Friday, January 31, 2014

The Lesser of Two Evils: Enough is Enough

I am fairly critical of both the Democrat and Republican parties.  I have said before that the only difference between the two parties is that the Democrats will at least buy you dinner before they screw you.  Of course, that's not to say that the parties are ideologically identical (or even similar for that matter), but I'm focusing more on the end results: neither party is truly concerned with the welfare of the American people.

What I find interesting is that whenever I discuss the problems that plague one of the parties, the party supporters will often agree with me.  Take the GOP for example.  I know many Republicans who admit to me that the GOP has lost its way.  It parades its Constitutional principles like Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but when the chips are down, the GOP leadership cares not for such passe notions as "freedom of thought," or "minimal government."  Afterall, how can you rightly say that all Americans should enjoy the same rights, but then in the very next breath say that gay Americans should not have the right to marry each other?

Even in the face of the admittedly deep philosophical confusion, GOP supporters still get mad when I present the inevitable conclusion that the GOP is ineffective.

"Well Jack, what do you suppose I do?  Vote Democrat?!  The GOP isn't perfect, but it's the lesser of the two evils."  Somehow, I get the feeling that both GOP and Dem leadership start foaming at the mouth at such an utterance.  It's sort of like It's a Wonderful Life rules: teacher says that every time someone chooses the lesser of two evils, a Political Party hopeful gets his wings.

I want to be clear with my readers in that I understand that sometimes we have to choose between a giant douche and a shit sandwich (in the parlents of a very funny episode of South Park).  I'm about as Machiavellian as it gets because I understand that in an imperfect world, we often deal with scenarios that involve only imperfect choices.

But because I'm a Machiavellian, I also believe that it is up to us to break free of fortuna's opressive wheel and forge a new path to success--a more perfect union, to quote a great man.  How long have we been using the "lesser of two evils" excuse to avoid the truth--the truth that our political parties no longer function to serve the people, but they function to serve themselves?

In reality, there is very little we can do.  Perhaps there are many Americans out there who are fed up with the GOP and the Dems, but I don't think it's enough to effect any real change.  Men like me, who insist upon realizing a vision of America that lives up to the highest standards of goodness, are often called "idealists," because we tell people to stop settling.  What many don't understand is that in order to be an idealist, you have to be an unrelenting realist.  Afterall, how can one rightly postulate the conditions of an ideal world if he does not understand the present conditions of the world in which he lives?

How can you know what's better for you if you don't realize how bad off you are?  Yes, we have to work within the system if we want to change it, but too often do we forget about change and end up becoming part of the system?

In 2012, I was tired of settling.  So what did I do?  I voted thrid party.  Did it change anything?  No, but at least I can say that I voted my conscience.  At least I can say that I rejected the notion that I must vote for the candidate who will do the least damage to America.  I'm not optimistic, but I'll always hold on to the hope that one day, more Americans will wake up and stop feeding their fat party overlords.

17 comments:

Jersey McJones said...

I don't blame the political parties for all our political woes. And neither do I expect them to be the solution.

There is a way to get the two parties more in line with the people's interests, and that's with constitutional action from the people.

When you look at the issues people care about the most, there is a surprising degree of unanimity on a number of big, serious issues.

What we need are public movements for constitutional amendments - for the Right to Privacy, the Right to Healthcare, and the Right to Education. Our old constitution is way behind the times in these matters. The war machine simply has to end, and a constitutional amendment to make it only possible to raise an army in a time of congressionally declared war (the navy rules would remain the same) would really help with that. The income tax amendment could be changed with another more detailed version that would create automatic rate increases and decreases that could take much of the politics out of that and get our bills paid.

We the people could do this and shove it down the parties throats.

JMJ

AHB said...

Jersey,

In your scenario you are extraordinarily optimistic about the willingness of the government to change in our favor.

Right to privacy, well there is a bit of that in the "old" constitution as you call it. I agree that something has to be done to get rid of the domestic spying, domestic nanny programs and the general non-sense of information about people being sold for various purposes.

Right to healthcare? You are splitting a fine hair... you are basically claiming that we have a *right* to a private company's services.

On the healthcare note, it already is a federal law you cannot be turned away at the hospital for any reason. We have de facto free health care as it is, it just is woefully failboat.

Right to education? yes, I can half-ass see that, but before I can comment, what do you mean by education? Do you mean college?

Congressional declaration of war, yet the navy will remain the good ol 90 days? The navy *is* our war machine.

This next part is going to seem harsh, but it is an argument we have had before.

"get our bills paid."

With income taxes? Have you seen the breakdown on how much of a percentage of the collected taxes the wealthy already kick in?

You cannot stop a transected femoral artery from bleeding with a bandaid, and you cannot cure stage 4 cancers with a flintstone vitamin.

You want to pay the bills, you cannot tax. You have to actually cut, and cut deep.

At the current rate of increase of liability and the interest on our loans it would take approximately 13 years to pay off what we owe now with 100% taxation.

That's every working man and woman pumping everything they make right back into the war chest, keeping none for ourselves, and the government not spending or committing a single penny more.

Healthcare is over 15% of our entire economy.

I told you this before, but lets break it down again:

Medicare is 100% federally subsidized, there is no cost to the state of Ohio.

Medicaid is deeply subsidized. It used to be a 50% subsidy, but now since the expansion, I believe ohio has lost some of it.

Even with the federal subsidy, 23% of the budget goes to medicaid. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-72% of our entire state budget would be required if we had to support both entitlement programs.

Programs like WIC, Foodstamps, general unemployment, welfare, section 8 etc eats up another 22% and we have less than 34B left for the rest.

It is wholly unsustainable.

Jersey McJones said...

The military is unsustainable. Healthcare is a necessity. And if we are going to be successful as a people, so is education. And we most certainly can pay down our debt. The money is there.

Your arbitrary number grinding is pointless.

JMJ

AHB said...

McJive,

This dismissive nature of reality you demonstrate is exactly the problem.

There is absolutely no way we can pay this debt unless we trim down massively, near 40% if we want any chance of paying it off in our lifetime.

How can you sit here and say the money is there?

The money is FAKE, there is nothing backing it up but a handshake and a wink.

People are supplying the value to our fednotes, and nothing else.

The main problem is malinvestment. Too many companies, contracts, and programs have been given money and the American people have nothing tangible to show for it.

Our currency is severely diluted.

Whenever some funding occurs which has not earned the money through producing actual value gets away with it, we all suffer a hidden tax.

I agree, the military is unsustainable, however capping everything but the Navy is not capping anything at all. The navy is the most expensive and powerful branch of the military, and it is the means by which we project our power overseas.

There are some things that sorely need a revamp, like the AC130 that has been pushed way beyond their service limits for decades now.

Now... Healthcare is a necessity... from what perspective? Define that sir.

Are you saying... FREE healthcare is a necessity? If so you are going to need a hell of a lot more than insurance to even that out.

Education?! correct me if I am wrong, but public school systems exist in nearly every county in the mainland US, 100% free, 100% open to all. Explain what you mean by education.

Micky said...

"The military is unsustainable. Healthcare is a necessity. "

Genius, you got that backwards..

Jack Camwell said...

Jersey,

I agree with a lot of what you said, but if you don't blame the parties, then WHOM do you blame?

The parties are running this country. Boehner tries to buck the party on occasion, but he will likely pay dearly for it. I, for one, will be surprised if he continues to be speaker of the house if the Republicans keep the majority after November. The GOP will punish him for not following party directives, just as they punished John McCain for voting his conscience.

And as for President Obama . . . at any point, did you ever truly believe that he was NOT a company man? Obama is a party man, through and through. Obama won the presidency for 3 reasons:

1. In 2008 the national sentiment was "anything but Republicans."

2. He's half-black (due to his skin color, most Americans will still recognize him as black).

3. He toed the party line during his short stint as a senator.

Obama continues to toe the party line for the most part, because whenever he tries to compromise with the GOP, he's lambasted by progressive Democrats everywhere. You can bet that the Democrat nominee for 2016 will *not* be someone who even THINKS about the word "compromise."

Jersey McJones said...

JAck,

As you should recall, Obama won the election for a few reasons, which you do touch on a bit above, but I think miss the boat a little.

1. In '08 the election was pretty close. Had McCain not picked Palin, he may well have won. But an elderly man with health issues picking a psychotic bimbo for veep? Independents and moderates - and just responsible people in general - didn't like that.

2. He was not elected because he was black (black is a color, Jack, regardless of how you got it). He was elected because fewer Americans than ever cared that he was black. If he had been a black conservative against a white anti-Iraq War liberal or moderate, he probably would have lost.

3. This is true. He was and is a party man. Never as radical and lefty as he's been painted by the right.

The reasons he's "lambasted" for trying to compromise with the right are A) it strikes people as a waste of time because B) the GOP has become radicalized so C) compromising with radicalism doesn't seem like a good idea to begin with.
_____

Micky, that's idiotic. We are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more in need of healthcare in all our lives than we are in need of protection from whatever bogeyman you cons are fearing these days. In fact, the only time in our history we really had to "fight for our freedom," for the nation, after the revolution, was when we went to war with each other in the 1860's. That's it.

JMJ

Jersey McJones said...

AHB - you are all ideology, no reality.

We have no federal right to education, and we need one, because some states are just plain lousy at it. The system we have now is terribly unfair to people unlucky enough to be born poor.

Nothing is free, everyone needs health care, hence everyone should pay for health care.

Money is money. It is how we pay for things. It doesn't matter what you think it's theoretically worth.

There is plenty of money out there to get the debt paid down.

JMJ

AHB said...

Really Jersey?

I know that 838B per year of a loss is "not sustainable" but you seem to think otherwise.

I seriously want to know how you plan to pay it off while not cutting. That's like you juggling 40 credit cards, swimming in debt, and going out to eat with your wife to morton's and getting a huge fat fuckin porterhouse for you, wife chows down on filet mignon and you take a 26 ounce sirloin home for your dog, every night. "Gee, I wonder why we never have any money" Could you be pissing it away perhaps?

Education. You still have me at a bit of a loss with your vague description. What do you think the solution is? We already pour twice as much money per capita than Japan towards primary education.


Nothing is free, everyone needs health care, everyone should pay for their own health care.

Fixed.

So I should be on the hook for some dumb cunt from Las Vegas who gets her jollies being the town pump and has 4 abortions paid for per year?

Meanwhile I go to the doctor twice a year, spend 100 bucks for an hours worth of checkup, spend about 120 bucks per year on Dental cleanings... and I still am expected to pay for the beer slut of vegas?

I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

She isn't.

You are rewarding piss poor behavior Jersey.

You are addressing the symptom, not the cause. Wrangle down the costs of healthcare, and you are going to have a much easier time fixing things.

Money is money... except to the federal government. Money is keystrokes on a computer. It is not actual labor, or a trade of fungible assets, it's keyboard entries.

Again, I am unsure where you think all this revenue is going to come from. They would have to take in 1 trillion more per year and cease all funding increases for decades to come.

I am sorry you don't comprehend that you cannot spend more than you create and end up right side up on the other side.

Micky said...

"Money is money. It is how we pay for things. It doesn't matter what you think it's theoretically worth."

Wow, just when you thought you'd heard it all...


Your placement that money has theoretical worth is about as woefully ignorant as it comes.
Currency has to be based on trade-able value of some commodity in demand by a market.
As long as I've known you and in that time argued economy with you I cant believe you'd say something so stupid.
You insist "the money is there" to pay off debt but fail to explain where it comes from and by what means except for bending over the military(liberals favorite meme)and what were supposed to live on in that time...more food stamps ?

============================

@Jack

"I agree with a lot of what you said, but if you don't blame the parties, then WHOM do you blame?

The parties are running this country"


You need to make up your mind if we are to blame the people who elect/support these parties or the parties themselves.
I'm pretty sure this post is a reaction to the last thread where we argued just who and what the Conservative party is an consists of.
But it still comes down to majorities whithin the people, silent or not, who finally get fed up and chose the lesser of evils.
There will never be any perfect candidate that meets any voters ideals.
My ideal candidate would look feel think and shit just like me but thats just not going to happen. (yet)
The fine line that determines just how far we've fallen as a country and what is a "lesser evil" is how much were willing to sacrifice till some point of no return.
In all honesty, we've sacrificed a lot to the point I don't recognize the America I was raised in since 57.

"But because I'm a Machiavellian, I also believe that it is up to us to break free of fortuna's opressive wheel and forge a new path to success--a more perfect union,"


I also believe that left up to "us" and not the 2 1/2 party syndrome weve been hostage to for decades the American people who in larger part lean right will be the ones to bring us back to some semblance of functionality.
Sure, you can argue that the Republicans and Democrats look and act the same but that stands aside my belief that all is not lost and there is a strong Conservative voice in this country that will come to the rescue before the shit hits the fan.
Seriously, who with half a fucking brain can successfully argue that Liberalism has worked ?
All is not lost.
Your vision of a better union may not be the same as mine but they still have much in common.
We don't accept answers based on ideological platitudes like Jerseys that cant explain where the money is coming from.
These kind of debates can only boil down to one thing.
Were determined for certain doom...or have faith that Americans who are tired of this shit will abandon sides and go with home.
Our faith needs to be with the citizens.
If we don't build on that were fucked.

Micky said...

Jack...
You might find this interesting.
"In the fifty seven years I’ve taken up space on this planet I’ve seen a lot of change; some for the better and some for the worse. One of the things I believed to the tips of my toes for a lot of years though was that the American people were different. The American people were smart, compassionate and above all else, patient. You could fool them for a while and you could get them to put up with a lot but eventually they would wake up and do the right thing.

I sorry but don’t believe that anymore.

I don’t know what happened to us or when we hit the point of no return but I think we have. Like every great society before us we are in a state of self-inflicted decay.

You disagree? Okay, that’s your right. So convince me. Answer the following questions for me.

How is it we re-elect people who insult us, steal from us, lie to us and sell us out?
How did we come to accept murdering babies as the means to cleaning up messes made a few weeks or months prior?
When did we come to accept 50 million of our friends being on food stamps and welfare while convincing ourselves we were somehow doing them a favor?
When did we decide that 50% of our kids dropping out of school annually is acceptable?
When did we decide we could fix schools that fail to teach students year after year by paying them more?
When did we decide certain words were off limits to one segment of society and not another?
When did we decide that much of our music had to be offensive to women and unfit for children to be good?
When did we decide trashy life styles were TV series fodder?
When did we come to see hard work and success as worthy of punishment while the rights of societal parasites are to be celebrated and protected?
When did we decide that leaders in the private sector are subject to our laws and our court system but our elected officials shouldn’t be?
When did we give congress permission to write laws for the rest of us that they themselves are exempted from?
When did we agree that it was okay to send our best and brightest off to fight wars we have no intention of winning?
When did we come to trust our government to heal us rather than our physicians?
When did we decide it was okay to badmouth Christians but not Muslims?
When did we give the IRS the power to influence and control free speech?
Exactly what internal threat demands that our government purchase millions of rounds of ammunition for domestic use?
What is wrong with asking Mexico to clean up its act to the point where people actually want to stay there?
Who exactly authorized TSA to strip search grandma?
How come profiling terrorists is illegal but condemning legal gun owners isn’t?
How come I need ID to purchase a six pack of beer but not to vote?
When did we decide a 30 year old college student shouldn’t have to purchase her own birth control but the Little Sisters of the Poor should?
How did we become so hardened as to watch four American hero’s die in Benghazi on the evening news and not demand to know who abandoned them?
What is the difference between Richard Nixon intentionally and repeatedly lying to us and Obama doing the same?

Just a few years ago we would never have tolerated any of this.
What happened to us? What happened to our souls?"

http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=11786&cp=all#comments

Jersey McJones said...

God, you guys are long winded.

AHB, put the f'n numbers aside for a minute. In real life we all have real responsibilities and priorities. Whatever it takes, we try to make good on those things. The worse things are, the harder we have to try to improve things. But if we spend a quarter of our resources on f'n guns and barbed wire fences, we'd either be ranchers or f'n lunatics. America is more than just a f'n ranch.

Get it?

Micky, what's with the cut 'n paste half-assed conservative bullshit?

JMJ

AHB said...

Sure Jersey, I will put the numbers aside the moment you acknowledge they represent a scenario that actually exists.

"Real life we have responsibilities and priorities"

... too bad the federal government doesn't live in "real life" where they can spend world without end, creating nothing.

What the hell are you talking about guns and barbed wire fences?! I want to stop the military expeditions! Let our troops have some peace for a change, they richly deserve it.

Until you realize that at the end of this merry-go-round is with us heaving up our guts and losing our grip on our currency, then you have failed to recognize the problem.

What good is healthcare and education when the currency is absolutely worthless?

I agree with you up until the point you want more spending on anything, it's not possible.

Jersey McJones said...

Bla bla bla with the currency Apocalypse.

Ideological silliness.

And to say the federal government makes nothing is to say, "I'm an idiot who votes for people who make nothing." Our federal government has done some amazing and great things over the years - when people stopped being throw-up-your-hands useless conservatives, rolled up their sleeves, and got things done. Our selfish, apathetic culture is to blame for our politics today - it is NOT the other way around.

JMJ

AHB said...

So there is absolutely no chance of the dollar crashing within say... the next 15 years?

You assume I vote.

You also assume I would vote for any of the rabble that we are handed.

If/When someone comes along that isn't some puppet of corporatism, and has a legitimate shot of winning, you will see me voting again. I would have voted for Ron Paul if he would have got the nomination either campaign.

I have voted on local and state matters, but that is it.

Selfish, apathetic culture- interesting. Whereas you are not advocating we fix the underlying problems, you just want a heap of fucking money thrown at it, when we have already tried that to no avail.

I don't understand you... you don't refute anything I say, you just straight up ignore any logical point I bring up and dismiss it as silly.

Why is it only the conservatives are responsible for failures in your eyes? Are democrats/liberals/progressives infallible?

Jack Camwell said...

Micky said:

"You need to make up your mind if we are to blame the people who elect/support these parties or the parties themselves."

Both are to blame for different reasons. The parties are to blame for everything being incredibly fucked up. The people are to blame for continuing to support them despite the overwhelming evidence that suggests the parties could give a shit less about actually representing the interests of the American people.

Jersey,

Why do you constantly avoid actually ANSWERING any questions that anyone ever poses to you? Why is it that you never, EVER offer an actual counterpoint to anything anyone ever says? I'm sure you are aware of this, but such responses give the impression that you actually DON'T have any answers or counterpoints.

I hate to make assumptions about you, or to make judgments about what you know, but you seem to be like most Americans:

All you know is what you believe. You don't have any real intellectual reasons, and your beliefs are based on your feelings.

Most people here are capable of explaining the philosophical basis for their belief systems. Many of us here actually go so far as to provide evidence that supports the veracity of our beliefs.

When someone like AHB suggests that we actually take a look at "the numbers," you dismiss it immediately as if the numbers are meaningless. Any time anyone presents to you hard data, you dismiss it.

You constantly tell us that we need to live in "reality," but the reality is this:

The Democrats would spend us into oblivion until our debt is completely unmanageable and our currency is heavily devalued. Jersey, it's economics 101: the more currency you print, the less value it has, ESPECIALLY if your currency is simply paper. If you deny that fact, then you are denying reality.

On the flip side, the Republicans would have us return to the Gilded Age. They would see everything cut, even services for people with disabilities, while they still pump money into the war machine

The real problem in America is that most Americans are afraid of actually living in reality. This is evidenced by the fact that minimum wage workers--people that flip burgers and clean bathrooms at McDonald's--believe that their time and services are worth $15 an hour. You think THAT is living in reality?

Micky said...

Jack, Jersey doesnt think.
He reacts on learned behavior.
My cut n paste which he bitched about was only example an of my sentiments on quite a few issues relevant to topic du jour where we discussed conservatism being the favorable ideal opposed to the shit we see.