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3.9.07 0210
The 7 - Current Events & Politics - In defense of "un-Americans"
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TheBucsFan
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#1 Posted on 2.3.03 2351.01
Reposted on: 2.3.10 2351.05
Carried over from another thread:

    What is your (point) other than the US is evil and any other country is better?


I am so sick of crap like this. I have never once heard or seen someone whom I speak to directly say (that would be including conversations like the ones we have on this board) that America sucks or is a poor place to live. I hate that anything critical of this country is turned backwards into bullshit propaganda like the above quote, apparently in an attempt to intimidate people into conformity.

Iraq treats it citizens like shit and does a million things that it should not do. However, does this mean that everything America does is right just because they oppose Saddam Hussein? Of course it does not. Do not dare try pointing this out to society, however. If you do, you are labeled ridiculous things like “un-American.”

America is a great place to live, and I am lucky to live here. However, it can, should, and is supposed to be better. The laws we have for the most part are theoretically great, but the ignorance and intolerance of people across this nation lead to them being ignored, or worse, enforced only when it suits the masses. I am so often critical of our nation not because I oppose it, but because I actually stand up for the rights it supposedly was founded on. I complain because I want things to get better. Becoming content with where you are is the death of idealism.

Reply to this if you want, but this is all I am saying on the matter. I am tired of arguing this (obvious) point, because people are too stubborn to struggle with their tunnel vision.
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Pool-Boy
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#2 Posted on 3.3.03 0125.51
Reposted on: 3.3.10 0129.01
I think the big crux of the issue right now for those who accuse protesters of "anti-American" behavior is the manner in which the criticism is given. I will grant you that there are those that will throw about "Un-American!" insults no matter what the opposition is, but on the other hand, there are those that will bash anything America does that will result in the status-quo changing. Personally, I think that this is indicative of a larger problem. The two party system is killing this country.

Jaguar once said that I should post my "novel on what I would do differently if I ruled." One of the biggest things I would do would be to obliterate political parties. The two party system, in particular, is one of the greatest threats to the prosperity of this country. No longer is a vote to put someone in office about voting for the best man for the job- it is about which party is going to gain power from it. A Representative is virtually unable to take any stance against his party for fear of losing future funding for elections, or having to face a tough canditate in a primary. Even the smaller, so-called "third parties" are aligned with one of the major two parties on most issues (Green/Democrat, Libertarian/Republican, for example) so a true "thrid party" is a virtual impossibility in this day and age. So now, instead of a flexible system for putting the right person in power to handle the issues of the day, as Democracy was intended, we now have a bastardized form of monarchy or dictatorship, where there are TWO alternatives (regardless of the specific canditate), for now and all time, and the one which has power is simply determined by which way the social winds are blowing on a particular election year.

How this relates to the topic at hand, it is a matter of behavior. On one hand, there are your protesters who, while protesting, will view government and nation separate. If the government or any elected official is doing something they do not like, the complaints come in the form of "President X is wrong, and hurting America." This is most typical among Conservatives, and/or ex-military.

You typical "Left Wing" protester views Government and "America" as the same thing. There is some merit to this view (I fall under the "conservative" argument, so OF COURSE I find merit in that approach), our government acts and speaks for us, so if they are doing something evil or wrong, it could be argued that America is doing this.

Nothing will anger the "Conservative" protester more than someone attacking America. We all can agree that it is a great place to live, you have freedom and the possibility of prosperity, and regardless of the events of the past couple of years, it is still one of the safest places to live in the world. Your Left-Wing protester attacks America as a matter of form, because all of the symbolism that means "America," (for example, the flag) more represents the US government than the people of this country.

Both sides lend allegiance to a political party (typically), hence real discussion and compromise is virtually impossible. So basically it will never change.

You have a good point, BucsFan, only I think that it is a symptom of a much larger problem no one is even willing to discuss solving.



(edited by Pool-Boy on 2.3.03 2326)
Jaguar
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#3 Posted on 3.3.03 0235.40
Reposted on: 3.3.10 0235.47
I realize that this is sidetracking the actual topic, but I wanted to respond to Pool-Boy's thoughts. Then I'll come back to being 'un-American'.

In my view, it's not the two parties that are the problem. It's the system that allows the Dems/Repubs to thrive, while keeping out any form of competition. The big two have a monopoly on American politics right now, and it needs to be broken up. The main thing that needs to happen is the campaign finance reform. If you truly want to see the best man for the job be elected president, then money has to be taken out of the issue. I know at least ten people who'd make a stronger (and in my view better) conservative President than W could ever hope to be. Unfortunately, none of these people were children of Upper Class parents. Why is it that Ross Perot could actually make a dent as a third party? Because he's rich.

So you want the best man for the job to be your President/Senator/Whatever? Get rid of the money. Set a strict spending limit for all interested parties. Hell, give them all the same budget, and make them all campaign together, so everybody can see them up close and personal. It certainly couldn't be any worse than what we've got now.

-Jag

As for being 'Anti-American', it's 3:30 in the morning right now, so I'm not at my best (of course, the quality of my posts were low enough to begin with, that it may be hard to tell ). Basically I think when you call someone 'Anti-American' you're only trying to bait them into an argument. Nothing constructive can come from labeling someone as that, because either they really are 'Anti-American' and they hate you already, or they aren't, and you're just name calling. Either way, you're only making an ass out of yourself and stepping on people's toes. If you can't think of a better way to respond than calling someone an 'American Hater' then by all means, feel free to shut the fuck up.

Unless you'd like the whole world to see how big an ass you are.
MoeGates
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#4 Posted on 3.3.03 0923.36
Reposted on: 3.3.10 0927.22
Hell, give them all the same budget, and make them all campaign together, so everybody can see them up close and personal. It certainly couldn't be any worse than what we've got now.

Another bad thing to come out of JFK's assassination was this (disclaimer, I don't know how much of this is fact and how much is whistful rumors): him and Goldwater were actually buddies, and had a plan (if Goldwater won the nomination) to barnstorm the country together debating. They would have shared transportation, advance staff, and everything.

Can you imagine ANY two candidates doing something like this today? Maybe that 64 campaign would have set a nice precident. Oh well.

As far as the "America Hating" thing goes, I think liberals feel the same frustration with the "you hate America" argument that conservatives feel with the "you're a racist" argument.



(edited by MoeGates on 3.3.03 1238)
asteroidboy
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#5 Posted on 3.3.03 1124.05
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1125.29

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    I hate that anything critical of this country is turned backwards into bullshit propaganda like the above quote, apparently in an attempt to intimidate people into conformity.


I'd argue that this is how the current administration stays in power. Okay, and the previous Bush administration, the Reagan administration and the Nixon administration.
MoeGates
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#6 Posted on 3.3.03 1141.30
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1150.38
I'd argue that this is how the current administration stays in power. Okay, and the previous Bush administration, the Reagan administration and the Nixon administration.

To be fair, this wasn't too far removed from the FDR strategy also. And I'd argue against Bush 41 also (they didn't do too good a job of staying in power, remember).

Don't forget the Clinton way of staying in power. The "I may not be so great, but my opponents want to kick old ladies into the gutter" argument. Not that this was so far removed from the truth, of course...;)
TheCow
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#7 Posted on 3.3.03 1357.18
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1359.11
Unfortunately, the theoretical aim and practical aim of the American two-party system has changed.

Theoretically, candidates seek to be nominated by a party that they can most identify with; everyone else in the party sees enough issues in the same light. However, if there are issues where a candidate's views differ from the party-accepted norm, then it doesn't matter. They can have those views and still be in the party. (Pool-Boy, I think you described more of the British electoral system, actually. However, I'll leave that issue to those across the pond.)

Actually ...yeah, you're probably not too far from the truth. However, the issue isn't so much with the candidates as it is the voters. You ask someone here now how they lean politically, and the odds you'll hear "I'm a Democrat" or "I'm a Republican" is probably far greater than finding out whether they're liberal or conservative about most issues. That is the crux of the dilemma in a nutshell. People that view themselves as Dems/Reps (now, I'm not talking about people on this board ...at least, I don't think I am) simply won't even consider the other candidate, simply because he's of the "wrong party." This argument can be expanded to the un-American issue.

A decent number of people are completely blind to the fact that there is a right to assembly and protest if something's happening that people feel is worth protesting. Heck, if I wanted to, right now I could go out and protest Congressional pay raises - but I won't. However, when someone uses this right to assembly (for this purpose), people on the other side of the political spectrum freak out - and the un-American accusations begin flying. I don't think that anybody disputes that Iraq isn't the Model Nation of the world. Where the issue comes up is how to deal with it.
Cerebus
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#8 Posted on 3.3.03 1646.54
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1647.13

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    Don't forget the Clinton way of staying in power. The "I may not be so great, but my opponents want to kick old ladies into the gutter" argument. Not that this was so far removed from the truth, of course...;)


I could just picture Bob Dole knocking some little old lady with a walker into the street. Reminds me of the REAL WORLD skit on SNL... his character would have done this on the show, then told her to vote for him.
Hairy Caray
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#9 Posted on 3.3.03 1702.50
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1705.45

    Originally posted by Jaguar
    I realize that this is sidetracking the actual topic, but I wanted to respond to Pool-Boy's thoughts. Then I'll come back to being 'un-American'.

    In my view, it's not the two parties that are the problem. It's the system that allows the Dems/Repubs to thrive, while keeping out any form of competition. The big two have a monopoly on American politics right now, and it needs to be broken up. The main thing that needs to happen is the campaign finance reform. If you truly want to see the best man for the job be elected president, then money has to be taken out of the issue. I know at least ten people who'd make a stronger (and in my view better) conservative President than W could ever hope to be. Unfortunately, none of these people were children of Upper Class parents. Why is it that Ross Perot could actually make a dent as a third party? Because he's rich.

    So you want the best man for the job to be your President/Senator/Whatever? Get rid of the money. Set a strict spending limit for all interested parties. Hell, give them all the same budget, and make them all campaign together, so everybody can see them up close and personal. It certainly couldn't be any worse than what we've got now.




The ends sound good, Jag, but the means are unconstitutional. To limit the financial support an individual or group of individuals can give to the candidate of their choice is in essence limiting their freedom of speech and participation in the electoral process. Get the various states to pass a constitutional amendment allowing such limits, and I'm with you.
Pool-Boy
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#10 Posted on 3.3.03 1710.20
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1717.54
I gotta say I disagree. I mean really-

Explain to me how the Freedom of Speech has anything to do with election law, and the use of money to campaign?

Freedom of Speech is simply a right granted to citizens of this country so that the government cannot punish you for speaking out against them. It has nothing to do with how much money you spend on speaking.

I think it is fair to demand limits on how much a canditate can spend, and where that money comes from. Money is NOT speech. Claiming that you donate your money as a means of expressing your opinion is all well and good, but that does not make it constitutionally protected.

I, for one, do not think the architects of the Constitution could have possibly forseen the problems with campaign finance and political parties that we are having today, and I damned sure know that they did not intend that ammendment to serve as a way for people to buy their way into office...
Grimis
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#11 Posted on 3.3.03 1846.40
Reposted on: 3.3.10 1849.37

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Explain to me how the Freedom of Speech has anything to do with election law, and the use of money to campaign

OK....

By donating money to a candidate, you are giving money to help the candidate express his message. This usually means that the candidate to which you are providing funds shares a percentage of his message with you. Therfeore, he is speaking for you when he speaks on that issue. Therefore, you are exercising your freedom of speech by providing the means to allow the candidate to exercise his freedom of speech.

Spurious? Maybe. But campaign finance laws(ESPECIALLY McCain-Feigngold) are unconstitutional. THAT is black and white.
Cerebus
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#12 Posted on 4.3.03 1600.06
Reposted on: 4.3.10 1601.09
I feel that there is way too much money being thrown around by political candidates. There should be a cap on how much they are allowed to spend to get elected, not how much they can accept from each person.

I also feel that debates should allow EVERYONE running to be included. There should be more face to face debating allowing the public to get to really know the people running for office, not just what they WANT us to know through commercials.

Commercials slinging mud at the other candidates should be abolished. There isn't any way for the person getting ragged on to reply to them other then putting out thier own commercials or a sidebar item in newspapers.

Something I would like to see, but it will NEVER happen, is that whoever wins the election for President should have to take on the opposing candidate as Vice President, helping to keep that president in check for the people who didn't vote for them, but as I said, it'll NEVER happen.
MoeGates
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#13 Posted on 4.3.03 1619.40
Reposted on: 4.3.10 1629.06
Shit, I'd shoot Jr. if Al Gore was Veep. In fact, I'd probably shoot Jr. if Bubbles the Chimp was the Veep.

Note to Mr. Ashcroft: The preceding was a satirical commentary, and does not imply any actual intent to shoot our fine President, or any connection to Al-Quida.

You know, I just realized there's a little part of me that didn't write that last part completely in jest. That's scary. One more for the whole "Canadian" thing.
Grimis
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#14 Posted on 4.3.03 1855.56
Reposted on: 4.3.10 1856.07

    Originally posted by Cerebus
    Commercials slinging mud at the other candidates should be abolished. There isn't any way for the person getting ragged on to reply to them other then putting out thier own commercials or a sidebar item in newspapers.

Hey....I WRITE those commericals!
Scott Summets
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#15 Posted on 5.3.03 0616.21
Reposted on: 5.3.10 0619.42
Lately, I have been going to lots of offical debates and the like, and I can honestly say there is ONE TIME that calling someone an "Un" or "Anti" American is totally justified, and that is when someone aganist the war goes off on a huge rant about how evil our military is. Being aganist the war isn't bad, but when some idiot stands up in a crowded room and goes apeshit about how evil our soldiers are and how they deserve to die, and compares them to Nazis and the like, that is Anti-Americanism. One girl once at a big debate presented an argument that our military has never done anything right is inheriently evil, and went on with about 10 other ludicrious points. It didn't matter for her that my friend who was debating for the Republican side was a Marine Officer and could tell her how she was wrong, she wanted to go off on how evil our military is. If you can make an argument aganist the war, and be intelligent about it, thats not being aganist America, that's being a citizen who can argue their point. I'll admit I'm for the war, that doesn't make me some ultra-patriot. But once again, to have the aduacity to disrepect our soldiers, when they are going out to possibly die while you sit in your air conditioned room with basically no threats.... that's just wrong.
asteroidboy
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#16 Posted on 5.3.03 1415.10
Reposted on: 5.3.10 1422.34

    Originally posted by Grimis

      Originally posted by Cerebus
      Commercials slinging mud at the other candidates should be abolished. There isn't any way for the person getting ragged on to reply to them other then putting out thier own commercials or a sidebar item in newspapers.

    Hey....I WRITE those commericals!



How proud you must be.
Grimis
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#17 Posted on 5.3.03 1531.53
Reposted on: 5.3.10 1534.03

    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    How proud you must be.

The ends justify the means...
asteroidboy
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#18 Posted on 5.3.03 1723.18
Reposted on: 5.3.10 1723.53

    Originally posted by Grimis

      Originally posted by asteroidboy
      How proud you must be.

    The ends justify the means...



Spoken like a true Republican, Grimmis. You'll go far, especially if the current administration hangs around.
PalpatineW
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#19 Posted on 5.3.03 1739.03
Reposted on: 5.3.10 1744.02

    Originally posted by asteroidboy

      Originally posted by Grimis

        Originally posted by asteroidboy
        How proud you must be.

      The ends justify the means...



    Spoken like a true Republican, Grimmis. You'll go far, especially if the current administration hangs around.



Ohhhh close your holier-than-thou lefty pie hole. As if the Dems didn't slander Ken Starr for (gasp!) investigating presidential misconduct. As if the Dems don't knock conservatives every five minutes. It's politics; people sling mud in politics. It's not unique to any ideology.

What do you call the current character assassination of Mr. Estrada?
Cerebus
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#20 Posted on 6.3.03 1333.35
Reposted on: 6.3.10 1334.13
Ken Star was an asshole. He went after personal stuff that he had no reason to get involved with.

OK, Clinton got some booty from an intern... so what. Are you saying that just cause he's the president, he's not allowed to get a little sumpin'-sumpin'. That crazy talk. If I was president, I'd be getting some ALL the time, right there on the desk in the Oval Office... just like Kennedy did with Marilyn Monroe.
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