Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Post No. 64: Let's Hear from You

We here at the Institute for Applied Common Sense appreciate your insightful and thoughtful comments responsive to our posts. We thought that we would approach this election day a tad differently. We'd like to hear from you on the front end.

Assuming that Senator McCain ultimately wins the election, tell us what you think that means for this country. On the other hand, assuming that Senator Obama wins, tell us what you think that means? Finally, a large segment of the voting public has found something distasteful about the elective process this year. Tell us what you would recommend we do to ensure the nomination of qualified candidates by both parties, and what you would recommend be done to eliminate the use of inaccurate allegation tactics, or the use of misinformation, if anything.

We look forward to hearing from you. We wish the best to which ever candidate ultimately prevails. We need unity going forward, and we all should back the new administration.

14 comments:

  1. I spent a good deal of time listening to and evaluating both candidates. I was one of those genuinely undecided voters. On Monday I had a couple of minor household disasters and the maintenance guy from my complex came to fix them. While he was working we chatted and I learned more about his life in that amount of time than I think I ever have about anyone in a comparable space of time. Talking to him made me realize that the one person I hadn't talked this election over with was God. I did so before going to bed that night and when I woke at 5 AM on election day I was at peace and knew exactly what to do. Watching the crowds gathered in Times Square tonight as well as in Grant Park, I am so happy for America. Sure, we have some really hard times ahead but if even some of that enthusiasm lasts past inauguration day maybe we will be able to turn things around. You can't put a price tag on hope.

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  2. The election is over and we have a new president. I would rather you read my blog to get my take on the results but I would say this has been an eventful, and incredibly long, election.

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  3. If I were given the opportunity to change just one thing in our election process, it would be the idea that it is a two-party race. It's unfortunate that most voters knew nothing of the other candidates. Personally, I would have enjoyed a debate between all parties running. I probably would have voted the same but I would have appreciated the opportunity to hear all candidates speak.

    I like your blog ... I'll need to come back and read more.

    Thank you for your thoughts and giving us something to think about.

    Small Footprints
    http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

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  4. Thank you June for your comment. Upon reading your comment, I felt that quite a few messages could potentially be gleaned from reading in between the lines about which we could comment (and that's a good thing.) However, the one overriding statement was your conversation with God.

    This morning, I have been traveling around town asking folks for their one or two minute post election thoughts. A significant number of those who I contacted made reference to God, and felt that either God guided them or that God had some effect on the election.

    I strongly suggest that as you come into contact with strangers today, simply ask them for their immediate thoughts. If the responses are anything like what I am hearing thus far, it will be a humbling experience.

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  5. Thanks Douglas once again for your active participation. I will head to your blog for your thoughts in a few minutes, and post my thoughts there. Out of curiosity, do you believe that the election process, including primaries, should be shortened? A number of other western, industrialized societies have a substantially shorter campaign season.

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  6. Thanks Small Footprints. I'm in 100% agreement with you. However, I would add one additional factor. I would ensure that all parties have equal media access time. I would not allow the party with the greatest war chest to have any advantage in the dissemination of its message. That might be accomplished through government sponsorship and control of the vehicles or opportunities to disseminate the message.

    Is that governmental involvement and control, which I generally oppose, yes. However, the current two party system is the equivalent of a private club. I could care less about not being able to golf, eat, drink, or play cards with folks who do not want me or who look down on me for whatever reason. However, I believe that the goals of democracy and the right of ALL citizens to have their voice/vote heard is of such importance that we should, as a nation, guarantee equal access and an equal starting point. Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr, and Ralph Nader, all should have participants in the debates, and represented in the media, til the end.

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  7. Yes, I do think it needs to be shortened. It seems that for the last 3 elections, the campaigning began the day after the president was elected. That's an exaggeration, of course, but that was the feeling I had. We are, however, a political country with a strong belief in freedom of speech and that would have to be safeguarded in any attempt to shorten the campaign season. I doubt the courts would look favorably on any legislation aimed at condensing our political season. And I would stand with the courts on this point. So, while I think the campaigns need to be shorter, I think that must be done as a reaction to public opinion rather than government fiat or intervention.

    As to to the issue of a viable multi-party system; that is a difficult thing to foster. We do have a multi-party system and it will continue. Over our history, we have seen parties come and go and new parties emerge to become mainstream. I think we, as a public, do not want too many choices when it comes down to it. Active multi-party systems have great problems with stability of government and that is a concern. Even when there are just three parties, there are problems establishing a working government. Our republic appears to run best with two strong parties. Parliamentary systems traditionally function as 3 or 4 party systems but I do not see them as more efficient or more effective. Just one man's opinion.

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  8. Douglas: Thanks again for being a loyal commenter. As I have often said, whether one thinks that something works, or is effective, often depends on their particular status and position at a particular point in time, and whether that something accomplishes goals pursued by the viewer, or advances his or her interests. And then there are those of us who try to view things from a purely theoretical perspective.

    I do not really disagree with very much that you indicated in your comment about the potential shortening of the campaign season, and the advisability of a multi-party system, in theory. However, earlier this year roughly 81% of the American public felt that we were heading in the wrong direction. Was that simply due to the president that we had in command, his party, the Democrats also, both of them, the particular Senators and Representatives in office, or all of them, or none of them? The bottom line is that something went astray, and consequently we as a society ought to consider tweaking "something" to achieve a better result in terms of governance. We invite our readers to suggest innovative, alternative ideas, as opposed to maintaining the status quo, so that we might improve upon what we currently have.

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  9. Thanks for your well wishes on my site. I have to agree with some of the above. I would love to do away with this false two party system we have. Additionally, their needs to be a spending cap. The negative aspects of the campaigns are like telesales, both will remain as long as the consumer responds to it.

    As for exercise, my body hurts and I don't like it. I'm going agan tomorrow though.

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  10. Thanks "the cup is half full of something." A spending cap is definitely something that should theoretically be on the list of ideas to address this concern. Some argue that with free speech comes the right to spend as much as one wants to disseminate one's message. You're also correct about the responses of the voters further encouraging the campaigns to go negative. As the Laughingman often says, the best that we can probably do is education. That's the answer, always has been, always will be.

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  11. Log (may I call you "log"?), I think it is the fault of all of the politicians in power and some who were in power. It is, at some level, our collective fault as the electorate. Yes, 81% of those surveyed said the country was headed in the wrong direction but, I ask, what direction is (was) that? We could ask a conservative that question and he would say "too liberal, towards socialism"; a liberal might answer "too conservative, too materialistic". So I am not sure what that survey actually revealed. Further, I think we've tweaked our system too much already. De Toqueville said "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    And that has been the core of politics in America for a few decades, with rare exception.

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  12. Douglas, sure, re log. Douglas, you get our Reader Award for 2008. We've been waiting for someone to mention the name of Tocqueville (http://www.tocqueville.org/.) I can't disagree with much that you said. Quite frankly, I've generally suscribed to the theory that a country's citizens, at least where elective democracy is practiced, deserves the leaders that it gets, whether good or bad. The citizens have responsibilities also.

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  13. Ah, we have reached the nirvana of debate/discussion... full agreement. My one caveat is to ask you to consider that even in non-democracies that is true.

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  14. Log (may I call you "log"?), I think it is the fault of all of the politicians in power and some who were in power. It is, at some level, our collective fault as the electorate. Yes, 81% of those surveyed said the country was headed in the wrong direction but, I ask, what direction is (was) that? We could ask a conservative that question and he would say "too liberal, towards socialism"; a liberal might answer "too conservative, too materialistic". So I am not sure what that survey actually revealed. Further, I think we've tweaked our system too much already. De Toqueville said "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    And that has been the core of politics in America for a few decades, with rare exception.

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