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I think the following website is an appropriate feeling of the up coming election:

John Kerry Is A Douche Bag But I'm Voting For Him Anyway

I mean, yeah, it sucks balls that we don't have a candidtate that we can REALLY stand behind. I mean, there are those who fully believe that Bush is the best president ever and are completely happy with this up coming election because, well, Bush is the brightest thing we have in our future.

Yeah - not so much.

On the other side we have Kerry. A lot of people don't LIKE Kerry, and I can understand that. I mean, I don't hate the guy, and I really like Edwards, but there's nothing that he's said or done that makes me shake in my boots if he is electected president. I think he has a firm foundation of support under him and could probably tackle issues brought to him.

Of course, if he does win, the Republicans will try their damndest to make his life a living hell for the first few years or so.

But really, that's not what I'm talking about here. My brother Tom made a good comment last night that he would "like someone to vote FOR and not AGAINST." And he's right. We should have a candidtate that we feel is worthy of our time and admiration. We should have someone who we feel speaks for us, will actually DO something and is not just a puppet of the two party system that we have.

But we don't.

This isn't the end of the world though - this is the second presidential election that i will vote in and the second time I really haven't cared. I'm pretty apatetic about our candidates in general. Why? Because I feel that it is up to US to change things, not just one guy and one administration. Sure, it can make our goals harder to achieve, but that's what's great about this country - they aren't IMPOSSIBLE to achieve. IT just takes time and effort. Sure, it gets frustrating but the president is not our savior - we have that responsibility ourselves.

And look at it like this: If Bush IS re-elected, that's only 4 years of him and then NO MORE. 4 years is not that long, and if we stick it out, we may get a candidate in whom we CAN beleive in. It's up to our generation to make that happen.

So go out there, vote for whomever you feel will do the best job. Sooner or later we WILL get a candidate who we like. And if you don't feel we will, then it's time for you to start preparing to run yourself.
We need new parties. And that shouldn't be an impossible concept, yet for some reason, a lot of people think it is. The country has changed parties over the years. It can happen and I think it's what we really need to shake up the political system into something we can give a damn about. Just my two cents.
I agree - I Think our government could opperate outside a 2 party system. Catholics are calling for an evolution of the church, and in the same way we should be calling for an evolution of the government. Or at least be doing more to make it happen.

I get a lot of "do you know how hard it would be to do that?" responses when I say something like that and really - if the cause is worth it, why not? I'm all in favor of shaking things up.

So when I run for president in 2020, you wanna be on board?
People are stupid. Do they think that Dem and Rep are the only parties we've ever had? It's like thinking htat the Catholic church has never undergone major reforms before. Silly and stupid. Oh well.

Sure, as long as I don't have to do anything political. I can be like and advisor and stuff. Or something. It could work.
now I'm pretty off on my political history, but while there have been different parties (like republicans havn't been around since the beginning) I think that there have always been 2 parties that have been in the majority (like how we have republicans and democrats then a bunch of little ones that nobody pays attention to, they had 2 main parties then a bunch of little ones.) But as I said, I never paid attention in early US history.

And sure, you don't have to do anything political really - just be there. I'll set you up nice once I'm in the office ;)
I could be your secretary!

There have been times when there've been three major parties, but it's been prodominatly a two party system. And like 150yrs ago the democrates were the republicans and the republicans were the democrates. Which I always find fun.
it's all one big cycle. It goes to the left, it goes to the right, stands up, sits down, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! wait - I got sidetracked...

I just have issues when people are all "I'm moving to Cananda 'cause America is too far to the right." or when they act like there's nothing they can do about what's going on. What they REALLY mean is that it seems to daunting a task and they don't want to be the one to have to change it.

It's like when you're playing poker, and you look around trying to find out who the sucker is. If you can't see one, that means it's you. When you start looking around for the person responsible for making changes and don't see anybody - that means it's up to you.
Preach it sister!
The U.S. does not have a parliamentary election system and thus it is difficult for there to be a successful 3rd or 4th party and so on. The way the primaries are lined up and timed also make it an even more difficult venture for other parties. It's almost a mathematical equation that we have a 2 party system.

Races for governor can sometimes be the exception. There was a reason Ventura tried to do away with many Majority and Minority provisions in the state congressional government. He wanted to open the door. But it's a difficult proposition. The 2 parties can entrench themselves with the rules of the status quo.

You've got your work cut out for you.

There are blueprints for such change out there, however.
If Bush is re-elected, we get four more years of him and forty more years of people like him.

The Republican party will ride at the front of the ship as it runs aground. The American Empire will come to an end (I can hear some of you saying, "Good.") and the world will be left in a vacuum.

I'd feel a lot better if there was a Japan or India hanging out there waiting for their turn to defend democracy and freedom just as we took the reigns from the Brits at the end of WWII. But it is regional autonomy (see: Balkanization) and fundamentalist extremism (see: Afghanistan, Sudan, etc) which is growing in the world.

So the question is how do we stem this tide of thuggery, violence and anti-democracy growing in the world?

Should we invade and occupy sovreign nations who happen to be in the middle of hot regions just because we're the only superpower left and there is noone to (truly) threaten us back as the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld international policy reads?

Or should we use our influence as that superpower to peacefully (PEACEFULLY!) influence the strengthening of ties between nations both politically and commercially and grow the true and lasting freedom and democracy as the Clinton-Byrd-Berger model follows?

This is quite simply the most important election we will see in our lifetimes. Yes, it's hard to "believe" in a candidate these days. But I think that's a good thing.

It means we are being more scrutinious of the people we choose to lead. We aren't going to blindly follow whomever is placed in front of us and given authority. (See: Bush's approval ratings) We measure them against our own beliefs and give our support or criticisms based upon that reflection. Just as democracy was intended.

That means whenever something major happens in this country, it is because the people truly want it. (ex. Civil Rights Movement) Change can be slow because the solutions are complex and often we don't get it 100% right the first time. But once we do get it right, it's lasting. Atleast, until the people want something else.

If you need to, think of a vote for John Kerry as a vote for not settling for what Bush-Cheney et al are selling. We don't have it 100% right yet. We need more time working out our place in the world. The solution is not simple as B-C-R would have us believe.

It's going to be complex and we'll need the strength and support of our friends. A vote for John Kerry is a step back towards that direction.
If Bush is re-elected, we get four more years of him and forty more years of people like him.

The Republican party will ride at the front of the ship as it runs aground. The American Empire will come to an end (I can hear some of you saying, "Good.") and the world will be left in a vacuum.

That is the most defeatist thing I have ever heard, and it's things like that that get me annoyed. IF Bush gets re-elected that DOESN'T mean we will get 40 more years of people like him. THat DOESN'T mean the republicans will take over and destory America. Of course, if you just give up is BUsh is re-elected, yeah it will mean that. If people give up trying for the government they want because of the challenges presented, yeah America will crumble. Why? Because you aren't putting anything INTO it. There are no free rides in ANY government. If you want the government to work for you go and DO something about it. This is NOT an impossible feat.

What the past election has shown us, and what I hope this up coming election will as well, is that we do have the ability to change things if we work for them. I think we can both agree with that. But if Bush still wins this year, I don't feel that it's a step back. I think it means that people will work harder for what they want.

Or - they'll just give up and move to Canada. Whatever.
I don't think that is defeatist. "Bush is going to win and even if he doesn't we're still fucked because the Republicans control both sides of Congress anyhow," would be defeatist. That would imply there was no hope what so ever.

I think I'm being a realist here. There is an opportunity to continue making changes. But a Bush 43 re-election would mean that window is closing and will be closing even quicker.

America is moving to the right and has been for the last twenty-five years. Starting with Reagan, thru Bush 41 and into the '94 mid-term elections, the Republican Party became the uber-party in the United States.

So if you support tax cuts (in particular, investment, business and upper tax bracket cuts), smaller social services (not necessarily smaller government as Bush 43 has shown) and traditional values, the Republican Party is the party for you.

However if you support taxes on those who can afford them, well-funded social services and progressive values, then you should be fighting this movement to the right. Rather you should be fighting the extent of this movement to the right.

Bush-Cheney is not the far-laissez faire-Libertarian end of the right wing. But their re-election would cement their politics as the starting point even further right.

The two party system ensures noone can go too far out without being accountable to the mainstream because you have to have such a broad appeal. A strong Democratic party means the Republicans have to keep a mind toward the mainstream and can't make any changes without getting a consensus vote from both parties.

The hope is Kerry winning means the mainstream is more middle than right. There are still people who are unsure about the path the right wants to take.

I agree with your point that voting is only part of the action lefties should be taking. But in a democratic republic, change is ultimately enacted in government.

Having someone like Kerry as President instead of Bush 43 means the process will be more measured, more considered and a consensus of what the people actually want. Change will come from the people up to government instead of the government onto the people.
Sorry - I just don't believe that. Any of that. IT's not being realistic, it's being pessimistic. You call it realsitic because it sounds better, but it's not. It's not the end of the world if Bush gets re-elected. It's 4 more years of crap but I highly doubt that America would put up with anything beyond 4 years.

Sure America may be moving to the right, and if that bugs people, well, they can sit it out in Canada and then come back when things get better.

I'll just call those folks "quitters"

Me - I don't care 'cause while it may be going to the right, it's gonna come back to the left eventually. IT'll come to back to the left FASTER if people actually did something about it. And look! People are! They are realising that in order for their voices to be heared they have to stand up for what they believe in and get their shit together. The real troopers will be the ones who continue to fight even after the election is over.

I feel that I am a realist too - and the realist opinion is that really, honestly, the federal government is not our savior, the president is not a 4 year dictator, and we do have the power to change if we work hard on it.

But hey, when you get to Canada, tell me how the health care system is.
Henry Rollins for President!
Cthulhu for president! You don't like his policies? HE'LL SUCK YOUR SOUL!!

Actually, I think the funniest I've seen is a banner for "Dr. Teeth and Beeker (from the Muppets) 2004 - either way we're fucked"
i think Kermit would make a good president
I can't wait until Barack Obama runs for president.
I want another actor to run for president.

Maybe Morgan Freeman. I like his movies. He was a believable president in "Deep Impact." He has my vote.
It better be a SMART actor, though.

But have you seen Obama? He's got charisma out the wazoo. He gives me hope.
I think I've heared about him - didn't he speak at the democratic convention?
Yes. I will try to find a video of his speech.
Honestly Kerry is starting to grow on me. He's not perfect, not everything I would want in an "ideal" candidate. But you know what, that doesn't really matter. Because I agree with him on probably 90% of the issues, and that's pretty damn close.

At first I thought Kerry was boring and stuffy and was upset that he had voted to give Bush the ability to take this country to war. During the primaries I didn't care for him, and was supporting Dean. But the DNC (and a lot of Internet and DailyKos research) changed that, and I started to actually support Kerry. I think he has given some great speeches, and has been very couragous in speaking out against the current adminstration. I thought his VP pick was a great move, and the Kerry/Edwards ticket is giving me something to be hopeful for.

I absolutely feel I am voting FOR someone and not just AGAINST someone.