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Jettison an issue, gain a vote

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I was watching Real Time a few nights ago with Bill Maher and he had Ralph Nader on. Ralph scored some serious points on a couple issue when dealing with Moore and others. One point he made rang especially true. He said that the Democratic party tosses some very large groups (for example having trouble keep Catholics) out of the party because they are pro-life or pro-gun. Aside from those issues, they might have very progressive interests in mind, but they are tossed out on those single issues because the party cannot find a way to be inclusive on those matters.

Someone around here recently claimed I could never be convinced to vote for Kerry. I mentioned that if there were a candidate addressing fair trade and immigration reform, they would gain my vote. With regard to Republicans and more inclusion, I think that they could ease up on the whole drug issue.

So I'm asking those of you here to think about what Nader said. He mentioned that if the Democrats could find a way to be inclusive about pro-life and pro-gun views, they could pick up a couple large voting blocks. What is your issue that you feel strongly enough about that you would change a vote to insure success in that area? Lastly, what area do you feel the party you belong to could be more inclusive regarding views and possibly gain votes of those who share the majority of their views in other areas.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 5
A party never throws an idealogy out, the idealogy leaves the party. Parties do not have a set leadership that makes decisions, it is the collective will of those who choose to take on that team's jersey

If "pro-gun" or "pro-life" people were to say, "we agree with the Democrat side on most things, so we're voting that way" then it wouldn't be an issue. But the individual chooses which issues are the most polarizing to them and favor that to the detriment of all their other beliefs by choosing whatever party best suits their most pressing idealogical concern.

There are certain factions of each party that are rabid "pro-gun"/"anti-gun" or "pro-life"/"pro-choice" so they will create, with whatever political power they have, the sense that the party of their choice does not allow opposing viewpoints. But that doesn't mean the party itself is acting against those groups.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
A party never throws an idealogy out, the idealogy leaves the party. Parties do not have a set leadership that makes decisions, it is the collective will of those who choose to take on that team's jersey

If "pro-gun" or "pro-life" people were to say, "we agree with the Democrat side on most things, so we're voting that way" then it wouldn't be an issue. But the individual chooses which issues are the most polarizing to them and favor that to the detriment of all their other beliefs by choosing whatever party best suits their most pressing idealogical concern.

There are certain factions of each party that are rabid "pro-gun"/"anti-gun" or "pro-life"/"pro-choice" so they will create, with whatever political power they have, the sense that the party of their choice does not allow opposing viewpoints. But that doesn't mean the party itself is acting against those groups.

Good heavens, what a lucid, articulate response. Good on ya', mate.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #4 of 5
This is a really good set of questions. My initial reaction is that Nader has unnecessarily bought into the idea that the standard democratic platform is "outside the mainstream" (and given the country's lurch toward the right over the past few decades, he may be right). My second reaction is that Nader is essentially asking the democrats to, well, stop being democrats. It's sort of like telling Catholics that they'd get a whole lot more converts to the faith if they'd just give up that silly Pope thing.

But as an intellectual exercise...

I wonder if the democratic party is going to be split at some point over the issue of borders/labor. The real leftists who have gone through the looking glass (and I'm nearly there) could really give a shit about the notion of "borders" between countries. The more centrist democrats, and really the base of the party, are more interested in protectionist policies regarding labor and trade. Clinton was, as far as I remember, a free trader, and this philosophy pulled the democratic party to the center/right, and thus away from the lefties who traditionally vote democrat and who, in the end, are becoming increasingly distressed by the centrist position of the dems.

You offered two possible positions: gun control and abortion. I don't see the dems ditching the gun control position, I suppose mostly because I'd personally like to see every handgun and assault weapon in the country rounded up and melted down after handgun bullets have been taxed 1000%, to be increased by 10x every year until a single 9mm bullet costs a million dollars.

There is more wiggle-room on abortion, I think, simply because the some future dem candidate could simply say something like this: "Abortion is an incredibly complex issue, and one that deserves a thorough and honest investigation so that the country can come to consensus on this polarized issue. It is not our intention to roll back rights that are currently in place. Instead, we wish find a common ground that can maintain women's reproductive rights while at the same time allowing for other possibilities." Something like that. It would appeal to the liberal love of complexity while at the same time playing into the conservative/Catholic desire to see the fetus regarded as a "life." I honestly think that the logic surrounding abortion is a slippery slope either way.

I think, in the end, that you're calling for a 3rd party (as you've done in the past) that would be, really and truly, centrist--when judged against the contemporary political landscape. Personally, I think you're calling for a position just barely to the right of Clinton, and given the way things have been going since FDR, I wouldn't be surprised if you see something like it in maybe 2016.

Cheers
Scott
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
A party never throws an idealogy out, the idealogy leaves the party. Parties do not have a set leadership that makes decisions, it is the collective will of those who choose to take on that team's jersey

If "pro-gun" or "pro-life" people were to say, "we agree with the Democrat side on most things, so we're voting that way" then it wouldn't be an issue. But the individual chooses which issues are the most polarizing to them and favor that to the detriment of all their other beliefs by choosing whatever party best suits their most pressing idealogical concern.

There are certain factions of each party that are rabid "pro-gun"/"anti-gun" or "pro-life"/"pro-choice" so they will create, with whatever political power they have, the sense that the party of their choice does not allow opposing viewpoints. But that doesn't mean the party itself is acting against those groups.

Parties toss out ideologies all the time. The clearly do have a mechanism that makes decisions and forces dissenters to be quiet or change their position. It is estimated that about 30-35% of each respective party is in disagreement with the party on the abortion issue. Gore for example was a pro-life Senator from Tennessee who only became pro-choice when he wanted to run for president in the 80's. It is estimated that 35-40% of union members vote Republican even though literally 100% of their money and lobbying goes to the Democrats.

Also having witnessed the party mechanisms of both parties work, I can tell you that the leadership find ways to squelch discussion and stop party planks from changing even when there are sizable groups who want it changed. Within the Republican and Democratic party there are groups this way for free trade. I can imagine this year there were sizable groups who wanted language inserted into the Democratic party platform regarding war, and perhaps Iraq specifically. The party leaders find a way to shut those dicussions down and pound out a quick consensus that is winner take all.

Concerning both parties and say drug use, you don't think there are enough Democrats at this point who would support say, legalizing marijuana to insert such language into the party platform?

Come on Grove, entertain the thought at least.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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