Can someone explain to me in simple terms. USA elections(416 Posts)
What are the main differences between Obama and romney?
Is Obama like labour and Romney like very right conservative?
Why does Romney say he will get rid of the healthcare bill that Obama brought in.
Did it not work?
why wouldn't you want people without insurance to access healthcare ?
First you need to now that politics in the US is generally much further to the right than the UK. But yes Romney is a Republican and so on the right hand side, and Obama is a Democrat and therefore to the left. Essentially Republicans believe that the government should be smaller and stay out of people's lives. Ethically they often appear to believe that not being able to look after yourself is a moral failing. They are also very heavily influenced by conservative Christians (religion has a very strong presence in American politics) so their policies tend to be anti gay and not very women friendly (to say the least).
Romney is interesting because he is a Morman (not felt to be true Christians by many Americans) and in government was actually fairly moderate - the healthcare plan that Obama introduced was actually based on one developed in Massachusetts whilst Romney was a governor there.
The dislike for the healthcare bill is ideological, it's felt to be the state being intrusive plus I think there is a strong feeling that providing a safety net means that people will opt out of taking responsibility for themselves. Plus a general feeling that the poor deserve everything they get fr not working hard enough.
There's a great line in the West Wing where someone says that if the Republican Party were in Europe, it would actually be three different parties. It's made up of wealthy people who want low taxes and not too much social welfare; conservative Christians who are anti-abortion, anti gay rights, anti-evolution, often anti-women generally; and now more and more libertarian types who want as small a government as possible. The problem for Romney is he has to try to appeal to all these people at the same time, which is why sometimes he ends up disowning things that he used to promote, like his healthcare programme.
It's really hard to explain American opposition to the healthcare programme. Part of it, which gets overlooked, is that people generally don't like big changes. Imagine if they came in and radically overhauled the NHS, some people would oppose it even if theoretically it would be better for them.
The healthcare programme does not give everyone free universal healthcare or anything like that, it merely requires everyone to buy insurance (with some help available) which should theoretically improve things eventually. But until that happens all people see is that they have to start spending more money, that the government is forcing them to do something.
American politics doesn't really make a lot of sense to other countries, but at the same time all the worst parts get played up and hide the fact that it's not that different also.
In UK political terms, Obama is more like the Coalition and Romney is somewhere right of the BNP. The Democrats are often tagged as 'socialist' but they make even New Labour look like a bunch of hard left radicals.
I remember seeing a CBS round-table discussion when Clinton was in office and Hilary was trying to push through measures to improve access to healthcare. Public healthcare systems such as the NHS were mentioned and one Republican contributor was having serious trouble grasping the concept. "You mean?... if everyone got sick all at once?.... the state pays for them all to be treated?... no matter what?" Even the Democrats round the table thought it was a little far-fetched.
As things stand, in America, a healthcare package is often given as a perk of being in work. Therefore, for the majority of people who are in work, healthcare isn't much of an issue - it should be recognised that, for those that do have access to healthcare, American hospitals are amongst the best in the world.
What many Americans do object to, and this alludes to what nooka said about the political landscape being much further to the right than in the UK, is the idea that those in work are taxed to pay for the healthcare needs of those that don't work. For the vast majority, the status quo is more than good enough - Anything that risks lowering the standards of healthcare across the board will be resisted.
I agree with everything said so far.
American's believe passionately it's not the government's job to look after you and you are responsible for yourself (and your family).
In Europe we generally are more left leaning and believe the government should provide a safety net.
To be fair, a lot of the anti-government sentiment in the US stems from our founding mythology and recent history -- not just a lack of caring for the less fortunate.
The US only exists because there was a rebellion against British tyranny (sorry ) and it's left a strong streak of 'you can't tell me what to do' in American culture. Then we spent much of the 20th century in a cold war with the Soviets, which was largely justified to the American people on the basis that they were Orwellian tyrants and (closely linked) mass murderers.
I don't agree with the anti-government thing but it's not as simple as Americans not wanting to take care of each other -- Americans do far more charitable work than Europeans, for example. I think mostly it's just an almost Pavlovian response for a lot of Americans, government = unwanted and unnecessary authority.
Thanks guys. Can I ask another question?
What are each sides main policies?
Will voters really still vote for someone who sounds so backwards in his thinking on women, gays, abortion etc?
I really hope they won't vote the republicans. They are so backwards it's really scary
Some people will vote for him because of his backwards thinking. That's why he says such things, to get votes. He used to be the governor of a really liberal state so either he was lying then to appear normal or he's lying now to appeal to his base.
Other people will vote for him even if they don't agree with that stuff, because he still seems like a better option than Obama.
In some ways their policy differences are standard left/right split, for example the Republicans would give bigger tax cuts to the wealthy, the Democrats would try to get more benefits for the worse-off.
But there are added American aspects, for example I think Romney is at least pretending to be more skeptical about climate change, many Republicans want to outlaw abortion in all cases, etc.
people will vote for the person they most identifywith. Just as you may not agree with everything your candidatestands for but you think they are better thanthe others.
Critiquing Winona rights trump the rights of a zygote, or if you think health care isn't as important as lower taxes you might choose Romney even if you don't like his plan for corporations
I personally think that there's a lot of racial undertones in the election too. Some of the vitriol just seems over the top!
What are each sides main policies?
Erm as far as I am aware the main policy from Romney is:
"Obama's rubbish, vote for me and I'll be better."
And Obama's main policy is:
"Romney's rubbish, vote for me. I'm better"
There is very little actual real substance that I've read. The usual stuff about who can create the most jobs, general waffle on deficit reduction without any detail on how.
The problem is that neither side are brave enough to make the changes over there which are sorely needed to tame their deficit. Their day of reckoning will come but since they are still the biggest economy in the world and the world's reserve currency, they are in a better position than Europe.
This election will be fought over personality, not policies.
Do you mean main eco nomic policies? Most of what gets reported are social policies because they are more Devisive.
I'm not surethey knowthey can give firm answers because it will turn on how senate and house elections go as well.for the last for years there's been a a stalemate and little can get passed
Sorry for poor spacing phone is being stupid
They only sound backward thinking to us anything-goes, tightly-packed Europeans but you have to remember that America is a great big place full of wide open spaces dotted with isolated communities that regard anything beyond their own county/state line as 'foreign' and therefore deeply suspicious. Lob in a big dollop of religious intolerance and a passionate attachment to firearms and a visiting Taliban wouldn't feel entirely out of place.
Vote for the Preston who you identify with so how did George w bush get elected. He was dreadful don't been know whether he is R or D
Violating, trusts a whole different thread! But people liked him more than Kerry is the short answer. I'm not touching the whole voter fraud madness
George bush was a total idiot how on earth he got to be president I will never know!
so how did George w bush get elected
Because in the US there are only really two parties. And the split is pretty even. Most elections are decided on a swing of a few percent.
Most of the electorate (like ours) will vote for their party regardless of whom is in charge. Chuck in hundreds of millions of dollars of PR, spin etc and even Forrest Gump could look a good presidential candidate.
<whispers> There is probably a survey showing that a sizeable percentage of US citizens think Gump actually was president but that the information has been suppressed along with the truth about the moon landings and the aliens in Area 51.... <taps nose conspiratorially>
First bit to understand; the US is split between the coasts and the bit in the middle. The bit in the middle is
massive generalisation coming up religious and unexposed to the rest of the world and the coasts are a lot more used to immigration and diversity. Its a huge divide. The coasts are traditionally vote Democrat, the centre votes Republican.
Second bit; every election generally is either characterised by a focus on foreign or domestic policy. Foreign policy focus generally comes at times of prosperity and war. Domestic policy generally comes in times of economic hardship. At the moment the issue is the economy so America is very inward looking. The rest of the world tends to become a lot less important. It might not be something they can afford to do in 2012 though as technology and world economics mean its more difficult for the US to be isolationist - not that it stops some politicians trying.
The Democrats are nothing like Labour. Labour and socialism is looked upon suspiciously by Americans as being authoritative and controlling. Unions are regarded as communist. Its worth pointing out that during the height of the Cold War, talk about unions could have got you arrested in the US as they had a witch hunt against anyone expressing views to give workers rights due to their paranoia about the Soviet Union. I wouldn't say that the Democrats were like the Coalition - the Coalition is still too liberal leaning - it is still a big deal for Obama to make pro-gay comments, whereas even though some MPs can be backward on that issue, they would be expected to be more PC. The Democrats probably sit slight to the right of the Tories on their own.
As for the Republicans; well they are suffering from something of a crises of identity at the moment and are being pulled by one half of the party who were generally more interested in economics and one half of the party being crazy lunacy religious fundamentalists who want to blow the rest of the world up for not obeying them (And frankly I'm not exaggerating when I say that).
Romney is also a bit of an outsider due to his religion. He's a mormon. Ignorance does make some voters suspicious of him. But he probably sits in the more to the middle of the Republican Godsquad compared to a lot of other party members and voters. He was Governor of Massachusetts so he is a Republican with appeal to the more liberal elements of US society. Republicans generally want less government involvement in every day affairs than the Democrats - which is why they are often supported by big business. This is where Romney really fits in. His father was a business man and politician and he followed this.
As a whole its definitely correct to say the Republicans are to the right of the BNP; how far to the right generally is proportionate to how much you believe in creationism - some members of the party would have a lot to talk about with a member of the Taliban at a dinner party.
But this split in the party is also their big weakness. There are some traditional Republicans who are alarmed by the extreme right of the party. Romney's comments about the Olympics were telling and have troubled Americans about his lack of diplomacy and inability to deal abroad - something thats really important especially at the moment when the economy is the big issue. His appeal to the more liberal areas of America will be down to how he is trusted with business and how scared they are of the Looney Tunes; if they think he's too much of a diplomatic liability or they think the Looney Tunes have too much power/influence it could be Romney's downfall.
With regard to economics, amount of government intervention is the key point. The idea of the American Dream that is reward through hard work is the underlying principle. Therefore if you don't deserve reward if you don't put in the effort. Having benefits undermines this work ethic according to Americans and it makes you dependant on the state rather than self sufficient. Its a fine mentality to have if you have status and money, not so much if you don't. The hard work ethic is reflected in attitudes to employment law and legislation - workers have far fewer rights than in the EU. The US argue that this makes their labour market more flexible as they can hire and fire at will and not have to go through due process like here. Its actually proved to be fairly true; although the US suffered a lot more unemployment, they've been able to recover from that a lot more as its not so much of a commitment for an employer to recruit someone new. This is an issue that has been high on the agenda; a couple of the Republican candidates for the presidency took a very strong line on this and have track records of eroding the already poor rights of workers even more in the States they represent. Its popular with employers and business.
Those at the bottom of the pile, don't have much say in politics though. Historically blacks and the working class were far less likely to vote at all than the middle classes; in part because the candidates don't even campaign on issues that benefit them and instead pander to the middle classes. Its a little bit different with Obama; his colour was a big issue as it represented a break from this - he'll be judged this time on whether he has actually delivered. Obama's problem is more likely to be getting black voters to just turn out to vote this time especially in the swing states of the South like Florida if there has been some disillusionment over this term - particularly since it has been a period of weakness economically.
So Obamacare is a HUGE issue.
Then the parties have a few issues which are particularly important and we don't understand at all here; gun law and abortion being the two that spring most to mind. Here, all reason is very often lost in a sea of bollocks and hysteria.
damn straight I don't get these issues!
And finally, in this
rather crap summary of US politics there is presentation over substance. The slick media campaign over anything actually vaguely political. Romney is 65. Obama is 51. Since JFK, the candidate who was younger and looked better on TV has won.
Romney needs to invest in some JustForMen.
This is really interesting reading, thanks everyone.
Thanks, I like this. Nonsense explanations. However do you not think it strange that a good proportion of a country that does not like its government to interfere with its daily life on healthcare etc is quite happy to do whatever, god or should I say, whatever the church interprets that god wants them to do. A bit worrying really.
That should say no no nonsense explanations. Sorry.
I think its REALLY important to note there are TWO Americas.
Obamacare is perhaps the issue that shows this divide the most and that provokes a very emotional debate from both sides of the coin. They are so different its hard to really understand how they can possibly work together and compromise.
And its been proven in this term that this is an issue and they are becoming even more different and there is a greater and greater unwilling to compromise. When they had to get agreement to extend national debt or they wouldn't have been able to pay the bills, the Crazy Right really did hold a gun to the heads of the Democrats and Obama AND their own party.
It alarmed people that the nutters are getting too much power; even those in the Republican party as they weren't willing to budge an inch with their own party's position for the benefit of the nation. A lot of people regard it as brinkmanship too far.
Some people suggested at the time this was the height of the Tea Party's power and they wouldn't be able to do it again as a result; but that does remain to be seen. If Romney does get into power could he keep them in line and not be dictated to?
Its a question that is liable to come up a few times in the course of the Election I feel.
@Aldertree... isn't 'In God We Trust' the official motto? Unlike a government who might force you to pay tax towards schools or welfare cheques (bad), dear old god will only ever gently encourage you to give your money, on an entirely voluntary basis, as an insurance policy against hell-fire & damnation, to a shiny-suited homophobic, evolution-denying evangelist. No contest
I studied US politics at A-level so I have some understanding of the system of checks and balances and the way in which elections work (despite their suspicion of government, Americans have elections for every imaginable post in every stratum of society).
What has always puzzled me is the Republicans' insistence on tiny government juxtaposed with their obsessional interest in preventing women from having access to abortions; it's totally contradictory.
Wow. Thank you for this. Feel more informed now.
Forrest gump would be a better candidate than Romney
In all honesty Romney was definitely one of the better, if not the best, option for the Republican party given the candidates.
Well thanks everyone. I now have a bit more of an understanding.
Romney is definitely the pick of a bad bunch.
At least he isnt part of the Tea-Party!
Romney is moderate, by US standards. He opposed the teaching of creationism in schools. He believes women need a stronger representation in political leadership.
I have been watching the republican convention for the last couple of days. I was lukewarm about him as the nominee, but now I really like him. He seems like an overall good man, and I believe he has the talents needed to finally government back on track fiscally, and get people back to work.
Massachusetts Romney seemed fine by Republican standards. Republican Presidential Candidate Romney is scary as hell. President Romney?????
The abortion thing is the one thing that does make sense to me actually. If I believed that hundreds of thousands of babies were being murdered in cold blood every year (and government money was being used to promote that happening, in this country and abroad) then of course I'd get out and vote for whoever promised to stop that - or at least maje it illegal (and I would not be convinced by the argument that illegality will drive it underground - not if we're talking about infanticide). In America a significant minority do believe exactly that, and they will vote for whoever is most likely to restrict abortion - hence they get to call the shots in the Republican party. It's not dissimilar to the maths that got fox hunting banned in the UK, except, thank heavens, that there are equally strong feelings on the other side, and some very bad consequences to prohibition which are visible to neutrals.
President Romney frightens me. I found his remarks about Israel and Iran petrifying. Only this week he's said "President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus" and has made remarks about allowing Iran to continue with its nuclear programme. Its chilling.
I wonder what happens to the US's ally the UK if it were to start a war with Iran? I can not see us having the appetite for it at all. That said I think talk like that has the potential to backfire domestically for exactly the same reason - domestic policy and the economy is THE issue - Americans don't really care abouts going on in the rest of the world right now and they certainly don't want to be embroiled in someone else's battle.
I asked an American friend just how close it was between Romney and Obama as I don't think we get an unbiased view of things here; the UK is too pro Obama. He said he thought it was too close to call. And I've just looked at an opinion poll of 'likely voters' - Romney is on 44% Obama on 42% but this week has been a Republican party conference and they were trailing Obama at the start of the week by 4%.
Really goes to show how getting the 'unlikely' voters out could be the really crucial bit.
Yoko There is a saying here that Republicans want small government ... small enough to fit in a woman's uterus, that is.
It's also important to remember that most presidential elections are decided by a small number of swing voters in a handful of swing states like Florida. In 2008 if 450,000 voters in the seven swing states had changed their vote, McCain would have won. The margins are very small.
Neither candidate will bother to campaign in California or Texas, say, except perhaps to support congressional candidates, because they are solidly for one party or the other. The swing states otoh will be bombarded with adverts, telephone campaigning, and appearances from the candidates.
I should have said - the best example of this was in 2000, when if 269 people in Florida had changed their vote, Al Gore would have won the presidency. This was the smallest ever vote difference needed to win an election in the US.
Just a question which has been puzzling me. Obviously Obama and Romney are now the two candidates for President, but is it theoretically possible for someone who is neither a democrat or a republican to become president of the USA? I have never really heard anything about any other political parties in the States. Do they exist? Is there more choice in local politics?
There are other parties, but most of them are very small and have no real political power, such as Libertarian party. Ron Paul runs nearly every election, but rarely gets enough votes for it to matter.
President Obama is completely pro-choice even with late-term abortion. Romney is pro-choice in certain circumstances (rape, incest, threat to the life of the mother, etc.), but is generally pro-life.
I was a little concerned about the idea of going into Iran. At this point, that's my biggest reservation with Romney.
George Bush actually had fewer votes than Al Gore in 2000. But because its done by seats in each state rather than a popular percentage vote across the nation, Bush got the Presidency!
The swing states for 2012 are supposed to be Florida (29 electoral votes), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9) Nevada (6), Iowo (6) & New Hampshire (4).
There aren't really any other parties in the US which have a real change of election. They do exist but they are minority parties - the three biggest are the Constitution Party, the Green Party & the Libertarian Party. I honestly know nothing about them other than what their names suggest. This is in part due to how much it costs to run for election and also because politics are even more tribal than in the UK.
They have to put up fees to run in each State, and since the only way to win the presidency is to win as many states as possible, this is a real hurdle. The few third party candidates that have stood in the last century, have often not put themselves up for election in every state as a result. Ross Perot did run in 1992 and got 18.9% of the popular vote, but carried no states - thats the best result in the last century.
on telly this morning, they raced two piglets, so that's how they decide who is president i think
THe other problem with this election is that certain states like Florida (Goveronor one Jeb Bush) have made voter registration much harder for certain groups - who just happen to be traditional democrat voters.
Everybody wants small goverment -
and yet the US spends eyewatering amounts on Military spending,
locks up nearly 1 in 100 men under draconian three strikes laws
and the government underwrite all mortgages against default (no PPI needed there)
state schools are firmly secular - so the religious home educate and the two never cross paths
even up to University level - there are private Bible Universities
the agriculture of California is totally reliant on illegal immigrants - who Arizona would like shot on sight ....
and the news on TV radio and the printed press is so divided and narow minded that the problem is just getting worse
There are other political parties - there's a Green Party and a Libertarian Party, and a lot of smaller parties that perhaps only exist at state or smaller regional levels. I have a friend in the Socialist Workers Party. They maybe win some seats in state legislatures and mayoral offices, and there are two independents in the Senate, who caucus with the Democrats (but one is a prominent former Democrat, Joe Lieberman). There have been independent state governors too.
You can run for the presidency in a number of ways - as a member of a particular party, as an independent candidate, or as a write-in candidate (someone who is not named on a ballot paper, but who can be elected if enough people write their name down in place of voting for one of the named candidates). A guy called Ralph Nader has run for the presidency 6 times using all these methods and is the best 3rd party performer so far. He was widely blamed in 2000 for splitting the vote and taking votes away from Gore, who might have narrowly won otherwise. There are always other tiny parties who go on the ballot for presidential elections too. But there is no realistic third party candidate for president short of Abraham Lincoln rising from the grave and running for office again ...
I do know a little about the libertarians. They believe in very small government. They oppose social spending (medicare, social security, etc). They would bring all US soldiers home because they don't believe in intervening with other countries. They are generally pro-choice and believe that most drugs should be legal. On a political scale, they are the closer to anarchy than the other parties.
THe other surreal thing about US elections is the fact that candidates cover all bases on the ballot form
when I voted for Obama there were over 20 parties on the ballot paper but only five actual names
and they all have little pictures to help the illiterate
US spends eyewatering amounts on Military spending
Apparently the USA's military spending accounted for 41 per cent of the world total in 2011, followed by China with 8.2 per cent, Russia with 4.1% and the UK and France with 3.6 per cent each.
this analysis of Paul Ryan's speech made me FURIOUS!!!!
The Republicans are such fucking hypocrites
Crossposted with ThinkingAboutIt - I forgot about Ron Paul and Ross Perot. Perot has got the biggest share of the popular vote as a 3rd choice, but other independents have gotten electoral college votes without as big a share of the vote. George Wallace in 1968 carried five states in the South.
Ponders Yep, we are living in a post-truth political world. You can say anything you like and it will be true!
Illegal immigration has been heated debate lately. Some of the border states have had problems with drug cartels, and have attempted to take a strong stance against illegal immigrants (such as Arizona).
The sad thing about the debate is that the views of the majority are rarely heard. Most of us would want to see people come to the country the right way (make it easier and better to immigrate legally), but understand when people flee from oppressive governments (such as Cuba). Most people I've talked to believe that illegal immigrants who commit crimes should be deported. I've met a lot of people who believe that illegal immigrants should be required to go home and immigrate the correct way, and believe the system is unfair to immigrants who actually abide by the law and come here legally.
The trouble is Ponders the televsion is too biased to question that. We are used to having biased newspapers but we have (relatively) unbiased television.
In the US television is more like our newspapers and have an editorial biased - eg Fox is pro-republican. Its a more powerful media than newspapers.
The only saving grace and counter to that is the rise of the internet, but that relies on people seeking alternative news sources; people who are by that very nature more likely to be liberal...
Ponders, it's really not fair to judge a whole party based on the statements of one person.
There are only two news stations that I consider truly biased, and they are MSNBC and Fox News (the cable version). The regular MSN and Fox stations are actually decent news sources. One does lean more left, and the other more right, but it's not over the top.
Personally, I can't stand MSNBC or the cable Fox News channel.
The regular NBC station is what I meant to say, not MSN.
Ponders, it's really not fair to judge a whole party based on the statements of one person
Fair enough, nightlurker
I am waiting (without bated breath) for the Official Republican Party to distance itself from Ryan's speech
Ponders, also worth remembering that if the democrats are doing the same we are less likely to hear about it, as our media is overwhelmingly pro-Obama.
Some of the best analysis at the moment is here
as the Economist by instinct leans to a pro business right - but is also VERY anti protectionism and excessive inequality as it tends to jump up and bite the rich later ....
I haven't paid as much attention this time around as I did in the last election (largely because of despair that the race to the bottom is given so much validity), but in the last election Nat Silver at 538 provided some much needed intellectual rigour in the analysis. I don't know how the move to the NYT has affected his coverage, but his stats and commentary certainly used to be worth checking out.
Ponders, also worth remembering that if the democrats are doing the same we are less likely to hear about it, as our media is overwhelmingly pro-Obama
um - not sure they could be doing the same at this point, Hmm
by "our media" do you mean eg the Telegraph??? the Times??? "overwhelmingly pro-Obama"? really?
"The Democrats are often tagged as 'socialist' but they make even New Labour look like a bunch of hard left radicals."
Think the Democrats make even the Tory party look like hard left radicals. I mean really, the 'right' to be insured ... as that's all the 'Obamacare' really amounts to, is that people cannot be refused medical insurance...
I mean ALL of our media Ponders. From the BBC to the Times and Torygraph. Republican ideas are, for the most part, very very alien concepts to most Europeans, its not just the British - the Tea Party really hasn't helped matters. It scares us, so the press and politicians automatically look to what we feel closer to. Its everything from gun laws, abortion, religion, social security, legislation and involvement of government to foreign policy and diplomacy.
Definitely a pro-Obama leaning across the whole of europe.
I still doubt that, Hmm. not pro-Obama as such - just anti completely-loony-right-wing (cf Clint Eastwood )
Of the mainstream UK media, the BBC is probably most left-of-centre
Of the rest, they lean to the right (apart from the Guardian & Mirror) but even so, the Republicans clearly scare them rigid on "gun laws, abortion, religion, social security, legislation and involvement of government to foreign policy and diplomacy"
God help the rest of the world if Romney gets in
And thats not anti-romney? pro-obama?
My Dad (lives in NY) sends me links to what he thinks are left of centre articles - they are BEYOND the Daily Mail.
NONE of the UK press is much to the right of Obama let alone as far right as much of the GOP including Romney
Romney Marsh and Ryan are bigger liars than our idiotic right. F'rinstance Romney mentioned in his speech about creating jobs for Americans, conveniently forgetting that Bain Capital, the venture capital company he was paid by until about three years ago, arranged leveraged buyouts of American manufacturing companies, bled them till they were dry then exported the jobs to the Far East, keeping the brand alive but upping profit margin.
Ryan mentioned in his speech a car factory closed by O'Bama. It actually shut when the shaved monkey Bush was president.
The Republicans make our Toryscum look like socialists. Which is probably why people like IBS and Grayling got ministerial posts. For added crazy.
Really enjoying this thread - so interesting.
I'd like to think Europe preferred Obama - the tea party nutters are plain scary!
Just horrid they are allowed out and about smiling through their hateful ideas.
Good o Obama he ha smade a small move forward on health care
I think that it has not helped the Tea Party one bit that Sarah Palin was its poster girl. Seems to me that Ryan is just her slightly more sane replacement* and that he definitely makes up Romneys shortfallings as far as the Republican base is concerned.
*it being a question of degrees, I can't actually believe a word that he utters
It is incredibly difficult in this country, I think, to understand the mindset of such extreme opposition to state-provided healthcare, even among the more left-wing voters in the US. I really, really don't get it, but there it is.
So much good info on this thread - I'm throwing in a few more questions:
- What is the 'you didn't build that' thing all about? I've seen lots of references to it in the last few days as an Obama gaffe the Republicans are exploiting.
- I have finally worked out, I think, what 'GOP' means as a commonly-used way of referring to the Republicans. God's Own Party? Am I right?
Zamantha a very small move though .... and he took steps backwards on many other things
he's not been great sadly - but the alternatives are scary - for European peace if nothing else
officially it means Grand Old Party
but you're probably right, DisabilEightiesChick
The theory behind opposing nationalized healthcare is that free market health care will progress more quickly, and provides better care in the long run. Unfortunately, free market health care went out the window when insurance companies became so involved. The second reason people oppose it is financial. We are far in debt, our deficit is huge, and another massive expense isn't very appealing at the moment.
The you didn't build that comes from this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjPI6no5ng. He was probably talking about roads with the "you didn't build that" comment, but the way he said it, with that brief tongue tie, it almost sounded like he was saying that you didn't build your own business. I think he was referring to roads, so I only really take one issue with what he said. Businesses who ship things on the roads use diesel fuel, and therefore pay a higher tax rate on the gas than they would if they used regular fuel. Additionally, they use far more fuel than individuals generally do. In that sense, through gasoline tax, the businesses have significantly helped to fund and maintain the roads they use to build their business, according to how much they use those roads.
HmmThinking I truly love your comments (also on the tip thread), they have so much depth and so much substance backed up by accuracy...may I ask where you're from?
I am a Wolverine myself
Romney ... Claims he graduated from Harvard but actuall grauated from a Mormon university and only spent a year out taking some classes at Harvard
Despite that when he was young enough to take part in the Vietnam war being a rich young white right winger he did what any rich young healthy white right winger would do and ran off to super socialist France in 1966 to avoid the draft and only returned to the US after he collided his car with another car killing his passenger. daddy had him rushed back to the US where he was again healthy young and of course available for the draft so he did what any good young healthy man eligeable for the draft does and gets married within weeks of his return, despite his relationship with his now to to be wife being non existant whilst in France. Being married of course meant he could now avoid the draft again for the following year or two. And yet he now claims that despite hs rush to go to serve his country in the war it was suspire for him to know that when his daddy was running to be president in 1968 (you know the year he was hiding in france= his father campaigned against the war)
Most likely to want to start a war with Iran or to only realise after the fact that Israel started a war with Iran but due to his faith will blindy support them no matter what as his religion is dispensationalist.
Wants to return US to private healthcare only through private healthcare companies because well private insurance always works and never has get out clauses do they.
Used to be pro abortion then anti then agin he was pro then when he had a chance to be president he became anti again cause lets face it his party have passed over 1000 state laws that are against a woman's right to her control her body in the last year alone, including that conception starts not from fertiliation but at your last period and drinking can be seen as child endangerment of the foetus even during those two weeks of course before yo were knocked up. Draconian did you say
Promises to sign off on tax cuts that will go the folks who earn over 5 million a year as enough is just never enough especially if like him you have so many houses.
Refuses to realease his own tax returns for the last decade as is the custom in the US to allow people to see just how much you fiddled or not to judge your character
And insulted the London Olympics at his first opportunity despite his own olympics being bankrolled by his church and only the little winter games that you can have in a swiss village anyway.
Daddy made millions for the car industry but when the car industry faltered he was against giving any goverment backed loans which would have led to 100s of thousand out of work within months if the loans did not happen.
Obama ...Actually did graduate from Harvard University Law school magna Cum laude in other words top few percent of his class and was voted editor of the student law magazine and bright enough to be a professor of law at another University with in 5 years of graduation. During that time he had also set up a voter registration drive with 10 staff and enrolled over 400,000 disenfranchised electorate to the polls in the subsequent election.
Actaully did what Bush failed to do for 12 years which was to quietly go about eh job of getting Usama Bin laden his just desserts
Actually for the fist time in history has introduced a healthcare system that means you will no longer be turned away from treatment in the USA if you are one of the third of the population that cannot afford to pay the private health companies insurance and therefore the old the infirm unemployed etc will all be covered at last as any first world country should be and without the scheme costing anyone to loose their right to still pay through the nose if they want to.
Despite being lumbered by BUSH signing off to create the largest deficit in world history has steered the US economy out of recession and whilst EU jobless as soared the US the actual us jobless figures are some of the best of the world inspite of the largest debtor. Refuses to offer tax cuts to individuals who earn over 5 million a year so the silly republicans keep blocking the budget votes.
Released his tax returns birth certificate medical so you can see he is a stand up guy.
Stood with the Arab world and the Brits and French to aid the arab spring and the removal of the tyrannts Muburak and Gadaffi without risking any lives or inflamation of arab sensitivities
Pushed the private enterprises to the be the solution to space travel so that now there are 3 independant companies that are capable of flying craft to the international space station at dramitcally reduced cost to the taxpayer.
Signed of the loans necessary to save the car industry in the US keeping it a strong manufacturer and seeing all loans repaid including interest and profit for the governement despite right wing opposition.
I'm British but have studied American History and Politics as part of my degree. Got a couple of close friends who are either American or emigrated there too so thats helped. I just find the subtule and not so subtule differences in culture fascinating. I'm sure it bores the tits off most other people, but not me. I would love to the opportunity to live in the States at some point in my life, but thats a tough one with visas etc.
As for the didn't build that statement it was a Very valid point that if you are a Us manufacturer you have benefitted frm state intervention for decades through use of the road network airports and ports railways etc and general infrastructure which is all paid for from the federal government and not from the tiny corporatin tax rates.
eg. All sea ports canals etc in the USA are designed and constructed by the 30,000 plus employees of the US Army corp of engineers as a service to the country so a new sea port will have the water way built by the government even if the port is owned by a private company at the end of the day. transport cost therefore do no reflect these cost, A bit like eurotunnel being gifted by the French British armies to eurostar if you like.
QED You didn't build that
Those generalizations were a bit massive ThinkingAboutIt, being as I have lived in the center of America for my entire life and always voted Democrat.
Ron Paul actually makes some sense and I'd rather have him than Romney, but not a chance in hell he'll make it in.
HmmThinking thanks for sharing. You really got it, I'd say. Cross-national comparative policy and also particularly your finesse in spotting ethnocentric issues within cross-cultural communication is obvious.
Cheerful yes they were generalisations. Also immigration and diversity are not the only reasons for voting Democrat.
Also, the Hispanic population for example also usually tend to be Republican voters.
But nevertheless is HmmThinking giving lots of great and accurate insight, me thinks
We have become so polarized lately though. It wasn't always like this, and I hate it, frankly. So many people insist on toeing the party line, and not really thinking about what the candidates are saying.
Wow just read what was posted whilst i was writing and amazed to find Nicholas actually agrees with me for a change.
I did put in the cavet about it being massively generalised. Of course people 'in the middle' and on the coast vote differently, but I think its the easiest way to explain the polarisation and lines of division to people who aren't familiar with American politics. It is very worrying even as an outsider; I can't imagine how I would feel about it if I was an American.
Brits complain about how their vote 'doesn't count' but the situation is far worse in the US, and its far harder to get your voice heard politically, particularly if you live in a State where you don't follow the 'norm' or you are somehow disadvantaged by race or social class.
I don't see how this division can carry on, without it at some point, coming to so sort of head - and there either being a major political crisis or even conflict. I don't see things going in the other direction and sides suddenly finding common ground and being more able to compromise. How far in the future that point is, I'm not sure.
I know you did.
I don't know. Something's going to happen at some point.
I know we (MidWesterners) sound crazy, if you look at what's being said on TV. (Michelle Bachmann is from my district, for the sweet Lord's sake...oh the shame ) but most of us are neither as mad or thick as we're made out to be, and just want to do well and help our neighbors and live our lives. We don't want to go to war or force religion on anyone; most of us are neither racist nor homophobic.
But yeah...this election's going to be an interesting one. I hope Obama pulls it out, I really do.
As people have said USA politics are right wing and ultra right wing.
In the Uk I'm a left wing, moderate Tory in the States I would be a Democrat through and trough.
Since I support abortion and gay marriage and am an atheist I couldn't be anything else.
Wow, this is just crazy!
I have been following US politics for a while, I support the Republican Party and THEY ARE NOTHING LIKE THE FUCKING RACIST FASCIST BNP. How out-of-touch can people get? They are not anti-women, see Romney's speech on women last night.
A few racist, homophobic, sexist idiots who believe the world is a few thousand years old, teh gayz want to convert your children to molest them, Area 51 is full of commies from outer space ready for Obama to launch at them in black UN helicopters to take away their guns but we didn't land on the moon, and Satan is behind everything DO NOT represent the mainstream Republicans.
This is everything I'd expect from Mumsnet though, A.K.A. metropolitan elite liberal feminist professional pro-abortion pro-gay marriage pro-mandatory sex ed pro-redistributive taxation pro-state funded healthcare anti-gun anti-austerity set.
I believe in God, pro-life, pro-family, I probably support gay marriage at the civil level though.
@ Extrospektiv: "This is everything I'd expect from Mumsnet though, A.K.A. metropolitan elite liberal feminist professional pro-abortion pro-gay marriage pro-mandatory sex ed pro-redistributive taxation pro-state funded healthcare anti-gun anti-austerity set."
So what are you doing on here if it's such a haven for liberal, pinko, gay, wealth-redistributing, lentil-weaving socialists aka non-Americans? I find MN quite diverse actually. Almost every thread on here winds up as a bunfight somehow.
@Ponders: I agree. The Paul Ryan speech and Clint Eastwood's incoherent ramble were two low points in the RNC. Paul Ryan saying that they want to preserve Medicare for future generations when they actually want to replace the program entirely for the under-55s with a voucher scheme is just such a shameless lie. For a devout Catholic, he must have very flexible morals to be able to lie like that.
And @nightlurker - yes, I can think you can judge a political party by their Vice-Presidential candidate's most important speech of the whole election campaign. If not, then what is the point of the conventions, RNC or DNC?
@NapaCab: You're stereotyping as much as the anti-Republican posters have stereotyped the Republicans. I was just the one calling BS on their ideas and overblown language ("BNP"? And they have been white-nationalist when exactly...?)
What am I doing on here? Have been lurking for some time and think pro-life pro-family voices should be heard. We exist!
Romney grew up in and remains a leader in a church that refused blacks to be members until 1978. (so he was 30 years old and didn't find that wrong enough to leave but nooooo..So not racist at all then.)
He organised the Olympics in Salt Lake City, a mormon town with only 1 percent black residents. Couldn't get more whiter if he tried could he.
Anyone could be a great SAHM mother like Ann Romney with her 250 million dollars and the houses full of servants. Sure she feels the pain of the woman who she wants to force birth then abandon them to the streets with their babies.
Ann Romney's speech was a joke. She said she understand immigrants cause guess what her granfather was an immigrant.... So her grandfather knew about struggle but she was born into and married into families of privilege and millions so what understanding did she gain when she was sat at home all those years in multi million dollar home with multi million dollar holiday homes scattered all over the US (one she has yet to find the time to stay in mind you)
Mitt Romney in a speech at a mine of a republican supporter a few days ago says to the assembled workers. " You've got a great boss" Incidentally the great boss docked everyones pay for the time not working spent at the speech.
I think that Extrospektiv has pretty much summed up the difference between British political sensitivities and the American Republican viewpoint.
In the States the right does seriously think that 'liberal' is a term of abuse, not a fairly normal position to live your life by.
Elite is oddly also a term of abuse, which is fundamentally stratnge, since anyone who aspires to be President has to be successful and have access to pot loads of money. But still candidates have to do their best to present themselves as folksy/ man next door types. Metropolitan and professional are also things to be suspicious of
Redistributing taxes is obviously socialist and therefore pretty evil (like most of Europe - Romney got grief for being able to speak French for goodness sake!)
Thinking that women should not be politically represented by a few wives saying what great husbands they have, that gay people should not be discriminated against, that sex education should be a bit more than 'just say no', and that choice about being pregnant is a personal affair are also to this group very extreme positions.
That many Americans live in fear of going bankrupt because of unexpected healthcare costs (even when insured) or that many simply cannot access essential healthcare (A&E often see people in crisis with conditions that could have been treated simply and easily)
Obviously anyone should be able to carry semiautomatic machine guns and buy as many rounds of ammunition as they feel like
I think the only position that is fairly similar are the views on austerity, given the cuts the coalition has made.
@Novack a lot of people were racist growing up back then because that's what they were taught, dems and GOP alike. I assume they don't believe it now those attitudes are not ruling society in large chunks of America and racism has became more of a private prejudice held by bigots. Before the 1970s it was a way of life and thinking, of course it was dead wrong, the Northerners saw racism was wrong way before that, but I can't blame him for who his parents were and where he grew up. Not his fault.
"Force birth"? You serious? "abandon to the streets"? This sort of hyperbole is beyond even half of MSNBC, Maddow, O'Donnell, Olbermann, the super-liberal establishment. (TBF though a super liberal echo chamber might not be so bad when the radically and maniacally conservative one exists with Rush, O'Reilly, Ann Coulter et al.- they balance each other out. Just neither of them are generally worth listening to for serious news coverage.)
What's the privilege-bashing? War on SAHM women? Barack Obama was hardly poor. Are you saying that Barbara Ehrenreich should be president, because she actually chose to live around the poor for an extended period (and made money writing about it.) Of course this may have deepened her existing comprehension but the whole point of having empathy is you can at least reasonably understand how others feel without having to walk in their shoes so literally. I hear Ehrenreich, Michael Moore, the Rage against the Machine members, Bill Maher, Bruce Springsteen and similar rich powerful individuals spouting their sympathy for the downtrodden of all sorts. I wouldn't mind- some of these people do a lot of good even though I don't agree with their hard-left wing politics- yet what gets me pissed is when they assume they are the ONLY ones who care about the poor and Republicans would want to let them all starve to death or shove them in workhouses/bring back slavery for them.
I used to summarise the process in very simple terms:
1) Only rich people get to run
2) It is about making the other candidate look bad, not about convincing with proper political plans and arguments.
3) The one that come out with the most convincing claim of devotion to religion, faith, or even a family dog, wins.
I am a bit cynical though and certainly very fed up with the whole process...
Sorry, forgot to include "family values" in point three, but I suspect it would be asumed considering how the popularity of Romney went up after he confessed waking up to a bed full of his children.
I've always found the Republican position difficult to understand, even when I was a lot more right wing than I am now. However we stayed with a family in North Dakota for a while and got a much better understanding as to why they had developed their views (the economic ones anyway, the social ones I still can't fathom).
So their family had settled in North Dakota on promises from the government about good land and support. Which were it turned out blatantly untrue. They and their neighbours only survived because they worked very hard and helped each other (and many didn't make it). It left them with a huge (and very natural) suspicion of government.
Another thing is that in the States there seems to be electioneering all the time, which means that there is little honesty and a lot of negative campaigns throwing the dirt around. The news is ridiculously polarised (we used to like switching between MSNBC and Fox, neither of which really reported the news, more opinion, often ridiculous in it's extreme position). At work people are expected to give their all but can be sacked on the spot for no reason. I think this makes people mistrustful and insular, very focused on looking after their immediate families.
Plus the American Dream is all about making it on your own despite the odds, so that feeds into the same dynamic. The main difference from Europe, or at least from the UK is that there hasn't really been any event that has truly brought people together in the way that World War II did (I don't think we'd have half of the Welfare State if it hadn't been for the common experiences during the war)
Economically I am Centre, not far-right, I can understand some level of redistribution and do not support dismantling socialised medicine in the UK; I even support Obamacare more than oppose it but would prefer it with Blunt Amendment and/or STUPAK (much better) Amendment for pro-life reasons.
You got it on MSNBC & Fox. Super-PACS = super-high funding for super crap.
Electioneering is a nightmare over there, the lies and baiting and idiotic extreme comments and personal attacks, they should grow up! Both sides! Between MSNBC and Fox is the liberal-leaning media, CNN/CBS/NBC. They tend to lean slightly Democrat. The LA Times and NYT are both mainly strong Democrat.
re: Welfare State- the economic centre has been vacated in Britain for decades, firstly by Tories effectively forced to accept the Post-War Consensus of left wing policies after WWII damage then by Labour pushed into removing clause IV by the Washington Consensus and Thatcher-Reagan blocking any realistic path to socialism.
Social views? Simple. Straightforward interpretation of Scripture plus centuries of tradition. They don't want to change. They don't want their children taught that a whole rainbow of sexualities/gender expressions are OK(I'm more pro-gay than average Republicans) and they quite rightly don't want schools offering free condoms, secret referrals for abortion or having teachers who keep secrets about sex for their minor children. They believe the sexual "revolution" of the sixties was wrong, as do I on most points, and we have a right to live by the old standards. Abortion? Not killing the unborn is far from extreme. Most GOP politicians in high places are exceptioneers anyway. Guns? Better to be able to protect yourself than call the cops when the attacker/ home invader/ rapist/ robber is already right there. Plus a vibrant hunting culture.
Not all Americans who believe in God are even like that. I know one here who would fit very well into "professional/metropolitan elite liberal" and is pro-choice to 22 weeks for any reason, pro-Roe v. Wade, anti-exclusivist (i.e. she doesn't believe other religions are entirely wrong), in favour of tax rises for the rich and affirmative action and will be voting Obama '12. She was a devout Episcopalian for the many years she spent there and still turns up regularly at church when she can, severe back pain permitting. I find it difficult to understand why a Christian would think that way, but the scriptures are subject to a lot of different interpretations once you leave the true fundamentalist ones who think that evolution is of the devil and masturbation will send you to eternal hell-fire. I can respect her more than I used to when I was seriously right wing.
Extrospektiv it was not before the 1970'sit was 1978 that he was still in that racist organisation in 1978 when he was a thirty year old man. Oh and they have never apoligised for it either and still maintain it in their doctrines of the faith. You do know they don't follow the bible don't you?
No war on SAHM mothers at all but a woman who has servants and 250 million dollars in her husbands bank account knows nothing of an immigrants daily struggle with no health insurance, no rent money and being forced to give birth to children because the schools are not allowed to actually teach contraception. Abstinence didn't work for Sarah Palin did it as she had one of those 3 months miracle pregnancies after the wedding and she didn't manage to instill these values onto any of her own children either did she.
What do you think about the fact that 11 states have mandated that health insurance cannot be used for abortion fees thus forcing the poor to be unable to plan a famly. What do you call the law in Utah, a mormon theocracy, that effectively means that no medical professional will provide an abortion. That is forced birthing. No choice for the poor there, is there. What about in Texas where you must be forced to listen to any foetal blood flow and if necessary through a probe inserted into your vagina. So not enough a woman gets raped and made pregnant she then has to be probed vaginally, made to listen to a swuish swuish of blood flow and then left for 24 to 72 hours to decide if she would not rather have the rapists child after all. Of course the bible does teach that a woman must marry her rapist. Like the taliban teach too
How do your own so called american family values side with Fox news which is owned by the same man who put 16 year old girls topless in his newspapers on page 3 day in day out for years. Don't you understand he is just paying you for profit as the middle of the media spectrum was crowded so the growth had to come from being hard right.
Where do you right to life values disappear to when 16,000 people a year die a t gunpoint and yet the reason that an armed person could save the day rarely happens. Like once in a blue moon compared to 16,000 deaths needlessly.
Where are your family values when George Bush was ordering the embargoes on Iraqi that lead to up to 1 million children starving to death.
really going by your post you want to live in a middle ages theocracy so hey since you seem to like no rights for woman anti abortion and limited education for children why don't all the folks like you move to, Afghanistan and show the Taliban how to really do oppression. You share the same god after all, unlike Romney who believes in an angel called moroni who was invented around 150 years ago by a man with his head literally in a sack.
Oh and about free condoms. Romney handed out about 100,000 for free at the Salt Lake Olypmics so i guess he flip flopped on that too.
great discussion. Thanks to all
As for Roe v Wade you are aware of course that the number of abortions carried out annually pre Roe v Wade are almost identical to the number post.
Oh and most rapists are actually a well known person to the victim not a random stranger which explains that you never hear of a woman shooting her rapist because he probably knew if she had it and where it was and had it pointed at her as he raped her.
Novack, that's way over the line but I won't report because I want people to see how bigoted you are over people with faith. I made it clear in 2 posts I am not with the fundie/hard-evangelical/extremist/conspiracy theory views of a handful of Republicans. I even called them idiots and maniacally conservative. And said I support Obamacare and civil gay marriages. I am only just Republican between the two parties, there are things I prefer the Democratic view on.
I don't believe in a medieval theocracy. That line is just a stupid one. You complained about negative campaigns, well we aren't running for election here, why make extremist negative lines about me just because I'm conservative on certain things? that is hypocritical. Oh and why did you not use the words BEATING HEART or HEARTBEAT, bringing up "rapist's child" (it's the WOMAN'S child), calling a state of the US bound by the Constitution a Mormon theocracy- OBVIOUS bullshit, mocking right-to-life which sets up the false dichotomy that we can care about born AND unborn humans and every single pro lifer I know does so.
Tell me to move to Afghanistan? That is so outrageous I don't know where to begin. Rupert Murdoch? I support the family values, not the owner and his misogynist page 3. I do NOT support FOX NEWS, notice how I said it was too extreme, as with MSNBC (too liberal). So there was no grounds for you to bring him up. Cheap Old Testament shots? Check. Putting me in with murdering woman hating terrorist backward scum? Check.
Gun deaths are not "needless", gang violence comes from people either choosing to lead an evil lifestyle or being drawn into it by desperate circumstances. Armed people save the day frequently, the more gun-friendly environments there are the better for that. Ideally I'd prefer no guns but once they are widely dissipated as in the US the government shouldn't come for them. There are other ways of solving the violence problem without gun control.
Armed people do not save the day which is why 9 innocent passers by were shot by the NY police tee other day. Tests have freqentely shown that the concealed carry person who draws at a shootout invariable either gets shot first or by the arriving law enforcement as a suspect.
There is no audible heartbeat until around 9 weeks and then only if you use doppler which is why the forced vaginal probe to image inside a blob of cells that is a pinprick size but blown up to full A4 to play on an emotionally vunerable victims mind.
I know about rape figures. I'm a pro-life feminist, ffs I have studied plenty about rape and the misogynist culture that encourages it. I have demolished pro-rape comments IRL and online about 20 times in the past couple of weeks while the Akin/Galloway etc controversy was being spoken about a lot. But those stranger rapes still add up to a lot, more than the 16,000 a year even. And after any rape a woman can feel so terrified she won't go out. Here in the UK women who would feel secure enough to lead a normal life if they could carry a concealed gun end up on the scrapheap due to rape trauma. That's what this country condemns them to with an absolute handgun ban and five-year prison terms for breaking it. I'm not just talking about strangers here. There are women in their 20s and up, living alone terrified of their fathers or uncles coming back to hurt them the way they did in their childhood. Terrified their ex will get "revenge" for being dumped and decide he doesn't need consent because hey, they've done it before, so that's okay. These women should be able to defend themselves. Frequently advocates are asked questions about self-defence, they are forced to explain about "reasonable force" which is a dodgy standard and that the victim can't carry even a can of pepper spray. This law is hardly going to reassure them.
If you want a low sentence over here, better to sodomise a string of 10 year old girls than actually sell a few guns to people or convert blank firing ones to live ammunition. That should outrage anyone who cares about girls and women.
Incidentally since the level of gun ownership is directly proportional to suicide rates aroudn the world and twice as many people die needlessly die to suicide by gunshot than do homicide by gunshot per year in the USA surely the church who view suicide as a mortal sin should be out and out against aiding and abbetting by gun ownership. Glad to see your compassion for all those who died and are shot by drive bys or in a cinema, campus on the wrong day etc was because they are evil.
Taliban in Afghanistan are not considered a terrorist organisation by the US State Department, of course you knew that right?
National Counter-Terrorism Center. Well understood to be terrorist even if not on the official state department list.
Gun ownership doesn't aid and abet suicide. That reminds me of the argument I once heard that all road-use cars should be restricted by a mechanism to 70mph and unless and until this happens, car manufacturers are aiding and abetting speeding and causing death by dangerous driving. It also trivialises suicide.
Massacres are a whole different thing to gun violence in gangs which is what I keep hearing about when I read pro-gun-control material. Every so often like after Aurora a massacre will be spoken of. The rest of the time it's always about gangs and shootings in inner-city areas. The mighty and influential Children's Defense Fund, who are officially bipartisan but in practice Democrat because they support big-government solutions to child poverty (which I would consider case by case), love the idea of gun control and were a byproduct of the civil rights movement and so filled with people of color who opposed Republicans outright due to the Southern Strategy, produces its "protect children not guns" report every year hectoring lawmakers about gang violence. This is what I said should be remedied by tackling the deeper roots and not just trying to restrict the weapons.
Could you please stop spewing anti-conservatism hate and overloaded rhetoric? You're not Rachel Maddow are you? I am not speaking like Rush or Hannity- largely because I don't have their extremist, blinkered cast of mind and OTT approach to life. Please respond in the same respectful way.
Nooka -- excellent posts.
Would like to add that there is a strong sense of persecution on the part of some sections of the Right, a sense that there is an Establishment that the country needs saving from.
And some people with some mighty strange ideas about what the lives of women in their 20s and up in Britain are like.
You're funny, Extrospektiv.
Gang violence doesn't matter to the pro gun lobby because it is blacks and hispanics who get killed in huge numbers -- and they don't matter to the NRA and the Gun Owners of America because they are not white.
There are several things that Novack has posted that are either completely wrong, or half truths, but there is one in particular that I wish to address:
"Romney grew up in and remains a leader in a church that refused blacks to be members until 1978. (so he was 30 years old and didn't find that wrong enough to leave but nooooo..So not racist at all then.)"
Blacks were never denied membership in the Mormon church. The early mormons suffered a great deal of persecution, in part, because of their anti-slavery views.
Great thread, really informative. Thanks for all your posts.
Of course Republicans aren't racist. Apart from those thrown out of the convention for throwing peanuts at a black camerawoman. And for saying "this is how we feed animals around here".
This is fantastic, thank you all for posting. Keep them coming
Haven't read all of this yet, but just got to the bit where the term "professional" is used as an insult by a republican.
I don't know whether the correct response is to laugh, cry or be very scared indeed. All three probably.
Oh, Extrospektiv you're still here, good!
Please could you explain to me why on earth you have a problem with professionals?
"This is everything I'd expect from Mumsnet though, A.K.A. metropolitan elite liberal feminist professional pro-abortion pro-gay marriage pro-mandatory sex ed pro-redistributive taxation pro-state funded healthcare anti-gun anti-austerity set."
I can understand you are opposed politically to the rest, but professionals?
You mean like doctors and teachers, right? i.e. anyone with employment based on professional qualifications.
This thread is brilliant. I studied American politics as part of my degree, so although I know how the mechanics work, its fascinating to see how/what American's think about the parties/candidates/policies.
For me, I just don't think I will ever understand the mindset of Republicans. I don't know if its just the UK Media but Romney/Ryan seem pretty fecking scary! I have a friend in America and he will be voting for Romney as he thinks Obama is too inexperienced and just hates him. His only problem with Romney seems to be that he's a bit cheesy .
What I really don't understand though, particularly with republicans, is how can they be anti-govt intervention in healthcare, except in the cases of women and their bodies? Apart from being utterly wrong (IMHO) its also extremely hypocrticial!
With respect Extrospetiv, when you said "This is everything I expect from Mumsnet", well yes exactly because its a British based website and frankly some of the stuff you yourself have come out with a lot of Brits would consider pretty unacceptable and dated in 2012. It just shows the difference in culture and the face that we understand each other a lot less than we think we do. This thread is aimed at a British audience and to explain US politics in terms we understand and can compare to things we know.
I am well aware that Romney isn't one of the extreme members of the Republican party; but his party does have a lot of members who do come out with remarks that would get you arrested in the UK. And they have been elected into office. Whether or not that is reflective of the party or not, they are tolerated by mainstream Republicans and that in itself would not be acceptable to Brits and within British politics.
This comment has really made me laugh really hard
This is everything I'd expect from Mumsnet though, A.K.A. metropolitan elite liberal feminist professional pro-abortion pro-gay marriage pro-mandatory sex ed pro-redistributive taxation pro-state funded healthcare anti-gun anti-austerity set.
Well yes because they are all mainstream British values! They are very central to our national identity and love of democracy and tolerance.
We are different as nations and we, and most of the rest of Europe, simply don't have the same kind of politics and we struggle to understand a lot of American values as they totally conflict with the ones we are brought up to cherish and consider most important.
It doesn't mean I don't like Americans. It doesn't mean I don't have Republican voting friends. What it does mean is I struggle to understand is views that we actually find offensive and are still tolerated in mainstream politics in the US. Which is why actually the BNP analogy isn't that far wrong - because the BNP sit on the very edge of what we consider acceptable in British politics and the Republican Party do come out with things that fall slightly beyond that limit.
There is no way, that if we had a black Prime Minister you would have vocal, well respected politicians and businessman (Hello Mr Trump) making remarks about where he was born and how he needed to show his birth certificate. It just would not be accepted. Not even if a remark was made in jest. (Hello Mr Romney).
We have different standards and different limits of what is acceptable and what isn't. We are two different worlds.
"Blacks were never denied membership in the Mormon church. The early mormons suffered a great deal of persecution, in part, because of their anti-slavery views."
I don't know if that is true, but I know mormon faith teaches black are black because God punished them for their sins. I do know however that Utah's main iniversity didn't allow black players in their basketball teams at least until the 1980s.
I have to say that at some point in my life I have been tempted to join that faith but have not been able to go pass by their very racist slant.
With regard to Mormons and racism. Lets not dwell too much on the past. If racism did exist, and things have moved on since then, is it fair to keep dragging it up for the sake of an argument?
I don't know what the current position is with the Mormons but thats the relevant point, not what it was. Thats what you should be looking up and finding out.
If you look back to 1978 within British politics and culture are we squeaky clean? The answer is very definite no. Maybe better than the US overall, but it was certainly very much institutionalised. So ask yourself why is this being dragged up? Its part of trying to make a candidate look bad...
Hmmm, how dare you say 'if racism did exist', the whole of american society was built on racism that they still have not gotten over yet. if you don't know your past you can never improve and do better in the future.
there are lots of americans who want obama out because he is black, they want 'their' country back.
the past is brought up to show what is going on with a candidate, romney's speeches over the last few months are not his whole persona. he will say anything to get elected. his career was built on putting americans out of work. people should know that and judge him on that. that is his whole economic experience, impoverishing others to make himself rich. will that make him a good president?
creighton thats not what I'm saying. I personally think that Romney IS racist and that a lot of Republicans ARE racist.
My point was to say that, you shouldn't say that Mormons are racist based on stuff from 1978 as people in this thread have suggested. I think thats just as ignorant and I think his religion is being used against Romney, which again is wrong and doesn't help. Even if Romney IS a racist.
It would be wrong to do that if a candidate was a British Muslim, so why is it ok to do it if its a white Mormon? There is a double standard going on here.
In short, judge someone as an individual based on their personal track record rather than just the general views of their religion. To do otherwise is very often equally discriminatory.
I think a lot of people in this country would very upset if they were called homophobic because their church didn't support gay marriage and would say that didn't represent them, even though they were members of the church.
I also think you need to credit organisation which do make changes, rather than continually beat them with a stick about it.
Like I say, I don't know what the position is with the Mormons, but I am deeply uncomfortable with using remarks about a religion as a whole to attack an individual.
I always smirk at UK reporting/comment on American politics (particularly the Republicans).
Here's the news guys: they absolutely do not give a fuck that you think they are a bunch of primitive reactionaries. In fact they don't even know, and don't understand your thinking.
Just because they speak the same language doesn't mean they share your culture.
I would not assume a Republican was racist. I would, however, assume a racist would vote Republican.
(I'm American and have not yet been proven wrong on this.)
It is a big reason for my visceral dislike of the Republican Party.
Mardyfish what a strange thing to say. Who is assuming they have the same culture? I'm not sure anyone thinks that, do they? And who is assuming Americans are bothered what we think about them either?
Just because people here take an interest in/comment on something that very much affects the rest of the world doesn't mean they are assuming Americans will take note of those viewpoints! I certainly wouldn't assume that, and the fact that many Americans show little or no interest in the rest of the world is something to comment on in itself, IMO.
there are times when I am proud of the country where I was born
and others where I cannot WAIT to get my UK passport
not that the voting options in the UK are much less toxic !!
Talkin I hear ya!
When Bush was reelected in 2004, I was one of the many who said, that's it, I'm leaving. I actually did leave the next year and haven't moved back. Every time I get homesick and think maaaaybe I could go back, an election cycle starts and I remember why it's so awful to be home (I lived in DC so it was particularly bad).
It just breaks my heart because there is so much that is GOOD about the US and Americans, that gets overlooked so much. But I just can't deal with the insanity anymore. I guess that makes me weak but ah well.
18 months til my French passport
Just some clarification of how healthcare works in the U.S. (I am a U.S. citizen living in UK but lived and worked in U.S. for 15 years). Healthcare is mostly offered by employers. I say mostly because you are usually required to work full-time, or 40 hours per week, in order to receive healthcare, which you still pay for as a deduction in your earnings. As a single woman, I was paying nearly $400 per month for employer-based health insurance. A family of 4 can pay as much as $2000 for health insurance.
And even with health insurance, you have to pay a co-payment to visit the doctor, for prescriptions, or any treatment you may require.
If your employment is under 40 hours per week, you will not even qualify for the company plan. So you will have to find insurance on your own if you want to have it. A lot of companies routinely offer 36-hour or 38-hour per week jobs so that they don't have to offer the healthcare benefit as it's expensive for businesses as well.
Once you are 65 years or older, you are eligible for Medicare, which is the government's healthcare program which is funded by federal taxpayer revenue. The idea is that you pay into it for your working life and then you can use it in your retirement. Some people with disabillities < 65 years old will qualify for this program, but not everyone. But even Medicare seems to be under threat.
If you are a college student and you graduate without a job (like so many), you would have had to get insurance on your own because you are over 21 years old. Obama's plan at least changed that so that these folks could stay on their parents' plans until they are 26.
Some states offer public health clinics which are funded by state tax revenue. My sister works in one of these in Florida as a paediatrician. Her appointment book is full until November.
Healthcare companies will often not insure people who have 'pre-existing conditions'--which can be anything. So people who have medical problems risk losing their coverage if they lose their employment or circumstances change.
If you are 'between jobs' or out of work, health insurance is an enormous expense. I always found it prohibitive and went without until I was in my next job. While very scary, I had to choose the ability to buy food and pay for shelter. Thank God nothing ever happened.
So many things need changing. But this is one of the biggest. Obama's just begun to transform the healthcare system. And the Supreme Court's verdict to uphold Obama's health insurance bill can easily be rescinded by the next President.
I am Actually British with family connections to USA, mainly Republican, although I have never spent more than two weeks there.
I am not a "reactionary" of any description. With regard to my saying how most of the British people are pro Obama and especially on this website...
"Metropolitan elite " neither reflect our society as a whole, this is classism against the majority
"Liberal "- liberalism is a philosophical part of the Western tradition since enlightenment and so could be seen as a core value but in the narrow political sense I intended here and thought would be understood as such is just one of numerous positions.
"Professional"- Is not a term of abuse but refers to what I have seen lurking on here that more people talk about being professional or management than lower down the employment classification, MN has been described as "(mainly ) middle class " by journalists across the spectrum. This correlates to less conservative view on average
I do not think that pro life or letting parents decide whether their children are taught sex education in school are way out of the mainstream : 1 in 4 opposed to abortion consistent across gender and age groups so a minority but hardly extreme. For parental rights the majority is with me! I do not support easy gun laws over here but there should be a personal protection license available to groups such as rape and domestic violence victims and innocent family members of undercover police for example. Healthcare, I said I support Obama's affordable care act almost fully.
Do not make the anti-American assumption they are culturally inferior to Europe or the patronizing assumption British citizens all share a narrow view and thus hate Republicans.
/extremist-baiting calmly replied to
In the US, it it considered a disadvantage to be known as a draft-dodger in time of war, like for example President Clinton, President George W Bush, not-yet-Vice President Romney, and even (gasp) John Wayne?
Why is "Liberal" a term of abuse?
Just to add to kateemo's great explanation -- many hourly paid jobs in retail and the service industry, especially for small businesses, do not come with health insurance. So even working full-time does not mean you have health care. I was a waitress for years and was never offered insurance.
This is one of the reasons why a lot of people don't have insurance, and one of the things that the Obama plan aims to change, by making it easier for small businesses and individuals to access insurance plans.
I also think that now insurance companeis can no longer refuse you insurance because of preexisting conditions. They can charge you a fortune for it though.
The greatest thing about the NHS is that it separates health care from your employment status. It's amazing!
Piglet it used to be a big deal, I'm not sure it matters anymore.
Look at 2004, John Kerry was a decorated war veteran, Bush dodged the war, he still won.
Liberal - not so much a term of abuse as a position I do not usually support being more conservative than liberal though I have views which would go under both headings. I am not what the US pundits call a movement conservative who takes the rightwing side on all issues. I used to be.
not you, you say you're British.
I mean when used in the US.
I wonder if they'd mean it as abusive to call someone (say) a Liberal Iranian or a Liberal Russian.
Liberal has become a term of abuse from many right-wingers, I think starting in the 1980s thanks to some evil genius political marketers.
It doesn't have the same connotation as in Europe. In the US it means someone very left-wing, basically a wussy commie hippie PC bleeding heart un-American fool.
When used in USA implies out of touch with family values and belief in limited government, personal responsibility, constitution being constructed strictly
Heartland Americans have the idea of a lib as some well off privileged person in NY, Boston or California eating exotic food and drinking fancy stuff around a big dinner table and watching a lot of specialist / subtitled films and letting their teenagers have their boy/girlfriends stay in their room, and not caring about American tradition. Effectively a cultural defector to Europe. Which is spectacularly inaccurate for many left leaning people but hey, stereotypes are like that.
Adding to Kateemoo's explanation as well, if at a slightly tangent. In the US, it is perfectly lawful to treat part timers less favourably than full time employees. So as well as contending with lack of health insurance, a part timer may well have to cope with lower pro rata pay, no paid holiday, etc. A particularly hard choice for mothers/fathers who would prefer to work fewer hours, and a big reason why so many mothers in the US who work do so full time. The suspicion of government means I have never seen a mainstream US politician seriously challenge this.
Three things I have seen regarding healthcare in the US shocked me to the core:
- someone who had been in a traffic accident refusing to get in the ambulance sent as that hospital was outside plan (about 2008, so I don't know if anything has changed);
- hearing a woman in her 20s with arthritis explaining that she couldn't get her own insurance as she had a pre-existing condition. So when she came off her parent's plan, she had no cover, and no hope of getting any, even if she were somehow able to work the full time hours needed to get it;
- a Christian family praying that, when the mother's water's broke early,God would steer the doctors not to do too many tests (they had no insurance and couldn't afford them).
Nightlurker UTAH was the last state in the US to have slaves up until 1862 held by mormon pioneer who lived there and the rules of blacks entering membership also know as the priesthood not to go through the temple in the mormon church were changd by the announcemnet of a phrophecy in 1978. These are matters of historical fact that you can easily check.
Also since Brigham Youngs proclamation that one drop disqualifies you will rarely if ever see a mix raced mormon family as one drop of non white blood disqualified anyone from the temple. Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110
The greatest thing about the NHS is that it separates health care from your employment status. It's amazing!
Not only in the UK, in all countries who have a socialised health care system. Also it is not for free, as usually referred to, of course it is financed by tax and deductions in the UK and in other Western European countries.
I have yet to meet an American who lived in Europe and didn't love this.
Isn't it a case of being afraid of something you don't really know and don't really understand and have always be taught to mistrust when it comes to Americans and socialised healthcare?
I dunno, my friends and I are liberals and have always referred to ourselves as such. Never thought it was a bad term.
I have friends who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, as well.
"Blacks were never denied membership in the Mormon church. The early mormons suffered a great deal of persecution, in part, because of their anti-slavery views."
After Brigham Young took over the Mormon Church mirrored the views of society in general about black people. Under his predecessor Joseph Smith a few black men were allegedly ordained but all that changed when Young became leader and it wasn't until the late 60s (as with the rest of American society) that the exclusion of blacks was questioned and steps taken finally during the 70s to rectify the situation.
The early Mormons may have had abolitionist views but they observed the law in slave states where they lived (mainly Missouri) and did not interfere in the relationship between slave and master by baptising slaves or preaching to them for instance, unless the owners allowed it, and by baptising slaves if the owners asked (if the owners were converting for instance).
The weird thing about American opposition to 'socialised medicine' is that having to fork over for employees' health insurance and pay the administrative costs that fall to the office manager or whoever takes care of all that eats into the profit of companies of over 50 employees (who are obliged to provide employee health insurance).
In other words, American businesses are in competition with companies in 'socialised medicine' countries that do not have this drain on income because to a large extent the cost of insurance is borne by the individual employee through taxation. It puts American companies at a disadvantage.
It also makes moving your operation abroad an attractive proposition for American companies.
I don't think Republican voters of either white or blue collar varieties should be as gung ho as they are about private health insurance.
Americans baulk at "socialised" medicine
but consider it perfectly normal that the federal government underwrite mortgage debts
go figure ?
I'm a tad biased about the wonders of US healthcare because Medicaid paid for my sister's kidney transplant but will not pay for her anti rejection drugs so she will never be well enough to work. Do the math.
Loved the Simpsons' slogan on the Fox News helicopter:
"Fox News: Not Racist, but Number 1 with racists"
Even better when you note that Fox is the channel which funds the Simpsons.
do they call it a "socialised poloce force" a "socialised road system" "socialised fire department" and "socialised street lighting"?
Are the National Parks, sea-ports and canals "Socialised?"
Piglet what's your point??? If you have no clue about official health care policy terms, then please...
Wasn't Piglet's point that socialised is being used as a derogatory term, but we don't label other things the government maintains as 'socialised', we accept it is best for government to do it?
It is NOT a derogatory term!!!!! It is an international health care policy term!!!!!
"Socialised Medicine" is not a term we use in my country, worldcitizien. I gather from your post that it is a term used in some of the countries you live in, so you attach a particular meaning to the term.
It seems to be used in a derogatory or hostile way to refer to medical service that is funded partly or wholly out of taxation, is that what it means to you?
In my country, and in many others, there are various other services that are also funded partly or wholly by taxation, such as the services I mentioned above, and, for example, many schools. Would that be described as "Socialised Education" where you come from?
It is an international health care policy term!!!!!
Not in my country, worldcitizen
I will confess that I am only familiar with health services and terminolgy in three European countries, only one of which uses English as the official language, so if you claim to know terminology in all countries in the world that use the English language, then you have the advantage of me.
I did not say it was derogatory. I said it was used that way. Which in US politics it is . And in the UK it is rarely if ever used in a domestic context- hence some people only knowing it from its US use.
piglet please, does this really need a response???
Socialised medicine means Communism to the section of American politicians who use it to rile up the voters. The fact that the thoughts of pay at point of service medicine makes people quake with fear is a hangover from the days of the Red Scare, bomb drills in classrooms, McCarthyism, etc. America in the 1950s was in many ways as much a thought control state as the USSR was.
I agree it is not an international healthcare policy term, It is a term invented by Ronald Reagan.
FREE at point of service...
I don't think worldcitizen was able to help, and I am happy to continue without her response.
So if it does convey "free at point of service" and, I think, paid wholly or largely out of taxation, is the same term used to describe schools and other public services?
Piglet it's not that I am not able to help, and more not willing to help...
Really loving this read!
Sorry, simple question but why do some Americans like Mitt Romney? - he seems to be a broad church ( excuse pun) for a whole host of people. America is so huge that I believe views are so radically polarised across such a vast area - we are a much smaller culture in UK.
What ticks does Romney get? Family man?
Romney gets ticks for being a businessman in a party which fetishises business.
He gets ticks for being clearly religious, even though some in his party distrust his particular brand of religion.
He gets ticks for being rich, in a Republican subculture which is more and more tending to demonise the poor for being deserving of being poor.
He's the man who took the olympic games in 2002, which were failing, and turned them around so they were on time and within the budget. He also helped turn around the Massachusetts economy. His track record for making that have been failing, work, is what I find appealing.
very interesting.. will read when not saturday night!
He got ticks for being the least insane out of the crew of batshit lunatics who were all running for the nomination.
This is extremely interesting with very informative posts. I do think there is a massive cultural divide whereby the social values of the christian extreme right of the Republian party have no place in British politics. British politics tolerates religious sensibilities, politics is not based upons these sensibilities.
My understanding is that the very extreme Christian right is probably a vocal proportion with money and who are influential on that basis. I would imagine, especially at grassroots levels, that there are many who identify as Republicans on a predominantly fiscal basis, and do not share all of the social standpoints that are identified with Republicanism. Like cheerfulyank.
There is a very good episode of The West Wing where Donna'a Republican boyfriend (the lawyer, not Christian Slater's character) explains why he is republican. He distances himself from the extreme right social policies and explains the idea of fiscal conservatism and autonomy and less government intervention in ordinary life. The latter makes a great deal more sense now having read some of the helpful posts up thread highlighting the very different attitude Americans have towards government as a concept.
Romneys lack of effectiveness in the Mass. economy is widely reported and the only reason for the reduced unemployment by the end of his term was down to the national policies implemented by the Democrats at the time. The actual reduction in unemployment in Mass. and improved economy mirrors that of the whole US at the time. Anyone who knows anything about politics in the US knows that governors have little if any possibility to effect the economy of their state. For him to claim any improvement was affected by him is disingenuous.
For those who wonder why faith should come into things don't forget that for 5 years the republicans have tried to paint Barack Obama and protestant Christian born in the US as a muslim born in Kenya. Fox news itself had to shut down its chat boards as hey were populated by the tea party activists who would post pictures of bacon and pork etc to drive away any democrats on the chat rooms by trying to imply that barack supporters would be offended by any pork product as eating the pig is banned in islam. What the idiot tea party bunch forget was that eating pig is also banned in Judaism so they were offending all the jewish who support republicans as well. They are an anti semite racist bunch to the core.
TEA PARTY RACISM
No, free public (state) education is considered a birthright and one of the beacons America shines forth for the rest of the world. It is criticised heavily because of perceptions of poor standards, and funding is always a contentious issue but the idea that people would have to pay for education directly would cause ructions. People pay indirectly through local taxes and state income taxes and are very aware of this.
The inherent inequality of public education that is funded from local municipal property taxes doesn't faze a lot of people. Poor municipalities generally have bad schools and prosperous ones tend to have good schools. Large cities with large school districts often have good schools in some neighbourhoods and horrible ones in others. Families look for houses to buy or property to rent in good school districts and they are in general happy to pay the necessary taxes assessed on valuation of their property in order to send their children to the schools they have chosen. If that is not possible, they make all kinds of sacrifices to send children to parochial elementary schools or Catholic high schools (Catholics tend to run more private schools than any other denomination, and especially in cities) even if they are not Catholic. Enforcement of catchment areas is rigorous and offenders can be prosecuted and asked to pay the tuition fee charged to out of district students by some districts. The question of educational vouchers that would enable families to send children to better performing schools even if they were religious-run is a Republican favourite while Democrats tend to want to improve the public schools and not cross the church-state divide.
I have a question. I find the whole gun control issue in America utterly baffling.
Could someone enlighten me a bit? US per capita gun deaths are way way higher than ours, we have strict gun controls, they don't. Do those
weirdos people who argue against gun control and for their right to purchase sub machine guns genuinely think that's a coincidence or do they think those deaths are a reasonable price to pay to preserve an outdated, completely out of context right to bear a musket?
I realise my own views are clear in this post but it is a genuine question. I am genuinely baffled by it and would be interested to hear the logic.
Flowery, it's a really difficult issue. I'm completely anti-guns so I have a hard time understanding it myself. I think it's actually a couple different strands of thought.
Some people are really afraid/paranoid about crime and self-defence. Maybe because they have been victims in the past, maybe because they are buying into often-racist stereotypes, but this kind of fear drives a lot of pro-gun feeling. The idea is that the criminals all have guns and 'decent people' need to be able to protect themselves (unspoken subtext: because you can't rely on the police).
Sometimes it ties into the anti-government feeling. There is a knee-jerk reaction against the government telling you what you can do, especially if you think it's guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Some people just really like guns. Maybe they grow up in rural settings where everyone has guns and it's no big deal.
It's hard to explain why people want gun rights when obviously there is a lot of harm from guns. But then, you could ask why Brits allow alcohol to be sold so cheaply and at all hours when clearly there is a lot of deaths and violence because of alcohol abuse. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible and resent being restricted because of people who aren't.
I personally think it's a serious pathology in American culture. But then I'm a bedwetting liberal east coaster
I think there are a lot of historical undercurrents to the language used by the republican right.
'Elite', 'professional', 'establishment', and the distrust of government, the perception that it is an alien and malign entity -- all harken back to the days of FDR and the New Deal and following on that the Civil Rights movement. Behind some of the suspicion is the idea that it consists of well-educated Commie Jews pulling strings. FDR and the Kennedy and Johnson administrations featured prominent Jewish technocrats doing things that upset fundamentalist Christian susceptibilities.
JFK had the added disadvantage of being Catholic and from Boston. Catholics were as popular in the South as Jews were. Only after Roe v Wade did some protestant denominations come to an uneasy acceptance of the right of Catholics to participate in American democracy.
The Birther thing and the Joe Wilson (Rep.- SC) outburst during the State of the Union address a few years back would never have happened under a white president.
The feelings and the tone of the Republican right on social issues (and attitude to Catholics) mirror some of the Unionist/Loyalist politics of Northern Ireland. Not surprising since many of the places in the US (the south and south east and spreading into the south west) where Christian fundamentalism and conservative social values predominate are populated by people of Ulster Scots Presbyterian and Calvinist stock.
You can't compare people living in rural states with people living in cities like New York. People in rural parts of Arizona, New Mexico etc can't rely on the police, their nearest police station might be more than an hours drive away. America is really too big to have a single national government telling everyone what to do. The vast majority of government should be turned over to individual states. If the coastal states want to ban guns and have socialised medicine, they should absolutely be able to do so.
They can't. The Supreme Court has ruled that bans on guns by states and municipalities are unconstitutional. Cities that had handgun bans can no longer ban guns. Chicago had a ban and it was overturned.
Illinois remains (iirc) the only state to retain a ban on concealed carrying of weapons. Only the technical details of gun carrying and ownership can be fiddled with. The fundamental right to own and bear arms has been stated and upheld time and time again.
The constitution has a lot to say about state's rights vs federal rights and there was also a civil war fought on the issue...
Conspiracy theory, mathanxiety. I am not a Birther or a 9/11 "truther" (i.e. liar) and your idea that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion/ Reds under the Bed years are the cause for me or Republicans to use words like professional/MEL/ Establishment as terms of suspicion is just as ridiculous as those two ideas. The sensible explanation is as follows:
Religious structures of social import and attendance at organised religious events tends to decline with increased wealth in society, even if those people maintain a strong private spirituality. As GOP voters tend to be more religious they are concentrated in the poorer part of the USA. This is well known.
All the worst poverty, etc. figures are in the red states of the south and midwest and their economy is still based more around manufacturing, agriculture and lower level service industries so a lot less of the people will be professionals, post-bachelor degree holders, and so on. It is a widely acknowledged fact that the upper middle class, who I refer to- i.e. doctors, scientists, academics, middle managers in state/fed govt agencies, school principals, not billionaires who donate more than these people's annual earnings to GOP super PACs for tax reasons- are very much more likely to vote Democrat.
Do you know how many people are in the John Birch Society or similar now? They just have zero influence on GOP politics. McCarthyism and anti-semitism is in their past. Anti-Catholicism: while I believe it is still harboured in the hearts of many due to their fundie beliefs, they realise that promoting life and family values in a democracy through overlapping consensus between different groups is the only way forward politically, and hating those who support their main ideas is exactly what liberals would want them to do so as they'd lap up the split vote and win all their electoral campaigns. RCC vote has been a great boost to the GOP since Roe and other social issues took centre stage; now the generation gap is opening up with young Catholics serious about getting a pro-life, traditionalist president and their older coreligionists continuing their own tradition (of lifelong Dem support, cf. unions, war, civil rights, other issues.)
I see you use the term "socialised medicine"
Following on from what was said above, what do you see as the key moral difference between education, funded out of taxation and free at point of use, and healthcare, funded out of taxation and free at point of use?
Why is one called "state" and one called "socialised?"
If one "good" and one "bad?"
If so, why?
I've seen that argument used about "socialised medicine" before vs. other government run services... it's just a term that is used when something has been in private hands for the entire existence of the country.
I'm somewhere in between. Affordable Care Act, usually in derogatory contexts branded "Obamacare"=good. "Medicare for all" may be too far in the direction of big government and lack of personal responsibility. Some people assume that not believing in free-at-point-of-need healthcare is automatically uncompassionate or poor bashing on this side of the pond; Europeans tend to prefer collective responsibility after WWII as has been said, but this may change over time too. I'm a moderate in US economic terms which would make me fiscally conservative here.
People who don't like the idea of state-run schooling call them "government schools", which is always said with a sneer. I would not go that far, Ron Paul would like to defund them- he is admirable on the odd thing but way off base with this.
"This is everything I'd expect from Mumsnet though, A.K.A. metropolitan elite liberal feminist professional pro-abortion pro-gay marriage pro-mandatory sex ed pro-redistributive taxation pro-state funded healthcare anti-gun anti-austerity set."
You say that like it's a bad thing!
why did s/he accuse math of bringing up the protocols of the elders of zion?
You say that like it's not a bad thing!
For those who believe that the baby boomers went too far off course on a whole bundle of issues, for conservative parents who wish their children to pick up conservative values, it is.
Because math brought up "commie Jews" which was a stereotype from that time period, I was showing how outdated her reasoning was in why modern Republicans use phrases like "metropolitan elite liberal" to attack their opponents or would equate "professional" with Democrat supporter. I was trying to shut down the ridiculous Jew-baiting after the even worse race-baiting pro-Obama comments were made several times before today.
I would love to say that your right and that I completely respect and accept your opinions (cos I'm tolerant like that, something to do with being liberal ) but while you support the dictating of what women can and can't do with their OWN bodies , then nope sorry I can't.
By the by, the term is pro-choice, NOT pro-abortion.
To falsely accuse the NRA and other pro-gun groups of racism for example was way below the belt.
If you'd prefer to support PFAW, PNHP, ACORN, NEA, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, Center for "Reproductive Rights", that thing Maria Wright Edelman's into, Sierra Club and the many other anti-conservative lobby groups that's up to you. Just don't make lying race-related allegations against a group when you happen to disagree with their gun politics. Play fair...
Oh yes, I see Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler continued propagating them long after they had been discredited. Are you thinking of the 1920's or the 1930's?
1920s for Protocols as a US issue, apart from in the minds of fevered extremists, but right up to the 1950s McCarthy witch hunt and attempts to interfere with the NAACP through commie spy charges it may have been a reason why the (radical, Bircher/Strom Thurmond) Right would have used words like elite or professional to describe their political opposition.
Still the point stands, there is a perfectly good reason to use those terms in the fifty years passed since then, continuing today, without any connection to Jew hatred or commie fear. I challenged the point because I found it to be yet another attempt at slandering conservatives as bigoted.
Yes, there was a groundshift in Catholic/fundamentalist relations after Roe v Wade. But anti Semitism and anti Catholicism and suspicion of African Americans are always there under the surface. Nothing ever really goes away.
The outlook of the John Birch society is reflected in much of what Ron Paul proposed and in a lot of the Tea Party platform, which in turn is influencing more mainstream Republican policies; the GOP ignores the Tea Party at its peril. On issues like immigration and the proper role of the UN (see the career and views of John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN under GW Bush) there is little difference between it and mainstream Republicans. The general 'Patriot' groups and the John Birch Society and the Tea Party have many areas of overlap both wrt positions on various economic issues (trade and globalisation) and in tone (mortal danger to the US posed by too much integration into the rest of the world politically and economically, too much federal power threatening state rights). The labels may change but the sentiment remains.
Nixon has a lot to answer for. He appealed to the sense of many voters that the world had spun out of wasp control and popularised and normalised kneejerk reactionism by calling it the sentiment of the silent majority, with the implication that silence was bred of fear and a sense of solid middle class decency in the face of long haired radicals -- he summoned forth people motivated by fear to vote for him.
Reagan in his turn pushed the envelope that little bit further with the 'welfare queens' and the Willie Horton elements of his election campaign against Dukakis, both crude appeals to pure racism. The Reagan presidency saw the last hurrah of the Cold War but the fear that was instilled in American society from WW2 onwards continues to find expression in the anti-European and anti-any-whiff-of socialism- let-alone communism element of political discourse. Even Newt Gingrich, during the Republican primaries, sought to discredit Romney by revealing that he -- gasp -- spoke French. He could have accused Romney of shirking his national duty to go to Vietnam (and could possible have made much more political capital) but interestingly chose to attack Romney on his alleged cultural affinity to Europe instead.
I think Republican voters remain basically motivated much more by various fears than Democrats.
I don't think you can say with any certitude at all that the higher up the income scale you go the less likely people are to attend church services of whatever kind. My own observations of churches in a strikingly 'liberal' and very well off suburban area in the US midwest contradict your assertion. There was one particular street that I recall that had at one end a Catholic church, further on an Episcopalian and further on again an unaffiliated Christian church, and on any given Sunday morning driving on that street was impossible because of the vast numbers of parked cars of congregants. The three Jewish temples spread over two neighbouring suburbs had large congregations and they also stopped traffic, but on Saturdays. All the parked cars for all the congregations tended to be newer models, oodles of SUVs, lots of expensive European brands. Churches of all kinds all over the US tend to be much more full than in Europe.
I don't know where you are getting your widely acknowledged facts about who is a member of the Democratic party, and you are forgetting about the huge amount of urban poverty. There are states that are predominantly rural that vote Democratic and some that are swing states. There are states that have a large urban population and also a large rural one like Illinois. Maybe Minnesota too..
'and hating those who support their main ideas is exactly what liberals would want them to do so as they'd lap up the split vote and win all their electoral campaigns.'
This is conspiracy theory talk.
We have guns and are not racist.
The gun thing is complicated...I am one of those, like Bohemian said, from a rural background where guns just are . Everyone's got 'em, no one shoots people with them. My friend's eight year old daughter has a rifle!
It's not as easy as splitting the country via religious/not religious, either. I am a devout Christian, but I am a Democrat and a liberal because I believe that Christ would want me to care for the sick and the poor.
I don't really follow your point. You accuse Math of bringing up the Protocols, although she didn't, because you think that is an example of US right-wing bigotry that you think she might have had in mind?
And yes, Math is right about Minnesota.
No, I never said she'd brought it up... she had mentioned commie Jews so I used it to make it clear that I didn't believe such conspiracies (well debunked in the case of the Protocols) have anything to do with the way Republicans use language in today's political climate.
I cannot say and have not said that no Republican has ever been racist, just that I don't see bigotry as a core value of the party or anywhere near that level.
I wish that the Blue Dog Democrats, Bart Stupak for example (cop-out ) would take over the party and make it pro-life, pro-family. Then if the same party opposed killing the unborn and subverting family values as cared more for the sick and the poor, all Christians pretty much could vote for them.
I have been speaking to a few Catholics in various states, none that are tossups though so no difference to the election result: they are desperately torn at the moment. They don't want abortion on demand, gay marriage or subversion of family values in schools. They DO want the ACA upheld minus the contraception requirement, are antiwar and to a reasonable extent pro-welfare. Which puts them between a rock and a hard place.
Oh for a truly compassionate conservative or a truly moderate liberal... someone who would paint the town purple, for social justice, not just partisan red or blue. With the horrifically polarised system that currently exists I hold out little hope... I can pray for such a leader to reveal him/herself.
Church attendance correlated with income is susceptible to anecdotal evidence or even whole pockets of inapplicability but is a statistically significant relationship in the country as a whole.
"subverting family values" is not a phrase we use in my country. What does it mean?
When you say "Church attendance correlated with income ... is a statistically significant relationship" you mean there are reliable, unbiased statistics published that show this relationship, in a large enough sample to make them meaningful, right? Where can I see them?
I see Math referred to the concept of "commie jews" as an example of right-wing US bigotry under the heading of "historical undercurrents"
Are you saying that it is not part of a historical undercurrent, as she suggests, or are you just saying it in not part of contemporary right-wing thinking?
"subverting family values in schools" is a fact, not a country-specific piece of political jargon. It's where the school jumps a mile over the boundary between "pastoral care" and the realm of the parents, family, or medical profession. Which of course is useless for parents with conservative values!
In England it has recently included schools doing the following: referring a girl of 15 for an abortion without ANY parental notification; having the deputy principal of a >80% POC/Muslim establishment keep secrets for sexually active pupils; use sex education materials that are explicit and fail to cover moral issues adequately, even as an end run to parents who object to classroom teaching; fail to mention words such as marriage, chastity, abstinence and fidelity when sex is brought up; fail to disclose pregnancy tests to a parent/guardian for no good reason; teach that traditional values are wrong, unjust, bigoted, immoral or any combination of other "boo words".
WRT that church-income increase link: High levels of religiosity negatively correlated (-.51) with upward economic mobility in June this year, source: Pew. Perhaps I got confused between regular church attendance and self-identification as "highly religious" which are not always coterminous groups.
I am saying it's not contemporary
in order to defend my use of the words she mentioned as being tainted by that undercurrent in the present day
Back to the original subject...
What is the significance of white American political activists, at a major political event, throwing nuts at black American workers?
Significance? Haters gonna hate... :P
A few racists out of thousands of people, not as if everyone was applauding them. Same as Akin and rape, his insensitivity to rape survivors and ignorance of reproductive biology doesn't extend to the whole party.
"subverting family values in schools" is a fact, not a country-specific piece of political jargon
It is, as you used it, jargon, and its meaning is not intrinsic from the words. Hence I asked what it meant (implying, when you use it)
Some families use violence on their children; is that a family value? If other citizens try to discourage or prevent this violence, or punish it, would that be subversion? Some families support forced marriages. Is that in your view a "family value?"
Some families seek to prevent their youngsters learning facts, for example about sex and relationships. Is ignorance a family value?
From your perspective, how do you identify a family value?
I don't know the significance of throwing nuts. It is not a practice I am familiar with. What does it signify?
I would guess that it is a reference to the commonly held belief by white people who have racist viewpoints , that black people are equivalent to monkeys. How one can hold such views in a modern western society is beyond me.
When I look at people, I see a person, not a skin colour, gender, religion or other noticable difference.
Because that's how people traditionally fed animals at the zoo.
Hateful, ignorant assholes.
Ohh I thought you meant "significance" as in whether that isolated racist incident was, in my opinion, an unveiling of their real principles or just a few hateful fools who happened to be there, so I went for the latter.
I thought you would understand that nuts and monkeys went together and that it was therefore a racist gesture in the same vein as monkey noises made by football hooligans at Black players. As you do seem to be well-informed in general from your discussion on this thread. Sorry for the presumption.
Violence and ignorance aren't family values and forced marriage is an unjust, misogynist cultural practice which girls and women deserve to be shielded from. Educating Muslims in a pro-woman reading of Islam could help; I get suspicious when it's all white non-Muslim liberals trying to change the culture for the better, it can be seen as imperialism and that does not foment good inter-communal relations. I'm not being PC-gone-mad; in any individual case I support appropriate legal and other action being taken to stop the forced marriage. To see change fostered from WITHIN the community and not only forced from outside it will be a better solution if available.
Some parents believe in innocence (i.e. not disclosing too much about sex until around the age of 12, when the classical model posits they leave the latency period) rather than ignorance . This may be problematic now because of girls starting to menstruate before 12 and not knowing what is happening to their bodies but school can teach this and not go into any of the wider "sex" context without parental approval.
You do realise that girls starting to menstruate before 12 is not a new phenomena at all and has been going on for time in memorial. Claiming that you are protecting innonce by not giving sex eduation is just ignorance.
According to the Centre for Disease control children in who receive comprehensive sex education are 60% less likely to have a teen pregnancy.
States with abstinence only programs had no effect on abstinence rates in other words the kids were still getting jiggy with it but just uneducated on the risks or STI's and contraception.
The only reason the religious are pro abstinence pro ignorance, anti education and anti abortion is that they want a bigger congregation.
There would be far fewer teen pregnancies in those bible belt states if they were more tolerant of gay marriage.
Some one standing in front of kids saying sex is a wonderful gift from god and then the school only being able to say, don't have it, is never going to work.
Which is why Mississippi, abstinance only ,has more than 3 times the teen pregnancy rate of New Hampshire which has comprehensive sex ed.
far better to say sex is awesome and there are 127 odd diseases you can catch from it and here is how to protect yourself, because if you do get pregnant the right wingers will force you to give birth whether you like it or not.
None of those groups you demonised are 'anti conservative' lobby groups. They all have their own reasons for existence, their own pet projects if you will.
The Sierra Club for instance was founded in the 1890s and it is an environmental group with an educational mission.
The ACLU's mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It did commit the cardinal sin of participating in the Scopes trial on the side of the right to teach evolution so I can see how that would irk some on the right, but I do not see how its general mission could be interpreted as 'anti-conservative'. Do people have rights in the US? Have there been times when those rights have been threatened?
PNHP is Physicians for a National Health Program. Self explanatory.
What is unclear is how it is an 'anti conservative' lobby unless 'conservative' means 'insurance company', and also unclear is why under the constitution it can't lobby for something it believes in; surely one of the fundamental pillars of conservatism should be the constitution that guarantees the rights of expression, etc...
PFAW (People For The American Way) has the following mission:
'People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts.
Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nations civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.
We believe a society that reflects these constitutional principles and progressive values is worth fighting for, and we take seriously our responsibility to cultivate new generations of leaders and activists who will sustain these values for the life of this nation.
Our operational mission is to promote the American Way and defend it from attack, to build and nurture communities of support for our values, and to equip those communities to promote progressive policies, elect progressive candidates, and hold public officials accountable.'
...The context in which the organisation and its mission originated was the increasing din from the right during the 1980s of the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.
The mission sounds like the Declaration of Rights..
How could any conservative be opposed to a group choosing to participate in a democratic way in the public life of the US? Does opposition to the 'conservative agenda' (aka in this case the agenda of Falwell and Robertson) automatically turn a group into a crowd of Bolsheviks?
The NEA is the National Endowment for the Arts. Yes, I can see how the NEA would be very obviously an anti conservative lobby . Obviously not just a hotbed of commies but probably gay commies because it is well known fact that artists are all gay..
ACORN -- Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now is no longer in existence. It was hounded out of existence by two right wing activists and their supporters who produced dubious films purporting to show ACORN reps advising people how to secure public housing and carry on their 'business' of prostitution. ACORN was cleared of wrongdoing by the General Accounting Office and various attorneys general but the shit stuck nevertheless.
Some of the issues ACORN had grappled with up to the time of its destruction by right wing zealots included:
- Predatory lending practices (sub prime lending -- remember that disaster? We are all living in the post sub prime lending world)
- Campaigning to allow people to remain in their homes and not be thrown out upon foreclosure by mortgage companies. Prescient of them to sense the coming storm.
- Affordable housing - how is this ant-conservative?
- Katrine Relief - to the extent that this embarrassed tha Bush government I can see conservatives being annoyed..
- School Improvement -- a pet project of conservatives is the disbandment of government schools. ACORN pushed for improvement of schools, better parental involvement, even setting up of charter schools to replace failing schools, but clearly this wasn't enough.
- Voter Registration -- registering the wrong people is a no no apparently. Meanwhile voter identification legislation proposals on the part of the right demonstrate the need for advocacy on the issue.
Planned Parenthood provides contraception and abortion services and other services to women such as mammograms. Abortion is legal. Contraception is legal. Many people do not approve of them and hold dear their beliefs that these things are wrong. But PP is still not an anti-conservative lobby. It lobbies to keep the services it provides legal just as tobacco companies and gun manufacturers lobby to keep their products legal and available and affordable. If lobbying is objectionable to conservatives then they shouldn't lobby either. If it is not lobbying per se but what an organisation is lobbying for that conservatives object to then conservatives need to read the constitution again
NARAL - National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League is a lobby group. It is as its name suggests a group that lobbies to keep abortion legal and fight encroachments on the right to abortion and reproductive rights that have been declared by the Supreme Court.
The Center For Reproductive Rights seeks to support legal reproductive rights for women around the world and in the US including abortion rights. There are other groups out there that seek to further an opposing agenda. All part of the give and take of debate.
Maria Wright Edelman, graduate of Yale Law School, was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. What's not to like about a woman who has devoted her life to speaking out on behalf of poor, minority and disabled children through the Children's Defence Fund? What could conservatives possibly find objectionable in an organisation that seeks to help prevent teen pregnancy, promotes the transmission of positive values through families, seeks the protection of children from violent images in the media, and advocates for prenatal care and childcare? The CDF also seeks to protect children from abuse and neglect. That all seems very pro life to me. Its motto 'Leave No Child Behind' was lifted by GW Bush for his education legislation..
People have a right to opinions. People have a right to put their money where their mouths are. The US Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations are 'individuals' for the purposes of free speech and financial support of causes and candidates, a pet conservative issue. You should make it clear whether you oppose lobbying in general or just the message of specific groups who lobby. Whatever way you decide, it might be a good thing to acknowledge that lobby groups are not anti-conservative lobbies but pro or anti various issues -- I am sure you would not wish to characterise the gun lobby as an anti liberal lobby.
I wasn't thinking specifically of the 'Protocols' and that is why I didn't mention it, but rather of the generalised, casual anti-semitism of the US (without which the Protocols couldn't have been taken seriously and to which the Protocols gave momentum, in a circular dynamic) as expressed by opponents of the New Deal such as Fr. Coughlin supporters. It was very much a feature of many other countries too -- I'm not singling out the US here for anti-semitism but the US was the topic of discussion. Anti semitism and racism lingered longer in the US, and under different circumstances from those of western Europe they flourished. 'Metropolitan elite liberal' is a slightly more polite way to say 'Commie Jew' but that is what it means all the same, and the term comes from fear of the alien, fear of the person who is 'not like us' -- the same place where it always came from.
What a fun thread. Romney will lose the election. The economy and healthcare should have sunk Obama, despite the facts that the economic situation is largely not his fault and the healthcare proposals are a step in a right and necessary direction.
Whatever. Romney is a middle-kingdom kind of Republican, theoretically the right sort to take the centre voters and win. But the Republican party is in the midst of a dark night of the soul, with fiscal conservatives and wealthy self-interests sitting next to right-wingnut religious fundamentalists and small-government libertarians. It won't wash.
His choice of Ryan was poor - he's photogenic and energenic, but he's an Ayn Randist, leave-the-poor-to-their-fate, abortion-opposing nutjob. It's a choice to energise the Republican 'base', but the Republican base is all over the place at the moment. Romney needed the strength of character to stand as the former governor of Mass., the guy with the healthcare plan and the record on abortion rights who kept his religion out of his politics. Obama would have lost to that guy: the Republicans would vote for him because who else would they vote for? Many Democats would have voted for him because they're disappointed by Obama.
Romney should have stood up and said: I'll keep the healthcare element. I did it in Mass. and it worked. He would have neutralised all opposition and he could have hammered Obama relentlessly on the economy. Now he just looks like a flip-flopper with no ethical centre. And a wealthy one who off-shores his income, to boot.
Four more years of opposition, I think, for the Republican party to decide who they want to be.
The right continually have attacked the pregnancy advice centres and policies of education by charity groups like Planned Pregnacy and in many areas the right have gone out of there way to force Planned Pregnancy to close down due to the rights forced birth stance. They always conveniently forget that only 3% of what Planned Pregnacy do is permitting a woman the her god given right to liberty to choose and the vast majority of their work is in prevention of STI's etc. etc.
Oh and do remember that in the USA the vast majority of all abortions are on middle aged married woman.
Do remember that through their sex education practices Planned Pregnancy are in fact the largest preventors of abortions in the USA.
But hey the disinformation of the right is not know for letting facts get in the way of phoney rhetoric. WMD's anyone...anyone...Bueller...
How is the Democratic party anti family?
How does a party that campaigns against 'government interference in how businesses are run' including for instance making businesses provide a clean room for lactating women to pump milk call itself pro family? How is a party that objects to paid maternity leave for a paltry six weeks pro family? How is a party that always objects to raises in the minimum wage pro anything but permanent impoverishment of vast swathes of the workforce?
I suspect when the Republicans call themselves pro family what they are saying is that they are the party that makes it difficult for mothers to work or for working women to have babies and recover in a humane amount of time (and eat while they are away from work) and what they actually mean by 'family' is one where there is a male breadwinner.
Republicans believe the way to control the poor is to keep them poor and struggling because as the old song goes how will they keep them down on the farm once they've seen Paris.
Of course the republican elite can see Paris for as long as they can, especially in order to dodge the draft.
Not all Republicans.
I am most decidedly not a Republican, but it's unfair to tar them all with the same brush, the same as it is any other group of people.
Having done a little research the numbers for the USA are as follows.
5% of rapes end up in pregnancy,
32,000 rape pregnancies a year in the USA
That means 640,000 rapes a year in the USA
Question for Extrospektiv
If gun ownership is a great thing why are they not 640,000 men shot a year by a rape victim. Is that because the lack of gun control allows the rapeists a real means of force.
Instead of trying to criminalise the victims with force birther legislation why don't the right wing states go after the rapists.
Cheerful Yank... I think it goes back to the saying: Not all Republicans are racists (or misogynists, or Christian fundamentalists), but all the racists (etc) are Republicans.
'Significance? Haters gonna hate... :P'
It wasn't actually very funny though, was it?
'A few racists out of thousands of people, not as if everyone was applauding them.
They felt comfortable enough and uninhibited enough in that environment to do it.
'Same as Akin and rape, his insensitivity to rape survivors and ignorance of reproductive biology doesn't extend to the whole party.'
The Akin thing happened in the specific context of upcoming legislation sponsored by Akin and Paul Ryan which would stop funding for abortion unless forcible rape could be proved by the victim -- the 'legitimate rape' language used was the language of proponents of the legislation. Akin's wing of the Republican Party believes that women would make up rape allegations to get around loopholes in anti-abortion legislation that made exceptions for rape and incest. So he is opposed to loopholes. The forcible rape language was dropped after an outcry from women's organisations.
Akin isn't smart enough to have come up with his biological theories himself, as demonstrated by the fact that he was stupid enough to broadcast the rhetoric -- it is widespread in his section of the party. He is not a lone idiot marching to the sound of a different drum. Back in the early 90s he opposed the extension of the definition of rape to encompass marital rape on the grounds that women could falsely claim rape and make divorce very messy. Obviously that did not put much of a ding in his political career. On this occasion he was confident enough of the ridiculous assertions of the circle that populates his own little echo chamber that he saw fit to air them to a wider audience, just as the peanut throwers were confident.
Incidentally, the notion that women cannot get pregnant after forcible rape has been around in the Republican party and the pro life movement since the 1980s. It is a wishful thinking theory that originated in campaigns against abortion, with the rape and incest loopholes that all anti-abortion legislation normally include proving too much for those who want abortion ended completely. Stephen Freind, a Pennsylvania Republican representative, was the first known politician to air the myth in the political arena, and got laughed out of court, back in 1988. Henry Aldridge of North Carolina was next. Apparently it just won't die. www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/a-canard-that-will-not-die-legitimate-rape-doesnt-cause-pregnancy/261303/
There are most certainly racists in both parties. I often feel like there's a double standard, and a free pass given to the left. It is extremely offensive to insinuate that I hate the poor or am a racist simply because I believe that government often does more to complicate the problem then to actually fix it.
You seemed to be portraying yourself as an American with strong opinions.
I now see that you are a British person who has had some trips to America, none of them lasting more than two weeks.
So I hope you will not be offended more than necessary if I say that to take the views of the American voter, I will listen to citizens and residents and not you.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks to those who responded about the gun issue. Bohemian I can understand all those points of view. I understand feeling the need for personal protection, in a 'all the baddies have a gun therefore I need one too' kind of way. I also get that not wanting govt to tell people what to do is a big thing for some, although it seems to extend mostly to things they want to be able to do/control, rather than things they would like other people not to do...
I also understand that in some places guns just are, as you say CheerfulYank, and getting them back in the box just is never going to happen.
But what I struggle with is why any of these principles trump the fact that surely with stricter gun controls, less people would die? I can see the comparison with alcohol here, although of course the big difference is that the purpose of a gun is to cause harm/kill people. The only reason to have guns (other than those genuinely needed for animal control or whatever) is so that you are in a position to do that, whether in self-defence or not.
I find that very difficult. When gun lobby people have that argument put to them in debate, that strict gun controls surely = less death, what is their response generally?
I would also like to thank people for a fascinating and informative thread. I studied American History as part of my degree and also did a term on American politics, but remember shamefully little of it really. Most of my 'knowledge' now comes from the West Wing!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just to be clear, I don't think all gunowners are racists! I think some people want guns because they are paranoid about crime, and some of those people are afraid because they have been affected so much by hysterical news coverage of crime, which often has a racial element. Studies have shown for example that in areas where black and white people commit crimes at similar rates, most of the criminals actually shown on local TV are black.
I'm not the biggest fan of Michael Moore but I thought he raised an interesting point in Bowling for Columbine, where he talked about how Canadians also have lots of guns but much less gun violence. I think he pointed to fear and paranoia as a big difference between the societies, you could also talk about how Canada has a much better social safety net that probably reduces crime, as well as demographic factors.
Flowery like you I don't understand why people's personal opinions get to trump the obvious fact that gun control would limit violence. I suppose a lot of people would disagree with your saying that the only purpose of a gun is to harm/kill people. I think the vast majority of people would say its purpose is protection, or maybe hunting, i.e. good purposes. So why should they have to be unprotected just because some people use guns wrongly?
Okay, sure, but what I really don't get is why we can't at least limit the worst guns, surely you can protect yourself without a semiautomatic, or with just one gun. But I guess that is seen as a slippery slope to banning them completely.
I think actually that 'slippery slope' thinking is a big driver of American beliefs that don't make sense elsewhere.
I found this to be one of the biggest differences when I moved to the UK, there seemed to be a decided lack of slippery slope arguments. For example, my uni department would waive rules for individual students, in a way you wouldn't have in the US because 'if we do it for you, we'd have to do it for everyone'. Or the fact that the Brits have limits on hate speech, which in the US would not only be unconstitutional but everyone would be freaking out that it would mean all unwanted speech would be banned.
Basically the Brits seem a bit more pragmatic to me, whereas there is a kind of hysteria in the US sometimes that doing anything to address a certain issue is impossible because of the inevitable consequences.
In part I think this is because the US is a more precedent-based society, legally and even emotionally. But perhaps it also ties into these American fears of tyranny and too much government, etc and so on.
Interesting comparison between the US and the UK that I have always found revealing :
The UK tax code talks about the principle of a transaction - it may not be written that a particular transaction is legal or illegal but if it follows a pattern and standard then it can be decided upon.
The US tax system is all about exact rules
box 18 on the first page of EVERY US tax return is about Farm income - even though only a fraction of the population is involved in farming
if something is now banned in a rule it is allowed
so the rules proliferate
and in the UK the principles adapt.
Talkin - Absolutely. A source of endless confusion to US clients when I saw them advised (used to be a lawyer, though not tax) on transactions in the UK. They were really uncomfortable with the idea they couldn't go through a list, tick all the boxes and know whether the authorities would be happy with what they were doing. Feeds back into the inherent distrust of government.
To be fair, the upside of rules is that they can give greater transparency on how decisions are made and what will happen (at least, until the rules get so complex no one can understand them!)
There were a number of times in the UK where it felt like I was just supposed to send all this information to whatever office/agency, they would look at it in some obscure manner, and then get back to me about what they decided. This is really frustrating to an American!
trying to find your way through US bureaucracy is also very difficult when you are not familiar.
Some of it is much more complex for visitors.
Slight off topic but I just read this article on the BBC and it amused me. Apparently Obama brews his own beer and people demanded the recipe.
It then says at the end of the article:
One of the oldest political cliches states that people vote for the person they would most like to have a beer with - and Mr Obama's rival in the November election, Mitt Romney, a Mormon, does not drink.
The Americans are used to the price of goods on the shelves in stores not equalling the price at the checkout.
Such things are illegal in the EU.
I always chuckle at the New Hampshire Liquor stores right on the state border with excellent roads leading to them.
Then again Europeans always find it odd that you can buy beer anywhere but wine and spirits are tightly regulated
British people have to remember that 93% of Americans do not have a passport. Not travelling to other countries rather affects one's world view.
A member of my family travelled to Europe and was freaked that people in Spain did not all speak English - so ended up in London !
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The proportion of teetotalers in the USA is around 40 % and in Europe 30%
The religious right were never going to vote for Obama even if he joined a temperance group
<Is slightly in love with Novack>
Piglet The reason I posted was originally because the thread was full of Brits expressing mainstream European socio-cultural views (abortion-rights, heavy gun control, tax and spend etc.)and saying how bad the Americans who aren't Democrats are, including the use of ultra-negative words like "reactionary". I wanted to redress the balance. Now pro-Obama Americans are only piling in to back up the mainstream "consensus" views which I consider to be extreme-left and extremely wrong.
"The American voter" after all includes over 100,000,000 Republican voters.
We're not afraid of baddies, DH just hunts.
To be sure, he'd shoot someone if our house were invaded and the gun was loaded; it usually isn't and is kept in the garage at any case. Plus, we don't ever even lock our doors except to keep them from blowing open during thunderstorms, so what are the odds really.
Nowhere close to 100,000,000 voters vote Republican. Turnout in US elections tends to be very low. I would hazard a guess that 100,000,000 would be the total turnout for an election that drew a lot of interest.
Popular vote 1992
Bush Snr: 39,104,550
Popular vote 1996
Popular vote 2000
Popular vote 2004
Popular vote 2008
Obama received the most votes for a presidential candidate in American history.
The popular vote was 69,456,897 to 59,934,814, respectively.
I went to Ellis Island Museum a couple of years back.
Their timeline started 100 years AFTER the third wave of my family arrived in New England.
DO NOT presume to speak for the majority.
My ancestors appear in Revolutionary military records.
But I do not believe Romney is the right person to lead my homeland.
Latest Republican lie
Paul Ryan the Vice President candidate boasted about running a marathon in 2hour 50 minutes the other day. A running magazine then check his time with the organisers and they said his real logged time was 3 hours 50 minutes.
Later when questioned on TV about the lie Ryan said oh he had simply rounded the time in the wrong direction and should have said he ran 4 hours.
If he is the man who wrote their wonky budget, and he is, yet he cannot even round a simple time would you trust him with your economy?
And if he can lie about this to try t appear cool what major things will he lie about to save his ass. Once again the man is proven to be a liar.
the thread was full of Brits expressing mainstream European socio-cultural views
Wow, who could have expected that?
OK Let us have a FOX NEWS opinion on Paul Ryan...and I quote...
"To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryans speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech..
"The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryans mouth"
I love that. That rather special.
not a US citizen or a US resident then?
I believe Math lives in the US, yes.
Does that mean (the Fox news quotes) that even the Fox network is turning against the Romney/Ryan ticket?
Or maybe, just maybe for once in the statoins history they actually were fair and balanced for a day.
The chances of Fox turning against a Republican candidate are NIL.
What you may have seen was reverse psychology to get Republican supporters out and voting come November
Of course not..
Just like the republicans fail to mention that BUsh started two wars and failed to regulate the banks or to introduce legislation that would have meant the mortgage holders could just walk away form their debts leaving the world economy to have to pay their debts and thus a global credit crisis.
Republicans claim that the deficit increased under Obama yet forget to mention that the majority of the deficit increase was because all the debt for the previous 8 years of war by Bush had NOT been added to the national debt figure. Obama took the decision to include all debt in the figure so the public could see the real state of the economy.
The debt was passed to him by Bush with a shocking annual deficit and rapidly increasing budget deficit. So no matter who became president the economy was in the toilet.
What Obama has done has been to keep the Us economy from going like Greece or Spain and kept unemployment less than the UK rate despite the US economy being in more of a toilet than most.
About the Author of the Fact Check article: crooksandliars.com/karoli/sally-kohns-debut-fox-news-contributor-illu
Yes, though it may seem surprising, Fox News took on a decidedly liberal writer.
Here is a Ryan defense: mrctv.org/blog/fact-checking-sally-kohn
The MRC is a republican conservative media organisation and not in any way an independent fact check organisation.
I love the comments on the second article nightlurker. They are
baffling, scary, bewildering amusing to my 'extreme left' British sensibilities.
"Liberalism is truly a mental disorder!".
But I think my particular favourite was
"How is it that ANYONE can put any legitimacy to anything this Quasimodo-looking mental midget says? This libtard supported the Occupy criminals and has a long history of being philosophically nearsighted and being a compulsive liar. Get this idiot off television." in reference to Sally Kohn, the Fox journalist.
I think the Daily Fail readers need to get some inspiration from here.
Yeah, I hate the idiocy that follows most political articles.
As a general rule, in primaries, I prefer to vote for the candidate that uses the least spin. I want someone who I can actually trust to fully fact check, see all sides of the argument, and be honest. I do think that Sally Kohn (the woman who wrote that article) does make a couple of valid points, and Ryan should have at least checked the facts before making those statements.
Non recourse mortgages under written by Fannie and Freddie go back a darn sight further than Dubya - they are a stock in trade part of the US Housing market - as are old style 20 year mortgage rate fixes which would give the UK Market kittens !
20 year fixes, as in interest rate fixed for 20 years? My goodness. Is that still common or when you say 'old style' does that mean they are not issued any longer?
I remember my old granny talking about such things.
I was wrong - 30 years is still available
should be a good deal, what with dollar devaluation and inflation going up.
The crazy thing is that before the Bush presidency, the US actually had a budget surplus.
Can you imagine? It seems unbelievable and yet it wasn't even that long ago.
Btw I love when the right refers to 'tax and spend liberals'. As if Republicans don't also tax you and spend your money on stuff.
Yes they did but Bush never did anything to stop the unreguated balloon from building and busting despite being close to his father during the Reagan/Bush Bush era when they deregulated the savings and loans that then lead onto the decade the savings and loans crisis.
Of course what he did learn from his dad during that time was that if you know there is a banking problem then keep quiet for as long as possible as you may get through the next election before having to release the figures that allow the full depth of the the scandal to be known.
It's troubling to many of us Brits that the republicans seem fanatical in their right wing ideals.
Thank you for telling me why Romney gets ticks - way back in thread!
I feel afraid of Tea party types just like Americans were afraid of communists - although I wouldn't lock you up, I feel you need to be closely watched! I'm really not anything but middle of the road liberal Brit type and I am sure lots of other Mnetters feel like me.
The Christian far right are scary. I remember Clinton saying they were his only enemy.
30 year fixed rate mortgages are very much alive and kicking, and 15 and 30 year terms are the most common though there are longer terms available, and shorter.
The adjustable rate mortgages that are more the norm in Britain and Ireland (and Canada iirc) became popular during the boom that preceded the bust. Some blamed them for the bust, especially those that required no down payment and thus left homeowners with no equity or very little.
Right now, 30 year fixed rate mortgages are offered at an all time low rate.
Dreamingbohemian -- yes, the rhetoric about curbing spending is designed to appeal to emotions and in no way reflects what happens no matter who is in power.
@several people paraphrased "I'm not surprised most of us on here are liberal Brits": neither am I, this being a British website. That is why it needs a counterbalance because there are millions of UK citizens who agree with Republican type ideas. A minority yes, still a lot of people. MN does not need to be a cosy leftist echo chamber.
As for 100M Republican voters, I was aware there were never that many in one election but if the country is split fairly down the middle there are over 100 million adults who would have sympathy for those principles. So a thread on here intended to be a "simple explanation of the 2012 Presidential race" deserves to have some perspectives of centrist and GOP fans. This is not the Barack Obama Appreciation Thread.
I even said upthread that I'd prefer someone who had what I consider the best elements from the GOP and Dem platforms, and would be behind him/her whichever party they belonged to. I am definitely leaning moderate in American terms, and my philosophical position is traditionalist conservative.
FWIW- I don't vote as none of the parties give me what I'd be looking for, and possibly lean to Miliband over Cameron for '15, for the sake of the sick and poor cuts victims as building a genuine Big Society culture based more on American-style private philanthropy and less statutory services that would be suitable to protect the interests of the vulnerable would take years, this requiring major change.
Against Ed, he could be an anti-wealth fanatic ("Red Ed" for a reason) though to be honest the disadvantaged attract more of my empathy than people with fat bank balances, he could go too far with Europe while the coalition is pursuing a moderate EU policy and the big thing I'd worry about is him messing up education by pandering to the anti-traditionalist fanatics. I think education policy should become less partisan anyway and decisions based on sound research about what works, children deserve better than to be used as footballs.
MN can lean whatever way it wants.
As it is not a mainly US site it is not to be expected to reflect US attitudes.
It is interesting to hear from US citizens and residents who are immersed in variations of their own culture. Naturally there are many parts which are different from our own and some that some of us will not like.
So your still throwing that liberal word around as if it's an insult yet not once have you answered the specific questions put to you. Try rereading the thread and then give some answers.
The only thing the right in america seem to be good at is following Mein Kampf and the big lie theory which they used in the 1950's to brainwash you all into hating the USSR. Doublethink at it's best from the GOP
are millions of UK citizens who agree with Republican type ideas
Really? Honestly? Cos last time I checked the NHS was pretty popular... I don't think there are millions calling for it to be taken down. Far from it, because they at least have some level of love of socialism running through the overwhelming majority.
but if the country is split fairly down the middle there are over 100 million adults who would have sympathy for those principles
Going to take a while stab in the dark at why voter turnout is low and ask is it possibility because so many people feel unrepresented by both parties...?
Extrospektiv is not an American.
But I am - which is why I take issue with much of what they say
For what happens when partisan politics hits education hard see the US "anti-phonics" movement where liberals tried to enforce Look and Say/ Whole Word over phonics, despite studies showing either that both were equal or that phonics was superior - just because phonics was the traditional method and the one preferred by right-wing groups who added "back to basics" education to their roster along with fighting values clarification, exercises teaching children there was no right and wrong or absolute truth and they should think for themselves (=postmodernism and contrary to faith teachings) and stopping secretive school based health clinics which they saw as counter-parent.
mathanxiety: refuting your denials that A=A and therefore liberal lobby groups are indeed liberal;
School-based clinics which, by the way, the Children's Defense Fund under Hillary Clinton supported- thus earning them the "liberal" tag along with their endorsing of 99.9% Dems over their votes for more government spending on health and education, their DREAM Act support which is obvious given as it grew out of the civil-rights movement, fervent belief in gun control and other issues. The thing I really dislike about CDF, despite the excellent work they have done on many issues, is that they use the word "protect" in their Republican-trashing: putting out lists of Democrats with 80-100% scorecards and Republicans at or barely above zero, accompanied by "How well does your senator/representative protect children...?" which has horrific implications for those who are just ideologically opposed to higher government spending or see better use of money than the particular votes, don't want immigration amnesty and believe in gun rights.
Sierra Club advocates environmentalist policies which override Republican policy on numerous issues while dovetailing with Democratic ones. I have not studied this issue closely enough to decide where I stand on it.
Denying PP, Center for Repro. Rights or NARAL are liberal is like denying the earth is round. That abortion/BC is currently legal makes no odds in this. The fact is, their fight to keep it legal is a liberal political cause, in the same way fighting to keep guns legal is a conservative one. "I'm just trying to keep the law the way it is" does not exempt you from an ideological label.
People for the American Way run an anti-conservative specialist site called "Right Wing Watch" with links to the likes of Talk LEFT, Open LEFT, Daily Kos, Religion Dispatches, Talkingpointsmemo, ThinkProgress and just hardcore leftism in general. I am not talking middle of the road liberal here. The stuff on these websites is simply as far as you can go without being an outright socialist.
They call judges who disagree with Roe v Wade and an expansive "privacy" ideology which is nowhere in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment and strict constructionists "REACTIONARIES". They are already abortion-baiting over SCOTUS appointments should Romney win and have set up another site to do this- romneycourt.com They oppose parental rights legislation full-throttle. Extreme liberal, extreme liberal, extreme fucking liberal. Be honest and accept that is what you are. As I said, I don't find it an insult. Just a political view I don't sympathise with and which I wish no-one would take to these extremes, in the same way I don't like the right-wing extremes of racism, heavy nationalism, anti-woman views and a completely free market/Austrian school "sink or swim on your own, we don't care" system.
A dishonourable mention to one of PFAW's buddies, Pandagon: this site now features the sickening Amanda Marcotte known for absolute hatred of pro-lifers and the religious of any type, her hard-core defenses of the sexual revolution, open promotion of European extreme-liberal sex ed and even saying that high schoolers should have an "experienced" adult to explain to porn-watching boys how to please their girlfriends. As if all the monks and nuns who have done school sex ed in Catholic establishments are not capable of delivering a morally sensitive and respectable message on human reproduction. If you want to talk about your own adolescent sexual shenanigans in explicit detail, find a doctor or someone else appropriate for that. Your "sophisticated & approachable" 53 year old principal with her 36 years' experience starting in the post-Roe hookup generation is there to run that school, NOT to listen to your sexual confidences. Better still, wait for marriage.
The NEA I was referring to is the National EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, and everyone knows that a teachers' union is not the natural home of conservatism. There are plenty of conservatives in the teaching profession- a survey I saw in a large number of public schools across the 50 states said that 40% were Dem, 30% GOP and 30% independent or minor party. At the top of the NEA however, is the very same narrow-minded elite that run most of the academy, and the teacher training colleges of Europe. NEA's official position statements on an enormous series of issues social, fiscal and in-between are basically the Dem platform or to the left of even that. They are super high rolling Democratic donors.
Novackngood: Nazi reference out of order! Wow, the ignorance of comparing the slaughter of millions in the greatest war and one of the greatest genocides humanity has ever seen to... conservative politics.
Big Lies are told by people on both sides of politics. In America, in this country, and probably everywhere else in the world. It's part of the programme. Not saying it's right, but it's not just rightwing.
have we got some actual American voters who'd like to chip in?
Oh the strawman argument extrospektiv.
No one said anything about comparing the holocaust to the republicans.
I said they are using the same philosphy known as the big lie philosophy used in mein kampf and then also used in 1951 in the film of the same name which was released by the US Army to turn the US folks against communism to turn their backs on their ally USSR.
Again you didn't answer any question except your own strawman nonsense.
Sarah Palin (nutjob right) cost John McCain (Republican centre) the election.
Romney has gone for the same tactic - appeal to the hard right with your running mate. He will meet the same fate as McCain.
"the VP is only one bullet away from the Oval office"
So don't bring up Hitler then, just call them liars. And again, 1951? If we're talking 1951 I will say the Democrats are racists and GOP are civil rights people, because that was true then... not so any more. You and math are both projecting things which ended decades ago onto the GOP, Romney and his 2012 campaign.
HmmThinking: there are plenty of people who think that a private system could do better than the NHS, just look on the Telegraph forums or other papers whenever something negative about the NHS is reported: certainly a minority but 10% (5 million voters) would not be asking too much.
It's right in the mainstream to want more restrictions on abortion (20-week limit or even lower for abortions without exceptional circumstances; independent counselling; parental notification/consent for under 16s are all popular) and 15-25% depending on poll are actual prolifers like me who want abortion to be made illegal.That is millions of people. It is popular to suggest cutting benefits and government spending, even if driven by exaggerations of what benefits people actually get and how much trouble we're in. Polls show majority in favour of death penalty for some murders, between a third and a half supporting leaving the EU, "tough on crime" sentencing increases get so much popular support even Labour implements them, New Labour had to move right to avoid becoming completely obsolete because people didn't want confiscatory levels of tax on the wealthy or hikes on the middle class. These are all right-wing ideas. This site does not even come close to reflecting the average British citizen from any official ComRes/ YouGov/ British Social Attitudes Survey or other major poll. So it will not represent the average Brits' views on American politics either.
That's why I'm in here to redress the balance. It is a shame but not a surprise no-one's coming to my defence in a rational way.
But you are not here redressing any balance.
You spout off your forced birther views then when asked if you agree with the laws that include a forced vaginal probe for ultrasound, blow the image up to A4 size to emotionally blackmail a raped woman into then having a child she has no means to support, and the states will not support either, you refuse to answer and clam up.
'mathanxiety: refuting your denials that A=A and therefore liberal lobby groups are indeed liberal; '
I never said the groups you recited were 'liberal' -- and neither did you. What you said was that they were 'anti-conservative'. From what you posted it seems what you mean by 'anti-conservative' is holding a view that some conservatives disagree with. (A case of projection in some ways but that is neither here nor there).
I don't know what you mean by secretive health clinics in schools. In a society where not all students' families have health insurance and many fall between family not being able to afford it and qualifying for public health coverage, having a nurse in school makes a lot of sense.
The DCs had a nurse's office in their high school. If you were feeling ill you had to go to the nurse's office before being released home. The nurse's office supported students who were pregnant and those who had recently delivered -- students could go there to pump breastmilk and store it in the fridge. Students kept inhalers and antibiotics there. The nurse's office was often the first port of call for students who were depressed and the staff there were skilled at flagging those with issues ranging from experiencing bullying to needing inpatient psych treatment. The nurse's office provided referrals for family support when families needed it if their students' problems were hard to deal with. As a parent I would be very happy to see my student approach the nurse's office instead of letting a problem fester.
The DCs did 'Health' class as a graduation requirement. (Interestingly, if you didn't want to waste a semester doing Health in class you could do it by correspondence, and the chosen provider of the correspondence course was Brigham Young University..). In their US Catholic elementary school they did 'Family Life'. I trust my DCs to make good decisions. I have a good enough relationship with them (I think) that they would feel able to come to me if they had a problem. I am glad they have at least someone to talk with if they feel they can't come to me.
'As if all the monks and nuns who have done school sex ed in Catholic establishments are not capable of delivering a morally sensitive and respectable message on human reproduction.'
You are taking the piss here, surely?
I am a Catholic from a country that has been rocked by a massive and seemingly unending scandal involving extreme sexual dysfunction and abuse of power by members of the clergy both male and female since the state of which I am a citizen was founded. Members of the clergy and religious who tried to deliver any sort of message on sex and sexuality there would be met with raised eyebrows at the least and other reactions from less polite elements.
I go to mass every Sunday and on holy days and my DCs do too. Fwiw, I consider myself pro life, but I tend to express that through practical support for women's refuges and the like and absolutely not by voting for 'pro life' candidates whom I see as a pack of charlatans -- you really can't say you are pro life and support a party that does not support the concept of minimum wage and access to free health care for all, and is all for the death penalty and deportation of immigrants even if it means splitting up of families and leaving children without fathers or mothers.
Whether abortion is legal or illegal it will happen as long as women are unable to support babies financially, are forced to remain in relationships however tenuous where there is an imbalance of power and having a baby with a man means they are tied to that man until the baby turns 18 (thank you, fathers' rights activists), and where women are shamed for expressing their sexuality. Places like Ireland used to be (still is in some respects) and the US, for instance.
'Extreme liberal, extreme liberal, extreme fucking liberal. Be honest and accept that is what you are. '
I like the environment. I like the idea that children should be protected and I think there is plenty they need protection from, though those things are not necessarily the same things I think you might feel are a threat. I don't like the idea that gang members and innocent bystanders can be mowed down in American cities on warm summer nights just because the AK 47 is technically a gun. I like the idea that in a free society all sorts of views can be aired on all sorts of issues and a sensible middle ground can be reached. I don't agree with the opinions of many parties to the debates but people have an absolute right to have them and to expect better in return than stupid labels of 'fucking liberal' by way of reply. I see 150 years since the Civil War of attempts to create and then maintain a civil society 'with liberty and justice for all' -- a painful process at times -- at risk of going down the drain because of the shrill and extremist tone that people like you bring to the table. I am a pro life liberal Catholic who values civil debate. Put that in your pipe and for the love of all that is good and holy relax
IdPreferNot -- I agree with your comments upthread on Romney not running on his record and being seen as a flip flopper and also with your take on Sarah Palin costing McCain the election.
Extro - I've read your posts, and I see that you're trying to 'redress the balance'. But what balance? If the US election were run in the UK, Obama would win by a majority unseen in a US or UK election, ever. And it's because, as ever so many have pointed out, the US Republican party is long old way from mainstream (nevermind liberal) UK opinion.
The love the UK electorate have for an NHS free at the point of service is well documented and quantified.
The Tories have never pushed for changes to abortion law that even begin to echo Republican platforms in the US.
The sort of economic austerity that Cameron seeks to inflict on the poor would still make him a leftie in the US.
You seem to be suggesting that your views are mainstream in the UK, just not on leftie old Mumsnet. That's just patently untrue. You are more than entitled to your views, but they are out of whack with the bulk of British voters.
By all means, seek to change that if you like, this is a democracy and all opinions should be heard. It's just that thus far, your opinions are not that popular here.
Math- "extreme liberal" does not apply to you. You are moderate to left leaning from what you write on this thread, by US or Irish standards, and just centrist by UK standards.
I was using "extreme liberal" to describe People for the American Way given their continuous talk of "reproductive freedom", opposition to parents' rights laws, calling SCOTUS justices reactionaries, and the vitriol with which they cover the Right and the sort of blogs and articles they link to.
My talk of monks and nuns was in contrast to the openly anti-Christian Amanda Marcotte (that's not anti-Christian Right, but anti ALL religion, in a flippant and hateful tone) suggesting that teachers in high schools should be able to correct misinterpretations of human relationships, particularly those about what turns females on, encountered in porn. She mentioned "an experienced adult". I was pointing out that an adult without sexual experience would be just as good at explaining the sort of reproductive facts schools should confine themselves to teaching, and perhaps even do better at delivering an abstinence-focused, morally respectable message. I went to a independent non-denominational, (moderate- no evolution denial or hellfire talk) Christian school in England where the sex education was delivered by a Catholic nun. It was appreciated.
What Marcotte the misotheist has in mind is teachers who'll be prepared to listen to pupils confide their formative sexual experience and not disclose it to parents or anyone else. Which is almost as extreme as you can get. None but the most foolhardy or reckless pupil would start trying to share personal details of their sexual development with a celibate nun or monk, at least. They would be quickly cut off and a phone call made to the parents.
I get your points on school nurses. I think you've converted me on that.
Piglet John - I'm an actual American voter. If the election were run today in the US, Obama would probably win. And that's pretty poor for the Republicans, who should be flying high on the VP announcement and the RNC.
Anything can happen before November, so who knows? McCain was a much stronger candidate than Romney, but then Obama was 'vapourware', and now he has a record of failing to fish the economy out of the toilet. Still, I doubt Romney will succeed where McCain failed.
Extro Still not answering any questions yet.
Since you are anti-choice how do you feel about the figures from the WHO that clearly show that terminations of a pregnancy are far higher in abstinence only sex education states compared to comprehensive sex ed states.
No-one pushes for anti abortion laws because the other 75-80% are pro choice. I know I'm in the minority. I was saying it's not such a SMALL minority.
"inflict on the poor"- many think that fiscal conservatism benefits the poor in the long run even if it inflicts temporary suffering, so being compassionate does not require a high and progressive tax rate. You might not agree. I am centrist on economics anyway.
It's my social views and particularly my abortion statements which conflict with the UK mainstream. And I'm proud of that. I'm not going to go with the majority. The sexual "revolution" was wrong and abortion is wrong, and that is all I will say. But I accept that this being a democracy it is not likely that major steps will be taken to promote a pro-abstinence and/or pro-life agenda because there will be no electoral constituency for doing so. So I just live my life the old-fashioned way, which I see as the only morally right way no matter how unpopular it is in a given society, and all the permissives can get on with being the majority.
Pro-life, pro-family, pro-enterprise, but not anti-poor or anti-minority, and not pro-British mainstream and don't want to be. (Nor do I want to hear idiot comments telling me to "move to Afghanistan" or similar. I've had that fucking crazy shit before just because I believe in sexual morality and pro-life, that doesn't count as a reason to go into exile in a third world country. Britain is tolerant enough not to force me out for my traditionalist beliefs.)
I just might consider Ireland though. Not paying for the killing of unborn babies with tax pounds and a LOT more people still believing in God and the primacy of the family is a big improvement for a trip across a few miles of sea.
I am a fiscal conservative, and one that knows that inflicting some tough love on the City would save us a lot more money. Corporate welfare costs us far more money in the US.
By the way, the US Republican party is not pro-family. They resist any time off for maternity leave (paid or otherwise), any national minimum for holiday entitlement, any flexi working restrictions on businesses. In all the ways that matter, they want to keep families apart as much as possible.
I would not suggest you move to another country! That's the point of living in a democracy, you don't have to agree with the mainstream.
Anti-choice? That is abortion lobbyist language. Pro-life. In return I won't call you pro-death. Civility, you said...
I feel that abstinence is not working out properly because of the moral failings of the people... but how to improve morals is a very complex thing and one government cannot control, they can't "make" people moral. Abstinence has been difficult throughout history; we know most males weren't virgins at marriage even in the Victorian era, just not speaking about sex in public (so that was more a misogynist system than a truly moral system as it shamed women.) Now that men and women are closer to equality and one does not have to do all the parenting could we finally enter a period of abstinence by both sexes until marriage, and a renewed emphasis on living life with higher goals than mere animal rutting? Women now have the power to make demands of their partners and they should begin to demand sexually pure men. That would change the game toward family values. Most importantly, all the Christians and Muslims of the world start living out abstinence/sex within marriage only. Instead of moaning about "how times have changed" or "it's not like that anymore", let's go out and pro-actively make it "like that": in the US over 70% of the population is still Christian and yet 95% are sexually experienced at marriage. I can get atheists rejecting the marriage-based standard. Those of us with faith need to get together and we can completely transform society just by our rededication to moral truth- actually supporting the sanctity of marriage, purity and pro-life values instead of the suburban 1950s or 1870s Victoriana fantasy which was really full of backstreet abortions, brothels, "easy" girls and affairs.
Is this reasonable?
I did not suggest any particular person would tell me to move to another country, only that people have told me that before just for disagreeing with abortion or promiscuity or explicit sex education. It's usually one of Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan. Like I'd live in an anti-woman third world hellhole dictatorship rather than be a minority voice in a democracy. It's one of the lines that most pisses me off.
Well only Saudi Arabia and the VATICAN don't allow woman to vote and Iran and Afghanistan are democracies.
But going by your rantings you would prefer a theocracy. you're demonstrating exactly why a religious zealot like Romney should never be President as with Ahmadinajad wanting a nuclear weapon being bad enough the last thing the world needs is a cult member of the USA with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal.
Abstinance only leads to more abortions. Plane simple fact from the WHO
I am pro-life America, in most cases. I am pro-choice in the case of rape (rape would not have to be proved and no charges would need to be brought against the perpetrator), incest, threat to the life of the mother, and a very limited possibility for cases where a child is guaranteed to be severely disabled and has no possibility for any quality of life. I would rather have the government help with the medical bills for the birth of the child and spend the money to find an adoptive home for the baby.
I am completely anti-abortion after 20 weeks, unless the mother's life is threatened.
I am also a very strict believer in waiting until marriage for sex. However, I do think teens need sex education. I hated it, but it taught me some things that I probably needed to know. Birth control should be explained in school, and abstinence should be emphasized as the safest and preferred choice. If parents don't want their child to receive sex-ed, they should be able to opt them out. If it reduces the number of abortions, I completely favor birth control being taught in schools.
Romney is anti-theocracy, so I don't think I'd be concerned on that front.
I think that has to be one of the oddest posts I've read on Mumsnet.
You are right you cannot make other people comply with your view of morality. Live your life the way you think right, but don't presume to think that other people will subscribe to your views however much you choose to talk about avoiding sex.
Novack and Math have said everything I would have, so no need to repeat them. I'll keep this short, and just my opinion as all the stats and history of religions/racism etc has already been well covered.
When I was a little girl, I used to fantasise about moving to America. Then I took up International Politics and International Relations in high school
Now, IMO America is no better than the countries they condemn. It certainly is no longer 'land of the free.'
When I say America, I mean their politicians who criticise the Middle East for the way they treat women, homosexuals etc. It seems they're becoming the very sort of government they despise so deeply.
It worries me very much that my country -Australia- seems to be turning into 'Mini America.' Since it's pretty much a done deal the Liberal's will win our next election (I am Labor) I am following this election very closely. A Republican POTUS and a Liberal PM could land Aussie's in real hot water.
Posted too soon, didn't get a chance to edit!
Due to our foreign policies with the US, having a Republican POTUS and a Liberal PM could land Aussie's in real hot water.
Mississippi pregnancy rates
Mississippi vs New Hampshire
Sex Education Works
Abstinance based education increases hiv transmisson
Why does the religious right want to turn women into diseased baby producing autonomons?
I'm a real American voter, Piglet, and have never been out of North America in my life (or really the US; I took a couple of day trips to Canada when I was younger) so I'm about as steeped in the culture as it comes.
What would you like to know?
It is a shame but not a surprise no-one's coming to my defence in a rational way.
Because you are so far out of touch with what the mainstream British view is. Got nothing to do with the fact this is MN. For all the criticism MN gets, its more representative than people give credit for. I have to say I'm now actually quite fascinated as to how you vote...
But to be honest, I actually think you are doing a great job of not redressing the balance, but hijacking the thread with a lot of factually incorrect nonsense and don't want to readdress any questions that challenge them. Because what you are saying actually has very little to do with American Elections in reality and is all about you trying to push this idea that Brits are more right wing than they actually are. Also sounds like you are trying to campaign yourself and make these ideas acceptable to British ears, and want to someone to desperately pipe up and support you.
I think I'll stick to topic from now on.
Extro -- I have been accused of being an Unreconstructed Marxist by British standards here, but then again, I considered the source and said - nah...
I love People For The American Way. I think it is far more The American Way than the way of Falwell and Robertson that it opposes.
WRT the formative sexual experiences of children... The idea that any parent would want to hear about something like that is (to me) incredibly, gobsmackingly, appallingly prurient. If any of my DCs ever disclosed a sexual experience to a teacher I would like to think a teacher would be discreet enough not to ever repeat it to me and smart enough to wonder what exactly my child was trying to say above and beyond what they disclosed. Children do not just disclose sexual experiences to teachers without a good reason. I would rather they disclosed something on their mind to a teacher, a professional with some child protection training, than to some random friend, or the janitor or the bus driver...
Do you honestly think that there is some piece of legislation possible that would make children not talk to a trusted teacher, and would stop a teacher listening and talking to them? That is a very intrusive role of government you are envisaging there.
(But the real question is why would you even think of such a detail?)
Good luck in Ireland. Maybe you could try the congregation of Rev. Ian paisley in NI? You will pass hundreds of Irish women making their way eastwards across the Irish Sea for abortions as you sail west.
I think you would have to have very little faith to be fazed by commentators who are opposed to religion. They are entitled to their opinions. Sometimes critics turn out to be right - look at Sinead O'Connor. 'A prophet is never welcome, etc..'
IdPreferNot, I keep on agreeing with your posts. Add the farm subsidies to business subsidies.
I am a registered US Voter also.
Have voted in the last three US General Elections and am taking care to read up carefully on this one so that my vote is appropriate for my home state.
I know that Exaro's words are VERY representative of a significant part of the US population
which is one of the reasons I have chosen to make my life here.
I disagree with ALL of Extro's views, but at least s/he can articulate things clearly and engage with other views without completely demonising them.
Most discourse in the USA is blind name-calling.
Also American. I just want to address Extro's claim that she would be a moderate in the US, because while she might be considered so in, say, Alabama, her views would definitely be considered very right-wing on the East Coast.
Extro -- this is not to say I don't find your views very interesting! (while disagreeing with them completely ) But I think you would be misleading the Brits on here to suggest you would be completely mainstream everywhere in the US.
What makes someone right-wing to me is a certain lack of pragmatism when it comes to policy and the desire to extend that to everyone, whether they agree with you or not. Take abortion. If you are really opposed to abortion and think it's murder, then it makes sense you would want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. But pro-lifers are also usually against contraception, sex ed, all the things that help reduce pregnancy. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
FWIW I went to Catholic school and they had lay people come in and teach proper sex ed. You want to promote abstinence? Show a bunch of 14 year old girls a full-on close-up film of a baby being born (oh the screaming). Show photos of syphalitic genitals. And also, teach them about birth control, so if they do have sex, the least amount of harm will occur.
A lot of us on the East Coast would be quite happy to secede (maybe we can join the EU? ) Then the East Coast Republic wouldn't have to worry about Republicans forcing us to teach creationism, making abortion and contraception illegal, denying climate change, making all guns legal, reinstituting the death penalty, deporting migrants, giving tax breaks to the rich while axing benefits for the poor, etc and so on.
It is a real question whether the US will still be one country 150 years from now.
It is a real question whether the US will still be one country 150 years from now.
Honestly? I sincerely doubt it.
I was thinking about the idea of teaching creationism, and trying to force schools to say that evolution was a theory, just one idea among others.
I was considering the idea that there was a religion who felt that their faith required them to believe that the earth went round the sun and the earth was flat. This religion could punish or excommunicate any of its adherents who said otherwise (believe it or not, this has happened).
Now suppose that this religious group had enough inflience to insist that the heliocentric, round-earth theory was not to be taught as fact. How would a geography teacher, or a school of navigation, cope? Could a class be taught about the projection of maps, or astrophysics?
To me, it seems incomprehensible that a publicly-funded school could be forced to obey the desires of the religious group. Would it be possible in America?
sun went round the earth ffs
I doubt it too Hmm.
Piglet, there is indeed a lot of tension between religion and state in certain parts of the country when it comes to education.
I don't think it's impossible for religion and science to coexist in state schools -- they do in England, right? I have to say, as an American, it was really surprising to find out that state schools in England can be CoE or Catholic and exclude local pupils for not being religious enough basically. That would be complete anathema in many parts of the US! Legally, state schools are not supposed to have a religious character.
But I gather they still teach science properly in those schools? My US Catholic school also had no problem teaching physics, biology, etc., we learned evolution was correct.
The problem is that in some areas, you do indeed have people who want the entire curriculum to conform with the Bible. Their efforts usually get challenged legally, so most of these people end up home schooling.
Sorry, I only know about England! (only lived in London) Is it the same in all the UK? I thought the Scottish system was totally different.
I'm just going to drop this here. So very, very funny, and exactly how I feel about the current campaign.
I'm originally from the US. I've not posted in this thread because I have just SO much to say on this topic (was raised in Washington DC so politics is like a local sport to us!) but I think I'd bore the arse off anyone with it all. The Jon Stewart link covers a lot of the current issues I have, though! Get past the bit with Clint yelling at the chair; he doesn't actually stay on that issue for too long.
"I do no believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that makes you pro life. In fact, I think in many cases your morality is lacking if all you want is a child born, not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed.
And why would I think you don't?
Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro life, that's pro birth.
We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro life is"
Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun.
I agree with every word of that, and it's very rare that I agree with a theist's viewpoint. Also, remember that these people who claim to be pro life are those who back the death penalty, which is hardly pro life.
Oh yay, another DC person on the thread!
DC is hilarious. I'm pretty sure it's the only city where people go out to bars in droves to watch the State of the Union speech.
It's also 90% registered Democrat. The Bush years were HELL.
<waves> to dreaming It is a unique city, yes. Was born and raised there, and my friends there pop to my mind every time I hear "ALL Americans think xyz" etc. No, actually they don't. ALL of my friends own passports, travel, and have opinions which they've based on those travels and their various life experiences. I realise this is a different stereotype but it is a very real one for that city. And dear bob don't get me started on what Republicans think are "real Americans."
And in case any UK folks think I'm just commenting on UK opinions: I actually hear that generalisation more from Americans abroad, about other Americans, especially if they're from a particularly conservative part of the country.
Piglet I don't know, but if some frightening little man chased me around with a plate of them for a day, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't eat them just to shut him up. (It's from a book- the "nichts" bit was my son chiming in; his dad is German and he likes to mix things up a bit)
I do have a genuine question: What does 'Pro-America' mean? Surely if you live in America, pay taxes etc you are 'Pro American' otherwise you'd be living elsewhere?
It's not a snarky question, I've just never heard anyone here say 'oh, you agree with more immigration? You're not Pro-Australian!' Same with England.
Many thanks if an American can explain what this (actually) means as opposed to the obvious implication.
Pro-American is another right-wing catchphrase. The implication being that if you don't agree with them, you are not just anti-conservative, you are anti-AMERICA.
I'm not sure I can explain it because I personally think it's really stupid.
But I sense that the thinking is kind of like this: America is the greatest country ever. Conservatives want to keep America great and to make it even better by undoing all that commie stuff that lefties have put in place. So if you are against conservatives, you are against America, because the only thing the conservatives are doing is trying to keep America great.
This got even more amplified after 9/11, as you can imagine.
That's what I suspected, but I thought it may have a deeper meaning than 'you agree with immigration laws and 'anchor babies?'
hate that term! Well you're not a REAL American!!
Saying someone isn't a 'real' American is racist in itself IMO. Obviously the same applies to all other countries but I cringe at terms like 'All American Boy' etc.
I will be restrained with my answer because I admit, my natural tendency is to rant about Republicans.
I think "real" American means different things to different people. Usually if they are the sort of person to be trotting out that term, they are conservative-leaning. I don't think all of those people realise how um.. extreme the term sounds to other people. Some use it relatively innocently, some of them use it in a disgustingly extremist (anti-immigration) way. The most recent use of it is anti-liberal, basically. "Real" Americans agree with Republican policies (pro gun, pro religion). Sarah Palin was big on using this term. Democrats have tried to use it in response to them, but they try not to use it often.
"Pro-American".. is even more nationalistic.
"All-American Boy" I actually don't take too negatively, because I (personally) don't associate racial background with it. I think I've only heard it with regard to middle class, clean-cut kids on the football team, black, hispanic or whatever doesn't matter as much as class. Open to interpretation again, though, as I'm sure to someone else it only means a blonde boy or whatever.
Yes, to my ears 'real American' has serious racist/xenophobic tones.
I'm not sure the sentiment is completely absent in the UK. You hear right-wing people there talking about how awful multiculturalism is and we need to return to good old-fashioned English values and so on. Certainly some people have ideas about what is British and 'un-British'. It may not be to the same extreme as in the US, but then the US is a much more flagrantly patriotic/nationalistic country generally.
The one I find odd if the fact that to criticise the President is unpatriotic.
You can slag off parties and politics and politicians, but not the president... admittedly its not quite been the same with Obama, but I've had amusing conversations with liberal Democrat supporting Americans who HATED Bush's policies and yet wouldn't criticise him in any way near the same way Brits would maul our PM whilst he was in office.
Calling Obama unpatriotic is the Wingnut nod to being politically correct. What they really mean by 'unpatriotic' is 'black'.
Have a look to see if a centrist Republican, say McCain, has ever called Obama unpatriotic. (He hasn't.) In fact, McCain recently defended Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin, from the Senate floor. Michelle Bachmann (heaven defend us from her) claimed Huma's family were terrorists and that she was 'unpatriotic'. This time it meant 'Muslim'.
The Wingnuts use 'real America/n' in the same way as 'unpatriotic'. But that's not necessarily what Romney means by it. Usually that's just appealing to the People, ie, not the political class running Washington. Both parties use 'real America' in much the same way (our voters, not theirs, and not those bastards in DC ).
what is a Wingnut?
is it usual for right-wingers to be bombastic and intolerant?
Right wing nut. Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, considerable numbers of Fox News commentators, et al. As distinct from someone who is right-wing, or conservative, such as Romney.
I must admit whenever I hear 'my son is an All American Boy!' It usually means he's white, enjoys the 'appropriate' toys and activities for a young boy and has certain views already developing...It makes me cringe. At least that's the way it's been portrayed in Australia. Again, to me it's just a weird term. Never heard 'All Australian Boy!' 'All English Boy!' 'All Irish Boy!' Well, etc etc. Not necessarily just race, it applies to gender stereotypes as well as political beliefs in a child. At least IME.
'Pro-American' makes me cringe because it's not the same as 'Pro-women/etc'
It almost sounds like a threat to American voters who disagree with whatever politician said it. An American is an American is an American. I just can't understand it if it's not a threat, eg 'you agree with xzy? That goes against the Founding Fathers! You're not a REAAAAAAAAAAAAAL American!' Not race related there but still sounds extremely insulting and threatening to me.
FYI: I'd be disgusted with any Aussie politician (including my brother) who used 'Pro-Australia' as an argument.
Math WRT "formative sexual experience" You are seeing this from a safeguarding/child protection perspective? We were talking about teens in high school, so I meant the "normal" i.e. not abusive or pathological sexual behaviour between teenagers, or pupils discussing their relationships, being pregnant or suspecting that is the case, and similarly personal issues. If you're thinking of the young child who blabs out something sexual or asks an age-inappropriate question which implies something's the matter at home, then that is a completely different situation. Of course parents may not be told in line with child protection procedures in this case.
"incredibly prurient" So a Muslim, conservative Catholic, Sikh or Mormon whose son/daughter tells a teacher they are having sex at 15 is prurient for wanting to actually be informed of this, which they see as a major moral issue in keeping with their beliefs? Prurience is reading trashy sex obsessed pulp fiction or minor celebrities' shenanigans in the tabloid newspapers, or so I thought? Wanting to know whether your own child is following the faith and morals you have brought them up with, and not have a professional you have entrusted them to keep secrets for them, fits in that category now? Really?
I am not "fazed" by Marcotte or those with her views on religion and/or sexuality, I am offended and annoyed by them and don't want those views inflicted on children.
"Do you honestly think there is a piece of legislation that could stop children speaking to a trusted teacher, or stop teachers listening and talking to them?" - No, as it would be unenforceable, but in lieu of statutory intervention schools could issue individual guidance that the teachers are not there to be a confidante for the concupiscent youth, particularly when parents don't share those "metropolitan elite liberal" moral standards. I know of one place in this country where 90% of pupils are from Muslim/Hindu/ Charismatic Black church/SDA or other traditionalist families but the deputy principal provides secret support to them on intimate sexual matters and has produced a sex ed policy which doesn't mention marriage, purity, abstinence, or similar concepts ONCE. I said this was an anti-family imposition of a sophisticated white liberal Christian elite woman's morals on children and teens from several tightly knit conservative communities. Surely you can't defend her?
^Ian Paisley^- I'm not a Catholic-hating gay-bashing five point Calvinist ultrafundie bigot. Don't balk at me calling a group that you happen to like extreme liberal (not even you personally) and then imply I am far-far-far right when I have disavowed that sort of wingnuttery several times in the thread. Did you miss the post that said I'd support a Democrat who was anti-abortion but had moderate positions on other things? Or the one where I attacked Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for their extremist nonsense? The support for the Affordable Care Act? The one where I said "evolution denial" as if evolution might actually be true? And that one about my very in-between position on economics?
I have made it clear I'm not an extremist. @dreamingbohemian- the two coasts and New England, the deep-blue states are much closer to mainstream UK political views, yes. But I was saying for the US as a whole I was a moderate, would be seen as a RINO (Republican in name only) in the south and heartland for not being rightwing enough. Even the California lib stereotype is not true for all of it: the inner parts are conservative and Arnie was a GOP governor. SF/LA and SoCal are probably the most socially liberal parts of the nation though and New England the most fiscally liberal, isn't Vermont going for a NHS style system above and beyond "Obamacare"? I heard that and that it would be seen as a test of whether single-payer could work in the US.
IdPreferNot- would you consider me a wingnut then? (I hope not given my clear opposition to them, but some people insist on calling me extreme here.)
When you say you think evolution might be true do you mean Darwinian or Lamarckian.
Many republicans like to say that they agree with evolutionary theory but then it turns out they don't mean the accept darwin as fact but they mean lamarckian evolutionary nonsense which is why they are always start talking about they are the right person to be dong a job becuase their grandfather did this or their great grandfather did that so they are the most experienced candidate for the job.
You see Lamarckian believers, of whom Romney is one believe that you are born with the learned traits of your forefather which is why he keep going on about how his dads did this or his grandad did that because in his mind that means he has inherited their traits (not eye or hair coour, but business accumen and work ethic etc) and can also do the same thing and that his fathers abilities are his.
For those who question why faith should be a question at all. Do not forget that the right have spent the last 5 years painting Obama as a muslim because he has an arabic middle name, Hussein, which simply means handsome. The have used the euphamism, unamerican because he is black.
They right do not want to mention faith now because Romney holds the equivalent position in his cult of a Roman Catholic cardinal. This is a man who is one step down from being his cult's pope and yet he now wants to say that his faith is not important. Does he really expect anyone to believe that he got to that high priest position by standing against their stated beliefs, for not toeing the line perfectly so it is irrelevant.
I mean Darwinian, the other type is pseudoscience. More race-baiting? When will you stop?
Extro would be quite right wing here in Minnesota too, and we're what one thinks of us "right wing country" even though we're really not.
We'll still be a country in 150 years. What kind of country we'll be remains to be seen, of course.
I am...well, not pro-life really. I have pro-life leanings and can not think of a situation in which I would have an abortion personally, but I realize that outlawing them is not the answer.
But I will never vote for a politician who says he or she is pro-life, anyway, because most of them are pro-death penalty and anti-social programs and seem to want to go to war at the drop of a hat. Fuck 'em. They don't care about those babies once they're born and I would never ally myself with them.
But Extro is not a US citizen or resident, so is of no use as an example in trying to understand the attitudes of those who are (the point of this thread)
But I am. Born n' bred. Pick my brain all you want.
Is it generally considered normal to believe in the inheritance of acquired characteristics?
Evolution is what the science community has decided is the most likely scenario, so it should be taught as such in science classes. In history or a social studies class (not science), teachers should talk about various religious views of the creation (in a secular manner).
Regardless of what I believe, I believe that kids deserve to hear all sides.
In response to Novack's:
"They right do not want to mention faith now because Romney holds the equivalent position in his cult of a Roman Catholic cardinal. This is a man who is one step down from being his cult's pope and yet he now wants to say that his faith is not important. Does he really expect anyone to believe that he got to that high priest position by standing against their stated beliefs, for not toeing the line perfectly so it is irrelevant. "
Romney is a full-fledged, devoted Mormon. There is no arguing that.
In the Mormon church, there is one prophet, two counselors, and 12 apostles. Those 2 counselors and 12 apostles are the ones in line to be prophet, as well as hundreds of other leaders far more likely to be apostles than Romney.
PigletJohn No, I don't think that's normal, and I'm not sure Romney believes it.
Yeah, to say "This is a man who is one step down from being his cult's pope" is a profound misunderstanding of the structure of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
No, PigletJohn. I remember our biology teacher discussing it, as a matter of fact. I don't know anyone who believes that.
'Math WRT "formative sexual experience" You are seeing this from a safeguarding/child protection perspective? We were talking about teens in high school, so I meant the "normal" i.e. not abusive or pathological sexual behaviour between teenagers, or pupils discussing their relationships, being pregnant or suspecting that is the case, and similarly personal issues. If you're thinking of the young child who blabs out something sexual or asks an age-inappropriate question which implies something's the matter at home, then that is a completely different situation. Of course parents may not be told in line with child protection procedures in this case.'
No, I'm not seeing it from a child protection perspective.
'So a Muslim, conservative Catholic, Sikh or Mormon whose son/daughter tells a teacher they are having sex at 15 is prurient for wanting to actually be informed of this, which they see as a major moral issue in keeping with their beliefs?'
I do see it as prurience and I am baffled by it. I see fear there too. Do parents have so little faith in the way they bring up their children that they think the minute they reach sexual maturity they are going to turn around and have sex? If you are a responsible parent of any stripe you will have done your best to inculcate your values in your children. You will have provided your children with a sense of ambition for themselves beyond seeking the status of having a girlfriend or boyfriend or baby, and on the practical side you will have pointed out that the consequences of having a baby before you can afford it are profound and usually borne unequally by the mother.
'in lieu of statutory intervention schools could issue individual guidance that the teachers are not there to be a confidante for the concupiscent youth, particularly when parents don't share those "metropolitan elite liberal" moral standards. I know of one place in this country where 90% of pupils are from Muslim/Hindu/ Charismatic Black church/SDA or other traditionalist families but the deputy principal provides secret support to them on intimate sexual matters and has produced a sex ed policy which doesn't mention marriage, purity, abstinence, or similar concepts ONCE. I said this was an anti-family imposition of a sophisticated white liberal Christian elite woman's morals on children and teens from several tightly knit conservative communities. Surely you can't defend her?'
A teen having sex at 15 or whatever age is so much more than a moral issue.
I think I would trust the judgement of the principal that the listening ear/shoulder to cry on that s/he provides is a service that the students need. I think it is highly unlikely that the principal is advising students to go out and have sex and to heck with the consequences. Marriage, purity, abstinence and similar concepts have clearly not impressed the students even though they come from homes where those ideas are held important if they are seeking out teachers of the principal to confide sexual matters to.
How is it 'sophisticated', 'white' (????), 'liberal', 'Christian', 'elite' or 'women's morals' (or combinations of those adjectives) to recognise reality and provide practical support? If the students felt they could approach their parents with the details of their lives they probably would not be confiding in teachers. In a world where so called honour killing is sometimes carried out I think a principal who left teens to the mercy of their families a teacher has a duty first to the children. Even without 'honour killing' a teacher's duty is to the children imo.
Teachers try their hardest to teach even the children of the Irish Traveller community that whips children out of school at age 11. Should they bother? The girls will never have a job. The role envisaged for them is to be mothers and keepers of the house. Their training starts at 10 or 11. The boys will follow whatever trade their father follows. Some Traveller families place no priority on sending any of their children to school and are constantly in trouble with truancy officers. Should LEAs bother following them up and getting the children enrolled and making sure they go? The Travellers think of school and the culture it represents as a place that is alien to their culture. Should they have to send their children there? Or should government allow them to stay home and never learn to read or write?
If teens in high school feel the need to talk with someone then imo they are welcome to talk. If teens are able to find and form a positive relationship with a teacher they can relate to I see that as a very good thing in a teenager's life. Same goes for neighbours, family, friends, parents of friends, relatives. I like the idea that a community is available and willing to support and influence a teenager. I don't see influence from outside the family or the church as an automatic negative.
Why not 'inflict' the views of Amanda Marcotte on anyone? I know a child who comes out with a lot of the sort of ideas (in childish terms) she has blogged. She and her family are former neighbours of mine. They visit occasionally and hopefully we will return the favour some day. Their DD and my youngest DD were friends from the time they could talk. DD shrugs when her little friend calls Christmas Fishmas. They shrugged when DD tried to teach their DD the Hail Mary. (DD also taught her to read in contravention of their Steiner principles, and there was no putting that particular cat back into the bag.) Children tend to go along with whatever their family believes. The Steiner child mentions gnomes when she talks about her maths class. DD talks about the funny joke Fr. X told when he visited her class. Teens are going to be thinking their own thoughts no matter how much you want to isolate them. I have a sister who is basically a Buddhist at this point in her life, having found over the years beginning in her teens that what she was brought up with wasn't relevant to her.
You can't legislate opinion or relationships. The most you can do is respect the framework that allows everyone to hold whatever opinion they hold and to express it freely and not abuse that freedom by calling those who disagree with you names.
I think that either Ian Paisley is closer to the centre than I thought he was or you are closer to Ian Paisley than you realise on social issues, Extro. Maybe it's the use of language that has people bamboozled as to your feelings -- when you claim to be at the centre yet use the language and hopping angry tone of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk there is a disconnect somewhere.
(I agree CheerfulYank)
The issue of Romney being a Mormon will not play a part in the election except via underground and very indirect channels. On the surface, it is a non-issue just as the issue of Obama being black is a non-issue on the surface. Religion cannot be used to attack candidates -- it's a sort of unspoken rule. The right to have a religion and to play a part in whatever religion you adhere to is guaranteed in the constitution. There is still a bit of a bad taste left in the mouth after the openly anti-Catholic elements of opposition to JFK. Any criticism of a candidate's views that seem to be based on religion has to be done obliquely. It can be done but not directly.
The closest the campaign got to mentioning Mormonism in a negative light so far was Newt Gingrich's oblique reference to Romney's mandatory Mormon missionary stint when he highlighted his ability to speak French.
Back on the topic of Mormonism, I found a book online that was written by Mormon scholars on the topic of race, called Neither White nor Black. I have a link to the chapter I was reading here: signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=445
In the book, I found the following, written in 1963, from the presidency of the church to the members:
^During recent months, both in Salt Lake City and across the nation, considerable interest has been expressed on the matter of civil rights. We would like it to be known that there is in this Church no doctrine, belief, or practice, that is intended to deny the enjoyment of full civil rights by any person regardless of race, color, or creed.
We say again, as we have said many times before, that we believe that all men are the children of the same God, and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the right to gainful employment, to full education opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship, just as it is a moral evil to deny him the right to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.
We call upon all men, everywhere, both within and outside the Church, to commit themselves to the establishment of full civil equality for all of Gods children.^
Romney would have been about 16 when he heard this statement, and it would probably be discussed in meetings in the years following.
The chapter I read details the history of black members of the church, and is very interesting. If anyone is curious for an overview, I would be happy to oblige. It does not appear that the Mormon church itself (despite personal views of some members within the church) has ever taught that those of color are inferior, but instead, that black members, for reasons unknown, had been chosen to receive the priesthood at a later time.
You mean when he conveniently dodged the draft for 2 years in France.
It was mandatory to go and serve his country in Vietnam with the other young men but he instead ran off to socialist France. and considering that his father was running for President at the time you'd of thought he would have shown willing to serve his country or stayed to support his father in the election campaign but no, In order to avoid the draft he ran to France
nightlurker are you a Mormon?
He went to France as a missionary, which is something that is also expected of all young men who are Mormon. If he was as dedicated to his faith as I believe he is now, he would have seen going to France as the choice he needed to make. I don't think it's fair to accuse him of draft dodging.
Well that explains your bending of the truth.
Novack, don't start with the mormons again, will ya?
Would you mind telling me what I bent?
If I'm made a mistake, please let me know.
I was baptized years after the issues with race had been resolved, and in my time as a member, I don't recall ever hearing anything said in church that would cast people of color in any negative light.
That said, I have heard opinion coming from McConkie's Mormon Doctrine which has troubled me, but he was an apostle, and not the prophet. For what it's worth, there are many things in that that book that I firmly disagree with, and write off as his opinion, and not the opinion of the church.
Well, Novack, you've already bent the truth WRT Romney's standing in the Mormon church structure, so you're hardly one to be criticising others about bending truth, are you?
I'm a bit puzzled
If it's your duty as a Mormon to go evangelising, and it's your duty as an American to report for call-up, do you get to choose which duty you obey, or do you obey them both?
IME, no matter how long ago issues have been 'settled' they are still there. Look at the fact that African Americans have had civil rights since the 60s and ask whether there are still people who hold racist views.
Math "No, I'm not seeing it from a child prot. perspective"
So why did you say that you'd prefer a teacher who was a "professional with CP training" hear if one of your DCs wanted to discuss a sexual experience than someone else?
"I do see it as prurience and I am baffled by it. I see fear there too. Do parents have so little faith in the way they bring up their children that they think the minute they reach sexual maturity they are going to turn around and have sex?"
I never said all conservative parents expect this or even fear it, but no matter how strictly you bring a child up there is always a possibility they will have sex or do other things behind your back (drinking, using porn, cutting classes, vandalism, etc.- anything you have taught them is wrong.) So this is when the girl HAS done something and told the deputy principal who set herself up as "approachable" on these issues. When there is an actual disclosure, not just fear your DCs might be up to something you disapprove of.
I still can't conceive of how you would see wanting to find out if your children were living up to your standards is prurience... if you wanted to find out explicit detail then that would be creepy, but anyone in school who'd listen to that level of description in the first place seems unprofessional.
"How is it sophisticated, white (????), urban elite, liberal, Christian, or woman's morals or any combination of those adjectives..."
I was referring to the particular woman in charge of school sex ed policy, who also happens to be the child protection officer, in the example I mentioned. None of these are universal.
But "sophisticated... urban elite" is due to the fact that the more affluent and educated do not as frequently hold traditional values. They are generally more liberal in religious views if they have any at all. Most of them would prefer their dcs had a series of sexual relationships between mid/late teens and 30+ while going through high school/college/university and building their career then married at 30-something to a partner they'd already been living with for some time than bring someone home to meet them at 20 and propose without yet having gone further than a kiss ("You're way too young to commit, you haven't lived yet!" or similar). As few sexually functioning adults are going to abstain until 34 or thereabouts, there is little hope of those who see young adulthood as a time for footloose and fancy-free exploration, self-discovery, higher education and planning for a high end career being abstinent until marriage; this is exactly what metropolitan sophisticates would see it as unlike the cash-poor, deeply spiritual communities from deprived inner cities which send their children to the school in question. It's a disconnect between those who put spirituality first and so make sacrifices to follow the moral code and those who put worldly fulfilment first and do whatever gives them pleasure.
"White" as in the UK apart from Northern Ireland, those who hold to these sort of values are a minority: they are typically found either in white-dominated rural areas such as the West Country, north Wales and the Scottish Highlands and Islands or in inner cities and satellite towns where the population is mainly of first through third generation immigrants from Asia or Africa. The most active extremist Christian churches are nearly always in Black communities in every large city in the UK. The older fundamentalist establishments of Free Presbyterian, Bible Baptist, Gospel Standard Baptist, independent Bible Church, etc. set up by indigenous Brits centuries ago by those who thought the established Church of England to be heretically over-liberal are lucky see a small turnout of greying faces every Sunday. Unsurprisingly, the other faiths represented at the school were almost exclusively non-white though the odd Caucasian convert to Islam exists here.
"Christian" as opposed to Muslim/Sikh/Hindu/Adventist (quasi Christian). What I was getting at is between social class, ethnicity and religion the teacher has a very different profile to the parents so she may be imposing a mentality that differs dramatically from what they expect, abusing her authority as a senior staff member and the trust that parents implicitly place in her to do the job she is being paid through their taxes for.
that's far too long and rambling to follow, extro.
Is it your opinion that a person aged X years is not entitled to privacy and confidentiality?
(the question of what "X" might be is a different question)
If my 15-year-old DD were to get pregnant, and for whatever reason felt she could not approach me first with this, then I would FAR rather she sought information and advice from a qualified school nurse than from the internet. Which seems the likely place she'd turn to without a school nurse.
However, I really don't think this issue is going to swing the US election one way or the other.
@Piglet "confidentiality" is something I believe in to an extent but not when pupils are telling teachers/pastoral staff they're having sex or in a relationship as a blatant end-run around parents who they know quite well would not approve. That is just exploiting it. Confidentiality in school is supposed to be about preventing unauthorised access to data the staff require to do their jobs i.e. records/professional conversations not an excuse for people to pass secrets on.
If they are seeing a school nurse then that's different, it's a healthcare issue and there is a stricter level of scrutiny required before a health professional is allowed to break confidentiality. As I said in my example from UK it was the deputy principal and in the Amanda Marcotte I quoted it mentioned teachers doing sex ed in school (not healthcare workers).
or are you going to defend a teacher with no medical role acting as "an experienced adult" for pupils to unload their intimate secrets on without parents having a hope of finding out? That goes up to 11 on the Spinal Tap extreme liberalism meter...
Yeah, this won't swing the US election. Don't know if Romney even supports a parental rights amendment/ parental rights legislation.
I'm not talking about bringing children up strictly. I'm talking about bringing them up equipped to make good decisions for themselves, to think about consequences for themselves and for others before they make a decision.
I do not live in fear of what my children will get up to behind my back. They are aware of my opinion on porn (feminist anti porn), drinking (nothing wrong with sensible drinking but DO NOT DRIVE), cutting class (highly unlikely -- all headed for Ivy League or equivalent), vandalism (the thought would not cross their minds - it is simply not done). However, they are not children once they get to 14 or so. They are capable of understanding right and wrong and making decisions based on that for themselves.
How come you are thinking of a situation where it is a girl who is engaging in sex and confiding in a teacher? Why not a boy? Would the parents you have in mind be more likely to police the sexual behaviour of daughters than sons?
'But "sophisticated... urban elite" is due to the fact that the more affluent and educated do not as frequently hold traditional values. They are generally more liberal in religious views if they have any at all. Most of them would prefer their dcs had a series of sexual relationships between mid/late teens and 30+ while going through high school/college/university and building their career then married at 30-something to a partner they'd already been living with for some time than bring someone home to meet them at 20 and propose without yet having gone further than a kiss ("You're way too young to commit, you haven't lived yet!" or similar). As few sexually functioning adults are going to abstain until 34 or thereabouts, there is little hope of those who see young adulthood as a time for footloose and fancy-free exploration, self-discovery, higher education and planning for a high end career being abstinent until marriage; this is exactly what metropolitan sophisticates would see it as unlike the cash-poor, deeply spiritual communities from deprived inner cities which send their children to the school in question. It's a disconnect between those who put spirituality first and so make sacrifices to follow the moral code and those who put worldly fulfilment first and do whatever gives them pleasure. '
Sweetest Jesus come and squeeze us...
Do you honestly believe that a child who is secure in his or her family would have sex just because that was the prevailing wind in society or because the principal of the school could be assumed to hold different beliefs from those of the parents? Where does that sort of fear come from?
How many students plan 'end runs' around parents? What could be the purpose of such an 'end run'?
What is the home life of such a student (assuming she exists) like?
Girls who act out sexually as you suggest are not happy and their homes are not nice places.
Where is this focus on teen pregnancy and the sex lives of teenage girls in the poorer parts of inner cities coming from anyway, and how is it relevant?
Math unfortunately yes, the sort of parents sometimes would hold a daughter to a higher standard. I cannot deny this and don't agree with it, but it is still a disconnect between the parents' views and what the school is using (moral framework for SRE only mentioned "respect" and "responsibility") They would normally want their children of both sexes to abstain, but be harsher on a girl for not doing so because it is seen as less "natural" and so less forgivable.
I mentioned girls because the school I was asking you about to gauge how far away your position was from the parental-rights view was an all-girls' school in England. Nothing sinister there. If I had heard of a boys' school principal pulling that stunt I would be railing at him/her, not being a misogynist myself.
'or are you going to defend a teacher with no medical role acting as "an experienced adult" for pupils to unload their intimate secrets on without parents having a hope of finding out?'
Yes, because there is always more to it than just the sex life of the teenage girl. Girls who settle for sex are unhappy, have nothing much going for them, are not 'feeling the love' at home and an approach to a teacher is often a cry for help that a teacher should not ignore.
'Intimate secrets' is an incredibly prurient term btw.
Either your family culture is robust enough to survive no matter what your environment or it deserves to bite the dust.
Society does not have to pander to the sensibilities of the parents you have in mind any more than it has to pander to the wishes of parents whose tradition it is to mutilate the genitals of their daughters. Parents who are so disconnected from modern realities in the society they live in should not send their daughters to school, like the Irish Travellers I mentioned earlier.
Boys' schools no matter what foot they dig with do not judge boys for their sex lives or seek to keep tabs on them, or report to their parents. That is the special province of schools where girls are 'educated'.
OK, you don't believe that people of age X have a right to privacy and confidentiality.
An "end run" would allow them to be unconcerned about their parents' reaction, boost their defiance of family values and cause them to not face opprobrium from their extended family and community, thus allowing them to avoid the social support pulling them toward abstinence.
What is their home life like? Frequently not good. Does this override parental rights to know, in the absence of strong belief that abuse is going on?
And secrets about sex or relationships ARE "intimate"... the very concept implies a reverence for human dignity which is the opposite of prurient. Prurience sees little intimate or private about sex and splashes it on kiss-and-tell stories, reality shows and billboards.
I think this tangential discussion should probably stop here though. So people can get back onto the election, and I'll contribute if I feel there is something of relevance (or to challenge any egregious lies by the Obama camp.)
Piglet=- I do believe in confidentiality. See post in direct response to yours.
Sounds like happy girls, happy in their families, lots of love all round.
Teachers' and schools' first responsibility is to their students. Can you see a situation where a phone call to snitch on a girl could result in that girl being murdered?
I did read your post.
You do not believe they have a right to privacy and confidentiality.
"snitch"? Report, surely? Snitch is something immature kids or criminals do on each other to avoid getting into trouble themselves. Ironically, when I was at school a few boys got into trouble for saying "stop snitching" (a common saying in the 20-25 years since hip-hop culture became mainstream here) to justify not reporting suspected child abuse. The issue arose when a group of older kids were picked one summer to mentor the new year 7s in the September and told to report any concerns to a specific staff member.
And that's a classic safeguarding argument. You are motivated by child-protection concerns here. There is nothing wrong with child protection of course and by its nature it must sometimes usurp parental control over the child at risk, but I think that people should use their judgment instead of a wide policy of being "approachable" and never informing parents. I know of Shafilea Ahmed and numerous other teenagers killed for the sake of "honour" so do not go into this naively. Teachers should be smart enough to know when a girl/boy is at risk and when they just don't want parents to know what they are up to.
I made it clear that I do believe in confidentiality so why obfuscate?
I was unaware that parents needed further rights? I also don't think I am entitled to know everything about my DC - I assume that as they grow they will keep more and more information about their private lives... well, private.
No one can legislate you a good and open relationship with your kids. If your child wants to keep sex a secret from you, and the kids know that any school staff they tell are legally obligated to blab to you, then who do you imagine they will talk to?
Anyway isn't this precisely the sort of intimate government-legal intervention in family life that the right generally opposes? The government could always waterboard a 15-year-old who refuses to hand over her Facebook password or the key to her diary. Then you'd know all.
I certainly don't think parents are entitled to know everything either... just this issue is one which is so critical to the moral framework of conservative families and very important all round, so it strikes me as an overreach for the school to provide secrecy without very good reason (risk of significant harm)
And I'm not right wing, I'm centre, as I said. Family life not being intruded on by the government is things like not forcing explicit sex ed and making sure faith schools stay legal and free.
So by govenment not interfering in family life, what you actually mean is that the government should intervene to force children back into the family's moral framework? Even if the child wants actively seeks outside influence.
Govenment-supported faith schools means the government is now interfering in faith. Why should the government grant-maintain a faith? Surely they should simply keep faith out of school and make sure that faith institutions (churches, mosques) can operate freely and without interference? Even tax-free.
Because faith matters enough for many people that they would like it to be part of their child's daily life at school. But let's leave that one alone. It's complicated and nothing to do with an election in a country where faith schools are already banned from state funding by Constitution.
Apart from Piglet's puzzling direct contradiction to what I said upon asking me a question, which I hope to see resolved somehow, I'm out for now on anything that does not relate to the election. Sorry for the derailment if anyone was perplexed at why school policy was being debated for two pages of a US 2012 election thread...
I think it sort of depends on what age X is, personally...if my 15 year old is getting condoms, etc, that's one thing, if my nine year old is I'd like to know what the hell for!
What if FGM is part of family life? Can the government intrude on that? How about arranged marriages of teenagers who have not met their spouse? How about requiring Traveller children to attend school and do at least GCSEs?
The government maintains a wide range of social services without which many British families would be starving and homeless. Should that all stop?
The government also claims an interest in protecting children from dangers within the family and has powers to remove children from the home and terminate parental rights. Do you think that should be ended?
PigletJohn "If it's your duty as a Mormon to go evangelising, and it's your duty as an American to report for call-up, do you get to choose which duty you obey, or do you obey them both? "
Your first duty is to obey the law. A lot of men never served missions because they ended up fighting in a war instead, and this is seen as a completely acceptable alternative. If you have the legal option of choosing between the two, it would be your choice. The less urgent the military need, the more important the mission is. The more urgent the military need, the more important military service would be, so it really depends on the conflict. If you were serving a mission, and were drafted while serving, your duty would be to come home early and fight for your country.
There was a very sad case here in Canada where a father, brother and mother killed three of their daughters and the father's first wife simply because they had decided that the girls were not living the right sort of life (ie they had picked up some Western values, were showing some signs of independence and shock horror the elder two had boyfriends).
All three girls had tried to tell authorities that they were very scared but unfortunately they weren't taken seriously enough/didn't quite have the courage to run. I would have wished that their school had the sort of courageous deputy principle that Extrospektiv wishes to denigrate. They absolutely needed support from outside of their home.
They certainly did face 'opprobrium from their
extended family' I am sure that Extrospektiv would agree that their end was tragic, however I do wonder if she would think that the tragedy was fundamentally that they veered away from the cultural and religious expectations of their family.
Meanwhile the Democratic convention is later this week.
"There is nothing wrong with child protection of course and by its nature it must sometimes usurp parental control over the child at risk,"
-From my last post math WRT forced marriage, FGM and Travellers denying their children an education. All harmful, abusive, unlawful acts unlike teaching your child to abstain from sex.
"The government maintains a wide range of social services without which many British families would be starving and homeless. Should that all stop?
The government also claims an interest in protecting children from dangers within the family and has powers to remove children from the home and terminate parental rights. Do you think that should be ended?"
Okay, let's defund SureStart, cut off Child Benefit and tax credits, knock down all social housing, keep minors off the NHS in case parents don't agree with them getting state funded healthcare, shut down children's centres, no state money to the NSPCC (who needs protection?), forbid computers in school and youth facility as some Amish-like cult thinks technology corrupts mankind, close down residential units for troubled teenagers and let them sleep on the streets, abandon school attendance services because parents have a right to make them work around the house all day especially if they're girls, stop the Common Assessment Framework as sharing information about children at risk breaches their privacy, ban anti-bullying programmes in case some families think bullying is a good way of toughening people up, repeal the Children Acts, abolish section 47 inquiries (far too intrusive!), get rid of all laws around adoption, and make sure child abusers get to keep their children.
Really ? How could you even ask me what I think? What next, should terrorism and bank robbery be legalised? Should we bring back slavery and set up a public execution zone for the slaves who won't work and follow the rules?
Oh Extro, you are funny.
Apart from Piglet's puzzling direct contradiction to what I said upon asking me a question,...
I ask you if they have a right to privacy and confidentiality, and your rambing evasive reply begins "confidentiality" is something I believe in to an extent but not when..."
You say that "to an extent" you don't object to confidentiality except that it should not apply when it's about something you don't think should be confidential. So you clearly say that you do not believe it is a right, it is a privilege to be granted on certain occasions subject to your approval.
That is not the same as it being a right.
So you do not believe people have a right to privacy and confidentiality.
holy shit I'm glad the state I vote in is moderate
'From my last post math WRT forced marriage, FGM and Travellers denying their children an education. All harmful, abusive, unlawful acts unlike teaching your child to abstain from sex.'
How is the Traveller custom harmful? Traveller girls do not work outside the home in the main because they never have to. They are supported by their husbands and extended families play a large part in childcare. They marry young after a short courtship and in some respects that tradition seems to be akin to what you described earlier - no sex before marriage, no career and cohabitation until the late 20s or early 30s ... what's not to love there?
In spite of the fact that there is one law for all (that has come into existence as a result of democratically expressed general consensus) and the fact that having one law for all this is a fundamental part of a civil society you are asking principals to use their discretion (and you object strongly to individual discretion uinless the individual concerned agrees 100% with you). What there is right now is a system that acknowledges the primacy of western culture and the western idea about the rights of individuals as opposed to 'the family'. Because this is the West after all.
Math- I believe in the primacy of Western culture and national law over extremist religious traditions that would conflict with these as well. I once wrote that I found it wrong the way Ray Honeyford was harassed out of his job as a headteacher in Bradford in the mid-80s, when he was promoting making sure that Muslim girls of Pakistani heritage go to school until they are 16 and are not kept off from (pre-)puberty by their fundamentalist fathers. The same would apply to Travellers, everyone deserves an equal chance at completing their basic education irrespective of what background they are from if they live in a country that supposedly guarantees to provide children with this.
I support people marrying early if they find it too difficult to abstain from sex. I don't support women being denied the opportunity to work outside the home (earlier on this thread I called myself "pro-life feminist" so could hardly be against women in this way.)
RE boys' schools. If a pupil at a respectable boys' school started trying to divulge their sexual experiences to a teacher, I expect they'd i)stop them by saying they were not interested/ inappropriate talk/ not my problem etc. and ii)at least consider telling the parents. I don't see schools as institutionally sexist in the way you do, at least on this. It's certain parents who would be more concerned about their daughters than their sons.
"One law for all": there is no law passed in the English Parliament or anywhere else I know of requiring schools to act as super-discreet confidantes for pupils who are sexually impure. Nor is it a "fundamental part of civil society" for parents to be kept out of the loop.
"If a pupil at a respectable boys' school started trying to divulge their ...."
....concerns which might relate to something that had happened, and might be of a sexual nature...
what? you want the teacher to tell them to shut up and piss off?
used to be popular especially among adherents of a well-known religious organisation, very effective at keeping things swept under the carpet.
We know better now.
No use telling them to speak to the parents if it's something happening within the family (which it most often is).
"I support people marrying early if they find it too difficult to abstain from sex."
"RE boys' schools. If a pupil at a respectable boys' school started trying to divulge their sexual experiences to a teacher, I expect they'd i)stop them by saying they were not interested/ inappropriate talk/ not my problem etc. and ii)at least consider telling the parents. I don't see schools as institutionally sexist in the way you do, at least on this. It's certain parents who would be more concerned about their daughters than their sons."
"One law for all": there is no law passed in the English Parliament or anywhere else I know of requiring schools to act as super-discreet confidantes for pupils who are sexually impure. Nor is it a "fundamental part of civil society" for parents to be kept out of the loop.
"which it most often is"
So you're saying more 13-15 year olds are being incestuously abused and going to tell a teacher (most incest victims don't report, a major reason for low prosecution/conviction rate) than experimenting sexually with other teenagers or thinking about doing so?
What planet are you living on?
Nice anti-Catholicism, by the way. The main defender of the anti-parent view on this thread IS Catholic...
Tell them to shut up? I would never advocate such brusqueness in that context, but interrupt them possibly, depends whether they are being respectful and what the school rules are. A lot of youth now start using explicit words and descriptions they wouldn't dare to have used outside their peer group once. There isn't a universal right answer to that.
It's not an 'anti parent' view.
It's a view that every individual has a right to confidentiality, and that 'individual' encompasses minors as well as legal adults.
It you see it as an anti parent view then it is pretty clear that you do not support a right to confidentiality of minors.
There is a universal right answer to the sort of (highly unlikely) scenario you keep on harping on about (for unfathomable reasons of your own.) The answer is that a teacher whose first duty is to the child would listen and try to see the big picture.
And you can't pick and choose the areas where you think families' rights can be stomped on and those which are sacrosanct.
Extro, you do understand that if students are going to their teacher about a sexual issue and the teacher tells the parents, that students won't stop having sex, they'll just stop confiding in a teacher?
What on EARTH has that topic got to do with Obama versus Romney?
I thought Michelle's speech was extremely well written - much more intelligent than Anne's
^"which it most often is"
So you're saying more 13-15 year olds are being incestuously abused and going to tell a teacher (most incest victims don't report, a major reason for low prosecution/conviction rate...) ^
I am saying, as I am sure you are aware, that child abuse is seldom committed by a stranger down a dark alley, it is most often perpetrated in the family home.
Piglet you said "if it's something going on within the family (which it most often is)". The context was any discussion about sex, relationships or being pregnant (which is what I originally said parents should be informed of with an exception if the teacher believed they were at risk)
I am aware that most child abuse is perpetrated in the family. Math that's like saying that "raising taxes on millionaires to 75% isn't an anti-wealth position, just a pro-equality position." Even if it's pro-equality it still goes against someone (i.e. the wealthy.)
Telling parents that their children will be able to explore their sexual concerns with professionals at school and they have no way of finding out any information is "anti-parent" AND "pro-confidentiality". It depends whether you believe parents' right to know or the young person's right to privacy is more important. There is no law or absolute rule either way in this country, so schools have discretion without getting into trouble for which way they decide.
If it's a place in Islington or the leafy suburbs of Cambridge where 97% of parents would prefer their DCs had an outside "confidante" it makes sense to not inform them. If it's inner city with majority Muslims or Black Charismatics or anyone else who would want to know if their DC was up to something they considered to be very immoral, better to inform parents.
Still does not require rejecting the "primacy of Western values" you mentioned or ignoring beatings at madrassahs, pupils coming in full of bruises which their parents believe are "justified discipline", FGM, Kindoki, violent "exorcism", forced marriage or other such practices which violate their individual rights as children, British citizens and more than anything as human beings.
Am I not promoting an even-handed moderate position here? The anti-extremist as ever...
No, you're most definitely an extremist.
I was thinking about the Rev Chad Varah yesterday, founder of The Samaritans.
The story is that after qualifying, and going to a new parish as an assistant, he was told to take the funeral service for a young girl who had killed herself.
Her periods had started, she didn't know what it was, but she had heard rumours about venereal diseases, and thought she had one.
Kept in ignorance.
Scared to talk to her parents.
No-one she could confide in.
Varah decided to try to devote his life to prevent other tragedies.
That story was a formative element of my youth.
Bloody hell Piglet!
That brings tears to my eyes. And I wonder why she felt she must die because she had a 'venereal disease?'
I love the way that Extro considers a reference to institutionally permitted and concealed child abuse to be a "Nice anti-Catholicism"
It's hard to tell if he intends to draw attention to the shameful record of churches throughout the world, or if he is complaining about it being mentioned instead of brushed under the carpet.
I called it anti Catholicism because you were accusing Catholics of telling people to "piss off and shut up" then linking that to child abuse when it was irrelevant to the context; it is a fair criticism of the church on its own merits. When something like this is just thrown in it makes me suspicious that the real goal is to assault Catholic moral teaching or Christianity as a whole.
Love your paraphrase of sexual experience by the way. I didn't suggest interrupting until the pupil was actually discussing sex and/or using inappropriate explicit language.
and the first person to mention Catholicism was.... Extrospektiv!
PJ mentions "concerns"
"If a pupil at a respectable boys' school started trying to divulge their ...."
....concerns which might relate to something that had happened, and might be of a sexual nature...
what? you want the teacher to tell them to shut up and piss off?
And Extro thinks it says "accusing Catholics of telling people to "piss off and shut up"
Perhaps in the world Extro lives on, all teachers are Catholics. And a question is an accusation.
Why am I saying that you accuse Catholics... because after that disquisition upon shutting up, your very next line is:
used to be popular especially among adherents of a well-known religious organisation, very effective at keeping things swept under the carpet
Which is a direct accusation that Catholics used to frequently use your caricature of the traditional values approach AND implies that such an approach is effective at perpetuating child abuse. A serious claim.
Extro adds the word "Catholic" inside his own head to what I wrote.
Unclear what point he is making about the church oppressing victims and sweeping crime under the carpet for many years.
I'm a devout Catholic (prayer sessions twice daily) but I'm afraid I have to agree with Piglet John. I was very pleased when the Church
finally gave an official apology.
Sadly an apology isn't enough. I do hope history will never repeat itself in regards to any religion sweeping child abuse under the carpet. From personal experience, I know that the damage of being dismissed can sometimes outweigh the pain of the abuse.
Disclaimer: yes, I know there are other religions that do what the Church has done in the past, I only specified Catholicism as it had already been mentioned.
If someone said "a certain well-known ethnic group engages in violence fuelled by its hip-hop culture", would I be going too far to suggest that it was a reference to blacks and the person saying it may have racial bias?
I added Catholic because it is well-known that is the religious organisation with the highest profile sexual abuse scandal. And yes, they were wrong to oppress victims. Few would argue with that.
I'm feeling puzzled that it should be considered OK to abide by confidentiality in environments where it is apparently OK for children to talk to other trusted people in their lives and there will probably be very little repercussions for them if it did come out that they shared concerns of a sexual nature with a teacher; but totally wrong to do the same where parents may very well react very strongly, causing serious repercussions for the child.
The only conclusion, I can come to is that the 'sexually impure' (WTF) shoudl be punished whenever possible, especially if they are young and vulnerable.
Well fuck that. I want my children and their friends to feel safe if they need to confide in someone. If it's not me well that's sad and has some implications for my parenting, but it is more important that someone is there for them if they are troubled than for me to know what they are doing at all times. Just because they are young doesn't make them my possessions.
Anyway, apart from showing the warped thinking of someone who identifies as a Republican (although not in fact an American voter) I'm not sure this conversation helps anyone to understand the current election.
Math that's like saying that "raising taxes on millionaires to 75% isn't an anti-wealth position, just a pro-equality position." Even if it's pro-equality it still goes against someone (i.e. the wealthy.)
It's not necessarily either anti wealth or pro equality.
It might make sense economically-speaking or it might not. Tax policy is not decided on whims (anti wealth or pro equality for instance).
Don't forget female Nooka. That is usually how it works.
Extro -- how is 'explicit language' inappropriate when discussing sex? Surely clarity is to be encouraged? Do you prefer the nudge nudge wink wink approach?
Extro -- used to be popular especially among adherents of a well-known religious organisation, very effective at keeping things swept under the carpet [PJ]
Which is a direct accusation that Catholics used to frequently use your caricature of the traditional values approach AND implies that such an approach is effective at perpetuating child abuse. A serious claim. '
Sweeping things under the carpet is the most effective way to perpetuate child abuse. See no evil, heal no evil, speak no evil.. If the family is sacrosanct and the individual child has no real rights because the rights of the family trump those of the individual then the child is placed in a very vulnerable position. This is how so many girls and young women ended up being cast into the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland by their own families. It was akin to honour imprisonment and in some cases since the girls died from the tender mercies of the nuns it constituted indirect honour killing.
The sacredness of the family was an argument brought out by the Irish Bishops against the Health Act of 1953 on grounds that the state taking over the privilege of the family. Much of Catholic opposition to measures that would have made a real and positive difference to the lives of the poor in Ireland (vocational education, free comprehensive education, children's allowance, the Mother and Child Scheme for instance) arose because such measures were in conflict with Catholic Social Teaching, which allegedly placed the family first -- in Ireland this was shorthand for 'placed the make head of household first'.
As I said, I go to Mass, etc. -- I don't like to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but there is a heck of a lot of bathwater.
Too true math.
So I see that Clinton made a stirring speech today. Perhaps it is a pity that US presidents can only run for two terms. America really needs a strong effective president right now.
For me this really does sum up the difference between the two ideologies:
""If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility a we're-all-in-this-together society you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden."
Anne Lamott was talking about Kennedy when she said "we all know he had the moral life of a red-ass baboon, but compared with Bush he's like Desmond Tutu." I think the same could be said for Clinton.
I was just remarking to DH that I missed ol' Bill, and here he is speaking truth to power.
I am glad the POTUS can only have 2 terms, though.
Hi Cheerful, I was just coming on to ask you how Bill's speech had gone down! It's interesting that he wasn't allowed to be involved much in Gore's campaign and of course there was the Hillary issue last time - is this the first election in which he will play a real part, do you think?
<bet Gore wishes he'd sent Clinton to charm 500 or so Floridians...>
Most people liked Clinton pretty well; he did a good job of walking the middle road and as a comedian once said, "That sly son of a bitch ran the SHIT out of this country."
I don't like the two term limit. It changes the dynamic of politics when there is an assured lame duck half way through the second term. I think it's a negative and could represent a thwarting of democracy in the case of an excellent president enjoying great popularity. Yes there is the possibility that the president's party would win the third term, but the presidency is about the person as much as anything else.
I am on the fence with term limits. On the one hand I agree with ^^ about consistency, but on the other hand I believe that campaigning takes up so much focus and attention and makes the incubant so careful that not a lot gets done. Especially when there is such an equaly divided legislature, if the Prez has to keep elections in mind, he can't focus as much on what needs doing that may be umpopular or contentious.
If the opposition knows the presidency is automatically up for grabs at the end of 8 years there is no incentive to co-operate or get things achieved - the temptation to focus on the election is just as strong for them, and who goes into an election with a record of co-operation and trying to get things done? That was one of the things that made the right suspicious of McCain.
A ruler who's been in power for a long time, for example thirteen years, is liable to think they are entitled to remain, no-one else can be as good, their opinions are supreme, all opposition must be crushed. It's happened here.
Others, like for example Mr Mugabe, have taken root and are unlikely to give up power before they're carried out in a box.
You also have the problem that with increasing time, you are more likely to have another president who is popular, but unfit to remain in office due to age-related mental degeneration.
So basically Extro thinks that a 15 year old being persecuted by zealot parents who often use the phrase. 'my house my rules` to basicaly threaten a child with homelessness if they don't do everything they are told to, should not be able to seek independant confidential advice onfamily planning because Extro believes the parents have a right to force birth their own children.
Just watching Mrs. Obama's speech again as well...I proper love that woman.
Ain't she just great!
Such an asset - and I do not get the feeling that she wants to run for office herself like Hilary always did
Personally although Michelle Obama seems like a fine woman I find the whole 'First Lady' thing really really uncomfortable. I don't think that the wives (or occasional husbands) children, parents or other relatives of politicians should play a public role unless they are politicians/elected representatives in their own right. I think there is an underlying sexist note to it (wife on arm), and it also must make it much harder for unmarried/partnered people.
Exactly nooka. I've always thought this, and because of it I've never forgiven Jackie O.
What happens when America finally has a female POTUS? I doubt there will be a 'First Man/Husband.'
YEah, who ever the first fella ends up being (and there will be one) is going t have a rough time of it. And the first female POTUS will have to fight off allegations of him running things behind the scene.
It came up when Hillary was running. Bill Clinton would have been called the First Gentleman.
And he may yet do if Hillary runs in 2016 .....
When did Bill become a Gentleman?
When he thought that a joint was a cigar at college and did not inhale
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