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johnw
06-13-2012, 05:13 PM
You'll note that he did not leave his party because he was persuaded by the other, but because he found his own party too extreme.


http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/why-i-gave-up-on-being-a-republican/
I came to the decision to leave the GOP not with a heavy heart, but with a broken one.
I reached this point through a long series of awakenings and realizations- a path marked by literally years of wrestling with, and finally accepting, the political implications of a number of difficult truths. It involved ever-increasing levels of cognitive dissonance, as I tried to square my experiences, concerns, and knowledge, with my continued loyalty to the GOP.


As a local GOP official after President Obama’s election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies.


In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change- a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world- is a liberal conspiracy conjured up by Al Gore and other leftists who want to destroy America. Large numbers of Republicans- the notorious birthers- believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.


Republican economic policies are also indefensible. The GOP constantly claims that its opponents are engaged in “class warfare,” but this is an exercise in projection (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/the-gops-bizarre-disturbing-passion-for-raising-taxes-on-the-poor/258126/). In Republican proposals, the wealthy win, and the rest of us lose- one only has to look at Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget to see that.



No doubt this man will continue to vote for more Republicans than Democrats. Most independents lean one way or another. But the reason he dropped his party affiliation -- the unreasoning tribalism -- is what's turning people off on parties.

Any time the good of the party is more important than the good of the nation, the party deserves to be left behind.

Of course, the Democrats went through their own period of losing adherents, and is probably still losing them.

johnw
06-13-2012, 07:23 PM
Here's one from Artur Davis, who not only left the Democratic Party but went further and joined the Republican party:


http://www.officialarturdavis.com/2012/05/a-response-to-political-rumors/
On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You’ve read that in my view, the law can’t continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don’t need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

He's a politician, so he needs a party he can hang his hat on.

crawdaddyjim50
06-13-2012, 10:12 PM
George Washington was of the opinion that political parties would be the death of America. Seems he was right. When a person can't see beyond the party and its dogma they cease to be American. Even Teddy Roosevelt was against hyphenated Americans to the point that he wrote a speech about it. I think we will eventually swing back the other way and hopefully the nation will still exist by then.

hanleyclifford
06-13-2012, 11:04 PM
What you call "unreasoning tribalism", the political party system, is needed by the Establishment to perpetuate the myth of the relevance of the dog and pony show we call American politics.

johnw
06-13-2012, 11:14 PM
What you call "unreasoning tribalism", the political party system, is needed by the Establishment to perpetuate the myth of the relevance of the dog and pony show we call American politics.

How do we fix that?

johnw
06-13-2012, 11:16 PM
George Washington was of the opinion that political parties would be the death of America. Seems he was right. When a person can't see beyond the party and its dogma they cease to be American. Even Teddy Roosevelt was against hyphenated Americans to the point that he wrote a speech about it. I think we will eventually swing back the other way and hopefully the nation will still exist by then.

My theory is that a high level of immigration leads to more tribalism, as people try to figure out who's a "real" American. If in fact we're going to see less immigration in the future, as some say, we could see less polarization.

hanleyclifford
06-14-2012, 08:09 AM
How do we fix that? What makes the "Tribalism" irrelevant is the fact that the politicians over time have relinquished real power in favor of bureaucracies, lobbyists, and special interests. It is actually quite elegant in a sick sort of way how power has been gradually, smoothly, almost imperceptably slipped from the grasp of the electorate.

David W Pratt
06-14-2012, 09:44 AM
Things might be better if we had, not a third party but a multitude of parties. Two parties, almost by definition, have to be oppositional.

Curtism
06-14-2012, 10:48 AM
Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican and our former governor, ran for US Senate seat in 2010 as an Independent after his party denied him any support. In part it may have had something to do with him leaving the reservation in 08 by adding extra days and hours to polling places, thus making voting easier and more accessible for working people. Some of you may remember how he got hammered by the right with photos taken when he appeared on stage and introduced Obama at a local event.

http://www.insidefortlauderdale.com/photos/crist_hug.jpg

There's a rumor going around (just a rumor at this point, mind you) that he will run against Rick Scott for his second term as Governor in 2014 . . . as a Democrat. Hard as that is to imagine, I hope he does it.

johnw
06-14-2012, 12:59 PM
It might be a better fit for him.

johnw
06-14-2012, 01:00 PM
Things might be better if we had, not a third party but a multitude of parties. Two parties, almost by definition, have to be oppositional.

Our system, with first-past-the-post voting and no proportional representation for minor parties, does not reward that, and while the rest of the world seems to think a parliamentary system is the way to go, I don't see us making such a change.

johnw
06-14-2012, 01:02 PM
What makes the "Tribalism" irrelevant is the fact that the politicians over time have relinquished real power in favor of bureaucracies, lobbyists, and special interests. It is actually quite elegant in a sick sort of way how power has been gradually, smoothly, almost imperceptably slipped from the grasp of the electorate.

A lot of that has to do with the revolving door between congressional staff and lobbying, helped by the fact that congressional staff are relatively poorly paid. I think that often, the elected representatives don't have the data they need without the tainted input from the lobbyists.

hanleyclifford
06-14-2012, 02:57 PM
A lot of that has to do with the revolving door between congressional staff and lobbying, helped by the fact that congressional staff are relatively poorly paid. I think that often, the elected representatives don't have the data they need without the tainted input from the lobbyists. You are right but that is only one facet of the problem. BTW, if the elected representatives would use their office budgets to hire professional research and investigative people instead of using the money for rewards and party hacks, they would not need to listen to lobbyists.

johnw
06-14-2012, 07:27 PM
You are right but that is only one facet of the problem. BTW, if the elected representatives would use their office budgets to hire professional research and investigative people instead of using the money for rewards and party hacks, they would not need to listen to lobbyists.

They've been going the other direction for quite a while:


http://underthemountainbunker.com/2011/11/30/closing-a-federal-agency-and-making-congress-dumber-thank-newt-gingrich/
Defunding the office “made Congress dumb — on purpose” writes Lorelei Kelly, director of the New Strategic Security Initiative, who believes the move, pushed by Gingrich, is contributing to the recent logjam on Capitol Hill.
Fifteen years after Congress voted to defund the OTA “the effects of a severely depleted institutional memory are showing up,” Kelly writes today for the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lorelei-kelly/newt-gingrich-congress-expert-knowledge-_b_1118297.html). “Last August’s debt ceiling debacle is one example.”
“The legislative knowledge gap is especially debilitating for issues that require context, forecasting and expert judgment,” Kelly adds later. “This is a significant problem in the modern world, where Congressional actions have global implications, but members fail to connect the dots.”



One thing about taking your facts from lobbyists, it increases the likelihood that you'll pass legislation that they like and give money to your campaign fund.

hanleyclifford
06-14-2012, 11:07 PM
They've been going the other direction for quite a while:


One thing about taking your facts from lobbyists, it increases the likelihood that you'll pass legislation that they like and give money to your campaign fund. This is precisely the arrangement that needs to be destroyed; however, as a congressman I would not want to be receiving information about the government from an agency of the government. The aides to our lawmakers need to be independent of any bureaucratic taint.

Garret
06-14-2012, 11:17 PM
This is precisely the arrangement that needs to be destroyed; however, as a congressman I would not want to be receiving information about the government from an agency of the government. The aides to our lawmakers need to be independent of any bureaucratic taint.

And independent of business "taint". Just how do you ensure either?

johnw
06-14-2012, 11:23 PM
This is precisely the arrangement that needs to be destroyed; however, as a congressman I would not want to be receiving information about the government from an agency of the government. The aides to our lawmakers need to be independent of any bureaucratic taint.

The OTA was providing information about technology rather than government. If the government was to be involved, both the questions asked, and the action taken in response to the information it provided, would be the province of the elected officials.

Where would you suggest the information come from?

hanleyclifford
06-14-2012, 11:37 PM
And independent of business "taint". Just how do you ensure either? Since you pose the question, you answer it.

hanleyclifford
06-14-2012, 11:47 PM
The OTA was providing information about technology rather than government. If the government was to be involved, both the questions asked, and the action taken in response to the information it provided, would be the province of the elected officials.

Where would you suggest the information come from? Aides and researchers should be responsible to the congressman who hires them. Good researchers can obtain any information a congressman needs. No doubt you have heard of the Freedom of Information Act, and Congress has subpoena power. The bottom line is that the goverment needs to be brought under the authority of the elected representatives of the people, not the other way around. Since the question was posed, my take on lobbyists is this: they should be viewed in the same light as jury tamperers.

johnw
06-15-2012, 12:11 AM
They've become practically a branch of government.

Garret
06-15-2012, 07:04 AM
Since you pose the question, you answer it.

If I had the answer(s), I wouldn't have needed to ask the question, now would I?

Keith Wilson
06-15-2012, 07:38 AM
. . . the myth of the relevance of the dog and pony show we call American politics.While our system has plenty of problems, claiming parties and elections are irrelevant is nonsensical. Depending on who wins elections, the government adopts different policies, in some cases radically different, and different things happen. This is particularly true lately, when one party has gotten so extreme. Now you may not like what either of them would do, and there are some problems that neither address, but claiming that nothing is changed by election results is simply false.

hanleyclifford
06-15-2012, 07:50 AM
While our system has plenty of problems, claiming parties and elections are irrelevant is nonsensical. Depending on who wins elections, the government adopts different policies, in some cases radically different, and different things happen. This is particularly true lately, when one party has gotten so extreme. Now you may not like what either of them would do, and there are some problems that neither address, but claiming that nothing is changed by election results is simply false. Actually, on occasion, change, at least the appearance of it, does occur. Example, the Wisconsin business with Walker and the unions, but in the main the electorate have very little influence on the really important matters like economic policy. Keith, you are sounding a bit like an apologist for the system. If my claim is "nonsensical", I sure have a lot of company, left and right.

Concordia 33
06-15-2012, 08:24 AM
You'll note that he did not leave his party because he was persuaded by the other, but because he found his own party too extreme.


No doubt this man will continue to vote for more Republicans than Democrats. Most independents lean one way or another. But the reason he dropped his party affiliation -- the unreasoning tribalism -- is what's turning people off on parties.

Any time the good of the party is more important than the good of the nation, the party deserves to be left behind.

Of course, the Democrats went through their own period of losing adherents, and is probably still losing them.

Interesting. I have voted primarily Democratic and once call myself a Democrat, and yet I find the Democratic Party too extreme now and vote Republican more (but definitiely not exclusively) - President Obama was the first Democratic President that I did not vote for since my first Presidential election.

johnw
06-15-2012, 01:27 PM
Interesting. I have voted primarily Democratic and once call myself a Democrat, and yet I find the Democratic Party too extreme now and vote Republican more (but definitiely not exclusively) - President Obama was the first Democratic President that I did not vote for since my first Presidential election.

Making you one more independent.

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/9b4amzhdkkshctmqbao9ew.gif

And that's the trend:


http://www.gallup.com/poll/151943/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx
Gallup records from 1951-1988 -- based on face-to-face interviewing -- indicate that the percentage of independents was generally in the low 30% range during those years, suggesting that the proportion of independents in 2011 was the largest in at least 60 years.
In recent decades, Gallup has observed a pattern of increased independent identification in the year prior to a presidential election, and a decline in the presidential election year. The only exception to that was in 1992, when independent identification increased from 1991, perhaps the result of President Bush's high approval ratings in 1991 and Ross Perot's independent presidential candidacy in 1992.



As of the most recent survey, each party has about 30% of the electorate identifying with them.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx


(http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx)

johnw
06-15-2012, 01:29 PM
The states of California and Washington have gone to a "jungle" primary, where the top two proceed to the general election regardless of party. That looks like people thinking that reducing the power of the parties, or at least of those registered as voters in the parties' primaries, is a solution to a problem.

Kaa
06-15-2012, 02:17 PM
How do we fix that?

What is *precisely* the problem you're trying to solve? :-)

Kaa

johnw
06-15-2012, 02:22 PM
What is *precisely* the problem you're trying to solve? :-)

Kaa

The one Hanley's talking about, which he elaborated on in post #7.


What makes the "Tribalism" irrelevant is the fact that the politicians over time have relinquished real power in favor of bureaucracies, lobbyists, and special interests. It is actually quite elegant in a sick sort of way how power has been gradually, smoothly, almost imperceptably slipped from the grasp of the electorate.

Nice to see you back, by the way.

Kaa
06-15-2012, 02:26 PM
While our system has plenty of problems, claiming parties and elections are irrelevant is nonsensical. Depending on who wins elections, the government adopts different policies, in some cases radically different, and different things happen.

Or not :-)

Bush Jr. and Obama have extraordinarily similar policies with regard to torture, extrajudicial killings, the desireability of having a war in Asia, the spread of the police state in the US (Patriot Act/TSA/et al), the drug war, etc. etc.

Kaa

Kaa
06-15-2012, 02:29 PM
The one Hanley's talking about, which he elaborated on in post #7.

That post makes a very basic error of equating the power of the electorate to the power of politicians.

So I am not sure what is it that you want. More power to the politicians? Or in which sense would you like the electorate to have more power?

Kaa

johnw
06-15-2012, 02:50 PM
Or not :-)

Bush Jr. and Obama have extraordinarily similar policies with regard to torture, extrajudicial killings, the desireability of having a war in Asia, the spread of the police state in the US (Patriot Act/TSA/et al), the drug war, etc. etc.

Kaa

They have rather different economic policies.

johnw
06-15-2012, 02:53 PM
That post makes a very basic error of equating the power of the electorate to the power of politicians.

So I am not sure what is it that you want. More power to the politicians? Or in which sense would you like the electorate to have more power?

Kaa

Since it was Mr. Clifford I asked for a solution to the question he posed, perhaps you should address him. It does strike me that the number of independents is increasing, and this probably has something to do with the perception that the political parties are failing to deal with the nation's problems.

hanleyclifford
06-15-2012, 03:48 PM
Since it was Mr. Clifford I asked for a solution to the question he posed, perhaps you should address him. It does strike me that the number of independents is increasing, and this probably has something to do with the perception that the political parties are failing to deal with the nation's problems. I went looking for the question I posed but couldn't find it. Help me out.

johnw
06-16-2012, 12:15 AM
I went looking for the question I posed but couldn't find it. Help me out.

This is becoming comical, which is one of the better possible outcomes. This is the original exchange:


http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by hanleyclifford http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=3442370#post3442370)

What you call "unreasoning tribalism", the political party system, is needed by the Establishment to perpetuate the myth of the relevance of the dog and pony show we call American politics.





(me)
How do we fix that?

I should have said the problem you posed rather than the question, then you wouldn't have been confused.