Originally Posted by kevin
In a perfect world it would be better if they took the possible sign from the voters (who are kind of evenly split popular vote wise) that working together is what's actually needed, what's perhaps wanted by the moderate central block (outwith the more vocal extremes on both sides) and not to continue the polarised partisanship that often appears (from afar I acknowledge) essentially just to lead to not getting anywhere on issues.
The thing is that I believe that the political parties actually thrive on the polarization of the population. By creating a polarizing atmosphere both sides obtain a concrete base upon which they can rely upon to support them. After that it just becomes a game of trying to out maneuver to other side to gain some kind of majority each election season, but even if they fail to gain that majority, they still have that large enough base to fall back upon so that even as a "minority" they still have enough numbers to cause problems for the majority. Both side can then just claim to do what they do out of "principle" to placate to their bases. Quite reminiscent of the trench warfare of WWI which resulted in countless lives lost for little more than a stalemate. The saying that "War is politics with bloodshed, and politics is war without bloodshed," is quite apt here because of how polarized it has become.
This sums up most of my sentiments, especially the closing statements.
Originally Posted by horatio
After Citizens United corporate influence upon public life increased even more than it has in the past and this campaign has not been spared by it.
About the POTUS, his administration has intensified the war in Pakistan, killing mainly civilians and low-level Al Qaeda members, he has not closed Guantanamo Bay (which has mainly symbolic value and would not have implied that all the other torture prisons are closed!), Habeas corpus has not not restored, this administration has been as opposed to whistleblowers as perhaps no previous one, the extra-judicial killings violate the very basic democratic principle of separation of powers and last but not least giant deficit spending (we are still in a liquidity trap, i.e. conventional monetary policy is ineffective ... which does not imply that the Fed should not have bought up crappy assets as reducing private debt is quintessential) has not being implemented in the name of bi-partisanship and centrism. Lawrence Summers, Chrissy Romer, all the good economists left Team Obama for a good reason.
So yeah, as a German chancellor once said, entscheidend ist was hinten rauskommt, all that matters is the output and this administration has not dealt adequately with the Great Recession (although it has done far better than we austerity-crazy Europeans) and in terms of foreign policy and authoritarian post 9/11 trends it is probably worse than the previous one. I do not think that the change people had in mind four years ago has been that their president can carry around secret kill lists and execute them if he wishes to.
All this doesn't imply that I might not have voted for Obama if I were an American citizen but I cannot stand these pseudo-progressive upper middle class fu*ks who think that Obama is a great president just because he gives nice speeches or because he is for gay rights or whatever. It is extremely decadent to care about abortion or gay rights or other ideology-intense BS during the worst recession since the thirties and the emergence of extreme weather like Sandy.
I also like to emphasize that a focus upon the issues I mentioned in the first paragraph reveals that the difference between the two main parties is not as large as they wanna make us believe (anybody remember how presidential debates worked in the seventies, with an independent organization running these debates, without a bi-party monopoly, with third-party candidates and thus more political competition?) and I also like to point out that the most important issues of our time are systemic ones and to a large degree beyond the influence of one president or one administration.
Let us not forget that making an X on election day is one but not the only duty of a democratic citizen. Our job is not to vote the best guy into office but to force whoever is in office to listen to us between the two election dates. To quote FDR: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."