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Who is you first pick?
Joe Biden 0
Hillary Clinton 2
Chris Dodd 0
John Edwards 1
Dennis Kucinich 3
Barack Obama 4
Bill Richardson 1
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Who do you want for President in ‘08?
Posted: 06 September 2007 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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The lesser of two evils is still evil.

So your first criterion is “Not a Republican” and your second criterion is “I think can win based on my idea of what makes someone electible.” I’m still curious what of your other values you subrogate to these two criteria.

If your choices are between Clinton and Obama, you don’t need to wait to decide since both have been in public service for a few years and their records are available for reveiw. What could possibly come out in the next few months that would show them to be different in their approach to government than what they have been doing to this point?

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Posted: 06 September 2007 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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WattaQuestion - 06 September 2007 03:14 PM

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Actually, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

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Posted: 06 September 2007 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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What good is “the good” if one is willing to sacrifice it for what is “practical”?

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Posted: 06 September 2007 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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To me that means that what you believe is up for sale to the highest bidder, where the commodity of exchange is vote-getting ablility.

And to me it means you’re a responsible adult who doesn’t suffer from the delusion that everyone agrees with him.

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Posted: 06 September 2007 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Alon - 06 September 2007 04:31 PM

To me that means that what you believe is up for sale to the highest bidder, where the commodity of exchange is vote-getting ablility.

And to me it means you’re a responsible adult who doesn’t suffer from the delusion that everyone agrees with him.

Thanks for the quote mine. Do you work for the Discovery Institute?

[ Edited: 07 September 2007 11:34 AM by WattaQuestion ]
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Posted: 07 September 2007 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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WattaQuestion - 06 September 2007 03:14 PM

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

I evaluate what I think is best for everyone, not what is best for just me.  I think everyone benefits from a democratic leadership in comparison to republican leadership.  When I feel the majority of people’s interests receive equal concern, I am satisfied.  Lets measure my satisfaction with this scenario and see how the economics add up.

In this prisoners dilemma I have the option to ask for 75% satisfaction and have a 5% chance of success - ask for 50% satisfaction and have a 50% chance of success.  Unfortunately since we have 4-8 year delays between the next communication process this prisoners dilemma does not benefit from a tit for tat relationship, my messages go un-heard.  By asking for 75% satisfaction I have 95% chance of getting no satisfaction at all.  I am not prepared to make this sacrifice for an additional 25% satisfaction.

I am sure everyone else will find varying degrees of satisfaction from the different candidates and we can use statistics and polls to get within about 10% of error on candidates electability.  This rational is based on my subjective view and has nothing to do with selling short my values/ideals.  In fact it is the opposite; the cost of loosing my values is too high.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

I evaluate what I think is best for everyone, not what is best for just me.

Based on the sentence above, I would say your political philosophy is very much influenced by utilitarianism. This means that what you think is best is the idea that “best for everyone” is a way to evaluate politics.

retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

I think everyone benefits from a Democratic leadership in comparison to Republican leadership.  When I feel the majority of people’s interests receive equal concern, I am satisfied.

What about when the majority of people’s interests are in line with what the Republicans stand for? Another version of this question is: What if a free and fair election in Iraq voted in a hard-line Sunni government that wanted sharia law? Or, What if the majority is wrong? Are you still satisfied when the best option for everyone is one presented by a minority, but that minority’s interests do not receive equal concern?

retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

Let’s measure my satisfaction with this scenario and see how the economics add up.

In this prisoners dilemma I have the option to ask for 75% satisfaction and have a 5% chance of success - ask for 50% satisfaction and have a 50% chance of success.

As I noted in a previous post, but what about the 50% dissatisfaction that you have put into the Oval Office? You answer it quite well below:

retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

Unfortunately since we have 4-8 year delays between the next communication process this prisoners dilemma does not benefit from a tit for tat relationship, my messages go un-heard.

Using the war in Iraq as an example: What happens if the candidate who meets your 50% approval rating wins the election, but the 50% of their platform that does not meet your approval rating is continuing the war in Iraq? You have no voice in stopping the war until the next go-round. So, because you chose to vote for the “sure thing” of 50%, you actually voted for continuation of the war. (You can substitute any other issue for the war in Iraq and this example is still true.)

retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

By asking for 75% satisfaction I have 95% chance of getting no satisfaction at all.  I am not prepared to make this sacrifice for an additional 25% satisfaction.

Then you are like most people. Most people would rather avoid loss than go for gain, such as avoiding the loss of $10 rather than attempting the gain of $100. Related to this is the idea that people would rather avoid spending 10%  There are instances when this is a good strategy, and instances when it is a bad one.

This is where the “wasted vote” comes in. Most people don’t want to “waste” their vote, so they vote against the perceived bad rather than for the precieved good. That is, quite often the only reason that someone votes for A is because he is not B. “Anybody but B!” What this usually leads to is that rather than getting 50% of what you want, you end up with about 20%, because you feel it’s better than the risk of getting 95% of what you don’t want.

Here’s where the “I don’t want to waste my vote” strategy fails however: Your vote does not turn the tide, even if you are in a “swing state.” You’r one vote will not make a difference, so rather than wasting it on the perceived front-runner, why not vote for the person you really want? What this will do is show people that, sure Candidate C didn’t win, but he got 33% of the vote. It might mean, in a primary, that Candidate C becomes the VP candidate for the winner of the primary, so has a chance to influence the administration and bring in 75% of your platform. But what if all the people who are thinking “I don’t want to waste my vote, so I’ll vote for A rather than C, whom I want” actually voted for C? Perhaps C would win after all.

retrospy - 07 September 2007 09:17 AM

I am sure everyone else will find varying degrees of satisfaction from the different candidates and we can use statistics and polls to get within about 10% of error on candidates electability.

Perceived electibility is a self-fulfilling prophecy. As I have been trying to make clear, most people select the front-runner because he is the perceived front-runner and they’d rather go for a more likely win than risk a loss. This is why so much money is put into rigging the media peception of a candidate to make that person seem like the most electible option. Which is why the Democrats will not win in 2008.

How do I know? Well, the two front-running Dems are Clinton and Obama. Obama is the more Progressive candidate, but his percieved lack of experience, and his race and percieved religious heritage mean that he will lose in a head to head against Giuliani. That leaves Clinton. But regardless of her actual platform, there are a lot of people on the political right and even in the middle who would be galvanized to vote “ABH - anybody but Hillary” just the way many on the right were galvanized to vote against Gay Marriage, even though they didn’t really want Bush.

The other reason the Demcrats will not win is that because none of the voting shenanigans from 2000 and 2004 have been corrected. If it’s true that the Repbulicans stole the elections those years, nothing has been done to prevent them from stealing it again in 2008. If it’s not true that they stole the election, then the reason people think it happened that way is from extrapolation of the actual electoral issues that really occured in those elections. Those issues have not been solved, so the potential for a Republican end-around is still in place.

Since a Democrat will not win anyway, all votes for them will be wasted, so you might as well send a message for the next go-round by voting for the candidate whose platform is most in line with yours. Again, who knows? If everyone abandoned the myth of the wasted vote and actually voted for the best match to their personal values, perhaps the one who is the best match for your values would actually win.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

I would say your political philosophy is very much influenced by utilitarianism.

True.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

What about when the majority of people’s interests are in line with what the Republicans stand for? Another version of this question is: What if a free and fair election in Iraq voted in a hard-line Sunni government that wanted sharia law? Or, What if the majority is wrong? Are you still satisfied when the best option for everyone is one presented by a minority, but that minority’s interests do not receive equal concern?

People don’t always have the ability to know what is best for them.  Luckily for them, I happen to know everything and can make their decisions for them.  wink  I am at the liberties of my perceptions & judgments, just as everyone else.  Just because errors exists doesn’t mean I should give up.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

but what about the 50% dissatisfaction that you have put into the Oval Office?

I would consider 50% satisfaction a significant improvement from 5% or less.  Is the glass half empty or half full?  I prefer half full.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

Using the war in Iraq as an example: What happens if the candidate who meets your 50% approval rating wins the election, but the 50% of their platform that does not meet your approval rating is continuing the war in Iraq? You have no voice in stopping the war until the next go-round. So, because you chose to vote for the “sure thing” of 50%, you actually voted for continuation of the war. (You can substitute any other issue for the war in Iraq and this example is still true.)

I doubt that any Democratic continuation of the war would be comparable to the common Republican continuation plan.  However, considering my alternative of having all that I dislike about my candidate and having a heck of a lot more that I dislike, I think I have made it clear I would prefer to cut my losses and take what is possible, not what I dream about.  This does not mean I stop advocating my dreams.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

Then you are like most people. Most people would rather avoid loss than go for gain, such as avoiding the loss of $10 rather than attempting the gain of $100. Related to this is the idea that people would rather avoid spending 10%  There are instances when this is a good strategy, and instances when it is a bad one.

I agree completely.  There are times when this is a good strategy and times it is bad.  For instance, if I won $100,000 in Powers of Ten, I doubt I would risk $99,000 for a shot at 1 million (tough decision though).  Would you risk it all for 10 million or bust?

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

This is where the “wasted vote” comes in. Most people don’t want to “waste” their vote, so they vote against the perceived bad rather than for the precieved good. That is, quite often the only reason that someone votes for A is because he is not B. “Anybody but B!” What this usually leads to is that rather than getting 50% of what you want, you end up with about 20%, because you feel it’s better than the risk of getting 95% of what you don’t want.

If you feel that Obama & Clinton represent only 20% of what you want from our government, I completely understand why you have nothing to loose with your vote.  In that case I would like to know which candidate you support the most and what percent of their platform you are satisfied with.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

Here’s where the “I don’t want to waste my vote” strategy fails however: Your vote does not turn the tide, even if you are in a “swing state.” You’r one vote will not make a difference, so rather than wasting it on the perceived front-runner, why not vote for the person you really want? What this will do is show people that, sure Candidate C didn’t win, but he got 33% of the vote. It might mean, in a primary, that Candidate C becomes the VP candidate for the winner of the primary, so has a chance to influence the administration and bring in 75% of your platform. But what if all the people who are thinking “I don’t want to waste my vote, so I’ll vote for A rather than C, whom I want” actually voted for C? Perhaps C would win after all.

I already addressed this issue early on.  I find voting to improve the chances of a vice presidential candidate a valid justification.  I thought about voting that way myself.  Personally I decided the margin the winning Democrat will have to overcome to beat the winning Republican is too close to call and it scares me.  The margin that these winning candidates win their primaries by will be a significant factor in undecided voters.  I would rather spend my vote, no matter how insignificant, improving this margin.  That is the main reason I started this thread.  I want to get a gauge on how people on this forum view the leading candidates.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

Well, the two front-running Dems are Clinton and Obama. Obama is the more Progressive candidate, but his percieved lack of experience, and his race and percieved religious heritage mean that he will lose in a head to head against Giuliani. That leaves Clinton. But regardless of her actual platform, there are a lot of people on the political right and even in the middle who would be galvanized to vote “ABH - anybody but Hillary” just the way many on the right were galvanized to vote against Gay Marriage, even though they didn’t really want Bush.

I share the same concerns.  Which vice-presidential candidates, do you think, would improve Clinton or Obamas image and marketability?

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Posted: 07 September 2007 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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retrospy - 07 September 2007 02:40 PM
WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 01:10 PM

I would say your political philosophy is very much influenced by utilitarianism.

True.

Then we need to meet over in the Philosophy forum to talk about the shortcomings of utilitarianism.

As for the rest, if you are going to vote for the Democrat no matter who it is, then your best option is not to worry about promoting that candidate but doing everything in your power to make the Republican look bad to the swing voters. In 2000 and 2004, the elections were against Gore’s stiff demeanor and against the fact that he was Clinton’s VP and against gay marriage and Kerry’s wishy-washiness. Those strategies worked (unless you believe the elections were stolen). The best strategy for the Democrats is to link the Republican candidate as just more Bush neo-con, religious right, hate the world, anti-liberty hooey.

It’s not like the Democrats actually have anything good to offer. People already feel cheated by Nancy Pelosi’s waffling leadership, so they aren’t really happy with the Democrats right now. The best plan is to make them even less happy about the Republicans.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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retropsy,

I don’t support any of the candidates. Why not?

These are things I’d like the next President of the United State to work on. I don’t know of any candidate who is ready, willing or able to tackle all of these things.

I know I’m going to get slapped around like the new young whitey in prison, but I’ve got to be honest, don’t I?

My ideal candidate would work with the Congress on:

Decreasing the size government – other folks think the Constitution is the lower limit of what government should do, I think it is the upper limit – I would prefer even less federal government than is described in Article 8. People are smart; we can take care of our own lives without so much interference from federal or even state bureaucracies. People are also dumb, and I don’t want dumb people telling me how I should live my life.

Lowering taxation – would be a consequence of smaller government, but I also think people should only have to pay for what they use – you know, like they mostly do with their clothes, medical care, homes, food, entertainment, and retirement, to name a few things.

Why should I have to pay for bombing people I don’t know in regions I’ll never go to again who’ve never done anything to me or anyone I know?

Why should I have to pay for sending young kids (or old geezers) overseas to do those things, and having them come home without limbs or without their psyche intact?

Pulling all troops in from the war and all bases overseas, except embassies.

Using US forces only for protection of our borders, except for the Navy and those supporting the Navy, because the Navy has become the default protector of sea transport due to the fact that we have the biggest navy, and because we benefit the most from it. The candidate should have a plan to encourage Congress to negotiate with the other countries that rely on sea transport to step up and devote more of their own resources to the effort.

Quitting NATO and all the other cold war-era treaty organizations.

Having an objective standard of diplomacy that treats other nations and their inhabitants as valuable and innocent until proven guilty.

Ending the war on terror by ending our participation in it as a war. Terrorists are criminals, they should be fought and tried like criminals, or private parties who feel they are threatened by terrorists can hire privateers to defend their private interests.

Ending corporate welfare, including current tax support to all the “bigs” in each sector: big energy, big pharma, big retail, big manufacturing, big insurance, big agriculture, etc.

Real, actual, free trade: As in we trade with companies or individuals in any nation, and they trade with companies or individuals here. We don’t set import quotas, export quotas, or any restrictions except for protecting the physical safety of people, crops and the rest of the environment.

Exiting from the WTO, NAFTA, the World Bank, and the IMF.

Real, actual, free markets: All goods and services are sold to whoever wants them at the price negotiated by the buyer and seller without interference from any third party. People can work where they want, for whom they want at the price they have agreed to. Negotiations can be done individually or collectively - no one who chooses individual negotiations is bound by contract negotiations she had no part in, no one who chooses collective negotiations is bound by contract negotiations he had no part in.

Free movement of people across our borders, so long as they are not criminals or infectious.

Non-profit, private organizations retaking control of the charity sector: Secular and religious and whatever.

Ending the war on the poor, aka the war on drugs, including full pardons for any and all federal drug trafficking or drug use offenses (whatever other offenses the person was convicted of would remain, of course).

Getting out of the money-printing business. Let financial institutions, co-ops, whatever make their own notes and people can trade them as they will, like Ithaca Hours or Liberty Dollars. If the financial institution wants to back their money with gold, they can, if they want to back it with contracts on people’s labor, they can. Very quickly the most stable forms of money will become the most widely traded, but people will also learn to not rely on only one brand of currency. This would effectively accomplish the goal of nearly zero taxation. The only way a government could raise revenue would be to provide services people really wanted, and charge user fees at a rate equal to or less than what a private entity would charge.

My ideal candidate would encourage states to secede as they would from the federal government and let them see how they could do on their own. But any state that wanted to rejoin would be welcomed back with open arms. All territories would be given the option of statehood or freedom. No more second-class status for anyone.

I now most people on these boards won’t like what my ideal candidate would ask for, but my ideal candidate would have a single-minded devotion to liberty, and my ideal candidate would recognize that the currency of liberty is respect for the liberty of others.

Any legislation sent to her/his/its desk that increased and/or protected the liberty of the people of the United States would be signed; any legislation that did less would be looked at very carefully and signed only if it had a clear objective, limited scope and time limit for accomplishment.

My ideal candidate would be ready to dismantle this pseudo-democracy and rebuild the Republic.

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Posted: 08 September 2007 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I’m for Bill Richardson one hundred percent as he has done more for the poor and the minorities than anyone else I know and has tried to get gay unions for our state. If he looses in the primaries I may not vote in the general as I do not think the other candidates care that much for the poor or minorities, but I might be wrong.

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Posted: 10 September 2007 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Holely Goat - 08 September 2007 06:29 PM

I’m for Bill Richardson one hundred percent as he has done more for the poor and the minorities than anyone else I know and has tried to get gay unions for our state. If he looses in the primaries I may not vote in the general as I do not think the other candidates care that much for the poor or minorities, but I might be wrong.

I like Bill Richardson a lot.  He is my number one vice-presidential pick.

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Posted: 10 September 2007 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 03:28 PM

Then we need to meet over in the Philosophy forum to talk about the shortcomings of utilitarianism.

I’d love to.

WattaQuestion - 07 September 2007 03:28 PM

…if you are going to vote for the Democrat no matter who it is, then your best option is not to worry about promoting that candidate but doing everything in your power to make the Republican look bad to the swing voters.

While I do support the greater good, I do not support Machiavellian (by any means necessary) politics.  I think this sends the wrong “tit for tat” message to the opposition and leads to more resistance in the long run.  The reality of the situation is that we are all in this together.  I think you would agree that totalitarian action is the wrong way to go.  So I get real apprehensive when I hear people enforcing one “I know” over another “I know”.

FYI, I am a libertarian at heart and I am a democrat with regard to the natural world.

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Posted: 10 September 2007 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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retrospy,

Making the Republican look bad does not necessarily mean attack ads and such, but clarifying the consequences of that candidate’s policies.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I like Dennis Kucinich as well, Occam.

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