# So, you consider yourself a Democrat, do you?

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The Idealist Democrat is an oxymoron.
Isn't it the stated goal of the Democratic Party to give an equal voice to all in the nation?
That would include the Republicans, wouldn't it?
The problem with Idealists, in general, and Idealist Democrats specifically, is that they are aiming to achieve their ideals.
They see their ideals as a point to aim FOR as opposed to seeing their ideals as a point to aim TOWARDS.
Those who are aiming for their ideals, are not willing to compromise them and see that as a positive trait.
They see the unwavering commitment to a "cause" or ideal as a reflection of integrity.
Unwavering commitment to a cause or ideal, however, works contrary to compromise.

Republicans, at least, are honest about their intentions.
They think they know what's best for you and are willing to ram it down your throats if they have to.
That unfettered arrogance, in in fact, is part and parcel to the whole Republican ideal.
Elect people to run your government and society, because they know better than you do.

Both the Right and Left hate centerists.
They accuse them of being wishy-washy and pandering to the electorate.
Isn't that the goal of a politician?
To represent all the people and work towards their common goals to the best of his or her ability?
The point of Democracy is to have a government that most accurately reflects the ideals and goals of the social system and people at large.
The only way to do that faithfully is to be in the center.

If you are NOT in the center, you are NOT a real Democrat, because rather than wanting to represent the people and fight for what THEY want, you are trying to represent the people who agree with your ideals and either convince or roll over those that do not.
That is more like a Republican than a Democrat.

Supposedly the Democrats in this country outnumber the Republicans. I have to disagree. I think there are quite a few people who refer to themselves and think of themselves as Democrats, but act and appear to think like Republicans.

According to Democratic Party doctrine, a Republic is welcomed with open arms, to people who are comfortable. They are satisfied with their lot in life, and are perfectly happy to turn the daily goings-on of the business of running the affairs of the Government to the bureaucrats and pencil pushers. They don't want to be bothered with the details of the daily ins and outs of what their elected leaders are doing. They elected trained professionals that are supposed to know more about it than they do to do that job for them. If your car breaks down, you take it to a mechanic, not a dentist. If they did not have faith in the candidates (or more accurately, the party) to run things, they would not have voted for them. The Republican Party is the party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish. It is the party of the people who are ignorant of government affairs and prefer to remain that way. If you feel that the party in power is serving your needs, why do you need to meddle in their business? Keep them out of your living room and boardroom, and you will stay out of their House.

If you do not have struggle and discontent, you have no reason to "stir things up". This is the reason that the Democratic Party has found support in the dissidents and the radicals. They can generally count on the support of the young idealists who have not yet become disenchanted with the world and the system. They offer hope to the disenfranchised and the minorities by promising them a voice. The Democrats appeal to the discontented. Those who are discontented because they feel their voices aren't being heard. Those who are discontented because they feel their needs aren't being met. Those who are discontented because they feel empathetic towards those who suffer these injustices. Those who recognize the many problems this world and country face, and can not sit idly by in a state of complacence.

Why am I not a Democrat? The Democratic Party has become party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish wanting their Government to take care of them. For too long they have lived off the spoils of the trailblazers that have come before them. The Democrats are no longer the Bohemians, they have become the Bourgeois. Certainly not all of them, but the few shining lights in the party are expected to do the work for the people. The people want all the rights without the responsibilities. Empathy has been replaced by sympathy in the mind of the average Democrat, so they sit in their warm comfortable homes and feel bad for the suffering rather than being willing suffer with and for them.

How many "Democrats" have you heard refer to the elected officials in this country as our "leaders"? At the most basic root of the differences between the two ideologies lies the opposition of the roles of elected officials. In a Democracy, the people rule, the government follows. In a Republic the government rules, the people follow. Granted, the people have some say in who will be their leaders, but the simple fact that they are electing "leaders" rather than "representatives" is the point.

If you do not vote you simply can not consider yourself a Democrat.

Again, the Democratic Government is a co-op, not an authority. If you want the right to have a say in your Government you have to take the responsibility to play a role in your Government. If the people are not willing to get directly involved with every level of Government... If the people are not willing to take on the responsibility of informing and educating themselves... If it is more important to sit at home and watch reality TV than walk out the front door and get involved in your local Government... If the people are willing to spend billions of dollars every year on the Entertainment Industry, while turning their backs on those that can't afford a home to place a TV into... Then the Republicans are right. The people need to be led and told what to do, because they are too damned ignorant, lazy and preoccupied to lead themselves. If the people are not directly involved on the inside of their Government at every level, then the Government simply must be small and manageable.

So, what does it really boil down to? To be a Democrat you have to have faith in the people to run their Government. Republicans do not have that faith. As sad as it makes me to admit it, neither do I.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
No, I don't consider myself a democrat. Where did you get that idea?

russ_watters
Mentor
one_raven said:
The Idealist Democrat is an oxymoron.
Actually, I consider an "idealist democrat" to be redundant. And that democrats have an overabundance of idealism is why I'm not a democrat.

russ_watters said:
Actually, I consider an "idealist democrat" to be redundant. And that democrats have an overabundance of idealism is why I'm not a democrat.

Actually, neo-con republicans are the idealists. They never plan for the worst while always hopeing for the best. Iraq---we will be greated with flowers so why plan for years of occupation and don't forget the initial projected cost and troop levels. The recent tragedy with Katrina. Plan for the best and hope for the best with no regard to how the real world operates wherein the worst is usually the end result. Russ, your an engineer you should understand things like safety factors and what not. Why don't the neo-cons understand these concepts as well?

There's nothing wrong with idealism.

faust9 said:
Actually, neo-con republicans are the idealists. They never plan for the worst while always hopeing for the best.
That would make them optimist, not idealist.

Smurf said:
There's nothing wrong with idealism.

So there is nothing wrong with communism? With Nazism? With *ism? The star being whatever the newest ideal is....

isms are ok if they are kept in moderation but too much of an ideal is likely not a very good thing.....

Republicans, at least, are honest about their intentions.
They think they know what's best for you and are willing to ram it down your throats if they have to.
That unfettered arrogance, in in fact, is part and parcel to the whole Republican ideal.
Elect people to run your government and society, because they know better than you do.
Republicans are honest? When the GOP managed to convince people that Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet, was that honest? When Valerie Plame was outed as political revenge, was that honest? When Swift Boat Veterans for Truth somehow convinced people that Kerry lied about his war record, was that honest? When Dick Cheney said that "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has WMDs," was that honest? When Michael Brown's resume was falsified in order to expedite his appointment to FEMA, was that honest? When George W. Bush claimed that "Brownie is doing one heckuva job," and then turned around and eviscerated his position, was that honest?

Why am I not a Democrat? The Democratic Party has become party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish wanting their Government to take care of them.
Basically, you've made two statements here: that Democrats are either rich and fat, or they are lazy and looking for handouts. Ignoring the fact that Republicans are, on the whole, richer than Democrats, I don't think that most people are looking for handouts. I'd hardly consider the people who work 3 jobs and only make $20K a year lazier than the average white, middle-class male whose parents paid for their college tuition and allowed him to drink his way to a marketing degree. Why should the latter deserve to be paid more? Because he had richer parents? Also, why should big business get handouts in the form of subsidies and tax breaks? They rally behind this Senator and that Congressman and lift people up onto their shoulders hoping for another JFK to lead them. JFK was perhaps the greatest president this country has ever known. Those that refer to him as "a great leader", though, desecrate his memory, degrade his legacy and debase the party ideals. JFK did not lead people; he inspired people to lead themselves. Ha ha, that's funny. JFK was a mediocre president at best. Most historians wouldn't even place him in the top 10, and he usually barely cuts the top 20. He was behind that horrible Bay of Pigs incident, and though he averted the Cuban Missile Crisis, he was also partly responsible for it. Oh yeah, he escalated our involvement in Vietnam. SOS2008 Gold Member You have some points there one_raven. I personally have always been registered Independent. At this time I am very anti-GOP because it has gone way too far to the right, particularly with the religious fundamentalism. My personal belief is that criticism cannot be too strong, as this is what it will take to get the pendulum to swing back into balance (like fighting fire with fire). If/when things normalize, I hope to return to more kindly thoughts toward the GOP. I don't know that I see the Dems as idealists (BTW, the one's who are for hand-outs are the poor minorities who don't vote at all), but in general I see them to be more progressive than Republicans, who typically support the status quo--which is okay unless it is very bad like it is now. In all fairness, the platforms of both parties have become confusing. And many so-called Dems voted for Bush in 2004, but mostly because of terrorism fear-mongering and concern about Iraq. Well at least they voted -- Most people in our country are apolitical, and don't bother to contribute at all. Last edited: Townsend said: So there is nothing wrong with communism? With Nazism? With *ism? The star being whatever the newest ideal is.... That's a ridiculous argument. Feminism? Pacifism? Capitalism? Tell me town, what exactly is so bad about Buddhism? You don't like Judaism either I guess? *Gasp* does that mean you like anti-semitism? No, no, you don't like any form of idealism. Are you hungry? Here, have some lunch, today's special: Magnetism covered organisms with a globilised evolutionism garnish and a side of Atheism (that's atheism, not agnostism) and for an extra Wahhabism fifty you get a glass of utilitarianism along with it. Tell you what, I'll even throw in the journalism for free, but only if you buy the republicanism too, I've seen you looking at it! You know what we call you're ideology townsend? We call it oppositism. Or, my personal favorite, conformism. isms are ok if they are kept in moderation but too much of an ideal is likely not a very good thing..... Yeah I bet you like music too. Last edited: SOS2008 said: You have some points there one_raven. I personally have always been registered Independent. At this time I am very anti-GOP because it has gone way too far to the right, particularly with the religious fundamentalism. My personal belief is that criticism cannot be too strong, as this is what it will take to get the pendulum to swing back into balance (like fighting fire with fire). If/when things normalize, I hope to return to more kindly thoughts toward the GOP. I don't know that I see the Dems as idealists (BTW, the one's who are for hand-outs are the poor minorities who don't vote at all), but in general I see them to be more progressive than Republicans, who typically support the status quo--which is okay unless it is very bad like it is now. In all fairness, the platforms of both parties have become confusing. And many so-called Dems voted for Bush in 2004, but mostly because of terrorism fear-mongering and concern about Iraq. Well at least they voted -- Most people in our country are apolitical, and don't bother to contribute at all. Oh come on SOS2008....I know you want to be right wing. After all right is the new left and I know how important fashion is to you. You don't want to be walking around looking all liberal when everyone knows conservative is in, do you? Smurf said: There's nothing wrong with idealism. I think there is nothing wrong with having ideal, but being an idealist (in my own estimation, anyway) means that you are aiming to achieve your golas rather than simply using them as guiding principles. While in your own life that is just fine, in the realm of politicas and progression through reaching common ground it is horribly restrictive to say the least. By a Democrat, who is supoposed to be representing the nation as a whole, "sticking to his guns" he has effectively cut off about half the population from being represented. "HA HA! YOU LOST! I GET MY WAY!!" That is a Republican view, not a Democrat view. Thus the far left Idealist Democrats are hypocrites. Manchot said: Republicans are honest? When the GOP managed to convince people that Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet, was that honest? When Valerie Plame was outed as political revenge, was that honest? When Swift Boat Veterans for Truth somehow convinced people that Kerry lied about his war record, was that honest? When Dick Cheney said that "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has WMDs," was that honest? When Michael Brown's resume was falsified in order to expedite his appointment to FEMA, was that honest? When George W. Bush claimed that "Brownie is doing one heckuva job," and then turned around and eviscerated his position, was that honest? Please try and read what I wrote rather than simply jumping up and responding to your assumptions about me while shooting from the hip like a defensive, reactionary, mindless robot. I did not say Republicans are honest. I would not argue that anything above was honest. Read what I said in context. Details are important, but taken out of context they are usually worthless. What I SAID was... Republicans, at least, are honest about their intentions. They think they know what's best for you and are willing to ram it down your throats if they have to. That unfettered arrogance, in in fact, is part and parcel to the whole Republican ideal. Elect people to run your government and society, because they know better than you do. This refers to the Republican Party ideal that the Federal Government should continue to be based on the ideal of a Republic. Do you know the difference between a Republic and a Democracy? Do you realize that the Federal Government is NOT a Democracy? Just in case you do not know: In a Republic the government is made up of people (usually elected officials) who are to LEAD, rather than REPRESENT (as opposed to a Democracy) the people. So, in context, I said the Republicans think they know what's best for you, regardless of what YOU think. Therefore when Republicans try and force people to live by their rules, it is not a surprise. Their intentions are to LEAD the people, and they make no bones about it. They fully admit to it in their own party ideals. When, on teh other hand, a Democrat tries to LEAD people, he is betraying his party ideals, because he is supposed to be FOLLOWING and REPRESENTING people rather than LEADING them. Manchot said: Basically, you've made two statements here: that Democrats are either rich and fat, or they are lazy and looking for handouts. No I didn't. I said nothing about handouts. I said they are expecting the government to take care of them, as opposed to being part of the government themselves, THUS the Republican notion of government. Manchot said: I'd hardly consider the people who work 3 jobs and only make$20K a year lazier than the average white, middle-class male whose parents paid for their college tuition and allowed him to drink his way to a marketing degree.
Please point out where I said that.
If you want to discuss what I said, By all means, I am willing.
That why I posted this on a public forum.
If you want to lambast me for whatever pre-conceived notion you have of who I am, based solely on your own lacking reading comprehension skills, don't waste your time, because I will not bother amusing you.

Manchot said:
Why should the latter deserve to be paid more? Because he had richer parents? Also, why should big business get handouts in the form of subsidies and tax breaks?
Please point out where I said that.
If you want to discuss what I said, By all means, I am willing.
That why I posted this on a public forum.
If you want to lambast me for whatever pre-conceived notion you have of who I am, based solely on your own lacking reading comprehension skills, don't waste your time, because I will not bother amusing you.

SOS2008 said:
You have some points there one_raven.
Thanks.

SOS2008 said:
I personally have always been registered Independent. At this time I am very anti-GOP because it has gone way too far to the right, particularly with the religious fundamentalism. My personal belief is that criticism cannot be too strong, as this is what it will take to get the pendulum to swing back into balance (like fighting fire with fire). If/when things normalize, I hope to return to more kindly thoughts toward the GOP.
I see benefits and drawbacks to both Political Ideologies (religious and cultural standpoints not withstanding).
I was a Republican for a little while.
I was a Democrat for a while.
Now I am in favor of abolishing Political Parties (or at least the power of them) altogether.

SOS2008 said:
I don't know that I see the Dems as idealists (BTW, the one's who are for hand-outs are the poor minorities who don't vote at all), but in general I see them to be more progressive than Republicans, who typically support the status quo--which is okay unless it is very bad like it is now.
Not all Dems are Idealists, but the further to any direction you go, the less apt you are to compromise.
The further you get from compromise, the further you get from representing the people as a whole and the further you get from any real progress.

SOS2008 said:
In all fairness, the platforms of both parties have become confusing. And many so-called Dems voted for Bush in 2004, but mostly because of terrorism fear-mongering and concern about Iraq. Well at least they voted -- Most people in our country are apolitical, and don't bother to contribute at all.

one_raven said:
I think there is nothing wrong with having ideal, but being an idealist (in my own estimation, anyway) means that you are aiming to achieve your golas rather than simply using them as guiding principles.
While in your own life that is just fine, in the realm of politicas and progression through reaching common ground it is horribly restrictive to say the least.
By a Democrat, who is supoposed to be representing the nation as a whole, "sticking to his guns" he has effectively cut off about half the population from being represented.
"HA HA! YOU LOST! I GET MY WAY!!"
That is a Republican view, not a Democrat view.
Thus the far left Idealist Democrats are hypocrites.
I'm going to write a book about brainwashing in mass media. I think I'll call it "The art of connotation".

Smurf said:
You know what we call you're ideology townsend? We call it oppositism.
Or, my personal favorite, conformism.

I am not optimistic all. I don't trust the government to do anything right. That is why I like capitalism more than the other isms. In aggregate capitalism requires a lot less isms than socialism or well...any others I can think of...

I don't want anarchy because you have no sense of monetary security....however I believe less is more...

And I am not a conformist :grumpy:

Townsend said:
I am not optimistic all. I don't trust the government to do anything right. That is why I like capitalism more than the other isms. In aggregate capitalism requires a lot less isms than socialism or well...any others I can think of...

I don't want anarchy because you have no sense of monetary security....however I believe less is more...

And I am not a conformist :grumpy:
Not optimism, oppositism. An evolution from dualism. The idea that "Things should be in moderation" populated by the slogan "everything in moderation" relies on the ideology that there is a moderate point between any two given positions. Therefore, the two positions must be in opposition to eachother, or opposites. This is an ideology, and self-disproves moderationism.

And you are to a conformist.

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SOS2008
Gold Member
Townsend said:
Oh come on SOS2008....I know you want to be right wing. After all right is the new left and I know how important fashion is to you. You don't want to be walking around looking all liberal when everyone knows conservative is in, do you?
:rofl: We could do a poll. I think someone recently referred to me as Ms. liberal something or other. I just try to call it like I see it.

Personally I see so-called 'independants' and 'moderates' as thinking they have some advantage in not declaring anything. They're just lazy and weak.

SOS2008
Gold Member
Smurf said:
Personally I see so-called 'independants' and 'moderates' as thinking they have some advantage in not declaring anything. They're just lazy and weak.
One of the points made in the OP. Being a centrist does not mean having no political positions. I'm sure people in this forum have a pretty good idea where I stand on a few things. I agree with the OP that the center actually represents the majority of the people. I take it you prefer extremism?

Edit: BTW - Independent does not necessarily mean moderate, such as candiates like Nader who is very much to the left. I'm all for more than two parties, and why I hope the Libertarian party grows--even though I don't agree with several positions in the platform.

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SOS2008 said:
Edit: BTW - Independent does not necessarily mean moderate
Fair enough, but often it does. Moderation has become a few fad, it's purely so they can feel good about themselves. Conformitism!
such as candiates like Nader who is very much to the left. I'm all for more than two parties, and why I hope the Libertarian party grows--even though I don't agree with several positions in the platform.
Yeah. I don't hope the Libertarian party grows. I think it would just slow things down. I hope the far right stays in power for the rest of the US's existance. The US is beyond the point of reform now, the only chance is for it to get as bad as is necessary for a revolution. The sooner that happens the less they can infect the rest of the world.

Please try and read what I wrote rather than simply jumping up and responding to your assumptions about me while shooting from the hip like a defensive, reactionary, mindless robot.
I did not say Republicans are honest.
I would not argue that anything above was honest.
Read what I said in context.
Details are important, but taken out of context they are usually worthless.
What I SAID was...
What I'm claiming is that they are not honest about their intentions. I guarantee you that you have never heard a Republican say, "I'm better than my constituents, so I should make decisions." Yes, they openly try and ram things down your throat, but they always deny it, and would never admit to it. Saying one thing and doing another is not honesty: that's hypocrisy.

This refers to the Republican Party ideal that the Federal Government should continue to be based on the ideal of a Republic.
Do you know the difference between a Republic and a Democracy?
Do you realize that the Federal Government is NOT a Democracy?
Just in case you do not know:
In a Republic the government is made up of people (usually elected officials) who are to LEAD, rather than REPRESENT (as opposed to a Democracy) the people.
So, in context, I said the Republicans think they know what's best for you, regardless of what YOU think.
Therefore when Republicans try and force people to live by their rules, it is not a surprise.
Their intentions are to LEAD the people, and they make no bones about it. They fully admit to it in their own party ideals.
When, on teh other hand, a Democrat tries to LEAD people, he is betraying his party ideals, because he is supposed to be FOLLOWING and REPRESENTING people rather than LEADING them.
"That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." The words "Democrat" and "Republican" may have originally referred to the philosophy of the respective parties, but this has long since changed. Notice that the definitions of http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=democracy&x=8&y=15 [Broken] both contain the word "representation," and in fact, the republic definition goes further and says that they are responsible to the citizen (which is in direct contrast to what you asserted).

Granted, there is a difference between a classical democracy (rule by referenda, such as in ancient Athens) and a classical republic (rule by representatives, such as in ancient Rome), but it is not what you say it is. Obviously, we are a classical republic. Nevertheless, in today's society, the word "democracy" is used to describe our system of government. (Even by the president.) So, if you're arguing that the Democratic Party doesn't necessarily stand for the classical definition of democracy (the Athenian one), then you're right. But then again, do you see Republicans advocating the creation of a Senate in which only the patricians can participate? (Oh wait...)

No I didn't. I said nothing about handouts. I said they are expecting the government to take care of them, as opposed to being part of the government
The Democratic Party has become party of the fat, the lazy, the complacent, the rich and the selfish wanting their Government to take care of them.
Ah, but what you scolded people for was being selfish by "wanting their Government to take care of them," not "wanting their elected officials to take care of them." The two statements have completely different connotations, so you introduced an ambiguity which was compounded by a lack of focus. The former implies handouts, while the latter implies political laziness.

If you want to lambast me for whatever pre-conceived notion you have of who I am, based solely on your own lacking reading comprehension skills, don't waste your time, because I will not bother amusing you.
I enjoy personal attacks.

Personally I see so-called 'independants' and 'moderates' as thinking they have some advantage in not declaring anything. They're just lazy and weak.
I'm not really sure that you know what it means to be independent/moderate. It doesn't mean that you have no political views, it means that your political views don't quite match up with either party/philosophy. How is that any lazier or weaker? If anything, it's stronger, because you're not using a party as a crutch.

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vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Townsend said:
So there is nothing wrong with communism? With Nazism? With *ism? The star being whatever the newest ideal is....

isms are ok if they are kept in moderation but too much of an ideal is likely not a very good thing.....

I agree with what you try to say, Townsend, even if Smurf is of course right that ANY algorithm to arrive at a solution is an *ism.
I think what you are trying to say - stop me if I'm wrong - is that faced with a problem to solve, we should try to find a good solution, and consider a priori all kinds of solutions, to pick out the one that seems to give the best (or at least, acceptably good) results.
Idealists as you (and I) see them, however, have an a priori universal (and usually a bit naive) set of rules they apply to ALL problems. Capitalists say always "hey, let the market solve the problem, that WILL GIVE US THE BEST SOLUTION" ; communists say that if the workers class decides what should be done that will give the best solution, anarchists say that if we get rid of every kind of state structure that will give us the best solution, ...
NO MATTER WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AT HAND.

I think your (and my) critique is that you should not a priori decide how you should solve a particular problem ; that you should look at it, consider different solution strategies, and pick out the one that seems best, based upon all scientific and other knowledge you have about it. In doing so you can of course take inspiration from different ideologies (what happens if we let the market decide, what happens if we let the gouvernment decide, what... etc) or try to think up new schemes for the particular problem at hand.

What Smurf is indicating is that this, by itself, is of course also an algorithm that is "universally" applied (namely: "think about several approaches and pick the one that seems best") and you can also give it an *ism name, like pragmatism (although this is slightly different), conformism (it isn't that exactly) so let us call it trytofindthebestsolutionism.

Example: consider the problem of people transport. Should this be solved by the market (have people buy cars, bikes, have private bus and railroad companies...), by the state (everybody in public transport), not at all (you walk, or there are simply some bikes and cars you can jump in but they're not yours), ... (that's the ideologic approach), or should we just think and set up some mix of all of it that solves problems for people, like letting them have cars, let there be some private companies doing transportation, but also have a public service that will solve the problem for a few people that would not be helped etc...

I am indeed a trytofindthebestsolutionist. A radical one

Manchot said:
What I'm claiming is that they are not honest about their intentions. I guarantee you that you have never heard a Republican say, "I'm better than my constituents, so I should make decisions." Yes, they openly try and ram things down your throat, but they always deny it, and would never admit to it. Saying one thing and doing another is not honesty: that's hypocrisy.
But that is the whole point and stated purpose of their party.
(given that I do not consider the current administration keeping with Republican party ideals in any way)

Give the public less direct control over the federal government, and give the federal government less direct conrtol over the people.
That is the reason Republican (are supposed to) stand for state's rights, smaller, less intrusive federal government and sustaining the Electoral College.
The federal governemt, according to party doctrine, should be little more than arbiter of state governments, overseer of common policy, a unified public face for foreign policy and military control.

Like I said, they make no bines about electing "leaders" of the country.
It is inherent in the system which they support.

Manchot said:
"That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." The words "Democrat" and "Republican" may have originally referred to the philosophy of the respective parties, but this has long since changed. Notice that the definitions of http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=democracy&x=8&y=15 [Broken] both contain the word "representation," and in fact, the republic definition goes further and says that they are responsible to the citizen (which is in direct contrast to what you asserted).
The parties still align with the original definitions of the term (again, this adminstration aside).
Republicans see themselves as "representing" the people by representing what they feel are their best interests.
The Administrative branch is not at all directly accountable to the citizens, and the Republicans prefer it that way.
A citizen can not officially call for the impeachment of the president, nor any of his or her appointees.
Those who ARE directly elected by the citizens are supposed to be doing their bidding FOR them and handling such issues. This is the ideal republic.

Manchot said:
Granted, there is a difference between a classical democracy (rule by referenda, such as in ancient Athens) and a classical republic (rule by representatives, such as in ancient Rome), but it is not what you say it is. Obviously, we are a classical republic. Nevertheless, in today's society, the word "democracy" is used to describe our system of government. (Even by the president.) So, if you're arguing that the Democratic Party doesn't necessarily stand for the classical definition of democracy (the Athenian one), then you're right.
I am saying that the Democratic Party claims to, but in practice their actions more closely align with Republican doctrine, and THAT'S the problem I have.
If they are looking to uphols the core democratic ideal (which is what they claim), they are failing.

Manchot said:
But then again, do you see Republicans advocating the creation of a Senate in which only the patricians can participate? (Oh wait...)
LOL!

Manchot said:
Ah, but what you scolded people for was being selfish by "wanting their Government to take care of them," not "wanting their elected officials to take care of them." The two statements have completely different connotations, so you introduced an ambiguity which was compounded by a lack of focus. The former implies handouts, while the latter implies political laziness.
No, the former implies that they see their government as an entity separate and distinct from them, rather than the fruition of a mass cooperative effort.
It implies they want to elect "leaders" to take care of them rather than representatives to reprsent their informed voices in an official capacity.

Manchot said:
I enjoy personal attacks.
I saw it as warranted, since I see making unfounded assumptions about my character, ideals and intentions as a personal affront.
I am willing to let it drop if you are.

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vanesch said:
I agree with what you try to say, Townsend, even if Smurf is of course right that ANY algorithm to arrive at a solution is an *ism.
I think what you are trying to say - stop me if I'm wrong - is that faced with a problem to solve, we should try to find a good solution, and consider a priori all kinds of solutions, to pick out the one that seems to give the best (or at least, acceptably good) results.
Idealists as you (and I) see them, however, have an a priori universal (and usually a bit naive) set of rules they apply to ALL problems. Capitalists say always "hey, let the market solve the problem, that WILL GIVE US THE BEST SOLUTION" ; communists say that if the workers class decides what should be done that will give the best solution, anarchists say that if we get rid of every kind of state structure that will give us the best solution, ...
NO MATTER WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AT HAND.

I think your (and my) critique is that you should not a priori decide how you should solve a particular problem ; that you should look at it, consider different solution strategies, and pick out the one that seems best, based upon all scientific and other knowledge you have about it. In doing so you can of course take inspiration from different ideologies (what happens if we let the market decide, what happens if we let the gouvernment decide, what... etc) or try to think up new schemes for the particular problem at hand.

What Smurf is indicating is that this, by itself, is of course also an algorithm that is "universally" applied (namely: "think about several approaches and pick the one that seems best") and you can also give it an *ism name, like pragmatism (although this is slightly different), conformism (it isn't that exactly) so let us call it trytofindthebestsolutionism.

Example: consider the problem of people transport. Should this be solved by the market (have people buy cars, bikes, have private bus and railroad companies...), by the state (everybody in public transport), not at all (you walk, or there are simply some bikes and cars you can jump in but they're not yours), ... (that's the ideologic approach), or should we just think and set up some mix of all of it that solves problems for people, like letting them have cars, let there be some private companies doing transportation, but also have a public service that will solve the problem for a few people that would not be helped etc...

I am indeed a trytofindthebestsolutionist. A radical one
I have to hand it to you Vanesch, you have a way of completely misunderstanding everything that's just so complete it's hard to argue against, because almost everything is bull****.

I think you've made your mind up a long time ago about everything vanesch, but all the same I feel the need to respond if only to show others the vast inaccuracies in this crap.
vanesch said:
I think what you are trying to say - stop me if I'm wrong - is that faced with a problem to solve, we should try to find a good solution, and consider a priori all kinds of solutions, to pick out the one that seems to give the best (or at least, acceptably good) results.
Idealists as you (and I) see them, however, have an a priori universal (and usually a bit naive) set of rules they apply to ALL problems.
i·de·ol·o·gy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-l-j, d-)
n. pl. i·de·ol·o·gies
1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

An ideology is not a set of solutions, but a set of assumptions and beliefs about society, politics, ect. A person of an ideology will create a solution, that may or may not be commonly held by other members of an ideology, based on these beliefs. The fact that a person identifies with an ideology does not make him different than a person that has equally many beliefs and assumptions about society but merely refuses to identify with an ideology, for any reason.

Capitalists say always "hey, let the market solve the problem, that WILL GIVE US THE BEST SOLUTION" ;
Incorrect Over-Simplification. Free markets are only advocated as solutions to economic issues, and not always either. Capitalists, for example, have never advocated the privatisation of (i.e. the free trade of) armed forces, police forces, or any other issues of national or federal defence and concern.

communists say that if the workers class decides what should be done that will give the best solution,
Simply incorrect. Different communists will advocate different systems on which to arrive at a decision. The main ideology (i.e. idea) behind communism is communal ownership, and equality.

anarchists say that if we get rid of every kind of state structure that will give us the best solution, ...
Incorrect. Anarchists only recognize one "kind" (characteristic) of state structure, and that is hierachy of power. They do advocate the abolishment of such hierarchy, but do not herald it as the solution to everything.
NO MATTER WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AT HAND.
Any given system will inherently consider many responses to any difficult problem, but will usually end up with 1 or 2 which those of the dominant ideology will approve of according to their beliefs. Again, these solutions will vary depending on the solution. A capitalist might, for example, advocate the lowering of trade tarriffs on principle, but make exception to food produce and advocate high tariffs on foreign import to encourage national farming, because he considers it of national importance.

I think your (and my) critique is that you should not a priori decide how you should solve a particular problem ; that you should look at it, consider different solution strategies, and pick out the one that seems best, based upon all scientific and other knowledge you have about it. In doing so you can of course take inspiration from different ideologies (what happens if we let the market decide, what happens if we let the gouvernment decide, what... etc) or try to think up new schemes for the particular problem at hand.
I don't think you'll find a single ideology that advocates fixing a problem before looking at it.

What Smurf is indicating is that this, by itself, is of course also an algorithm that is "universally" applied (namely: "think about several approaches and pick the one that seems best") and you can also give it an *ism name, like pragmatism (although this is slightly different), conformism (it isn't that exactly) so let us call it trytofindthebestsolutionism.
More rubbish. Everyone tries to find the best solution. The only difference between ideologies is that their ideas on how to do it and what a solution actually is, differ greatly. God, I'm repeating myself now.

Example: consider the problem of people transport. Should this be solved by the market
(snip)
or should we just think and set up some mix of all of it that solves problems for people, like letting them have cars, let there be some private companies doing transportation, but also have a public service
This solution is often advocated by democratic socialists, actually. However, I suspect they're reasons were thought out a lot more than yours were. You probably just mentioned it because it contrasts ever so slightly to those you mentioned before.

I am indeed a trytofindthebestsolutionist. A radical one
There are 3 kinds of moderates. Those that simply havn't decided what they believe in. Those that think they understand all the ideologies, and think that they're better than all of them. And those that declare themselves such for non-ideological reasons such as conformism, or as an attempt to appeal to false authority (i.e. "I used to believe in...")

loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
You know, normally I would pull a Manchot and pick apart small details of your post, One Raven, as there are a lot of ambiguous statements and arguable opinions expressed. Nonetheless, I actually agree wholeheartedly with what I perceived as the general spirit of your post, although I'm not going to single out the democratic party as you seem to be doing.

Personally, though, I must say that I advocate to anyone the life of political detachment. I don't necessarily have the greatest trust in our elected officials, but I do trust in the generally self-correcting system we have set up to eventually weed out elements that overtly subvert the will of the electorate. The way I see things, the role of the government is to simply stay out of my way. Go ahead and tax me; just keep it reasonable. In return, I expect good highways and public universities and to be fairly safe from crime and external attacks. Other than that, there is nothing that I either want or expect from the government. I don't want charity, I don't want subsidies, I don't want vice laws, and I don't want any kind of social engineering. I just want to pursue the life that makes me happy. Right now I'm getting into the study of Celtic languages. I'm happy doing this. As long as the government does not keep me from doing this, I will remain happy. I don't care if I make $30K or$50K a year doing it, and I don't care if failed CEOs are making twenty times what I am. As long as I have the ability to pursue what I want to pursue in life, and the government is not responsible for taking away that ability from me or allowing elements into our country that would take that ability away from me, then as far as I'm concerned, they're doing their job.

You'll almost never see me up in arms over what's going on in the world, not because I'm competely apathetic, but because I'm not willing to let my state of mind hinge upon our elected officials seeing things the same way I do. As long as the larger world is not experiencing any long-term regressive trends, then I think we're moving in the right direction. In fact, if the US position in the world economy wanes in the coming years, but that of China and India improves, making things better for their people while the US experiences some setbacks, I won't complain. I think it's a positive thing that the quality of life for 2 billion people improves while that for 300 million falls back to earth a bit.