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Thread: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Everyone seems to be mired in close-up detail. Perhaps an overview will help US voters on ForumGarden to decide which way to vote in November.

    What are the important issues? Given the events of the decade I'd want to include foreign relations, the economy and law enforcement. Some people have single-issue demands in which case they'll have to look at each slate's promises on the single issue and decide on that basis. Maybe it's promises on abortion or gay army recruits. They're not on my list of vital issues.

    Let's start with foreign relations.

    Iran. I'm looking for a slate which is pro-Iran. The Iranians were a secular republic under a nationalist leader called Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953 when the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of his government and installed a tyrannical torturing US puppet called Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. The utter detestation of his rule led to the Iranians' enthusiastic mass embracing of a reactionary fundamentalist cleric-led administration in 1979. They wanted out from under the Imperialist Great Satan, they wanted their own foreign policy back, they wanted their own property back, they were sick of being strip-mined by rapists and all power to them for rebelling in their own interests. They stay reactionary, fundamentalist and cleric-led because they've been under sanctions and proscription by the US ever since. It's about time it stopped. The US has to apologize for the real actual harm done to Iran by its actions in the past, offer the unconditional hand of friendship and set up something cultural like a mass student exchange scheme so that both sides can move on.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team agrees with me that the crisis with Iran is "the most serious crisis we have faced - outside of the entire war on terror - since the end of the Cold War." but those weasel words are actually anti-Iranian. Senator Obama regards Iran's government as "a threat to all of us," stating that the US "should take no option, including military action, off the table. Sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. which is equally anti-Iranian. Interestingly, Ralph Nader believes the US must stop “saber rattling” with Iran and take up Iran's proposal in 2003 to negotiate all outstanding issues between the US and Iran. I'll get round to Ralph Nader at the end of the post.

    Israel/Palestine. I'm looking for a slate that's prepared to stop the flow of US money and resources to Israel until Israel abandons apartheid. There's the loan arrangements, the military subsidies, the annual grant money, the collection agencies. A single replacement rule ought to do it - for every dollar unavoidably subsidizing Israel a corresponding dollar gets sent to the Palestinians, and none of it takes the form of military hardware. Propping up a regime that practices apartheid and has discriminatory laws is an affront to civilization.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team says that "no American leader should be expected to sell a false peace to our ally, consider Israel's right to self-defense less legitimate than ours, or insist that Israel negotiate a political settlement while terrorism remains the Palestinians' preferred bargaining tool." Senator Obama's team is solidly pro-Israeli. Ralph Nader supports the Israeli peace movement and views resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as central to national security.

    Iraq. I'm looking for a team which will immediately and unconditionally hand over all those hundred-year concrete reinforced aircraft carriers to the Iraqi government and remove every single US national from Iraqi soil within a week of taking office. I'm looking for a team which will set up an independent enquiry with all the investigatory, subpoena and sworn testimony powers to find out who illegally profited from the criminal invasion and to have them all jailed for life. I want as big a bloodbath among the criminals in the previous administration as they imposed on the world while they were in office.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team supported the invasion of Iraq and has stated that he would keep troops in Iraq for as long as needed, dependent on agreement from the Iraqi government. "It's not a matter of how long we're in Iraq, it's if we succeed or not." while Senator Obama's team offers a responsible, phased withdrawal which is code-speak for keeping those concrete block permanent bases I mentioned. Ralph Nader opposes the US occupation of Iraq on the grounds that “it’s the occupation that is breeding the resistance.” which is a bit more like it.

    Pakistan - in particular, not killing Pakistanis inside Pakistan especially if they're under the age of ten and not carrying a weapon when they're killed. Which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team appeared to rule out the option of US forces entering Pakistan, saying that it was not an appropriate time to "threaten" Pakistan which rather implies that when the time's right he's no qualms about letting rip with the Marines and the drone missiles. Senator Obama's team declared in a foreign policy speech that the United States must be willing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan, with or without the consent of the Pakistani government. and Ralph Nader has said that military action against Pakistan is off the table.

    Guantanamo? John McCain's team said of waterboarding that "They [other presidential candidates] should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture." and then voted to allow it to continue, which is fairly plain. Senator Obama's team has advocated closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but has not supported two specific bills that would have done so. but at least he opposes the use of torture. Ralph Nader's quite solidly against it: "Constitutional crimes against due process, probable cause, habeas corpus, together with torture and indefinite imprisonment... will worsen and erode American jurisprudence with serious consequences for both the nation's security and its liberties."

    Foreign aid. I'm looking for a team which will immediately and unconditionally stop all foreign aid to every foreign destination whether it's to a government, a government organisation or a non-government agency. Every last penny whether it's from government funds or from charitable donations, the whole lot has to stop immediately and never start again. Foreign aid is an imperialist weapon of domination. John McCain's team "plans to expand foreign aid", Senator Obama's team would double foreign aid to $50 Billion dollars by 2012. Neither position falls close to what I want.

    That ought to be enough on foreign relations. Neither team is on side.

    Oh... Ralph Nader. No, that's a protest vote, that's not a route to change. By the time I've finished I have to come down into one of the two camps that count in US politics since the US is a two-party state.

    The italic quotes, by the way, are all from a useful comparison page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...Foreign_policy
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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    I do hate these stunned silences of disbelief and outrage, seriously. What did I get wrong? Tell me why I'm wrong on any of those policy issues and I'll happily either change my view or explain my reason for thinking you're mistaken.

    The economy, that's the next area to look at.

    Immigration. I'm looking for a slate which will put sufficient resources into immigration control that within a year of taking office there'll be nobody inside the US borders who hasn't legal permission to be there, and which promises to keep that condition permanently thereafter. That means nobody entering the US without legal permission to enter, nobody out-staying any visa time limit without being immediately ejected or having the time limit extended. It can go under a "not even one illegal resident anywhere within the US borders within a year of taking office" promise. I don't care how they achieve it. They can expel people, legalize people, hand out citizenship or visas, any solution they care to name but they have to get results. Just letting the current state of affairs drift on is what'll actually happen if there's no promise like that. I insist on this Immigration condition as non-negotiable.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team has promoted the legislation and eventually the granting of citizenship to the estimated 12–20 million illegal aliens in the United States and the creation of an additional guest worker program with an option for permanent immigration.. Fine as far as it goes but there's no schedule and I don't believe for a minute that he intends doing it either in a first term or a second. It needs a firm promise of a timetable. Senator Obama's team supports a guest worker program and giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants which doesn't even start to go near a solution. Ralph Nader does not support open-borders, which he says will create a "cheap-wage policy" for businesses. He supports giving illegal workers, who have their taxes withheld, the same labor standards and benefits as American workers. No agreement with my demands there either.

    Are we discouraged? Maybe, but we're not surprised. Let's try another economic issue and see if things improve.

    Health care. I'm looking for a slate which offers to introduce basic free health care for everyone physically located within the borders of the US within the first year of taking office. I'm prepared to slacken that by excluding tourists. Basic, in this context, excludes cosmetic work. If someone's ill or hurt they get treated. If someone's dying they get palliative care. If someone's unhealthy they get sufficient help to become healthy. If someone prefers to pay then obviously they can pay, they might well get better treatment if they pay. If they prefer to use a free health care system then it should be there for them.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Both of them! Finally we get a win! Well, no, that was me trying to enliven the post with a joke, the real answer is neither. John McCain's team does not believe in coercion and the use of state power to mandate care, coverage or costs and favors tax credits of up to $5,000 for families that purchase health insurance. Senator Obama's team offers guaranteed eligibility for affordable health care for all Americans which, if I read it right, involves payment for both treatment and medication. Ralph Nader supports a universal single-payer health care system and full Medicare for everyone, I'm beginning to wish the US wasn't stuck with a two-party constitution and that Mr Nader could get in. Sad that he can't, he's not far off what I'm looking for in a lot of my categories.

    Social Security. I'm looking for a slate which avoids a poverty trap while ensuring that everyone inside the US borders can afford a roof over their head, food on their table and the dignity of not appearing to be paupers in the eyes of the world. It's quite easy to implement by manipulating the existing tax system so that it effectively hands every adult enough money to achieve that and then taxes all income at a progressive rate. I can think of lots of reasons why that would improve society and only a few against it, the balance is strongly in its favour. A promise to reorganize the tax system that way during the first term would do it for me.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team has indicated that Social Security's "benefit promises...cannot be kept," indicating reductions in program benefits at some future date, as he is against raising payroll taxes which is a step in the other direction. Senator Obama's team might potentially if everything should be on the table means what it says but I suspect it doesn't. Ralph Nader views Social Security as "government as it should work - a coming together of society to ensure that we, as a community, take care of each other as we age or suffer from disabilities. That definitely maps onto my demand.

    Education. This falls under the economy in my opinion, just as much as the earlier heads do. I'm looking for a slate which gives an education voucher capable of completely paying for the education and living costs of every child up to a fixed age and thereafter for as long as the student passes exams to the next stage with no cut-off age. That goes for college costs, university degree costs, masters, doctorates, however far the student wants to take it and is capable, because the benefit to society of all that extended education is worth the expense to the country as a whole. I'd tighten up what qualifies as a pass mark on an exam, mind. Just lowering standards to increase the proportion of students passing is a self-defeating approach to education.

    So, which team is going into the Presidential elections offering that? Neither, sadly. John McCain's team says yes up to the cut-off age but no further and he doesn't include living costs. Senator Obama's team says no though he allows public school education up to the cut-off age so effectively he's the same as John McCain's team as far as what I'm looking for goes.
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    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

  3. #3
    Ian
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Outsider? for how long?

    When the financial system of another country directly influences my country then it wont be long before the ppl of my country have a say in their policies.

    I want to demand it....

    It is more important who is the next President of the USA than who is the next Prime minister of my country...

    I am not an outsider I am directly involved I will not accept the consequences of those 50% American glamour War Pigs.

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    The nature of empire, Ian, is that those colonized are subjects but not citizens. Demanding suffrage is rebellion. Colonial administrators only need demand your extradition and you'll just disappear. You're on a hiding to nothing with that one.
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    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Ian
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    The nature of empire, Ian, is that those colonized are subjects but not citizens. Demanding suffrage is rebellion. Colonial administrators only need demand your extradition and you'll just disappear. You're on a hiding to nothing with that one.
    Yes I think so, I think it's more of a plea for a change of thinking by the supposedly brightest of humanity.

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    Senior Member yaaarrrgg's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    I like Ralph Nadar, although with the way the U.S. voting system is set up, voting for him will result in one of two effects:

    (a) not voting at all
    (b) helping McCain

    Which is probably the exact opposite of the effect you want to achieve. The problem is that Obama is about as left wing as you can get in America and still be electable.

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Quote Originally Posted by yaaarrrgg View Post
    I like Ralph Nadar, although with the way the U.S. voting system is set up, voting for him will result in one of two effects:

    (a) not voting at all
    (b) helping McCain

    Which is probably the exact opposite of the effect you want to achieve.
    You mistake my destination entirely. It's essential, absolutely essential, that the next administration's Republican so that the Party can't shake off responsibility for what happens post-Bush. An Obama/Democrat White House lets the Republicans off the hook and they can't be allowed that excuse. America as a whole needs to learn the consequence of the Bush White House acting as it has. There must be no shrugging off cause and effect by saying it could have ended up good except there was a Democrat victory in 2008.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Thank you for your presumtuous opinions. I'm sure that some who view the UK/EU as ideal will find it useful.

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    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    Thank you for your presumtuous opinions. I'm sure that some who view the UK/EU as ideal will find it useful.
    Presumptuous perhaps, but I hope you recognise that they're also reasoned. Tell me why I'm wrong on any of those policy issues and I'll happily either change my view or explain my reason for thinking you're mistaken.

    If you didn't like the first two you're really going to hate the one on law enforcement.

    I confess I didn't think I'd take you with me all the way if that helps.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

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    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Re: An outsider's view of the Presidential Election

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    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    Presumptuous perhaps, but I hope you recognise that they're also reasoned. Tell me why I'm wrong on any of those policy issues and I'll happily either change my view or explain my reason for thinking you're mistaken.

    If you didn't like the first two you're really going to hate the one on law enforcement.

    I confess I didn't think I'd take you with me all the way if that helps.
    If we both agree you're presumptuous, why on earth would I continue the conversation? buh bye.

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