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mystictrek
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I think it would be great if we had an ongoing string devoted to political conversation. So, hopefully, I am getting things rolling.

 

I love http://pollingreport.com which tracks all kinds of opinion polls and shows long term trends on all kinds of political issues and personalities. Yesterday they posted the latest poll results on party affiliation. 36 per cent say they are Democrats. 30 per cent say they are Republicans. 22 per cent say they are Independents. 12 per cent say they identify with another party.

 

The Democrats have been on top for decades but the margin has steadily declined. In 2005 the Democrats regained some of their popularity but one year is not enough to discern a trend. We remain a closely divided country.

 

I'm not sure why Republicans have held control over Congress since 1994. Maybe more people vote Republican than admit they are Republican. More likely and backed with some evidence is that Democrats don't vote as faithfully as Republicans do. Even more likely is that Incumbents usually win whether they are Republican or Democrat. That's the main reason why Congress remained under the Democrats for most of 1930-1994 and now Republican since 1994. The rich have been supporting these Republican incumbents like never before. That helps a lot.

 

I do believe that the interests of average Americans are better served by Democrats than Republicans but few average Americans care enough about politics to even vote much less work for political candidates or contribute to their campaigns.

 

I sure would like to see the Democrats take over at least one of the houses of Congress, the Senate or the House of Representatives, in November. I think it would be good for the country to have congressional committees investigating the administration with a strong use of their subpoena powers. Maybe progressive Christians should go all out to get Democrats elected to Congress just to get this power which could bring many abuses of power to light. We don't have to sign up as Democrats for the long haul.

 

I think that the political conversation in this country is not very polite these days and I would blame the Left just as much as the Right for that. Progressive Christians need to challenge politicians and media personalities to be far more kind and gentle and humble.

 

I think a label for me would be Radical Centrist! I believe that the American Eagle needs both wings with most of the weight in the Center. Currently the weight has shifted to the Right side of Center. A course correction is needed. Centrists need to boldly challenge both parties to become civil, polite, pragmatic, and most important of all, open. We can solve our problems with a new spirit of openness. Our media is failing us by not digging very hard and not informing us very much. The dumbing down of America has really hurt all of us, really threatens the well being of the whole planet. Is this what the rich and the big global corporations want so they can run the world with little accountability? Is this how they think: Let the people with little power scream at each other why we are getting away with murder?

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I'm an Independent, and I score "centrist" on all the political party tests.

 

I vote for the candidate and not the party. I'd probably vote McCain over Hillary. (Who IS running next term anyway?) :huh:

 

As far as the thread title, the board has a glitch that does the capitalization screw-up thingy. You'd have to put periods between the letters U.S.A. in order for it to stay capitalized.

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I'm an Independent, and I score "centrist" on all the political party tests.

 

I vote for the candidate and not the party. I'd probably vote McCain over Hillary. (Who IS running next term anyway?)  :huh:

 

As far as the thread title, the board has a glitch that does the capitalization screw-up thingy. You'd have to put periods between the letters U.S.A. in order for it to stay capitalized.

 

What is it about Hillary?

 

I have to admit that McCain may be exactly what this country needs. I think, once elected, he would say -- and mean it -- that he is President of all of us and not just the Right Wing or Republicans. He would do what Bush promised to do but failed to do and didn't even try -- create a much more civil and uniting atmosphere.

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From Wikipedia.com

 

"Progressivism is a political philosophy whose adherents promote public policies that they believe would lead to positive social change. As a broad characterization of political leanings, political progressivism mostly refers to social liberalism, social democracy, or green politics. Progressivism may also mean prefering moderate change, as opposed to minimal or maximum change. In this sense, it is contrasted with reactionary, conservative, as well as radical ideology. Progressive logic is the value logic that gives an underlying unity to this diversity of views." (and)

 

"Progressive Christianity has a long history in American politics. It focuses on the biblical injunctions that God's people live correctly, that they promote social justice and act to fight poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice. There are also some groups that take an inclusive approach to all life, human and non-human and place a positive value on the earth, as God's creation. Progressive Christians see themselves acting in the public sphere."

 

I grew up in Wisconsin in the 1950's in an environment that closely matched both definitions above. I'm in the "moderate change" category because larg scale change can lead to: (a) unintended consequences that may be hard to correct (such as creating new marginalized groups) and, (B) a high level of change seems to be correlated with high levels of fear and anxiety. This can lead to reactions such as "returing to the past" where things are more comfortable, etc. It's one thing to be in a group that desires change and quite another to be in the group expected to change!

 

minsocal :blink:

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What is it about Hillary? 

 

I have to admit that McCain may be exactly what this country needs.  I think, once elected, he would say -- and mean it -- that he is President of all of us and not just the Right Wing or Republicans.  He would do what Bush promised to do but failed to do and didn't even try -- create a much more civil and uniting atmosphere.

 

I dunno what it is about Hillary. I just don't like the woman. I don't have a good reason for it. I might vote for her depending on who she was running against.

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Sometimes, yeah. My vote in the last presidential election was more of a vote against Bush, than a vote for Kerry.

 

I would vote AGAINST Rice. (Sheesh, I never thought I'd hear myself saying that I'd vote against any woman that ran for President. :blink: )

 

However, if McCain runs, I would vote FOR him, for sure. :)

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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If Rice would win the party nomination, then it would be kind of a first. The only people who win nominations that have not won elected office (I am not counting vice presidents as they are "kind of" elected) are presidents of popular wars (for instance Eisenhower). She has to do with a war, but it is a very unpopular one. I'm not aware of any other president (at least in recent history) that would win a party nomination by basically being black and charming.

 

--des

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One of my favorite columnists and one of my favorite Texans is Molly Ivins. She often speaks for me. As of today you can find a regular link to her columns at "MI" in my shortlist of links at my website (below). So, when Molly Ivins says she is giving up on the Democrats in favor of a new third party effort, my response is to sit up and listen carefully. Molly speaks for the many Americans who are getting more and more frustrated with the unwillingness of many Democrats to fight for issues which polls show are popular. These include ending the war, saving the environment, ending the big tax cuts for the rich, raising the minimum wage and creating a single-payer healthcare system.

 

AlterNet offers "Why Hillary Won't Save Us" by Molly Ivins > http://www.alternet.org/story/31109/ OR http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/c...ts/molly_ivins/

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Anyone see 60 Minutes yesterday ? What do you think about Kinky Friedman running for Governor of Texas? Has Ms. Ivens written about this ? Sounds like a third party effort to me.

 

He had equally bad things to say about Republicans and Democrats. If I lived there he'd get my vote. I love the name of his band, The Texas Jewboys !

 

flow.... :D

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I'm not aware of any other president (at least in recent history) that would win a party nomination by basically being black and charming.

 

Des-

 

I know you might not agree with her politics, but do you really believe "black and charming" are the sum of Rice's qualifications? Google her name and qualifications....quite a resume.

 

I don't think you meant it that way, but it seems the left is sometimes condescending to a woman or minority if they serve in a conservative administration...and specifically, I think this has been done in her case.

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I'm with you on this one Darby. Having served as executive staff at a large research university, I know what it takes to succeed as she did, and more importantly to survive.

 

I like to comment that universities is where back-stabbing was invented in the tenth century. You can be stabbed so expertly at these places you don't realize that it was fatal until three years later.

 

flow.... B)

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No Darby, I didn't mean to imply that was her sole qualifications for *any* job-- for ex. I think she is a capable (though I might not agree iwth her Sec of State-- not exactly an eency job), but that there have not been any (to my knowledge) recent successful (I mean winning the party nomination) for president who have not won elective office or were not a five star general of a popular war. Perhaps there will be an exception this time, but there are a lot of things that she has no experience with that could only be gained by elective office. (Her skills to me seem to be better applied to such fields as foriegn service, etc.)

 

I wasn't really being condescending, I was being flip. She is on the losing side of an administration running an unpopular war, and a key proponent of that war.

As far as the general population, I don't think that they even necessarily know she is Sec of State, or even what the Sec of State does, but they see her around as spokesperson for an unpopular administration and an unpopular war, but she is quite charming about it.

She would have to do a great deal of work to establish herself to others in some other way "to win". (I don't even think her name would ever come up for president if she were not black and female-- sort of a counter to Hillary, imo. And she has repeatedly said she does not want the job afaik.)

 

 

I think you are misreading my statement. I think you are taking the line "to win" out of the statement. "To win" one needs name recognition, and the name recognition is based on an opinion or actions of the person that are visible to the general population. For example, I thikn it is questionable that Kerry had the kind of personality or temperament that would have made it likely that he would win. I doubt John McCain, who I really like, has the temperament. Taking the word "to win" out of my statement strips it of its basic meaing.

 

 

You may be right about people on the left being condescending towards minorites on the right. I think it goes from a long line of people taking big stands against affirmitive action while being perhaps the direct recepient of it. At least this has been my feeling. I'm not sure it applies to her, as I haven't heard her make any statement pro or con.

 

--des

 

 

 

 

I'm not aware of any other president (at least in recent history) that would win a party nomination by basically being black and charming.

 

Des-

 

I know you might not agree with her politics, but do you really believe "black and charming" are the sum of Rice's qualifications? Google her name and qualifications....quite a resume.

 

I don't think you meant it that way, but it seems the left is sometimes condescending to a woman or minority if they serve in a conservative administration...and specifically, I think this has been done in her case.

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You may be right about people on the left being condescending towards minorites on the right.

 

--des

 

 

My personal view is that minoirities, rather it be racial, gender, ethnic, or sexual orientation, are rather naive when they support Right wing politicians -- they are being used as a means to an end.

 

That is one thing I don't get about people like Ann Coulter and Laura Schlessenger, by their own standards neither should be speaking, they are after all women and the right doesn't have much use for women except to appeal to their emotional side in order to get their votes and then turn around and demean them.

 

Reminds me of the irony of Newt talking about family values.

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The Hamas victory in Palestine is interesting.

 

Democracy in the Middle East! I guess sometimes getting what you pray for leads to unanticipated events.

 

Probably the best way to look at it is that they threw the bums out. As did the Canadian voters recently (turning Right) as did the German voters recently (turning Right) as did the Spanish voters recently (turning Left) as did about 5 South American nations in the past 5 years (turning Left). Right turns, Left turns. The voters keep moving us to the pragmatic Center. This is good. Very good.

 

The amazingly peaceful election in Palestine can be seen as a beacon of hope. But we will have to actually listen to the people of Palestine who have spoken and want to be heard. If we just keep labeling them terrorists and refuse to listen, then we are saying that democracy is not our real goal in the Middle East. The Palestinians have real grievances which have not been addressed. They need to be heard. They need justice from the world, from Israel, from the United States.

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I think the Right can be pretty condescending toward "minorites" as well. The most obvious example was the ridiculous running of Alan Keyes against Barack Obama

in the last senate race here in Illinois.

 

As an African-American myself I can say I wouldn't vote for Condoleeza Rice under any circumstances. I find the assumption from some conservatives that I should vote for her because she is black as absurd as telling a white conservative that he should vote for Ralph Nader because he's white.

 

There is an old saying "Not everybody that's of your color is of your kind, or everybody of your kind of your color." This does not just refer to skin color , but also to religion, sexual orientation , Political party etc..

 

 

MOW

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Yes, I heard Barak Obama discuss this. Apparently Alan Keyes said that Jesus would supprot Obama! Obama remarked that he wondered who had done the pollilng! ;-)

 

Mow,as a matter of fact, your comments are much in line with mine. My assertion, that Rice is not really a "real candidate", in terms of what a regular candidate would need to do to get popular support-- governor, senator, house of several years, etc. or a general in a popular war. My feelilng is that Rice was picked out as the ultimate threat to Hilllary. There was a book written to support her candidacy (where as I say, I don't think she is really seeking it at all). A woman (or man) of her background would more likely go into some type of foriegn service than to seek public office. It isn't that she doesn't have skills, but those skills wouldn't typically go towards public office and it would be very much a first.

 

On a different topic, I understand the Palestinian elections were held when they were due to pressure from the Bush administration. The (now minority) party wanted to wait on the election. This is due to the absurd assumption that democracy is always a good thing or better than the alternative. Hitler was voted into office initially at least, and was wildly popular, in case someone forgot! Be careful what you wish for. If there were democratic elections in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc etc. there would be no doubt many new "democratic" Islamic 'democracies". I have also heard that it is quite likely women will be worse off in Iraq than they were under Sadam Hussein. I'm quite sure things will be worse for women in Palestine as well.

 

 

--des

 

I think the Right can be pretty condescending toward "minorites" as well. The most obvious example was the ridiculous running of Alan Keyes against Barack Obama

in the last senate race here in Illinois.

 

As an African-American myself I can say I wouldn't vote for Condoleeza Rice under any circumstances. I find the assumption from some conservatives that I should vote for her because she is black as absurd as telling a white conservative that he should vote for Ralph Nader because he's white.

 

There is an old saying "Not everybody that's of your color is of your kind, or everybody of your kind of your color."  This does not just refer to skin color , but also to religion, sexual orientation , Political party etc..

 

 

MOW

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MOW

 

As I have travelled through life, much of it in Illinois, I was always intrigued by the reality that some people were white on the outside and seemed black on the inside, while others were obviously black on the outside and definitely white on the inside. We called it the "oreo cookie effect"; and, now it's interesting that this same metaphor is being used by some to describe quantum gravitational effects. Some cosmos we live in. No wonder we're all so dazed and confused.

 

flow.... :D

Edited by flowperson
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I agree with the Christian Right about one thing and that is that religion and politics do mix and must mix. Actually it was the Christian Left which taught me this in the 60s. A renewed Christian Left is now emerging as more and more of us realize we can't ignore politics especially when the planet is in such great danger.

 

Gandhi said: “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” He also said: “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.” Of course he taught a kind of politics which is quite profound since he is known as an apostle of non-violence and he led many important non-violent actions which helped to bring about the independence of India in 1947. He tried to end the horrible violence between Muslims and Hindus which caused millions of deaths and horrendous destruction in the late 40s. He was assassinated during this effort. Sometimes you have to die trying. He certainly wasn’t the only one. The list of such martyrs in the cause of peace and justice is massive. But try we must. Yes, we must try over and over and over again to create a realm where peace and justice overcome violence and injustice. Much has been accomplished. Much has yet to be done.

 

And, so, I write about, blog about, talk about, participate in, political causes even while my main emphasis is spiritual formation, or religion. Politics is simply too important for anyone to ignore and authentic spiritual seekers know that as well as any one.

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I agree with the Christian Right about one thing and that is that religion and politics do mix and must mix.  Actually it was the Christian Left which taught me this in the 60s.  A renewed Christian Left is now emerging as more and more of us realize we can't ignore politics especially when the planet is in such great danger.

 

Gandhi said:  “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”  He also said: “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.”  Of course he taught a kind of politics which is quite profound since he is known as an apostle of non-violence and he led many important non-violent actions which helped to bring about the independence of India in 1947.  He tried to end the horrible violence between Muslims and Hindus which caused millions of deaths and horrendous destruction in the late 40s.  He was assassinated during this effort.  Sometimes you have to die trying.  He certainly wasn’t the only one.  The list of such martyrs in the cause of peace and justice is massive.  But try we must.  Yes, we must try over and over and over again to create a realm where peace and justice overcome violence and injustice.  Much has been accomplished.  Much has yet to be done.

 

And, so, I write about, blog about, talk about, participate in, political causes even while my main emphasis is spiritual formation, or religion. Politics is simply too important for anyone to ignore and authentic spiritual seekers know that as well as any one.

 

Agreed. I've posted this definition before:

 

"Progressive Christianity

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

Progressive Christianity has a long history in American politics. It focuses on the biblical injunctions that God's people live correctly, that they promote social justice and act to fight poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice. There are also some groups that take an inclusive approach to all life, human and non-human and place a positive value on the earth, as God's creation. Progressive Christians see themselves acting in the public sphere.

 

A priority of justice and care for the down-trodden are present from before Christianity. These are carried on carrying through the early church, the monastic movement, the ministry of healing, the Catholic and Protestant churches, to the Progressive Movement in the 19th century United States of America and the Social Gospel.

 

Since the 1900s progressive Christianity was influential in determining what constitutes the values by which a good society is run. It stressed fairness, justice, responsibility, and compassion, and condemns the forms of governance that wage unjust war, rely on corruption for continued power, deprive the poor of facilities, or exclude particular racial or sexual groups from fair participation in national liberties.

 

Progressive Christianity was most influential in the US mainline churches. It has also been an important influence on student activism globally.

 

Progressive Christians have been active in the ecumenical movement, for example the World Student Christian Federation and the World Council of Churches internationally, and at the national level through groups such as the National Council of Churches in the USA and Australian Student Christian Movement."

 

I apologize for the repetition ... but this has meant a great deal to me in my lifetime and, in in the last three or four years it has again become a central focus of my life.

 

minsocal :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
My personal view is that minoirities, rather it be racial, gender, ethnic, or sexual orientation, are rather naive when they support Right wing politicians  -- they are being used as a means to an end. 

 

That is one thing I don't get about people like Ann Coulter and Laura Schlessenger, by their own standards neither should be speaking, they are after all women and the right doesn't have much use for women except to appeal to their emotional side in order to get their votes and then turn around and demean them.

 

Reminds me of the irony of Newt talking about family values.

 

What means to what end are they (minorities) being used? Is this the old ‘how could you be a black man and also a Republican’ line?

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My personal view is that minoirities, rather it be racial, gender, ethnic, or sexual orientation, are rather naive when they support Right wing politicians  -- they are being used as a means to an end. 

 

That is one thing I don't get about people like Ann Coulter and Laura Schlessenger, by their own standards neither should be speaking, they are after all women and the right doesn't have much use for women except to appeal to their emotional side in order to get their votes and then turn around and demean them.

 

Reminds me of the irony of Newt talking about family values.

 

What means to what end are they (minorities) being used? Is this the old ‘how could you be a black man and also a Republican’ line?

 

To make the right appear non-racist, non-sexist, and non-homophobic! They are all three. It is not a matter of rather or not an African-american, a woman, or someone who is gay can be a Republican but rather why would someone join a group that has oppressed them for generations?

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