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Old 06-30-2013, 10:52 AM  
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Why do we have so many nutcases and morons in public office?

I read the thread about the Pennsylvania guy calling veterans traitors if they're liberal, and we've all seen the clip of the guy who thought Guam would tip over if we built too much, and everything in between.

Why does this happen?

I recognize the problem of having partisan areas. If you have an area where the Republicans will always win, stupid voters will elect a stupid Republican even if he/she is taking on a smart Democrat. And if you have an area where the Democrats will always win, vapid voters will elect a completely insane Democrat even if the option is a sane and reasonable Republican.

So we know that stupid, uninformed voters are a major part of the problem.

But the bigger question to me is why the various parties let nutjobs and morons run for office in the first place. There's a system of caucuses and primaries that should weed out people who are going to be an embarrassment and detriment to their own party and platform. Why doesn't that work?

I guess I can see on a very local level that the only person interested in the position is a whacko or imbecile, and the structure is such that they can push through the caucuses and primaries just because no one else is there to oppose them. But for U.S. Congress? There should be no shortage of people with an interest in that position. I would think that even a state legislature position would attract more than one person.

It's as if we have two systems that have failed: the parties will help get these people on the ballot and then the voters will elect them.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:00 AM   #2
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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I think you answered your own question. Stupid voters that don't pay attention or are willing to overlook flaws if the candidate's views are inline with them.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
I think you answered your own question. Stupid voters that don't pay attention or are willing to overlook flaws if the candidate's views are inline with them.
stupid voters are not necessarily stupid...

it's the political system that has evolved that is stupid...

usually it's a choice between two bad choices, which should probably be expected given the state of politics today...
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
stupid voters are not necessarily stupid...

it's the political system that has evolved that is stupid...

usually it's a choice between two bad choices, which should probably be expected given the state of politics today...
Which goes back to voters not caring enough to pay attention when candidates are being vetted. That doesn't account for the guy that acts normal until he's elected, and then does crazy stuff like send pictures of his wiener from a phone.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Person "A" is a smart guy. Grew up in the 70s and/or 80s. Did above average in school. Got married to a great wife. Two nice kids. Very intelligent, thoughtful, intellectually curious. Has done a little for his community.
However... In the 90s, he got into an argument with a friend at work over email. He said a few nasty things that he immediately regretted. He also sent some email forwards of some jokes, some of which may have been based in racial or ethnic stereotypes. His oldest kid has been in a few fights at school. His wife's politics clash with his own.

Person "B" is of average intelligence. He's not dumb, but he's not the smartest guy in any room he walks into. Decent school career, wife and kids. Pretty vanilla personality. Set in his beliefs, however, he's never really interested in new information. Anyone who disagrees with him just "doesn't get it," and he'd rather not spend his time dealing with them. Nothing in his past that can paint his as "evil," (not like that racist, poor parenting, elitist, waffling person "a.").

Person A, though probably more qualified, and better for the job, is smart enough never to run. He knows he, his family, his past, everything will be run through a grinder as politics is far more about personality and "sides" than actual ideas. His life and those around him is infinitely better by just staying at home and not entering that arena.

Person "B" isn't so worried. After all, he's never really gotten involved in that email stuff. He's never really done anything of note, but he's also not on record of doing anything people could disagree with. He's not very smart, and doesn't have a lot of new ideas, but that's ok, because he made up his mind about politics years ago, new information and changing world be damned.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
I think you answered your own question. Stupid voters that don't pay attention or are willing to overlook flaws if the candidate's views are inline with them.
The education system where many candidates and voters are educated.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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A Tennessee state official reportedly told residents who were concerned about dirty drinking water that complaining about water quality could be considered "an act of terrorism."
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sully View Post
Person A, though probably more qualified, and better for the job, is smart enough never to run. He knows he, his family, his past, everything will be run through a grinder as politics is far more about personality and "sides" than actual ideas. His life and those around him is infinitely better by just staying at home and not entering that arena.
Bingo! That right there is the bottom line and the answer to your question Kevin.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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The guy that made the comment about Guam was using dry humor. A month or two ago he was giving a speech about a bill regarding our helium shortage and he said, "Imagine a world without balloons for birthday parties or comediens not having those funny voices..."

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Old 06-30-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
A Tennessee state official reportedly told residents who were concerned about dirty drinking water that complaining about water quality could be considered "an act of terrorism."
Yeah, there's a great expose of new laws by Michael Rozeff, widening the definition of what an act of terrorism is. It's become a brave new world. These laws stifle dissent and all manner of political speech. See if I can relocate it.

EDIT: Found one of these as an introduction

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...st-threat.html
What Exactly Does "Making a Terrorist Threat" Mean?

The crime of "making a terrorist threat" is a recent creation enacted at both the state and federal levels after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It is a very general law that can be used to prosecute terrorists, but has been used far more often to prosecute situations involving domestic violence, hate crimes, bomb threats, and school violence. Indeed, in many states, the term "terrorist" has been amended to mean simply "criminal."

Although the exact definition varies from state to state, generally one makes a terrorist threat if one threatens to commit a violent crime for the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing public panic. Some states laws are very narrow, meaning the threat must be very specific and direct, while other states adapt a looser approach, allowing even negligently made threats to be prosecutable.

Analysis of these laws by Rozeff:

Quote:
This tells us, among other things, that a person can commit this crime by his speech alone, even if he has neither the intent nor the means to carry the threat out. The intent need only be that the words spoken are intended to be taken as a threat. Imagine a hate crime where there is no crime except the expression of hatred, that being enough to have committed the hate crime. This is analogous to these terrorist threat laws. Imagine calling in police because some little kid points a toy gun or his finger, and says "Bang, bang, you're dead". This is already happening. These things are all birds of a feather. Penalties are severe.

These laws are oppressive. They make crimes out of many varieties of ordinary statements made by ordinary people in many situations. Someone who speaks in anger, or when tipsy, or because they're upset, or without meaning what they say, can suddenly be in hot water. It is not uncommon for people to say "I'll kill you" without meaning it. These laws give the justice system heavy artillery to fire against anyone who falls into its clutches for any reason or who happens to say something resistant to authority or police or any other person. These laws provide ammunition to any ordinary person who wants to make trouble for someone else by accusing them of uttering threats. These laws suppress all speech for fear of saying something that can be taken as a threat. These laws lead the way to even more oppression in which anything said or written that is against the system is taken as threatening to it. India has such laws. Ecuador has such laws. I am sure that we could fill many volumes with examples of oppression by restriction of free speech.

More here by Rozeff on how these relate to gun laws:

Quote:
he anti-gun lobby is using terrorism as a convenient gimmick to jack up the penalties on ordinary misdemeanors and felonies. The extreme law and order lobby, who are disposed to lock people up for spitting on the sidewalk, are using the charge of terrorism for their ends. The crony capitalists in the prison industry are glad to see criminals charged with terrorism. The many companies in the surveillance business are glad to see surveillance extended under the name of stopping terrorists. The extreme feminists who want to make wimps out of young boys are happy to use the cloud cover of terrorism to impose strict rules on boys in school and to call the police for the most ridiculous of "infractions". The anti-hate lobbies, who are happy to see hate laws passed, are overjoyed to see similar anti-terror laws passed and to identify hate and terror as one. The local police are happy to use terrorism as an excuse to get all sorts of subsidized military contrivances and equipment. The lawmakers are only too happy to be seen doing something about terrorists by passing more laws. The bureaucrats running the DHS are pleased when any sort of terrorist attack, real or trumped up, occurs on American soil or when they can add another homegrown terrorist to a tally, because these events assure them that their budgets will rise.

And Another Black Man up on "Terrorist" Charges

I agree with Rozeff's analysis, these are OPPRESSIVE laws. Another reason, I think the WoT is a scam, as in using that crisis, to change our laws.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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Sociopaths are good at emotionally manipulating other people, that doesn't mean that they are smart.

All politicians are sociopaths to some degree.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Sociopaths are good at emotionally manipulating other people, that doesn't mean that they are smart.

All politicians are sociopaths to some degree.
The worst kind of people are attracted to power.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
stupid voters are not necessarily stupid...

it's the political system that has evolved that is stupid...

usually it's a choice between two bad choices, which should probably be expected given the state of politics today...
This is basically it, but it's only part of the problem.

This is actually the lesser of the two problems. We are in a two-party system, which means we basically have to eat from one of two bowls provided. There is no third bowl. Combine that with the parties in power carving districts over the decades to further entrench incumbents and further solidify where the base for both parties is. What you end up is with a system largely lacking in discipline from the two major parties for intelligence and open-mindedness, and cares more about the lowest common denominator among their bases.

The bigger problem: money. Thanks to the concerted, systematic effort by all three branches of government, there is now unlimited money required to run and maintain office. That literally sucks up almost all the time Congressmen spend now in office, rather than learning issues. Their job is to raise money continuously, and it makes getting anything done harder and harder, since the time required to learn, form opinions, and compromise, is sharply cut into by titanic volumes of fundraisers.

Therefore, we've honestly got a dumber and less capable population in Congress as far as the issues are concerned. But it's not because they're dumb, necessarily. It's because constant fundraising takes up all their time.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:40 AM   #14
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But the bigger question to me is why the various parties let nutjobs and morons run for office in the first place. There's a system of caucuses and primaries that should weed out people who are going to be an embarrassment and detriment to their own party and platform. Why doesn't that work?
You should see some of the candidates before the weed out process.......
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:01 PM   #15
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You should see some of the candidates before the weed out process.......
That would be entertaining if it wasn't so scary.

Now that I think about it, that would be a fun book. Profiles of people who wanted to run for office but were talked out of it by their party officials.
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