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Comments

Emmett O'Connell

Is there a difference in your mind between politicians who try to find the safe middle and politicians (and their supporters) who are open to colaboration and discussion with people they disagree with?

Randy

The disturbing challenge is that politicians condition us into the ‘us vs. them’ mentality and in return we demand a combative nature in politics. The other party is the enemy, and their views are fundamentally wrong – unable to reconcile or compromise. The fringe politicos want polarization for the purpose of constituent retention. That and being a moderate is hard work – you have to compromise, and participate in a give and take. If you are a fringe element you stand on your platform and proclaim anyone that does not agree with you as wrong which generates less work for you, bolsters your status as a stand up politician who stick to his guns, and completely stalls forward progress. Fringe politics is lazy, polarizing, and ineffective only benefiting the politico who have pulled the wool over our eyes.

Emmett O'Connell

Man, I like you. And since it all started over here, I'm going to respond here, rather than have two conversations. But, folks can check out my blog post (http://olywa.blogspot.com/2006/07/danger-of-echo-chambers.html) if they feel like it.

Doesn't that kind of Fringe vs. Fringe politics disengage people from the political process? Instead of stiring the pot (as you would assume it would if they engaged each other), it keeps people from listening as they yell across the chasm at each other.

That, and how campaigns happen now adays, seem to push people not to participate. What can be done to change this trend?

Randy

Fringe v. fringe is the absolute best way to grind things to a halt, widen the chasm, and ensure that on the rare points of convergence (education) nothing will get accomplished because there needs to be a complete impasse by design. Since no one likes to cheer for a loosing franchise the average fans disappear- leaving only the nutcases that pint their bodies in Buffalo in December! Voter turnout is what ... 35% and it is the middle of the bell curve that feels that there is just no place for them - no one is addressing their bushel of needs. We have managed to disenfranchise 60%+ of the country by focusing our entire political platform on insignificant issues such as homosexuality, online pornography, and interstate abortion. The tragedy is that key things like environment (everyone wants a clean planet), education (everyone wants smart kids), and economics (we all want a strong and steady economy) get pushed out of the way.

Change will come when a few brave souls say enough and try to win on defined centerist policy that encourgae individual freedoms, personal responsibility, social justice, and a global partnership in society and economy. Don't hold your breath!

Emmett O'Connell

Holy cats dude, check this out:
http://www.sacktheparties.org.uk/

A very different system, but a basic principal. That the power bases at the party level has taken away accountability to local communities.

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