Wednesday of December the Electors meet in their state capitals and cast their votes, one for president and one for vice president. The completed votes are then sealed and sent to the President of the Senate, which is the Vice President of the U.S, who then opens and reads the result of the votes on the following January 6 to both houses of Congress. The candidate for president with the most votes (270 or higher) wins the election and is declared president. The vice-presidential candidate with the absolute majority of votes is declared vice-president. In a case where there is no absolute majority of electoral votes for president. The U.S House of Representatives selects the president by only one vote being casted from each state. The majority then wins. A similar method is used when there is a tie or there is no absolute majority between the vice-presidential candidates; it is sent to the Senate instead of the House of Representatives. Then when every thing is finalized at noon on January 20 the elected president and vice-president are sworn into office. The process of electing a President is a long and troublesome method. The Electoral College has had its time in the spot ligt with the 2000 elections but in other times, such as the Elections of 1800 and 1888. In the Elections of 1800, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson ran for president with Federalist Aaron Burr as his running mate. Running against them was Federalist John Adams and Federalist Charles C. Pinckney. This election was considered the “Revolution of 1800 because of its unusual occurrence. Electors had to place two votes, one for president the other for vice-president. On their ballot the Electors had to indicate the vote was for president or vice-president. The one with the absolute majority of the time would become president, the runner up would be vice president. When the presidential Electors went to cast their vote they did not distinguish between presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate. Therefore, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both received the same number of electoral votes, 73, defeating their opponents. Some of the Electors thought they were making a vice-presidential vote but no one did. This unusual tie was sent to the House of Representatives to make the decision. Weeks passed and no one received the absolute majority (9 states). After 35 ballots and the convincing nature of Federalist Alexander Hamilton, on the 36th ballot Thomas Jefferson was finally declared President. Aaron Burr as runner up became Vice-President. Because of this election the 12 Amendment was passed. This amendment made Electors cast separate ballots for President and Vice- President in order to avoid confusion such as the one above. It also states that the votes would be counted separately in front of Congress by the president of the Senate. In order to win there must be a majority vote. The election of 1800 definitely made a lasting impact on the United States. Because of that election the 12th Amendment was added to the Constitution. Many other elections after that one brought up a lot of confusing and new obstacles. The Election of 1888 is the only obvious instance where the Electoral College went against the popular vote. Republican Benjamin Harrison and Democratic Grover Cleveland ran against each other in this tight race. The popular vote was for Grover Cleveland with 100,000 votes over Benjamin Harrison. When it came time for the Electors to cast their vote Benjamin Harrison, the original loser, won the election with 65 more Electoral votes than Grover Cleveland, 233 to 168. He was inaugurated the 23rd president of the United States. The controversial issue of the Electoral College began with the first elections it held. Due to the present day election problem, it is evident to see that the people want something done about the “Constitutional” Electoral College. Those who are for the Electoral College have their reasons such as it balances the power between the people and the government, it was started by the Founding Fathers of the Constitution and it gives equal say to the small states so the large states don’t control the entire election. Though they have reasonable views, every reason there is equally arguable. For instance their argument stating that the Electoral College balances the power between the people and the government is false. How could it balance out the power between the people and government if a popular vote from the people is not even considered the end of an election, while the Electors basically control the election? It is obvious to see that the people’s vote is not counted because if it was then all it would take to elect a president would be a popular vote. As I see it there are many problems in the current electoral college system.

Posted by: Jeff S at October 1, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #185630

Jeff S,

Fine for the President. BUT - The president is not the only leader of our country - there is our Congress. The very much more democratic arm of our political process and government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #185857

So few comments.
I’m not surprised.

Posted by: dawn at October 3, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #185997

Sorry, I thought is was a good post.

Posted by: Jeff S at October 3, 2006 8:26 PM
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