I've seen this idea around from time to time, and, in light of the divisive split between the left and the right, and the fact that we'll obviously never see eye-to-eye on things...
Why don't we do away with the "toe-the-line" party politics and just start holding a national vote on legislation? No more bickering, no more arguing, no more "your side is lying... your side is corrupt... blah blah blah bitty blah".
Congress would still propose the bills and legislation, but we the people would be the ones to vote on them. Truly representative of what the people actually want... majority rules, and if you don't get enough votes for what your side wants, shut the ____ up and deal with it. Problem solved.
Trouble is with that is that you would end up with massive voter apathy and legislation passed into law with a tiny support, certainly nothing like a majority vote.
Why not just make each individual sovereign, and abolish government entirely?
Do you know how much it would cost to hold a national referendum every time something needs to be decided?
Exactly! And that's a good illustration of my point.
As a veteran of the Iraq war, I have my own stance on that... towards the end of the Gulf war (round one, kick Saddam out of Kuwait), we promised the Iraqi people if they rose up against Saddam, we would back them up and help them... just about the time they did, we ditched out on them. Leaving thousands to be slaughtered.
Considering (in my admittedly limited knowledge) the Muslim philosophy that you basically can not revolt against your leader so long as he promotes Islam, how big of a deal it was they genuinely tried... that, to me, is the worst atrocity ever committed by the U.S.
So, regardless of what we think the U.S.'s true motivation for going into Iraq... WMD's, Oil, whatever... I firmly believe we SHOULD be there, if for no other reason than to sustain our original idea of promoting democracy world-wide and to attempt to make up for our heart breaking failure to "be there" when we promised them assitance...
Now, I'd bet if "my" idea was enacted... one of the first things to happen would be our complete withdrawl from Iraq, leaving them to their own devices and inevitable fall into chaos. Personally... that bothers me in a way I don't know how to type. That said... the majority of Americans disagree with me, and that's something I'd have to live with.
...and again, two points on this one.
A) Since when does anybody, right or left, give an honest rat's about cost vs. government? Case in point, $14 Trillion deficit.
B) Why would it really cost that much? We already have the voting infrastructure in place... sure, it would need some modification, but, compared to what we spend on turtle tunnels and ketchup flow rates, it would be a drop n the ole' bucket!
Well... obviously I'm proposing a simplistic approach that would need some ironing and kinks worked out... maybe legislation would have to be scaled back (do we really need 300 new laws passed every single year?)... maybe the voting would be lumped together into quarterly or biannual groups. Though I don't foresee the same type of "apathy" we have now over candidates... we pretty much know most of them; (R),(D), or (I) are all a bunch of lying scum who won't generally make any real difference, anyways. But when the individual citizen is voting on the actual laws that will affect them, how would you not want to be involved? And if you choose not to be... that's your problem, and you don't have much room to complain if things don't "go your way".
Gosh, I can't argue with that thought at all. I think there's some very "good" reasons why that is true though; and I blame it entirely on mass media, and the fact that so many people spend so much time "enjoying" mass media instead of thinking critically about issues. People have been told what to think, and they often don't seem smart enough to realize even that.
See... there's where we have a fundemental problem, my friend. How can you have a "by the people, for the people" government if you think it's even possible for the "majority" (of the people) to BE wrong? That sounds like some ole' Bill Maher B.S. right there, brutha.
Screw what the people want, they're stupid, right? All due respect... take a long walk off a short pier if that is really how you think. That's not only the typical argument I knew I was going to get when I posted this, but it's also the basic principal of socialism/communism/elitism. The "few" thinking their smarter than the "many".
Well I was right with you to that point but you got it wrong in the end, it's the right wing that thinks it knows what is best for everybody.
Than, you of all people should be for my idea... as it would do away with partisan rule and replace it with governance based on what the people want. If the people want to steer us left, so be it, steer us right, so be it... but either way, it's the people deciding, not the actual "left" or "right".
And while I won't disagree with you the right wing thinks they know best... are you honestly saying the left is any different?
Even non-politicians... okay, ESPECIALLY non-politicians... Michael Moore, Bill Maher, roughly 98% of all hollywood actors/musicians...
There you go, buying into the whole "right wing vs left wing" fallacy, when someone has the power to issue and control a nation's money supply via fiat debt based currency; who makes a nation's laws becomes irrelevant in the end, and such is the case now.
Do you know what the whole "right vs. left" is? It's WWF wrestling for media addicted adults.
Two points here...
A) Thank you, you just made my point (stupidity of the "right vs. left" bickering)!
B) Forgive my ignorance... I think I probably have sooome idea what you mean, but please enlighten me a little more as to the "fiat currency" thing?
No sarcasm intended here... kinda hard to convey genuine sincerity in a text format, particularly one related to politics, lol.
fiat currency is debt based currency; and the only way to pay the debt is with. . . . . .ta da! More currency based on debt. It's a lose lose situation for us all.
This is why Andrew Jackson killed the European banking system in his administration, and assassin was hired to kill him, but his gun misfired
Abraham Lincoln killed the European controlled central bank in America too. An assassin was hired, Lincoln was killed.
Garfield dared to even talk about the fiat currency system from the foreign controlled bank; Charlie Giteau was hired, and Garfield was killed.
J.F.K. proposed a bill to get rid of the Federal Reserve (a foreign controlled central banking system) and was shot and killed in Dallas..
You've not heard of the "dumbing down of America?" It's a very real, and systematic process, and the goal has been achieved. When mass media controls what people think, the thoughts of the people are practically worthless. Critical thinking is discouraged in schools, and can only be learned in some universities, and only by diligent students; and such thinkers make up such a small percentage of the nation's populace, that it's shameful.
There, again, is something I whole heartedly agree with. Things like math, science, and even P.E. have been replaced with... bascially, opinions and politics, lol. But, even so, it still doesn't excuse the idea that, if we as a whole, are going to continue allowing a small group of "elistists", (including "big business") regardless of their "R" or "D" affiliation, to dictate the direction of our country, then freedom is gone and we are officially socialist-lite.
It's inevitable this idea would lead to things I wanted being voted down, or things I didn't want being passed... but I'm okay with that if the votes say I was outnumbered. How can anyone disagree with that idea and still claim to be in support of freedom?
If the majority of Americans voted to repeal my beloved second amendment... it would be a bitter pill to swallow, but one I'd have to respect. Just as if Americans said "no" to the Health Insurance Bill... obviously some people would be dissappointed, but if not the majority, than right or wrong, that's that.
Unfortunately the US people, western people in general, have already been subjugated by the media and education. Getting them to vote would follow the same media controlled bs that creates the many deep divides in the first place. Heidegger wrote about this hundreds of years ago - and he came to the tentative conclusion that a metalanguage should be developed which would overcome the issues of dumbing down, and keeping the decision making with people bright enough to engage in a higher level of discourse, conversation.
China did much the same thing before the year 0 - while we were being beaten into civilization by the Romans - government officials had to pass an exam in poetry to demonstrate that they could think at higher levels.
The average Joe is too self centred and busy with their own life to consider the deeper issues surrounding every little thing that governs society.
I am not really sure how I think on the issue of which system of government is better, yet. But I am more or less sure that the majority is almost always wrong, especially at the turning points, that's for sure. Stock market taught me this with certainty.
This is also the real answer to my "why Fox news irritates people so bad" question... regardless of your politics or what you think of Fox... it is an undeniable fact that Fox's ratings by far and away trump those of any other channel.
This drives people nuts for one very simple reason. No matter how "right" they think they are being "left",the majority of Americans disagree, and Fox's ratings prove it.
Well, it could be because the majority of the right watches Fox. The left splits its watchers with the other news networks to get the facts and watches Fox for comedy and BS.
I am not sure, but I remember somebody posting the stats here, about Fox being more popular than all other networks combined.
It has been my experience that the large majority of people will vote based on only a few things:
Gimmee, gimmee (vote for whatever will give them more freebies paid for by someone else. More welfare, more unemployment or medical insurance, more of anything they want as long as most of the cost is borne by someone else)
Religion. (Vote by religious convictions and beliefs. The more religious morality we can force, such as no gay marriage, prayer in schools, etc. the better)
Hate. (Get rid of all the ______[fill in the blank] or make them secondary citizens. Any minority such as race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. is to be forced to leave or join the crowd)
Cheap. (Vote for anything that doesn't cost the voter anything and against anything that does cost.
Nowhere in the list are folk that will vote for what the country actually needs, and nowhere are any protections for minorities.
Very few people will take the time and effort to educate themselves on each new law - a snap judgement is good enough.
The very thought that the majority should always rule makes me shudder. Examples might include the witch hunts of early settlements, the actions of the KKK against blacks and the persecution of Jews by Nazis. Anytime the general population can be convinced that something is "right" and the majority does as they please chaos and social decline follows. People are generally too self-centered, too selfish, too lazy and yes, too stupid to run anything. As poor as our governments are, they are far preferable to a general "majority wins" type of thing.
Wilderness, I honestly understand where you're coming from, but I think it neglects a couple of things. I know for a fact there are still a lot of "hardcore racists", not just in the U.S., but all around the world. But I don't think it's fair to say that they make up the MAJORITY of Americans. There was a (sad) time in our history... not even that long ago, unfortunately, where that was true, but I honestly don't think it's the case now. Perhaps I'm just being niave, though.
I would also be the first to admit, if we were to enact such a system, there is no doubt that initially it would cause some turmoil... there would be some downright stupid laws that got passed, and some other truly good laws that would be voted down. It would take some time to get everything sorted out, but ultimately, call me an eternal optimist, I can't help but to have a little faith in the general U.S. populace to believe we'd eventually find our way.
But, you see, it's not just race. It's anything that's different. In my youth my small community had it in for (American) Indians. I moved to Virginia in the 70's and it was all about blacks. Currently where I live, it's about Mexicans. Not necessarily about Hispanics, but Mexicans. In the bible belt it might be about atheists or protestants or catholics. It's always something, which as you point out is really sad.
Another example; one of the mid sized towns near me is considering implementing a motel room tax. "It should be easy to pass because it won't cost the voters anything" was the comment, and that's all too true. The majority (residents) will charge the minority (travelers and tourists) to maintain city services for residents. Recently our statehouse was completely remodeled and paid for entirely from cigarette taxes. The majority (non-smokers) charged the minority (smokers) for the entire project, thus paying nothing themselves for a multi-million dollar project. That's what happens when the majority has complete control!
Texas has a strong religious population and they make most of our text books. The new books will now have a decided religious bent to them, to the point of minimizing actions of some of our most important and famous statesmen that were not good Christians. The majority has spoken and we will now present only Christians as founding fathers.
Very few states permit gays to marry because the majority finds the concept abhorrent or "sinful". Oh, they fluff it up with such excuses as "It will destroy the sanctity of marriage" and such, but it is all just spin; they simply don't want different people to be as good as they are.
There is always controversy with Texas being the textbook provider for many states. They want to use religion to decide what should or should not be taught to our children in the schools.
Changing history and scientific facts is no biggie out in God's country!
"The average Joe is too self centred and busy with their own life to consider the deeper issues surrounding every little thing that governs society."
Two points on that one...
A) that would be, to some extent, negated by my suggestion that Congress would still write pending legislation, while the people would decide as to whether or not it was made law.
B) So, basically, what you (and a few others) are saying is that Bill Maher was right, the average U.S. citizen is just "too stupid" to be allowed to make their own decisions? And by that logic, the government should pretty much just be allowed to do whatever they want, as they are obviously so much better equipped for running our lives than we are?
Neat... and people wonder why the majority of Americans aren't terribly thrilled with the left's agenda.
This has nothing to do with any left agenda. It is the work of right wing controlled media, and if you are thinking just Fox news you should take a peek at who owns all the privately owned media - you won't find a lefty there although you may spot a liberal or two among the thousands of hard right or just very rich people. So basically - yes people are too dumb, and those who take an interest and gain some understanding are partisan extremists in the main.
There is also the issue that national decisions are not always easy questions and occasionally the depth of thought required is more than can be aired and argued on daytime tv, and sometimes the right answers are unpopular. It would be nice to trust that the people would do the right thing more often than govenment but it would require a total remake of your education system to include what constitutes a reasonable argument, social studies, political studies, analysis skills, economics, and so on. The fact that many of your schools are teaching that the world was made 7000 years ago and two people put on it would indicate that even your education system has not left kindergarten yet, let alone a large part of your population.
Sadly, to all my dear friends, left and right alike, we have company and my wife has "forced" me to (drink) become real-world sociable... so, it's at this point I must beg your forgiveness and bow out of this hornets nest amuck I've apparently instigated... for tonight, I'm out... as I'll inevitably insert my size 12 shoe into my size 7 mouth, lol.
Though I humbly invite and incite those who've taken an interest into this thread to actively and passionately carry on the conversation in my absence, and sincerely look forward to reviewing the back and forth tomorrow. Agree or dispute, I genuinely appreciate all of your thoughts!
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