Republican or Democrat?
#1
To my American users out there, are you a Republican or Democrat? Now, please, don't just say which one, do explain. Which policies and ideas do you agree with on each side? Which ones do you disagree with? Where do you see American politics going in the future with these two parties battling for power?

I'm an independent. I take arguments from both sides, and use it to form a new idea. I refuse to associate myself with either party, as they both have quite a few dirt and grime underneath. I do not feel they represent American ideals fully, and I hope we see the rise of a third party in the next few decades.
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#2
Independent. Honestly, I hate the party system here in America. Both sides have their good and bad, otherwise we wouldn't have such a split. It's just another way to separate people by income and other factors, in my opinion. There is no better party, just one that will leave you with more money in your pocket. Often the question is not "What can this party do for America?", it's "What can this party do for me?". And this doesn't sit well with me.

And of course, I state educated opinions, not absolute facts. I believe it would be better to have many smaller parties than a few colossal ones.
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#3
I ... I'm not entirely sure, to be totally honest. Once upon a time I was fully democratic, but I only voted once during my entire life (for the Green Party and Ralph Nadar) and after that kind of just went, "Meh ... ," and stopped caring. For whatever reason, I was pulled away from politics.

I guess I'm Independent ... I don't root for one side or the other, I just flow with whichever one has better ideals at that current place and time.
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#4
Politics suck. I don't often pick a side (not that it would matter if I did, because I'm thirteen), but when I do it's usually for a very good and very obvious reason.
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#5
Now this is something I can really talk about.

I am currently studying American politics, with the hopes of either ond day teaching it or running for office/campaigning for someone/working for a politician. These issues are constantly on my mind, and I am always trying to think of solutions with the little information that I have (I don't know much about policy, but I really want to learn, which is why I study it).

I am a Democrat. I have always been one, and I will likely always be one. It is because I believe in equality of opportunity. I think that everyone, no matter their background (racial, socioeconomic, sexual, gender, etc.) should be discriminated against. It is simply unfair in my opinion. With that said, I also understand that not everyone will be equal. That puts my beliefs in a precarious position, since it sounds like I am contradicting myself. But let me explain.

While I believe what I do, and I will be more likely to disagree with a Republican/Conservative, I want to see compromise. I want to see both sides sit down and hash out policy. Much easier said than done, but we have done it very well in the past (i.e Reagan and Tip O'neil, Clinton and Gingrich). Our politics today are not like that. In fact, they are the worst they have been since the 1947-48 Congress where the Republicans did not give President Truman ANYTHING. The gridlock we see today is not caused by both parties, however disproportionate it may seem. For example, the Republicans want to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act), while the Democrats want to repeal the Citizens United decision. Both parties will continue to do this and continue to spout rhetoric to get the public on their side, but that's only inevitable and normal.

I believe that money should be in politics, but the laws should be fair to the public, not just to corporations OR unions. There is no changing our often-times biased media, or corruption. That's always been there, and always will be. It's part about being human. I would like to see honest people go in and work to bring about substantial, although slow and deliberative, change. However, no one can simply say that they will change the system or impact it significantly without the help of both their party and the opposition.

And a word about the two-party system: it works. We won't see any breakdown in our system that hasn't been already been repeated in history several times, and we won't see a strong third party arise anytime soon. The major parties have a strong hold on our politics, and to me that is just fine. The problem is those leading the parties, not the parties themselves. I don't know much about multi-party states, so I can't do much to compare policymaking of both two-party and multi-party, but I can say that it seems like it would be more difficult to, given our political history, create a multi-party state. Of course, it is entirely possible, but our history is too strongly rooted in two parties. I have been reading a book about the genesis of our two-party state, but I should probably take a second look at it to be able to back up my argument, so my apologies Confused

Anyways, this is a very broad topic, as you can see. I could go on and on about it, and I apologize if it is confusing. I'm writing as I am thinking.
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#6
Maybe your knowledge of politics will rub off on me if I question you a bit.

(09-15-2014, 11:29 PM)Evanibble Wrote: And a word about the two-party system: it works. We won't see any breakdown in our system that hasn't been already been repeated in history several times, and we won't see a strong third party arise anytime soon. The major parties have a strong hold on our politics, and to me that is just fine. The problem is those leading the parties, not the parties themselves.

My main problem with the two party system is that it tends to act as both a literal and metaphoric divide between the entire country. While this has and can be manageable, it also makes our political system extremely vulnerable to indecision. It's like having two equally strong teams in a tug-of-war game - an endless struggle for power that never has a clear winner. I find this resistance to be incredibly inefficient, and when a true emergency arises (something that could endanger the entire stability of the government), I doubt the two party system will be fast enough to react in time.

There's also the social implication that comes from being Republican or Democrat, and some people take opposing views extremely seriously. For instance, I usually lean closer to Democrat than I do Republican, but I have to be careful when mentioning this to members of my extended family, since many of them are closely devoted to the Republican cause. It's a social barrier, and the fact that there are only two sides to choose from strengthens the disdain. Kinda like a classic Montague-Capulet rivalry on a nationwide scale if you ask me...

And a more literal divide would be how the red and blue pieces fall onto the map. But more to the point, a three party system seems much more likely to be balanced. Having two different opposing forces 'divides' the hate, allows for more specialization (Democrat and Republican are too broad for my liking), and would hopefully relieve some of the burden on decision making by making every side a little less extreme. I'm a mathematician at heart, so my bias for this partly comes from the fact that three is the most balanced number of all (geometrically speaking). But just think of how checks and balances works for the 3 branches of government, and how 3 parties could similarly keep one another in check.

Alas, a theory is a theory. I agree with you on two major points - the system can work (sometimes), and it is here to stay. Third parties do manage to rally support, but the best they can do in American politics is alter the results in the predominantly democratic/republican political race. The chances of a third party emerging at any time in the near future are slim, so it's far more productive to analyze methods of restoring the political system to a more moderate state.

Which brings me to a question: how would we (the US) go about fixing the current political system so that it is more efficient, without requiring any major overhauls (like introducing a third party)?
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#7
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with anyone not being a clear "winner," especially if they are discussing the issue in length and having a solid debate.

I see what you mean about the significance of the number "3"; that makes sense. And third parties have, historically, been significant in their own ways without gaining electoral votes. Take 1912 and 1992 as examples of that. Third parties garnered a significant portion of the popular/electoral vote, and as a result proved to the eventual winner that their issue areas needed some attention. I think, if anything, we need to see more of that, since in reality we might not see a third party become strong enough to challenge the other two.

As for your question: that's still pretty broad. Personally, I would like to see corporations and unions not have the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigns, and I would like to see the problem of gerrymandering (re-districting based off of party affiliation) fixed. That way, elections will be freer and fairer. As for policy, we need to start seeing politicians actually represent their constituencies, as well as the nation. We can't just focus on a bridge in Kentucky, or an oil rig in Alaska. We need to worry about how to reform our education system to make ourselves competitive internationally, and lead the charge on climate change so that we can influence other countries (i.e China and India) to follow suit. Local issues are very important, but we also need to be thinking about the big picture. Plenty of politicians do, but we need to sit down and have educated debates on some of these, and not focus on ruining each other's careers.

All in all, changing our attitudes and politics isn't simple, and very complex. I am not sure how exactly to answer it, but this is just what I think.
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#8
Neither. I am somewhere on the spectrum between socialist and anarchist. The two parties in this country don't appeal to me in the slightest.
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#9
Libertarian Moderate

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