I hope that we can all remain civil here, even in a politically charged thread. I just can't stand how this country seems to be going. Everywhere I look in the news I see politicians and the media trying to divide us into little groups. Racial, economic, religious beliefs, when can we get back to being Americans first and foremost.

As a military man it just baffles me. We stress unity, despite our differences in the military. What happened to the campaign promises? I'm still waiting to see a bill from congress on the White House's web page to read prior to the Pres. signing the bill into law. Our politicians don't even know everything that is in the bills they are voting on.

I think our Washington's moral compass needs a tune-up.

What do you guys think?

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Politically charged? Sorry, only have Visa and Master Card.

OK, OK. Some people see groups (and those groups are potential voters), others see individuals that should have their own consciences and senses of responsibility.
I think, no matter which side you're on... we all feel there's enormous room for improvement. And, most are just plain disgusted with the whold damn thing! Now, having said that, I for one, don't have a clue as to how to fix it. Unfortunately, I think they call this syndrome, the "Catch 22". :-(
So many things to fix...

I'd like to see a few more political parties legitimized within our system... As we're currently arranged, it is much easier to try to knock down your opponent than to stand on your own convictions. My gut feeling is that 5 total parties would provide enough political diversity without too much confusion at the voter level.

This would, by no means, be a silver bullet but I think it would be a start to true dialogue as opposed to the constant bickering that goes on now.
Not to mention the electoral college. When did they ever support another party?
Unfortunately the house rules were written for a two party system. A third party congressman or senator has no influence, parliamentary tools, or clout to do anything of significance. They are powerless. In order to change the rules the TWO PARTIES have to agree on the rules and vote to pass them. Talk about screwed! I used to sit and bemoan the two party system until I took a Poly Sci 200 class and learned about parliamentary rules and the lawmaking process. The only way to change the system is to be a part of the system. Merely getting a third party candidate elected to any one office would be of little more than a historical note. Even a major office like president. A third party president would still be virtually powerless. The media would not play their part in the spin process; the parliamentary house rules would negate him influencing the introduction of any legislation; and he would be a failure in his term in office. Ideology is great but the ability to actually get something done is what is important. We have to change the minds, practices, and consequences of the members in office that are part of the two parties. We are getting close because there are hundreds of thousands of people that are sick of the taxing and over spending. They're pissed at both the Democrats and the Republicans.
From what I've been reading, a lot of people are changing their party affiliation to "independent" until just before the primaries. Then they change to whichever party and after the primary, they switch back to "independent". Not a bad strategy.

There's also a move to completely vote out the incumbents in 2010. This is a great idea.

The promotion of minor parties would have a very positive effect. The Republicrats need to know that they're not the only game in town.
I wish we could start by taking away Washington's Credit Card! While we're at it, confiscate that printer they use for making money. I keep trying to tell my kids that money doesn't grow on trees, I guess some of our politicians parents skipped that lesson.
I've been politically aware and active since I was 12. I've noticed that the American people are lazy. According to the Census Bureau, around 60% of the population is registered to vote. Approximately 83% of the registered population actually votes. That's less than half the U.S. population that votes. To fix the problem there has to be consequences to the broken promises and the corruption in Washington. For that to happen the media has to report it (Not spin it), cult like love and hate has to stop (Not likely), people have to get involved and educate themselves and not rely on the media to do it for them (That wont happen).
In Australia, there's a $300 fine for not voting. The electoral campaign is limited to three weeks, and nobody is allowed to use private or corporate money for their campaigns. There are televised debates on public television, and the moderator is a neutral journalist (if they can find one) who asks really tough questions to everyone. It's a brief, tough slog, and then there's a winner. I would lay down my life to defend the First Amendment, but somehow I feel that if we tried something like that here, freedom of speech is what would kill it.

I still like the non-voting fine. Remember the $300 President Bush 43 gave everyone a few years back? What if he only gave it to voters?
The land of the free and home of the brave? Not so much anymore!
Yes it needs a tune up. right now if you want the chance to make a change you have to pick one of two sides. Even then you may not feel that this is the right candidate but more right than the other one. It reminds me of the election when Perot ran in 1992. Don't get me wrong he wasn't my candidate but he did have some really good ideal's ie running the government like a business. But lets face it he had no chance because he was neither democrat or republican. George Washington got it right when he said to have political parties was a great mistake (I'm paraphraseing). I personally am glad that president is even attempting change at all. No I haven't agreed with everything he has said or done but he is trying to change a well established system of greed and deceit. I don't expect to come quickly but that we finally have a president who tries is refreshing. But he has a lot of work ahead and catching flack from both sides.

On the matter of " Our politicians don't even know everything that is in the bills they are voting on". It is their own fault , ignorance or lack of work ethic. I graduated high school with a guy who is now and advisor to the republican party. After talking with him when he was back visiting family I became really frustrated. He was just one of many who worked for a specific part. All congressmen have the resources to be fully aware of the bills they are signing. But yet they claim ignorance. I for one am not okay with this self serving attitude that seems to dominate our congress. They were elected therefore they can be removed.
It all depends on whose "moral" compass we are going to use.

Are we going to be ultra reactionary like the right was after the Super Bowl boob shot?

Are we going to force prayer in public school and cry that "God hates us cause we left him"?

Are we going to force everyone to be ok with abortion?

Are we going to force everyone to take classes on kindness towards everyone?

Honestly, the country itself is just fine, the people on the other hand need to just calm the hell down. We aren't going to hell, we aren't going to die, we aren't going to suddenly walking in goosestep with swastika's saluting President Obama.

It is the same as coming here, learn to calm down and rationally look at everything. Control your emotions and learn as much about everything that you can. And for the love of God, turn off Rush, Hannity, Olberman, Beck, Stewart(my fave), Maulkin, etc. Those people are entertainers, just like them folks in the WWE. Great show, gets you riled up, but it just isn't reality.

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