Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ABC New Hampshire GOP Debate

So, this past saturday, ABC hosted the most recent Republican Presidential debate for the 2012 election! Oh, the excitement!

Anywho, in my opinion,  it was one of the better debates recently. The past few (especially the one before the Iowa Caucus) have been dreadfully boring. Fortunately this one provided a little bit more entertainment value.

I'm just going to touch on some of the main points/highlights/noteworthy events of the night for those of you who have lives and aren't political junkies life myself.

Here goes!

1. Governor Rick Perry of Texas stated he would, in fact, send troops back into Iraq and pick up on the war where Obama left off. Oh Rick...when will he learn...

2. They cut Ron Paul's mic -- of course. Just as Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) was laying into Rick Santorum for being a "big government conservative" and a "revolving door lobbyist", his mic was cut off. He suddenly stopped mid-sentence and muttered dishearteningly (barely audibly), "There it goes again..." (to which Santorum replied arrogantly, "It's because you're not telling the truth, Ron."). In the last debate, CNN blacked out the Television right as Ron walked onto the stage and the crowd roared in applause. It really is rather shocking and embarrassing the lengths to which our media will go to diminish Ron Paul as a candidate and his libertarian ideals. As someone on reddit put it, "Fuck this gay earth and the media that bashes the one honest politician on stage." Too true.

3. Newt had the balls to pick on Romney regarding his tenure at Bain Capital, and his profiting from disassembling companies and laying off workers. Apparently, the NY Times did an article about how Romney destroyed jobs rather than created them, and Newt quickly made a point of that. Romney weakly replied something along the lines of "Well, of course the NY Times would say that about me...", implying a liberal bias over actual facts about Romney's business past.

4. Jon Huntsman did a particularly excellent job in connecting with the youthful voting demographic. He was concise and charismatic, and tended to forgo jabbing and sparring with his opponents to promote his positions and leadership credentials instead. Huntsman '16 -- I'm calling it right now. Mark my words.

5. At the end of the debate, the moderators asked each candidate, "If you weren't here running for president, what would you be doing on this saturday night?". Ginrich's response was the worst, saying "I'd be watching the college championship basketball game". Several seconds of awkward silence ensued until Santorum kindly said, "Football game, Newt. Football".

Ouch. That's embarrassing, Newt.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rick Santorum

Welp - now that the Iowa Caucuses have blown over, let's talk Rick Santorum!

Just in case you didn't get the memo, he lost to Romney by a mere 8 votes. Yes, eight! Of course, he was definitely the most committed candidate when it came to Iowa, having visited and spoken at each of the 100+ counties in the state. But who honestly, truly thinks he can put up a real fight against Mitt Romney? I wonder whether or not he believes that he really can...

Michele's out, Rick's on the fringe, and Cain is looooong gone. But what gives? Why do these candidates come and go without so much as a real fight? Here's what I think:

Mitt's a "Massachusetts moderate" - as Gingrich put it. And although he will, beyond a reasonable doubt, become the GOP nominee, other candidates have the ability to rouse and influence voters when it comes to particular issues. What I'm saying is this: the longer Rick Santorum stays in the race and fights for "conservative, family values", and the longer he maintains a sizable support base to back his message, the further he can push his family-values/anti-gay agenda. If he ends up a close second to Romney in the end, having fought tooth-and-nail on issues including marriage, abortion, and gay rights, he will inevitably force Romney to adopt (to some degree) Rick's conservative positions in order to win his supporters over.

If Romney really wants Santorum's supporters to support him on election day, he'll have to preach anti-gay, pro-marriage sentiments to the masses. If Mitt wants Perry's supports, he'll have to dumb things down and preach common sense in his speech-giving. If he wants control of Bachmann's base, he'll have to go out swinging hard against Obamacare. And if he wants Gingrich's fan base, then he'll have to -- er, wait...what exactly does Newt stand for, anyway?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ron Who?

If you haven't yet seen this clip from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, then take a look.

In essence, after Ron Paul's second place finish at the Iowa Straw Poll just a few weeks back, the media shuns him. Coming in less than 200 votes behind winner Michele Bachman, Ron Paul received hardly any credit from the major media outlets nationwide. Even though Jon Stewart and Ron Paul reside on opposite ends of the political spectrum, Stewart still criticizes the media for not fairly educating the public and illuminating Ron Paul as a potential 2012 GOP contender for the nomination.

As the ABC anchor says, "We are in the business of making or breaking elections". And with that sort of responsibility, the media has to remain objective and unbiased, lest they seek to push their own agendas. Amirite??

Hmm. Ron Paul, a self-proclaimed libertarian and defender of individual rights is not your typical establishment Republican -- or politician, for that matter. He has voted against the Middle-Eastern wars since the very beginning. He wants to end the war on drugs, bring our troops home, and slowly phase out the Federal Reserve system. I can understand why liberal news outlets like CNN and MSNBC would benefit from censoring and obscuring Ron Paul: they are attempting to prevent democratic voters from switching their support to Paul. But why does Fox News ignore him? He's a republican. He's been in Congress for over a decade. He participates in all major televised debates. So what gives?

Is he too extremist for the Republican party to adopt  him? If you answered yes, then take a look at Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry. Still think Paul is the extremist one?

Unelectable, you say? With 4,000 votes and a stunning second-place finish, that is a claim without substance. If he is unelectable, then the media has nothing to lose. Who in their right mind thinks Herman Cain is going to win the nomination? But he still gets media attention.

What do YOU think? Why is the media shunning Ron Paul? What are their motives?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

True Democracy

I want to talk a little bit about democracy in the modern age.

The United States of America is a representative democracy. In essence, we elect leaders to represent our views and interests in the House of Representatives and the Senate. No doubt, when the system was created in the 18th century it was an imperfect system -- naturally, not everyone would get what they wanted, and unfortunately, even the majority might not always get their way. But, what I don't understand is now that we are in the 21st century with our computers and our cyber databases, why do we not simply have a pure democracy?

In other words, why do we still elect leaders to represent us? What is the use in representation in this day and age? Almost everyone has a computer, and so why not empower citizens to vote directly on legislation? How about "vote.gov" (is that taken??). Each citizen could cast a virtual ballot and verify their identity with their social-security number or some of form of identification. I see no argument here -- the people get what the people vote for. Majority rules. Democracy!

Or, for a less extreme and more realistic solution, how about each Congressional representative allow each of their constituents to vote online on upcoming bills. This will help Congressmen and women know how to vote to properly represent their respective districts. And their voting record could be compared with that of their constituents' to gauge their responsiveness to their own people, come re-election time.

What do YOU think? Should citizens be able to vote directly on laws without the Congressional "middlemen"? Is this a realistic idea?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Progressives in American History

1.     In the view of progressives, what was wrong with American society? What solutions did they propose to address social problems?

In the view of the Progressives, American society needed more social and political programs as to best benefit its workers and citizens. The Progressives advocated for government services that would improve the lives of its inhabitants.

As far as social reform, they wanted health service that would include all government medical agencies, social insurance for unemployed, elderly, and disabled, farm relief, workman’s compensation, inheritance tax, and a constitutional amendment that would allow a federal income tax.

As for political reform, they wished to adopt women’s suffrage, primary elections for state and federal nominations, and the direction election of US Senators.

The Progressive platform also strongly recommended that states adopt certain measures for direct democracy. These measures included the recall election, allowing constituents to remove an elected official from office, the referendum, allowing citizens to vote on a law through pure popular vote, the initiative, allowing constituents to propose laws via petition and then decide on it by popular vote, and lastly the judicial recall, allowing citizens (via popular vote) to override a court who has declared a law unconstitutional.

2.     What were the major sources of the progressive movement? Which of those sources were most significant, and why?

The Progressive movement was a political melting pot containing people of many different political backgrounds. It began when Theodore Roosevelt decided to challenge President Taft for Taft’s re-election. Roosevelt did not approve of Taft’s increasingly conservative policy, and Roosevelt could not get the Republican party’s nomination for the next election. Thus, he had to create his own party: the Progressive Party of America.

Roosevelt told his political delegates to help him form a new party for his presidential campaign. Governor of California, Hiram Johnson was the chairman of the new party, Frank A. Munsey funded much of the new platform, and George W. Perkins became the organization’s executive secretary.

Initially, only five of fifteen Progressive Republican Senators declared support for Roosevelt’s new party. Many Republicans were afraid of hopping onto the Progressive platform, as there did not seem to be much of a political future for them if they did. However, the Republican party offered a strong platform to loyal participants who eventually sought higher political office. But, the Progressive party did gain some support from Independents who did not desire to be a part of the Republicans or Democrats, but were willing to join the Progressive movement.