Persuade an American Swing Voter

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quintopia
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Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:43 am UTC

Who should I vote for in the upcoming presidential election and why? I've heard a lot of things from various news outlets, but not the kind that feature fair debates where both sides are equally represented. Could I get that here? I really am undecided and don't consider myself particular well-informed on candidates' histories and issues. In fact, I don't even know the names of more than two of the candidates. Feel free to argue amongst yourselves, but don't get bogged down in petty details, I'm looking more for facts, so don't spare on the references and citations. I'm always looking for good reading material. I'm not really going to voice my opinions or ideologies, and will only moderate in as much as I may ask for someone to expand on something or give me a reference for something, because I feel I will get more relevant information that way. I will say that, on average, I am just about middle-of-the-road on the American political spectrum, with libertarian leanings.

I won't ignore you if you aren't American; I'm open to opinions from wherever.

Lastly: I find pro/con lists really helpful.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby PhilSandifer » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:52 am UTC

To me, after eight years of a President who is categorically opposed to the idea that things in the world are subtle, ambiguous, or complicated, and who believes wholly that dogmatic adherence to ideology will always lead to the right outcome regardless of evidence, what is most necessary at the moment is the most intellectual President we can find.

I do not merely mean intelligent. I mean intellectual - respectful of differing opinions, aware that issues are complex, nuanced, and vexed, and respectful of thought, expertise, and wisdom.

To me, that is clearly Obama.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby darren » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:15 am UTC

Last edited by darren on Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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semicolon
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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby semicolon » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:15 am UTC

darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby darren » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:18 am UTC

semicolon wrote:
darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!

No. It's a waste of time.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Indon » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:32 am UTC

I'm not even going to talk about Obama and McCain. I personally rather like Obama, and couldn't care less about McCain, but that's not why I'm voting the way I am.

Republican fiscal policy is unsustainable, each republican president since Bush Sr. running up massive deficits. As massively overextended credit (which is what our debt is!) is wont to do, the collapse will be unforeseen and without forewarning. I feel the wake of a massive credit crisis involving home loans is a good time to point out the dangers of having national debt so high that that government could take 50% of the income of everyone in the nation (in addition to their federal taxes) for a year, put it towards paying the debt, and it wouldn't quite cover it. All thanks to multiple republican presidents and their influence (in the form of veto power) over the federal budget.

Republican educational policy is characterized easily with the Wedge document. This is the party that wants to redefine science for a religious agenda, not realizing the crippling impact it will have on our status as a world power.

Republicans want to redefine the civil union in America as a religious structure.

If I think of any more particular points, I'll post them too.
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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby semicolon » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:33 am UTC

So what's the alternative to voting?

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:59 am UTC

darren wrote:
semicolon wrote:
darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!

No. It's a waste of time.


That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on." This is why I disagree with all the people who keep telling me, "Yeah, the candidates suck, but you have to pick the lesser of two evils." Sorry, but my vote is for the person I actually want to be president, not against whichever candidate I dislike.

semicolon wrote:So what's the alternative to voting?


Fight the Man with the power of rock'n'roll?

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby darren » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:14 am UTC

ParanoidAndroid wrote:That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on."


Then consider the act of "not voting" as a vote against a corrupt system.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:38 am UTC

darren wrote:
ParanoidAndroid wrote:That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on."


Then consider the act of "not voting" as a vote against a corrupt system.


The government doesn't give a shit. Your next move is...?

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby darren » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:59 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:The government doesn't give a shit. Your next move is...?


(as if they'd give a shit if you voted....)

My next move would be to
1) Enjoy life, especially the time gained by not being glued to political news/blogs/etc. (To the OP: you'd be amazed at how much more time you'd have if you stopped giving a damn about who's going to be the next captain of the titanic.)
2) Prepare for a great depression and the socioeconomic collapse of the US as best I can.
3) Leave, if it gets really uncomfortable. Hopefully this won't come down to it, but I'm already looking for real estate offshore.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:40 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
darren wrote:
ParanoidAndroid wrote:That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on."


Then consider the act of "not voting" as a vote against a corrupt system.


The government doesn't give a shit. Your next move is...?


The Declaration of Independence wrote:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


(Emphasis mine)

I point again to John Locke.

Right of revolution


And that was the sound of an NSA wiretap being installed in my phone lines and computer.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:42 am UTC

semicolon wrote:
darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!


Okay. Who is there?
darren wrote:1) Enjoy life, especially the time gained by not being glued to political news/blogs/etc. (To the OP: you'd be amazed at how much more time you'd have if you stopped giving a damn about who's going to be the next captain of the titanic.)


I've spent my whole life not giving a damn. I skipped voting in the last election, though I was eligible. I feel like as long as I'm gonna be here, I might as well vote. And I really don't and don't plan on being glued to any media. What I have seen is only because it happened to be on and I had nothing better to do, and I have never turned on a TV with the intent of watching a news program. I was hoping this thread would help me to get involved without making me have to dig through untrustworthy media searching for the truth.

In any case, I've seen:
1 vote for 3rd party (without specifics)
1 vote for anything but Republican (without any information on the McCain's record)
1 vote for don't vote (I've already tried it and ended up with Bush)
1 vote for Obama (without any information on his record or views)
1 vote for leave the country (not an option right now)

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:19 am UTC

ParanoidAndroid wrote:
(Emphasis mine)

I point again to John Locke.

Right of revolution


And that was the sound of an NSA wiretap being installed in my phone lines and computer.


Well, we're getting incredibly distant from the topic but I can't quite resist. John Locke's theories are largely from a different era, I think they've lost a good deal of there relevance in modern civilization. Perhaps a poor farmer being taxed to death would fight to the death for his liberty, but a suburban household is unlikely to ever consider a chance at revitalizing a stagnant economy worth their lives.

And Darren, the government is not a monolithic entity incapable of change (...yet). I think Bush has amply demonstrated just how bad things can get (contrast the size of the government and its growth/inefficiency under him and Clinton). Can't we all at least flip coins to decide if the Green or Libertarian party gets our votes? If nothing else, a third party vote gives a mild mandate for reform; done in sufficient quantities such votes can lead to mild improvements. The odds may be stacked, but 85% percent of Americans think that the government isn't heading in the right direction; waiting for things to get worse so we can all say "I told you so" to each other isn't exactly what I'd call effective.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby seladore » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:20 am UTC

I can't see how people can advocate not voting. People all over the world are fighting and dying for the right to democratically choose a leader, and I can't see any excuse for not taking part.

I'm not American, so I can't vote this November. If I could, however, it would be for Obama. This is because:

- His pro-universal health care stance is laudable
- He treats immigrants, even illegal ones, as human beings. He said the task is to give them a pass to legitimate citizenship, not round them up and deport them.
- I like his stance of seeking an end to the Iraqi conflict - McCain, on the other hand, has said that America may be there for another century.
-I like that he is in favour of talking to America's political enemies. From his website...

The United States is trapped by the Bush-Cheney approach to diplomacy that refuses to talk to leaders we don't like. Not talking doesn't make us look tough — it makes us look arrogant...


-He supports Roe v. Wade
-He supports stem cell research
-He supports civil unions

This is in contrast with John McCain, who I generally disagree with. This is because:

-He seems rather belligerent, and in that sense a continuation of the mess that has lasted 8 years. For example, when he says
I'd institute a policy that I call 'rogue state rollback,'" McCain said. "I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments

he scares me. And here,
I still say there's only one thing worse than military action against Iran and that is a nuclear-armed Iran

Suggests that he would go to war with Iran over the issue of Nuclear proliferation.

And this scares me too...
McCain, campaigning Wednesday in South Carolina, answered a question about military action against Iran with the chorus of the surf-rocker classic "Barbara Ann."

"That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, 'Bomb Iran,'" he said. "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway, ah ..."

Asked if his joke was insensitive, McCain said: "Insensitive to what? The Iranians?"


He opposed the increasing of federal minimum wage (Obama supported it)
He said, regarding Roe v. wade
I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned


-He opposes federally funded sex ed and birth control plans.
-He is very much pro-gun (which I disagree with)
-He opposes civil unions for gay people (Obama supports them)
-He opposed creating a holiday in honour of Martin Luther King Jr. (though he has recently admitted he was wrong to do so)


I guess what this boils down to is 'I'm liberal'.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:29 am UTC

seladore wrote:[McCain] opposed the increasing of federal minimum wage (Obama supported it)


His record on the Washington Post website shows he voted for HR 2 to raise the federal minimum wage. Where did you get this info?

seladore wrote:[Obama] supports stem cell research

By his votes, so does McCain.

seladore wrote:[McCain] opposes civil unions for gay people (Obama supports them)

Yet he voted against the Gay Marrage Amendment that would define marriage as occurring between a man and a woman. Citation needed.

seladore wrote:McCain, on the other hand, has said that America may be there for another century.

Citation?

seladore wrote:[McCain] opposes federally funded sex ed and birth control plans.

Citation?

My examination of their voting records seem to support the remainder of your data. They have been added to my lists.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:16 pm UTC

Sen McCain, when asked if US troops may stay in Iraq another 50 years wrote:Maybe 100. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it's fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_McCain#2008

Anywho:

Normally i'd say "Vote Libertarian", but unfortunately the libertarian candidate this year is Bob Barr who, in addition to just looking really creepy, isn't really a very good libertarian. He's really just a republican who doesn't like President Bush. If you focus on just his recent stuff he looks a lot less like a cookie cutter conservative (though he authored DOMA in 2008, for example), but i still don't trust someone with his overall voting record.

You'd think the constitutional party would field someone good, but it's Chuck Baldwin who wants to overturn Roe V Wade and withdraw from the UN. I like his views on Civil Liberties, though. Really it's just a party of conservatives with very little difference from Republicans near as i can tell.

Green party is fielding Cynthia Mckinney. She's a little too liberal for my taste, what with calling for slave reparations and the like, but if you're posting on XKCD then you're probably more liberal than i am so maybe you're into that kind of thing.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby seladore » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:19 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:[McCain] opposed the increasing of federal minimum wage (Obama supported it)


His record on the Washington Post website shows he voted for HR 2 to raise the federal minimum wage. Where did you get this info?


http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00023

He voted 'no'
quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:[Obama] supports stem cell research

By his votes, so does McCain.

True.

quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:[McCain] opposes civil unions for gay people (Obama supports them)

Yet he voted against the Gay Marrage Amendment that would define marriage as occurring between a man and a woman. Citation needed.

You are right, didn't realise Obama did that.
Got the idea he opposed it from this
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trai ... st_56.html

quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:McCain, on the other hand, has said that America may be there for another century.

Citation?

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/h ... years.html
quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:[McCain] opposes federally funded sex ed and birth control plans.

Citation?


Hmmm. Can't find one actally, so I'll retract that for the time being.

You might also find this interesting

http://www.issues2000.org/John_McCain.htm
http://www.issues2000.org/Barack_Obama.htm

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby TheStranger » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:25 pm UTC

A bit of background...

I've voted in the last two elections, both times for Bush (and in retrospect would probably do so again). No, I don't agree with many of his policies... but then I've had even stronger disagreements with the other candidates.

Years ago I would have voted for McCain without hesitation, but now I'm no longer sure. The incumbent protection act plays a large roll in this (plus there was that "gas tax" holiday idea, which was a very WTF moment). In the end McCain is very much a "Big Government" Republican... which (though I often identify with the more conservative side of politics) I'm very much opposed to.

He does have some strong points. His "100 years in Iraq" is a plus for me, as are portions of his tax policy (keeping the top tax rate steady at 35%). He's also got an interesting health care plan (though from my recent readings I prefer the Obama plan). He also supports school choice (another big plus in my book).

I could almost vote of Obama as well. But he's just to far out there (have you listened to some of his speeches? He sounds like a pastor at a revival meeting.) Let's see... he does not support vouchers, but he sends his own children to private school... supported the farm bill (a WTF along the lines of the gas tax holiday mentioned above)... It's largely summed up in this quote from his wife.

"Barack Obama will...demand that you shed your cynicism... That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual."


again... WTF? You're running for president of the US, not Jesus.

Who will I vote for? Probably Libertarian, just to put more numbers in their corner and maybe help with a wider base in the future.
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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:McCain, on the other hand, has said that America may be there for another century.

Citation?


Pretty sure that this is a misquote. I'd have to dig up the source, but I'm ninety-nine percent certain McCain was implying we'd be there for a hundred years in the same sense that we have military outposts in friendly, stable countries.

Ah! Here we are: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/3 ... ine08.html

Not sure how reliable that source is, though.

McCain's attitude towards Iran is pretty much the clincher for me; attacking Iran is quite possibly the worst foreign policy decision we could make. Idealistically, I'm all for the collapse of tyrannical regimes--but pragmatically? It'd probably end up making Iraq look like a slap-fight between two Trekkie nerds over Picard versus Kirk.

(Picard, by the way.)

I'd also like a President who actually concerns themselves with responsible fiscal policies and refrains from legislating morality beyond guaranteeing individual rights and maintaining a functional, unoppressive society. So, yeah. Probably Obama.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby telcontar42 » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

seladore wrote:- His pro-universal health care stance is laudable


Obama does not, in any way, support universal health care. He may try to present his health care plan in that way at times, but he's not going to ensure health care for all Americans.

Also, in terms of third party candidates, there is also Ralph Nader.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby PhilSandifer » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

telcontar42 wrote:
seladore wrote:- His pro-universal health care stance is laudable


Obama does not, in any way, support universal health care. He may try to present his health care plan in that way at times, but he's not going to ensure health care for all Americans.


I have mixed feelings about a mandate, to be fair. Affordable health care for all Americans is certainly not something I oppose.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:02 pm UTC

Near as i can tell, it's offering the same insurance to all americans that federal employees get. Is that close?

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

It's sort of socializing the health insurance industry instead of the healthcare industry. Better than socialized healthcare, but still not great.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby SpiderMonkey » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

ParanoidAndroid wrote:
darren wrote:
semicolon wrote:
darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!

No. It's a waste of time.


That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on." This is why I disagree with all the people who keep telling me, "Yeah, the candidates suck, but you have to pick the lesser of two evils." Sorry, but my vote is for the person I actually want to be president, not against whichever candidate I dislike.


Where does this idea come from that the only time you are allowed any kind of opinion is when you are at the ballot box? I don't vote (waste of time in the UK too) and I am perfectly entitled to complain. Nobody is going to stop me, certainly.

Not voting brings turnout down. I vote for low turnout to show how absurd parliament is.

semicolon wrote:So what's the alternative to voting?


Fight the Man with the power of rock'n'roll?


You could blow some stuff up (For all you guys at GCHQ, that was a JOKE)

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby seladore » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:49 pm UTC

Actually, not voting just makes you look (from parliament's point of view) apathetic.

If you want to send a message, go along on the day and destroy your vote. That will be counted. Otherwise, you are indistinguishable from someone who doesn't even know the election is happening, and couldn't care less if it was.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby SpiderMonkey » Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:51 pm UTC

seladore wrote:Actually, not voting just makes you look (from parliament's point of view) apathetic.

If you want to send a message, go along on the day and destroy your vote. That will be counted. Otherwise, you are indistinguishable from someone who doesn't even know the election is happening, and couldn't care less if it was.


The message is not intended for parliament, as I know they won't listen to anything except their own egos. The message is for everyone else, so they can see that with a dwindling turnout the politicians have no real legitimacy.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby jayhsu » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:02 pm UTC

One of my uncertainties about Obama (and I really do like him) is his stance on energy policy, which I find somewhat fuzzy (whereas McCain has made clear his intentions for nuclear power). Energy is a big big problem, and I don't know who will better be able to solve it.

The other thing about Obama is that, while the WSJ is very biased, there are some worries about Obama's proposed economic policies.
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB ... 08_leftbox


To the OP, who likes pro/con lists, here's mine (all opinions - these may or may not be entirely correct, so apologies in advance. If there are major mistakes, please correct them!)

Barack Obama
Pros:
Likable, pretty down-to-earth
Might actually reformat the political system
Pushing alternative energy
Will get us out of Iraq (oh please pleaseee)
Might improve foreign relations
Improving social welfare (civil unions, stem cell research, &c.)

Cons:
Inexperienced, may be too young
No on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility
Stance on nuclear energy unclear
Might not be the best economic policy setter


John McCain
Pros:
'Experience'
Yes on nuclear energy (whether nuclear energy would actually help America might be another thread)
'Strong America' stance (I guess this is a pro...)

Cons:
Will probably make us stay in iraq for a long time
Not so progressive on social welfare stuff
Possibly invade IRAN?!
Possibly another 4 years of very-similar-to-bush administration
-Jay

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby seladore » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:21 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
seladore wrote:Actually, not voting just makes you look (from parliament's point of view) apathetic.

If you want to send a message, go along on the day and destroy your vote. That will be counted. Otherwise, you are indistinguishable from someone who doesn't even know the election is happening, and couldn't care less if it was.


The message is not intended for parliament, as I know they won't listen to anything except their own egos. The message is for everyone else, so they can see that with a dwindling turnout the politicians have no real legitimacy.


I'm really interested in your views on this... what better system would you propose?

Maybe start a new thread?

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Gunfingers » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

You can probably dismiss the "experience" question. You're not voting for city sanitation commissioner, managerial skills are not a significant factor here. He's got dozens of people for that. Vote for the candidate's politics, not the cadidate.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby athelas » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:47 pm UTC

My advice is ignore the spin. As Gunfingers, said, McCain's experience is not a big issue when you've got busloads of advisers either way. Obama's self-marketing prowess is likewise irrelevant. Look at the issues, and their respective stances on 'em - ignore how candidates "make you feel," since that's all packaged personality.

Personally, Obama's disingenuous claim to be somehow not a politician, and his skillfully staged grandiose photo-ops, are more of a turn-off than anything else.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby PhilSandifer » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

athelas wrote:My advice is ignore the spin. As Gunfingers, said, McCain's experience is not a big issue when you've got busloads of advisers either way. Obama's self-marketing prowess is likewise irrelevant. Look at the issues, and their respective stances on 'em - ignore how candidates "make you feel," since that's all packaged personality.


I completely disagree.

Issues-wise, I largely agreed with the platform Bush ran on in 2000. The poisonous thing about his administration was not a matter of issues, but of personality - he is an anti-intellectual idealogue who does not believe in complexity or nuance, and that has been catastrophic.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby protocoach » Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:43 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
ParanoidAndroid wrote:
darren wrote:
semicolon wrote:
darren wrote:You shouldn't vote. Voting only legitimizes a corrupt-to-the-core system.

Vote third party!

No. It's a waste of time.


That depends on your personal views of Consent Theory. My vote is my voice in this government. If someone asks for my input on a decision and I don't reply, I have no right to complain or protest when the results are not to my liking. I see not voting as saying, "Okay, I agree with whatever y'all decide on." This is why I disagree with all the people who keep telling me, "Yeah, the candidates suck, but you have to pick the lesser of two evils." Sorry, but my vote is for the person I actually want to be president, not against whichever candidate I dislike.


Where does this idea come from that the only time you are allowed any kind of opinion is when you are at the ballot box? I don't vote (waste of time in the UK too) and I am perfectly entitled to complain. Nobody is going to stop me, certainly.

Not voting brings turnout down. I vote for low turnout to show how absurd parliament is.

No one's going to stop you, they're just going to ignore you. You don't vote; therefore, you don't threaten their jobs and they feel absolutely no need to help you. It's like when the Beast is talking to Spider in Transmet; "Why should I help them when they go to the ballot box and fuck me come election day?" If you choose not to vote, you don't make any statement to anyone that cares, you don't teach anyone a lesson, and you don't help anyone. Not voting is the same as voting for the status quo. So your rhetoric suggests that you're doing something important, but your actions (Which speak how, class, relative to words?) tell us that you're ok with the world as-is.

EDIT: I should get back on topic. I'd say Obama. While I have policy-based arguments, they're not my real reason for supporting him. My real reason is more emotional. If you look at the last three decades, this country has been run by virtually the same people. Clinton, in my opinion, was slightly better than the people before and after him, because he balanced the budget and made some social progress, but Reagan and the Bushes were by and large the same people in different bodies, and in a lot of ways, Clinton was no better. We need someone new. We've had the same tired thinking in the White House for going on 30 years, and it's resulted in humongous debt, alienation from the rest of the world, and disenchantment from a younger generation of Americans. More specifically, in the last eight years, Bush has violated major portions of the Constitution, launched an illegal war that's killed over 4,000 Americans, politicized the DoJ, completely mishandled a national disaster, and fumbled away massive international support after a massive attack. His administration also bungled events leading up to that attack that might have prevented it. John McCain has said that he has "been totally in agreement and support of President Bush" on "the transcendent issues." [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-iTyN7c0A[/url] That is not something that can be said to be "out of context". It's a direct quote from the man. We need someone new. We need someone who is not going to continue disastrous policies and practices, and John McCain is not that man.

It also helps that I agree with Obama's policies, especially his intentions to expand health care, eventually to all Americans, and his support of civil unions and ending the war, plus his understanding that diplomacy is important and that simply giving the world the finger is unacceptable, but the most important thing for me is that Obama in office means that, at least to some degree, we're moving forward and away from an administration and more importantly a general mindset that can only be termed a disaster.

P.S. I also love the fact that were he to get elected, it would finally end the Boomer chokehold on the office. I am sick and goddamn tired of Baby Boomers. I love my parents, of course, but their generation more than any other is responsible for the unholy mess that we're going to find ourselves dealing with in our middle age. (I'm 19)
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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:31 pm UTC

seladore wrote:
quintopia wrote:
seladore wrote:[McCain] opposed the increasing of federal minimum wage (Obama supported it)


His record on the Washington Post website shows he voted for HR 2 to raise the federal minimum wage. Where did you get this info?


http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00023

He voted 'no'


So what if he voted no on the cloture? A week later he voted 'yes' on the bill itself. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/cong ... key-votes/
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00042
Only 3 'nays,' all republican.

seladore wrote:You are right, didn't realise Obama did that.
Got the idea he opposed it from this
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trai ... st_56.html


Obama voted against the amendment as well. Remember, this amendment was to federally prohibit gay marriage. McCain voted against it because, according to your link, he thinks the gov't should:

issues2000 wrote:Leave gay marriage to the states. (Jan 2007)


This is what you were looking for about McCain on sex education:

issues2000 wrote:Voted NO on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)

proof: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00075

TheStranger wrote:ears ago I would have voted for McCain without hesitation, but now I'm no longer sure. The incumbent protection act plays a large roll in this (plus there was that "gas tax" holiday idea, which was a very WTF moment). In the end McCain is very much a "Big Government" Republican... which (though I often identify with the more conservative side of politics) I'm very much opposed to.


I have a problem with the McCain-Feingold Act as well, even though it has lost some of its threats to the first amendment in the supreme court.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby jmorgan3 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:06 am UTC

Gunfingers wrote:Green party is fielding Cynthia Mckinney. She's a little too liberal for my taste, what with calling for slave reparations and the like, but if you're posting on XKCD then you're probably more liberal than i am so maybe you're into that kind of thing.

For the love of all that is holy, do not vote for Cynthia McKinney. She is batshit crazy, even by the standards of Georgia politicians. Speaking of which, I'm voting for Barr, primarily because of his amazing 'stache.
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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Oort » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:30 am UTC

The Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr this year. From what I read, I don't like him. He supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act (which made only opposite-sex marriages recognized federally). The Libertarian agenda states, "Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet's climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior." This doesn't strike me as good environmental policy. Let the market handle it. If someone would like to refute this I'd like to hear another POV.

Realistically, I think McCain and Obama are the only candidates with a reasonable chance of winning. I like Obama. I'm generally liberal and usually prefer a Democratic candidate.

Energy policy. Obama's in favor of alternative energy. McCain wants a gas tax holiday and more drilling. The U.S. contain something like 3% of the worlds oil but consumes 25% of it. We can't drill our way out.
Environment: Obama has stricter plans for improving carbon output.
Iraq: The public is against the war. Obama is and always was against it. McCain is for it. He (McCain) said it would be easy. He confused Sunni and Shia, Iraq and Iran, said Iraq was supporting Al Qeada, etc.
Economy: McCain said he doesn't know much about the economy "I still need to be educated". Reversed position on Bush tax cuts (now in favor of them.)
Marijuana: Obama ok with medical marijuana. McCain against. Not a big deal in itself for me, but I like Obama's way of thinking more.

I like these videos. It highlights the contradictions of McCain's campaign speeches.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioy90nF2 ... re=related
hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c

Here, he explains that he's (mostly) in agreement with Pres. Bush on policy issues.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnb2IrsU1Cg

Worst of all, for me, is McCain's bizarre acusations of appeasement. Talking with foreign leaders is not appeasement. McCain isn't just being aggressive, he specifically says diplomacy is bad. Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/1 ... 02135.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/1 ... 01994.html

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:43 am UTC

jmorgan3 wrote:For the love of all that is holy, do not vote for Cynthia McKinney.


You're preaching to the choir.

<--From Georgia.

The videos and links posted about McCain above are giving me a strong impression that he is secretly more socially liberal than he wants his support on the right to realize (or at least, more libertarian), but is able to maintain this by being so strongly in support of Bush's Iraq policies. And that he really doesn't know which way he sits with regard to the economy and has absolutely no idea what to do about it.

But then, none of the candidates know what to do about it.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby seladore » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:24 am UTC

quintopia wrote:So what if he voted no on the cloture? A week later he voted 'yes' on the bill itself. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/cong ... key-votes/
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/r ... vote=00042
Only 3 'nays,' all republican.


Oops, you are right. Thanks!
Turns out you should read things properly before citing them :)

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Nebuduck » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

Unless you actually think that the system is going to be fundamentally changed any time soon, not voting is a really bad idea.

Politicians want to get as many votes as possible. To look at it from an over-cynical point of view, this is their sole motive (obviously, they have 'morals' and suchlike, but ignoring those for the time being, all they want is votes). How do they get these votes? Well, they need to do things to improve the lives of the voters.

Now, if there's a group of people that doesn't vote, ever, the government has no incentive to improve their lives. Lets take an example - lets say that people working minimum wage jobs never vote. Then why should the government raise minimum wage? It's not going to win them any votes from the people who work for minimum wage, since they don't vote. It might lose them votes from the employers of those people. So it's in the government's interest to fuck over the people working for minimum wage, since they don't vote.

Who would I vote for? Well, if you're in a swing state, then you really ought to vote for whichever of Obama and McCain you like most - chances are that one of them will win, and you want it to be the lesser of two evils.

If, however, you're in a safe state, you can vote for anyone - whoever was going to win, will most likely still win. However, this doesn't mean your vote was wasted!

As explained above, I'm looking at politicians from the point of view of "I want votes, and this is my sole motivation". So they want your vote. If you vote for, say, a strongly green candidate, then whoever wins will realise "If I want that person's vote, I need to make my policies greener". The more people vote for the green candidate, the more incentive the winning politician has to do that. So it really doesn't matter if you vote for a candidate who is sure to lose - the winning candidate will still try to consider your views.

Really, an election is a public opinion poll. And whoever wins, if he wants to win again in the future, should consider what that opinion poll says.

So if you're in a state where one candidate is guaranteed to win, then vote for whoever expresses your views best.

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby quintopia » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:04 pm UTC

That's what I'm trying to find out here. Who expresses my views best? Despite the discussion so far, I really can't tell the difference between the two major candidates. They are balanced on my pro/con lists. What I know of third party candidates makes them no better (generally worse).

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Re: Persuade an American Swing Voter

Postby Iv » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:03 pm UTC

Point of view of an old-Europe dweller :

* Obama went to Europe and said that multilateralism is the only way to do things in the world of today. We are waiting for McCain to come and say the same.

* Obama is black. Like it or not, this is an argument. In the rest of the world, there is a feeling that Americans still have a lot of racism left (the statistics about the average wealth of black people does not help America's case). Seeing a non-WASP president would be a good thing.

* We don't have much of the Obama vs McCain thing here. All we get is democrats vs. republicans. The world is really holding its breath. Some decisions are suspended to the elections. And everyone waits for democrats to win. Even if Obama is completely incompetent and even if McCain is extremely capable, the fact that democrats win the elections would immediately reinforce America's partnerships and trust. If McCain wins, it will be perceived as a continuation of the Bush era and the world will just prepare for four more years without America.

I think that Obama is a liar, a smooth-talker and a propagandist master, as this is the basic skill-set for any candidate. You won't have proofs of what he really thinks or of what he really is capable before the elections. You won't have that for McCain either. The only element you can base your choice on is "did you like the previous guy ?" If not, try to change the team. If yes, then choose the candidate he approved.


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