*WAY* OT: Pete Ashdown for Utah Senator in 2006

Michael Halcrow mike at halcrow.us
Tue Jul 12 13:26:51 MDT 2005

On Mon, Jul 11, 2005 at 07:08:54PM -0600, Michael Torrie wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 16:03 -0600, Merrill Oveson wrote:
> While all of this about balance and the difference between the
> democrats and republicans is true, I feel that because they are the
> same, neither party can represent my political views.

This whole bipartisan phenomenon we have going on in this country
today is a ruse to mask the real conflict, which is between the
libertarians and the statists. The two dominant parties have a
demonstrated mutual interest in greater state involvement and
influence over private enterprise.

A healthy political distribution of power must reflect the social
dynamics. In other words, if everyone were to grab their guns and run
out into the streets, how would they instinctively assemble? What are
the natural group identities? Most importantly, who would win? If the
political organization is disjunct with the actual concentration of
power, then you will have instability in the overall system and a
difficulty in adaptation of legislative standards.

> So while you can say that they represent the majority of the country
> (ie middle of the road), can we prove that?  It's like telling
> someone you can choose any food you want provided it's broccoli or
> cauliflower.  I think that if you took the statistical average
> across the entire US of the political spectrum, the average would
> be, shock, dead-center.

It is a well known phenomenon that parties merge toward the center
during election debates. You may remember the Kerry/Bush debates; it
seemed like they spent an inordinate amount of time delineating
explicitly what the differences were. I got the impression of, ``We
want the same results, but we have different ways of going about
getting those results.''

> Bush and Kerry came out pretty much extreme right-wing, tending
> towards, yes, facism

Be careful how and when you use that word; I find that most people do
not know what it really means!

> I'd be curious to see where fellow pluggers fall on the scale as
> presented by this very interesting web site.  I'm also curious to
> see how mainstream LDS thought influences this.  I have a theory
> that LDS religion and culture actually tends to make one very
> liberal in political views rather than conservative as you'd think,
> mainly because the intense LDS belief in freedom places most mormons
> more in the libertarian area than, say, facism.

You need look no further than California Proposition 22 (1999) for a
pretty good answer to that question. Should the Mormon church consider
an issue to be moral in nature, it will generally attempt to influence
public policy according to its own moral opinion. It fought for its
alternative marriage definition with regard to polygamy, it fought
civil liberty lawsuits (i.e., Douglas Wallace) before caving in to
civic pressure in 1978, and it is currently fighting against gay and
lesbian rights today.

> People commented during the election that the almost 50-50 split
> between the parties indicated the marked divisions in American
> society.  I don't think so.  I think it indicates that both parties
> are so similar that no one can tell them apart, so voting comes out
> statistically split, since it really doesn't matter which one you
> vote for.

It is amazing how democratic processes can be undermined through the
mechanism by which they are deployed. I was dumbfounded when I came to
realize to what extent we are tolerating the practice of
Gerrymandering in our time. One thing of which I am convinced, so long
as we keep our broken voting process in place, our ability to remove
the likes of Hatch from office will be hampered and our digital
frontiers will remain under assault.

"Aristotelian ethics, Aristotelian definitions, Aristotelian logic,  
Aristotelian forms, Aristotelian substances, Aristotelian rhetoric,  
Aristotelian laughter... ha-ha, ha-ha."                              
 - Robert Pirsig 
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