Corey and Lori's Quest Log

Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Debate and Decide

Here in the United States, we are coming up on our Presidential election. The main election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 6, although many states allow voters to cast early ballots.

Vote!Tonight is the first of three formal debates between the two main candidates – current President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney. I strongly urge everyone – whether you are eligible to vote or just want to understand what is happening in American politics – to watch the debates and apply what you learn to making an informed decision. Tonight’s debate will air at 9:00 pm Eastern time (8:00 Central, 7:00 Mountain, 6:00 Pacific).

In my mind, too many political decisions today are based on “sound bites” and stereotypes. Democracy only works well if voters are informed and make choices based on what is important to them. This election may be the clearest choice we’ve had in decades, and it’s essential that each of us understands why we are picking a particular candidate.

It’s a Party!

The United States has a strong two-party system. In most cases, we choose either the Republican or the Democratic candidate. Occasionally a third party candidate has managed to receive enough votes to influence the election, but rarely does one win election to a major office.

Currently, the Democratic Party has a “liberal” orientation. They are more likely to support social items such as health care, education, and individual freedom. Many Democrats believe that protecting the environment is important, and they are willing to put restrictions on businesses to reduce pollution and other social harm. The major criticism of Democrats is that they are willing to spend freely on social programs and are willing to increase taxes – particularly from higher income individuals and corporations – to pay for these programs. President Obama is a Democrat.

The Republican Party has a more “conservative” agenda. They believe that taxes should be low, and that the government should reduce spending on social programs. They think that poor people should work to become wealthier rather than get help from the government. Republicans believe that strengthening businesses help individuals, so they support tax breaks and other incentives that help businesses earn higher profits. They also dislike any laws (such as pollution controls) that make it more difficult to run a business.

Many Republicans also have strong ties to religious groups. As a result, they hold conservative attitudes about “traditional marriage”, and tend to be more restrictive about personal freedom than Democrats. Republicans are often criticized for repressing minorities, spending tax money on war and victimless crimes, and for valuing their religious principles above the political needs of the country. Governor Romney is the Republican candidate.

Clear Choices

Vote for Barack Obama if you believe:

  • Everyone deserves love and equal protection under the law for their relationships.
  • Women have the right to choose whether they have children.
  • We need safe air and water, even if it adds time and expense to running a business.
  • Sometimes people need help, and the government should provide it.
  • It’s ok to tax wealthy people at a higher rate to help fund government programs.
  • People should work together in a spirit of compromise, regardless of their beliefs.

Vote for Mitt Romney if you believe:

  • Marriage is strictly for one man and one woman. Any other relationship is improper and should not be protected by law.
  • Birth control and abortion are immoral and should be illegal.
  • Businesses drive our economy. Restrictions on business – for any reason – hurt everyone.
  • Government handouts are addictive. If people won’t work, they should find private charity or starve.
  • Wealthy people create jobs and deserve what they have. Taxation is government-sanctioned theft.
  • Compromise is giving in. People who disagree with me are wrong.

Indecent Proposal

Of course, we will have many other choices to make at the polls besides choosing a President. All Congressional seats are up for election, along with one-third of Senate seats. We will be voting for state and local candidates, and in many cases for changes to state or local laws (“propositions”). In my case, I will be voting for candidates for four political offices and for or against eleven ballot propositions.

Vote for the Candidate of Your Choice… Vote for the Issues of Your Choice … But Vote!

In 2012, there is a very clear distinction between the political parties and their candidates. It is more important than ever to study the issues and vote for the candidates and issues that you believe will have the strongest positive impact on our lives. Watch the debates, read up, decide, and above all – Vote! Your vote matters.

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  1. Richard Baxter Says:

    I didn’t have any problems with the article as it was obviously bi-directionally biased. That is actually what I found so constructive about it.

    Have people given up trying to articulate the division which besets them? Or perhaps they are such great believers in sexual equality (as long as they can retain their fantasies) that they have dismissed all purpose in a conversation that extends to the opposite gender.

    To say that people are against women or exclusively homosexually orientated individuals is absurd, and am surprised anyone has fallen for that semantic trap. And this is exclusive homosexuality albeit whose representation in the animal kingdom has yet to discovered- if indeed it is a natural phenomenon. It is interesting that republicans have the dignity to take such nonsense in their stride – rather than declare an equally absurd war on baby girls. They just don’t believe that truth is democratic. 

    Yet any discrepancies in conclusion (or vote as the case may be) signifies a real and present information gap. Why on earth have we failed to address this? What is causing people to feel threatened? Is it perhaps that they have failed to identify the basics- and they are trying to solve the inevitable consequences thereof without realising that their mission is impossible? That any human gain in one hand will result in the sacrifice of another? Is it not that in mutual error we have lost trust in the other? That is what happens when you start to tolerate dehumanisation.

    It is fair to say that when a nation classifies the objectification of a human being as artistic freedom of expression they have given up on logic entirely.

  2. Corey Says:

    @Spacequestfan: Yes, the article is slanted. This election appeared to be about Good vs. Evil to both sides, including to me. I can’t even conceive why many intelligent people voted for Romney. Can you take the time to explain why you chose the Republican side?

    Here’s my historical perspective. When I entered the work force in the late 70’s, the U.S. had very little class system. Top executives were paid about the same (in inflation-adjusted dollars) as in every previous decade since the 30’s. In smaller companies, the CEO earned maybe 5x the managers and professional workers, and about 10x the blue-collar workers.

    Back then, I was a card-carrying Libertarian and Objectivist. I believed that people should be rewarded for higher contributions and hard work. I still believe that, so theoretically should be voting Republican. But…

    Since the 70’s, the gap has constantly widened. Rich executives keep getting richer, often while their company is losing money or their line workers are starving. Executive compensation has become absolutely obscene due to the closed loop between top management and company boards. It isn’t a case of Hank Rearden or Dagny Taggart single-handedly creating value for a company and getting justly rewarded. Instead, these executives remind me much more of the government-sanctioned “looters” of Atlas Shrugged. They are fat cats, siphoning off profits and destroying companies and the lives of their workers, for personal gain and greed. Most of them do not seem to be working at all for the benefit of their own companies.

    Bain Capital happens to be one of those companies – Mitt Romney made most of his personal fortune by dismantling companies – often ones that were healthy before Bain brought them up – and providing no value to them. By the way, that’s exactly what happened to Sierra – It was acquired by a large corporation that decided it was more profitable to shut everything down than to try to increase sales or improve production costs.

    In your opinion, what is wrong with “Obamacare” and what would you put in its place? With the current state of healthcare, I have to spend about the same amount on insurance and copayments as I do on my mortgage, just for basic health care and protection in the case of an emergency. While I would rather see a true national health care plan covering major expenses – as in nearly every First World country – Obamacare seems to be at least an attempt to cover more people. And it’s privatized, which should appeal more to the Right than a government system.

    Meanwhile, if you are paying any attention to the “fiscal cliff” situation, you will see that the Republican majority in Congress is completely parroting Romney’s “plan” of reducing entitlements including Medicare and other programs that protect lower and middle-class seniors. Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is absolutely taboo, so instead the deficit will be reduced by hurting everyone in the middle. How could I possibly support that platform and call myself a Hero? Obviously I am missing something important here, because the choice seems so clear-cut and obvious, I can’t even conceive why many Republican leaders seem to want to marginalize women, minorities, gays, and so many others who are an important part of America.

    I read a wide variety of web sites – liberal, conservative, and libertarian – for news and viewpoints. I am as likely to accept a Fox News report as one from Mother Jones or the HuffPost – which is to say, I recognize all of them as horribly biased.

    So please, lead me to intelligent sources that explain why I should be supporting the current Republican agenda. I’m a fiscal conservative, so that should help… but all I’m seeing so far is fiscal idiocy – personal greed by the richest heirs above national stability.

  3. Spacequestfan Says:

    ” If people won’t work, they should find private charity or starve.”

    ” People who disagree with me are wrong.”

    That is how you describe Romney, a politician known for his personal generosity, pragmatism (and lack of ideological passion) and willingness to compromise.

    “People should work together in a spirit of compromise, regardless of their beliefs.”

    And that is Obama, according to you? Were you not paying attention during the push for Obamacare in 2010?

    This blog entry is filled with slanted, loaded language favoring democrats. You don’t even understand conservative positions. It is fine to believe one thing, but you should at least make an effort to understand the other side. You define Republicans in terms of what you believe they are against.

    Haha, Republicans are against clean air and water? Don’t think people should be able to love whomever they want? Believe all regulations should be eliminated?

    Did a high school freshman write this tripe?

    Wow, and you guys are trying to present this description as something objective? Please stick to writing games, because honest political analysis is not your thing. This was pure partisan hackery. You obviously only get your news from places like MSNBC.

  4. Richard Baxter Says:

    Maybe this is why their games are so good- because they don’t always share the same concerns as each other and are able to represent/integrate their synthesis. The truth of any matter is able to address all concerns. (This theory doesn’t explain the masterpiece of QFG3..)

    Regarding the classification of personal freedom. The fundamental issue is not abortion/birth control; it is both rape and why women are assumed the burden to control pregnancy themselves. Interestingly enough, there is a common basis – and it is not human nature, however suggestible the subconscious may prefer to remain. Rather it is artificial – a by-product of misrepresentation called objectification. It is not evolutionary advantageous for a woman to admit failure in a man. Neither is it evolutionarily advantageous for a man to concede weakness or damage, and so women are left with the result. Hence the common conclusion that these issues (which represent the mitigation of the result) belong to women and are framed under such terms, despite the fact their implications obviously go beyond mature female organisms.

  5. Corey Says:

    Talog: I need a “Like” button for your comment!

    I only caught parts of the VP debate, but I was incensed near the end. The two candidates were sparring, and both making very good points, when the moderator shut them down to ask each of them about “their character”. They were talking about real issues, but the format didn’t allow them to continue that debate.

  6. Lori Says:

    The purpose of televised political debates is to convince the people who don’t care who wins an election that one or the other of the debaters is an absolute idiot. Political commentators love debates. It gives them material with which to propound their biases.

    Analysts and polls are only useful to people who want to do whatever everyone else tells them to do. After all, if the majority of people believe in something, it’s got to be right. Doesn’t it?

  7. Talog Says:

    Could anybody please tell me what these debates are good for? Well, not the debates. The polls afterwards. The debates themselves are a great tool. People can directly compare which candidate has which priorities or goals. Everybody can weigh the arguments and decide based on the facts. But all the discussions afterwards have nothing to do with facts. Personally I do not care whether a candidate stutters, sweats, acts slower than the other one. It’s his ideas, his goals, his course of action that count. A brilliant speaker whose ideas drive a country (or maybe even the world) into a crisis is worth less than a ponderous introvert who stutters when being challenged. But the polls are just about how the candidates presented themselves. Here in Germany when they started these debates a few years ago one candidate was declared the winner because (now read this) he pointed at his opponent using his entire hand, while the other one just used one finger. The ideas were pushed off the desk.
    Consequently, after the first debate I shunned out all the analysts and polls. Sad thing they still mess up everything…

  8. Corey Says:

    By the way, the consensus is that Romney won the first debate. says that both candidates exaggerated a lot. Romney promised several things that sound really good, but it does not sound possible to pay for what he proposed while also lowering income tax (one of his key platforms). But he definitely sounded good, and probably swayed some undecided voters to his camp.

  9. Joseph Austin Says:

    @James – Many news organizations are slanted, unfortunately, because people subscribe to slanted news and it makes money.

    Despite what some people say, I’ve always found CNN to be the most neutral. I have many news apps on my phone – CNN, Fox, Huffington, The Advocate, etc. Of them all, CNN is the only one I can go to where the headlines don’t usually strike me as a veiled political argument. Conversely, Fox and Huffington are usually the most biased (though on opposite ends of the spectrum). I try to keep tabs on everyone, so maybe the bias helps a little as long as it is diverse.

  10. James StarRunner Says:

    I find it rather sad that news which is supposed to be bipartisan, definately has an agenda and will slant viewpoints. I’m not just talking about Canadian programming, I get lots of US channels too.

    I think the most destructive is Fox News. They simply make up statistics out of nothing and take almost everything out of context. I’m glad the Daily Show and the Colbert Report give them a hard time. I find I get more truthful information from those satires, then I do the news.

  11. Joseph Austin Says:

    I for one don’t think the article was slanted… the definitions of the two parties were extremely accurate. Maybe the part about republicans not compromising sounded a bit ‘mean’ on the surface, but there is indeed a lot more absolutism on the right. It’s part of the appeal they hold among the evangelicals, who by the nature of their religion are asked to believe in absolutes rather than a relativistic worldview. The republicans strive to represent strong-willed, aggressive people, while the democrats attract a more passive and compromising segment of the population. None of this is always 100% true, but for the most part it is type A versus type B personalities. The country is about split between the parties, yet opinion pieces and talk radio are overwhelmingly conservative. That should suggest something.

  12. James StarRunner Says:

    I find myself in the middle. I find it sad that politics is generally black and white, there’s no in-between, no grey-scale. I myself shaking my head when I hear of the extremes both parties will go when at times there can be an intelligent compromise that better suit the people as a whole. This doesn’t just happen in the US, but Canada as well.

    Using abortion as an example (I know, a highly debated topic). Parties usually go all one way or all the other. I can understand both sides of the coin and there are some good arguments made on both ends. I admit, I’m one of the people who think a life is sacred, even an unborn child. But in serious cases like rape or when the child is threatening both its own life and the mother, I can see why abortion would be considered. Would I want someone to have an abortion because she hopped around to 50 different beds and didn’t want kids? No, I find that irresponsible; but not every case is like that.

    It’s tragic that there’s points from both that I like, but I won’t be the one voting as I’m not a US citizen. I hope whoever wins, listens to reason.

  13. Corey Says:

    Actually it was shaded the other way originally, switched to this side in editing. One of us is more liberal than the other. :-)

  14. Steve Says:

    Not too hard to see who you are voting for from that extremely impartial list. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great you have an opinion and are trying to encourage people to vote, but don’t do it through deception. Trying to shade this post as informational fact rather than your opinion is just a little on the shady side of half-truth. …or was this just practice for some of the gameplay for the upcoming rogue game?

  15. Joseph Austin Says:

    @Corey – I am stealing the term ‘Demolicans’ henceforth.

    I hear you load and clear, all I was saying is that as a resident of Tennessee it would be no less “throwing away my vote” to pick an establishment candidate than it would be to pick some third party. I think we all know where my delegates are going. Perhaps if I were living in a swing state I wouldn’t feel quite so tiny. Or if there wasn’t an electoral college. I understand that some people feel hostile toward a direct democracy for fear of majority rule raining down from big-city culture, but it would be nice to have the same democratic power wherever on the map I stand.

    Politics are hard. I need to kill things in an adventure RPG now.

  16. Corey Says:

    I believe in some elements of each list (in different degrees). That’s an inevitable consequence of having to make a binary choice. Most of us stand somewhere between – or orthogonal to – the platforms of the major parties.

    In the past, I’ve sometimes voted for third-party candidates, but the last few elections have been close and I have not wanted the worst candidate to win, so I’ve been forced to choose between the Demolicans.

  17. Joseph Austin Says:

    The only problem is that some of those two lists merge for people. And then there’s the sense that comes when you agree with most tenants of this or that party, but are dissatisfied with one of their candidates.

    Thanks to the electoral college, the value of my vote has already been decided no matter what I do. Maybe I’ll do a values vote and choose a third party candidate, just so that I can gripe either way :)

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