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Author Topic: The 2016 US Election Thread  (Read 1634 times)
Matt
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« on: November 05, 2015, 02:00:49 PM »

This is a dangerous topic. I think we've disallowed political discussions on the board before, for a reason.

I wonder if we can try again. With these very strict rules....

This is a passionate topic, but a VERY important one... perhaps too important to not want to discuss.  But the important word is discuss.  If we can keep this a place for both serious, or light posts... and for even pro and anti posts... that's fine. But what always has happened in the past is that members will fight with other members, and disrespect their views, and be openly hostile. But I think if we can somehow keep that from happening, this would be a great thread that we can all learn from, and learn more about each other from.

Can we try it? Please?  Can everyone be exceptionally civil to each other, and if we disagree, be very respectful to the person who we're disagreeing with?

If this causes flame wars, or unwanted PMs to members, it will be closed down in a heartbeat.

If we can keep it civil, entertaining and educational, then I would love to have a discussion on....

The 2016 U.S. Presidential nominees.

Thoughts?
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AKA23
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 04:36:21 PM »

This is such a great idea for a thread! I think this is a really baffling election cycle. On the Republican side, the candidates that seem to be gaining the most traction are Donald Trump and Ben Carson, and neither of them have any experience in elective office. Not to take anything away from their achievements in business and medicine, which are considerable, but to me, neither seem qualified to to be President of the United States. They both lack command of the issues and the political experience that I see as requirements for the job. The candidates that have the experience and political acumen to do the job, people like John Kasich and Jeb Bush, appear to be going nowhere this year. So, on the Republican side, candidates who have no proven record of accomplishment in government are trouncing candidates that have impressive records in government. This is very unusual, especially in the Republican party, which has always been more orderly in its selection of candidates than the Democrats. In addition, neither Trump or Carson are running particularly substantive campaigns. Trump's strategy seems to be centered around telling people how great he is, reminding others of how stupid everyone else is, and how he'll be able to "make America great again" by the sheer force of his presence in the office. Carson seems to be running on not being a politician, and on his authenticity and personal biography, but what he doesn't seem to be running on are pragmatic, achievable policy reforms. Running on a platform of taxing everyone 10-15%, and seeking to replace Medicare and Medicaid with a poorly explained system of savings accounts, are not realistic proposals. Neither candidate would be doing well in any other year but this one, but they are the frontrunners this year.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton seems to be riding her way to a virtual coronation as her party's nominee. For reasons that I don't quite understand, no serious challengers in the Democratic party dared to run against her. Her most serious challenger, Senator Sanders, is running as an unconventional politician, but Senator Sanders is an avowed socialist, and half of the country is conservative. Because of that, there is no possible way, in my opinion, that Senator Sanders can be elected as President of the United States. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, can be elected, and definitely has the experience to be President. However, unlike her husband, she's an incredibly bad politician. Her email troubles were an entirely unnecessary, self-inflicted wound. Her explanations of why she did what she did make no sense, and her management of hit has been horrible. She struggles to connect with people, she comes across as politically motivated and not driven by conviction, and a majority of the American people think she's not honest and trustworthy. While she was a good representative for our country, she has very few, if any, accomplishments as Secretary of State to run on. Adding to her troubles as a candidate, this country is still struggling economically. Her and her husbands decision to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from Wall Street and the questionable donations from foreign governments to their foundation make her unconvincing as a champion of economic reforms that will help to reduce income inequality. The Democrats seem to believe she is the most electable canddiate, but I am not so confident that is the case. I think if the Republicans nominate someone reasonable who has a legislative record of accomplishment, that it's likely that the Republicans will win in 2016. It's very difficult for any party to win three Presidential terms in a row, especially with a candidate like Hillary Clinton who lacks the political skills that usually result in victory. 

Since I don't think candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, or Ted Cruz can win the Presidency, and the reasonable people in this field, like John Kasich and Jeb Bush, seem to be unpalatable to the Republican electorate, Marco Rubio seems to be the most likely nominee at this point. However, the American people usually like to select someone as President who seems to address the perceived weaknesses in their previous President. Ronald Reagan ran an optimistic, hopeful, and strong campaign after Jimmy Carter was perceived as being too pessimistic and not strong enough. George Bush ran as a compassionate conservative who would restore honesty and integrity to the White House after years of scandals from Bill Clinton. Barack Obama ran as the hope and change candidate who would improve the economy and get our country out of wars after the economy collapsed and President Bush's wars were perceived to be failures. Marco Rubio, as a first term Senator with little executive experience, who speaks well but has little record of accomplishment, seems too close to Barack Obama to me. I think the country will likely want to choose someone with more governing experience this time around.

So, it's a fascinating time to be an American. What does everyone else think is going to happen? Who are you supporting, and why?  I don't really know how things are going to shake out. I'd give the Republicans the edge at this point, but I think it's going to hinge on who the Republican candidate happens to be. If they choose an establishment candidate, I think they'll win, but if they insist on going with one of the more unconventional choices, they may just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I'd welcome everyone else's thoughts on this, and I echo Matt's call to have a respectful discussion where we can all learn from each other.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 04:42:14 PM by AKA23 » Logged
Matt
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 07:03:28 PM »

Oh, I loved that post, AKA! (By the way, good to see you're still here!)

There's a lot of what you said that I agree with. I have so many opinions on this election, and very strong opinions. But, similar to yours for many of the candidates.

What I think we need to really consider is... we've had the first Black President. And now, is it just a woman's turn? Will Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina be able to win their party's nomination because they're women?

I hope it doesn't come to that.  I don't think either are strong.  If we were ready for a woman President, I would support Senator Elizabeth Warren in a heartbeat.

One thing I'll disagree with is that Bernie Sanders is a socialist. He has always described himself as a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST (correcting any reporters who use the Socialist term), and goes on to explain that the U.S. already has MANY socialist programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Public Education, The Military, Transportation, Etc.  We're also a country based on Capitalism. But as FDR did in the past, he curbed the rampant unmanaged capitalism by shutting down monopolies and if any one company became too powerful, to break them up.

Senator Sanders wants to do the same. Break up the banks... and expand Social Security benefits. He wants to put a tax on Wall Street Speculation that would pay for 4 years of higher education, as he says for two reasons 1) the American people bailed out the banks, they need to pay us back and 2) because a 4 year degree in 2015 = a high school diploma 20 years ago, and wall our children need to be able to compete globally, in turn making the US a stronger country without bankrupting the students or their parents.

I wholeheartedly support Senator Sanders, and I actually believe he can win. He's just got to do a better job defining Democratic Socialism.
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Matt
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 07:27:43 PM »

PS, I've been actually half-heartedly looking for a forum to discuss this election, but they're always filled with really angry people, or disrespect, or you have to pick a party to find the proper website and then you're not getting a good cross-section of views. So now that I've started this thread, I realize this might be the best place on the internet to have it... as long as we keep it respectful.

PPS... I said above "IF the country is ready for a woman President", but I actually know the US is ready for that. Sadly, the two contenders aren't ready for the Presidency.

(Hillary supporters can chime in -- everyone's posts are welcome and we'll keep it respectful even if we disagree).
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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 07:29:49 PM »

If anyone is friends with Brendan and has an email address or any other way of contacting him, please get him over here. I want to hear what he has to say. :)
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 08:44:21 PM »

Sorry, but this Board is not the place for this discussion. From the Community Standards (which Matt helped to draft, if I recall right):

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Political Posts and Topics

We strongly discourage threads pertaining to politics, as these topics have been known to cause hostility among members. If you post a political topic, expect it to be deleted. If you make a political remark in any topic in any forum, expect it to be edited or deleted. Any political remarks that are used in a member's profile (signature or personal text) will need to be removed in order for the member to be permitted to continue posting on the board.

I know that says "strongly discourage," rather than "forbid." And I appreciate that Matt is trying to set boundaries to make it possible. But from long experience on this board, I don't think that will work.

The Schofield Kid and I will discuss this further. For now, I'm locking the thread.
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