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Old 09-07-2012, 11:31 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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I'm pretty sure this is actually the most important election in my lifetime.

Forum's pretty slow today. Allow me to speed things up with a super-wide view of the current political landscape.

You can thank me later.

I never like the idea of saying "this is the most important election of my lifetime" because it feels to hyperbolic. The only time I actually felt that way was during 2004 in the middle of the Bush presidency, but the Bush presidency gave way to the Obama administration, which is starting to unwind a bunch of the things I considered the Bush administration to have screwed up (the wars, the recession, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, Medicare's financial unsustainability). So it's pretty clear I overreacted in 2004. If only I had been a ChiefsPlanet poster then so you all could mock me for it.

All the other elections just seemed to be very important, because you can do a lot of things in 4 years when you've got the White House on your side.

The reason I think this election is so important, however, is because I don't think this election is about the next four years. I think the next decade of policy rests on this election's shoulders.

Obama was and is a game changer, politically. He represents the nation's fresh breath of anti-neoconservativism that the nation felt it needed in 2008 after Bush. Obama is unabashedly liberal, but incredibly charismatic and likeable (hardcore conservatives don't feel this way, but I assure you the polling has always suggested that everybody else does). The moment we elected him to was huge, as well, putting him right behind the 8 ball with the wars and the economy, a situation which clearly set him up for an extremely difficult four years.

If he is able to win reelection, it's possible that this country could face a true electoral realignment of Reagan proportions (or maybe even greater) within the next decade, the realignment that Rove so desperately wanted for Bush in 2004 but failed to achieve. I'm talking about a realignment that fundamentally changes the way the vast majority of the population views these two political parties.

I've written about this a lot on this forum, but I predict that no matter who wins the election in 2012, unemployment will drop like a rock in 2014 as the job openings/job applicant mismatches start to vanish and the pool of applicants adapt to all the job openings. Again, this is despite Obama or Romney being President.

But assume it is Obama. Then you're talking about, at the conclusion of 2016, a presidency that would have presided over a gradual but successful recovery from the worst recession in our and our parents' lifetimes, withdrawals from both wars in the Middle East, the killing of OBL, the passing and now implementation of full healthcare reform, and at least three SCOTUS judges... Even without Republican cooperation in Obama's second term, all these things would happen, with the only significant question mark being the unemployment situation, which I do believe will recover like gangbusters in a couple years.

If all these things happen, the contrast of the past two decades will be unbelievably stark in 2016: you can do it the Democratic way, like the charistmatic and successful Obama and Clinton admistrations did, and preside over successful economies and sane foreign policy, or you can do it the Republican way, like... George W. Bush.

Combine that with the demographic changes this country will be going over the next decade (Texas could genuinely become a swing state by 2020, for starters), and I believe we could be facing a realignment.

I think this would be especially likely if Hillary were to run in 2016. Barring a complete shitfit, she couldn't lose, running on the records of Obama and Clinton, who would both extensively campaign for her, giving her a 3-to-1 advantage over whomever the Republicans trot out. Thinking of what she could accomplish in the wakes of what these two Presidents have laid for her in terms of policy foundations, is mind boggling.

The Republican Party, in the face of this, would absolutely have to evolve from their current exclusivity, their current regressive tax policies, and embrace something more inclusive, more moderate, and less reactionary. More conservative, less reactionary regressive. And then you'd finally have the post-Boomer conversation about the true value of liberalism and conservativism that this nation has lost since the Vietnam war embedded the Boomer population in a decades-long culture war. This development would change the entire dynamic, and provide those weird things like "hope" and "change" that we've ridiculed for five years.

On the other hand, what if the Republicans win? Romney/Ryan '12.

Most of Obama's accomplishments would obviously be trashed. Healthcare reform would either be outright repealed, or simply not enforced and de-fanged until it could no longer accomplish much of anything. The Democratic goal of bringing back the Clinton tax rates for the wealthy would be a thing of the past; in fact, Romney and Ryan would move the offensive forward, attempting to bring their tax rates down even lower. The landmark regulations for the financial industry passed under Obama would almost certainly be neutered to the point of irrelevancy, in particular Consumer Protection.

But even more than his policies, the idea of what Obama represented would be defeated. The idea of providing more for the less fortunate, for collectivism and the social safety net, would suffer irreperable harm as Romney and Ryan get to benefit from an employment boom in 2014, something they will understandably take credit for and the public will understandably reward them for, embedding in the public psyche the idea that regressive policies somehow accounted for all of this, and cementing trickle-down economics as vindicated once and for all.

And while Ryan seems very green now, assuming Romney wins reelection, Ryan would be a powerful candidate under this philosophy in 2020 running against whomever the Democrats could put up. By then, barring any huge screwups or scandals by the Romney administration, the conversation between conservativism and liberalism would almost certainly vanish, and instead be between conservativism and libertarian regressivism.

You're talking about two radically different futures for the next decade-plus, one with generational realignment possibilities in my opinion.

All of it sparked from one election.

That's why I think this could be the most important election in our lifetimes.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
Saul Good Saul Good is offline
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Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to take the most important dump of my lifetime.
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Saul 2014
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
KCUnited KCUnited is offline
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I hadn't planned on voting, but you've convinced me to vote Romney.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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I think people have made this claim for more than 150 years and America has survived.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:40 AM   #5
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
I think people have made this clim for more than 150 years and America has survived.
Nowhere in my post did I claim the survival of America is at stake, genius.

I'm arguing that the future direction, maybe for a generation, is at stake.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
KC Dan KC Dan is offline
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Indeed, it is. Re-electing Obama means continued acceptance of government intervention and a march toward socialism on a scale not seen since FDR.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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No more so than any other election. You're an obama fanboi, that's all.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:50 AM   #9
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Nowhere in my post did I claim the survival of America is at stake, genius.

I'm arguing that the future direction, maybe for a generation, is at stake.
I didn't mean it like that. It's just that inevitably, some people will claim in each election cycle that "This is the most important, blah, blah, blah of your lifetime".

Fact is, they're all important.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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"This is the most important election of our lives!!!!!"


Signed, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, 1988, 1984, 1980, 1976, 1972, 1968, 1964, 1960, 1956, 1952, 1948, 1944, 1940, etc.....etc....etc.....
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Fact is, they're all important.
Meh.....i think people put far too much importance in presidential elections. Local state and city government has far more of a direct impact in a person life and people dont talk or participate in them nearly as much.
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #12
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
Meh.....i think people put far too much importance in presidential elections. Local state and city government has far more of a direct impact in a person life and people dont talk or participate in them nearly as much.
Yeah, I disagree, especially in my state.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
Yeah, I disagree, especially in my state.
So the POTUS made you the person you are today? You made You the person you are today. Nobody else. People get all worked up over this stuff for something that has very little direct impact in a persons everyday life and lifestyle.
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Originally Posted by Cassel's Reckoning:

Matt once made a very nice play in Seattle where he spun away from a pass rusher and hit Bowe off his back foot for a first down.

One of the best plays Matt has ever made.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #14
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deberg_1990 View Post
So the POTUS made you the person you are today? You made You the person you are today. Nobody else. People get all worked up over this stuff for something that has very little direct impact in a persons everyday life and lifestyle.
Wha?
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #15
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So what is going to be the mantra if Obama's elected and things don't get better...or even worse (which is my concern)? That our situation was unfixable?

I'd think the folks that really love Obama just might take a sigh of relief if he loses...then he can be the greatest president ever, and because of all the racists, never got a second term. But if he wins...and continues to prove his ineptness...well there goes his chance at liberal immortality...not that you all won't have your laundry list of new excuses.
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