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Old 12-21-2000, 09:58 PM  
JOhn JOhn is offline
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The Democratic Party bears little resemblance to the party my Grandfather was so proud of. Either America's definition of 'Liberal' has changed, or the Democratic Party has been hijacked by that movement ~ it's current leadership definitely resides far to the left of anything 'mainstream'.

The Liberals that control the Democratic Party are masters at defining their enemies in the public eye. With the unknowing(?) cooperation of many in the media, they have successfully labeled Conservatives as the 'Religious Right'. Republicans are 'mean spirited', 'intolerant', 'rich', and even 'racist'.

I would never suggest a strategy as bold (or as deceitful) as this for the Republicans, however, this next year will present some unique opportunities to redefine public perception. Considering the Republicans terrible track record in this regard, I would suggest they take heed.

George Bush has struck a chord with the American public when he talks about Compassionate Conservatism and bipartisanship. Most Americans want their government to function in a civil and cooperative manner. Yes, politics is conflict, but there is a general sense that people that really care about the country (Statesmen) will find a way to work together.
(cont.)<P>
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Old 12-21-2000, 10:00 PM   #2
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(cont.)
There are many Democrats in Congress that feel the same way. The 'Rigid Liberal Leadership', however, eschews any form of cooperation (regardless of what they publicly say) and carry a big PR stick that it effectively uses to keep it's membership in line. For the Republican Congress to be successful in advancing bipartisan legislation, it must give honest Democrats the public justification to join the effort.

While publicly extending the hand of friendship at every opportunity to every Democrat in Congress, it must be privately understood that the 'Rigid Liberal Element' of the Democratic Party will never cooperate. We must not confuse an honest Democrat that has honest objections, with the 'Domineering Liberal Fringe' that is inflexible.

We must refer to baseless allegations and innuendo as unfortunate 'Liberal Dogma' that is being used by the 'Inflexible Liberal Fringe'.

We must publicly agree that honest people can sometimes get caught up in this 'Rigid Liberal Spin', and that some 'Selfish Liberal Fringe Elements' might have their own selfish hidden agendas. In the same breath we must praise the 'Mainstream' Democrats that are working hard in a bipartisan effort.

We must "slough off" accusations of racism and sexism by encouraging Republican minorities to publicly discount the cries of the 'Supremacist Liberal Fringe', and decry the elitist attitude of this 'Splintered Liberal Element'.

We must publicly call for all Republicans and Democrats to put the country first, and our differences second. We must openly applaud the Democrats that do this, and publicly lament the 'Rigid Liberal Element' that refuse to cooperate.
(cont.)
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Old 12-21-2000, 10:00 PM   #3
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(cont.)
If Republicans will remain true to the principals that put them in office, while continuously and publicly welcoming bipartisan help in working out the details, they will carry the day.

In addition, this coalition of 'Ultra Liberal Elements' that make up the current leadership of the Democratic party will be unmasked and exposed for the extremists and elitists that they are.

This coalition of 'Ultra Liberal Elements' cannot withstand such public scrutiny. With the correct Republican strategy, this coalition will begin to splinter and cannibalize itself. Perhaps with the disintegration of this 'Divisive Liberal Influence', America can once again be a unified nation that concentrates on our strengths, not the faults that divide us.

Luz
your thoughts???...
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Old 12-22-2000, 08:27 AM   #4
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Liberals will never be happy until Big Goverment controls every facet of your life. And white males pay for their ancestors crimes since time began.
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Old 12-22-2000, 09:16 AM   #5
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Luz--
While I agree that the "Rigid Liberal Element" of the Democratic party is a big problem, I see the "Ultra Conservative Right-Wing" faction of the Republican's just as dangerous and just as much of a problem with bipartisanship.

The "Liberal Fringe" believes that the government should do everything for everyone (except the wealthy, of course), and the "Ultra Conservative Right-Wing" feels the same way—they believe the government can tell women what to do with their bodies, what our children should think (i.e. putting the ten commandments in school) and what the public should be able to watch or listen to (TV rating systems and the hearings on Capitol Hill telling movie execs what they can and can't do).

The problem is not the extreme left or even the extreme right.

It is the extremes themselves that are the problem.

I actually admire Bush for being willing to hire Democrats to cabinet positions and for trying to extend an olive branch across the aisle. But I will wait and see if all of the rhetoric is just that, or if real actions towards cooperation will be carried out.

MM
~~Sees extremism, not liberalism or conservativism, as the problem.

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Old 12-22-2000, 09:28 AM   #6
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Mark M - while what you write about the 'extremes' has a lot of merit, one cannot overlook the maginot lines being dug smack dab in the center. This past election was one of the more rancorous [and obviously the closest] I can recall. But it wasn't a battle between zenophobic isolationism and surrender of sovereignty, or between frank socialism and abolition of the entire tax structure, or any other form of 'stark' contrast by objective standards. We were gouging each others' eyes out over a choice between a man who "is in favor" or the death penalty and another who "strongly support[s]" it, between a man who wants prescriptions for the elderly in 6 months and one who wants them in 3. etc, etc.
It is a sad reality, but division is often a vital part of self-definition [ie., I know who I am, I am NOT that person there]. In a time of few percieved external threats, we turn our divisive instincts inward.

[This message has been edited by JC-Johnny (edited 12-22-2000).]
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Old 12-22-2000, 09:35 AM   #7
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I see nothing wrong with a list of moral ethics as a guide in which to live by in the class room. Perhaps a child who's parents are lax in instiling a sense of morality, And there's a lot of that going on these days. Will get a sense of right and wrong. Is the Pledge of Aligence-sp still allowed? Or has that been done away with by the ACLU and other fringe elements?
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:00 AM   #8
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alanm--
The 10 commandments are not believed in by everyone: Islam believes in an eye for an eye, for example. What I have a problem with is people pushing their religous beliefs on others. Like I've said before, "don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church."

Perhaps I took too many history classes in colleges to believe in myth.

I'm not sure about the pledge of allegiance. I remember saying it every morning while in elementary school, but that was a long time ago. And while I love this country, I don't follow its leaders or laws blindly just because I said it every day. I got the love of this country through my [i]parents[/i], which is where I believe religion, patriotism, etc. should come from. It is not the school's responsibility to teach one how to be a good Christian, a good American or anything else. It is their job to [b]educate[/b] children. Give them the facts (and I mean [i]all[/i] of the facts) and let them decide for themselves, with help from their families.

I also feel that the ACLU and others (i.e. NAACP) are good in theory, but they cross the line of good sense and logic more often than not.

MM
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:08 AM   #9
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JC--
Very, very good point. This election, IMO, came down to two evenly matched opponents.

But the exteme factions of both parties spew their rhetoric in such a way that makes it difficult for some to see what the other party has to offer.

Example: I am independent. I have listened to Republicans state that, if Gore was elected, the Democrats would essentially make gun ownership an extremely difficult right to obtain. The laws imposed by Democrats would punish law abiding citizens by restricting the manufacture, distribution and sale of guns to such a degree that it would be nearly impossible to obtain one legally.

I have heard Democrats say that, if Bush were to win (which he did) that the rich would get richer, the poor would get poorer and women would have to go to back-alley doctors or coat hanger stores to get an abortion.

While we here can see that neither one of these claims are true, there are many more feeble minded folks who believe this crap.

And that is what I see as the problem. Sure, we need extremists so that the centrist view can become clearer. I just wish both sides would be less destructive and focus more on the good of the country, rather than on their own agendas.

Just MHO.

MM
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:20 AM   #10
JOhn JOhn is offline
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Mark M,

While you make some good points about extremism on both sides, I must point out that the Liberal extremist are in control of their party.

The point of my writing is that the Republicans have a great opportunity to expose this extremism to the rest of the country (and just perhaps effect the balabce of power in the Democrartic Party.

The Republicans will stick to their platform and initiate the legislations they campaigned on. When the 'Inflexible Liberal Element' (leadership) doesn't cooperate, the Repubs could, in a classy way, laber them as uncooperative, extremist, rigid, inflexable, and selfish.

I think this would be a great political tactic (and much more accurate and ethical than trying to label them mean spirited, uncaring, planet killing, rich, and racist).

Luz
can they pull it off???...
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:23 AM   #11
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mark,

i'm not going to try to push my views on you or anyone..i got an email a while back that said something similar to this...think about it...

After all of the shootings in public schools recently, this letter was written by little suzy to GOD.

Dear God,
Why did you let those bad men come into schools and shoot all of the kids. Why did you let that happen? Why didn't you stop them?

Love, Suzy


response from God

Suzy,
I'm not allowed in schools any more.

Sincerely,
GOD
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:25 AM   #12
JOhn JOhn is offline
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Mark M,

One other thing (after reading your last post)...

There is a huge difference between not being one of the fringe, extremist elements of a party, and in being Centrist.

IMHO, using my definition of Centrist, it is the absolute worst position to hold (believe in) because it requires the total lack of any kind of philisophical underpinnings or foundation of belief.

The saying, "if you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything" comes to mind.

Luz
doesn't believe 'centrist is a viable position...
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:35 AM   #13
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Mark M - Don't confuse what they fear with what they are. That's just my point, just because someone 'spouts off' against right or left extremism doesn't make them extreme on the other side.
I think most people are yelling out of a need for definition because they are so centrist, overall they ache to yell their one or two 'extreme-ish' views from the mountaintop, or blurt out their opposition to 'extreme-ish' views on the other side.
It is interesting that race and ethnicity play so strongly into this, because I have read studies [and I wish I could now find them] about 'ethnic' division in relatively homogenous societies [Japan, and Inuit Indian come to mind]. They have strikingly similar biases and prejudices, etc., but over differences we can't even see. In the absence of differing skin color [as in America], they differentiate on skin tone, or hair type, subtle differences in eye shape, etc.
Just because we're all clustered around the center doesn't mean that we all agree, that would be too easy. To paraphrase a cheesy movie-line; MI2 - to have a hero, you must first have a villian.
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:41 AM   #14
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Iowa--
As much as I agree with you most of the time, and although I am sure you're a great guy...give me break! It is the [i]parents[/i] that are to blame for school shootings, not the lack of religion in schools. Isn't there something about the separation of church and state in the Constitution? If the schools receive federal $$, then they have no business expousing Christian ethics (or any other's for that matter) to children who aren't all Christians (or whatever). How would you feel if your child's teacher started to preach, say, Hindu or Muslim beliefs upon your children? Would you be happy that everything you had taught your children was told to them by a teacher as being wrong? If parents want their children to grow up with Christian or Jewish or Muslim ideals, then teach them that at home or send them to a private school. But don't use my tax $$ to brainwash my kids. Of course, this is just my opinion, so I hope you're not offended.

Luz--
While your point is valid, IMO being centrist does not mean that one has no philisophical beliefs. I see it as being able to see both sides of the argument and taking what one feels to be the best of both and combining them into one, coherent philosophy. Instead of saying "I'm this" or "I'm that" one can then say "I see 'this' and 'that' and am somewhere in between. I will combine what I feel is the best of 'this' and 'that' and not be labeled as either." Perhaps my definition of centrist is incorrect. :confused:

MM
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Old 12-22-2000, 10:50 AM   #15
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There are [at least] two different ways to 'become' a centrist. One is to not have an opinion on any issue, or framework for assessment, until the issue arises. The other is to realize that different issues require different frameworks. For example social issues assessed differently than fiscal issues, state government issues assessed different if the federal government tackles them. Constitutional precepts analyzed and applied differently than more routine measures, etc.
To say the government should try to solve all problems is activist. To say the government causes all problems is libertarian. They rest generally gets called centrist, although that term is not nearly adequate to the task.
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