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  • The issues thread

    So I'm still undecided about which ticket I'm voting for, and I'm looking for spin-free discussion about the issues... ProCon.org has a good run down as a reference. Let's try and keep this fact based and "educational". Please don't exaggerate, and please don't try to make the 'other side' seem evil/dumb/whatever. In other words, no negative ads.


    There are two things on the table in this thread:


    1) Which issues do you see as irrelevant for the next four years?
    i.e. Which issues/stances should we ignore, because regardless of how the candidates stand on these issues, the status quo just isn't going to change in the next four years.


    2) What is the most important issue TO YOU in this election and what is your candidate's proposal?


    Here's the list of the major issues from ProCon.org for reference:

    • Abortion
    • Character
    • China
    • Death Penalty
    • Defense
    • Economy
    • Education
    • Election Reform
    • Energy/Environment
    • Gun Control
    • Health Care
    • Immigration
    • Iran
    • Iraq War
    • Israel
    • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
    • Gay Marriage
    • Legalization of Marijuana
    • National ID Card
    • Faith-based Programs
    • Social Security
    • Stem Cell Research
    • Taxes
    • War on Terror


  • #2
    Re: The issues thread

    1) On issues which I expect the next President to influence, I see little divergence on all issues except health care and trade policy.

    2) By far the most important issue to me is ensuring that the Presidential branch and Congressional branch are each controlled by different parties. I supported Kerry in 2004, now McCain in 2008. As an added bonus, McCain has surprisingly excellent histories with both trade policy and immigration.

    That's pretty much it, for me anyways.





    ------


    I'm also interested in what everyone thinks of the various issues you posted, on a side by side basis.


    Abortion - Doubt either will make a difference.

    Character - Both have their pros and cons.

    China - McCain prob better, more likely to favor freer trade, etc.

    Death Penalty - Doubt either will make diff.

    Defense - Concerned that McCain will want to spend more money on mil, but other than that, no real diff imo.

    Economy - McCain more in favor of free trade & immigration, big pluses in my book.

    Education - School vouchers only good idea I've heard in a while. Won't get passed though, so no diff imo.

    Election Reform - Worst idea ever.

    Energy/Environment - Both probably suck.

    Gun Control - McCain advantage; hold the line against gun control proponents.

    Health Care - McCain advantage; hold line vs. socialized healthcare.

    Immigration - Huge McCain advantage.

    Iran - Both suck.

    Iraq War - Both same/suck.

    Israel - Don't care.

    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Don't care.

    Gay Marriage - Obama advantage.

    Legalization of Marijuana - Obama advantage.

    National ID Card - Don't know/care.

    Faith-based Programs - Both same imo.

    Social Security - Both same imo.

    Stem Cell Research - Don't know.

    Taxes - McCain advantage / no influence w/Dem Congress.

    War on Terror - Both suck / no diff.
    Last edited by Nikolas; 09-24-2008, 11:38 AM.
    A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

    "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The issues thread

      Ok, I'll get this started.

      1) Which issues do you see as irrelevant for the next four years?
      • Character

      Character is not an "issue." We all make subjective judgments about the candidates, and those judgments will vary greatly from person to person. It's like making "nice eyes" into an issue. Naturally, I think the candidate I prefer has more character than his opponent, and someone voting for the other guy feels that his candidate has more character. It's a meaningless term, and plays into the soft emotional manipulations of campaign ads.
      • Abortion
      • Gay Marriage
      • Gun Control
      • Legalization of Marijuana

      These issues are either tangential to other policies or so volatile that they will never be resolved based on the swing of a single election. They are more likely to be used as wedge issues to rile certain partisans. We're not going to see informed, sober debate on them any time soon.

      The other issues are at least relevant, although some are less so than others.

      2) What is the most important issue TO YOU in this election and what is your candidate's proposal?
      I don't like to vote on a single issue, as there are a host of philosophical and policy differences between the candidates, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be:
      • Iraq War

      ...And all issues linked to it. Between the deep corruption that allowed it to happen and the mistakes that were made because of it, the economic and moral consequences of our current involvement, and the foreign policy morass that it leaves behind, it is the defining issue of our time, IMO. It touches on a half-dozen other issues in that list.

      Obama's official plank is here: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

      Not perfect, but I think it's a damn sight better than McCain's.
      In game handle: Steel Scion
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: The issues thread

        Originally posted by Steeler View Post
        1) Which issues do you see as irrelevant for the next four years?
        • Character

        Character is not an "issue." We all make subjective judgments about the candidates, and those judgments will vary greatly from person to person. It's like making "nice eyes" into an issue. Naturally, I think the candidate I prefer has more character than his opponent, and someone voting for the other guy feels that his candidate has more character. It's a meaningless term, and plays into the soft emotional manipulations of campaign ads.
        • Abortion
        • Gay Marriage
        • Gun Control
        • Legalization of Marijuana

        These issues are either tangential to other policies or so volatile that they will never be resolved based on the swing of a single election. They are more likely to be used as wedge issues to rile certain partisans. We're not going to see informed, sober debate on them any time soon.

        The other issues are at least relevant, although some are less so than others.
        agree 100%


        edit: actually.... 80% :D I think the candidate's character (beliefs, disposition, outlook, etc) are VERY important predictors of how they'll act in the future. I'm torn on this one.


        Obama:
        +'s : He seems really rational, calm, and maybe even empathetic. I also think his ability to connect to people while speaking is a plus. I think we should engage in talks with any/every nation, and think he could handle this.
        -'s: I have no idea how he'll handle a crisis

        McCain:
        +'s: He's been through some crazy stuff and proved he wasn't that squirley guy from Saving private ryan ;). I trust he'll do what he thinks is right even if it's not popular.
        -'s: I don't have a lot of insight into how he works behind the scenes, but I don't have a lot of confidence in his diplomacy skills. He seems pretty genuine and down to earth when talking to people in 'private', but giving speeches on big stages? yawn.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The issues thread

          1) Which issues do you see as irrelevant for the next four years?
          • Factually irrelevant as pertaining to the candidates: Race, Religion, Gender, Character*, Party
          • Realistically irrelevant as platform issues: Gun control, 'Gay' marriage, Abortion


          * For reasons already stated

          2) What is the most important issue TO YOU in this election and what is your candidate's proposal?
          • Foreign policy: Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Homeland Security, Defense and International Relations


          I group these 'issues' together because they all fall under the umbrella currently defined as the 'greater war on terror.' While the economic situation is growing in cost, the efforts in combating terrorism and other international threats is still costing the country billions of dollars on a monthly basis and has largely been ineffective. I feel that this is the most critical issue that the next president will face. The world is still living in a growing nuclear crisis, and I seek out leadership committed to decreasing and not increasing that threat.

          Obama proposes some key elements, such as a true solution (status of forces agreement) in Iraq, a stronger international stance against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and a general willingness to meet with diplomatic leaders of any nation - friend or foe - is an urgently needed change in American policy. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/foreignpolicy/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The issues thread

            Irrelevant factors:
            • Race
            • Religion
            • Gender
            • Gun control


            Issues:
            • Abortion
              • Obama/Biden admin will likely be pro-choice, don't know about McCain/Palin pro-life, voted to repeal Roe vs Wade. Not very important to me.
            • Character
              • Given his past experiences, I think Obama is more intellectually capable of analyzing conditions and coming up with better decisions. Not sure I trust McCain since his policy shift to align with the current admin.
            • China
              • Next president will need to enforce fair trade. Push China to stricter QC standards. It'd be nice for whoever becomes president to tell China to "suck it" and recognize Taiwan as a legal, sovereign entity, but the US doesn't have much, if any, leverage at the moment.
            • Death Penalty
              • Both seem to support it.
            • Defense
              • Not much difference IMO.
            • Economy
              • I don't think McCain has a good grasp of economics. Maybe Obama doesn't as well, but he's shown that he's a better learner.
            • Education
              • I really like Obama's "community service for scholarship" plan. It'd be nice to have the perspective of one who has been an educator in the top office. Don't know much about primary school plans.
            • Election Reform
              • Neutral. Election season needs to be shorter, not like this year-long media wankfest.
            • Energy/Environment
              • Both have good plans and are taking the issue seriously.
            • Health Care
              • Obama favors a more nationalized/socialized system. From what I've seen of socialized healthcare, it works quite well. The question is whether it is feasible to scale to nation the size of the US. Both would try to lower insurance premiums. It'll all be in the details.
            • Immigration
              • Both seem to have similar plans. Don't really agree with either of them.
            • Iran
              • Either way, I don't think much will happen.
            • Iraq War
              • Waste of time, money, and lives. One had the foresight to oppose the war, the other didn't even read the intelligence reports and supported it. Either way, I think both admins want the troops headed home and/or redeployed to Afghanistan.
            • Gay Marriage
              • Both oppose gay marriage but support equal rights. Both want to leave it to states to decide. Most gay rights advocacy groups endorsing Obama.
            • Stem Cell Research
              • Both support expanding available stem cell lines and funding.
            • Taxes
              • Obama: lower taxes for those making <$250k, raise taxes for those making more. McCain: Lowering taxes across the board, but smaller tax cuts among those making <$150k. McCain plan will generate less tax revenue since those making more will be paying much less in taxes.
            • War on Terror
              • Not much difference IMO.



            TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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            • #7
              Re: The issues thread

              Everything in this election aside from Education and Health Care is irrelevant. No matter what you do in this country, if those things arent handled better all else is epic failure.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The issues thread

                1) Which issues do you see as irrelevant for the next four years?
                Abortion
                Death Penalty
                Election Reform
                Gay Marriage
                Gun Control
                Legalization of Marijuana
                National ID Card
                Faith-based Programs
                Social Security
                Stem Cell Research

                I see some of these are unimportant (such as marijuana), others outside the scope of the President's powers (such as Gun Control and Abortion), and others theoretically important but unlikely to be made an issue by either side (specifically Social Security). For whatever the reason, I won't be basing my vote on any of these issues.


                2) What is the most important issue TO YOU in this election and what is your candidate's proposal?

                (1) Economy
                This is my number one issue at the moment, but while historically I've never trusted Democrats on the economy, right now I don't trust Republicans either. Obama and McCain are both sitting in Washington arguing over economic plans as we speak, so rather than taking a position based on their theoretical platforms, I'm going to watch the results of the bailout agreements. This should be very enlightening on a number of aspects of our candidates.

                (2)
                Defense
                Iran
                Iraq War
                War on Terror

                These go together as a group issue. The candidates' plans on Iraq differ more in intent than action -- both have proposed about the same practical steps tempered by frequent referral to "conditions on the ground", but I suspect their responses to changing conditions on the ground will be quite different based on their intents. I prefer McCain's intent.

                (3) Everything else, in approximate order of importance:

                Energy/Environment
                Taxes
                Health Care
                Israel // Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
                China
                Immigration
                Character
                Education

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The issues thread

                  It's interesting that foreign policy is supposed to be McCains trump card... because I actually think Obama might be favorable here. As was said above, I think they'll both end up doing roughly the same thing with the Iraq/Afghanistan situation. But what I like about Obama's stance is that he's willing to talk with enemies of the state, as opposed to stonewalling them until they buckle to some of USA's demands (which Iran and N.Korea will never do).


                  edit: That being said, if diplomacy doesn't work, I trust McCain more to make the hard decisions... I have no data on what Obama would do in crisis... If, say, the **** hit the fan w/ Iran or N.Korea) What type of Command in Chief would Obama be?


                  Would/could Obama be the guy on the right (metaphorically speaking)? Or would he be overly dependent on the UN and popular sentiment (polls)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The issues thread

                    I think this PBS profile series going on this week should help you Whiskey.

                    Close Up: John McCain Pt. 1 | PBS

                    John McCain & Adversity Pt.1 | PBS
                    John McCain & Adversity Pt. 2 | PBS

                    Close Up: Barack Obama and Leadership Pt.1 | PBS
                    Close Up: Barack Obama and Leadership Pt.2 | PBS

                    (Obama's profile on adversity should be on tonights broadcast)
                    |TG-12th|mantis

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