The problem I see is that a candidate appears on the political scene and we have very little in the way of character or integrity information to go on, unless we have something to hang our hats on from his religion, his background work, schooling, written papers, or whatever else can be dredged up. A person that has been in the limelight for years, and has held elective office of a managerial kind provides a bit of substance and a file of reporting on his character and integrity.
Even that much is woefully deficient for those politicians that have a sterling public persona, but a horrible private one that no one divulges before the election.Comment Posted By Mannning On 6.10.2009 @ 21:55
I prefer to take my biases one reporter/writer at a time, thank you. There are good, solid, objective (as possible) correspondents and then there are biased ones - both liberal and conservative.
A rational position, but one that is daily defeated by Editors that take the pristine output from fine reporters and turn it into something far less and more biased. Or, even worse, they refuse to print the report or air the video snip at all.Comment Posted By mannning On 6.10.2009 @ 15:30
Oh dear, I was far too hasty. judgment/a space after 3)/an, not a/and an extra but. SAT!Comment Posted By mannning On 6.10.2009 @ 15:22
#23 Doug King
Manning (#11): You emphasized that those who are right of center tend to be fairly religious, to one degree or another. Are you implying that those who are left of center are not very religious? (If so, I find it hard to believe, but pardon the pun). What role, if any, do you think religion plays in the populist wing of the political left?
Religion, to me, plays several important roles in the political arena, whether we are focusing on leftist or rightist politics: 1)the basis of social peace and social problem-solving is ethics and morality, and the most understood and taught moral scheme in the US by far is from the Christian religion; 2) as citizens of a republic, we are called upon to make judgements about people in the political sphere, and one consistent criteria many use is what religion the candidate for office professes, leading to a imperfect but perhaps the only available "independent" measure of the moral system of the candidate; 3)as moral conflicts arise between opposing platforms of political parties, many religious believers seek guidance from their religion to help make a decision as to which platform position is the right one for them. This strikes at the core of the opposing views when religion dictates very clearly one or the other position; 4) it is also true that as modern morality slides away from religious teachings, people tend to reject the religious position, simply because they cannot hold to the full faith and morality of their religion and also continue to perform against church teachings--i.e. the less than moral, nihilistic behavior they quite willfully indulge in today.
Perhaps this falling away is on only a few issues, but but that is sufficient to make most people rather uncomfortable in church! 5) there has been a significant rise in the number of unaffiliated people, either because they have become atheistic, agnostic, or just not satisfied with organized religion ( "nones"). This may lead to greater hedonism and moral relativism, I don't know, but that is a plausible idea. In any event, it is highly observable that our moral underpinnings have slipped badly in the last decades. 6) in coming up with a philosophy of life, I believe that people, either consciously or not, decide to follow either their teachings or their desires, with significant consequences for their religious outlook. This carries over into their voting preferences to a degree, I believe. Do they vote for more discipline and personal responsibility, or do they vote for a more laissez faire and indulgent platform?
Then, too, we have had a spate of crooks being found out in government and the political arena. It is a pity that they failed to follow the teachings of their upbringing, but sin has no particular party preference.Comment Posted By mannning On 6.10.2009 @ 12:58
I am not interested in purging the popularizers. I am interested in reducing their influence - as I am interested in reducing the influence on policy in the GOP by the religious right - and the perception that their methods and views reflect a majority of those of us on the right.
There is the Right and there is the Religious Right, which would seem to be the "far Right", and then there are Rightists that are also Religious.
Quite the majority of Rightists, all that stand from the Center Rightward, are Religious, I believe. There are a few "Nones" in the ranks, but I believe they count for far less than ten percent of the Right. (Most "Nones" appear to be found somewhere on the Left.)
It seems, then, that we have the Religious-Right and the Right-Religious that together make up about 90% to 95% of the conservative movement. This is the main force of conservatism and it is largely Right-of-Center, and not Center or narrowly Center-Right.
I wonder what significant parts of their thinking, their conservative tenets, their religious thought, their morality, and their political thought need to be "suppressed" in order to reduce their (majority) influence on the movement?
Is it mainly the influence of their religion from which they derive their objections to such things as abortion, same--sex marriage, and amnesty for illegal aliens, and from which they derive their moral code?
Is it their perception that government should be minimalized insofar as possible and practicable, and that the Constitution be the law of the land once again?
Is it their belief that the proper way to modify the Constitution is by the Amendment process?
Is it that they object to legislating from the bench?
Or, is it that they object to creating a national debt of tens of trillions of dollars on principle?
Is it that they want lower and fairer taxes, and want all citizens to be stakeholders in the taxes to be paid? Is it that conservatives do not generally believe in progressive taxation?
Or, perhaps, it is their identification of enemies of the state to be those that adhere to Islamic jihad?
Which of these conservative tenets, and others not stated, should be "suppressed" so that their influence can be lessened, and exactly why?
If, and I repeat, if the main thing to be suppressed are the religious tenets of the conservative Right that you object to, you will not succeed, simply because you are suggesting that it is politically expedient for them to suppress their closely-held religious belief system.
I suggest also that you seriously underestimate the influence of Limbaugh, Beck and other media spokespersons on the conservative Right. By ranting against them, you are alienating quite a portion of the Right, and not adding much of anything at all to the numbers voting Right drawn from the Independents. You are adding to the Squabble-Factor without supplying any effective replacements for those you wound.Comment Posted By mannning On 5.10.2009 @ 14:40
Is it unpatriotic to want your country to live up to its extraordinary ideals? Is it unpatriotic to criticize what liberals see as hypocrisy in our history, where we celebrate freedom while keeping millions in bondage? Or speak glowingly of Native American culture while treating them abysmally?
Of course not! But to live and shout this negative and poisonous attitude day in and day out, to the near exclusion of celebrating the good in America, is a huge turnoff, and an excellent reason to avoid or suppress such soreheads. It is the origin of the feeling that the left is not at all patriotic. Why do they need to ensure that the entire world is thoroughly informed of our past sins every year, over and over? Move on!
Then too, there is the fact that their financial and social goals are ruinous and actually anti-American, which makes it virtually impossible for conservatives to grant leftwing liberals any kind of patriotism at all.
Only one measure is needed to illustrate the point: the latest prediction of the national debt under Obama, in the year 2019, is $31 trillion, without considering Obamacare.
This is unforgivable.Comment Posted By Mannning On 3.10.2009 @ 19:11
Comity and courtesy are excellent calls to be heeded by all--no argument.
Of course, it takes two to tango here, and I find some encounters with the other persuasion impossible to keep within reasonable bounds, simply because really filthy, in-your-face motor-mouths override everything else, including my feeble attempts at being polite. It seems that some leftwingers have developed the "skill" to shout their opinions at full volume without taking pause for a breath, and they do not listen to your side on principle. Try calling these louts out!
In calling out people for being rude louts, you may achieve a bit of startled quiet for a short time, but on the rebound, louts will be louts. Activist louts of either political persuasion are professional at it, and will see being called out to be a goad to ever nastier invective and higher volume. Some of these professional louts are paid agitators in the first place.
If you can control the venue, control the audience or membership, and have the right and capability to gavel down or even expel the louts, you may be able to maintain comity. Otherwise, you are in for more and more loutish behavior.Comment Posted By Mannning On 2.10.2009 @ 23:02
Did I see signs of ists in the Carter or Clinton eras?
The only one that comes immediately to mind was the push for Hillarycare, which was really alarming. Bumbles and Slick were rather terrible Presidents in my view, but they did not set off ist alarms and signs the way or to the same extent Obama has done.
I must admit, however, that the production of sheer booboos has outdone the ist alarms, and I am not prescient enough to be certain that the booboos were really that or something more sinister and motivated by ist intents downstream.
Why is Obama insulting and shunning the UK representatives he encounters? Why does Obama act subserviently to Saudi Royals? Why does Obama insist on interfering with the constitutional processes in Honduras? Why does Obama choose to attack Israel for its settlements in the west Bank, rather than enormous and pressing subjects of a more serious nature, such as Iran?
These, and many more actions of similar import leave me cold and wondering what is going on. I have seen no adequate explanations for such acts, and I believe the American people are due some. Instead, I perceive a "go to hell!" attitude.
But, then, these are not in themselves earthshaking matters, but merely indications of a mindset that is diametrically opposed to what I believe is right and proper. So I take points away. Lots of them!
Closing up the channels of information to the public is well underway, I believe. Example: name the 30-odd Czars on Obama's staff, and explain their responsibilities and authority in their areas, and then tell me what their precise relationship is to the Cabinet Members in the very same areas. Can you do it without significant difficulty? I doubt it. Then tell me where each of them came from and what their contribution to the nation has been that qualifies them to hold their positions. This reminds me of Czar Nicholas'statement that he didn't rule Russia, 10,000 clerks did.Comment Posted By mannning On 1.10.2009 @ 15:45
As a skeptic, I do view with skepticism those that are in the limelight for any reason. As a conservative I try to listen with my inner ear to what the next politician is attempting to sell, in order to classify him as on my side--or not. Obama long ago convinced me that he would be extremely bad for the nation, and that opinion has been reinforced a hundredfold since the election--he is not on my side, and he is, in my opinion, taking the nation down the road to insolvency very rapidly indeed.
This is the line of reasoning and opinion that millions of people have signed up to recently, and more are coming to the same position every day.
Now you get to the question of what to do about it? While fringe groups with this opinion and this fear yell and scream and make vile comparisons, perhaps to try to move the problem along (in their view), the majority of like-minded people are simply gearing up to defeat the Democrats in the next elections, and to attempt to influence their representatives concerning the flood of spending that is going on.
It is not unusual that some choose invective to make their points, especially when they discover that they are not being very effective at staunching their tax money flow into smelly ratholes around the country. So they gather for comfort and to take heart that so many others are in the same position; some go over the line in expressing their discontent as people are wont to do. But then, so has the opposition done the same thing in past years, with similar results and similar invective. Out of 100,000 people there will inevitably be 100 to 500 that are more charged up than the rest, and that are more susceptable to yelling and screaming, and waving flags and signs of all kinds, whether misguided or not. Of course, the opposition seizes upon these high energy demonstrators to attempt to make them representative of the party! This is typical political behavior--and decidedly dishonest as well--but we are stuck with it.
So, instead of taking these energetic people to task, and bemoaning their absolutely terribe influence on the fate of the party, cooler heads should be working very hard to redirect this group energy into far more constructive avenues: towards defeating the Democrats at every turn. Once these people receive good guidance and direction they become an effective political force instead of a gaggle.
I have found no one yet that has taken up this challenge to form the opposition and direct it along winning paths, and an individual that has made a real impact.Comment Posted By mannning On 1.10.2009 @ 14:24
You need to look up Godwin's Law again, busboy! LOL! And then read again!
A false application of the law loses!Comment Posted By Mannning On 30.09.2009 @ 22:54