Hostile to democracy...Nader in 2004.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Syntax_Divinity, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Syntax_Divinity
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    Syntax_Divinity Member

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    I'm a 19 year old college student. I am currently a volunteer for Ralph Nader's 2004 presidential campaign. I've noticed, on this forum as well as a number of others, a powerful hostility to third parties in general, and towards Nader specifically. What I find interesting though, is that this hostility seems to transcend political affiliations; those on the left fear the siphoning of liberal votes from Kerry, while many of those on the right attack the man personally, simply ignoring his ideology, or supporting him for obvious political reasons. I find both of these sentiments disturbing; the notion that the current two party system is essential to our freedom or to democracy is ludicrous. It's even more amazing that these kinds of things are coming from relatively educated, intelligent people. Both of the currently reigning political parties have largely failed this country in nearly every salient social and environmental issue of the last three decades. This is not silly hyperbole; this is easily arguable fact. Many of you believe that all of American politics is painful partisan compromise. I have found that many of those that do not feel as if they are compromising a number of ideals to cast their vote for someone that can conceivably win, are largely intellectually dishonest and shamelessly partisan to the exclusion of facts and logic. Wake up people; private money, powerful lobbying groups and the aggregation of the most influential media in fewer and fewer corporate hands is a direct threat to our democracy. Democrats, stop letting your fears and your socially conditioned attitudes about the two party system marginalize a legitimate political candidate who truly strives for a more effective and peaceful society. Republicans, stop listening to hacks like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Progressive moderates and liberals, I encourage you to go to www.votenader.org. and become part of a movement to legitimize third party candidates, and to fuel the democratic ideals that have been consumed by cynicism and apathy.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Welcome, Syntax Divinity - I like the name!

    About third parties: you would think by my screen name that I would be opposed to them, but I am actually in favor of them. While the two-party system has been the norm for most of American political history, I think that third parties are great. They pull the political debate in the direction of their ideology, which I think gives the American publica a chance to debate, and then accept or reject, that thrid party's platform. Sometimes a third party is successful in establishing itself in the long term (like the Republicans in 1856-1860), sometimes not (the Know-Nothings, the Reform Party, etc.).

    Anyway, welcome to the board.
     
  3. Syntax_Divinity
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    Syntax_Divinity Member

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    Thanks Jeff. It's nice to be welcomed. Hmmmm....I bet I can think of a reason that you're not opposed to third parties this year Mr. GOP :). Joking aside, this is my first foray into the dynamic world of political forums, and it looks to be wicked cool.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Well Syntax, you will find a majority of conservatives on the board, but there are several liberals as well, a few moderates, even a couple of KKK members! But overall the discussion is intellegent and fun. Check out the other forums on the board as well - there's lots to talk about when we aren't talking politics!
     
  5. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Welcome Syntax, even though I would never vote for Nader I do appreciate that a 19 year old is interested in politics. That's great.
     
  6. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    My concern is that the two party system prevents an issue from being elected. Instead a set of ideas is elected that compromises to the satisfaction of most people. With more than two parties, it makes it harder to get major concensus behind anything.

    However the current stalemate between two bloated parties is looking more and more like it threatens to support all of the issues for political prestige. So I think some fresh blood to shake up the issues a little bit would be nice. And now that I think of it, the two party system is more likely to become a one party system very soon which would be bad again.
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I dont particularly care for the third parties that much. I think the problem with those who favor three or more parties is they dont completely understand why we have the two party system to begin with.

    We have a strong two party system for a few reasons.

    1)Two strong parties act as a check to the Special interest groups. With interests donating to the parties the parties can dilute their influence and put that money where they think its most needed. (This is one of the Ironies of The McCain Feingold Bill which attempts to limit the special interests by limiting the amount they can donate to the party in soft money, the parties are weakened and the special interests have more control because they are going straight to candidates rather than through the party)

    2)In a strong two party system the fringe groups have less power. in a Plurality system a party runs a government by creating a coalition of diferent. If the party needs a small group to push them into power and this small group happens to be say nazis or communists, then that small group has enormous power in the government.

    This is one of the main problem with the Democrat party at the moment. The party has been serverely weakened by the Clinton administration and then the soft money limits. Meaning the fringe elements of the party have more power. Hence the implotion of the party.

    Its also another reason why i think that Black Americans are totally running their special interest group the wrong way. If they were running it wise they wouldnt keep voting consistantly Democrat. If they play each side against each other for the promises of more benefits they would be alot more powerful then they are now.

    Anyway thats enough of me for now. later.
     
  8. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Good point Avatar.

    With the very small chance that Nader would be elected to office he would have an enormously hard time getting anything done. With Nader the only real 3rd party representation is himself, but then he would still have to work with a 2 party house and senate.
     
  9. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    I agree largely with Avatar's view on 3rd parties as they work in this country. In most (perhaps every?) European country there exists a parliamentary government. This form of governance lends itself well to a multiple party system, however our separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches does not. The "duocracy" of our country derives particularly from the checks and balances inherent in our government.

    Moreover, voting for a 3rd party helps to elect the candidate with whom you agree least. Working to advance the cause of your opponents does not serve your own cause well.

    I voted for Nader in 2000, and I doubt I will ever vote for a third party candidate again. Should the Democratic Party implode, any prominent liberal party extant at that time is in a position to reap the benefits, and become the new second party, but I don't believe there will ever be a truly viable third party.

    Considering Nader personally, his foreign policy would amount to apologetic genuflection, and I find that stance deplorable. Before you throw your hat in with Nader, I would suggest you decide which of the two real (sorry) parties you prefer and try to enact change within their framework. Nader has given up, but you don't have to.
     
  10. Syntax_Divinity
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    Syntax_Divinity Member

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    Commenting on the two points of Avatar’s reply: First off, your first point is correct, and I totally agree with you. This is one of the inherent dangers and problems with private money in political campaigns. The gross and blatant political influence exerted by special interest groups is deeply troubling. With the providing of funds to political campaigns, and the lack of any real effort at campaign finance reform on the part of the congress, I’m surprised even the pretense of the legislative purview of congress still exists. I mean seriously, when are the lobbying groups going to start actually writing the legislation? Aside from the obvious danger this wave of money presents to democracy, it additionally makes any serious effort of third party candidates to seek public office problematic. Secondly, with regards to the ability of fringe groups to exert greater influence in third parties, this again is simply an inevitable part of smaller scale politics. This problem is largely exacerbated by the marginalizing of third parties by the traditional political establishment. This is not the fault or an inherent characteristic of third parties; it is a product of the stifling political atmosphere that the two party system perpetuates.
     

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