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SilentScope001
04-23-2008, 02:45 PM
Alright, so I'm getting really annoyed about the culture wars being fought in America between the left and the right. The culture wars started in the 1960's, disputes over religion, evolution, abortion, marriage, yadda, yadda, yadda...

I mean, hack, I know it is important what values we got, but we also got other important issues too. Such as, say, terrorism, Russia, China, Iraq War, Iran, the national debt, etc. But, before we handle such important problems, we have to end this culture wars.

And not on the side of 'left-wing victory', or 'right-wing victory'. Both sides fan the flames, making me pretty cynical. The party alignment system also makes me rather queasy: What about fiscal conservatives who want a liberal culture? What about pro-lifers who want universal health care?

Honestly, does it really matter what culture we have? Maybe. But in the end, America lives in a world where most people don't exactly care what culture we have, and who will go against us due to geopolitical goals and concerns. The more we focus inward and scream: "My culture is the only correct culture!", the more likely we are to decrease in geopolitical standings. What's the point of adopting 'the correct culture' if we lose our status as 'global superpower' in the process?

What I want to do is have some sort of cease-fire in which we all go silent, agree to disagree, and shut up. Sadly, I don't know how. All I got is an idea to let the states decide: Liberal states adopt the liberal culture and mindset, being for abortion, gay marriage, whatever. Conservative states adopt the conservative culture. But that would get into problems with liberal activists who would want conservative states to adopt a liberal culture, and conservative activists who would want liberal states to adopt a conservative culture. And parts of the culture wars are already decided on the federal level...so, it will be hard to bury it back to states.

So, um, help?

Totenkopf
04-23-2008, 04:20 PM
I think there's a name for this malady........it's called being human. ;)

Ravnas
04-23-2008, 04:37 PM
Right, There is no way that everybody would be happy with a social situation, it's simply not possible.

JCarter426
04-23-2008, 06:31 PM
And not on the side of 'left-wing victory', or 'right-wing victory'. Both sides fan the flames, making me pretty cynical. The party alignment system also makes me rather queasy

We all should have listened to George Washington 212 years ago. He warned everyone that factions would tear this country apart, and he was right.

JediAthos
04-23-2008, 06:39 PM
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Those words right there are why, at least in the United States, there will never be the "cease-fire" you seek SS. I think, as has been said, that having different opinions is what makes us who we are. Unfortunately there will always be those who want to scream to the heavens that they are right and everyone else is wrong. I personally have no problem engaging in an intelligent discussion with others about beliefs and thoughts etc...but there are some people that you just can't talk to.

mur'phon
04-23-2008, 06:55 PM
It could be worse, at least neither of your factions have economic ruin as their primary goal. In Norway the second largest party wish to spend all the oil money in order to make things better, not caring that it'll cause zim-style inflation. :(

mimartin
04-23-2008, 06:57 PM
What I want to do is have some sort of cease-fire in which we all go silent, agree to disagree, and shut up. Sadly, I don't know how. All I got is an idea to let the states decide: Liberal states adopt the liberal culture and mindset, being for abortion, gay marriage, whatever. Conservative states adopt the conservative culture. But that would get into problems with liberal activists who would want conservative states to adopt a liberal culture, and conservative activists who would want liberal states to adopt a conservative culture. And parts of the culture wars are already decided on the federal level...so, it will be hard to bury it back to states.
Are you advocating different Constitutional rights based on the state a person lives in? I知 sure the prolife side would be a little upset if they got abortion banned in say New Jersey, then women drove to New York and had the medical procedure done there legally. Call me old fashion and naive, but I believe Constitutional rights must be the same for all the citizens of a nation, at least if it is to remain a nation. What are we going to change our name to the Separate States of America?

There is nothing wrong with healthy debate. The problem is over the past twenty years both the Democrats and the Republicans have gone beyond healthy debate. Compromise is the secret of politics, but neither side seems to get it through their skulls that the majority of the county is somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum. How can you get less than 50% of the popular vote and consider yourself to have a mandate from the people? I知 required by the government to take continuing educations and ethics classes for my job. Someone needs to make it mandatory for elected officials to take common sense classes to keep their positions in Washington, because Washington is clearly lacking in the common sense department on both sides of the political spectrum.

JediAthos
04-23-2008, 07:00 PM
^ Amen...QFT!!! I think you hit the nail on the head mimartin...compromise is not a word in the American political dictionary and I truly wish someone would remind Washington as a whole what it means!

mur'phon
04-23-2008, 07:09 PM
It seems to me that this whole "no compromise" mentality of the U.S is due to there only being two political parties. A party either gains a majoroty in the senate/congress, or the other does. With no need to colaborate with anyone it isn't surprising that each side hate the other that much. Seems to me if you want to get rid of the "big battle", you need to get some more parties (pun intended).

JCarter426
04-23-2008, 07:11 PM
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Those words right there are why, at least in the United States, there will never be the "cease-fire" you seek SS.

Oh, free expression of ideas is all fine and dandy. It's failure to listen to this:

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

...which is the problem. Well, one of the problems. ;)

Arcesious
04-23-2008, 07:49 PM
This reminds me of soemthing I saw on a bumper sticker:

"Repulblicans and Democrats- same sh*t, different piles."

The problem is no one knows how to use tolerance anymore...

I have to agree with JCarter426 and Mimartin.

Achilles
04-23-2008, 08:12 PM
We all should have listened to George Washington 212 years ago. He warned everyone that factions would tear this country apart, and he was right.Meh. What has happened is inevitable. Show me any significant social group without factions and I'll show you a miracle. That doesn't mean that George Washington wasn't wise in his assessment, it just means that it would have been great if he could've offered a solution rather than just an insight.

Compromise is the secret of politics, but neither side seems to get it through their skulls that the majority of the county is somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum.Indeed, but not every issue can be compromised (or perhaps I should say "should be subject to compromise"). What would a compromise on slavery look like? Civil rights? Women's sufferage? I mean if the pressing social issue of our time was where to go for dinner, then I can see how a compromise could be reached.

Immigration is something that we should absolutely be able to reach a compromise on. Education is something we should be able to compromise on. Health care is something that we could probably compromise on. But once you cross over into philosophical issues where one side has a rational, moral argument and the other side doesn't and "compromise" just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

How can you get less than 50% of the popular vote and consider yourself to have a mandate from the people? I知 required by the government to take continuing educations and ethics classes for my job. Someone needs to make it mandatory for elected officials to take common sense classes to keep their positions in Washington, because Washington is clearly lacking in the common sense department on both sides of the political spectrum.Here, I'll compromise with you: you're half right :)

Yes, there are some real sleaze bags in Washington, but even "the good ones" are accountable to their constituencies. All the ethics training in the world isn't going to make a whole lot of difference in Washington if we don't get educated citizens making smart choices in voting booths. I say we're the problem. They're just the symptom.

JCarter426
04-23-2008, 08:42 PM
Meh. What has happened is inevitable. Show me any significant social group without factions and I'll show you a miracle. That doesn't mean that George Washington wasn't wise in his assessment, it just means that it would have been great if he could've offered a solution rather than just an insight.

Point taken. :D

My solution would be to dissolve primary elections, making political parties obsolete, but that would never happen.

Achilles
04-23-2008, 08:59 PM
We'd eventually just get new ones. :(

This isn't a "problem we solve" so much as it is a "cycle we reboot".

mimartin
04-23-2008, 09:07 PM
Indeed, but not every issue can be compromised (or perhaps I should say "should be subject to compromise"). What would a compromise on slavery look like? Civil rights? Women's sufferage? I mean if the pressing social issue of our time was where to go for dinner, then I can see how a compromise could be reached. Very true. I oversimplified to make an point.

Here, I'll compromise with you: you're half right :)

Yes, there are some real sleaze bags in Washington, but even "the good ones" are accountable to their constituencies. All the ethics training in the world isn't going to make a whole lot of difference in Washington if we don't get educated citizens making smart choices in voting booths. I say we're the problem. They're just the symptom.Now you are misunderstanding what I wrote. The government makes me take ethics classes. Something that I do believe is a waste of my time, money and energy. Either I am an ethical person that should be allowed to be licensed in my line of work or my license should be revoked. There is no middle ground where some ethics class may help.

I said elected officials should be taught common sense. Another thing that would be useless to teach, like ethics, you either have common sense or you do not once you reach a certain age (an age I have long sinced passed). Just looking at the budget deficit and the War in Iraq tells me we are lacking in common sense among our elected and appointed officials in Washington.

I'll will agree the voter is the problem. Instead of the politician listening to what is important to us, we allow ourselves to be manipulated into believing what they say is important to us is what is important. Gay marriage, why should I care if Tom and Harry want to get married? I知 more concerned about the Economy than if two people I don稚 know are allowed to enter a legal union. Flag burning, I致e never seen anyone burn a flag in person. Why should that be more important of an issue to me than the men and women risking their lives to protect this nation?

JCarter426
04-23-2008, 09:07 PM
We'd eventually just get new ones. :(

This isn't a "problem we solve" so much as it is a "cycle we reboot".

Yup. There was one party at one point. It got split into two. Then they merged. And then they split again and we wound up with the Civil War. Then the parties eventually became so similar that they might as well be the same, and then the Cold War split them up again. And here we are.

SilentScope001
04-23-2008, 09:10 PM
Seems to me if you want to get rid of the "big battle", you need to get some more parties (pun intended).

Not exactly. Thanks to the fact that the USA do have two political parties, people are more willing to be dispersed between the two parties, and the fact that they are big tents ensure that they have to compromise and be 'moderate' enough. And since both political parties' main purpose is to win elections, they'd be more tolerant of recruiting people who partily adhere to their viewpoint if they can ensure that, in the long term, it would be good for the party. Conservative Democrats and Liberal Republicans do exist.

If we had several political parties, each party being ideologically pure, they will be more than willing to stake out more extreme positions and secretly hate everyone else. You'll have left-wing alliances and right-wing alliances of parties, except that these allainces would be composed of parties who would be willing to bolt out at a moment's notice if they feel the government isn't supporting their ideology enough, thereby overthrowing the whole government and calling for new elections. Multi-party systems sound nice on paper, but they lead to much instablity in the nations that do have it.
***
Meh, so the Culture Wars are going to continue. Well, it was a nice idea to at least try to halt the worst excesses of it.

Rev7
04-24-2008, 02:58 AM
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Well, those are the rules....
^ Amen...QFT!!! I think you hit the nail on the head mimartin...compromise is not a word in the American political dictionary and I truly wish someone would remind Washington as a whole what it means!
I agree.

Achilles
04-24-2008, 03:58 AM
Now you are misunderstanding what I wrote.Yep, I sure did. My apologies for the tirade :)

JediAthos
04-25-2008, 11:56 PM
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

JCarter...I'm not familiar with that quote where did it come from?

Achilles
04-26-2008, 12:16 AM
IIRC, it's from a letter between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, discussing the Establishment Clause.

JCarter426
04-26-2008, 12:18 AM
Which quote? "Building a wall of separation between church and State"? That was once said very wise man named Thomas Jefferson.

JediAthos
04-26-2008, 07:51 AM
Ahh...don't know why I've never heard it before.

mimartin
04-26-2008, 09:04 AM
While those are great words and important words from one of our founding fathers the key word in the quoted remarks is not only the smallest work in the quote, but the first. 的 the reason you may not have heard the quote is this is Mr. Jefferson痴 personal opinion. If we hold what Mr. Jefferson stood for to be true, then those words are no more important than any other person posting their opinion here on this forum. Personally, I believe they are more important then any words I could ever mutter, yet they are still just the words of one of the framers of the Constitution and at the time of the letter the setting U.S. President. The letter was in response to a request made to President Jefferson by the Danbury Baptist Association.

One of the things I had never read was the Danbury letter (http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/baptist.htm), I found it funny that even with those mere short years since the conception of the Constitution, Americans still had trouble interrupting what rights the Constitution granted and what restrictions it place on the government.

Here is the original draft of Mr. Jefferson letter from which the above quote is taken. (http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html)

@ Yes, Achilles I cheated as I Google it, but I will not apologize because I learned something new.

JCarter426
04-26-2008, 10:50 AM
While those are great words and important words from one of our founding fathers the key word in the quoted remarks is not only the smallest work in the quote, but the first. 的 the reason you may not have heard the quote is this is Mr. Jefferson痴 personal opinion.

Ah, but the phrase came up in Reynolds v. United States:

At the first session of the first Congress the amendment now under consideration was proposed with others by Mr. Madison. It met the views of the advocates of religious freedom, and was adopted. Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, took occasion to say: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god; that he owes account to noneother for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, -- I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.

mimartin
04-26-2008, 11:28 AM
Yes...so... Trials use all matters of opinions and evidence to reach a verdict. Even eyewitness testimony is filled with personal opinions.

Ask three different people to write a description of the same somewhat complex event they all witness without consulting each other and your get three different descriptions of the same event. The more they care about the event, the more varied their descriptions will be.

JCarter426
04-26-2008, 11:40 AM
That's not part of the record of the trial; that's from the summary of the court's decision. It's now case law.

SilentScope001
04-26-2008, 12:13 PM
Do realize that just because there is a seperation between church and state does not mean that a state can not pass a law that can be jusitifed by the church. After all, there are laws about not working on Sunday, indenecy laws, marriage laws, bans on polgymay, the law in Washigiton, D.C. that prohibits flying a kite, etc. These laws aren't illegal, aren't overturned, and in some way, shape, or form, continue to exist.

Jvstice
04-26-2008, 12:25 PM
That is true.

My marriage isn't any more or less a marriage than it already is no matter who else is allowed to get married in the eyes of the law. It stands on its own merits. And barring physical attack that endangers either my wife or myself, nothing from outside is or could be a threat to what we have built. So I really don't see the point of the whole goal of legislating one's political opposition into criminality.

mimartin
04-26-2008, 12:45 PM
That's not part of the record of the trial; that's from the summary of the court's decision. It's now case law.
Does that make it any more important that any other American's personal opinion that has be read into the record of the court痴 decision? The decision is the important element, showing how they came to that conclusion does not make it more or less important.

Mr. Jefferson was very intelligent and a man well ahead of his time, he held great influence in writing the Declaration of Independence, but that document was edited and changed by fellow Continental Congress committee members before being sent to King George III. The same can be said of The Constitution, Jefferson and Madison are credited with writing it, but it is the vision of more than those two men. While the Constitution was written in 1787, it was not ratified by the 13 states until March of 1789. What changes had to be made during that time to ensure passage by all 13 states?

While I agree with Mr. Jefferson statement, his statement is still his personal opinion. If this was law, why did he not write this into the Constitution itself? Perhaps the answer could be, because his opinion was not the only opinion important in the writing of the Constitution. Since the 13 state only ratified this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Then this is what was important to them or was all they could agree to in order to get the Constitution ratified.

Do realize that just because there is a separation between church and state does not mean that a state cannot pass a law that can be justified by the church. Yes, I do. That was what the Danbury letter was about and Mr. Jefferson痴 reply was saying there was nothing the Federal Government could do about it.

When I was learning American History in school I was lead to believe these great men all agree with what needed to be done and went about the work of creating this country. Problem with that was they were still just men and subject to the same political problems and personal problems, we face today. Only difference is they knew the art of compromise.