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  #11  
Old 08-30-2017, 06:55 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Quite simply every class told us how it should work not how it does work.
I feel this is true for just about any social science. Economics, sociology, etc. seem to focus on ideals and base their studies on perfect assumptions which conflict with reality in many ways.

This leads to people believing things like every politician they voted for is 100% honest all of the time. Or always knows what they are talking about.

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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Another one we are taught is "We were founded on the principal of no taxation without representation"

However this is again a theory but not the reality.

For example convicts still have any income taxed but are not allowed to vote thus they have no representation.
It was a mantra of the revolutionaries, and was one of the core reasons for the Revolutionary War. That certain people lost the privilege due to their crimes does contradict the statement, but it was never intended to be an absolute inalienable goal. If it were, it'd be in the constitution. The mantra does hold true for territories and Washington D.C., however, and it's one of the motiviations for Puerto Rico statehood (the other option, seceding, would be economic suicide).

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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
My point is that if we want the general public to know and care about how politics works we need to stop telling them that everyone's a Samurai
Social studies definitely takes a very idealistic approach. Here's what I think should be taught:

1.) How things were intended: Separation of powers, democratic republic, equality, bill of rights, etc.

2.) How these things are complicated: Balancing executive power with congressional power, ensuring an impartial supreme court, defining "equality," how to reconcile gun control with the 2nd amendment, how to reconcile hate speech with free speech, etc.

3.) How things outright undermine #1: Lobbyists and special interests, two-party systems that have devolved into "who do I hate least", collusion between corporations and government (which is an superset of lobbying), giving affluent schools all the money while inner city schools are given the shaft, etc.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2017, 10:56 AM
mjr mjr is offline
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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Why? I mean I understand private schools may teach reality instead of the theory and that people can major in political science and take classes that teach Political Reality vs. Political theory but most people get a public school education.
De-emphasis, perhaps? Ask some younger potential voters (and possibly "millennials") if they know how many Amendments the Constitution has. Ask them about the Amendment process. Ask them if they've heard of the Federalist Papers. Ask them how many members of Congress there are. Ask them if they know who the President of the Senate is. Ask them if they know who their Congresscritter and/or Senator is. You see where I'm going with this?

Heck, I would even think people into their mid-late 30's might not know some of that.

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A public school education teaches Political Theory but none of my Social Studies or Civics classes every taught us about Lobbyists. Seeing as they aren't officially a part of government we simply weren't taught they exist.
There was a parody made once of the old "Bill on Capitol Hill" cartoon from Schoolhouse Rock. It was basically "How a bill really becomes a law". I can't find it right now, for some reason.

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Quite simply every class told us how it should work not how it does work.
Probably because that complicates things.

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This leads to people believing things like every politician they voted for is 100% honest all of the time. Or always knows what they are talking about.
I don't think this is the case, at least for me. I think it's a matter of "which politician is less dishonest.", or some semblance of that.

Not only that, but we're often told that anybody can run for office. And while that's true in theory, think about the implications and ramifications there. It costs a LOT of money to run. In some cases, it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars just for the paperwork.


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I like that person and their creed, color, etc so I don't mind that they did this unethical and possibly illegal thing.

I hate that person for their creed, color etc. So I think they should at the very least be in jail for the unethical and possibly illegal thing.
This is what most modern politics has boiled down to these days.

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Another one we are taught is "We were founded on the principal of no taxation without representation"
Technically, there's always someone who loses out here. If you've got an area that's, say, a 70/30 split in favor of Democrats, the Republicans in that area (since a Democrat "won" that area) are technically not being "represented". Because in general there are a lot of Democrat and Republican policies and ideas that are counter to one another and/or irreconcilable.

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For example convicts still have any income taxed but are not allowed to vote thus they have no representation.
This applies to felons only, if I'm not mistaken.

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If I live in Washington but work in Oregon as I have done in the past I have to pay Oregon State Income tax but am not allowed to vote in any Oregon election Again denying me any representation to go with my taxation.
But shouldn't you have been able to deduct that from your Washington taxes, be they state or Federal?
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2017, 11:04 AM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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to be fair, "representation" isn't actually tied to the right to vote. It's more "nobody is representing our interests" (which is why people get pissed off at congressmen being clearly in the pocket of big business)
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:37 PM
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D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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The representation issue is always tricky. That's why I think as much as Texas Republicans and Illinois Democrats may like to sidestep the issue, you really have to address it. For the democracy to be healthy, people have to feel like their votes actually matter. When they don't and they see policies that don't align with their values, you have people in a sort of apathetic/revolutionary mindset.

You can see that even in the Federalist papers that they realized that sort of thing is a BAD idea. You have to have a release valve for public anger and if they can't do it with voting, you have a problem.

I'm sure Greg Abbott loves that Austin is represented by 6 districts with only 1 voting Democratic, but the fact that the actual voting in Austin suggests it should really should probably be 4-2 in favor of Dems is actually a problem.

I think as we said in another post, you can always point and say - well if we fix it here they aren't going to fix it there, but that's not the point. Domestic tranquility is maintained by the ability of the electorate to actually influcence decisions. Lacking that, look at the Arab Spring.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:59 PM
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D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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Re: the topic - misinformed is by powers more toxic to a democracy.

The thing about uninformed is that it may make a bad decision but it is flexible. Misinformed quite often is resistent to change because it goes on to form an identity. This would be things like global warming's causses that aren't up for scientific debate. Misinformed results in conservatives or liberals thinking they have more in common with foreign powers, etc. And misinformed often creates easy scapegoats that solve nothing.

The world is complex and it's perfectly OK if as an elector you choose to defer to the opinions of someone like Grover Norquist or James Carville. What's NOT ok, is to not acknowledge that that is being done through ignorance/convenience and then become more rigid when those people are proved wrong. That's really the problem.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2017, 12:03 PM
mjr mjr is offline
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Originally Posted by D_Yeti_Esquire View Post
This would be things like global warming's causses that aren't up for scientific debate.
It's the only science that's settled.

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Misinformed results in conservatives or liberals thinking they have more in common with foreign powers, etc. And misinformed often creates easy scapegoats that solve nothing.
True, but additionally the misinformation can come directly from the elected official or candidate themselves -- sometimes with no real way to verify it. If challenger Tom Johnson says, "Incumbent John Smith likes to kick puppies", that may or may not be true. Unless there's concrete evidence that John Smith actually does kick puppies, we really don't know. And John Smith may be a perfectly nice gentleman who volunteered in his community, helps little old ladies cross the street, rescues kittens from trees, and ran a mentoring program before he was elected.

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The world is complex and it's perfectly OK if as an elector you choose to defer to the opinions of someone like Grover Norquist or James Carville.
Fair. But I'm sure you'd agree it's not necessarily a good thing to defer to the opinion of Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, or Ted Nugent.

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What's NOT ok, is to not acknowledge that that is being done through ignorance/convenience and then become more rigid when those people are proved wrong. That's really the problem.
Well, yeah, I agree with you, but I would also like to add that saying it's OK because the other guy did it isn't acceptable either. And we've all done that at some point, I think. Basically, though, some don't criticize because "everyone does it". I know I've been guilty of that from time to time.

Also, pointing the finger at the other party and screaming "LIAR!!" (or several other epithets) because we hear something we don't like doesn't help either.

I've been having a great discussion via email with a friend of mine. The topic of "truth" came up, and he made an awesome point. It basically boils down to that the truth has been bastardized so much (including facts) that it's getting harder to distinguish what the truth actually is.
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