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Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, and Me

Old 11-13-05, 03:52 PM
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Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, and Me

Note: This is an entry I recently posted to my blog. Feel free to comment here in this thread or directly to my blog. It is linked in my signature as "What I'm Really Thinking." Thanks.

Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, and Me

I turned 18 years old in September of í87 and in November of í88, I voted in my first national election. I registered to vote as soon as I could and I was proud to be voting in my first presidential election. In that election I voted for George Bush I. Not out of any particular conviction because of a political philosophy, but because I had liked Reagan, so I gave Bush my vote as a kind of homage to Reagan. In í92 and í96 I voted for Clinton. Once again, not from any particular conviction, but because I had met the man twice and he was from Arkansas. In 2000 I voted for Bush II, because I didnít like Al Gore, and in 2004Öwell better the devil I know than the devil I donít know.

Many people inherit their political leanings from their families. Then there are the people like me, whose family has no particular party loyalty. Take my father, if it sounds just a little bit different, thatís good enough for him. In fact, in í88, he voted for the Libertarian presidential candidate. My mother has never registered to vote and sheís 56. So I grew up with no political influences other than those that I formed from my own observations and opinions.

Eighteen years later, at the age of 36, I think any political philosophy I might have is fairly cynical. Many of the people I know, and many I donít know, align themselves with a particular party because that partyís planks most closely match what they themselves believe in. That makes me ask, why does either major party believe what they believe? Is it from a deeply held conviction that their beliefs and values are whatís best, and moral, and right for Americans? Or do those beliefs stem from a desire to merely convince the largest possible segment of the population to vote for the partyís candidates? Now doesnít that sound cynical? 

To me, it has often seemed that one partyís stand on something is formulated just because it is the opposite of the stand taken by the opposing party. It seems as if all the arguing, the partisan bickering, the filibusters, the stonewalling, the posturing have nothing to do with representing the American people well, but everything to do with playing the game of power. And Democrats and Republicans both play the game. Neither party is better than the other.

For the eight years of the Clinton administration I listened to the news, and the conservative pundits, and my conservative friends spew forth their hatred of Clinton and everything Democratic. Now itís probably because of the company I keep, and the fact that I am a member of a Baptist church, that I had to hear all this. In fact, Iíve heard more than one friend say that thereís really something intrinsically dishonest about Democrats. Most of these people hated Democrats and Clinton already, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Whitewater, etc., were merely sauce for the goose.

Democrats are no better. Now that the Republicans have control, I get to hear and see all the same attacks and finger pointing, just in the other direction. Unfortunately, being that I live in Texas, I donít have many Democratic friends to hear the other viewpoint from. One of the things I hate most about this whole game is the self-righteous attitude of any Republican or Democrat who believes that their party can at best, do no wrong, and at worst give any member who does, the benefit of the doubt. All the while, never ever, giving the same benefit of the doubt to a member of the other party. Isnít there a balanced viewpoint somewhere?

Sometimes I hate our political system, and yet, itís the best the world has to offer. And I really believe that, and here is why: Power corrupts and itís been that way since the beginning of time. Our founding fathers knew that. They wrote a constitution that does its best to take that into account and rein in the human desire to control and dominate or to at least prevent it from causing too much damage. However, what I want from our elected officials is just a little bit more than that.

How about if our elected officials, of any party, spent less time trying to curry political favor and more time actually seeking to do what is in the best interest of their constituents? I know what some of them say about this. They believe that their political philosophy is what best represents their constituents. I believe that political philosophies, and party allegiances, best serve the party, not the people. Of course, as one radio commentator put it, youíre basically an idiot for not aligning with a political party, so what do I know?

Going along with this, it is always said that Democrats want to raise taxes, and Republicans want to cut them and to hell with the consequences. I believe that our taxes can be lowered, but not because Iím a Republican. It seems with all of the billions and trillions of dollars out there being spent by our government, it could be used more wisely. I want them to quit worrying about being reelected, cut out the pork barrel projects, and spend MY money more wisely. I think that the government takes in more than enough to meet the needs of this nation. This goes for all of our elected officials, not any one party. As I listen to and read the news, the talk of new spending bills always makes me think that it must be so easy to spend others peopleís money. But as one US Senator allegedly said, ďA billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money!"

I could never be President because I could never completely buy into either partyís philosophy. At least not convincingly enough to get elected. I hold too tightly to my own beliefs which I believe serve me best. I want elected representatives that look more like me, and believe that is what a lot of Americans want. I believe that the 20,000,000 people who voted for Ross Perot in 1992 prove this. It showed their dissatisfaction with the current system, not necessarily that they wanted Ross Perot elected.

One more thing, can we be certain that the economic growth of the Ď90s and the economic downturn of the 2000s can be laid on the shoulders of the Presidents who served during those years? I just donít now.

Anyway, enough of my rant. Am I a Republican, a Democrat, conservative, liberal, any of them? I think that I am none of them, and all of them. Most of all, I believe that I am a concerned American citizen, one with many of the same doubts and apprehensions shared by numerous others who are disenchanted with our government and our elected officials.
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Old 11-13-05, 05:39 PM
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A popular Des Moines Barber shop had a new robotic barber installed.
A fellow came in for a haircut. As the robot began to cut his hair, it
asked him, What's your IQ?

"The man replied, "130."

So the robot proceeded to make conversation about physics,
astronomy, investments, insurance and so on. The man listened
intently and said, "This is really cool."

Later, another gent came in for a haircut and the robot asked him
as it began the haircut, "What's your IQ?"

The man responded, "100."

So the robot started talking about football, baseball, and so on.
The man thought to himself, "Wow, this is really cool."

Later on, a third guy came in to the barber shop. As with the others,
the robot barber asked him, "What's your IQ?

The man replied, "70

The robot then said, "Soooooo, you Democrats are really excited about
Hillary running for president huh?"
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Old 11-13-05, 09:28 PM
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economic downturn of the 2000s can be laid on the shoulders of the Presidents who served during those years? I just donít now.
Where is the economic downturn now?

As for the downturn in 2000, it started under Clinton. My 401k statment says it started in early 2000.
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Old 11-14-05, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by BKenn01
Where is the economic downturn now?

As for the downturn in 2000, it started under Clinton. My 401k statment says it started in early 2000.
true; it takes 6 mo.-1yr typically to see the effects of policies on the markets.
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Old 11-14-05, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonhosonno
A popular Des Moines Barber shop had a new robotic barber installed.
A fellow came in for a haircut. As the robot began to cut his hair, it
asked him, What's your IQ?

"The man replied, "130."

So the robot proceeded to make conversation about physics,
astronomy, investments, insurance and so on. The man listened
intently and said, "This is really cool."

Later, another gent came in for a haircut and the robot asked him
as it began the haircut, "What's your IQ?"

The man responded, "100."

So the robot started talking about football, baseball, and so on.
The man thought to himself, "Wow, this is really cool."

Later on, a third guy came in to the barber shop. As with the others,
the robot barber asked him, "What's your IQ?

The man replied, "70

The robot then said, "Soooooo, you Democrats are really excited about
Hillary running for president huh?"


Great joke.
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