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GOP recent events

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Posted

With Boehner out and McCarthy out, I expect the GOP to install an even nuttier choice.  I don't see this so much as a fractured GOP, but a consolidation of the more far-right elements of the party.  This article sums up my take on the situation pretty well:  http://www.politicususa.com/2015/10/05/republicans-fractured-broken.html.  I'm sure it'll all prove to be ripe with all sorts of unintended consequences, which might be fun to watch if it weren't for the fact that it would likely negatively impact my life (it's all about me after all.) 

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Posted

The linked article opines that the Republicans have next to no interest in "compromise and working in a bipartisan fashion for the good of the entire nation;" instead, "[t]heir goal is ... working solely for the good of the rich and the religious" (and, as asserted later in the piece, theocracy). This got me to immediately wondering: Have the real liberals ever addressed - or even considered - why it is that "the religious" not only became a significant political force but have remained so (if their political sway has not in fact or in effect increased over the decades)? Have the real liberals ever considered or addressed whether "the religious" can be real liberals and why it is that "the religious" are not real liberals?

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Posted

I don't know. I didn't really even notice that part of the article. I'm guessing it's a generalization about the GOP's tendency to market their product to Southern Baptists and similar religious groups. I'm sure there are some liberals who are religious. I've never met one, but keep in mind I live in Texas.

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Posted

Sorry I could not copy and paste, I still have to learn how to do that!

American politics.rtf

Here is the text

I was considering starting a new thread, but I have two already in which I am participating (one on death and the other on evil!), therefore I have decided to join this one. I trust I am not diverting the OP's intentions, but I want to open up a discussion more on American politics in general.

 

In my retirement I now have the time to read a little about American politics, and have been quite interested, in the TV debates, by the views of some of the candidates for presidency.

 

Hillary Clinton recently claimed to be a progressive. In my teaching career I have always held progressivism as my motivational educational ideology, having read, cover to cover in my early teaching, Rousseau's "Emile" and "Against Method" by Paul Feyerabend. I think I am correct in knowing that to be a progressive in American politics is not the same thing, but I wonder if Hillary Clinton can cite a book which she read cover to cover which influenced her political career!? Bernie Sanders claims to be a socialist, with Donald Trump calling him a socialist/communist. I wonder which books they have read cover to cover!?

 

Apparently Nietsche cited Schopenhauer's "The World As Will And Representation", and recently on a teachers' website in the UK "The Philosophy Shop" was cited, a winner of Educational Book of the Year 2013. This could please many of us here! I am sure there many other examples.

 

On the GOP side, and to return to the OP, Donald Trump calls for a revolution. Ghandi succeeded with his non-violent revolution, and he was influenced by the writings of Tolstoy. Does Trump understand what he is calling for when he says 'revolution'? Reading the link in the OP makes me think Trump is not really a Republican, or is he?

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Posted

 American_politics.rtf

I am still struggling as to how to copy and paste my post, which I usually compose with WordPad.

American politics.rtf

 

Here is the text which was not in the previous posting:

 

It may be that my post has been read as the ramblings of a simpleton, which may not be far from the truth. However, I am going to pursue my ramblings in the event that I spark some responses, even if I am hammered for my ignorance of American politics!

 

Continuing to read "Emile", and accepting all major criticisms of Rousseau's educational, political and religious philosophies, and acknowledging the historical context in which he wrote it, I still believe there is something to be said for progressivism, both as an educational ideology, and perhaps as a significant aspect of the US political landscape. I cited Hilary Clinton above because she claimed she was a progressive, but also "wanted to get things done!". Is this just rhetoric, or is it inaccurate? That is, as an educational progressive, I never felt that I was not getting things done.

 

It appears that progressivism is founded on the idea that the human species (homo sapiens sapiens?) has the capacity to progress, from a primitive savage to modern man, or even super-man. Teihard de Chardin developed his ideas as the progress from the geo-sphere to the bio-sphere to the noo-sphere, believing in an evolutionary God culminating in the Omega of the Second Coming of Christ. The noo-sphere, some people think, encourages them to describe Teilhard as the father of the Internet.

 

Some commentators describe Rousseau as the father of progressivism, and some describe William Godwin as the father of anarchism. Both of these thinkers hold the view that man is basically good. Both were concerned with man as an individual, and how he might take a constructive part in society.

 

Returning then to American politics, under the consideration of whether or not man is basically good or has an innate propensity for evil, it might appear that Hillary Clinton holds to the former view, whilst Donald Trump (if he becomes the Republican candidate) considers man as basically evil and wants what is tantamount to a megalomaniacal basis for the US government. How else can America be a leader in the world without being its police force (which is what he has said recently), if ultimately in current society, all power ultimately resides in the exercise of force through military strength!?

Here I return to Tolstoy.

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Posted

I see no reason to believe that the Clinton position is well described as generally being based upon the notion that "man is basically good", and I see no reason to believe that the Republican candidates are well described as holding positions based upon the idea that humans have "an innate propensity for evil". Similarly, Clinton is not well described as being relatively more "concerned with man as an individual, and how he might take a constructive part in society."

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Posted

You have left me a little confused and "in the air", Michael!

Confused, because I thought it was legitimate for anyone interested in the enormous variety of philosophical positions to prefer one or more to others, although I fully accept an eclecticism in any position, political, religious or philosophical, which we may hold. I am no expert, but we often say John Locke was an empiricist, Emmanuel Kant was an idealist, John Stuart Mill was a utilitarian, Plato was an idealist and a realist, etc. Of course to begin to understand in depth what these over-simplified designations really mean, and the supreme fault of categorization, we have to study philosophy!

I am still "in the air" concerning American politics. The statements of the presidential candidates may all be pure rhetoric, which returns me to my anarchical position not to vote, because whoever we vote for the government always gets in! As a citizen I do support the democratic process and I do vote, once every five years, but I hold no great faith in any real change or anything being done to solve man's inhumanity to man.

As a progressive, and if I was a US citizen, who should I vote for!!

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Posted

If I were you I would follow Montgomery Brewster:

tumblr_nkwi0zJRpp1slixf5o1_500.jpg

By voting "None of the Above" you start a massive retaliation against the current candidates, forcing a re-election. :lol:

But seriously, I agree with Michael Pearl. None of the candidates should be put in a philosophical box, precisely because they are not classical philosophers who operate from first principles. Moreover, if the labels do not really fit the philosophers, neither can they fit politicians trained in the art of speaking from both sides of their mouths. :finger:

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Posted

The statements of the presidential candidates may all be pure rhetoric ...

Sure, but what rhetoric leads you to think that the Clinton position is well described as generally being based upon the notion that "man is basically good", and what rhetoric leads you to describe the Republicans as generally centered on the notion that humans have "an innate propensity for evil"?

 

I thought it was legitimate for anyone interested in the enormous variety of philosophical positions to prefer one or more to others ...

It is legitimate, justified, what have you. Instead of preferring, you can just as well despise some (in this case) politician's proffered position less than those presented by others.

 

For instance, let us take Trump's remarks/non-remarks (whatever they were) about registering all Muslims, or just Syrian Muslims, or just Syrian Muslim refugees, and let us also take Kasich's denouncement of Trump's position and then consider Kasich's subsequent call for some sort of government effort to emphasize or promulgate Judeo-Christian values. Is Kasich not really simply trying to appeal - in a more genteel and ideal or mythic American manner - to the very same folks who tend to think (reflexively or otherwise) that Trump has a good point?

 

By resorting to the Judeo-Christian descriptor, Kasich is highlighting the already presumed necessary, dubious, and strange otherness of, in this context, the Muslims. Had he wanted to, he could easily have avoided supporting the notion of Muslims' strange otherness by simply highlighting some of the particular values he had in mind, but, then, it would be too apparent that those values are not necessarily Judeo-Christian even if they are compatible with a general Judeo-Christian perspective, and the result would be that Kasich would have no rhetoric by which to appeal to the people who reflexively felt that Trump had a good point.

 

Then consider Clinton's denouncing of Trump's remarks/non-remarks. Does her response differ at all significantly from Kerry claiming that it is not the American way to do the sorts of things that Trump claimed/didn't claim that the government needs to do? In which case, couldn't we ask, "Oh, you mean like with the Patriot Act and all that has followed from it?" Furthermore, is there any evidence that Clinton, Obama, or the Democrats in general have real interest in engaging with Muslims as Muslims from any sort of Islamic perspective? No, there is no such evidence. Such is the prejudice of the avowedly or dogmatic secular. The best that could be said for Clinton is that she is more careful about directly insulting Muslims. But where is the engagement? Where is the substantive difference between her disinterest in engagement and that of the Republicans?

 

We can go through much the same process with regards to other matters - for instance, Obamacare, a program which might accurately be described as essentially insurance reform primarily (or at least initially) intended to be for the benefit of health insurance companies and hospitals. Republicans do not want to speak of that program in those terms, because they, too, are interested in the well-being of the insurance companies (Medicare Advantage is, after all, a Republican baby), but an admission of Republican interest in health insurance company well-being does not provide an opportunity for rhetoric that bolsters Republican popularity even among the Republicans' supporters. Nevertheless, you can bet that Republicans will make use of the recent report that at least one large company might be moving to get out of Obamacare,

 

Basically, I see all this as the same old same old. In general, are politics practiced substantially differently in other countries? I doubt it. Is that cynicism? Nah, the greatest concentration of cynics is to be found in those whose most devoted pursuit is in the political.

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Posted

I appear to be getting the impression that posters here are not overwhelmingly impressed with contemporary politics or politicians! The last but one election here in Barbados I voted for the old opposition; not to get them in for their policies, but to get the other ones out! We were successful, but little has changed and my vote has supported them into their second term. Five years more then of the "same old same old", but I hope and pray that Barbados remains free from terrorism. The world stage is frighteningly interesting nowadays, and no-one has any real answers, do they?

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Posted

I want to copy and paste from WordPad. How do I do this? Well, I did something (log out and sign back in) and it seems to have worked!

Perhaps my last post has closed conversation in this thread because it has 'hit the nail on the head'!?

As a retired British national, now living in Barbados with my Barbadian wife, we are both finding time to try (!?) to understand the US political landscape. We can mostly only do this by watching the TV media coverage. I was hoping to read some interesting views here in TGL and this thread was started by chad3006, but this poster seems to have retired from the thread.

To be more specific, we (my wife and myself) are interested in how the USA is going to deal with Islamic terrorism, particularly ISIS, but now we seem to have some Muslims responsible for 14 deaths in California. Apparently they are both now dead (shot by police) but is this nonsense ever going to end?

Thank God that we are both retired, in our 70's, and if we stay at home the likelyhood of anything happening to us is minimised! We are recommending this even to younf people, but that, I think, is exactly what the terrorists want, to shut down the capitalist system, exemplified by the USA. So again I ask, with my arm-chair anarchist views, if I was a USA citizen, for whom should I vote?

Hillary Clinton is going to get it, we all know that, but as Michael Pearl says, 'same old, same old' (even if a Republican gets in!), or is it time for a revolution (Tolstoy/Gandhi style, that is non-violent), or are we all too comfortable not to get out on the streets and cause some real and effective criticism of capitalism?

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Posted

I can only respond briefly for now.

how the USA is going to deal with Islamic terrorism, particularly ISIS

Although it is right, good, and proper to obliterate the Islamic State, such an accomplishment would be anything except a solution. Likewise, the sort of engagement which I have previously mentioned would not produce a solution, would not put an end to terrorism. Yet, I maintain that such engagement is necessary if there is to be - if there can be - brought about a situation improved by means other than a long lasting war of attrition.

 

The likelihood of such improvement would probably be much enhanced if there were a politician in the West who was capable of such engagement; unfortunately, there is no such politician. Consequently, it may well be that there is - or could eventually be - a growing impatience in the US population in general not only with regards to Muslim terrorists but Muslims in general.

 

Has there been much outcry over the notion of a law requiring the registration of all Muslims in the US? I have not heard it. Is that because most people think it so preposterous and unconstitutional a notion as to not even regard it as a serious course of action (never mind the fact that people of Japanese descent in the US were concentrated in camps during WWII)? Or is it that most people regard it as at least a potentially prudent course of action?

 

Here is what I would do if Muslim registration ever became law: I would immediately register as a Muslim.

 

Just one other point at the moment.

 

what the terrorists want, to shut down the capitalist system ... cause some real and effective criticism of capitalism?

I think it is an error to explain the Muslim terrorists simply - or even only primarily - in terms of capitalism or even imperialism, although those terms certainly refer to actions and viewpoints which have contributed to the current context. If one must think about this issue in terms of some -ism or other, then secularism would be the best single term to have in mind.

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Posted

My apologies, Michael, it was not my intention to use the word "terrorists" to specifically mean radicalised Muslims. Inappropriately, and totally without understanding the political ideology of anarchism, the media might use "anarchists" instead of terrorists, and that would also convey my use of the word "terrorist". Karen Armstrong, in her book "The Battle for God" (2000), identifies what I mean by terrorism, motivated by religious fundamentalism.

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Posted

My apologies, Michael, it was not my intention to use the word "terrorists" to specifically mean radicalised Muslims.

I had no problem with your use of the word terrorists. None whatsoever.

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