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  1. #121
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If I may make a simple request here, will the comparisons between me and DiscoBiscuit end please. Thanks.
    I do find it interesting, since you seem nothing like DiscoBiscuit.
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  2. #122
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    people in the US often identify themselves really strongly with their political party, as part of a core identity or something, and here a more common attitude is to pick your party based on your core values:
    @Jennifer

    I think it's mostly this. People often vote different ways in different elections in Canada, because there are more options, so it's less a facet of one's core identity, and therefore easier to flex/flow/evolve your own political beliefs. There's less at stake to switching.

    We don't have the mega corporation power players to contend with, so that makes things less at stake and safer to vote for third/fourth parties. Also, we are still an adolescent country in terms of history, so there's fewer roots to uproot.

    I think it's really just the "what's at stake" thing. Canada has fewer things at stake.

    I've voted Liberal, Green, and New Democratic Party (the most socialist) for different reasons at different times depending on lots of variables, including to make a statement about the Green party's up-and-coming value in the last election when I knew it wouldn't win in my riding.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
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  3. #123
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I'm not really sure why we have a semi-viable third party and you guys don't.
    It all comes down to electoral mechanics.
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  4. #124
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Even though I was more detached on this issue, in general being entrenched and engaging in such seemingly unreasonable arguments is not such a bad thing in the right context. In recent years I've come to appreciate that arguments can be about loyalty, too, and can bind people together in a way that shear focus on truth and logic can't. It just makes more sense irl situations where you're dealing with people that have a large impact on your life.

    Surrendering reasonability for loyalty to Obama or Romney is stupid since neither of them give a shit about you.
    Dictators and demagogues appreciate that line of reasoning as well, and take full advantage of the human tendency to do just what you describe. Fortunately each generation has souls brave enough to stand up and say, "that's wrong", even as their fellows try to shout (or shoot) them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    What does it mean to "care globally"?

    You can only care for humans to the extent you can actually maintain a relationship with them and love them. Nobody ever experienced love from a bill being signed into law. More importantly to care "globally" implies caring for everything which is the same as caring for nothing. But, that seems to be what many Americans want these days... to care for nothing and yet to do so in a manner that enables you to tell yourself you're a good person. It reminds me of Larry David making an insulting racist remark, but stating afterward "don't worry, it's ok, I vote democrat." The same could be said for a hateful Christian who says "It's ok, I vote pro-life."

    Caring in politics is only done at the local level when people engage in their civic duty of caring for and loving their neighbors through real relationships. In an effort to gain power politicians have downgraded civic duty to merely voting which should be the least important aspect of citizenship. They have relieved people of the duty to love their neighbor with the lie that all they have to do to be a good person is vote for someone who will "globally care" for them.
    You might be able to care only in the context of a relationship, but that is not true for everyone. Also, caring is not the same as love. I understand very much the idea of caring globally, because that is how I most readily care about people. I think of it more as impersonal vs personal, though, since it does not necessarily include everyone everywhere. Sometimes when I get too personal about it, I actually stop caring since I can see the individual flaws of each person and that makes me frustrated. But I can still care about the plight of the unemployed, or the mentally ill, or trafficked persons, etc. in a more abstract sense, and that motivates me to get involved and help. I won't ascribe these motivations to politicians, specific or general, but I know I am not the only one who shares them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Even if you draw those connections they are still abstractions only. My point is that real caring occurs only when those abstract feelings toward a group are materialized in concrete actions towards an individual.
    No. Real caring can manifest in concrete actions toward a nameless group, as when someone donates food to a local food pantry, or builds a playground for kids they will never meet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    To the extent that people feel that Obama's caring for them is real (being based in an abstract almost metaphysical relationship) that's really more akin to placing faith in a religious deity as opposed to electing a president to do a job.
    This is not too far off the mark. I would describe this faith in Obama as almost faith in an ideal, the ideal he represents, or the ideal a supporter wants him to embody. It seems elections are won or lost more over how many people buy into the ideal or myth presented by each candidate rather than any objective facts or specific plans for tackling the nation's problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I'm not really sure why we have a semi-viable third party and you guys don't. I'm guessing there's a large chunk of self-fulfilling prophecy - if everyone thinks the third party doesn't have a chance, everyone will vote for the douche since at least he's better than the turd sandwich. This definitely happens in multi-party countries too, but it seems less extreme, and will sometimes flip around - in our last federal election, our third party which is usually a small minority jumped to second-place, and the former second-place party was pretty much decimated.
    As MP (no pun intended) suggested, it comes down to electoral mechanics. In most states, the requirements for a third party even to get on the ballot are prohibitive. We would not need many third-party representatives in congress for them to have substantial influence if their participation were required to form a coalition, as in parliamentary systems. Such a system would also leave the head of government free to do the sausage-making of governing while a separate head of state could represent the national ideal.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #125
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    As MP (no pun intended) suggested, it comes down to electoral mechanics. In most states, the requirements for a third party even to get on the ballot are prohibitive. We would not need many third-party representatives in congress for them to have substantial influence if their participation were required to form a coalition, as in parliamentary systems. Such a system would also leave the head of government free to do the sausage-making of governing while a separate head of state could represent the national ideal.
    Ah, good points. I did not realize that getting on the ballot was something difficult in the US....weird. Here you see all sorts of nonsense parties on there so I assume that means it isn't that hard to get listed. None of them ever get a meaningful number of votes, though.
    -end of thread-

  6. #126
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You might be able to care only in the context of a relationship, but that is not true for everyone. Also, caring is not the same as love. I understand very much the idea of caring globally, because that is how I most readily care about people. I think of it more as impersonal vs personal, though, since it does not necessarily include everyone everywhere. Sometimes when I get too personal about it, I actually stop caring since I can see the individual flaws of each person and that makes me frustrated. But I can still care about the plight of the unemployed, or the mentally ill, or trafficked persons, etc. in a more abstract sense, and that motivates me to get involved and help. I won't ascribe these motivations to politicians, specific or general, but I know I am not the only one who shares them.
    Oh also - I wonder if these attitudes correlate with more liberal attitudes. It seems like they should logically, and in my experience it seems to be a thing for many republicans to be indifferent to the plight of X random group until they know someone from that group, and then suddenly they care. Not that this is exclusive to right wing people by any means, it's a universal human trait, but it does seem to be far more common and extreme in that group.

    I also relate to the idea of caring about people in a global sense as well as in smaller groups (country, community, groups at high risk, etc), without needing to meet those people first. It's not caring in the same way that you'd care about a family member, but it's caring nonetheless.
    -end of thread-

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Ah, good points. I did not realize that getting on the ballot was something difficult in the US....weird. Here you see all sorts of nonsense parties on there so I assume that means it isn't that hard to get listed. None of them ever get a meaningful number of votes, though.

    We have the five established parties (Christian Democrats - moderate conservative, Social Democrates - moderate liberal, Green Party - moderately to pretty liberal, FDP - free market/libertarian-ish, and the Left Party -pretty liberal to extreme left) all of which except the Left have been in national government at some point and in just about all possible combinations. The extreme right is only represented at a regional level but never made it into the national parliament. The country has IIRC never been governed by one single party but always by a two-party coalition. At some point the FDP changed wings from moderate left to moderate conservative and the latest trend is a possible coalition between the formerantagonists the Christian Democrats and the Greens - it is already working at state level and the Greens are even the senior partner there (in a pretty conservative state!). The need for coalitian building takes a lot of bitterness and miltantism out of the system and makes party politics more compromise oriented.

    My favorite loony party the last time around was the Purple Party (die Violetten), a selfdeclared "party for spiritual politics" ... in a new age sense, not a Christiam one, mind you. They are actually an international movement.

    Then there are the Gray Panthers (senior citizens). There is the Party of Bible-believing Christians, the Animal Protection Party, the Car Driver's Party and countless leftist and rightwing extremists.

    Oh, and there is the German Beerdrinker's Union, the Pogo Party (as in punk music, not the cartoon) and the PARTY (a legally recognizd party founded by a satirical magazine, in the style of something The Onion or the Colbert Report would do)
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  8. #128
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Dictators and demagogues appreciate that line of reasoning as well, and take full advantage of the human tendency to do just what you describe. *Fortunately each generation has souls brave enough to stand up and say, "that's wrong", even as their fellows try to shout (or shoot) them down.
    I don't know if I wasn't clear enough or if you just stopped reading after the part you put in bold. My whole point was that such loyalty is reserved for local personal relationships and not with heads of state.


    You might be able to care only in the context of a relationship, but that is not true for everyone. Also, caring is not the same as love. I understand very much the idea of caring globally, because that is how I most readily care about people. I think of it more as impersonal vs personal, though, since it does not necessarily include everyone everywhere. Sometimes when I get too personal about it, I actually stop caring since I can see the individual flaws of each person and that makes me frustrated. But I can still care about the plight of the unemployed, or the mentally ill, or trafficked persons, etc. in a more abstract sense, and that motivates me to get involved and help. I won't ascribe these motivations to politicians, specific or general, but I know I am not the only one who shares them.
    I don't really differentiate love from caring, but rather see caring as a part of love.

    Let's focus on what's commendable and what's not commendable. I don't think there's anything inherently commendable about what you or Jennifer are describing as "global caring." It may or may not be a prerequisite for charitable acts, but having a sense of empathy for a person or group is nothing in and of itself. It is not until you act on that empathy by doing something charitable that you do something that is commendable and reflects on your character.

    So seeing a homeless person, feeling empathy, and then buying him a sandwich is commendable. Watching a skinny African child on a commercial, feeling empathy, and then going on with your day is not commendable.


    Empathy (while desirable during disasters) has little to do with most of the president's job of administrating and working with congress to form policy. The president isn't supposed to be charitable with the money of the American people he is supposed to use that money to protect America's interests and pay for entitlements.

    As an aside I'm wondering if wanting a candidate capable global caring is the liberal equivalent to conservatives wanting a guy they could have a beer with.

    No. Real caring can manifest in concrete actions toward a nameless group, as when someone donates food to a local food pantry, or builds a playground for kids they will never meet.
    Sure. I'll concede that concrete actions done anonymously can be a meaningful type of caring. Especially since your examples tie a person to a particular place and people. Still I think more meaningful caring goes on where there is an interrelationship and people receive just as they give. When people merely have empathy for a person or group, and either give anonymously or not at all they are liable to look at that person or group as mere victims. It is through real caring relationships that a healthy respect is developed for other human beings.
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  9. #129
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    There's a gorilla inside me...
    "In every actor there lives a tiger, a pig, an ass, and a nightingale." - Corey Taft
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  10. #130
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    I don't know if I wasn't clear enough or if you just stopped reading after the part you put in bold. My whole point was that such loyalty is reserved for local personal relationships and not with heads of state.
    You were clear. It is this local, personal loyalty that those in power can exploit. If your neighbors turn in the Jews they know, you do, too. If your family won't associate with blacks, you don't either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Let's focus on what's commendable and what's not commendable. I don't think there's anything inherently commendable about what you or Jennifer are describing as "global caring." It may or may not be a prerequisite for charitable acts, but having a sense of empathy for a person or group is nothing in and of itself. It is not until you act on that empathy by doing something charitable that you do something that is commendable and reflects on your character.

    So seeing a homeless person, feeling empathy, and then buying him a sandwich is commendable. Watching a skinny African child on a commercial, feeling empathy, and then going on with your day is not commendable.
    I am more concerned with what is effective than commendable; effective in relieving suffering and enabling others to reach their potential. Buying a homeless person a sandwich is a band-aid that does more to make you feel good. In any case, how do you extend this to the starving child in Africa? I don't need to know either one personally to be motivated to support my local soup kitchen (a local systemic if partial solution), or to make a deliberate decision that I can be of more help to people other than that child in Africa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Empathy (while desirable during disasters) has little to do with most of the president's job of administrating and working with congress to form policy. The president isn't supposed to be charitable with the money of the American people he is supposed to use that money to protect America's interests and pay for entitlements.
    I agree. I don't expect charity from the president, just effectiveness, and a longer view of American interests than most politicians take. It is not in America's interests to squander the contributions of large portions of our citizenry through poor education, crime, unemployment, or untreated health issues. Nor is it in our interests to have strategic regions of the world destabilized by angry, idle, or manipulated mobs. If conservatives and liberals can set ideology aside long enough to examine practical solutions to real problems, they will find they are often not that far apart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Sure. I'll concede that concrete actions done anonymously can be a meaningful type of caring. Especially since your examples tie a person to a particular place and people. Still I think more meaningful caring goes on where there is an interrelationship and people receive just as they give. When people merely have empathy for a person or group, and either give anonymously or not at all they are liable to look at that person or group as mere victims. It is through real caring relationships that a healthy respect is developed for other human beings.
    So, if I read about runaways turning to prostitution and want to help, I have to find one of these people and get to know them individually before I count as "caring"?? I'm glad it doesn't really work that way. There is a big difference between helping anonymously and not at all, and anonymity is not the critical part. My point is that I don't need a relationship with someone to desire to help them, I just need to inform myself about their needs. If I helped only those with whom I do have relationships, I would be doing far less than I can, should, and wish to. I do see merit in acting locally. The logistics are easier, it is easier to assess the results, and sometimes easier to understand the problem or need to begin with. Local or overseas, however, it is most important to focus your efforts where they will get the most results.

    I'm not sure where you get the idea of seeing people as victims. You may see the anonymous needy that way; I usually think, "there but for the grace of God . . . ".
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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