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What's Right about the British System...

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Cohen, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    That did work against the first President Bush during his presidency. Had he not been Reagan's VP, I doubt he could've been elected President. He won as much on Reagan's popularity as anything else (and Reagan was still popular in 1988).

    Even though GWB is from the same family, he didn't have the same kind of upbringing his father did. Though he was certainly a child of East Coast privilege, I don't know how far that goes in places like Midland and Houston where GWB grew up (the family moved to Texas when GWB was two, I believe. Neil, Jeb and Marvin were all Texas born).

    Whatever the cause, the Bushes are not eloquent and, other than GHWB, don't come across as elitest to most.
     
  2. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    on 60 minutes, Bob Woodward says GW Bush has a disdain for the intellectual elite.

    So even though he comes from East Coast Money and went to Yale his political persona is that of the 'common man'.

    Say what you want but liberlism is associated with intellectualism and conservatism is associated with folksy commom sense. Liberalism considers the world's complexities in shades of grey while conservatism simplifies the world into stark blacks and whites. Coservatism chooses action over thought without the consideration of being wrong. Liberalism chooses consideration over action for fear of the consequences.

    The more you know, the less your sure of; the less you know the more sure you are you are right.
     
  3. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    GW went to the same high school as GH.
     
  4. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    Boarding school. He went to college in Connecticut, as well.

    As it is, that's still a long time in Midland/Houston before going back east since they came to Texas when W was 2 years-old.

    And despite his upbringing, he's not eloquent and doesn't come across to most people as elitist, which was the point in the first place.

    But if you see him as eloquent, that's your business.
     
  5. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    Two things,

    1. There are plenty of folksy, common sense liberals. We've especially seen many in our state.

    2. There are plenty of conservatives who are able to note the shades of grey nature of the world. The loudest are not necessarily the majority.
     
  6. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I understand the point, but my point is that its either all an act, or the guy was too stupid to learn to speak properly despite the money invested in him by his parents. But he's not a down home good ole boy joe schmo and I don't why people think he is. The average joe doesn't have a father who's a president and a grandfather who was a senator.
     
  7. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    Don't think his alcoholism and his purported cocaine use in his earlier days didn't have something to do with that....
     
  8. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    Just my opinion, but I think that the opposite is more true. My experience is that "Liberals" see the world more often in black and white while the Conservatives see the world more as a continuum of greys.

    Except for the extreme religious right, no one is more judgemental than a so-called "Liberal." I guess those are the two extremes of the political spectrum thus they share a qualilty of intolerance.
     
  9. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    There you go again, giddyup, being judgemental. :)
     
  10. bamaslammer

    bamaslammer Contributing Member

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    Good points. I much rather prefer our system to theirs because proportional representation would allow the fringe nutjobs a place in Congress and turn them into powerbrokers. Do you really want to a U.S. Congress with Aryan Nation folks, Green Party demi-Communists and other fringe kooks calling the shots? I think not. They are where they belong, on the fringe. The two mainstream parties, for all their faults-are exactly that- the mainstream. The problem with the recent incarnation of the Democrats is that they have forgotten what has won them elections (going more for the center) and have embraced with open arms the Bush-hating, almost-falling-off-the-edge-of-the-political-spectrum left. Folks, no Democrat has run on being a liberal and proud of it. Ask Mondale, McGovern and others what happens. It ain't pretty.

    I know a lot of you say "Well Bama, you're a third party guy." Well, in answer to that, I say that if the GOP adopted a more libertarian stance (in other words, jettisoned the Religious Right), I'd be a Republican in a minute. But they won't, despite the fact that favoring a more sensible policy on drugs, prostitution, and other "victimless" crimes and getting govt out of the business of media regulation would get them more supporters than trying to appeal to the funless ranks of the Christian Coalition.
     
  11. dc sports

    dc sports Member

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    So by this deffinition, you would be a conservative?

    That statement is contrary to the definition of the terms "Conservative" and "Liberal."
     
  12. Sishir Chang

    Sishir Chang Contributing Member

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    I think the debate on what is a liberal and what is a conservative is better left for another thread. There are both liberals and conservatives who have excellent diction and command of the English language. Who can deliver speeches and conduct press conferences without frequently looking confused, fumbling words or mangaling syntax. There are liberals and conservatives who can speak plainly without using complex esoteric words and still show great command of English. Ronald Reagan comes immediately to mind. GW Bush seems incapable of doing any of that and IMO its a bad sign that people not only find this forgivable but even an appealing trait in any elected leader let alone the President of the United States.
     
  13. Sishir Chang

    Sishir Chang Contributing Member

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    On this point I agree with Bammaslammer. Our system was founded before political parties became a fixture, George Washington even warns against them in his farewell address. So unlike parliamentary systems that favor party interests our systems is designed to favor regional interests and balance power between the states individually and the Fed. If we switch to a parliamentary system we not only would get fringe parties but the states would lose significant power.

    Part of the problem with the two parties is that they have become massive super-coalitions of interest groups that in another system would be broken into several different parties. Since our system still favors regional issues representatives have much more opportunity to go often go against their party in favor of regional issues.
     
  14. aghast

    aghast Member

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    I used to watch a lot of the PM's weekly questioning on C-Span. It's incredibly entertaining. Unfortunately, that's about all it is. Tony Blair largely never said anything of import, just dodged, feigned, refracted the questions till time was up. That he did so brilliantly is not necessarily a mark in his favor. I think the comparison to Clinton is apt; I certainly found him to be a compelling orator.

    How much can GWB's election be chalked up to his diction? I really hope that we as a nation don't identify with it or laud it too much. I prefer to think that GWB's election was more the exception rather than the new rule. Whether you admire him or not, I think it's fair to say that without his name recognition/ family connections, he never would have been able to advance to the national stage.

    I remember a political science professor advancing the idea of the Fox and the Lion as typical of American political winners. The fox is shrewd and cunning but manipulative; the lion is faithful and loyal but inflexible. The idea was that we as a nation switched between the two in cycles. The foxes: Nixon, Clinton (Blair certainly, in this discussion); the lions: LBJ, RR, certainly GWB now. When we tire of the fox's manipulations (Lewinsky, etc.), we vote in a simple-minded, plain-spoken, God-fearing lion. When the lion's loyalty eventually devolves into cronyism or bad policy, we elect a different fox. It's a simplistic analogy, sure, but one that appeals to me.

    In the final analysis, though, how can Blair and the British system be that much better if Britain went along completely with the US in our current Iraqi escapade and consistently follows our lead elsewhere?
     
  15. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Quote:
    Coservatism chooses action over thought without the consideration of being wrong. Liberalism chooses consideration over action for fear of the consequences.


    That statement is contrary to the definition of the terms "Conservative" and "Liberal."


    Hmmm seems like the titles are oxymorons. Less government conservatives want to impose morality and over throw facist regimes while big government liberals want to keep the govenment out of lifestyle choices and support appeasment.

    It is this contradiction that is the main indictment of a two party system. How could I, who support wars of liberation and freedom from religeous judgements fully support either party knowing I would have to abandon one of those principles?
     
  16. Cohen

    Cohen Contributing Member

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    First, I'm w/ Jeff on the weekly Q&As in the House of Commons. They have substance. Blair does more than just 'speak with a cool accent'; he communicates rationally, not just sound bites. (My mother is rather liberal, hated the Iraq war, and actually was amazed at how she understood the rationale used to go to war after one Blair speech.)

    As for whether liberals or conservatives see more grey v. black-and-white, I think it's more of a personal issue about what folks are passionate (and ultimately blinded) about. Not all liberals think all companies are 'evil'. Not all conservatives think that a strong military is a great solution for many foreign problems (as if some Darwinian 'bully' rule applies well to foreign policy).

    As for Bush having a problem with elitists of any kind ... no way in hell he'd be President now w/o his family name.

    As for our system keeping out 'fringe' nuts, all we really do is banish them to lobbying and other methods of recourse. And one could argue that it's pretty sad that it's 'ok' for it to be politically acceptable for those few companies that destroy the environment to own politicians, yet the environmentalist groups that could possibly balance their influence are 'fringe' and 'tree-huggers'. (Case in point, what was all that crap dumped in Appalachia that the Bush administration basically ignored?)



    bnb,
    What was your issue w/ John Major?
     
  17. aghast

    aghast Member

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    I much prefer the eloquence of a Clinton/Blair dodge to the Bush stutter/swagger/talking point. And I'd happily swap leaders with Great Britain, their prime minister for our president (at least we might get some healthcare out of the bargain). That said, if the end result is the same, what's the point?

     

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