Why Do Both Major Parties Suck So Badly On Civil Liberties?

from the power-corrupts? dept

Over the weekend, I saw an article on Salon about how shameful it is that supporters of President Obama, who were loud in their condemnation of attacks on civil liberties by George W. Bush, seemed to ignore that President Obama has been worse in many ways (despite many public promises to the contrary). We’ve already noted that the Democratic Party — which had fixing civil liberties abuses in its 2008 platform — has removed all traces of that from the new platform. You would think that, for those who believe strongly in civil liberties, this would be a major concern. Rather than fix them, President Obama continued or expanded many of the very questionable policies of his predecessor, and then added a number of terrifying new ones.

Of course, if civil liberties is the issue you vote over, the other major party offers you no help either (as you should already know, based on Bush’s presidency). As Adam Serwer notes, when debating issues of civil liberties, there really is no significant choice between Obama and Romney on this particular issue. There may be some differences at the margins, but that’s about it.

Serwer’s piece argues that much of this is driven by the American public, who seem particularly fond of giving up our own civil liberties in the face of non-stop fear mongering about terrorism. It seems likely that there is also something to the fact that, once in power, people generally don’t like to scale back their own ability to “do stuff.” Either way, it amazes me that avid supporters of one side or the other, who absolutely hate the idea of the “other side” getting into power, never seem concerned about how the other side will make use of the same policies they put in place to support themselves.

There are, of course, real differences in many of the other policies from the two candidates, but the lack of significant differences on civil liberties is a real shame. We should demand better.

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Comments on “Why Do Both Major Parties Suck So Badly On Civil Liberties?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ah yes, the lolbertarian option. Too pusillanimous to actually call themselves anarchists and too crazy for anyone with the wherewithal to shave their neck to take seriously.

Good luck to him though. I can’t say I’d particularly like living in a country run like Somalia, but at least it would be a change.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You absolutely couldn’t be more wrong.

I don’t equate Libertarians with civil liberties. I equate them with right-leaning anarchists.

I’m all for civil liberties, and am an avid Techdirt reader. I think copyright needs to be reduced significantly and the enforcement of infringement should be a purely civil issue the state shouldn’t be involved in.

You can believe in justice, the commons, and liberty without looking for the pot of gold at the end of Ayn Rand’s shitty rainbow.

Arthur (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Libertarian

I don’t equate Libertarians with civil liberties. I equate them with right-leaning anarchists.

LOL! Seriously? That only proves that you haven’t actually looked at an unbiased reference about Libertarians as it exists today.

I’m not a Libertarian, but even I know better than that.

No wonder you decided to post anonymously.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Apologies for the copyright thing. I assumed you were a troll, as they’re usually the only ones around referring to Somalia.

I have some libertarian views, and I don’t think the anarchist label should be anywhere near as negatively portrayed as it is – there could be rational discussion on this front. But I don’t subscribe to the far right/tea party/Ayn Rand crap, either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

This is the same AC from a different computer.

I get that there’s a lot of libertarian views, and I subscribe to some of them myself. This isn’t really a political discussion forum, but the way you describe yourself, I think we’d agree on a lot of issues.

There’s a very vocal Randian, “capital L” Libertarianism to be found here and places like Slashdot or Ars Technica which I find abhorrent. It’s those people who I’m against.

velox (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Thanks for trying to provide some perspective here. I still have to chide you about the anarchism issue however.
Yes libertarians use terms like anarcho-capitalism, but if you read you will see that almost no one is advocating actual anarchy. The number of libertarians who believe that anarchy is a practical alternative is certainly not any greater than the number of liberals who think communism is a practical alternative. In other words, in some utopian ideal world it might be possible but not in the real world.
Libertarians are not looking to abolish the government. They are looking to limit the size of government.

velox (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“You can believe in justice, the commons, and liberty without looking for the pot of gold at the end of Ayn Rand’s shitty rainbow.”

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is not synonymous with libertarian philosophy. It is a vocal subset of libertarianism, but a subset nonetheless. A more influential thought process (arguably the most influential for libertarians in the United States) is Classical Liberalism.
American liberals and conservatives both tend to disparage libertarian views without actually bothering to learn much about them.
Your posts are a good example of that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Obama is a right-leaning oligarch. The French are historically second only to Rome in military victories.

Libertarians would be laugh out loud funny if it weren’t that people take them seriously. They’re the “fuck you, got mine” party that scares the Republican Party. I’m not going to sway anyone away from that particular pit, but you’re welcome to pick up those bootstraps yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Obama is a Socialist and the French are Pussies.

OK, so you don’t like the word Socialist. That’s fine, but Obama DOES want to redistribute the wealth. He said so using those exact words. So forgive our uneducated masses because they see that as socialism. If the schools didn’t spend so much time trying to social engineer our kids they would have more time to teach.

As for the French being pussies, your argument that they have the second most victories behind Rome is neither here nor there and is just a straw dog. Who can Rome defeat now? Who surrendered during WW II? As a people the French are weak today. Just because you admire that doesn’t mean they, like you, aren’t pussies.

Ruben says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

There are many mechanisms implemented by the federal government which could be viewed as a redistribution of wealth. FEMA, for example, takes the monies of the people and redistributes it in the form of aid to areas hit by natural disasters and such. Social Security and medicare takes those same monies and gives it to old people.

I’m not sure why people hate on wealth redistribution. It’s not like the government is going to just average out people’s bank accounts.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re confusing anarchy with chaos. They are not synonymous.

“[To] individuals that self-identify as anarchists, it implies a system of governance, mostly theoretical at a nation state level although there are a few successful historical examples, that goes to lengths to avoid the use of coercion, violence, force and authority, while still producing a productive and desirable society.”

Anarchists are not thugs that believe in “might makes right”. They are people who seek to live by ethical standards, guided by personal restraint and a spirit of collaboration rather than competition. Anarchists are actually the opposite of what you opine them to be.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s a reason that it’s “mostly theoretical at a nation state level:” there aren’t any successful historical examples. (Who is the source cited here, and what are the “a few” successful examples that (s)he claims exists?) The reason why can be stated rather succinctly as “human nature abhors a power vacuum.”

Historical examples show time and time again that in the absence of some form of strong authority, social organization breaks down, in large part due to people with the will to power (ie. those you least want to actually have in charge) stepping up to try to fill the void and fighting amongst themselves.

So no, it’s not at all a “confusion” to equate anarchy with chaos. It’s simple historical truth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Until the founding of America, it hadn’t been tried before, the “new” experiment in self-governance lasted about 200 years before it unravelled… So who knows what a libertarian state would bring, you can say x, and i will say y and neither will be correct except in our own mind.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

What are you talking about? Republics had been done various times throughout the ages.

And anarchism is not a “new experiment” either. It is an experiment that has repeatedly failed. There have been plenty of examples of groups of non-trivial that have attempted to organize without a strong hierarchy of some form. When they become notable at all, it tends to be for their massive wasted potential because they had no cohesive sense of direction and so failed to accomplish anything. (The most recent example being the Occupy Wall Street movement.)

velox (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The founders of the US did do something new. There had been republics, but these were not democratic (Rome for example). There had been democracy, but not in republican form (Athens for example).

The United States was the first democratic republic. It also is the first democracy to achieve lasting success. All other democracies had succumbed to civil war within 2-3 generations. (When Lincoln observed at Gettysburg that the Civil War was “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure”, he was not merely making a grand sounding speech. The US then stood at almost the same point in its history as Athens had been when the Peloponnesian War effectively destroyed Athenian democracy.)

The American founder’s “new experiment” consisted of combining the 3 main types of government which had tried previously and setting the forces of each against one another in order to limit potential for tyranny.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Actually, the Manx government has been a parliamentary democracy for a very long time (albeit for somewhat limited values of democracy, but then the USA didn’t originally have universal suffrage even for men). In fact, theirs is probably the oldest continuous government unbroken by conquest, revolution or reconstitution, depending on when you count the Papal states as beginning.

monkyyy says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

a) there has been, just none since the industrial revolution so they arent “good” ones

b)that was true for ending slavery, capitalism, some level of science, something killing off the dinosaurs etc.

c) the state is violence, take what ever law u dislike most and ask yourself why u follow it, cause u signed a social contract at birth(u had nice hand writing for that age btw) or cause a man in a blue suit will lock u in a cage(include chance of rape and death)? is violence not chaotic?(war should also be mentioned)

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, you’re still wrong. Chaos isn’t synonymous to anarchy, and it’s certainly not exclusive to it. Even our current system is rife with chaos and destruction. We have war, crime, domestic violence, famine, disease, profiteering, and the list goes on. The common thread in any chaotic society is inequality. When there is a group of people that have more and one that has less, conflict is inevitable. Even in an anarchistic society, if there is any inequality, there will be some that exploit their advantage to achieve greater power. The reason anarchy hasn’t succeeded as a mainstream social philosophy is because we haven’t successfully addressed the issue of inequality. Authority’s place in society is to maintain the distribution of power through force. They make sure the “haves” continue to possess the majority of power.

The solution that anarchy seeks to achieve is equal access to the resources and means of production as to be self-sufficient so that no person must lay down their freedom and submit to any authority for the sake of access to resources. When people can have access to that which they need to live without being subservient to an authority, be it a government or an employer, they no longer conflict with the “owners” of production, they are independent. The owners very much need us to be dependent on them because that’s how they extract labor from us to perpetuate their power. When we have the capability to do for ourselves what previous took the aristocracy to provide us, they will become powerless and it’s by force of violence that they try to prevent this.

Anarchy in itself is not a failure, it’s our failure to address inequality that has rendered anarchy unsuccessful. When we move beyond the concepts of scarcity, property, and ownership, anarchy will be the natural next step. This is because property and ownership creates inequality. Some have it, some don’t. We are unequal because we “own” property and some own much more than most. Our authority tries to maintain this paradigm by force. Anarchy wants to dissolve the concept of property because no society can achieve a state of ubiquitous personal autonomy with such social mechanisms in place.

JWW (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re generalizing.

The actual Libertarian Candidate, is on a whole, one of the best, most honorable politicians I’ve seen in my lifetime running for high political office.

He’s more than deserving of my vote, and seeing how New Mexico didn’t descend into anarchy when he was Governor, I think the country would do mighty fine with him as President.

I really wish he’d have been in the foreign policy debate, that would have been a real show, if Gary had been there too. Instead we got a “me too” downer of a debate with violent agreement between the two parties.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Of course I’m generalizing, and drawing more on the base of Libertarians than the actual politicians as I do so. And I agree that it’s a crime to only allow the presidential debates to be closed to other parties.

I’d love to see all of the candidates who gathered enough support to run in at least one state given the opportunity to debate (not the just the four parties who were invited to the side-line debates, but all of them).

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The media corporations will never allow a third party to gain ground. Just this October, the police arrested the Green Party candidates for trying to participate in the presidential debates despite being fully recognized by the federal government as valid candidates and being on 85% of the ballot. No, they want to control the election by keeping the choice limited to two shitty options. We will never have a true third party candidate so long as the CPD is allowed to manipulate what candidates the voters are exposed to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So, it was the media corporations who gave us this shitty form of voting when the constitution was drafted?

The founding fathers had some great ideas, but either they sucked as statistics, or we just know much more now than we did then…

I know the latter is true, but I suspect the former is true as well.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“his blatent disrespect against women and their right to choose”

Ya, cause they didn’t have any choice when decided to have sex in the first place, right?

You don’t get to complain after you run the red light that you weren’t given a choice as to whether you wanted someone to hit you or not. Choices are yours to make. The consequences to those choices are not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, actually, not wrong on either account: http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/38048-mitt-romney-doubles-down-on-his-support-of-anti-choice-candidates-who-want-to-criminalize-abortion-for-rape-survivors.html

And no, Romney doesn’t agree that rape is an exception. Google “romney abortion rape” and find a billion more sources citing the same things he’s said and the same people he’s backed.

Also, to use your idiotic “running a red light” comparison, what happens if your breaks give out and your emergency break ends up causing you to spin into the intersection and get hit anyway? By your logic, the answer is either, “you should have been constantly checking everything even if there’s no signs of things not working correctly, so it’s your fault they failed.”

Or, what your answer is going to really be: “If you didn’t want to accidentally run a red light and get hit by a truck, you shouldn’t have been driving. It is the will of the magic wizard in the sky that you don’t drive a car unless arbitrary conditions are met you fucking harlot.”

So actually, thank you for the idiotic driving comparison, it helped show exactly how stupid your point is.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yep, because examples given to illustrate a point must be exactly the same as that point to be worth anything.

The fact that you can take the example completely outside the context it was given does not invalidate the point that was made.

It fascinates me how ppl can think that women have some “right” to an abortion after having chosen consensually to have sex.

And no, I do not care what candidates Romney may have chosen to support, as that does not say much, if anything, about what his personal beliefs are on any given point. As has been so aptly pointed out by others here, sometimes you have to choose between the better of 2 evils. His supporting a candidate does not equal his agreeing with everything that candidate says or does.

I have looked at what he has said and done personally on the issue, and that is the only thing that can be considered proof of what he will do should he get into office.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So to sum it up:

1) You get to make a comparison. When it’s proven wrong, you get to say, “nuh uh! only I get to make comparisons!”

2) A bunch of people say they have to stand for one of the 2 major candidates, which is an idiotic statement, so you use that stupidity to justify an even more stupid statement (no, someone in a party does not have to come out in favor of someone else in the same party).

3) Romney can stand for or support anything he wants and regardless of any proof out there, only what you decide is what he stands for, is what he stands for.

Good to know you REALLY drive the kool aid, I’m just gonna go ahead, report your posts and learn to ignore you now, as you obviously have nothing worth listening to.


Re: Re: It gets even better.

> Ya, cause they didn’t have any choice when decided to have sex in the first place, right?

But it gets better.

The Neocons don’t just want to wage a war against Planned Parenthood over abortion. They also want to suppress birth control and pre-natal care.

So not only do the Republicans want to punish you for running the red light, they want to make breaks and seatbelts illegal, and then make it impossible for you to go to the hospital.

It’s a theocratic trifecta… or even trinity.

Grae (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

So you’re in favor of the government stepping in and removing the bodily autonomy of a woman because a “life” is at stake?

When can we expect to see you lobbying congress to introduce the Forced Organ Donor for All Citizens bill? After all, we could save millions of lives each year if everyone was forced to give up that extra kidney, lung, liver tissue, bone marrow, or blood. And let’s not get started about how many people could benefit from your body parts after death, and hey, at that point we wouldn’t even have to violate your bodily autonomy to get them so that should be mandatory for everyone, right? After all, this is about preserving life and not about controlling women, isn’t it?

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Which is why you vote for the lesser of two evils…

Voting for the lesser of two unpalatable options is part of what has gotten us into this mess. It’s YOUR vote, make it mean something. If that means voting for the libertarian candidate, do so. If it means writing in someone else, then do it. Don’t vote for someone who does not represent your values.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’ve fallen into the trap that both major parties use to prevent genuine alternatives from springing up.

Read up on how “wedge” issues do this.

I don’t expect a candidate to agree with me 100% – but I do expect better than two bad choices. Heck, I can choose between 4 major cell phone companies, but only get 2 choices between deciding who runs a country of 311+ million people? Fuck that. Until a sizable fraction of the population is willing to vote for alternatives, very little is going to make our political system better.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I get the feeling that you’ve either responded to the wrong comment, or I failed to make myself clear. I was not suggesting that a two party system is a good thing. I was suggesting that elections are always about choosing the lesser evil.

Can you name a single political party (the US has quite a few of them, even if most of them are excluded from the ballot) that doesn’t suck in some fairly major way? I can’t.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I can’t either, but that’s my point.

More choices, whether in politics or in markets, are generally a better thing. There’s no way that two party platforms can come close to representing how millions of people feel. We’re seeing this happen now, where both parties are moving to their extreme elements, gridlock in government, and increasing numbers of people happy with none of this.

Many more distinct parties would force consensus and coalition governments instead of complete gridlock opposing any deviation from their platforms. And you could vote for someone who shares many more of your views instead of feeling like you’re picking the lesser of two hacks you disagree with so much about.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I agree with you completely.

And you could vote for someone who shares many more of your views instead of feeling like you’re picking the lesser of two hacks you disagree with so much about.

This is precisely what I was advocating — but it doesn’t reduce the feeling that I’m voting for the lesser of of several evils.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not really. In our horrid system, if you would normally lean right, and instead vote for a third party who has no real chance to win, you’ve effectively cast a half vote for the candidate on the left, as you didn’t take anything away from him, but took something away from the guy you would normally vote for.

Laroquod (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That’s an arrogant assumption that one candidate deserves to have your vote already, and if you do not give it to him, you are ‘taking something away’. A vote must be earned! Not assumed. Stop counting 3rd party voters as if they are failed two-party voters. If someone is voting third party, that means they don’t like either of the major candidates, therefore their vote CANNOT be assumed to have gone to either one of them. No one has a prior claim on anyone’s vote: period. End of story.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

In an ideal system, you’re right. In our system, you’re unfortunately wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually voting third-party despite knowing how stupid it is (because I live in a state that leans SO far one direction, that it really doesn’t matter that I’m taking 1/2 a vote away from someone).

But when the BEST-case scenario for a 3rd-party is….Ross Perot, who got 19% of the votes that year. If a candidate doesn’t have major TV time and a voice in big things like debates that the masses see, they don’t have a chance. So whoever you consider the “lesser of the 2 evils” in your case is who you’re taking 1/2 a vote from. End of story.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

but took something away from the guy you would normally vote for.

It’s MY vote, not his. I can give it to who I want, but I’m not taking it away from anyone. If any candidate wants it, they need to speak to issues I care about.

There’s more than just liberal and conservative.

Here, I’ll give you a quick rundown of my views. Figure out if I would fit your lean left/right profile at all.
–most importantly, everything based on evidence, so if the evidence shows otherwise, views and policies need to be changed
–Social issues – support women’s rights including abortion, support gay marriage, strong social safety net
–Healthcare – Obamacare better than what we had, but would prefer something closer to Canada’s
–Economics – lower corporate taxes, higher taxes on rich, small tax increases on middle class is fine, free trade, less regulation in some areas and more regulation in others, Keynesian economics a good idea if practiced in good times as well as bad
–Marijuana – legalize and tax it
–Immigration – open the borders – “Give me your tired, your poor, your wretched masses yearning to breathe free”
–Gun control – legal to own/carry with license/background check, though for the life of me I can’t understand the conceal permit argument
–Civil liberties – already covered, freedom of speech/religion/press should be absolute, radical transparency in government
–Military – cut spending and defense budgets, reduce amount of troops, use savings to better train those remaining, the vast majority of troops should be genuine combat personnel with functions better done by civilians done by civilians
–Foreign policy – foreign aid a good thing (when the money that’s sending kids to school in Pakistan stops, the kids end up in madrosses, when the money going to farmers in South America or Afghanistan stops those farmers start planting coca or poppies), I’m not opposed to intervention against dictators or hostile nations when situations warrant
–Copyright/patents – get the government the hell out of granting monopolies

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So you decision on who to vote for is entirely based on the right to have an abortion? That’s it? That is beyond stupid. First, the Supreme Court has already declared it a Constitutional right. That would have to be over turned first. Could it be done? Sure, but the amount of time and effort would be tremendous. Even if that were his goal it would take more than four years. So to make sure that nobody tries to take away abortion, please stop saying it’s the right to choose, you would screw over the entire country economically and internationally. Please people, don’t vote based on a single issue. Oh, and Romney being against abortion doesn’t equate to disrespect. Your lack of respect for human life is a greater tragedy.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

“Which is why you vote for the lesser of two evils…In this case, that would be Obama. Romney just scares me with his blatent disrespect against women and their right to choose.”

*pfft* The electoral college decides who the next president will be, not the people. The two-party system is so entrenched that they, with the help of the mass media, make it nigh-impossible for an independent to receive attention, much less support.

Besides, are you so naive as to think that if Romney were to become president that he’d suddenly put an end to abortion? Let’s put it this way: Bush Jr. was opposed to abortion and had eight years in office, four of which with a Republican majority in Congress and in the Supreme Court. What changed between then and now? Nothing.

I’m opposed to abortion due to my religious beliefs but realize that even if the government outlawed abortion (which isn’t going to happen), just like with drugs, the people who wanted to would get one performed either way. So it’s a political distraction from the things that really matter, like jobs, the economy, health care, education, etc.

What bothers me most about Romney is that he’s a war hawk — he seems to be ready and willing to pick a fight with countries like Iran. If that should happen, the Middle East will again become destabilized and other countries like Russia and China, who have trade agreements with Iran, would inevitably get involved somewhere along the line. If war breaks out, the last thing people are going to be worried about is whether or not women have the right to choose.

JGalt says:

Re: Re:

Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still evil and those who do so are complicit in the fraud that is the US presidential election.

There is no difference between the candidates ( major and minor parties ) and as Obama extended the polcies of Bush, who extended the polices of Clinton , etc … a win for Romney or Obama will change nothing since the folly of LBJ

More government

more debt

more wars

more civil liberty suppression

more inflation and the rise in prices it causes

more poverty

gene reed (profile) says:

Re: romney

It bobbles my mind that this women’s right to choose is even an issue. this was settled by the supreme’s in the 70’s. you would need super majorities in the state legislatures first, then the same in congress in a constitutional convention. impossible to over turn. anyone who thinks that is a real issue is part of the herd mentality. and the herd is always wrong.

i don’t beleive it…you don’t know how government operates? and you vote? remember civics classes?

Anonymous Coward says:

Cui Bono?

There’s no money in it.

In the end, both the Democratic and Republican parties are aligned against your interests. Or rather, they are aligned with interests opposed to the interests of citizens and the country as a whole. If you’re looking for the Romney-tron 2000 to save you from the mean, bad man, you’re seriously deluding yourself.

cosmicrat (profile) says:

Time to start making it an issue.

Well, long past time actually. Assuming we defeat the menace of Darth Romney (yeah, see previous post), one way to apply pressure is the next Democratic presidential primary. Biden will be the presumptive nominee, but what if he got some serious competition from a challenger who was strong on civil liberties? If we can get more people in congress agitating about his as well we might see real progress.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Time to start making it an issue.

The easiest way to get a major party to change their platform is to get a third party to start stealing their votes. They’ll then assimilate the third party’s platform to keep from losing those votes. Don’t vote for Romney or Obama just because you think they are the lesser of two evils. Vote for the third party that most closely aligns with your beliefs. If everyone did that, even if the major parties stayed the major parties (most likely) they’d still be changing their platform in order to stay there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Time to start making it an issue.

That’s what the Tea Party was attempting to do to the Republicans. Yeah, I know the movement isn’t very popular in this part of the internet – but whatever you want to label the Tea Party as, it started out as an attempt to reform a party from within.

It worked for a little while too – witness the 2010 elections. But when president time comes around, we still have a choice between a mediocre, ineffective incumbent and a challenger that appears ready to take over the mantle of mediocrity and ineffectualness.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

The biggest problem seems to be the continued idea in people’s minds that it would NEVER be used against them. They are “Good People ™”, and “Good People(tm)” have nothing to fear from this.

This starts to shake a little when they see more stories about TSA doing something stupid, but they quickly accept the word that this was an isolated incident or that its just standard behavior. The fear is if you for a moment suggest that TSA might have finally gone to far, there are people ready to pounce and declare you a terrorist lover out to destroy america.

4 years later we still have people declaring Obama is a Kenyan, many people stop and shake their heads and avoid the discussion. They know he isn’t, but its easier to let them rant and rail… because we know it isn’t true so it doesn’t affect us. But its still there, its still going because people just don’t want to deal with the ugliness that drives it.

They like the control and access that total surveillance gives them, but look how badly they reacted when the light was shined on them. Bradley Manning revealed to the world a long list of less then good things being done in our names, and more people want him dead than are asking questions about why we are shilling for MS or the MPAA in other countries. No one is curious about why we were trying to build a DNA database of world leaders. Its just easier to assume Bradley Manning was a “Bad Person ™” and he was out to hurt america rather than exposing the truth of the matter. People do not hate the US because we have freedom, they hate us because we are fucking bullies working for corporate interests and playing games to get our way.

The discussion isn’t simple, so its easier to accept your bowl of “but but but terrorists will win” than to try and dig down to the real reason they need to have more ability to spy on people without legal oversight.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Really? This is the article you choose to use to make your point?

Let me just pull apart one piece of this before I blatantly ask you where the heck you think your evidence is coming from:

“If Mitt Romney wins on Tuesday, a lot of things could change: Medicare could be turned into a voucher system;”

Ok, definitely worthy of concern, but not in and of itself bad. More details needed.

“Medicaid could be substantially cut.”

All I have to say here is “Citation needed”. Medicaid has already been substantially cut, and with Romney’s intention to kill Obamacare, what makes you think it will be further cut?

“Any Supreme Court vacancies would be filled with conservative jurists hostile to abortion rights”

Abortion is not a right.

“, attempts to rectify racial inequality”

??? What law exists anywhere today that encourages racial inequality??? Sure there are ppl out there who still choose to think that way, but the laws made acting on that illegal a long time ago.

“, or rein in the influence of money in politics.”

And how exactly is anyone supposed to do that? You can’t prevent ppl from accepting money, no matter how bad doing so is.

” The Affordable Care Act, which will guarantee health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, could be toast.”

Seriously??? Do I really need to point out just how stupid this argument is? I’ll assume no for now and wait to see what others say about it.

The rest of the article just continues a rant without any evidence provided. While I do not agree with everything Romney says or plans to do, I cannot understand the temptation by so many to pretend he is something that he is not.

I agree with you on so many things, Mike, I just couldn’t handle seeing this line of misinformation on an article that is little more than a rant of hopelessness without giving some comment back to it.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

This has nothing to do with religious anything. Choosing to have an abortion is the exact equivalent of choosing to murder someone. The fetus is alive, whether you like it or not.

Pretending that this is a religious issue is simply ridiculous. By your logic, my saying that murder is wrong is just as much religious intolerance as saying that abortion is wrong.

And yes, law should remove the option, the same as it does with many things. Laws in our country are based on what the majority of the ppl believe (most of the time). If those beliefs are because of their religion, that’s fine. Sometimes things we don’t like will be made into law, that’s one sometimes unfortunate side of democracy. Welcome to it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

According to your logic we’re all mass murderers for jerking it. Your simplistic argument can be reduced to any insentient “living” cell and organist. We’re gonna run out of social security numbers pretty quickly if you get your way. you just don’t understand chemistry or biology very well. A failure of the education system, not yours.

hrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The fetus lives at the pleasure and behest of the host. Nothing more, nothing less. You would choose to usurp the right of the host in favor of your own beliefs? Codified into law? You would forcibly strip the right to choose what affects one’s self forevermore? That’s not democracy my friend, that’s bullying. You’re the angry mob.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“[L]aw should remove the option, the same as it does with many things.”

Like piracy, hm? Last time I check, it’s still around and it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon! Also the same for littering, jaywalking, not wearing seat belts, copyright infringement… really I could go on with this, even into the major stuff, but I won’t. But point still stands. Just because there’s laws to prevent them, doesn’t mean the crimes have magically disappear in a couple of days… or months… or years… decades… do you see something yet?

“Laws in our country are based on what the majority of the p[eo]pl[e] believe (most of the time).”

Oh sure, like how we got laws in place to prevent homosexual couples from… really a lot of things. It’s because of the majority of the people… Then again, was Prohibition from the majority of people or was that a select few?

“Sometimes things we don’t like will be made into law, that’s one sometimes unfortunate side of democracy. Welcome to it.”

Can I leave? I don’t like it here.

… You’re funny. Can’t you stay around a little longer?

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Abortion is not a right.”

Choosing whether or not to have one is (or should be). People should, in a free society free of religious idiocy, have the right to choose to have an abortion. People should never have the option removed by law or religious intolerance.

Why? Let’s take the religious perspective completely off the table and simply take an objective look at the acts involved.

Proponents of abortion rights say that it’s about a woman’s right to choose and to have control over her own body, thereby implying that opponents believe that a woman should not have freedom to choose what to do with her own body. They sum up their position with the simple term “pro-choice.” This is a silly strawman argument, of course, just like the counter-argument from the other side, which sums up its position with the equally silly term “pro-life,” which implies that its opponents are somehow pro-death.

But what’s really at issue is not choices–which no one disputes that a woman has the right to make–but consequences. The central question is, “when a woman chooses to have sex, and ends up pregnant because of it, should she be allowed to kill the unborn baby in order to avoid the natural consequences of her actions?” This is why the vast majority of people–including “pro-lifers,” their opponents’ smear campaigns notwithstanding–do not object to abortions in cases when the pregnancy did not result from the woman’s free choice to have sex.

So, when a woman chooses to have sex, and ends up pregnant because of it, should she be allowed to kill the unborn baby in order to avoid the natural consequences of her actions? When you boil it down to the real question, the answer becomes obvious by simple generalization:

When a person chooses to take an action that can potentially have undesirable consequences, and then finds themselves faced with said consequences as a direct result of their choices, should they be allowed to kill another human being in order to avoid the natural consequences of their actions?

Obviously not. So what makes things so different in the specific case when the action in question is having sex, and the consequence is pregnancy and childbirth? When you boil away all the rhetoric, that’s all that’s left, which is why you never see “pro-choice” people willing to discuss it in those terms.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mason, you’re playing games with words and pretending that the question is more simple than it is. For example:

“So, when a woman chooses to have sex, and ends up pregnant because of it, should she be allowed to kill the unborn baby in order to avoid the natural consequences of her actions?”

Your choice of the word “kill” makes a massive assumption that the baby is alive at all. This, of course, is what the entire debate is about. Nobody says that we should be able to kill a life. The question is whether or not it is a life. For another example:

“When a person chooses to take an action that can potentially have undesirable consequences, and then finds themselves faced with said consequences as a direct result of their choices, should they be allowed to kill another human being in order to avoid the natural consequences of their actions?”

I don’t think these are your words, but, again, the term “human being” is snuck in as though that’s a settled issue. It isn’t, which, again, is what the debate is all about.

And I’ll go you one further: your entire premise is bullshit. The debate is not about whether or not a woman can avoid the natural consequences of having sex. It’s DEMONSTRABLY not about that, otherwise abortion wouldn’t be the only example of that debate at hand. We’d also be having the debate about whether it should be legal for a woman to kill the herpes she got, or fight off AIDS, etc. All of those are natural results of having sex, but we’re not arguing about them. Why? Because that isn’t the debate.

The debate is undeniably religious. It’s about the sanctity of life and what the definition of life is. While I won’t take sides in this question for the purposes of this comment, as I see it there are only two VALID stances in this debate. Either abortion is ALWAYS wrong, including in cases of rape/incest, because life is life and that’s the end of the question, or the question of life and personhood is unsettled and therefore we should not legislate in furtherance of an unanswered question.

I won’t tell you which side of those two I’m on, but they’re the ONLY RATIONAL sides to be on in the first place….

Mason Wheeler says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Your choice of the word “kill” makes a massive assumption that the baby is alive at all. This, of course, is what the entire debate is about. Nobody says that we should be able to kill a life. The question is whether or not it is a life.

No, you have it inside out. The “unanswered question” of whether the unborn baby is really alive or not was manufactured by abortion proponents as a rationalization. By any accepted scientific definition of life, it is alive, and it really is that simple.

The debate is not about whether or not a woman can avoid the natural consequences of having sex. It’s DEMONSTRABLY not about that, otherwise abortion wouldn’t be the only example of that debate at hand. We’d also be having the debate about whether it should be legal for a woman to kill the herpes she got, or fight off AIDS, etc. All of those are natural results of having sex, but we’re not arguing about them. Why? Because that isn’t the debate.

Yet another strawman argument. Yes, those can be natural consequences of having sex as well, but dealing with them does not involve killing a living human being (by anyone’s definition) and therefore it’s a non-controversial issue. Let’s stick with apples-to-apples comparisons, please?

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I appreciate your attempt to look at this more logically, but you skip right past the question of what is a human. My sperms aren’t human, and neither is a woman’s ovum a human. Do you think that the instant a sperm penetrates an ovum that a human has been created? Is it when the baby is born that it’s a human? Is it at some point in between? If so, which point? A heart beat, functioning brain, ability to survive outside of the womb with or without human aid? If without, what does that mean, because I’ve had two kids, and neither of them would have lasted longer than the first day or two if no one fed them or kept them warm.

A proper abortion discussion cannot happen until the debate is settled over when human life begins. Often, we consider it to be when the baby is born. For example, give a one day old baby a bottle of beer and you are likely to be breaking the law, but a pregnant woman drinking that same bottle the day before the baby is due is not. I’m not saying we should treat it the same, just that there is some precedent, and changing it may have unintended consequences.

All I’m saying is that your question can only be answered if we agree on the definition “human being”.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Questions about the definition of human life are a distraction, manufactured by abortion proponents to rationalize their position. There is no scientific definition of “life” that I am aware of that includes any clause about independence or viability. Clear away political confusion and you are left with the scientific definition, which happens in this particular case to be the same as the strictest religious position: life begins at conception. But that does not make it an inherently religious definition.

Consider a chicken’s egg. A fertilized ovum, just like a human embryo, with only one essential difference: there’s no placenta. The chicken’s egg can survive outside of its mother, and in fact can be brought through the entire gestation process in an incubator with no hen around anywhere. Can anyone deny that this is its own life? So why is the human version different?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“The chicken’s egg can survive outside of its mother, and in fact can be brought through the entire gestation process in an incubator with no hen around anywhere. Can anyone deny that this is its own life?”

Of course I can. It’s an egg. It’s an unrealized life. It ain’t a chicken until it walks around and clucks at me, chastising me for all those god damned mcnuggets I’ve eaten all my life. Until it does, it’s just that thing that gets fried up next to the bacon….

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

It becomes an “unrealized life” if it is kept from incubating for long enough that the living embryo inside dies. Then it’s dead, and not alive anymore. (Or if the hen lays the egg without it having been fertilized in the first place. That can happen too.) But that doesn’t mean that the fertilized egg is not alive.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

The question isn’t whether it’s alive. Cancer is alive, Staphylococcus aureus is alive, E. Coli is alive. No one minds killing these things off, because they aren’t human life. Again, the question isn’t whether the zygote is alive, but whether it is human. Pour some beer on Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and no one cares. Pour that same beer in a newborn’s bottle and suddenly you are breaking the law. Call an unborn baby a human being and now justify why it’s not illegal for its mother to drink that same beer.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Again, science provides a very simple answer. What differentiates a single cell of E. Coli or Staph from a single cell from a human body? Its DNA. What differentiates a “good” cell from a human body from a cancer cell from the same body? Again, the DNA.

If you agree that an unborn baby is alive, and it’s a simple matter of fact that the DNA is human DNA, and moreover is human DNA distinct from the mother’s DNA, then there is no rational basis to say that it is not a human life.

As for your question regarding beer and laws, that feels like a distraction, but I’ll bite. It’s not illegal because the law is not consistent. Why should this surprise you when we’ve got plenty of laws that have no basis in facts or rationality?

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

My sperm has human DNA, a woman’s ovum has human DNA. Millions of sperm die every time someone ejaculates, and usually at least one ovum dies every month a woman doesn’t get pregnant. Is it your proposal that this is the death of millions of humans? My skin cells are alive and have human DNA, and if kept in a petri dish under the right conditions can be kept alive, but killing my skin cells is not killing a human. My bone marrow is full of stem cells which have human DNA, are alive and can become an independent human. Is it considered killing of human life if I were to suffer the loss of a major limb where lots of bone marrow existed?

As for the alcohol question, I want you to justify it or not. Do you think it should be illegal for a pregnant woman to consume alcohol, and if not, do you think it should be illegal to offer alcohol to newborns? Are your views consistent is what I’m asking.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

The examples you give are all of cells that contain DNA that is entirely that of the body they came from, and would not be viable separated from that body. (Even the stem cells, with our current understanding of biotechnology, could not be used to grow an entirely new person, as far as I know.) But a fertilized egg is a new, distinct life, whose genome is not identical to that of its mother.

And yes, I think it would be perfectly consistent (and justifiable) to make it illegal for a woman to knowingly consume alcohol while pregnant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

The examples you give are all of cells that contain DNA that is entirely that of the body they came from, and would not be viable separated from that body. (Even the stem cells, with our current understanding of biotechnology, could not be used to grow an entirely new person, as far as I know.) But a fertilized egg is a new, distinct life, whose genome is not identical to that of its mother.

Nor is that fertilized egg viable outside the body of the host, which you term ‘mother.’ Until that fetus is viable on its own, it is not a separate life.

Can I prove a fetus is not a separate life? No. Can you prove I am wrong? No. It is all a matter of belief, and by shoving your belief into a system of law, that is pure theocracy. Prove it scientifically, or leave it alone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

wow you have a problem with women’s ability to choose..

“When a person chooses to take an action that can potentially have undesirable consequences, and then finds themselves faced with said consequences as a direct result of their choices, should they be allowed to kill another human being in order to avoid the natural consequences of their actions?”

If women have a choice, they have a choice, they have control over their own bodies, so they can both choose to have sex and/or have an abortion..

Pro-choice, means THEY GET TO CHOOSE, not you..

you’re argument amounts, to not being allowed to drive a car, lest you hit and kill someone (because you made a mistke), a stupid argument.

I guess your male! so it’s “OK” for you to make a mistake, and have sex, you’re not going to fall pregnant, your not going to have to try to care and look after a child, and make a living.. but you still got your fuck !

im sure if you were the one who had to deal with a child, even if you knew that it would be very difficult for you to do, possibly impossible (properly)..

nor is it really assumed life starts at conception, it is not life not for a good time after conception.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The problem is simply that you didn’t make a statement on any of the issues in that article, but simply linked to it as the basis of your statement on the hopelessness of civil liberties in the candidates.

Nothing in that article presented any evidence to support that conclusion, all it did was spit out statements and come to this hopeless conclusion. The few facts presented were on what Obama has done.

I simply hate seeing a statement of hopelessness when I believe the situation is not nearly that bad.

Just Another Limey (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: It's in the title

“Why Do Both Major Parties Suck So Badly On Civil Liberties?”

The absence of civil liberties in the manifestos of both major parties, when they were at least topical in 2008, is what’s being pointed out here.

It’s not hopeless. Nothing ever is. But it is a cause for concern, hence Techdirt’s article.

hrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The will of the one will always come before the will of the many. I believe it’s called free will. You can not impose a will. There are a good number of things that currently fall under this dichotomy – the roles of the rulers and the ruled.

The question: Do I come before the masses or after?

The funny thing is that with abortion – not unlike drugs I’d guess – will be wholly dependent upon the will of the individual. Along with a healthy dose of impact from interested other folks solely out to further their own consciousness before all others which, unfortunately, seems to come with a whole lot of being told what one can and can not do with regard to one’s person. On undue burden on one’s psyche that. Shame.

Believe what you like but live with the knowledge that your beliefs will never, ever be the last word affecting another individual – from life to death.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, the Supreme Court has stated that abortion is a right. I am against abortion past the first trimester. I neither hate women nor believe in God. I find your assumption that those are the only two reasons to be against abortion ridiculous. Grow up. The only way you can have your point of view is if you don’t care about human life or you refuse to acknowledge that a fetus is a life.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Now then, let me off by saying: I don’t care about your morals. To me, they stink. Horribly. Now this is just my personal opinion and it’s that, and I’m certain you’ll find others out there that’ll agree with your views, but I find your thoughts to be… sickening, to say the least. Case in point (and I’m going to be in that Prinny suit waiting for me in Hell for this…):

Abortion is not a right.

*struggles back laughing* … I’m sorry, but… that made me laugh. Now I know you can’t see this for… whatever reason you got, but if you really believe that killing a fetus within the first weeks is wrong… then ask me this: do you really think you should allow a woman who was raped and impregnated with an illegal child to keep said child without anything to care of said child? Or a girl gets impregnated by her father, or her brother, or her cousin, to raise a child? Have you ever considered that?

Now for my own personal views (and I know there are those out there who will disagree with what I’m about to say, aka you): I’m personally against abortion simply for the matter of I want to have my own child and start my own family. … But, if the rare occasion occurs when my wife (or girlfriend) gets into any serious complications, and if the child’s life is at stake… I might consider it. And to add on, one person said that s/he’s against abortion after the first trimester and I do agree with that view. Now if this occasion comes up… it’ll have to be a decision made by both me and my girl to decide whether or not the child lives… or I lose two lives.

And on a larger scale of things… I don’t give a crap about what people do with their own bodies! I believe that everyone is given the choice to decide what they want to do with their own bodies and I will accept that.

The thing is… to me, it really comes down to whether or not I am willing to pass on a chance for one fetus to grow up and become a part of my family, or wait for another opportunity to come around to have another child. And there are plenty of opportunities out there to have a child… it’s just knowing when it’s the right time to have one. If a woman, a man or a couple can’t determined when the right time for a child is, then why do they bother creating one in the first place?

But… what else can I say? I’m just spouting my own personal views when they are nearly completed. It’s not like you’re going to agree with me on them… you think it’s evil, I think it’s just life. Sure I am personally against it, but I can’t stop everyone myself. And neither can you.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Disagree (am I fired?)

“There are, of course, real differences in many of the other policies from the two candidates”

No, not really. In the myopia of the American political system, there may appear to be differences, but on the world-sized scale these two are a few nearly imperceptible blips away from each other on just about everything. They’re both from parties that embrace rampant spending (just on different stuff). Their differences on healthcare boil down to a single sub-issue (the mandate), and it’s actually unclear where Romney actually stands there. Neither of them is for real tax reform in either direction, either from a massive tax uptick on the rich (a la the 1950’s), or the institution of a progressive sales tax.

The fact of the matter is that the United States is largely a conservative nation. So much so, in fact, that our “liberals” are merely on the liberal end of conservatism. It’s what makes the hyperbolic claims about Obama being a socialist so hilarious. He’s every bit the socialist as 1970’s Republicans, which is what he essentially is.

I don’t say all this to argue that either conservative or liberal thought is better or worse than the other; the point I’m trying to make is that these two are, for all practical purposes, the same guy.

Yay, democracy!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Disagree (am I fired?)

Certainly as an outsider (UK) i puzzled over how to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats from the age of 15 or so. I’m 47 now and use the ‘Republicans begin with the letter R and are therefore meant to be more Right wing than Democrats’ rule. Otherwise they’re both bat-shit-crazy ultra-right wing conservatives to us Europeans. Though to be fair, both our Conservative and Labour parties now both sit to the right of centre.

MonkeyFracasJr (profile) says:

Its not about Civil Liberties.

Yes our Civil Liberties are suffering but the attack is not directed at them.

The attack is from corporate interests bent on legislating their business model. They push and push and push our (supposed) representatives (Democrat, Republican AND third party) for business friendly legislation that makes it easier for them to “put the financial screws” to the consumer public to bolster profit margins. It is the consequences (intended or not) that continually erode Civil Liberties.

Nearly as corrosive is the oversensitivity and outrage mentality of so so many of the people. So many hurt people are going further and further out of their way to A) Find someone else to blame for their misery, and B) As misguided as it is they are trying to “bubble-wrap” the world so their offspring won’t have to suffer as the feel that they did.

If you can’t trip and fall then you can’t ever learn how to pick yourself up.

George Zimmer (profile) says:

Hi Mike, I’m George Zimmer, Founder and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse.

Mike, I’m here to tell why you both parties enjoy branding our civil liberties with an array of death-dealing mushroom stamps.

Being a businessman, I love to fantasize about the soft touch of paper money. Sometime I collect enough to build a doll, customized to fit the meager profile of a general public member, and then using a number of pre-selected sentences, put the doll into a swoon with the promise of dinner and a movie.

After the small talk, and while the doll is steeped in a love-fueled bliss, I rigorously violate it shaking free the money and satisfying the Michael Douglas-like needs of my non-barbed bear phallus.

So you see, Mike, politicians are much like me, except instead of offering Zimmer-sized programs, which are impossible to quantify, to win the popular favor, they offer “bite-sized” programs, which sound great but fall short in the long-run.

Eventually, the American public is going to start giving some of that violation back to these virgin-holed politicians. I guarantee it.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

hydra heads of the same korporate money dragon...

1. it is all kabuki theatre, only some folks still think its ‘real’…
2. rethugs and dem’rats are two-sides of the same korporate money coin… in actuality, they are in collusion to maintain the status quo, not real adversaries of any significance…
3. third party candidates are -while TECHNICALLY possible- all but impossible to vote in since the system is gamed from top to bottom by the duopoly…
4. far too many sheeple *don’t* believe in their own civil rights, or have been convinced by the propagandists that they *have to* give them up, or are simply too busy working, raising kids, sucking off the glass teat, and eating cheezy doodles and sugar water to care…

it will be too late when they start to ‘care’…
(it might be ‘too late’ *now*…)

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:


“Why Do Both Major Parties Suck So Badly On Civil Liberties?”

Is this a question made to make people think about it?
For people paying attention the answer is obvious, no matter what party they come from they are all in the same boat and do mostly the exact same things despite screaming they don’t, further they are all lead by the government infra-structure that is populated by lifers that don’t change that often and so the conclusions and directions of most things also don’t change, because some party have a firm grasp on only a few core issues the rest is dictated by what others tell them, and what others tell them is what the lifers want to say.

mudlock (profile) says:


Sometimes, knowing history will help you to repeat it.

In 1852, both parties sucked badly on the #1 civil liberties issue of the day, slavery. The difference then, was it was the #1 issue, period, of the day. Factions in both parties, the Whigs and the Democrats, had strong, vocal supporters, and both parties had bitter internal arguments on the issue. That year, the Whigs cracked and began to disband. By 1856, a new party, founded on this one issue, had risen; the Republicans.

Anti-slavery Democrats fled their party to join the Republicans; pro-slavery former-Whigs muddle about but eventually ended up as Democrats (because it’s a two party system, so what else can you do?)

monkyyy says:

“real differences in many of the other policies from the two candidates, but the lack of significant differences on civil liberties is a real shame.”

both believe i should be responsible for a debt that was made before i was born, and is continuing to grow despite my strong objection to them spending it mostly on a wars that i simply dont want

both support drug laws that has imprisoned more people then china has

both support violent dictators in my name indangering my life to terrorists who are quite understandably angry but dont understand who to really blame

both will inflate the currency even more

honstly were do they differ that matters?

Anonymous Coward says:

If you haven’t already voted, There is still hope for you to do the right thing for America. Vote for Gary Johnson

End the Patriot Act…
Fully support gun rights…
Balanced budget…
Marriage equality…
Bring the troops home NOW…
Eliminated a $1 billion budget deficit…
Created a $1 billion budget surplus…
Shrank size of state government by 10% through attrition…
Cut taxes 14 times, never raised them…
Vetoed wasteful spending 750 times…


orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

I know lots of liberal or Democrat -flavored people who voted for Obama as the lesser evil and who have been raging against his horrible continuation/escalation civil liberties violations and other issues. Certainly, not enough Dems do, however – it is barely part of the national discourse. I’ve also noticed that the Republicans have nothing to say about it, even though they will label him a “socialist” for doing the same things Reagan, the Bushes, or hell, Romney, have done.

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