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bisley Posts: 10,815 Senior Member
A good example that suggests we are near the tipping point, i.e the left-right struggle for the majority electorate, is the debate over giving felons back their right to vote. It demonstrates very well how the radicals sway the moderates, on a principle that used to be more or less accepted and approved of by most Americans...at least the ones that expressed any opinion at all.
Conservatives who see a problem with giving felons the right to vote believe that the recent movements to do that are just adding more incremental changes to the rules that are designed specifically to benefit the political party that has a long history of using the least contributing segments of society to achieve a majority in targeted elections. Were there not some evidence of that, they likely would support the concept, in some form or another, if a case by case analysis indicated that there were injustices.
Most folks will say that there aren't enough felons who will vote to make a difference in an election. They said the same about illegal aliens, a long time ago, and changes to the voter registration procedures that open up all kinds of possibilities for election fraud. Incremental changes, over several decades, have impacted recent elections.
If a free society reaches a point where the voting majority is made up of a coalition of single interest voters (illiterates, illegals, convicted criminals, etc.) they are unerringly used by the ideologues to place the most corrupt of the corrupt into public service positions, rather than the citizens who have actually contributed something to that free society. Whether or not that is the way it should be can be debated, but whether or not it is good for the health of any productive society is not in question...at least to anyone grounded in reality.
Personally, I do agree that serving one's time for a criminal offense should begin the process of restoring the rights of a convicted criminal to normal society. But, there must be some guidelines that deter habitual criminals from lying and cheating their way into a public office that gives them legal power over unsuspecting citizens who play by the established rules. It can be argued that people get exposed and driven out of elections on a regular basis, but that just helps make the point, because the parties used to screen such people out before supporting them as a candidate, rather than just helping them to conceal the 'warts' in their backgrounds.
Felons come in every flavor, from the person who committed one act of violence because of a failure to control his emotions, to the habitual criminal who has committed ten times as many crimes as he has actually been prosecuted for. A simple 'black and white' (yes/no) rule that vindicates the habitual criminal is just as unjust as the rule that incarcerates the good guy who made one mistake in his entire life. Conservatives used to hate 'gray areas' that often prevented the enacting of an actual solution, to an actual problem. But, in this era of media blitzes, insignificant facts or assertions can be pounded into the brains of those who vote, but don't actually pay enough attention to politics to be able to separate fact from fiction. Gray areas suck, to a realist, but when the people who need to be convinced are too lazy to discern the facts, that sucks, too.
At present, free society is under siege by the darker, more radical ideological elements of that society, that are successfully targeting the minor flaws in it, as if those flaws were the norm. They do it by pretending that they are not ideologically driven, at all, but merely want what is just. They demand perfection from a system that has never, and will never be perfect. If and when they finally do win, they will have installed an authoritarian power that can control every aspect of society. Political correctness, and redefining the rules (and the language, itself) are the weapons they wield. We are in the midst of it, right now, and it is still impossible to gauge how far down that road we have already traveled, or whether it can be reversed.
Our best traditions, learned through three centuries of trial and error, are at the tipping point, with the fight for those traditions being carried out by a handful of patriots who believe that the forces against those traditions are also at their tipping point. The winner won't be known for a while, yet. In fact, it will never be known by those who don't follow politics. They will just wake up some day and say, "What happened?"
I honestly believe that there is a significant difference between the media hyperbole being foisted on the masses and what people actually think and act on. Also I think there's a disparity between desired policy from our elected officials and televised sensationalism. What I don't know is how much of a difference that is.
The influence of television was a revelation of giant size after the Kennedy, Nixon debate. Do we comprehend the true scope of that infuence today???? I guarantee those in pursuit of power do. Thing is, are what we're seeing substantive or distraction????
In true anarchy, it's likely that the stereotypical anarchists - the carousing, leather-jacket-wearing, Molotov cocktail throwers - would not last long; being the first one's strung up by those who simply want to exist in peace and quiet. This tipping point you speak of may be reflected in that the current system often seems to protect the radicals from the ordinarily stationary stones that want nothing more than to gather moss.
Not saying it's perfect or clean or even good, but it does circumvent certain aspects of bureaucratic quagmires. We as a species do seem drawn to localized tribalism.
"Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
I picked this line because I firmly believe we are here and have been for some time. Voting on the federal level is doing nothing. We have stagnated to a point where both sides simply try to overturn the previous party's policies or they campaign on promises to remove policies and then renege after elected. Real corrective actions are never attempted by either party. Both parties pathetically attempt to correct symptoms to pander to the base rather than institute potential cures.
Using the felon example....Instead of discussing restoring the rights of felons, we should be discussing the redefinition of "felon". Carrying a gun in California w/o a permit is a felony, but not in Idaho or many other states. Over an ounce of weed is a felony in Idaho, but not California.
Going a bit further...Building a wall instead of de-incentivizing illegal immigration. Obamacare instead of revamping insurance companies. Installing TSA instead of examining *any* other alternatives. The list of government mandated failures are endless, but were fairly popular when instituted, or at least by the party in power at the time.
Unless there is a major cultural shift within the American people we will be status quo into bankruptcy.
Now the last thing I want to see is revolution, but if it is inevitable (and I believe it is) let's get it started. State secession would be a good start and possibly without violence.
Adam J. McCleod
― Douglas Adams
I prefer Christianity and the American way of life, but you can be sure that I thoroughly understand Islam and the Arab way of life. I'm also pretty well versed in Western and Eastern European History. Why? Because I have to understand the world I live and operate in as it is, and not how I want it to be. Seeing multiple points of view, the ability to assimilate that thinking, and the thoroughly analyze its pieces for applicability and understanding in what places people on the higher tier of Bloom's Taxonomy. Now, I'm not saying I am at that the analytical tier. But, I'm not going to limit myself to a single point of view that may not be applicable.
I'll understand if you can't. Im guessing its a bit more than a pamphlet.
Adam J. McCleod
Alpha's observations on the consolidation of power are in my opinion spot on.
At least some of what's been done wrong is the propagation of that consolidation.
If as Bisley and Califf have indicated, we're at a tiping point, revolution needs a voice for a conduit of ideas.
Some of what's been done right is the the supplying of that very conduit. This conduit.
As things stand right now the tools of instant information have done as much or more to dilute the power of ideas as to amplify them. Instant rebuttal was not available prior to the internet, television, and radio. The prism of spin was more difficult to focus.
It would be nice to see the value of intellectual pursuit commensurate with the value of consumption in our society.
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!