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Observation about how the parties have switched positions due to Iraq.

  1. Apr 16, 2004 #1
    The opinions and observations are of people in my town, and representatives of both political parties which are in the media. They're not by any mean meant to represent the view of every individual Republican or Democrat, just a growing trend among the ones I'm aware of.

    Before the whole terrorist threat was huge (bassically pre 9/11), it seems the republicans and democrats both acted bassically inversely of how they act now.

    Before 9/11 and the war in Iraq, Republicans largely acted like buisnessmen when considering human rights etc. in the sense that they were egocentrical, and didn't care that much unless something effected them, and Democrats acted like hippies, showing care and consideration for everyone, regardless of the situation.

    The Democratic view of Republicans was that they wouldn't make a fuss about human rights violations unless it would effect them some way. Many dictators were installed to replace communists, or supported to keep down communists. Most of these dictators were horrible violators of human rights, opposed democracy etc. However, repubicans largely ignored these harsh dictators unless they prevented trade or were some sort of military threat.

    Meanwhile, Democrats were worried about helping everyone, everywhere. Social security for everyone, get the homeless off the streets, send aid to every third world country in need of help and propagate democracy throughout the whole world, nevermind how.

    Currently, the positions are changing. I'm sure everyone's heard Bush's speeches about needing to turn Iraq into a stable democracy and an ally. The people (largely republicans), who are demanding we stay in iraq, are all (overtly), trying to accomplish a hugely noble goal. They want peace, democracy and freedom in a place like Iraq. It's almost unimaginable, but these Republicans seem willing to do anything to prevent another ruler like Saddam Heussein from coming into power, and they're willing to sacrifice a few hundred american lives for the cause.

    The war in Iraq has turned a large amount of Democrats from self richeous do-gooders, into the hard-asses Republicans have for so long played. Over 600 Americans have died in Iraq since major combat ended, Saddam Heussein is out of power, and for most democrats, that's good enough. I was just in the car with my friends mom, and she was arguing that we needed to get out of Iraq now, Saddam's out of power, "our boys" are dying over there and we're bassically done. When I asked her if she would just leave it to turn into a harsh, opressive, anti-american theocracy which would likely breed terrorists that would attack the USA, she responded with "who cares?". When confronted with the realities of war, Democrats just can't deal with people dying for a noble cause, even if it means creating an unprecedented Democracy in a highly instable part of the world, and making the lives of millions of people exponentially better.

    Has anyone else noticed this/cares to comment on it? I just find it so interesting how down right egotistical and cold many democrats have become over this war.

    P.S. Sorry about the poor writing, I ramble something aweful.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2004 #2
    It is interesting how life isn't black and white, and how intelligent people change their stance to match reality, instead of trying to force reality to match their stance.
  4. Apr 17, 2004 #3


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    But democracy requires the candidates to be consistent, and reliable in fulfilling the voter's wishes. This sort of thing may simply invoke th idea that the democrats are untrustworthy...

    (On other points, the idea that neocons are suddenly interested in human rights nowdays is rather delusional. The Iraq war, for example, was systematically in opposition to the advice of human rights organisations, and there is still no consistency in US foreign policy. The whole BS about Iraq being a torchlight of democracy, and NK being 'next', and of the Iraqis being happy and cheering in the streets and so on have simply not materialised. The fact is that in many cases, the admin (and often enough the opposition) employ a distortion of the old liberal ideas they laugh at, and the goals of human rights and freedoms are really still only furthered by accident.)

    I'll put this one down as another reason why I think the two-party state in America is a bad thing, and another reason for the installation of Proportional Representation, or something like it. Face it, folks, democracy is under threat right here in the west.
  5. Apr 17, 2004 #4
    That's pretty much what makes life interesting as a whole.

    Are you referring to those who want to pull out of Iraq because Saddam's captured and a few hundred American troops have died?
  6. Apr 18, 2004 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I wholeheartedly disagree. The whole point of electing someone to represent us is electing people who are capable of adapting to new situations and using their judgement to make the right decisions.
  7. Apr 20, 2004 #6


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    But that adaptation should still be in a predictable and advertised fashion, eh? Else, what is the difference between the candidates? (though present circumstances are making this question rather ironic) Would you be happy if el Busho adapts to a surge against the war by suddenly rebranding as the pull everybody out party?
  8. Apr 20, 2004 #7

    I find this quite humorous :)
  9. Apr 21, 2004 #8
    It'd be nice, but I'd bet highly unlikely; also, GWB looks like a scapegoat for Cheney & his big business war profiteers. They seem to think or seem to be trying to get us to think that June 30 2004 will be the magic gateway to a suddenly democratic, peaceful colonial Iraq. Somehow, GWB can be the "anti-war" candidate by perpetuating the delusion that the 6/30 "handover" will truly mean decreasing troop strength because obviously they will be no longer needed!
  10. Apr 21, 2004 #9


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    I think the best situation lies somewhere in between.

    If a candidate campaigns fiercely about an issue, he should adhere to it strongly once in office. We don't have plebiscites on every issue. Candidates are elected on a package of stances, among other reasons. They are elected even though some of their ideas are unpopular. Small changes in popular opinion should not change a politician's views. There are times when the majority are wrong, and need leadership to bring them along.

    However, there are some events that are so dramatic that they can not be ignored. Things change, and not always during election season. For this reason, politicians do need to consider deviating from their stated platforms. Sometimes, a leader must do both - deviate from his stated agenda and dismiss the will of the majority. The elder Bush had to do this to avoid economic disaster. He promised not to raise taxes, the majority of people didn't want him to, but he decided it was necessary, and did it.

    For this reason, as Russ said, judgement is one of the most important qualities in an elected leader.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2004
  11. Apr 21, 2004 #10
    You must be young. The world is much too confusing and contradicting for open thinking over the long haul. Sooner or later you will also throw up a wall of faith and find your place among the dedicated.
  12. Apr 21, 2004 #11


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    For the specific issue of the Iraq war:

    I do not think that the majority of Democrats are of the "Just get out and to hell with the Iraqis" opinion. I think the most common opinion is, do what we can that has a good chance of success toward making a less hostile Iraq while preserving as much of our integrity as possible, and get out.

    It is not that Democrats oppose a sacrifice to make a free and stable Iraq. Most Democrats believe either or both of the following: Making a democratic Iraq is not within our power and trying to force it will make things worse, OR, the administration has no intentions of making a Democratic Iraq and will do irreparable harm to our nation's reputation by installing an unpopular, puppet government.

    Until recently, I only feared the former, and disbelieved the latter reasons. Now, while I believe it would have been possible to make Iraq a free state, I believe that opportunity has been lost due to incompetancy. I believe the administration knows this, and is pursuing what they believe to be the next best thing - a puppet government.

    I think that most Democratic leaders don't think it is worth the sacrifice to choose the tyrant who will rule Iraq as opposed to letting the Iraqis choose their own tyrant.

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