The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
..if losing elections made political parties improve, the Democrats would be in a lot better shape than they are about now.
That could be considered true if, by improving, you mean getting more conservative.
Dems are not the party of conservatives, in their mind, to improve, they have to become more liberal. In that context, being out of power HAS caused them to improve.
When the republicans were out of power, we got the 1994 "Contract with America" that swept them into congress under the premise that they were going to fix all the things about government that flew in the face of conservative principles. As soon as they started to feel that they were in power because they DESERVED to be so and felt that their position was unassailable, the principles that got them there fell by the wayside.
I think being out of power CAN improve a party...as long as they properly understand the reasons that they were voted out.
If the Republicans lose in November, it is not because of Mark Foley, it is not because they haven't pandered enough to minorities or the poor. It is not because we are being too hard on terrorists, it is not because they haven't spent enough pork in their home states.
Until Republicans realize that they WILL be held accountable for their actions by their constituents, they will continue the current environment symbolized by the Abramoff scandal, the "Bridge to Nowhere" and ever-expanding government intrusion into our everyday lives.
Major problems in many cases is that the state party has its own agenda that fights against doing the right thing.
A few Years ago in NJ - Brett Shundler ran as an outsider to the republican party and actually won the rpimary. The state republican party did not to support him. Nothing to hurt him but nothing to support him. He was not one of the "boys" and the impression was they would rather lose than support an outsider.
Having lived in the NJ Metro area you see this all the time with the republican party. And thge conservative party just rubber stamps the republican.
I WANT to stay home but I know what will happen if I do--you better believe I will fight like I've never fought before next primary season.
Politics may be the only area where people:
1) Know that the two most popular choices are horrible
2) Know that their individual vote is mathematically insignificant (ie, if everyone else voted as they did, and you didn't vote, or changed your vote, it would not affect the outcome)
3) Still continue to vote for one of the horrible choices, out of some strange idea that if you don't, the more horrible choice may win
The only rational reason to vote, given that it doesn't matter at the individual level, is to vote your conscience and for someone who you can actually stand to represent you and your beliefs.
I am amazed that Ron Paul made it to Washington, which either shows how principled and rational that district in Texas is, or how pathetic the rest of the country has become.
I think that claiming the election was stolen will be a typical Democratic post-election election tactic from no on. They've used it twice already, and are planning to use it again this November.
I'd also like to say, why is it when a terrorist organization or a dictator runs for office and wins, Jimmy Carter is there to say elections were fair and above-board?
Not only do the Republicans need to lose to show them that their ways on wrong, it will also bring about a divided government, which makes the Republicans much better on issues. As Sailorcurt said, having been out of power the Republicans came back with a much more conservative philosphy, and stuck to most of it, because they had a Democrat in the White House. Divided government is good, because the government is too tied up fighting itself to start oppressing the people. The Republicans, with complete control, have become as bad as the Democrats because they have no balance. Now, I won't be voting for the Democrats, but I'll be voting for third party candidates like Libertarians and Constitutionals.
The Republicans have done nothing to help liberty, but have done much to harm it. And I am not phased by the threats that the if the Democrats win they will also harm liberty. Well, the Republicans had their chance to help, they did nothing. So they have to go. At least with the Democrats I know they are evil, and so do other Republicans. Too many Republicans are blind to their own party's evil, and let them get away with it. Bring on divided government.
I'm with OtherWhiteMatt. Kim du Toit refers to the Republican Party as the Stupid Party, but I think a more appropriate name is the Arrogant Party. There is nothing that will motivate them do what we want them to do unless they are punished for not doing it. Keep electing them, and there's no incentive to change. Therefore, I'm staying home on election day.
Stay home or vote 3rd party? You won't just get divided government; you'll see an end to conservative judges, endless, endless investigations, possible impeachment proceedings, and more leaning on the FCC to 'regulate' the internet.
Beat the Republicans up at the primaries; now is not the time, really.
I share your concern, but that's what RINOs are counting on. "You think we're bad? Just look at the alternative!" We're being extorted. I agree that putting Dems in power is a very scary prospect, but people can only take so much betrayal.
"Stay home or vote 3rd party? You won't just get divided government; you'll see an end to conservative judges, endless, endless investigations, possible impeachment proceedings, and more leaning on the FCC to 'regulate' the internet.
Beat the Republicans up at the primaries; now is not the time, really."
Well, according to the GOP stalwarts, it'll never be the time. Every election they have some new Democratic bogeyman to hang over my head.
Frankly, I'm sick of it.
Their threats don't scare me anymore.
Here's the secret: I'm convinced we're completely over the edge and no way back. Things are going to have to get much worse before they get better. Why delay the inevitable? Pass the matches and fetch your fiddles, folks.
Tam, do you believe we're at 'push the reset button' time?
The Dims are counting on you, Sarah.
I find it much easier to vote against something that I think is really bad than to vote for something even if it is really good. This is, in my unhumble opinion, another such election. Perhaps it's just the savage in me, but keeping alligators at bay while draining a swamp is more important than deciding what color shovel to use.
It is not easily that I make such a decision, but I liken it to being in an abusive relationship. Nothing ever changes unless you walk out. In fact, it always gets worse. There is zero incentive for the Republican leadership to change if they keep getting elected. They have become arrogant and corrupt, and like an abusive boyfriend, count on you staying and taking their crap because they know you find the alternative too scary. Well, I'm walking out; I'll come home when things change.
"This is, in my unhumble opinion, another such election. Perhaps it's just the savage in me, but keeping alligators at bay while draining a swamp"
This analogy falls down due to the fact that the GOP is not, in fact, engaged in swamp-draining, but rather in pumping more sludge into the bog.
With the exception of their occasionally proactive stance on foreign terrorists, there's not a whit's bit of difference between the two parties anymore.
Show me an actual politically-and-fiscally conservative Republican, and I'll vote for his ass so fast it'll make your head spin. Keep offering me milquetoast invertebrate statists, and you'll have to like without my vote.
I'll hate the Dems when they're in power, too, at least as much as I did last time 'round. Probably more than I currently hate the GOP. At least the Dems will admit up front they're a bunch of control-freak socialists, unlike their rivals, who keep peeing on my leg and telling me it's raining.
And, yeah, the Dems will go soft in the war on terror, and the Muj will attack again, and may kill a bunch more Yankees (or maybe it'll be Californians this time) and then this nation might wake up and take WWIV seriously.
Er, make that "live without my vote."
A friend finally got around to contacting DPMS about the two 10-round magazines they'd shipped with his gun, hoping to get them replaced, as they didn't feed too well.
To DPMS's credit, not only did they replace his two 10-rounders, they replaced them both with brand new, sealed in plastic 20-rounders.
Thanks to DPMS for replacing the mags with new ones (20-rounders, no less), and thanks to the Republican congress who let the hi-cap law expire. While this stupid law was in force, the only reasonably priced 20 and 30 rounders you could get your hands on were used, old and warn.
Let Democrats control congress, and I guarantee you they'll sneak in anti-RKBA legislation in every bill they write, and amend every bill they don't.
There is a difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.
Castration? Or wedgie? (That's not that effective a comparison for a woman, but we guys understand it. Viscerally.)
It's not a relationship that you can "walk out on", the relationship being between you and the gubmint. You're not "walking out", you're just letting someone else make the decisions about who gets to be in charge.
I take WWIV seriously. I can't see putting someone in charge who doesn't, either deliberately or by default. The stakes are too high and the risks are too great.
I haven't voted "for" a Republican in a great many years, but I've voted "against" a great many Dimocrats for great many years. I'll keep it up.
"I don't like the choices so I'll let someone else decide" is abdication. I'm agin' it.
"I take WWIV seriously."
It'd be nice if the Republicans did, also.
"Let Democrats control congress, and I guarantee you they'll sneak in anti-RKBA legislation in every bill they write, and amend every bill they don't."
You're not scaring me.
Either you're young, or naive: I was a gun owner from 1/86-10/94, all the years of which were under a Democratic Congress.
The ONLY piece of (largely) pro-RKBA legislation that has been passed in my lifetime (1968-present) was in 1986 (although it was soured at the 11th hour).
The Republicans have controlled the House, Senate, and White House for EIGHT FRICKIN YEARS NOW, so when's my pro-gun payoff gonna happen?
Letting legislation sunset that would've expired anyway doesn't count.
I voted for you M*($%#@F!$^ers, so pass me a law!
Screw y'all, then.
Disgusted in Knoxville
You're willing to see another AWB (that might actually be one this time)?
Thirty-day waiting periods?
Six-round magazine capacities?
Granted, we've not made progress (outside of THIRTY-SEVEN shall-issue concealed-carry states and two unrestricted), and we must make progress, but we haven't fallen further behind with a Republican congress, either.
While the lesser of two evils is still evil, I refuse to cut off my nose to spite my face. I did that once with Perot. I learned from the experience.
Oh, the gun thing is just a tiny part of it. I'm still living under the Assault Rifle Ban of 1989 (created by executive fiat of the last GOP president), so I guess I'll survive another one...
Taxes, the border, police powers, the Wo(S)D, social engineering (abortion/marriage/etc), et cetera, on all these issues, I'm just done trying to pick a winner, Kevin. You can't tell the players without a scorecard.
I am very serious above when I say that I truly believe we are too far gone to fix things in the halls of congress, and that things are going to have to get much, much worse before they get better. I'm just sick of appearing to sanction the farce by going through the motions of participation. No more.
What if they gave a government and nobody came?
Wow. I was loquacious and surly last night.
In vino veritas, I guess. :o
"I take WWIV seriously."
It'd be nice if the Republicans did, also.
Yup, it would. But the Dims don't take it at all, much less seriously.
While the lesser of two evils is still evil, I refuse to cut off my nose to spite my face.
The Dims have nothing to offer that I want and have much to offer that I oppose. Why should I help them into office, either by voting or by not voting?
"What if they gave a government and nobody came?"
As Bertolt Brecht once said:
"What if they gave a war and nobody came? Why then, the war would come to you!"
It's the same with government. The anarcho-capitalists wish for a world without government, but it won't happen. There will always be people who want to tell you how to live your life and manage your property, and they will find a way to acquire that power.
Heinlein advised "If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong." I see this as good advice.
If you really want to see things get "much, much worse" as a necessary precursor to any future improvement, why merely avoid voting?
You can always take Marvin Heemeyer's approach.
"If you really want to see things get "much, much worse""
Oh, don't get me wrong: I don't want to see things get much, much worse, I just have the depressing feeling that that's what it'll take to wake up Joe Sofaspud & Suzy Soccermom.
I'll continue to vote, but it'll probably mostly be protest voting from here on out for me.
Maybe I'll start a write-in campaign: "Kevin Baker For Prez." You seem to have your head screwed on fairly straight, after all. :)
You seem to have your head screwed on fairly straight, after all.
Um, what gave you the first clue?
"Maybe I'll start a write-in campaign: "Kevin Baker For Prez." You seem to have your head screwed on fairly straight, after all."
On that account, let me quote Henry Louis Mencken:
It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Then there's Charlie Rangel. When they "cut and run" (Charlie has promised to cut off funding for the war), I can see 1,000 or more US dead as we leave.
Maybe the best thing that could happen would be for the Dems to win. It would guarantee that they have no chance of putting their candidate in the White House in '08.
BYW: How many of you who don't think that the Repubs have done enough have made even one call or written even one letter or email? And how many pieces of "hate mail" have you to sent to the Dems? Or have bothered to get involved at a even a local level with either party? (And yes, we in this house have and do.) Sent my "absentee" ballot in last week. Now I just mute any and all political ads...