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  1. #21
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    The people of this country might take care of their own at the local level, but nationally the nation is divided. Why is it that if some false cataclysm, like communism in Vietnam, or Saddam Hussein manufacturing WMDs is capable of galvanize the masses to unite against a common enemy, but as a people we are unable to tackle issues at home like health care, education, and the inevitable downfall of the social security system?
    The country is divided because they're trying to take care of their own.

    With foreign policy, their own is all of America. However, with domestic issues, their own is their constituents, who are likely to fervently disagree with someone else's constituents.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #22
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    The country is divided because they're trying to take care of their own.
    they're = elitist politicians

    "They're" passing legislation/implementing programs that they are trying to take care of THEIR OWN elitist corporate/public peers and their interests at the expense of US - the American people.

  3. #23
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    they're = elitist politicians

    "They're" passing legislation/implementing programs that they are trying to take care of THEIR OWN elitist corporate/public peers and their interests at the expense of US - the American people.
    But technically speaking, that doesn't preclude them from the above statement. They're taking care of their own. It's just that their own happen to be elite corporations rather than the American people.

    Basically, our leaders don't share our interests, and have no real interest in us.

    ...

    I'd say that we should fix it, but I really don't see a way. It seems like there's no lasting way to give people power to do what's necessary that they won't eventually find a way to divide, conquer, and abuse. It's like, new governments always start off with a kind of promise and purity, and run smoothly when first created. Then, things start going wrong, and the government is reformed. Each reform usually restores the nation temporarily, but the effectiveness of this approach slowly decays with each reform, until the government is a faction of its own, all but useless to the people. It almost reminds me of cars... they inevitably break down from use, and you can only repair them so many times until they break down so badly you end up junking them.

    Check the history of several past nations, especially great nations that held lots of power, and see if you don't find this pattern.

  4. #24
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    But technically speaking, that doesn't preclude them from the above statement. They're taking care of their own. It's just that their own happen to be elite corporations rather than the American people.
    Technically speaking, any public official who puts the wants/needs of their own elitist cadre above the needs of their constituents hardly fit the profile of virtuous beliefs extolled in the O.P. You're splitting atoms for no reason. Stop dredging the forest floor and get yourself up to the treetop level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Basically, our leaders don't share our interests, and have no real interest in us.
    Agreed. Is this part of the "American Frame of Mind?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I'd say that we should fix it, but I really don't see a way. It seems like there's no lasting way to give people power to do what's necessary that they won't eventually find a way to divide, conquer, and abuse. It's like, new governments always start off with a kind of promise and purity, and run smoothly when first created. Then, things start going wrong, and the government is reformed. Each reform usually restores the nation temporarily, but the effectiveness of this approach slowly decays with each reform, until the government is a faction of its own, all but useless to the people.
    Nicely put.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    It almost reminds me of cars... they inevitably break down from use, and you can only repair them so many times until they break down so badly you end up junking them.
    Very funny analogy, I love it. If the "American Frame of Mind" is in any way similar to the operational business methodology of General Motors then we are all screwed and need to move to Canada...or Cuba.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Check the history of several past nations, especially great nations that held lots of power, and see if you don't find this pattern.
    Rome, anyone?

  5. #25
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Technically speaking, any public official who puts the wants/needs of their own elitist cadre above the needs of their constituents hardly fit the profile of virtuous beliefs extolled in the O.P. You're splitting atoms for no reason. Stop dredging the forest floor and get yourself up to the treetop level.
    I never said it was virtuous. I just said it was there.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #26
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I never said it was virtuous. I just said it was there.
    That's right, Oberon was hung up on virtue.
    Pardon me.
    Now that I know "it" is "there" I'm OK with everything.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my country.

    In the many states and cities I have lived, I can honestly say that the people I would characterize as "good" out number the "bad" by a wide margin.

    Typical teachings in the education/upbringing of many Americans include:

    (1) Get good grades and you can get a good job
    (2) Any natively born American citizen can become the President.
    (3) Work hard and good things will come your way.
    (4) Take the high road.
    (5) The value of individuality in our society.

    The list above is hardly exhaustive, just illustrative. However...

    I know plenty of people with impeccable GPAs and a crap salary/benefits package.

    There is no way that anyone can convince me at this point in my life that any U.S. born citizen can become President, not unless they happen to go to Yale Law and join the Skull & Bones Society.

    For too long I worked my ass off and saw the fruit of my labors distributed to cronies instead of a good raise/bonus for me.

    I've taken the high road time and time again during my life, but that hasn't stopped others from playing dirty and causing grief to others.

    Regarding individuality, it seems that it is fine and good at the societal level as long as a person is part of the ruling 51%.

    Does this mean I will stop doing my best, doing the right thing, and being myself?

    Of course not.

    I'm just not going to walk through life expecting things to go rosey because I am following some prescribed ideology, working my ass off, and being a good boy.

    Work hard, be good, and look out for your fellow man, but don't ever forget to watch your back, and don't get so comfortable that you don't question the way things are going. There are alot of folks in powerful positions that do not practive what they preach, and expect us all to be OK with them exploiting the masses for their own benefit.

  7. #27
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm jealous of the corrupt politicians. Why can't I be a corrupt politician and have fun exploiting the masses?!

    I wish they'd cut me in. I would honestly prefer to be a corrupt politician living the good life than an honest worker. Come on, I can be an intellectual. I can act superior. I can lie. I can keep up appearances. I can change my values to match the people who are paying me. Please? Sigh...

    Most people probably tend to feel proud of their achievements and are disgusted with these politicians who got something without earning it, and merely view them with contempt. Not me, I want what they've got. I'm not "too good" to behave like them, darn it...

    Ah, well... I guess it's just a matter of luck. And I'm stuck down here with all the peasants. How annoying. I guess I just have the heart of a corrupt politician, not the actual position.

  8. #28
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Personally, I'm jealous of the corrupt politicians. Why can't I be a corrupt politician and have fun exploiting the masses?!

    I wish they'd cut me in. I would honestly prefer to be a corrupt politician living the good life than an honest worker. Come on, I can be an intellectual. I can act superior. I can lie. I can keep up appearances. I can change my values to match the people who are paying me. Please? Sigh...

    Most people probably tend to feel proud of their achievements and are disgusted with these politicians who got something without earning it, and merely view them with contempt. Not me, I want what they've got. I'm not "too good" to behave like them, darn it...

    Ah, well... I guess it's just a matter of luck. And I'm stuck down here with all the peasants. How annoying.
    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  9. #29
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    I never said anything about wanting to physically harm people. I'm not *THAT* evil, I don't want to go around killing people.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Funny how irrelevant your comment above is, as I haven't watched television with any regularity whatsoever for over 15 years.

    This nation as a whole wouldn't be in such a debaucle if a majority of its citizens upheld the classical virtues you described earlier.

    At this point I don't know what exactly you are getting at, and am fine with agreeing to disagree with you.

    I truly wish that the masses of this nation exhibited a uniform adherence to a strong code of persosal integrity as you described, but the very diversity that makes this nation great also diminishes the commonalities held by all citizens, making your viewpoint implausible from what I can tell. Yes we all have DNA, and are mammals, but once you get into education, moral/spititual preferences, common virtues, etc. the list that all/most are on gets shorter and shorter and shorter, right?

    Not trying to be a wanker, just letting you know where I'm coming from...
    I'm sorry, I shouldn't be so dismissive. I've been awfully short-tempered of late. I think it's fatigue. I apologize.

    But, really, I know plenty of people who represent the value set I enumerated to you. I think those themes are still part of the national character. Then again, most of my real-life friends are either rural independent times, or wish they were.

    All I can do is report what I see from where I'm standing.

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