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Rants: OT & OTT > Occupy Wall Street - Then the World

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message 1: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I'm going to release the lions.

I've been watching OWS since it was only on Twitter.

I poked a news commentator asking why he wasn't covering it.

I see OWS as a protest against those Conspiring to Wreck the World. (Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission, Koch Brothers, Soros - you name them.)

I wish I was younger, I'd run off to NYC to join them - just to get arrested and prove I was there.


message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I don't understand why people purposely put themselves in a position to be arrested. It gives them a police record and for what purpose? It does nothing to improve the situation that caused them to show up at the protest. It reminds me of people who stop eating as a form of protest. The only one hurt is the non-eater.

I don't understand all the uproar over a vet being injured. It's not like the police went looking for a vet to injure. He was someone who attended the protest knowing there could be violence. Suppose it had been a serial killer that was injured and not a vet. Would people be making him a symbol of the movement? It was all a matter of chance, and the chances very much favored getting hurt if one went to the protest.

I don't understand why protesters think that inconveniencing others helps their cause. When they tie up traffic, block buildings, occupy parks, and keep tourists from enjoying their vacations, they get a big fat failure in my grade book.

I don't understand why participants keep talking about, in one breath, how they hope everyone remains peaceful -- when, in the next breath, they're almost giddy and high on the thought that confrontation with the police is about to happen. Tweets fly, links to live coverage get emailed around, and people sit on the edge of their seats waiting for the injuries and arrests. There's excitement. Expectation. They want to make the news and are deflated when they don't. They want it to look like they're standing up against the man. But the man is just someone employed to keep the peace and order, and the man is following the dictates of the boss. Why put the cops in the position of having to clash with people whose values and complaints they likely share? It's all just for the theater of it, and the hope for a direct confrontation with *someone* even if it can't be with those are actually causing the societal problems.

I don't understand how a protest can be started without a stated goal or end point. All that's wrong with the distribution of wealth, the job situation, and the justice system can't be solved on any sort of timetable, therefore there's no precise, clean way to end this thing and claim victory. The current complaints have existed for generations, perhaps forever, and there's no resolution likely. There may be small changes that will look like progress, at least for a while, but this is a war with no end and every change can revert to business as usual moments later. Do we really want people living in our parks and tying up city services (police and sanitation) forever? The cost OWS is inflicting on cities is pointless and non-productive, and the costs are something no city knew to budget ahead of time. Who pays? The 99%.

I don't understand why protesters think there's something meaningful in the fact that the majority of the public is in sympathy with their cause. Why wouldn't they be? The majority of us are suffering the consequences of the government, the justice system, and the economic situation being what it is. We also all see what big business and lobbyists are doing to us. It's no secret, and people camping out in our parks do nothing to fix that. Having people on your side and helping the situation are two entirely different things.

I don't understand why anyone would think that breaking windows, pushing their way into banks, or smearing paint on ATMs would benefit the cause.

I don't understand how, if OWS continues, it won't feed into the warped fantasies of those who think violent revolution is the way to go.

The media ignored the protest at first. Now they report on the clashes with the hapless cops, city government officials, and even the neighbors who must tolerate having the protests in what is essentially their front yard. The coverage gets us no closer to fixing what's wrong, but it warms the hearts of those who are protesting because it gives them attention and makes it appear, for as long as the broadcast lasts anyway, that acting out has value. All this energy and commitment would have been better spent protesting in D.C. because the legislature is where the power for change lies, and it would have been better spent on establishing clear, achievable goals stated at the outset along with realistic deadlines. It's foolish to claim, as some protesters do, that the lack of direction and goals gives the movement its strength. All it does is open the doors to every malcontent in the country and validate their complaints even if their complaints are driven by crazy thoughts. You know what they say about some criminals: what they did, they would never have done if acting alone -- but when they teamed up with another (or others) it became easy to cross the line. Group-think and group-support can be a beautiful -- or horribly ugly -- thing. Getting politicians on the record in response to those goals, had they established any, would have enabled protesters to see more accurately who really supports them -- and I don't mean just the politicians themselves. I mean when the votes for those politicians are counted.

It's pathetic when OWS is compared to the Vietnam war protests. There was a single purpose then, and an achievable, realistic goal that, in the end, could be measured and judged.

I am a veteran of too many protests to believe there's anything ahead for OWS other than a great big fizzle (which just reemphasizes how impossible it is to repair the system) -- or the oppposite: an upheaval bringing with it the most dire of outcomes. When cities grow tired of the expense, mess, inconvenience, and confrontations these protesters have foisted on them, it can get ugly -- even tragic -- and it's all for naught. Look what's happened overseas. Do you want to see our cities burn, our small businesses destroyed, people killed? When tempers flare and nerves fray (and they will if this keeps up), that is the possible outcome. I, for one, don't want to see it. But I'm all for establishing a third party in this country that takes on the powers that be in the only place where genuine change can happen: D.C.

message 3: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod

message 4: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 240 comments Personally I find it vastly amusing to watch OWS in relation to the Tea Partiers. (Supposedly the two far wings of American politics.)

OWS stands around and makes noise. TP run candidates for local and national elections.

Let's see... it's a democratic republic... Who's gonna win in the long run?

I'm cynical enough to believe that OWS doesn't really want to see the changes they're trying to make, otherwise they wouldn't be standing around, they'd be off running candidates and trying to actually change things.

message 5: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments Keryl, those I know who are involved in the protests are sincere in their complaints and they do want change -- but they believe that just showing up in large numbers can change the situation. If that were true, the Iraq war would have ended before it began.

I, too, think about how the Tea Party went about getting heard, not that I'm pleased about their success in putting candidates in office. Despite my views re OWS, I am a bleeding-heart liberal. I think OWS is the natural consequence of electing a candidate who ran on "hope" only to deliver hopelessness. I know that much of what's wrong isn't his fault, but too often when he could have flexed some political muscle on behalf on those in the 99%, he failed to do so. That has helped create this backlash of utter frustration.

message 6: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 240 comments Patricia wrote: "Keryl, those I know who are involved in the protests are sincere in their complaints and they do want change -- but they believe that just showing up in large numbers can change the situation."


I don't necessarily agree with the TPers either, but they see how the system works, and they're working it.

I've seen lots of OWS mission statement type things, and there really is no way, sort of setting the system on fire and shooting the TPers to get a lot of it. As long as we have a system where we actually vote on things and have to make compromises, it isn't going to happen.

So, my guess is they don't really care if the banks change or student loans are forgiven, or whatever. What they really want is a system where this whole voting thing isn't the mechanism (at least voting if conservatives are allowed to participate) for how decisions are made and laws implemented. I do think they're sincere about that.

message 7: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I see OWS as the silent majority standing up to the conservative political windbags.

The very fact there are so many of them - puts tremendous pressure on the reactionary Right to shut up and back down.

I agree that if the President had the courage of his convictions, there wouldn't be people in the streets. However, I believe that he was a sacrifical lamb. This is going to be his only chance to grow a spine.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

I also see these protests as showing force against the idiots like Rush 'I M SO RIGHT' Lembaugh and Sarah - the Caribou Barbie.

The antidote to the reationary Right is a huge protest, international in scope, that wants the goverment to be 'for the people, by the people' instead of the Koch brothers and the other 'Secret Society' types who have been allowed to run amock for too long.

message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I can't speak for all those participating in the movement, but the ones I know are protesting because of the way Wall Street waltzed away unscathed for the most part while many in the 99% are losing their homes. They see the importance of companies making profits, but not obscene profits and not at the expense of US economy (outsourcing). Etc. They do want the voting mechanism to stay in place; they just want their votes to amount to something. There's frustration that even when someone they think will fight for the interests of 99% is elected, that fight never gets started. Maybe it's just that they grew up on movies about populist leaders and they forget those movies are fiction. The happy endings don't happen in real (versus reel) life.

Because of the rampant disillusionment and the feeling that the game of life is fixed, and not in their favor, I suspect many will just stop voting. I came close to that three years ago. It wasn't that I wanted change without voting; it was that I'd lost faith in those who've been elected. Give the party I align with a majority in both houses and it makes no difference in terms of what I'd like to see happen. It wasn't until a day or two before election day that I decided I had to vote. The thought of Sarah Palin as V.P. was just too frightening. But my faith in elections to translate into meaningful change is far in the past.

message 9: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Keryl wrote: "What they really want is a system where this whole voting thing isn't the mechanism (at least voting if conservatives are allowed to participate) for how decisions are made and laws implemented. I do think they're sincere about that."

It's why I call them "fascists".

message 10: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments You couldn't be more wrong about them, Andre, if that's the label you slap on them.

message 11: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
The determining factor about fascists is that, like their communist first cousins, they want to force everyone to do their bidding without voting and without exposing themselves to the electorate. If that rabble in Wall Street thinks it can govern better than that poor man in the White House that they elected for his skin color -- a very nasty form of racism if you ask me -- rather than his ability or experience, they should put up candidates for election.

If you have evidence that Keryl is wrong, that that rabble honours the democratic process, let's see it.

message 12: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I disagree with 'Fascists' - these are young people who are in worse economic shape than any other generation in 80 years.

They're exercising their constitutional rights (as tax payers) to assemble - and protest the BS their elected officals are pulling. Cutting social programs for their generation in order to fund tax cuts for the richest Americans.

I think it's great - and about time this happened. The Ultra-conservative Right isn't doing the will of the American people. Obviously, or there wouldn't be an OWS or ANY street.

message 13: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
K. A. wrote: "I think it's great - and about time this happened. The Ultra-conservative Right isn't doing the will of the American people. Obviously, or there wouldn't be an OWS or ANY street. "

Chalo Colina on

"You might be cool with getting ripped off by the rich and powerful,
but not everybody is. So you can say your piece and let others say
theirs. The people spoke loudly and clearly before the Congressional
vote on the Wall Street bailout, and Congress openly defied the will
of the people in favor of the few rich and powerful. The
demonstrations you see all over the place now are a consequence of
that. Expect more of the same.

"Are you really happy with working for everything you have and
accepting the downside of all the risks you take, while people who
make obscene fortunes gambling on the backs of other people's work and
enterprise get to loot your pockets and/or run up your credit card
when they suffer gambling losses? I'm not."

message 14: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments Americans are always good for a lol. ;)

My family are all nuts. I think it's the environment there... heh.

message 15: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments The beauty about being in Australia is you are not important, you know you are not important, and so you don't think you are important. Americans seem to fall into the trap of thinking they are. ;P

message 16: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 21 comments I lost faith in the electoral process years ago. I only vote now because it's a legal requirement. At least I think it is, and I'd rather vote and find out I didn't have to than the other way around. I don't think the 'rabble' thinks they can govern better than the government, Andre. I think they're just sure someone can. The fact remains that the banks screwed up and the 99%, as they have come to be called, are paying for it. I'm angry too. I think I'm entitled to be. Their methods aren't great, but what choice have they been left with? Elect someone to government on the back of their promises and watch them go back on every single one of them. Whatever form of government we are currently under, I wouldn't call it democracy. The general populace is certainly not in charge.

message 17: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments Democracy is great. You get a choice of two dictators.

message 18: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 21 comments I was referring to the Ancient Greek version. The original.

message 19: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments I think our current form of government, at least in Australia and USA, is the same one they have in the original Rollerball.

message 20: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Anti-Caanism: Rule by the enemies of James Caan!

message 21: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments Of course we will have wait and see if all this comes to anything at all.

I think this will be the end of the Reactionary Right.

Already Caribou Barbie has vanished from the TV screen. That alone is a priceless improvement.

message 22: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Is Palin no longer a Fox commentator? I haven't been paying close attention, but I thought it was just her TLC show that was over.

message 23: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I don't watch Fox - I've just noticed she's not mentioned on the regular news casts.

I'm SO TIRED of her!

message 24: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 04, 2011 11:54AM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Mhairi wrote: "I only vote now because it's a legal requirement. At least I think it is..."

If you live in Australia, Mhairi, it is definitely a legal requirement to vote. The first election fell shortly after I arrived. I didn't vote and was hauled up in court for it. I could have said I was ill with the bullet wound with which I arrived from South America, but instead I told the magistrate the truth, that I deliberately didn't vote because I didn't know who was who and what was what, and thought it irresponsible to force me to vote without a chance properly to investigate. He wasn't an old chap, but he wore these thick glasses. He asked me to step into the well of the court and approach so he could see my face. Tell me all of that again, he said. I did. Quite, he said. I agree with you. But the law is the law. I find you guilty as charged, fine you two dollars, and to show how much I enjoy discovering a man of principle in my court, I'll pay your fine. And he leaned over and slapped two dollars on the rail that ran before him, and told the clerk of the court to go pay my fine. I had him and his wife to dinner a few times in Melbourne, and they came to stay with me when I moved to Adelaide. I made some good friends because of that episode. Come to think of it, the MP who suggested I become a novelist and gave me an introduction to my first publishers, from which all else followed, called me because he heard about that and wanted me to write him something striking to say in Parliament, and we became fast friends until his death.

I think it is a good idea to require people to vote, as a civic responsibility. That way everyone bears responsibility for what their government does.

message 25: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments I agree with pretty much everything Patricia said... And also Kat.

Except I don't think we should remove the protesters, even though they are an ugly blight on Vancouver's beautiful Art Gallery lawns.

The beauty of our governing laws (which here on ROBUST seem to be predominantly American, Canadian and Aussie, with a sprinkling of Western European) is precisely that we can legally peacefully protest. Yes it has gotten out of hand in a few places, but by and large the OWS, which I suppose should be given a new name, being as how the protests have spread throughout the world, is that a message is being sent to remind the Big Dogs that the ROTW has a voice and are now willing to use it.

This is the something good that can come from a country in turmoil, be it financial, by nature, or by fratricide, genocide, or any other term one wants to put to it.

Because of the courage of the populace, a few despots have recently been deposed and more are sure to follow. We are fortunate here in our Democracies that such protests needn't have the violence and death that appear to be required for change elsewhere.

For certain many of the protesters are doing it for the wrong reasons, and a lack of stated common purpose is sure to diminish the effect. The crux of the protests is that the average citizen has been operating from a feeling of helplessness and fear for several years, and the protests have given them some hope. From hope springs action. From action springs success. It won't be immediate. The economy worldwide is just too precarious, but even this small action could be enough to begin to turn things around.

But the fact remains, the people are speaking up. I am willing to bet that more than one politician is running scared right about now, worried for their future. And if nothing else comes from this, that could be a good thing...

message 26: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I am willing to bet that more than one politician is running scared right about now, worried for their future. And if nothing else comes from this, that could be a good thing...

That's the whole point - to scare the sh!t out of the politicians who think they are fooling people. We know who they work for, not the people who elected them, but the people who financed them.

If only one thing comes of this - it should be the people see how yellow the average politico truely is. They are about to start falling all over themselves to appease the 99% - because OMG! it's people who vote. (Imagine that!)

This is going to be great entertainment - watching the Right do an about face and fall all over themselves.

Maybe this will bring the Center back into power - get the extremists back into line with the average person who is neither far Left nor far Right. (Only if the Left grows a spine, which is doubtful.)

message 27: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments I don't think the movement will prompt any meaningful change on the Right. It's the Left that should be worried. Their base is angry. Obama has lost a big chunk of his independent and progressive support because of his appeasement of the Right.

Unlike Andre, I don't think anyone should be forced to vote. If you're presented with two choices and neither represents your values, your non-vote is a vote.

Right now, Obama knows how much the non-voters can endanger his chances for a second term. His campaign managers have admitted as much. If enough of those who supported him last time decide to sit home on election day, disillusioned, the Democratic party as a whole may finally get the message. I say "may" because they've been pretty dense about getting it so far.

It's the worry over those potential non-voters that's pushed Obama to take stronger left-leaning stands in the past few weeks, but it may well be too little too late. When he said we'll withdraw from Iraq by year's end, it was just honoring a promise made by George Bush, but even so it resonated with the progressives and many are giving Obama credit for it. It's too bad that his most progressive move was made because a Republican forced him into it. If only he'd be as responsive to progressives, or even the lesser liberals, he'd easily win the White House again, especially with OWS issues being identical to what progressives, much of the more mainstream left, and many indies consider important.

message 28: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments Even if you are required to vote, you can choose to not vote easily enough. I actually avoided the vote here in Australia before finally getting fed up enough to register. Not that we have much of a choice at the moment and Julia seems eager to suicide anyway.

message 29: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 1099 comments I have a friend who has never voted. He's happy to just pay the fine every time - he considers it the price of free choice.

I find, living in the country, that it's a waste of time voting anyway. We live in a safe National Party seat. They will always win in this backwater, but they don't have an ounce of punch in the larger scheme of things. They managed to bring in the 'Royalties for Regions' scheme last year, where the royalties from mines are diverted into country areas. So where does it all go? Into the large regional centres. We've been told our sleepy little town is going to become a 'super town' one day. What was I saying yesterday about winged pigs?

message 30: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Katie wrote: "What was I saying yesterday about winged pigs?"

Crunchy or with sauce?

message 31: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments How do they police the voting issue? And how significant is the fine?

I knew people here who never registered because jury pools were drawn from the registrations. But the courts got smart and started to also draw from the lists of those who have drivers' licenses.

message 32: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
I didn't pay the fine but I remember it being two dollars... I'm sure it is more now. The intention wasn't to criminalize anyone but as a reminder that a vote is not only a right but also a duty.

message 33: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments You have to make a bit of a statement to really have an issue. At most you get a letter after the election and then you say something like I was sick, forgot, car broke down, what election? etc. Or you just send the $20 fine. Failing that, or if you just want to make a thing of it, I think it's about $50 plus court costs.

message 34: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Two dollars to twenty? That's an inflation-proof fine!

message 35: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments lol. I think they decided to raise it before there came a time when didn't have coins at all (since we have nothing smaller than a $5 note now). Already talk that we will soon loose the 5 cent piece. :)

message 36: by Andre Jute (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Australia is already the fifth province of South Africa. Pretty humiliating to have a currency like Italy's before the Eurobankers straightened out her finances, when all prices started with something-milli-something; even a cup of coffee was so many thousands of the local monopoly counters.

message 37: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments When fines are collected, what happens to the money? A city near me has such a low turnout (about 16% sometimes) they might be able to close the deficit in their budget if they started fining people.

message 38: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments I tell people, if they didn't vote, they don't get to bitch.

Shuts them up every time.

message 39: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) I've never really bought into that logic, K.A. Not without serious electoral reform.

What if no candidate actually represents a person's interests? What if they just have too many positions counter to the voter's own? Should someone have to settle for a '10%' candidate because of the way the political system is structured?

Heck, in a proportional system, you'd have more of an argument, but definitely in the winner-takes-all American system, voters are often forced to a very narrow range of choices. It's quite possible to look at the entire range of choices in a general election and say, "All of these choices would end up with the situation being worse."

message 40: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) I also guarantee you that voting participation is not 100% among the OWS crowd, at least judging by many of the protest-types I've known.

message 41: by J.A. (last edited Nov 05, 2011 09:33AM) (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) Not to say proportional systems don't have their own problems. I have no firm commitment to an existing system, it'd be nice to see more experimentation though in general. :)

message 42: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Jordan (kajordan) | 3042 comments IMO The elections that matter the most are state and local elections.

That is the place where one or two votes can make a difference.

If more people voted, the candiates would have to reflect the voters. Which means moderates instead of extremists.

Most of the time, I vote for the person who seems the most moderate. Or a woman, if she appears competent. Not the party they are in - I look at that last.

message 43: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Tillotson (storytellerauthor) | 1802 comments The American voting system is so different from ours, where we vote for the local Member of Parliament and whichever party gets the most seats is the ruling party and the Prime Minister is the (elected by the party) leader of that party. Well, there's a silly little leftover Colonial protocal where the Governor General is supposed to choose, after the election, who would most likey command the confidence of the elected representatives. Duh!

So we do not vote for the leader per se, or as in the case of our neighbours to the south, for the President and Vice-President. Nor do we segregate votes by Province, though the thought of that brings a huge smile to my face.

Not saying either is better than the other, just that as bystanders we don't really understand the process.

It's not illegal to not cast a vote in Canada and we are finding the younger crowd less interested and almost assuredly less informed. It is demonstations such as OWS that should bring out more interest and understanding of how things work. IF the crowd has the sense to weigh the issues before voting, and that is a BIG if. Perhaps in the end if it's more mature voters who are choosing the government it's not such a bad thing.

message 44: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments I do like the way our PM in really just another minister. As Sharon says, you vote for your local person and the leader is just selected by the majority of members. It gets away from having them become too comfortable, I think, and elevating them to some sort of temporary godhood. lol. Our current PM is on shaky ground, mostly because pretty much everyone dislikes her it would seem, so I have a feeling she won't be still in the position next election. Our elected representatives can simply replace her, not that we have a lot to pick from at the moment. We also have some of the leftover protocol from colonial days, but it really doesn't have much impact these days. I have lost interest in changing the system to some sort of 'republic' for a couple of reasons, mostly because it would just be a waste of money replacing a governor general with some other figure that does just as little.

message 45: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments K. A. wrote: "I tell people, if they didn't vote, they don't get to bitch.

Shuts them up every time."

It wouldn't shut me up. There are a lot of reasons people don't vote, but there's no reason to take away their freedom of speech.

message 46: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (patriciasierra) | 2388 comments J.a. wrote: "I also guarantee you that voting participation is not 100% among the OWS crowd, at least judging by many of the protest-types I've known."

I agree, and then there are those who toss their vote away on a third party candidate who doesn't have a chance. It makes a statement, but nothing more -- except possibly to Nader-ize an election.

message 47: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments I think you have more influence bitching than you do voting. lol.

message 48: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 05, 2011 06:15PM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
Not picking on anyone who's been bitching that you can't find a pol to vote for who represents you 100%, but it is that sort of demand that has polarized and fractured American politics into a disgusting log-rolling exercise.

There was a time when Americans voted for men of principle and vision. Lincoln, for instance. Wilson, even if he betrayed every principle he claimed to stand for. Even Teddy Roosevelt, the quintessential man of action, had a vision and was seen as a man of principle. You took the politician, and he led you to elysian fields.

Now you want the politician to be responsive to your every whim. He has no personality, no principles, no platform, he just blows where the mob runs.

In practice what this means is that any politician can be elected only if he put together enough logs to jam up the ballot box. Each log need only be a 2% special interest, but that doesn't matter as long as there are enough two percents and as long as each two percent doesn't care about the special interest of any other two percent. But the two percenters between them own that politician.

That describes a corrupt system. It also describes the elected members of both Houses of Congress, and above all it describes the President of the United of America.

It's a disgrace for the most powerful democracy in the world to fall so low. But it wasn't someone else who did it, it was American voters demanding instant gratification and then marching in the streets when they didn't get their own way instantly.

message 49: by Amos (new)

Amos Fairchild (amostfairchild) | 305 comments We seem keen to follow the American way. I can't imagine why.

message 50: by Andre Jute (last edited Nov 05, 2011 07:00PM) (new)

Andre Jute (andrejute) | 4851 comments Mod
I blame Jim Cairns, who rose through all that marching in the streets nonsense. There was much talk that he was a paid Chinese agent of influence.

Jokes aside, Amos, the truth probably is that Australia was simply growing too big and too industrialized for the political structures of a sleepy agricultural backwater, more sheep than people, to survive. Change was probably inevitable.

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