Stone Pigs

undeniable underlying truths

Oh The Wishy Washy Middle

Posted By Alan Partis on October 20, 2008

The following is part of a brief exchange I had with a reader who responded to “How to Vote”:

I don’t like being compartmentalized – that’s why I’m an Independent (although I think we should be allowed to vote in the Primaries).

I don’t think you really grasp the concept of political parties and the American election process very well.  If you’re not a member of a particular party, why should you be involved in helping to nominate their candidate?

It’s not as simple as you outline, though.

It should be.  Everyone should have a pretty clear definition of political thought and philosophies — we don’t have nearly enough of that either in school or in society in general.  This allows politicians (who are ALL scum in my experience so far) to blur their message and confuse issues to their benefit.

Question: why should ANYTHING be done to THEIR benefit?  “Politician” should be one of those jobs that is COMPLETELY selfless.  Of course, since all politicians are scum, it goes hand in hand for them to be selfish elitists as well.

Obviously, I want to be responsible for myself and my family but unfortunately, government (i.e. FDA for this example) allows unsafe medications to be readily available, which then jeopardizes my family.

Your position is understandable, but the question was who should be MOST responsible.  I too desire at least SOME government responsibility for my well being, especially when it comes to public safety issues i.e. roads, consumer protection (as you rightly point out), and military.  There are probably other examples as well, but by and large, I believe that my well being is something best handled by me and/or my family.

There is too much overlapping and intergrading of the two philosophies.

No doubt we’re talking about degrees of difference on the political scale, but both philosophies do indicate a direction on that scale.  Liberalism leans toward more government control and less personal responsibility.  Liberalism advocates more wealth redistribution via taxation and government social programs.  Liberalism tends to favor a more socialist form of government.  The opposite of these can be said of conservatism.

Certainly these two philosophies are not mutually exclusive.  However, a given individual should be able to say whether they want more or less of something.

I hope Obama wins this election.  I think Powell phrased the reasoning beautifully this morning on “Meet the Press.”  We need some fresh blood in the White House.  Or in this case, some fresh black, blood.

Why do you bring race into it?  Why do we need black blood?  And for that matter, how/why is Obama considered “black” with regard to his background in American life?  He is 50% white/European and first generation black/African.  He was raised by his white mother and white grandparents in Hawaii (for the most part).  He has no generational culture having descended from African slaves in the US.  It would be more historic for someone like Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice or Al Sharpton to be elected President than for Obama.

However, I did see Powell on “Meet the Press” and it struck me as being quite politically motivated, and a virtually staged campaign event, contrary to his own protestations that he was simply there as an average citizen expressing his support.  If he was no different than Joe Six-pack, then why not have me or Joe Six-pack on to express support for Obama or McCain?  He said he had made up his mind 2 months ago … so why wait until 2 weeks before the election to make his pronouncement?  It was very clearly a staged campaign event … though a highly effective one at that.


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