A Question to Americans (Political)

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Republicans are awesome because they want to build a state on the moon.
Therefor Republicans == Space Nazi.

Joking aside most vote for Republicans because of promised lower taxes, less government involvement, and the fact that many Democrats are just as bad as republicans. They also pair themselves up with the often romanticized view of the American Dream many Americans have, and label the Democrats as pot smoking hippies (its true, many Americans believe what they see in American Dad, doesn't help that there are a lot of pot smoking hippies either).

I don't really like to buy into either side. They both want your money. Democrats want to give all of it to poor people and Republicans want to give it all to rich people. That said, the Democrats would be more virtuous if they actually did anything.

I actually think that on paper, conservative wisdom has a lot of value too...unfortunately the political conservative and Republican politicians don't follow any of it;except for maybe Ron Paul- though his ideas are extreme he is at least conservative by definition. I can totally get behind being conservative with the nation's finances and resources. Unfortunately in my lifetime all the right wing presidents have all been the biggest spenders and are the ones that send us into recessions. They have also been the most reckless with our resources: natural resources, military resources, you name it.

But the thing that really bothers me about the right wing politicians (the thing that creeps me the hell out) is their obsession with peoples' reproductive practices. Some of them talk about gays more than the gay people I know and those ones often end up coming/being pushed out of the closet. And the whole abortion thing too; I personally don't like abortion for my own personal moral reasons but I'm a guy (so it's not too relevant to my life & health) and I'm not about to go tell a woman she can't do it if that's her choice. The only man that should maybe have a part in that decision is the father.

But I think that's part of it. Politicians (on both sides) prey on peoples fears and the Republicans are good at getting the religious paranoia going. Because what's worse than spending an eternity in hell? You'd have to ask someone who believes that's an option.

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
H. L. Mencken

Amaror:
Ok, first of all:
I don't intend to offend anyone, if anyone seems ofended by this thread i would like him to tell me that and i will do my best to remove the offending parts and will keep in mind to avoid that mistake in future posts.

It's about Republicans. While the first goals of this party were very very good (No Slavery), most goals they seem to have today are based on keeping everything the way it is and to sabotage a real development of society.
It all seems old and a little bit backward.
Now i want to say i am by far not an expert on the matter. I am not republican, i am not even American.
Maybe i am seeing things in this party that aren't there, but that is just my impression for now.

So what i am basically asking is:
Why is this party getting votes?
This seems quite offensive, but i really am curious. If their not that bad than i thing they are, then please tell me that (As long as were staying reasonable).
It just seems, when i am looking at (for example) popular media from America, like tv series or music, then you could get the impression that everybody hates republicans.
But they still get many votes.

I hope anyone can tell me where i am wrong here, or what i am not seeing.

Well let me clue you in a little friend.

Current day Democrats would of been republicans when the party was first formed. My Lincoln was very liberal indeed, and most of the republicans were very liberal. Democrats were pro slavery states rights ect ect. Basically Mr. Roosevelt flipped the parties in his terms as President

Now on to current day politics. They don't get a lot of the votes. Romney will lose the election at this rate. He only has the white male vote really. The GOP has manipulated every other base out there except older white males and heavy religious people. People who no longer hold the majority of the voting.

The reason you hear about them so much is because they are a deteriorating party. I mean honestly look at it. McCain in 08 didn't stand a chance on old school values. Romney is a rich man who didn't support a bail out that would of made our unemployment rise to about 16% had it not been implemented. Conservatism is dying, and I know what you might be thinking, well there is the Tea Party. Well they have alienated any sane voter because of the debt sealing debate. When you look at idle fact you see that they are the reason the debate when bat shit nutty, therefore they are the majority to blame for our credit score being downgraded. Who do they have for 2016? Palin? HAH. I bet we see old hypocritical Newt again. The party is making one last effort but the heavy conservative branch of the party will soon be dead. Good riddance.

I can assure you that if things keep going this way then Mr. Obama will have a smooth re-election and the democrats will be sitting pretty.

The GOP keeps getting votes because they do have the occasional member who remembers what the part is supposed to stand for. I've run out of names that are still GOP that I respect, but Chuck Hagel and pre-2006 John McCain were pretty cool.

Amaror:
SNIP

Your missing the point of our political system. The Republicans aren't the issue, change is the issue.

You see, Americans are scared of change, you have to remember that we are the greatest country in the wurld and as such why would we need to change anything?

And so the two party system was born. By alternating between the parties, we can successfully undo any innovations brought in during the previous terms thus keeping our beloved country perfectly stagnant and keeping us no1!!1! for evah.

America's sorta fukced either way this November, both candidates are spend thrift war-mongers, but Romney still has a point(even if he is full of it) People are making a massive deal out of gay marriage when America is about to DEFAULT, its just the state of politics there.

AS to the OP, assuming you're European then you should know that North America has a huge religious following, and because Europeans major view into the U.S is the entertainment industry, it sorta makes the U.S look fairly liberal.

Jesus Christ, what have I walked into? All the Hate!
I hold no degrees in Political Sciences or anything and I'm guessing we won't have many in this thread, so we're all just shouting shit out with nothing to back it up. Enjoy!

Our political system has devolved to the point of self-defeating shouting matches. Republican president gets put in charge of a Democrat-majority body of government which shoots down as many changes as possible, so nothing gets improved and everything at best stays the way it is.
So what do we do as voters? Put a Democrat in office and after two years fill the government with Republicans so that nothing gets fixed.
We as a nation are so busy pointing fingers and denying the views and ideas of others that we don't even notice that we're fucking drowning in our own garbage. Worldwide corporations and religious foundations have enough money to bog down our system with their own agendas. They have no interest in improving anything in this world; they just want more control.
We've probably reached a point where the only chance for improvement will be after national breakdown. The entire system is going to have to fail in order to be replaced.

orangeban:

The other thing that confuses me about American politics is the way you sort of idolise your presidents. You've got memorials and statues and everything! We just don't do that here, our favourite primeminister is probably Churchill, but he doesn't have a statue or anything.

Don't the English have museums and statues of the royal family? Same thing here, but with presidents in place of kings.
And only the good presidents get statues and memorials ;) , for example: when I was visiting the town Gerald R Ford (38th pres) grew up in, there was only a plaque saying he grew up there, whereas downtown there was a huge statue dedicated to soldiers from the area who died in the Civil War.

Amaror:
snip.

Anyways, on to the topic at hand:
Republicans are representative of small government and personal rights, a notion that is appealing to many Americans. They support laissez-faire economics and the idea of a free market, plus the idea that a capable man can rise unhindered to the top of the social ladder. They also believe firmly in state rights and restrictions on federal power.
Did you know that the republicans (Schwartzenegger and other state governors) sued the Federal government to reduce automobile emissions further than the federal standard? Or that republicans are and have been against foreign intervention?

Anyways, these are what I think makes the republicans popular among voters, hope I gave you some food for thought :)
(BTW, I identify myself as libertarian)

scarfacetehstag:
America's sorta fukced either way this November, both candidates are spend thrift war-mongers, but Romney still has a point(even if he is full of it) People are making a massive deal out of gay marriage when America is about to DEFAULT, its just the state of politics there.

AS to the OP, assuming you're European then you should know that North America has a huge religious following, and because Europeans major view into the U.S is the entertainment industry, it sorta makes the U.S look fairly liberal.

Obama has withdrawn from Iraq, kept US involvement in Libya to a support roll, and promised to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, the deadline he more or less proposed when he took office.

The US is nowhere even near defaulting. The reputable 2 out of 3 of the ratings firms still have the US as AAA, and the US only has $5 trillion owed to foreign interests. The other $9 trillion of the debt is owned by US citizens and Social Security, since it is the safest investment in the world.

Civil Rights should never be dismissed because of "more important" issues. If we follow that logic, the Civil Rights Act never gets passed because Vietnam. Slavery never ends because the tension between North and South is too high to risk anything. All Gay Marriage would take is a vote by Congress saying that Gay couples are afforded every right that straight couples are, including legal marriage, but churches will not be forced to perform the ceremonies if they don't wish to.

Amaror:

It's about Republicans. While the first goals of this party were very very good (No Slavery),

I'm sorry, but I really have to stop right here and correct you. The republican party was, by no means, aiming to stop slavery. In fact, while Lincoln in particular opposed slavery, most of his party did not want to touch the subject. The Civil War did not start out as a war against slavery, it was a war between two hostile nations that only became a war for slavery following the Emancipation Proclamation, which was passed almost 2 years after the war began. Also, its important to remember that the Republican party has shifted its agenda dramatically over the its inception 150 years ago. Almost to the point where they would probably be most similar to today's Democratic party.

Amaror:
most goals they seem to have today are based on keeping everything the way it is and to sabotage a real development of society.
It all seems old and a little bit backward.
Now i want to say i am by far not an expert on the matter. I am not republican, i am not even American.
Maybe i am seeing things in this party that aren't there, but that is just my impression for now.

So what i am basically asking is:
Why is this party getting votes?
This seems quite offensive, but i really am curious. If their not that bad than i thing they are, then please tell me that (As long as were staying reasonable).
It just seems, when i am looking at (for example) popular media from America, like tv series or music, then you could get the impression that everybody hates republicans.
But they still get many votes.

I hope anyone can tell me where i am wrong here, or what i am not seeing.

Well largely due to the fact that a good portion of their biggest backers and members are upscale business men and influential pop culture icons from the 20th century like Reagan and Arnold. Its also important that a good portion of their voters live in Suburbs or rural areas in less urbanized parts of the US and are also heavily Christian. Basically, the Republicans have the resources from their backers and a large portion of Christians in the Bible Belt that will keep them in power for quite a while.

Honestly though, the only reason why Republicans and Dems still exist is largely due to the political system and how no person could ever run without SOME political backing and the way our polls are run basically ensures that only two powerful groups will be able to compete.

Kind of like how the Conservatives manage to get votes despite all their actions since being in power are to reverse progress and change. They promote phonics, a system that went out of style in the 70s for being useless, when you actually look at the completed whole of the laws about work and family benefits you realise that the worst person to be right now is a single working woman and the best person to be is a housebound non-working wife producing multiple children. The last time they were in power was with Margaret Thatcher, probably one of the most hated politicians in all of British history, who made herself famous by literally taking food and drink away from school children who otherwise probably wouldn't get to eat a full meal that day. She sold off houses that were supposed to go to the homeless and destitute so she could make a little more money, and she privatised everything. Almost every problem Britain has today can be traced directly back to the policies Margaret Thatcher made while in power.

And yet still, here we are with David Cameron and another bunch of fucking tory scum in power.

People don't remember how bad it was the last time. Some people genuinely believe in the policies spouted forth. Other people grow disatisfied with the current government, and since both Britain and America are effectively two party systems (but shh, we want to pretend we're still fully democratic) there's only one other alternative. Also, as times get tough, all the evidence suggests that people as a whole vore more right wing. Thus the Republicans will always be the option.

REPUBLICANS AREN'T CHRISTIANS!!!
(sigh)
I'm tired of this BS. They represent Christian ideals in the way terrorists represent Islam. They pander to the very worst nutjobs and morons by enforcing a few rules that shouldn't ever have been included in the Bible and ignore even the most basic teachings.

In short. Fuck the Republicans and their "Christian" supporters.

xSKULLY:

Fiad:

Honestly, I am hoping Obama gets a second run. The other candidates are all just terrible. I mean just take an issue of gay rights for example. Now look at the candidates and what their stands on it are. They just aren't good. If anyone else gets elected America is going to be stagnate for awhile.

im hoping for Obama to, what annoys me about him is that he only delivered a small amount of what he promised he would and he did pass the occasional terrible law (being able to hold some one indefinitely without trial) but when I look at the alternative....(shudders)

In fairness he promised a lot until the economy tanked, you have to remember the crash happened half way through the campaign. Then he had to continue those promises because of the whole "flip flopper" schtick that killed Kerry. And he did do quite a bit. He saved Ford Crystler and GM from bankruptcy (today GM is the worlds #1 automotive manufacturer) which means Detroit has a shot at being a functioning city again. He passes a health care law that allows kids to be on their parents health care until 26 ( roughly the time you are getting your first career job post college)and ensures that 40 million Americans who were previously uninsured are. He FINALLY ended the war in Iraq AND got Osama bin Ladden. And thats just off the top of my head.

Now, he isn't perfect, believe me I have my issues with the guy. I was hoping for FDR version 2.0 instead I got Hoover. Which leads me to believe I would have been better off with Hillary who would have been more akin to Johnson. However saying he delivered a small amount is incorrect.

This type of thread should be in the politics discussion.

Anyways, I think the older I get the more understanding I've gotten about political leanings. I went through my phase of being a bleeding heart liberal, and in the middle of Arizona you're sorta forced to hang around some Republicans. My Dad's a Republican as well. Doesn't mean he's the devil (in fact, he seems pretty liberal about it. The kinda guy who wouldn't care if his son was gay)

Basically, they have a point sometimes. Guns? Taking them away from people is out of the question. Ignorant, even. If you think that guns shouldn't have been integrated into our society in the first place, than I'd agree with you. But now that they're here, and crime is a problem, than I'd say that it's pretty reasonable to assume that people have the right to defend themselves.

It's the system that's broken. The idea of having a party system in this day and age is ridiculous within itself. It's basically a schoolyard mentality where you have to choose a side or get left in the mud, which means that you're going to go along with everything that your party agrees with. The Congress is stagnant as of right now. Republicans simply won't vote anything in if it's headed by a democrat, because of the "fuck you" mentality. Same goes for Democrats (though admittedly, nowhere as bad).

Amaror:
Ok, first of all:
Why is this party getting votes?

It just seems, when i am looking at (for example) popular media from America, like tv series or music, then you could get the impression that everybody hates republicans.
But they still get many votes.

Well to answer you're first question you have t understand the general goals of the Republican party. These are: Low taxes, Small government and little social change. So the reason that they get so many votes is because people who dislike taxes and/or distrust the government will tend to vote Republican. Another way that the Republicans get votes is that Republicans tend not to support things like gay marriage or abortion which goes against the religious views of many so they support the Republicans.

Republicans are not bad in any respect, I have many friends who are republicans and I agree with a few Republican beliefs myself, many people are off put by Republicans for their anti-gay or perceived anti-woman views and this is why they are often portrayed poorly.

I hope that answers your question, if not I'd be willing to elaborate more to help clarify

PS: I'm a democrat so don't think this is a Republican love speech, just trying to give their side of the argument.

Edible Avatar:

orangeban:

The other thing that confuses me about American politics is the way you sort of idolise your presidents. You've got memorials and statues and everything! We just don't do that here, our favourite primeminister is probably Churchill, but he doesn't have a statue or anything.

Don't the English have museums and statues of the royal family? Same thing here, but with presidents in place of kings.
And only the good presidents get statues and memorials ;) , for example: when I was visiting the town Gerald R Ford (38th pres) grew up in, there was only a plaque saying he grew up there, whereas downtown there was a huge statue dedicated to soldiers from the area who died in the Civil War.

I suppose that's a fair comparison. Though we don't really have memorials dedicated to specific royals (I think? I'm in Scotland, where supporting the royal family gets you spat on), it's more to the idea of royalty, with stuff like the Crown Jewels and the Tower of London.

Amaror:

Anyways, on to the topic at hand:
Republicans are representative of small government and personal rights, a notion that is appealing to many Americans. They support laissez-faire economics and the idea of a free market, plus the idea that a capable man can rise unhindered to the top of the social ladder. They also believe firmly in state rights and restrictions on federal power.
Did you know that the republicans (Schwartzenegger and other state governors) sued the Federal government to reduce automobile emissions further than the federal standard? Or that republicans are and have been against foreign intervention?

Anyways, these are what I think makes the republicans popular among voters, hope I gave you some food for thought :)
(BTW, I identify myself as libertarian)

Hmm, that's interesting. I can see why people vote for those kinds of things, our Conservatives are in favour of smaller government, less taxes, free market, that kind of thing. I suppose out here in Britain we only hear about the wacky zany stuff the Republicans do, so we build up this picture.

Shame that the Republicans seem to the party of both radical-right Christians, as well as people like you, libertarians and small government people. Which means you get people like Santorum who (attempt) to rise to power by exploiting right-wing Christian fears, and people like Ron Paul get drowned out. At least, I assume that's the kind of thing that happens.

Thanks, that was useful though. Politics in Britain is really quite different.

Fappy:

TL;DR Republicans look crazy on the news, but the politicians you see spouting garbage, whether they be Republican or Democratic, are hardly representative of everyone in their party.

One of the flaws in the American system. In the Parliamentary system of the UK, Australia, Germany, Belgium and others, the Prime Minister's power is limited by what the various MPs vote for and such. It seems that in Congress, the Republicans and Democrats are intent on blocking each others bills, no matter what they are. The President also generally has more personal power. It seems to indicate that the garbage-spouting bloke on TV may end up becoming the dude who actually pushes through the bills he wants, and blocking others.

xSKULLY:

Fiad:

xSKULLY:
from my understanding its 2 factors
1. barrack obama was a really shit president
2. republicans have the Christian (cough nut case cough) backing which is pretty big in MERICA

also its pretty much a choice of fucked or fucked (we have a similar choice in england every 4 years)

He actually is doing pretty well considering what he has to work with. It doesn't help that all the republicans in congress/senate have been doing everything in their power to be a hindrance to him. Add in that we were already in a bad place when he came into office and he is at least average. He hasn't royally fucked anything up, but neither has he done anything outstanding(not for lack of trying though). People are blaming Obama for mistakes that are not his. He is doing clean up from the past several presidencies and people are treating those mistakes he is trying to fix like he was the one who made them.

The second point you hit dead on though.

Honestly, I am hoping Obama gets a second run. The other candidates are all just terrible. I mean just take an issue of gay rights for example. Now look at the candidates and what their stands on it are. They just aren't good. If anyone else gets elected America is going to be stagnate for awhile.

im hoping for Obama to, what annoys me about him is that he only delivered a small amount of what he promised he would and he did pass the occasional terrible law (being able to hold some one indefinitely without trial) but when I look at the alternative....(shudders)

Really the reason he couldn't is because while the pres has allot of power, his power is still split with congress and the judiciary. Take gitmo for instance, he did an executive order to close it but the senate voted to keep it open and to prevent any detainees from being transferred into the states.

OP: the current state of the republican party is a weird one, really the us is beyond due for an electoral shift to the democrats. I think part of the problem is that not only are people living much longer but also we have a 24 hour news cycle and the "news" isn't really news anymore, it tends to almost entirely consist of pundits bitching about something or other, fox news is the most guilty of this but all the networks do it since its an easy way to get ratings, so we are in a weird phase of getting more and less news.

Its amazing how little people actually understand republicans. Just like you have a wide range of democrats, theres a wide range of republicans too.

Please keep in mind that the american two party system actually forces together a lot of groups that wouldn't otherwise be together. A large number of republicans believe that the federal government has too much reach, and state governments should be left to do everything that isn't specified in the constitution. Consider that europe is largely modeled after america, (though the european system is, admittedly, shit) where you have a lot of semi-autonomous countries that are tied together in one economic system. This is the way that many people view the states-- so when a bunch of rhode islanders get together and say that everyone has to live like they say they should, the north dakotans balk. And rightly so. What many on the left need to remember is that what might be right for you might not be right for some.

Example: I have republican leanings, but am independent. I do NOT believe in universal federally mandated healthcare. America is too fucking big for universal, national health care. There is no way to support it. let each state come up with their own system that works for each individual state. many states have. Some of them are good. If the system sucks, theres a lower barrier to changing things on a state level than on a national level.

Everyone always prattles on about how canada has this great system. Super-- they've got a smaller population than california. So do a lot of other countries that cover a radically smaller geographical area. And our current push for health care is a mess, and might not even be constitutional, so you might start to see the problems of scale.

Now, one thing that is right: the anti abortionists and religious nutjobs do flock to this party. They would have their own party in another country. They must be pandered to but never be allowed to set more than minor policies. Minority voting blocks are quite powerful in this country-- consider that the disenfranchised evangelical that votes 99% republican is akin to the disenfranchised minority that votes 99% democrat.

MorganL4:

xSKULLY:

Fiad:

Honestly, I am hoping Obama gets a second run. The other candidates are all just terrible. I mean just take an issue of gay rights for example. Now look at the candidates and what their stands on it are. They just aren't good. If anyone else gets elected America is going to be stagnate for awhile.

im hoping for Obama to, what annoys me about him is that he only delivered a small amount of what he promised he would and he did pass the occasional terrible law (being able to hold some one indefinitely without trial) but when I look at the alternative....(shudders)

In fairness he promised a lot until the economy tanked, you have to remember the crash happened half way through the campaign. Then he had to continue those promises because of the whole "flip flopper" schtick that killed Kerry. And he did do quite a bit. He saved Ford Crystler and GM from bankruptcy (today GM is the worlds #1 automotive manufacturer) which means Detroit has a shot at being a functioning city again. He passes a health care law that allows kids to be on their parents health care until 26 ( roughly the time you are getting your first career job post college)and ensures that 40 million Americans who were previously uninsured are. He FINALLY ended the war in Iraq AND got Osama bin Ladden. And thats just off the top of my head.

Now, he isn't perfect, believe me I have my issues with the guy. I was hoping for FDR version 2.0 instead I got Hoover. Which leads me to believe I would have been better off with Hillary who would have been more akin to Johnson. However saying he delivered a small amount is incorrect.

im really learning allot about american politics from this post :) its a very interesting subject for me but i gave up keeping up with the news as it just frustrates me seeing people/politicians fuck up and not being in a position to do anything about it but ill have to look into it some more

i have to point out 2 things that irk me

1. "he ended the iraq war" he pulled out of iraq leaving it a hell hole, bombs go off in Baghdad almost everyday and its more dangerous than Afghanistan, that is not how one pulls out of a country and was a pretty shitty thing to do (although he had his reasons they dont justify leaving iraq in that state)

2. he "got Osama" he didnt get Osama the military did, the military found him got enough evidence to prove it was him and seal team 6 killed him all Obama did was give them permission something almost anyone would do.

xSKULLY:
from my understanding its 2 factors
1. barrack obama was a really shit president
2. republicans have the Christian (cough nut case cough) backing which is pretty big in MERICA

also its pretty much a choice of fucked or fucked (we have a similar choice in england every 4 years)

Except us Brits get a choice of fucked or fucked or hey, those lib dems seem nice, I know they won't win but I suppose I could vote for them . . . Wait, Nick Clegg is joining force with the tories? And he's basically just doing what the tories say? Damn, guess I was indirectly fucked. Isn't politics fun?

You're not going to get an accurate cross-section of American politics on the Escapist. It's primarily young people, and Americans seem to be in the minority of forum posters.

Many, many, many misconceptions have been posted here.

--------
Myth) Republicans are backwards and hate happiness.

Reality) While one could make an argument for religious zealots, the majority of Republicans are, like me, primarily fiscal conservatives. We believe that people are happiest when they're able to pull themselves out of a bad situation to a good one, rather than being dependent on someone else for their very well-being. Having a job is a far more fulfilling way of life than being on the government payroll. We see the welfare state as a means of pulling the unfortunate out of a desperate situation, not a way to sustain the unfortunate in a state of eternal dependency.

The idea of rugged individualism and self-determination are rather new in the greater scheme of human development. Up until the proven success of free enterprise and democracy, civilization typically swore fealty to a monarch or dictator, who may or may not have been granted their rights be their own divinity.

---------
Myth) Republicans are racist.

Reality) Racists exist in all walks of life. There are many forms of racism. Most young people do not recognize racism toward white people as racism. Also, most of them only recognize the more easily identified "hate" style racism. However, Republicans prefer to fight racism by holding every person, regardless of skin color, to the same standard. I.E. White-knighting by white liberals is not our way. American minorities have the power to pull themselves up, and we recognize that. Democrats typically prefer to think they need the help of the white man. THAT. Is racism.

---------
Myth) Republicans are warmongers.

Reality) This is the most easily debunked myth. Whether or not America goes to war has, historically, had nothing to do with which party holds the White House. America's perception of war is vastly controlled by mass media, who typically will justify, or condemn military action based on politics, not truth or morality.

---------
Myth) Republicans disagree with Democrats because Republicans are racist, sexist bigot hicks.

Reality) I have the liberal belief system in regards to most social issues. Gay rights, abortion, women's rights, what have you. In truth, I would be a Democrat myself if it weren't for the fact that they do not care about the long-term financial longevity of this sovereign state. Their entire economic model is based on demand created by spending, which, historically, creates the much-villified boom/bust cycle, and adds to an inflating national debt over the long term. Democrats also seem to have a quasi-Malthusian approach to economics.

Another reason I'm not a Democrat is because they tend to manipulate racial tension for their own political gain. Divide and conquer.

Both parties lately seem intent on spending this country into oblivion. Republicans want to break the bank on policing the world and militaristic endeavors while democrats would be much happier going broke on social spending. Any more one is just as bad as the other.

Meanwhile people like Ron Paul, people who have ideas that would actually start to turn this country around are largely ignored by the media to the point they are irrelevant in any kind of election and as a result have no chance of becoming president.

They promise tax cuts, support military expansion, are Christian, mostly rich and white. All that earns them support in the south and among certain majority groups.

orangeban:
The other thing that confuses me about American politics is the way you sort of idolise your presidents. You've got memorials and statues and everything! We just don't do that here, our favourite primeminister is probably Churchill, but he doesn't have a statue or anything.

Actually, he does have a statue
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Winston_Churchill_statue_in_London.jpg

And a lot more to boot
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honours_of_Winston_Churchill

But i think we have to bear in mind the Churchill is probably one of the few exceptions we have over here.

Something that I don't think has been touched on in the thread is, most of the country doesn't vote. The people most likely to vote are extremists. This is even more true during primaries. This leads to a lot of courting extremists. Hillary Clinton said some pretty crazy things herself during the primaries last election, though I think Obama managed to steer clear of most of that. This isn't the whole of it, but I think it's a large part of why you see such crazy from the party.

Revnak:
Because the ones that actually get elected are almost universally not crazy? Romney has his faults, but all in all he's a pretty moderate guy. The same can be said of Bush despite all slander to the contrary. I'd also say the same of every Democrat that has been elected in recent years. I'd say we haven't had a truly crazy president since LBJ, and a truly terrible one since Nixon. If you're talking about the radicals like motherfucking Santorum, well that's because he's a radical. He's pretty far out there, as you most obviously can tell. There are some pretty nuts people among the Democrats too, Edwards was pretty fucked up in his own way. The truth of the matter is that both parties run candidates that are far less different than you would like to believe, and judging either party by their crazier members makes no sense.

As for how the Republican party has changed over the years, Theodore Roosevelt can be thanked for most of it, as well as Reagan. Neither party has changed too much from their early years. Democrats were originally the party of the poor white man and eventually added immigrants to that while Republicans were for the business man. Teddy added war to their firmly held beliefs, FDR added it to the Democrats while his wife tried to get the Democrats to support minorities. Kennedy added to that belief in supporting minorities, while he and LBJ were some of the most hawkish presidents ever. Nixon backed away from supporting minorities to get support of southern moderate Democrats, which worked, though Nixon's promises to halt civil rights were obviously impossible to fulfill, meaning he probably never intended to deliver on them and really just cared about foreign affairs. Reagan was the one who really changed the Republican party by focusing on a large military budget, support of business, and lower taxes, while also supporting conservative morals. This is all a major generalization of course.

Also, to those saying that Republicans only win through religious support, how come their the ones running the religious minority this year (in the eyes of many Americans Romney is just that) and ran the less religious candidate last year? Christianity is central to both parties, their views on secularism are what truly divide the parties, though not as much as it would seem.

Edit: I forgot to add that Democrats became the more peaceful party around the Jimmy Carter era, though the party is anything but pacifistic and still supports a greater level of military spending than I personally consider reasonable.

Edit2: Both sides fear monger like fucking crazy. Both sides will fear monger about every issue that arises, and it works on both sides. Both sides pander to conspiracy theorist types, just about opposing issues. Neither side has clean hands when it comes to this, and I am so tired of people saying Republicans are the only ones who do this.

Slander against Bush is completly justified, in fact it isn't nearly as severe as it should be. Bush started an illigal war (as in without proper support from both his own nation as the international community) without any provication. The USA ought to have been kicked out the UN for their war against Iraq. (which unfortunately is impossible since the USA has a veto)

Nuke_em_05:

It's a terrible, retarded, "us vs them" system; where it is about "winning" and "losing". The democrats present something useful, and the republicans have to tear it down on principle. The republicans present something useful, and the democrats have to tear it down on principle. The independents and third parties present something useful, and no one gives a crap. I don't know how to break it without a huge cultural change in the U.S., but until that time, I gotta play the shitty game by the shitty rules.

It does kind of make sense to do that if all you're after is winning the next election, which sadly is how political parties tend to operate. "This seems reasonable, but we can't let them get it through because then they can brag about doing something useful. Let's screw it up so we can point out that they didn't get to do anything useful" is a very easy way of gaining voters, especially if the people in question didn't care enough about the cases to see why it never went through. It's practiced over here in Norway as well, although we have more parties than the US, and thus this stuff doesn't usually make as much of a difference as in what's essentially a two-party system.

Politics in general, but especially american politics, needs more pragmatics in my opinion.

Well to be fair, both Republicans and Democrats are shit. That's why nothing ever gets done and they try to make every American feel that they need to vote for one or the other. I, myself, am a Libertarian.

harmonic:
You're not going to get an accurate cross-section of American politics on the Escapist. It's primarily young people, and Americans seem to be in the minority of forum posters.

Many, many, many misconceptions have been posted here.

--------
Myth) Republicans are backwards and hate happiness.

Reality) While one could make an argument for religious zealots, the majority of Republicans are, like me, primarily fiscal conservatives. We believe that people are happiest when they're able to pull themselves out of a bad situation to a good one, rather than being dependent on someone else for their very well-being. Having a job is a far more fulfilling way of life than being on the government payroll. We see the welfare state as a means of pulling the unfortunate out of a desperate situation, not a way to sustain the unfortunate in a state of eternal dependency.

The idea of rugged individualism and self-determination are rather new in the greater scheme of human development. Up until the proven success of free enterprise and democracy, civilization typically swore fealty to a monarch or dictator, who may or may not have been granted their rights be their own divinity.

---------
Myth) Republicans are racist.

Reality) Racists exist in all walks of life. There are many forms of racism. Most young people do not recognize racism toward white people as racism. Also, most of them only recognize the more easily identified "hate" style racism. However, Republicans prefer to fight racism by holding every person, regardless of skin color, to the same standard. I.E. White-knighting by white liberals is not our way. American minorities have the power to pull themselves up, and we recognize that. Democrats typically prefer to think they need the help of the white man. THAT. Is racism.

---------
Myth) Republicans are warmongers.

Reality) This is the most easily debunked myth. Whether or not America goes to war has, historically, had nothing to do with which party holds the White House. America's perception of war is vastly controlled by mass media, who typically will justify, or condemn military action based on politics, not truth or morality.

---------
Myth) Republicans disagree with Democrats because Republicans are racist, sexist bigot hicks.

Reality) I have the liberal belief system in regards to most social issues. Gay rights, abortion, women's rights, what have you. In truth, I would be a Democrat myself if it weren't for the fact that they do not care about the long-term financial longevity of this sovereign state. Their entire economic model is based on demand created by spending, which, historically, creates the much-villified boom/bust cycle, and adds to an inflating national debt over the long term. Democrats also seem to have a quasi-Malthusian approach to economics.

Another reason I'm not a Democrat is because they tend to manipulate racial tension for their own political gain. Divide and conquer.

Sorry for the long quote. I haven't mastered the art of proper quoting yet. I only want to reply on the war mongers myth. I'm sorry to say, but it's easily comfirmed (just did it in 5 minutes) that it's true, depending on your definition of war monger. War monger might be a bit excesive. But it can easily proven that in the last 60 years by far the most wars the USA participated in started when there was a republican president. Now to call them warmongers for that is indeed a bit extreme. But if preventing war is your main concern, you ought to vote democratic.

rutger5000:

Revnak:
Because the ones that actually get elected are almost universally not crazy? Romney has his faults, but all in all he's a pretty moderate guy. The same can be said of Bush despite all slander to the contrary. I'd also say the same of every Democrat that has been elected in recent years. I'd say we haven't had a truly crazy president since LBJ, and a truly terrible one since Nixon. If you're talking about the radicals like motherfucking Santorum, well that's because he's a radical. He's pretty far out there, as you most obviously can tell. There are some pretty nuts people among the Democrats too, Edwards was pretty fucked up in his own way. The truth of the matter is that both parties run candidates that are far less different than you would like to believe, and judging either party by their crazier members makes no sense.

As for how the Republican party has changed over the years, Theodore Roosevelt can be thanked for most of it, as well as Reagan. Neither party has changed too much from their early years. Democrats were originally the party of the poor white man and eventually added immigrants to that while Republicans were for the business man. Teddy added war to their firmly held beliefs, FDR added it to the Democrats while his wife tried to get the Democrats to support minorities. Kennedy added to that belief in supporting minorities, while he and LBJ were some of the most hawkish presidents ever. Nixon backed away from supporting minorities to get support of southern moderate Democrats, which worked, though Nixon's promises to halt civil rights were obviously impossible to fulfill, meaning he probably never intended to deliver on them and really just cared about foreign affairs. Reagan was the one who really changed the Republican party by focusing on a large military budget, support of business, and lower taxes, while also supporting conservative morals. This is all a major generalization of course.

Also, to those saying that Republicans only win through religious support, how come their the ones running the religious minority this year (in the eyes of many Americans Romney is just that) and ran the less religious candidate last year? Christianity is central to both parties, their views on secularism are what truly divide the parties, though not as much as it would seem.

Edit: I forgot to add that Democrats became the more peaceful party around the Jimmy Carter era, though the party is anything but pacifistic and still supports a greater level of military spending than I personally consider reasonable.

Edit2: Both sides fear monger like fucking crazy. Both sides will fear monger about every issue that arises, and it works on both sides. Both sides pander to conspiracy theorist types, just about opposing issues. Neither side has clean hands when it comes to this, and I am so tired of people saying Republicans are the only ones who do this.

Slander against Bush is completly justified, in fact it isn't nearly as severe as it should be. Bush started an illigal war (as in without proper support from both his own nation as the international community) without any provication. The USA ought to have been kicked out the UN for their war against Iraq. (which unfortunately is impossible since the USA has a veto)

The fuck? Do you know anything about... The fuck? What Bush did was entirely legal within American law, it just wasn't a war. If what he did was illegal than the same can be said of every American conflict since WWII, which were in no way illegal, though LBJ was a lying motherfucker, even Vietnam was technically legal. The president can conduct any military action that he pleases, he just can't declare war. Eventually support from congress has to be given for continued deployment, which he got. The latter became a law after Vietnam because of how fucked up that all was. As for international law and a "lack of international support," no. Just... no. There were other nations participating in the conflict, and though I have no clue what the laws are for this kind of thing in an international sense, I severely doubt it was illegal at all.

And when the fuck is slander ever justified. Slander is fucking illegal. It is one of the few types of speech that should always be illegal. I was exaggerating, you seem to be actually supporting people blatantly lying about the man in order to ruin his career.

Because People who don't try to solve problems are better than people who can't solve problems.

Trying to fix a problem in the U.S. is like trying to fix a bicycle using nothing but a hammer, technically possible, but really damn hard.

In short, their appeal is that being conservative can't make anything worse than it already is.

Lesser of two evils, if you will.

rutger5000:
*snip*

Sorry for the long quote. I haven't mastered the art of proper quoting yet. I only want to reply on the war mongers myth. I'm sorry to say, but it's easily comfirmed (just did it in 5 minutes) that it's true, depending on your definition of war monger. War monger might be a bit excesive. But it can easily proven that in the last 60 years by far the most wars the USA participated in started when there was a republican president. Now to call them warmongers for that is indeed a bit extreme. But if preventing war is your main concern, you ought to vote democratic.

In the last sixty years there hasn't been a war and two of the five major military conflicts began under Democrats (Korea and Vietnam were Truman and LBJ respectively while the gulf wars were both the Bushs and Afghanistan was Bush Jr.). In recent years you have a small piece of a point, in that Neocons tend to support larger military budgets, but both parties are absurdly pro-military in the greater scheme of things.

what we should do is just kick everyone out of office, and put in people who actually know what they're doing in.

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