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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 06:53 PM        America Revisited
I was assigned the task of writing a seven-thousand word analysis on the American Government and how it should be best altered or built upon in order to make greater strides towards "a more perfect union." In working on it, however, I've come to the conclusion that the problem doesn't lie in the framework of our federal government, nor the distribution of power, but rather in the lack of restraint shown by our elected officials and insitutionalized moral ambiguity obfuscating our populace's vision.

Just out of curiousity, am I completely off my rocker in having so much faith in the system itself, or am I right in assuming what failings our country possesses can be layed at the feet of the last two generations which have walked out on its responsibilities?
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 06:56 PM       
Sex on TV is the cause.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:04 PM       
What is a 'perfect Union'?
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:08 PM       
Orgasming at the same time.
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:09 PM        A more perfect union...
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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:22 PM        Eh
-What is a 'perfect Union'?

The United States of America is known, traditionally and historically, as The Union. Those whom drafted the Constitution realized a perfect form of government would never be possible, government itself is at best a necessary evil which imposes itself upon the rights of men, but were striving to make the best of it as they could, hence striving towards a more perfect union.
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:30 PM        Yeah well....
Says you. I say the perfect union must involve Rebecca Stamos.

Anyway, I think there are some system flaws. It's biased towards the two party system and the entire campaign process is in need of some serious attention. In my opinion anyway.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 07:48 PM       
Just because it is a two party system, doesn't mean only two parties survive. We have had several different parties hold power throughout our history. And it is certainly better than several hundred parties holding a coalition (Italy).

I think the biggest threat to democracy is apathy. Whenever a government of the people for the people by the people is failing, I look at the people. What have we done or not done? You think a less than 40% voter turn out at the last presidential election encourages our leaders to look out for everyone?
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GAsux GAsux is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 09:48 PM        Hmmm
Do you honestly think a two party system can adequately represent the interests of such a large, diverse population?

Regardless of how well an occasional third party has been, the system is baised against it. They have done well in spite of the system, not because the system fostered their growth.

One thing I appreciate about European legislatures is the wide range of parties and ideologies that are able to participate. Even if you're part of the smallest minority, you can claim to have some level of representation in your government.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 10:00 PM       
Not really since most of those parties end up just compromising and getting mashed in with all the other parties.

And yes, a two party system is tough on third parties, if the third party is trying to win. What most smart third party candidates try to do is make enough noise that people take notice and force the Big Two to address the issue he is trying to bring to light. Either that or just try to spoil an election.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 10:25 PM       
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I think the biggest threat to democracy is apathy. Whenever a government of the people for the people by the people is failing, I look at the people. What have we done or not done? You think a less than 40% voter turn out at the last presidential election encourages our leaders to look out for everyone?
How many people who dont agree with the current government, are simply going to sit at home and not vote because they believe that "my vote doesnt matter".

People no longer feel that they can make a difference. They see people protesting on T.V. about various issues, and everyone ignores them, and the media shruggs them off as extremeists, or whatever. The point is that nothing seems to change, and that is very damaging to the moral of the voting public.

If people could genuinely see that their opinions mattered, or at least had the potential to matter, then they would be more interested. If once in a while the powers that be would listen to different points of view and actually make it look like the people are being listened to and taken seriously, then things might change.

The problem is twofold. it is the fault of "big government" for not listening and taking the people seriously, but it is just as much, if not more, the fault of the people for giving up hope rather than going out and raising hell about it the way they should.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 10:41 PM       
You mean change isn't easy? It takes a long time? Holy shit!


Thats another problem. We demand instant gratifacation. Guess what, folks. Anything worth accomplishing takes some sacrifice and time. We talk a great game but no one ever wants to get their hands dirty.


And it all comes dow to.....................apathy.
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theapportioner theapportioner is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 10:43 PM       
I'm in favor of ditching the constitution completely and going for a parliamentary government.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 11:15 PM       
Why would you want this?

Also, you realize many of ththings in our constitution were taking from European governments, right?
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theapportioner theapportioner is offline
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 11:46 PM       
Our Constitution is based in part on English common law, and the reforms stemming from the Glorious Revolution in England (and the ideas arising from nasty times preceding that), but it was largely considered the great Enlightment experiment since Jefferson et al. were blazing new trails. And they did fail, initially, with the Articles of Confederation.

Parliamentary governments, I've noticed, tend to be more vigorous democracies. I think it's more than just cultural differences.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 01:06 AM       
All of our leaders should be elected by popular vote. Something must be done to limit the ability of corporations to control both politicians and the media. Equal education opportunities must be available to all. I think a few amendments to the Constituton can get the United States back on track.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 02:09 AM       
A few amendments? One is pretty much enough to straighten anything up
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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 02:34 PM        Hmmmm
GA: Do you honestly think a two party system can adequately represent the interests of such a large, diverse population?

Yes and no. I understand the limitations you see in the system, but as I see it, every politician - regardless of affiliation - serves only themselves. Their political ideaologies, even within the same party, can alter dramatically between individuals. I'm sure we can all agree not all Republicans are like Trent Lott, nor are all Democrats like Joe Lieberman.

Appointer: Our Constitution is based in part on English common law, and the reforms stemming from the Glorious Revolution in England (and the ideas arising from nasty times preceding that), but it was largely considered the great Enlightment experiment since Jefferson et al. were blazing new trails. And they did fail, initially, with the Articles of Confederation.

Keep searching, you're on the right track but not taking it far enough.

As for the Articles of Confederation. . .In the Latin, Confederation literally translates as 'To Come Together In A League.' The Articles were a rough treaty joining independant States together against Britain, it was limited in scope and expected longevity and meant to be so - At least, this is how I understand them. The Constitution was radically different that anything preceeding it because unlike other governmental outlines previous, its goal was not to give power, but to limit the power of each office as much as possible resulting in a governmental gridlock which would - by necessecity - leave the real power in the hands of individuals as the government would be too cumbersome and slow to deal with issues quickly and efficiently.


Carnivore: All of our leaders should be elected by popular vote. Something must be done to limit the ability of corporations to control both politicians and the media. Equal education opportunities must be available to all. I think a few amendments to the Constituton can get the United States back on track.


I agree with you totally, as well as Blanco who saw apathy as the greatest danger to our republic. The cornerstone of our nation is its independant judiciary, and I believe it is just as important that our government officials be independant of economic ties as well. After witness the favouritism shown to Enron - California's Energy Crisis - and Halliburton - Federal/Military Contracts - it is of the utmost importance that we do now allow an elitist and inbred corporate web to ensnare our political system.

In regards to the popular vote, I would support that as well. The Electorial College has shown itself ready to betray the will of the people in favour of supporting the two part system as it stands now. Perot, though gaining 30% of the popular vote at one point, recieved not one Electoral Vote, nor did Nader who recieved roughly 10% (I think, couldn't remember if it was 5 or 15 so I averaged the two ). And yet, when less than half of the total nation turns out to vote, will any candidate truly reflect the will of the people?
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 09:58 PM       
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All of our leaders should be elected by popular vote
Great. Then Eminem can be president in a few years. Have you talked to your fellow Americans lately?

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Something must be done to limit the ability of corporations to control both politicians and the media.
John McCain tried that. Didn't work too well.

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Equal education opportunities must be available to all.
Every citizen does have the opportunity. The education system has problems with parents and an overbloated beauracracy rather than a need for more laws.

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I think a few amendments to the Constituton can get the United States back on track.
You don't understand how the Constitution works.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 12:01 AM       
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Great. Then Eminem can be president in a few years. Have you talked to your fellow Americans lately?
I'd take Eminem over G. W. Bush. It is true that the average American voter is a brainwashed idiot, hence my call for equal education opportunities and an end to the coporate media monopoly that brainwashes them.

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John McCain tried that. Didn't work too well.
So we keep trying.

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Every citizen does have the opportunity. The education system has problems with parents and an overbloated beauracracy rather than a need for more laws.
Tell me you think a kid born to a single-parent, living in a crappy apartment in the inner city has the same education opportunities as a child born to upper-middle class parents in a suburb. Seriously, I haven't had a good laugh in a while.

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You don't understand how the Constitution works.
And you're an ignorant, condescending ass. Anything can be added or struck from the Constitution. It was made amendable.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 12:20 AM       
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I'd take Eminem over G. W. Bush.
Thanks for proving my point.



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Tell me you think a kid born to a single-parent, living in a crappy apartment in the inner city has the same education opportunities as a child born to upper-middle class parents in a suburb. Seriously, I haven't had a good laugh in a while.
The same opportunity? No. An oppotunity? Hell, yes. You just described my two best friends and they are doing very well. It all depends on the parent and the child. An opportunity is what you make of it.

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Anything can be added or struck from the Constitution. It was made amendable.
Not something that violates another Ammendment or restricts the people and not the government. You don't use the Constitution to govern corporations. It wasn't made for that.

And you act like we can just throw in an Ammendment whenever we like.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 12:24 AM       
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Originally Posted by El Blanco
Great. Then Eminem can be president in a few years. Have you talked to your fellow Americans lately?
as if those people who would vote for eminem are part of the 40 percent who actually vote.
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 12:24 AM       
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Not something that violates another Ammendment or restricts the people and not the government. You don't use the Constitution to govern corporations. It wasn't made for that.
Didn't the 21st Amendment violate the 18th Amendment by repealing it? Who are you to decide what the Constitution was or was not made for?
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The_Rorschach The_Rorschach is offline
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 05:44 PM       
The same opportunity? No. An oppotunity? Hell, yes. You just described my two best friends and they are doing very well. It all depends on the parent and the child. An opportunity is what you make of it.

Yes well, he didn't ask for just an oppourtunity. He stated equal education. Granted most politicians today don't like the idea of an educated populace, understandably it does create certain complications, however, since the future is in their hands I believe they should be provided for. Keeping the books current, the faculty maintained and the tech level where it should be is not too much to ask for from a country of our world standing.

As to the Constitution, it is quite fluid, and while it was not made to encompass the corporate sector, neither does it include precedent for Executive Orders (first one was passed by Lincoln) or the Supreme Court deciding whether or not a law is Constitutional yet they have been adapted into the system nonetheless.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 10:28 PM        Re: America Revisited
Hey Ror, this is my first time reading this thread, so I'm going to respond directly to your initial post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Rorschach
I was assigned the task of writing a seven-thousand word analysis on the American Government and how it should be best altered or built upon in order to make greater strides towards "a more perfect union." In working on it, however, I've come to the conclusion that the problem doesn't lie in the framework of our federal government, nor the distribution of power, but rather in the lack of restraint shown by our elected officials and insitutionalized moral ambiguity obfuscating our populace's vision.
Well, I'm not so sure about this "vision". Wouldn't you say that one of the key reasons our elected officials have become less responsible would be the lack of a civic responsibility in America? In other words, if our politicians are corrupt and immoral, isn't it more a reflection of a broad national problem as opposed to merely a governmental problem...?

On the note of immorality: Our leaders have ALWAYS been immoral, they've always cheated on their wives, hadchildren out of wedlock, have been alcoholics, Jefferson was TERRIBLE with his personal finances, etc. etc.

So, is this really simply a modern issue...?

Quote:
Just out of curiousity, am I completely off my rocker in having so much faith in the system itself, or am I right in assuming what failings our country possesses can be layed at the feet of the last two generations which have walked out on its responsibilities?
Like I have said, government corruption, as well as immorality, has ALWATS been an issue. So perhaps the important question may be does this system cultivate and ENCOURAGE such immorality and corruption....?
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