Why Is the Republican Field So Extreme? (Read 1977 times)

    Isn't this also what true conservatism and true libertarianism is suppose to be about?

     

    Libertarianism is an ideologically pure form of classic liberalism, yep.

     

    All of these words are vague and mean many things, like most highly cathected words.


    MoBramExam

       All of these words are vague and mean many things, like most highly cathected words.

       

      So take the emotion out of it, and you're pretty much left with People want to be free of oppressive institutions.  And there is no shortage of oppressive institutions out there: big goverment, big religion, big business, big dependency, etc.  Makes it easy for the parties to offer themselves up as saviors from all angles.  Just gotta get down, get extreme, and tug on that right emotion.

       

      What's interesting (and maybe obivious) as to how we got here (everything to the extreme), the People elected the current president in 2008 and gave his party large majorities in both houses to get going on that hope and change thing.  Yet, the first chance they got, the People put the other party in to stop the POTUS from moving forward on that hope and change thing?  Maybe we're getting the extremes because that's what we're asking for?

       

      You can agree or disagree with Obama, or you can agree or disagree with the GOP, but as long as they are doing what they were elected to do, it should all shake out in the end.  What concerns me more is when they do things that are clearly against the will of the People...such as spend us into a debt death spiral. 

       

      Debt is a pretty damn oppressive institution.

       



         What concerns me more is when they do things that are clearly against the will of the People...such as spend us into a debt death spiral.

         

         

        I'm not so convinced that this is really against the will of the people regardless of what polls say.  The primary force of the California proposition process over the last 30 or 40 years has been to increase spending while decreasing taxation.  People seem very eager to vote for a debt-driven "free" ride when given the chance to do so directly.

         

        I also think a lot of people would characterize their views as wanting freedom from various oppressive institutions, but what they seem to really vote for is freedom for themselves (personally) from whatever institutions get under their skin, sometimes decreasing freedom for others who are being "oppressed" by different actors in the system. 

          I guess I'd go one step further and say that freedom today is not individual at all. We don't want individual freedom from institutions (no one wants to be a rugged pioneer individualist) because our institutions work too well. We love grocery stores and amazon.com and online forums and interstates and Apple and Google and Facebook and hospitals and banks and universities and investment portfolios and Miller Lite and our church of choice. It's a fully corporate world in the sense that life today is all about interacting with large organizations. 

           

          What we want is for these institutions to work better and more efficiently and effectively for us and to continue to work for the next generations. 

           

          Government is one institution among many, and it has special capacities: the ability to force people to pay it through taxation and a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. Its function as one institution among many is to figure out:

           

          a) What the will of the people is; i.e. what sort of future we want and what values we have.

          b) How to arbitrate claims among competing institutional interests.

          c) How to provide for the elements of society that are not sufficiently represented by current institutions as they exist.

           

          I know that none of this is written in the Constitution, nor was it intended by the founders, but I sorta think that this is the present political situation, for better or for worse. My sense is that the day of democracy being oriented towards the protection of "individual liberty" is pretty much past. Now democracy means something more like: "Can we create a society in which all segments of society can live meaningful and flourishing lives." 


          Feeling the growl again

            My sense is that the day of democracy being oriented towards the protection of "individual liberty" is pretty much past.

             

            Not until you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.  That's the entire purpose of our Constitution.

             

            "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              Well, I guess I'd just say that we've chosen a kind of corporate togetherness over rugged individualism, for better or for worse, and regardless of what the Constitutional founders wanted or Ben Franklin thought. The horse is out of the barn and all that.

                I guess I'd go one step further and say that freedom today is not individual at all. We don't want individual freedom from institutions (no one wants to be a rugged pioneer individualist) because our institutions work too well. We love grocery stores and amazon.com and online forums and interstates and Apple and Google and Facebook and hospitals and banks and universities and investment portfolios and Miller Lite and our church of choice. It's a fully corporate world in the sense that life today is all about interacting with large organizations. 

                 

                We want the security that they can provide, without having the impinge on our freedom.  Simple.

                Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.


                Feeling the growl again

                  Well, I guess I'd just say that we've chosen a kind of corporate togetherness over rugged individualism, for better or for worse, and regardless of what the Constitutional founders wanted or Ben Franklin thought. The horse is out of the barn and all that.

                   

                  With personal liberty comes personal responsibility.  This whole "corporate togetherness" essentially means that nobody wants to be responsible for themselves, "the government" is supposed to provide for us, paid for by "the rich".  

                   

                  There is no "togetherness in this".  That implies we're all taking responsibility for each other.  Far from that, the current environment is one in which the masses claim they should be supported by the 1% who are not contributing their "fair share".  This implies more self-centerness and lack of responsibility of any kind, rather than any kind of mutual "togetherness".

                   

                  If you have an entire society which views itself as being dependent, what does that say for your future?  Greece had what, 60% of its citizens employed by the government?  How can a nation be bold and innovative when it lives under a cloud of dependency and self-insufficiency?  There is a reason the original system that was set up led to one of the greatest nations the Earth has ever seen.  Yes, when there is individual liberty and personal responsibility some will fail.  But if nobody is allowed to fail and "all segments of society lead meaningful and flourishing lives" there is no accountability for lazy or irresponsible behavior.  People operate according to their incentives (the corporate world shows this in spades, you can create very weird behavior with the right incentives).  Remove consequences, and a downward spiral results.

                   

                  MTA:

                  I'm familiar with an environment where performance is supposed to be differentiated on a 5-point scale.  3 is considered to be acceptable, average, and expected performance for the duty.  2 is OK but could be better, 1 is "needs improvement", and a couple ratings that low could lead to being pushed out.  4 is above-average, and 5 is walking-on-water.

                   

                  Ideally, it is intended that there would be a bell-curve distribution.

                   

                  Now what happens when you live in a culture that is afraid of differentiation and calling losers?  You end up with >85% of people being called a 4 or 5.  After a couple years, what do people learn....trying to excel is not worth the effort, hardly anyone is "average" much less "below average".  Overall productivity and morale declines, and you end up with a less effective organization.

                   

                  "Everybody wins" scenarios don't work.  Human nature will not allow it.  It discourages competitive behavior.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   


                  Prince of Fatness

                    Well, I guess I'd just say that we've chosen a kind of corporate togetherness over rugged individualism, for better or for worse, and regardless of what the Constitutional founders wanted or Ben Franklin thought. The horse is out of the barn and all that.

                     

                    I think technology and the internet has a lot to do with that.  Think of those things that you mentioned in your prior post.  Facebook, Amazon, message boards, etc., (Miller Lite?  C'mon man.)  all provided by technology.  People have much more information at their disposal, and at a snap of their fingers.  Think of how technology affects politics.  For example politicians have to worry about everything they say when out in public.  It could be on Youtube within minutes.  All of this has happened in a relatively short period of time historically speaking.

                     

                    My comments about being impatient and wanting instant gratification tie into this.  I can see where these words alone carry a negative context.  But I think that people really have gotten used to being "always on", "connected 24/7", or however you would like to phrase it.  I look back say 20 years ago an it was nothing like this.  Maybe impatient and instant gratification were a little harsh but I have noticed a major shift in the way people access information and expect results over the last decade or two.

                     

                    Now it is time for bed.  Good night.

                    Semi-retired.

                      This thread has been interesting and frustrating to read.


                      Feeling the growl again

                        I think technology and the internet has a lot to do with that.  Think of those things that you mentioned in your prior post.  Facebook, Amazon, message boards, etc., (Miller Lite?  C'mon man.)  all provided by technology.  People have much more information at their disposal, and at a snap of their fingers.  Think of how technology affects politics.  For example politicians have to worry about everything they say when out in public.  It could be on Youtube within minutes.  All of this has happened in a relatively short period of time historically speaking.

                         

                        My comments about being impatient and wanting instant gratification tie into this.  I can see where these words alone carry a negative context.  But I think that people really have gotten used to being "always on", "connected 24/7", or however you would like to phrase it.  I look back say 20 years ago an it was nothing like this.  Maybe impatient and instant gratification were a little harsh but I have noticed a major shift in the way people access information and expect results over the last decade or two.

                         

                        Now it is time for bed.  Good night.

                         

                        A lot of truth in this post.  A lot of the problems facing this country require a long-term view and action plan.  I don't think the attention span of the average voter takes this into account.....would we as a country accept short-term pain for long-term gain?  I'm not so sure.  

                         

                        I'm waiting for the day...which can't be too far away...when a candidate has a long-term internet record.  Can you imagine me or Jeff running for office and having all of our message board posts pulled up by the media outlets and shared out of context?   

                         

                        hahahahahahahahaha.......

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          I voted tonight.  It's Super Tuesday or whatever.

                          Runners run.

                            I'm waiting for the day...which can't be too far away...when a candidate has a long-term internet record.  Can you imagine me or Jeff running for office and having all of our message board posts pulled up by the media outlets and shared out of context?   

                             

                            hahahahahahahahaha.......

                             

                            Yikes. Neither you nor I have the temperament for it. I know I certainly don't!

                             

                            Agreed pretty much completely with PH's post; this is exactly what I am pointing to. I guess I think that we need to go ahead and accept that this is the society we live in and work from there. It's hard because society is also changing so quickly. I think that has a lot to do with the kind of cultural unease we feel.

                             

                            The invention of the internet is a HUGE thing. It changes everything, much more radically and much more quickly than the printing press did back in the day. We haven't even begun to figure out what it means for politics. Hold onto your hats: the next 60 years are going to be WILD.

                              We want the security that they can provide, without having the impinge on our freedom.  Simple.

                               

                              Maybe. Maybe neither of those concepts are all that relevant today.


                              Feeling the growl again

                                Yikes. Neither you nor I have the temperament for it. 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Agreed.  Scary thought the record that is out there now on anyone who really uses the medium though.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand