View Poll Results: Do you believe that partisan politics divides people unnecessarily?

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  • Yes

    25 80.65%
  • No

    6 19.35%
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Thread: Is partisan politics too partisan?

  1. #71
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    Personally, I don't believe partisan politics divides people so much as it tends to clarify the ideological divide that exists in the country and puts serious issues in stark terms that help provide clear choice. Too often, bipartisanship is simply a tool to effect bad public policy.

    In a system of government such as the US has, partisanship isn't nearly as important as it is in a system of government like Canada's where members of a party are virtually trained seals who raise their flippers when the leader tells them to. In the US, you're far more likely to have rogues who vote with the other side on particular issues, which leads me to think that if government simply stuck to the important things that people want them to deal with, you'd find far more agreement/consensus.

    One last point I'd make is that American media have a vested interest in government not working, in conflict in congress and between congress and the President - it sells their nightly news and their cable talking head variety hours. Politicians who buy into that conflict get promoted/exposed on these network shows and establish a profile that helps get them re-elected.
    Agreed on all counts. At the same time, I believe your second point is the reason for the first, rather than the first existing in a vacuum. Bipartisanship in congress is often a smoke screen for passing bad laws, but bipartisanship amongst the populace against the corruption in government is vitally important. If the Tea Parties and OWS movement realized that they were on the same side in the fight against government corruption, the entire partisan noise machine would collapse under the weight of its own bull****.

  2. #72
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialEngineer View Post
    In the instance you cite, 50 different hypothesis would be tested at once. The experiment would fail to produce a valid result because there would be no control to observe.

    But I didn't say that all 50 states should each pass a different law, did I. When I cited gay marriage as a valid example of the scientific method, I cited the fact that a number of states have legalized gay marriage (representing the experiments), while the majority of states have not (representing the control). Citing imaginary and unlikely scenarios as instances that invalidate my point only serves to derail otherwise productive discussion. I'm sure that wasn't your intent, and I appreciate your contribution.
    I'm still not understanding exactly what is being validated. Some states will have laws allowing SSM, and others will have laws forbidding it. Aside from showing that states can choose whether or not to allow SSMs, which is something we already know, what is being validated?
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  3. #73
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Disenfranchisement is an entirely different issue, and it requires laws to be passed. These laws are subject to judicial review, and recent attempts at disenfranchisement have failed due to such review. (note: I'm assuming that by "disenfranchisement" you are referring to efforts to make it impossible for some people to vote)

    I am not going to deny that it is impossible for our political system to be corrupted to such an extent. Even the Framers acknowledged the possibility. However, the people and their own self-interests are supposed to be a sufficient counter-weight to this possibility and, so far, has been proven to be effective. Reason would suggest that, absent a compelling reason to think otherwise, the system will continue to function at its' current level.
    I disagree. If you can make a person's vote meaningless, then you disenfranchise them as much as passing a Constitutional amendment barring them from voting. Our current two party system gives voters nothing more than a choice between red and blue flavors of feces, and the political discourse is dominated by agents of that system. That system serves the special interests that own it, not the collective interests of the people.

  4. #74
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    I'm still not understanding exactly what is being validated. Some states will have laws allowing SSM, and others will have laws forbidding it. Aside from showing that states can choose whether or not to allow SSMs, which is something we already know, what is being validated?
    The hypothesis that accepting homosexuality will cause society to collapse, and the counter-hypothesis that homosexuality presents no real threat to society. If the societies in SSM states collapse at a higher rate than states without SSM, that hypothesis is validated scientifically (unless other unrelated factors can't be eliminated in consideration).

    Of course, social science is not as rigorous as the hard sciences like physics, because it's virtually impossible to test a single variable with all other conditions remaining constant. A single experiment can support multiple hypotheses, and rejecting a hypothesis completely is much harder. That limits the usefulness of the scientific method, but it is still useful nonetheless.

  5. #75
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialEngineer View Post
    I disagree. If you can make a person's vote meaningless, then you disenfranchise them as much as passing a Constitutional amendment barring them from voting. Our current two party system gives voters nothing more than a choice between red and blue flavors of feces, and the political discourse is dominated by agents of that system. That system serves the special interests that own it, not the collective interests of the people.
    People have more than two choices. There are a number of political parties in this country as well as candidates running independently (see Ross Perot's run for the presidency). While you (and I) may not be happy with the choices, that doesn't render our votes meaningless. Saying that this is the equivalent of a constitutional amendment is just hyperbole.

    And I'd like to point that though I agree with you that moneyed interests do have a strong and unwelcome influence on the system, the fact is that those interests are not in full agreement with each other. For example, look at what's going on with a proposed bill that will allow states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales. On one side, there are behemoths like Wal Mart and Amazon. On the other, is another set of moneyed interests (ex eBay)
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  6. #76
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialEngineer View Post
    The hypothesis that accepting homosexuality will cause society to collapse, and the counter-hypothesis that homosexuality presents no real threat to society. If the societies in SSM states collapse at a higher rate than states without SSM, that hypothesis is validated scientifically (unless other unrelated factors can't be eliminated in consideration).

    Of course, social science is not as rigorous as the hard sciences like physics, because it's virtually impossible to test a single variable with all other conditions remaining constant. A single experiment can support multiple hypotheses, and rejecting a hypothesis completely is much harder. That limits the usefulness of the scientific method, but it is still useful nonetheless.
    The thing is, that hypothesis will be neither validated nor invalidated. SSMs supporters will say "See? Society hasn't collapsed!" and its' opponents will say "Not yet. These things take time"

    And leaving aside the issue of "collapse", people will continue to disagree over whether or not things are "better" with or without SSM. IOW, while you may settle some of the more extreme claims (though I doubt it), it will not cause people to change their minds over such matters.

    The fact is that peoples opinions are not subject to scientific resolution because they are as rooted in a persons' values as they are in reason and science. Science can not prove whether some things are "just", or "fair", or "better" because such judgments are subjective and therefore not subject to scientific resolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

  7. #77
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Factor View Post
    Partisan politics can be too divisive, obviously, but I also think differing points of view, and the willingness to stand up for what you believe are good things.
    Half the problem is partisanship can be so blinding that people end up standing up for things they don't believe.

    Bush:

    -Founded the faith-based initiatives programs that gave inner-city (predominately black) churches federal funding for their non-religious community work
    -First POTUS to include the United Negro College Fund in the federal budget
    -Rescued tens of millions of Africans from an early death by putting essentially all of Sub-Saharan Africa HIV patents on anti-viral medication
    -Appointed the first ever 2 black Secretaries of State and National Security Adviser
    -Had more women on his staff than any POTUS in history or since

    Hated by the two largest Democrat constituency groups, women and blacks.


    Obama:

    -Using drones eliminate terrorists
    -Ordered the attack on Abbottabad that killed Osama Bin Laden including the controversial doctrine of carrying out acts of war inside of Pakistan with their knowledge or permission
    -Carried out PRESIDENT BUSH'S auto bailout plan that saved Chrysler and General Motors.
    -Copied the Mitt Romney healthcare plan and rolled it out nationally inspired by the GOP think tank, The Heritage Foundation led in part my Newt Gingrich
    -Kept a member of President Bush's cabinet in his administration
    -Has always had Republican representation in his cabinet
    -President Bush's Wall Street Bailout wasn't even his doing but Republicans think it was
    -Kept Gimto open once privy to national security briefings he was excluded from when he promised to close it placing the security of the American people above his own credibility and reputation
    -Is fighting the FDA and Federal Courts in continuing to require minors to have a prescription for the morning after pill

    Hated by Republicans
    Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011

  8. #78
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    The thing is, that hypothesis will be neither validated nor invalidated. SSMs supporters will say "See? Society hasn't collapsed!" and its' opponents will say "Not yet. These things take time"

    And leaving aside the issue of "collapse", people will continue to disagree over whether or not things are "better" with or without SSM. IOW, while you may settle some of the more extreme claims (though I doubt it), it will not cause people to change their minds over such matters.

    The fact is that peoples opinions are not subject to scientific resolution because they are as rooted in a persons' values as they are in reason and science. Science can not prove whether some things are "just", or "fair", or "better" because such judgments are subjective and therefore not subject to scientific resolution.
    I agree. Validating it or invalidating it with scientific certainty is impossible, which is why issues based on so much subjective reasoning should not be forced at the federal level.

  9. #79
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    People have more than two choices. There are a number of political parties in this country as well as candidates running independently (see Ross Perot's run for the presidency). While you (and I) may not be happy with the choices, that doesn't render our votes meaningless. Saying that this is the equivalent of a constitutional amendment is just hyperbole.
    Ross Perot's run for president was largely seen as the reason why Bill Clinton won instead of Bush Sr. Those that voted for Perot, who would have mostly voted for Bush had there only been two options, disenfranchised themselves by voting for a third candidate in a two party system.

    And our system is a two-party system. The two parties control the vast majority of the money spent on campaigns, and viable third parties are unable to emerge because of fears that voting for a better third party will result in a worse result when the party you oppose the most wins as a result of the vote being split.

    You're an intelligent person. Why should I have to explain this concept to you? Do you not agree that it effectively discourages the emergence of a viable third party?

    And I'd like to point that though I agree with you that moneyed interests do have a strong and unwelcome influence on the system, the fact is that those interests are not in full agreement with each other. For example, look at what's going on with a proposed bill that will allow states to collect sales taxes on Internet sales. On one side, there are behemoths like Wal Mart and Amazon. On the other, is another set of moneyed interests (ex eBay)
    And in regulation for most other industries, there is a single side that wants rules that only big giant corporations can deal with, and artificial barriers to entry into the marketplace that protects their supremacy in the market.

    I'm an electrical engineer. I just finished my engineering degree this semester. For my senior design project, I built a complete autonomous helicopter using an open-source autopilot project. It cost me a grand total of about $1,400 for the whole project, and it performs as well as UAV's that cost the military about $55,000 each. I wanted to pay the money to branch that project and get it FAA certified, so that I could use it to start a business building and flying commercial UAV's. The FAA requires hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of investment, and years of testing to validate a flight system, even though the drone I made is no more or less dangerous than the R/C helicopter I used as the flight platform. The methods I used for communication are well documented, as was the code written to establish fail-safe behaviors, and the circuitry used to minimize hazards in the event of things like instrument failure. Still, it takes insane amounts of money, and years of red tape, to LEGALLY fly a drone the size of a desktop fan.

    Each of those legislations were presented in the name of preserving public safety. I value that goal, and I approve of any reasonable legislation towards that end. But the larger result of those legislations is that only companies with huge amounts of resources are able to produce goods for that industry. Economically, it creates artificial barriers to entry in the marketplace that stifles competition, and diminishes the power of consumer choice. Both of those results are detrimental to the free market, and to the social mobility of people who want to participate in it. Because of those laws, my only real option as an engineer is to go work for an aerospace company and take whatever pay they decide to give me, even though I'm willing and able to run a business and take on the greater risk, for the chance of a greater reward.

  10. #80
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    Re: Is partisan politics too partisan?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialEngineer View Post
    I agree. Validating it or invalidating it with scientific certainty is impossible, which is why issues based on so much subjective reasoning should not be forced at the federal level.
    All issues involves some level of subjective reasoning. Your argument is one for dissolving the union, not perfecting it.

    I also suspect that your stated preference for having this issues decided at the state and local level is based on emotion and not reason. After all, there is no objective evidence that states and localities do a better job of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
    Quote Originally Posted by jaeger19 View Post
    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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