From "What don't know will hurt you" by Jim Quinn in the Fall 2004 edition of "Invention & Technology"
Pretty much sums up my views of politics. I used to just curse the insanity of it all and try and stay as far away as possible. I'm now realizing that doing that does nothing - that even if the system is completely broken there is still the chance we could fix it and rational people could prevail. And that slim possibility is worth fighting for.
What I dislike most about the current system is that nearly no one in power actually says what they think.
Recently Bush said “I don’t think you can win” the war on terror. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” - probably the smartest thing he has said in a while. Of course, all of the Democrats pounced on him with “This is no time to declare defeat” and "The war on terrorism is absolutely winnable." And then the Republicans did some damage control with statements like: “In this different kind of war, we may never sit down at a peace table,” Bush said. “But make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win.”
(quotes from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5865710/)
What the Democrats should have done (and should have from the very beginning), is to say something like: You are completely right Mr. President - we can't win a war against a verb, just like we can't win the war on drugs. Perhaps we should stop fighting these pointless battles and put the money to better use like improving public schools or reducing the national debt. And while we are making sweeping changes, why don't we make it the policy of the US not to muck with other countries. It seems that whenever we do we just piss more people off (ex: We funded anyone who would fight against the USSR, including Osama. We funded Noriega for years, and then jailed him when he turned on us)
A few words of advice:
Democrats: Trying to differentiate yourself from Republicans by taking the opposite side of a correct statement is no way to run your operation. Don't fight internally - it only weakens you. Figure out a way for the tree huggers and the union workers to get along (and all of the other opposing factions).
Republicans: Don't lie to the American people. If you wanted to remove Hussain because he is a "bad man" then say that. Personally I do not think that it is our place to control the governments of other nations, but at least I would have respected your directness and honesty. Right now you've pissed me off on both fronts.
Also, keep your religious concerns out of policy. There are 2 big areas where you have alienated a lot of people. First, drop the anti-abortion push. Let women do with their bodies what they want. Second, drop the "preservation of marriage" crap - let gays marry. If you are actually concerned about the scantity of marriage (which I doubt), it is already too late - 50% of marriages these days don't last, cheating on spouses (especially among government officials is rampant). There is little meaning left to the word.
Everyone: Don't follow the party line because that is "the patriotic thing to do." The patriotic thing to do is to think for yourself, make your own decisions, and vocalize them.
I could go on and on, but that is enough ranting for now.