Republicans/Democrats: Switch sides!

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    Sep 15, 2008 3:38 AM GMT
    We've had a slew of political threads on RJ recently, and very many of them have been characterized depressingly by a rapid jump into entrenched positions. At this point, debate collapses into argument and personal attacks. Without making the claim that the two parties are equal, it is clear that there are, of course, legitimate reasons to vote Republican and legitimate reasons to vote Democrat. There are, of course, flaws in the positions of both parties, and there are many illegitimate reasons to vote for either party as well!

    So: a useful exercise that we do in debating is to swap sides. This firstly humanizes the other side, so that we ensure our arguments are as respectful as we can make them, and moreover it allows us to reflect on the mismatch between our arguments for either position.

    The rules of the game. You have to post as coherent and persuasive argument as you can to persuade an undecided voter to vote for the OPPOSITE party that you normally support.
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    Sep 15, 2008 3:43 AM GMT
    Great topic idea, and this should be fun...Okay, something supportive of the GOP/McCain-Palin...

    Palin's a good shot with a rifle. And has very good eyesight to spy Russia from her front stoop. icon_smile.gif

    And...McCain's arms seem to actually be getting some flexibility back (um...as he flip-flops on all his positions).

    Yeah, that's about all I can come up with to be supportive of the Republican ticket. icon_smile.gif

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    Sep 15, 2008 3:45 AM GMT
    That's funny, matte1973, but you need to try *harder*. icon_biggrin.gif That wouldn't persuade a snail to vote republican!

    I'm trying to move people from focussing on the people i.e. Obama/McCain and making ad-hominem attacks. We should be debating the ISSUES!
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    Sep 15, 2008 3:54 AM GMT
    Tiger - I completely agree, and actually, am really trying to come up with something... the exercise is a worthy one, if for nothing more than to learn how to play 'devil's advocate' more effectively... and in this case, maybe literally. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 15, 2008 4:08 AM GMT
    Of all the Republicans in the field, John McCain was the most qualified and was least in bed with the religious right. He has, at times, shown ability to reach across party lines. Which will be very important considering the large Democrat majorities in both houses on congress.

    I am, however, unwilling to say anything nice about Palin that is relevant to the Presidency.
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    Sep 15, 2008 12:30 PM GMT
    Debating the issues? You are an idealist TigerTim. Move to Canada for awhile, we occasionally in our election campaigns go wild and crazy and do such a thing.

    On a serious note, the Republicans strength used to be foreign policy and the Democrats domestic policy. John McCain I think could still be a person who builds bridges to get things done. Unfortunately he has had sidled up to the religious right, who think that anybody that is pro-choice and does not oppose gay marriage, are beyond the pale and should not be supported. Never mind that the world economy is slumping, the polar ice cap is melting and Wall Street firms are falling apart. Those are incidental compared to a couple of queers tying the knot. icon_evil.gif

    I try not to be a cynical person but having worked in government and dealt with politicians of all political stripes from trade union socialists to neo-conservatives, it really is hard at times.

    Regardless of who wins, the US is faced with some very difficult issues. I am starting to wonder though whether the cultural divide that has widened in the past 20 years is now so big that compromise and working together is no longer possible. It may take a real crisis of epic proportions to bang the politicians heads together.
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    Sep 15, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    C'mon people! Surely you can do better!
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    Sep 15, 2008 5:34 PM GMT
    "I can't even think straight"
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    Sep 15, 2008 5:39 PM GMT
    As a republican I would know the location of all the best airport restroom glory holes.
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    Sep 15, 2008 5:51 PM GMT
    Fun topic! This reminds me of the gotcha question asked at most job interviews: you've labeled your strengths...what are your weaknesses? Answer: sometimes I'm too punctual or too neat (must be said with a straight face).

    Although I'll likely vote Democratic, here goes:

    John McCain, a veteran senator and feisty badger against many of his Republican colleagues, has the guts and gumption to lead our US out of the mess that is George Bush.

    Although his campaign says otherwise, he does not personally support a Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage as Between a Man and a Woman. True also of his stance on abortion, which, if you'd listen to his campaign, was akin to murder. It is unlikely he'll put forth any effort at all if elected president to further those Religious Right goals.

    He's done much to give the appearance of reversing his stance (to the right) during this campaign. This candidate is most likely to go against his campaign promises, which, to his credit, is a good thing. His current actions, although self-serving at this point, are his best hope for convincing the right wing of his base that he is the man for the job, and without whom he cannot win.

    He was completely shafted in 2000 by none other than George Bush and Karl Rove. He learned that it was important to say what needs to be said to get elected, then be free to be himself. He is cynical of the American voter, and is using his experience to better position himself to get elected.

    My hope is that if his strategy works, once elected he truly IS a maverick.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 15, 2008 5:52 PM GMT
    Okay I will play icon_biggrin.gif


    One of the things I feel passionately about is the fact that our country is so divided and that it is harming us in a very BIG way. One of the things that I think was a huge strength of President Reagan's was his ability to focus on the positive, "Our best years are still ahead", that "Shining beacon on a hill" if you will. He spoke and inspired people, and in turn lifted this country up and in his own way made us proud to be Americans. Say what you want about his policies and what not, they aren't my point. He inspired. He reached into our hearts and asked us to believe in ourselves and our country.

    This is where I feel Obama's greatest strength are. I have listened to his speeches and, Yes, he is gifted. Our country is so divided, and there is so much contempt, even hatred at times, for the other side. Perhaps in this time in our history the "issues" themselves are of less importance than the very fiber of us as citizens and a country as a whole. We need a leader who can inspire. Someone who can rally this country together again so that we can begin to stand united. This is so important as we face the challenges of the future. If Obama can do nothing more than that, it would be worth his being elected.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Sep 15, 2008 7:08 PM GMT
    Tim,

    If I were a Republican, I could still not support the McCain - Palin ticket. The classic Republican counter to the Democratic Party is to hail free market economics, limit government intervention into the private, family sphere, and overall support classical liberal values* and ideas. I trust this year's Republican Party ticket to support none of these (except with lip-service), given that it has entrenched itself even more into the idea of authoritarian religiosity being the "core" of the Party (a historically false claim; the authoritarian religious were left-overs from the Civil rights movement that Nixon took advantage of, resulting in the current Republican Party being the Party of Nixon [not Lincoln]).

    However, I would look at the voting records of the Representatives and Senators that are up for election / re-election and work to support truly moderate Republican Party members and possible free-market-oriented Democrats.

    I wouldn't vote for Obama - Biden though and would probably use my vote as a protest vote, and possibly start working toward a better Republican ticket in 2012 that I could actually trust to limit the government role in business and our privates lives.

    * classical liberal values are currently known as (not socially) conservative values

    Granted, in real life I'm far more Socialist-oriented than Democratic Party-oriented, so to be on the "opposite side," I'd probably have to support the Libertarian Party.