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Old 08-20-2012, 10:01 AM #22
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How is taking the middle road a failure, when today's Washington establishment, which is the exact opposite of being a moderate/cooperative gov't, is an abject failure?
I've made an attempt to describe this already in the OP. Put in the most basic terms, Left and Right are not compatible thusly, not fit for cooperation. Two unlike things may only occupy the same space for so long.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:25 AM #23
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I've made an attempt to describe this already in the OP. Put in the most basic terms, Left and Right are not compatible thusly, not fit for cooperation. Two unlike things may only occupy the same space for so long.
Right; they cannot co-exist due to polarization, not due to civility and cooperation.

Our gov't in the 1990's passed meaningful legislation with a bi-partisan government. We have seen a mass-exodus of moderates since 2008, and a correlated trend of stagnation in government.

How are moderates the problem here?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:38 AM #24
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In case I'm not being clear: I do not think it is the two ideologies that create an aura of polarization which make governance together impossible, but rather ideologues.

When people become so fanatical about their belief system that they cannot fathom another viewpoint or see the merit it in, any system
be it government, philanthropy, or business, is doomed to fail.

The best organizations succeed based on diversity, not a rigid belief of 'my way or the highway.'
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:41 AM #25
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Originally Posted by Matt.is.back2011 View Post
Right; they cannot co-exist due to polarization, not due to civility and cooperation.

Our gov't in the 1990's passed meaningful legislation with a bi-partisan government. We have seen a mass-exodus of moderates since 2008, and a correlated trend of stagnation in government.

How are moderates the problem here?
They are wishy washy. A moderate isn't someone that can be swayed through debate and logic, they are people that ride the fence.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:42 AM #26
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The two ideologies you see today (in majority) are brother and sister.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:44 AM #27
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They are wishy washy. A moderate isn't someone that can be swayed through debate and logic, they are people that ride the fence.
As a moderate, I find this inaccurate and kind of insulting.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:46 AM #28
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We currently have one of the most polarized Congress's in half a century, with a 10% approval rating (all time low, btw), with a mere 61 bills being passed which is even lower than the infamous 'do nothing' congress.

This deadlock and lack of progress has nothing to do with moderates, so I really do not know what you are talking about.
Today's polarization is about party lines, not ideology. Both sides like to paint themselves as polar opposites of their enemies in the other party, but they're really quite similar. For example: The Heritage Foundation (which touts itself as "conservative") was once a champion of the individual mandate. Republicans had no problem with war when Bush was commander in chief, but they oppose Obama when he wants to attack Lybia. And so on.

If you look at what both parties actually do they're virtually indistinguishable.

One final thought: While I agree that the fact that this Congress can't even pass a budget (among other things) is pathetic, I'd be very cautious about judging the success/failure of a Congress by the number of bills it passes. Don't we already have plenty of laws on the books?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:46 AM #29
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They are wishy washy. A moderate isn't someone that can be swayed through debate and logic, they are people that ride the fence.
Exactly. Because they refuse to answer the fundamental question, they will always choose based on convenience and what aides themselves at the moment. They are not working towards a higher realization.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:51 AM #30
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Right; they cannot co-exist due to polarization, not due to civility and cooperation.

Our gov't in the 1990's passed meaningful legislation with a bi-partisan government. We have seen a mass-exodus of moderates since 2008, and a correlated trend of stagnation in government.

How are moderates the problem here?
The polarization of party lines is not the issue. Moderates, those who do not choose between left or right nor offer a true alternative, are not The Problem, but they are a problem.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:00 AM #31
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Exactly. Because they refuse to answer the fundamental question, they will always choose based on convenience and what aides themselves at the moment. They are not working towards a higher realization.
I prefer to live in a society where we treat each other with respect.

I prefer to live in a society where religion, race, sexual preference, and creed are irrelevant, and all people are given the same level of tolerance and the same level of opportunities.

I prefer to live in a society that values education, science, and the progression of mankind at every opportunity possible.

I prefer to live in a society where its government is for the people, a government that is active yet responsible, and will provide a reasonable safety net is established if you fall on hard times.

I prefer to live in a society that strives for the worlds finest national defense, without promoting offense abroad.

I prefer to live in a society that is not mocked and ridiculed by foreign nations, and one where we do not scorn others in return.

I prefer to live in a society where effort is rewarded and laziness is shunned; this includes public discourse and government.

I prefer to live in a society where company profits are not placed above the healthcare needs of all of its people.

I'm not sure where I fall on your black and wide dichotomy of philosophical beliefs, but I know that if I meet someone who shares similar values that I do, regardless of their political stance, we can usually find common ground.

Which shoots your theory of impracticality to bits.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:03 AM #32
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I don't think you are as much the moderate as you think you are.

Maybe the government safety net vice local. Maybe your view of the general government over the state government. You are a perfect example of shifting douchebaggery in politics, and Overton's Window.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:11 AM #33
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I prefer to live in a society where we treat each other with respect.

I prefer to live in a society where religion, race, sexual preference, and creed are irrelevant, and all people are given the same level of tolerance and the same level of opportunities.

I prefer to live in a society that values education, science, and the progression of mankind at every opportunity possible.

I prefer to live in a society where its government is for the people, a government that is active yet responsible, and will provide a reasonable safety net is established if you fall on hard times.

I prefer to live in a society that strives for the worlds finest national defense, without promoting offense abroad.

I prefer to live in a society that is not mocked and ridiculed by foreign nations, and one where we do not scorn others in return.

I prefer to live in a society where effort is rewarded and laziness is shunned; this includes public discourse and government.

I prefer to live in a society where company profits are not placed above the healthcare needs of all of its people.

I'm not sure where I fall on your black and wide dichotomy of philosophical beliefs, but I know that if I meet someone who shares similar values that I do, regardless of their political stance, we can usually find common ground.

Which shoots your theory of impracticality to bits.
An abstraction of your positions reveals you to be on the Left. You wish for a pluralistic society, while you desire to be among shared values, they are shared on the basis of a political agreement on plurality or autonomy. The role of government and liberty in your ideal is negative in that neither is used to create a good but to ensure we aren't stepping on others toes. As you so desire. You actually aren't a moderate at all.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:16 AM #34
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An abstraction of your positions reveals you to be on the Left. You wish for a pluralistic society, while you desire to be among shared values, they are shared on the basis of a political agreement on plurality or autonomy. The role of government and liberty in your ideal is negative in that neither is used to create a good but to ensure we aren't stepping on others toes. As you so desire. You actually aren't a moderate at all.
If peace, tolerance, understanding, and improvement to society is Left, then I'm not sure I want to know what the opposite takes as its prime values.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:22 AM #35
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If peace, tolerance, understanding, and improvement to society is Left, then I'm not sure I want to know what the opposite takes as its prime values.
Those are very very vague notions that exist in both Left and Right while the methodology to achieve said ends is different. I think you need to stop for a moment and understand exactly what a pluralistic society is and research liberal autonomy while you are at it. We can continue once we are both on the same page
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:28 AM #36
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Those are very very vague notions that exist in both Left and Right while the methodology to achieve said ends is different. I think you need to stop for a moment and understand exactly what a pluralistic society is and research liberal autonomy while you are at it. We can continue once we are both on the same page
I simply stated what I valued; I gave no indication of what is the best course of action to achieve those beliefs.

Suddenly it's the implementation of action that determines left and right, when before you were very eager to paint me as a liberal without such qualifications.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:44 AM #37
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I simply stated what I valued; I gave no indication of what is the best course of action to achieve those beliefs.

Suddenly it's the implementation of action that determines left and right, when before you were very eager to paint me as a liberal without such qualifications.
Only you gave me a list of desires to work with. I can help that the underlying ideology is left not right for you. If you research both those terms I gave you, you will understand why you fell in that category.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:30 PM #38
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These two tend to favor compromise as if there is compatibility between left and right.

Left: Pluralism through individual autonomy

Right: Order through centralism.

These two underlying principles are in constant conflict with one another. Because of this conflict, the disillusioned seek the middle of the road. What makes them worthless is not so much that they run from conflict or believe in compromise between diametrically opposed ideologies, it is that they refuse to answer the fundamental question of which type of society they desire to live in.

Moderates as a result tend to be easily swayed by either side because they do not have an alternative to the dominant political dichotomy. In fact, they impede progress towards realization of either end of the spectrum.

Moderates either need to offer us a different road or pick a road to travel on.
You have the truth from witnessing the facts as they happen, but then you have politicians and the media. Therefore I must be one of the disillusioned and worthless.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:41 PM #39
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You have the truth from witnessing the facts as they happen, but then you have politicians and the media. I must be disillusioned.
Your politicians are no better or no worse than your citizens. They grew up in your towns, went to your schools, worked in your factories. The politicians and the media are symptoms not relevant to the topic at hand. While you may not show favor towards a political party, the moderates who stand between the isle of Left and Right are the issue at hand.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:46 PM #40
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Your politicians are no better or no worse than your citizens. They grew up in your towns, went to your schools, worked in your factories. The politicians and the media are symptoms not relevant to the topic at hand. While you may not show favor towards a political party, the moderates who stand between the isle of Left and Right are the issue at hand.
Do they though? I don't know many politicians that went to my school. Maybe the rich prep school. I don't know many politicians that worked in my factories or grew up in my side of town. Politicians no longer represent the public, because they no longer come from the public. They come from the "elite".
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:10 PM #41
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Do they though? I don't know many politicians that went to my school. Maybe the rich prep school. I don't know many politicians that worked in my factories or grew up in my side of town. Politicians no longer represent the public, because they no longer come from the public. They come from the "elite".
First things first, there is nothing inherently wrong with elite status. I don't think that wealthy serfs living lavish lifestyles are anything but serfs. Such is more often than not the case with our wealth holders.

What you are describing is the emergent political class. I don't know if it holds true that there are so few politicians who are not of this class that the rule remains valid.

Let's avoid that debate for this simple truth. These politicians ascended to their current status through the electoral system which is to some extent representative of the will of the people.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:05 PM #42
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Let's avoid that debate for this simple truth. These politicians ascended to their current status through the electoral system which is to some extent representative of the will of the people.
That's a ****ing joke and we both know it. Blame apathy or blame the system, but clearly the people are not being equally represented; only the elite class is. The electoral system allows us to pick one from the elite class or another. Is it "within the rules"? Most of the time. Does that make it just? I would say no.

This country was founded on "taxation without representation". I don't think the situation we have gotten ourselves into is that different.
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