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The 2012 Presidential Election Thread

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#391
Dylan.

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Yeah I saw that literally right after I posted here.
It just goes to show how I certainly wouldn't put it past him to say something like that.

Well, quite frankly, when he presents himself as such a blatant homophobe and sexist--that's exactly what people think of him. They see a satirical quote credited to him that is abhorrent, and they don't put it past him because it isn't much of a stretch from what he actually says.

#392
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Well, quite frankly, when he presents himself as such a blatant homophobe and sexist--that's exactly what people think of him. They see a satirical quote credited to him that is abhorrent, and they don't put it past him because it isn't much of a stretch from what he actually says.


Exactly. Either way, the guy still makes my skin crawl. I'm praying he gets the GOP nom, since it would be a landslide re-election for Obama.

#393
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Exactly. Either way, the guy still makes my skin crawl. I'm praying he gets the GOP nom, since it would be a landslide re-election for Obama.


I'm trying to reconcile that hope with being disgusted that Santorum would even get that far in the first place. Obama is more than capable of running against Romney though and I have a feeling that is exclusively what the White House is planning for.

#394
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I am so bothered by the fact that our "democracy" is limited to a choice between the Democrats and Republicans. This is only true because of the fact that capitalism trumps democracy every single time. The Democrats are the petty bourgeois liberals believing that government can better serve the individual, while the Republicans are the bourgeois believing that individuals can best serve themselves. However, the socialists--who believe that government can better serve the entire populous--are left out of the discussion because we don't have huge amounts of capital. Socialism, as well as Marxist-Leninism, as been demonized in America to the point that no one even knows what it really is anymore.

I know that many of you believe in capitalism, so I don't expect a great deal of support, apart from possibly John. But I anticipate that many of you can feel my frustration. The only candidates we get to choose from in the presidential elections are a bunch of rich bastards who recycle the same old ideas over and over again. No change ever really happens because there is so much money to be made from keeping things as they are--or moving them in a direction that appears to be progressive.
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#395
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I am so bothered by the fact that our "democracy" is limited to a choice between the Democrats and Republicans. This is only true because of the fact that capitalism trumps democracy every single time. The Democrats are the petty bourgeois liberals believing that government can better serve the individual, while the Republicans are the bourgeois believing that individuals can best serve themselves. However, the socialists--who believe that government can better serve the entire populous--are left out of the discussion because we don't have huge amounts of capital. Socialism, as well as Marxist-Leninism, as been demonized in America to the point that no one even knows what it really is anymore.

I know that many of you believe in capitalism, so I don't expect a great deal of support, apart from possibly John. But I anticipate that many of you can feel my frustration. The only candidates we get to choose from in the presidential elections are a bunch of rich bastards who recycle the same old ideas over and over again. No change ever really happens because there is so much money to be made from keeping things as they are--or moving them in a direction that appears to be progressive.


Indeed, but even as a fellow socialist I still separate my ideological persuasion and realpolitik, both have their place, as do both voting and direct action. All means necessary. An electorate without something like the Occupy movement as a voice of change would be more easily manipulated, but a revolutionary movement without the support of voters is too easily dismantled.

Rather than try to grow a protest movement which is nearly impossible in the United States - Ron Paul is the closest thing to a populist backlash, and yes he is generally a right-winger save for his foreign policy, although he argues that a non-imperialist stance is not only compatible with but is a necessity of his 'libertarian' ideals. A lot of ultra-ideological liberals have gone Ron Paul's way - if they see America's international position as a key issue, if they are discontent with the Obama administration inheriting the Patriot Act and continuing Bush-like tactics such as assassinating American citizens and using predator drones with little regard for collateral damage.

Truthfully, Ron Paul in a Presidential position would not be all that bad, he would deadlock with Congress on nearly any and every economic issue, but the huge amount of control the executive has over the military would let him solve many problems there. Nevertheless, that isn't happening, and I do not see Ron Paul as a better choice than re-electing Obama.

The tea party has proven a radical movement can, in fact, hijack one of the two major political parties. However, they have the funding of the Koch brothers, and since the disastrous atrocity that was Citizens United, likely a large influx of foreign money too. A grassroots, left-wing movement repeating this on the Democratic Party would not be such an easy task. Although the right-wing media may rant about George Soros, labor unions, and Hollywood funding the liberal machine, the truth is the left nearly always loses the money game in America.

One advantage the Democratic Party still has is that it is the party of the American everyman. We have the working class in great numbers, we have a slight but vital majority with women, we have most minority groups, we absolutely have almost all of the LGBT community and more - we're more approachable to youth, and we likewise can win over the elderly whose priority is keeping their safety net.

Now on the subject of Marxism - reading the ideology is incredibly useful. One cannot hope to understand left-wing politics at all without Marxist doctrine, because Marx established a pro-individual, pro-liberty, futurist dogma that has sadly been variously distorted by authoritarian despots world wide. However, the banner of Marxism-Leninism, or communism, is not going to win over many Americans.

The best hope for left-wing ideologies emerging in the USA is for an all-inclusive approach and a well-funded platform mounted on the Democratic Party. Socialism is not a mascot, it's more of a saddle that has to be placed on the donkey. In terms of third parties, Socialist Party USA has the best approach because they are very inclusive under all liberal-left ideologies.

American socialism has to be democratically won and put into terms the non-political average person not only can understand, but also see as appealing and directly and immediately beneficial to them. An example of this is how American industry surged under well organized labor unions. In many states, especially the midwest, unions are still very popular. The backlash against Scott Walker in Wisconsin was enormous. However, in the South and elsewhere, so called 'right to work' laws have held back unions from emerging. This time however, socialism can be mainstreamed not just through unions, but also through students and through the needs of everyone currently living below the poverty line.

You and I are students of the social sciences, and within our circles, Marxist ideology may be more openly and clearly discussed. However, for most Americans, including your peers and mine, as well as older people, I advocate more of a 'pan-left' approach to politics, and the Democratic Party is still the best vehicle for achieving this.
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#396
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Exactly. Either way, the guy still makes my skin crawl. I'm praying he gets the GOP nom, since it would be a landslide re-election for Obama.


The funniest thing to me is that the more crazy, homophobic, sexist, far-right conservative they get, the higher Obama's approval numbers get. It's at 50% now, which is higher than both Clinton and Bush at this point in their presidencies. And it doesn't deter them. They just dig in their heels even further, like spoiled obstinate children. It's fucking hysterical. I haven't quite figured out if they're really this stupid, or if they are genuinely trying to get Obama elected. Either way, the American people win as far as I'm concerned.

I know it's not the popular consensus on this forum, but I am 100% behind Obama's reelection and don't see it as a lesser of two evils at all. He's done a lot of good under an unprecedented level of adversity and opposition and he's earned a second term in my opinion. Maybe it isn't as much as I wanted or hoped for, but given the circumstances, and especially given the alternatives, he really is a choice I'm happy to make.

And Rick Santorum is a tool and a nutcase, but I wouldn't go so far as saying he can't possibly win. Idiot Americans elected Bush for a second term, so we can't get complacent or too cocky. Any Republican at this point is a scary fucking possibility.

#397
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Has anyone seen Santorum's anti-Romney ads for Michigan? It's like he used Santorum for Santorum

#398
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Indeed, but even as a fellow socialist I still separate my ideological persuasion and realpolitik, both have their place, as do both voting and direct action. All means necessary. An electorate without something like the Occupy movement as a voice of change would be more easily manipulated, but a revolutionary movement without the support of voters is too easily dismantled.

Rather than try to grow a protest movement which is nearly impossible in the United States - Ron Paul is the closest thing to a populist backlash, and yes he is generally a right-winger save for his foreign policy, although he argues that a non-imperialist stance is not only compatible with but is a necessity of his 'libertarian' ideals. A lot of ultra-ideological liberals have gone Ron Paul's way - if they see America's international position as a key issue, if they are discontent with the Obama administration inheriting the Patriot Act and continuing Bush-like tactics such as assassinating American citizens and using predator drones with little regard for collateral damage.

Truthfully, Ron Paul in a Presidential position would not be all that bad, he would deadlock with Congress on nearly any and every economic issue, but the huge amount of control the executive has over the military would let him solve many problems there. Nevertheless, that isn't happening, and I do not see Ron Paul as a better choice than re-electing Obama.

The tea party has proven a radical movement can, in fact, hijack one of the two major political parties. However, they have the funding of the Koch brothers, and since the disastrous atrocity that was Citizens United, likely a large influx of foreign money too. A grassroots, left-wing movement repeating this on the Democratic Party would not be such an easy task. Although the right-wing media may rant about George Soros, labor unions, and Hollywood funding the liberal machine, the truth is the left nearly always loses the money game in America.

One advantage the Democratic Party still has is that it is the party of the American everyman. We have the working class in great numbers, we have a slight but vital majority with women, we have most minority groups, we absolutely have almost all of the LGBT community and more - we're more approachable to youth, and we likewise can win over the elderly whose priority is keeping their safety net.

Now on the subject of Marxism - reading the ideology is incredibly useful. One cannot hope to understand left-wing politics at all without Marxist doctrine, because Marx established a pro-individual, pro-liberty, futurist dogma that has sadly been variously distorted by authoritarian despots world wide. However, the banner of Marxism-Leninism, or communism, is not going to win over many Americans.

The best hope for left-wing ideologies emerging in the USA is for an all-inclusive approach and a well-funded platform mounted on the Democratic Party. Socialism is not a mascot, it's more of a saddle that has to be placed on the donkey. In terms of third parties, Socialist Party USA has the best approach because they are very inclusive under all liberal-left ideologies.

American socialism has to be democratically won and put into terms the non-political average person not only can understand, but also see as appealing and directly and immediately beneficial to them. An example of this is how American industry surged under well organized labor unions. In many states, especially the midwest, unions are still very popular. The backlash against Scott Walker in Wisconsin was enormous. However, in the South and elsewhere, so called 'right to work' laws have held back unions from emerging. This time however, socialism can be mainstreamed not just through unions, but also through students and through the needs of everyone currently living below the poverty line.

You and I are students of the social sciences, and within our circles, Marxist ideology may be more openly and clearly discussed. However, for most Americans, including your peers and mine, as well as older people, I advocate more of a 'pan-left' approach to politics, and the Democratic Party is still the best vehicle for achieving this.

First of all, I would agree with you in saying that a revolutionary movement not supported by the populous isn't very effective. I suppose my only issue with that is that without the vehicle of revolution, the Marxist-Leninist movement would never receive proper placement in the collective consciousness of the American people. But, all in all, I agree with you. It was the opinion of Marx that communism would be achieved only when the proletariat was ready to overthrow the bourgeoisie.

There are so many ways, sociologically speaking, to view the eventual revolution of the proletariat, if it happens at all. For instance, one could say that without a proper revolution, such as the one that established the Paris Commune, communism cannot be accomplished. At the same time, there is the possibility that our proletarian class has entered a sort of paradigm, wherein the capitalists have created a stagnant culture, and the proletariat is content in his fetters. This goes along with the sociologic perspective of conflict theory, in the event that the ruling class has created and won the conflict against the subservient class. This would be a rather unsettling and morbid end to the Marxist theory on class struggle. In that scenario, the bourgeoisie has created a world of misinformation wherein the proletariat seeks continuously to join the bourgeoisie, believing it to be possible. In such a culture, the middle class is nearly nonexistent, but instead is the standard by which most proletarians equate their economic means. In this system, it becomes nearly impossible to break from this chain of ignorance, because the majority of Americans not only lack subsistence, but honestly believe that it is their responsibility to toil for it.

That all is a very dire take on the issue of Marxist theory. Now, on to what you said about the Democratic Party being a vehicle for the left-wing movement.

There is obviously a difference between ideology and realpolitik. However, it seems as though the distinction between the two has been widened purposely by the capitalists, in an attempt to starve the socialists of power. Think about it like this--the electromagnetic force is much stronger between two objects that are closer together than it is for two objects that are further apart. It is in the best interest of the capitalists to push the boundaries between ideology and realpolitik as far apart as possible, therein creating a subculture of Marxist ideologues like you who feel the movement is too unrealistic for a credible push for power. Now, please don't take that as a criticism of you. That is the more rational approach to take as a socialist, because frankly, dying for a dying cause isn't martydom--it's stupidity. I constantly struggle with my desire for change when faced with the prospect of having to choose the lesser of two evils. That even blinds the populous into believing candidates like Obama are liberal extremists, simply because the system has changed to synthesize a spectrum of politics where the true left-wing has been omitted.

Philosophically speaking, there needs to be a collective evolution in the way Americans view democracy. Do we see freedom as the right to choose between the candidates whom the media has selected to be the most lucrative? Do we see liberty as the right of corporations to decide our elections before a single ballot is cast? Until the people see this as an inexcusable corruption of power, there can be no real change enacted.

As you said, these concepts can really only be discussed intelligently in circles of scholars who the social sciences as a valuable assessment of the human condition. Marxism is only discussed by Marxists. Anarchism is only discussed by anarchists. Yet, no one honestly makes an attempt to publicize their ideology--or make it accessible to the general populous. I think that is the real purpose of socialist political parties, and running socialist candidates in unwinnable elections. Out of sight, out of mind. If we don't push our views to the public, no one will consider them. It's such a complicated issue though, that I doubt I've done it justice.

#399
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I also have to say that I am a large supporter of Obama. I don't agree 100% with everything he's done (Admittedly, I was quite angry when he refused to allow Plan B to be sold over the counter to 15 year olds calling it "common sense") but I think he's the best possible person we have now.

.And Rick Santorum is a tool and a nutcase, but I wouldn't go so far as saying he can't possibly win. Idiot Americans elected Bush for a second term, so we can't get complacent or too cocky. Any Republican at this point is a scary fucking possibility.


I think that his views on welfare reform, saying that he wants to make birth control illegal, that he would force his raped daughter into childbirth, and that Planned Parenthood is the epitome of all that is anti-christian and evil are ultimately the strikes against him. The majority of voters, not only Democrats, hopefully can clearly see how out of touch he is with reality. This is a man who wants to burn separation of church and state to the ground and teach "Intelligent Design" in school systems because he thinks it's a "legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes." It's not hard for most sane people to see that he's utterly full of shit. The day someone like him gets elected to such a powerful position is the day I throw in the towel and get the hell out of this country.

#400
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I also have to say that I am a large supporter of Obama. I don't agree 100% with everything he's done (Admittedly, I was quite angry when he refused to allow Plan B to be sold over the counter to 15 year olds calling it "common sense") but I think he's the best possible person we have now.



I think that his views on welfare reform, saying that he wants to make birth control illegal, that he would force his raped daughter into childbirth, and that Planned Parenthood is the epitome of all that is anti-christian and evil are ultimately the strikes against him. The majority of voters, not only Democrats, hopefully can clearly see how out of touch he is with reality. This is a man who wants to burn separation of church and state to the ground and teach "Intelligent Design" in school systems because he thinks it's a "legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes." It's not hard for most sane people to see that he's utterly full of shit. The day someone like him gets elected to such a powerful position is the day I throw in the towel and get the hell out of this country.


Yeah, that's what everyone said if Bush won a second term. Canada had to make a public announcement that they wouldn't take in Americans. It's sad we actually have to debate something like this.

So many Americans are ignorant and easily lead, and I think the general election will take the focus off these fringe issues in the primary and pretend the GOP candidate who gets the nomination never said these things, and anyone even remotely conservative or who absolutely doesn't like Obama will pretend they believe it to rationalize throwing the whole country under the bus in order to vote for the not-Obama.

I don't think it'll work, and I think Obama will ultimately win enough votes to stay in office, but it's going to be close and we have to stay vigilant.



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