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InvisibleAutonomous
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Just Say No!...To Politics
    #1877167 - 09/03/03 01:10 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

JUST SAY NO!...TO POLITICS
by Bill Barnwell

Now that Labor Day has passed, the primary season for the Democratic Presidential candidates is going to go into high gear. That?s what the pundits tell you at least. The truth is the campaign has always been in high gear. In fact, it never ended. Politics today, especially on the national level, has become what I call the "Perpetual Campaign." Political races have no beginning and no end. They never stop, and the voters who think that any particular candidate is going to "change things" or "make a difference" are the true suckers in this game.

Here?s an example of the perpetual campaign. The day after Bob Dole lost the Presidential election to Bill Clinton in November 1996, various news reports already had the Republican establishment naming possible contenders for the 2000 election. The day after! One of the names mentioned was, of course, George W. Bush. Looking back, it was insightful for me to see that the establishment had already circled around Bush, who hadn?t yet been governor of Texas (a state where the powers of the governor are arguably weak) for two years at the time. None of that mattered. All that mattered was Bush had high name recognition and was governor of a big stage.

Before every Presidential and mid-term election both parties try to obtain a majority in the Congress. Voters of their respective parties are promised a plethora of goodies and accomplishments if they get their guys in office. Republicans promise an end to legalized abortion, the Department of Education, high taxes, big government, etc., etc., if they capture the government. Democrats promise free health care, prescription drugs, more social services, equality, etc, etc, if they are elected. Before each election, voters receive hysterical fund-raising letters from their party chairmen. Democrats warn of Pat Robertson taking over the government and Republicans warn of Hillary Clinton kidnapping our children if each side doesn?t contribute their money and turn out their votes. And if they win, then by golly, they are going to make all things anew. Paradise on earth will be ushered in by the new Congress or administration.

The day after the election, the next election begins. Candidates start forming their committees, party bosses begin their strategic planning, pundits start their predictions, and the list goes on. What happened to all those other promises from the old campaigns? They are left on the backburner and the candidates and party bosses plan their next fund-raisers or come up with their new redistricting schemes. Indeed, the state of modern American politics is nothing more than a gluttonous duopoly, with both parties engaged in an unending pillow fight of seeing who can elect more guys and capture the majority. Whichever party elects more guys can loot more taxpayers. That?s it, that?s what it all comes down to.

Forget all this na?vet? about making the world a better place or doing things on principle. If you ever want to do an interesting study go back and take a look at campaign literature or debates from past elections. A few years ago I was doing a study on the Presidential election of 1972. Aside from busing and the Vietnam War, I was shocked to see that candidates were blabbing on about a lot of the same issues that are being debated today. Not long ago, C-SPAN was rebroadcasting debates from the 1992 election. Here were Bush, Clinton and Perot debating budget deficits, tax cuts, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, school choice and various other issues that our current candidates are still making promises about. The only new issue added to the fray these days is the current "War on Terrorism" and which candidate wants to blow up the most countries.

It would be interesting to keep every piece of voter mail that is sent to you and do a little follow-up when each candidate comes up for re-election. See how many of their "promises" they have fulfilled. See how many of the "issues" they raised were addressed. Of course, it?s unfair to ask how many of these things they resolved, since they are just one of many in a legislative body. Yet my bet is most never lifted a finger to even try and solve the problems that they were so "concerned" about. None of these things become important till they want your vote again.

Back when I was in the university, many of us had that much discussed "idealism" that young people possess. I was convinced that some of us could "change the world." I still believe we can, only not through the beast of government.

It?s quite interesting to note that so many people believe that meaningful change can occur only through the coerced power of the government. Unhappy with the income disparity in this nation? No problem, just get into office and compel people into paying more taxes that you can throw around. Sick of moral degeneration in our society? Hey, no big worry, nothing a few new federal laws can?t fix. Think the world is a dangerous place? It?s OK; the US government will fix it after it invades offending nations and imposes democracy.

People believe that true change will occur only when they storm and capture their local, state and federal governments. Then they can use the raw force of governmental power to bully people into behaving certain ways (or giving up more of their income). All while the people in power continue to play their perpetual little numbers and money game in their respective party. Don?t you voters understand? The elected office or appointed position is primarily a way to obtain a paycheck and garner power and influence. All you are is the means in which they accomplish their end (your money and vote gets them elected).

Are there people out there in politics who truly want to make a difference? Sure. And 99% of the time they don?t win. The name of the game is money and name recognition, and most of these good-hearted idealists don?t have either (but if you are rich and have a famous last name, you might get asked to run for President!). Very occasionally someone gets into office who actually does want to do some good. They are either corrupted or they are isolated onto a legislative island (like Rep. Ron Paul).

Other than looting taxpayers and throwing money around, politicians have done little to influence the direction of the culture. MTV has had a greater impact on setting cultural trends than have politicians. Indeed, politics is nothing more than a real-life soap opera to me. It first caught my attention when I was a little boy when I watched the circus of the Iran-Contra hearings on TV. Today it holds little more than entertainment value for me as I?ve been inside the belly of the beast by knowing enough politicians and being involved on enough campaigns (I almost ran myself) to know what the charade is really all about (hint: it?s not about you).

I am not the eternal pessimist however. I do believe each of us can make a true difference in this world. I have found a calling in life where I can make a true difference. Not all of you have been called to be pastors, but each of you can contribute in some way. I believe the real war we should be focusing on right now is not the war on the legislative floor; it?s the war of ideas. True lovers of liberty can contribute much to this war by influencing their families, their co-workers, their schools, etc. Get involved in scholarship. Distribute a few essays. Learn more. Grow more.

To better improve the well-being of your fellow man, don?t wait on the government and don?t rely on the welfare checks. Be industrious. Create jobs. Give generously to the least among you. Follow Christ?s golden rule. Live a life of good moral character. Be a good husband, wife or parent. Homeschool your child. Mentor and teach others. Show people love. This is where true change is going to be found. This is how society will improve.

Each of you can realistically play your part in whatever community you live in. With the power of the Internet, ideas can be spread at an unprecedented rate. Stop wasting your time and money with frustrating, dead-end fantasies that government and politics is going to cure all social ills and make the world a safer place. If anything, our politicians have only made the world a more dangerous place and government schools are nothing more than violent war zones polluting young minds with left-wing lies.

The change starts with you. You can hold onto your false hopes, waste your money, and spend all day on the Internet complaining on political chat rooms and message boards, or you can invest yourself into things of eternal importance. What?s it going to be?


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"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination."
-- Mark Twain


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: Autonomous]
    #1877191 - 09/03/03 01:25 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I agree that there's a lot of bullshit in politics, but in 2004, my goal is more pragmatic than idealistic: get Bush out of office.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877199 - 09/03/03 01:28 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Won't happen. He, while a poor republican, is better than any of those schmos running against him.

I predict it'll be a long time before you see the dems back in control. Too many people have learned a painful lesson.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1877220 - 09/03/03 01:36 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

I predict it'll be a long time before you see the dems back in control. Too many people have learned a painful lesson.



Ya, they'll have to learn not to speak out against the Republicans or else John Ashcroft will get them.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877230 - 09/03/03 01:39 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Weak. I think it has more to do with where the dems (not by themselves) have gotten us. And that's deep into the shitter.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1877235 - 09/03/03 01:40 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

You mean like the Bush economy and enormous deficit spending? Not to mention the Patriot Act? Oh, wait a minute... that's the Republicans!


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877307 - 09/03/03 02:07 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The spending under this administration is an abomination.

The Patriot Act sucks but was voted in by BOTH parties.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1877344 - 09/03/03 02:22 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The economy is turning around. I am not to sure the ends justify the means though. Who here would be for a balanced budget ammendmant to the Constitution?


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OfflineCornholio
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Registered: 01/13/03
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: shakta]
    #1877379 - 09/03/03 02:40 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

shakta said:
Who here would be for a balanced budget ammendmant to the Constitution?


That's one of the very few amendments I'd support.


--------------------


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: shakta]
    #1877383 - 09/03/03 02:42 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

You would need some type of spending caps to make it work.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1877569 - 09/03/03 03:34 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Exactly. There would need to be provisions of course for emergencies, like during war time or whatever. I also think a law that some part of any surpluses must be aplied to the debt would be a good idea. Getting this passed as a amendment might be very difficult though. Is there any reason it could not just be another law?


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: shakta]
    #1877582 - 09/03/03 03:37 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

shakta said:
There would need to be provisions of course for emergencies, like during war time or whatever.


I would agree if the emergency was a defensive war. But if we wanted to engage in offensive wars (such as Iraq), then we'd better be able to afford it.


--------------------


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: Cornholio]
    #1877603 - 09/03/03 03:40 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

^^^my thoughts exactly. Of course, the Bush Administration would have us believe that the Iraq war WAS a defensive war and that Saddam was an imminent threat to our country. Of course, this is a bunch of BS.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877649 - 09/03/03 03:50 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I think most conservative posters here have conceded that Saddam was not an imminent threat.


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Anonymous

Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: Autonomous]
    #1877735 - 09/03/03 04:10 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

That is a GREAT article! Very well said and pretty accurate. That's coming from one who knows. Every election cycle starts the day after the last election.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: Cornholio]
    #1877817 - 09/03/03 04:26 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I definitely think a balanced budget should come before tax cuts.

If we put an end to defecit spending, I would support all tax cuts.


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1877904 - 09/03/03 04:49 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

DoctorJ said:
I definitely think a balanced budget should come before tax cuts.

If we put an end to defecit spending, I would support all tax cuts.


Me too. I'm pretty angry that Bush is allowed to call his tax deferments tax "cuts". I think he's fooled at least 75% of the American public into thinking he's actually saving them money.


--------------------


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877916 - 09/03/03 04:53 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Damn it. Bush never said there was an imminent threat. He said the opposite actually. Anyway, I think the Legislative and Executive branches would have to decide if something warranted breaking the rule.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


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Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: silversoul7]
    #1877955 - 09/03/03 05:04 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:
^^^my thoughts exactly. Of course, the Bush Administration would have us believe that the Iraq war WAS a defensive war and that Saddam was an imminent threat to our country. Of course, this is a bunch of BS.



Sadly, the BS is your post He didn't claim they were am imminent threat.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineCornholio
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Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 25 days
Re: Just Say No!...To Politics [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1878106 - 09/03/03 05:50 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Why did we attack Iraq again?  Because they might maybe someday be an imminent threat???  :wink: 


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