Meyer AP Government - Election 2008

Our take on the very long 2008 Election.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Three weeks from today...

... we might have some results.

After reading through the latest blogging by the handful of active participants, I have some observations.
  • Like many Americans, it seems as if many students have burned out on the debate, have made up their mind and find little value in trying to convince others, don't care, or simply think in silence.
  • Like other Americans, a few still think they can influence others who have set their positions and will not be changing.
  • Some have trouble talking about politics in a manner that respects differences.
  • Some speak to be heard, but struggle to hear what is spoken.
  • Like many Americans, and as hoped for my many candidates (or their media teams), some are overly simplistic and are content with throwing catch phrases, inuendo, and dirt rather than having respectful and meaningful discussions. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill would struggle to watch the level of tolerance of politcal differences.

The next three weeks will go quickly. Let's hope that those who end up on the losing side (or loosing for those of you who know my pet peeve.) are able to, once again, say "It was a good game. We'll try again next time." And those that win will understand that winning the election is only the beginning of the work.

So continue to argue, comment, debate, and play. But please do so in a manner that doesn't fall to the depths of those playing the game professionally. Maybe then, more will play.


Blogger Sander K said...

Mr. Meyer is right about how the other blog has degenerated into little more than a feeding frenzy for the republicans and the democrats. I think that we should all try to get someone from our class on the blog so that it isn't just the same core of people. Adamb had an interesting point about Fox News. They can be an extremely conservative news source. Just because Bill O'Reilly says he believes in global warming doesn't make him a independent. We watched the videos of him applying double standards to politicians from different parties in class. We should also consider that perhaps it isn't the media's job to be impartial, but rather our job to sort through the mush that both super-conservative and super-liberal media engines turn out.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Sander K said...

Sorry for the second post. Is it okay if we can get people outside of class to blog, is it okay if they do. This would be under their names, not just random profiles.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Bri B said...

I agree with Mr. Meyer as well that Americans have "burnt out." I know that I have not paid as close of attention lately either, mainly because the hardest concept for me right now is, HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT IS REALLY TRUTH? I know that Mr. Meyer has posted the fact check on his web page that is a great tool, but we are not going to write down everything that is said by the candidates to check if it is really truth or not. I am just sort of frustrated at this point because it seems that, as the election is getting down to the wire, both candidates are (must) trying to get "dirt" on one another in hopes so making a permanent swing for the party. Obama seems to have this swing right now but who knows...
Although I am for McCain, at this point, some of us being adults, need to focus on what lies past November 4th. It is great to keep up-to-date with the election, but maybe we should be thinking more long term. We really are the future for America so let's act on that.
Mr. Meyer said at the start of this semester that America's problem is having such a short-term view on things. I agree. Let's start to think what we can do and where we think America needs to do regardless of who takes office....
What do you all think about that?...

12:50 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I like the thought of looking ahead as Bri mentioned. I am wondering if Americans are burnt out?
I ask this because over fall break almost every person in the Airport was observing the candidates views during their debate. If Americans were burnt out, why was the general topic of discussion the issues brought up throughout the debate?

I really don't like any of candidates. I feel like we may hinder our futures with either choice. Now, I may be wrong but I find that McCain is more towards the middle on many of his issues, this may be due to election and trying to reach middle voters but, if he wants to draw the far right he has to strengthen his standards on some issues.
Something else I have noticed about our candidates are: McCain has had major health problems and has Palin really done all of the things people say she has? Are they maverick's? idk

I would like to know TRUTH like Bri .

The Democrats have the same problem. Obama is connected to Ayers who has connections to terrorists and Rev. Wright(Obama's preacher for 20 yrs) hates the United states through his claims "God d*** America." Is this true? How can I check?

I honestly don't know what to do. I will vote for the right but I am still not impressed with our choices. Let me know what you think(some of this may be incoherent due to late night). :-)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Courtney L. said...

I'm not necessarily burnt out, I'm just so tired of watching people do nothing but sling mud back and forth at the opposing party.

It seems like as the election approaches, arguments get weaker. I rarely hear facts, or even concrete arguments of opposition. The Saturday Night Live skits are quoted so much, they've become the Napoleon Dynamite of the year. I don't like Palin, but the line "I can see Russia from my house!" is absolutely cringe-inducing now.

Yard signs and bumper stickers get stolen left and right.

People can bash the opposing candidate all they want, yet they can't explain why they feel that way? Every experience, age, and education argument is tired out. Even state-wide issues, such as Amendment 48, are completely tired out.

I think most people know where they stand at this point in the election, and feel like if they can't persuade the other side, they'll just insult them. Or that if someone doesn't see eye to eye with you, they must be completely ignorant. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone can back this up with their own boring, personal anecdotes.

It's the same way in the politician world. I can't help but role my eyes everytime either party drags up another lame argument. The 60's terrorist groups, the financial crap they pulled up with McCain, might as well try and link one of them to Watergate at this point.

Er. Long, windy story short, the decrease in respect is tiring to watch. I love debating politics, but it's not even a debate anymore. It's a fight on the playground. Let the mud sling on.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Sander K said...

Justin, the problem with wanting the "TRUTH" is that in politics it is utterly subjective. If you listened, it would sound like every candidate and independent group has sole command of the source of all truth. What we need to be able to do is not shop around for our version of truth, but utilize all the versions and condense them into something that resembles factuality.

Courtney l. you are right that the decrease in respect is tiring to watch, but I believe it is necessary. America needs for our politicians to be dirtied by their campaigns. Not necessarily Markey and Musgrave dirty, but at least a little tarnished. We need this so that America remembers that these people are exactly that, people. If someone runs a campaign without getting dirty in the slightest, then the implications could be horrible for America. We would run the real risk of falling into the trap of believing that our politician is some sort of minor deity. Not literally, but look at what happened to FDR. He achieved the status of American political deity and he won reelection until he died. This is pertinent now because we are in a economically turbulent time and our next leader has the potential to get us out of a war that America at large doesn't like. If the next president succeeds in fulfilling all our wishes, then we could end up with someone with immeasurable political power even after they are out of office.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Courtney L. said...

Sander, I'm not expecting everyone to be "Stepford Wives", I just think if you want to tarnish someone, use facts. How many people have you heard claim they hate a candidate, and when asked why, it's something along the lines of, "She's a bitch." or "He's an ass." Prove it. Give me an example. Make me see what you see. It's hard to prove your point when you refuse to use facts and examples to back it up.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Sander K said...

Courtney, I can appreciate that you don't like the stereotypical disregarding of candidates due to personal and judgmental feelings about them. I just think that even if they are false accusations, that as long as they aren't really slanderous they are good in that they give our politicians an air of fallibility. Nice picture by the way.

12:57 PM  
Blogger AaronW said...

I don't feel like there is mud slinging; that definitely isn't what has frustrated me on the blog. It seems like the debating has gone stale because it's one sided, and frankly that is freakin boring.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Sander K said...

Alright, so we have one week to go today. I was wondering if you guys might be willing to do a mock election on the blog. We could all vote on a similar form and then take a tally to see what the general consensus is. Here is my idea for the form that could be copied and pasted.

Amendment 46:
Amendment 47:
Amendment 48:
Amendment 49:
Amendment 50:
Amendment 51:
Amendment 52:
Amendment 53:
Amendment 54:
Amendment 55:
Amendment 56:
Amendment 57:
Amendment 58:
Amendment 59:
Referendum L:
Referendum M:
Referendum N:
Referendum O:

4th CD:

Or if you don't, just ignore this.

7:32 AM  
Blogger nathana said...

Bri b, I don’t disagree that we are a short term society one of the side effects of a capitalist individualist society. (other side effects include creativity, political dissent, and enterprise) However, give us some credit for sticking with things. We fought communism for nearly half a century. We will (hopefully) clean up after ourselves in Iraq and not treat exiting as something that will fix everything. This can work, both Japan and South Korea went on to succeed after American occupation but we need a little patience. Maybe the capture of Osama in 10 years will come to symbolize victory in the war on terror similarly to the Berlin Wall coming down symbolizing victory in the Cold War.

Part of the reason we’re burned out is because we’ve been at this for over a year now

Regarding “truth” I wish to point out that there are facts, and there are opinions. Donuts have sugar is a fact and donuts are tasty is an opinion. What a candidate has done is a fact. Whether we want conservative or socialist economic leanings is an opinion.

Amendment 46: no
Amendment 47: yes
Amendment 48: no
Amendment 49: yes
Amendment 50: no
Amendment 51:I don’t know yet
Amendment 52: I don’t know yet
Amendment 53: I don’t know yet
Amendment 54: I don’t know yet
Amendment 55: I don’t know yet
Amendment 56: I don’t know yet
Amendment 57: I don’t know yet
Amendment 58: I don’t know yet
Amendment 59: I don’t know yet
Referendum L: I don’t know yet
Referendum M: I don’t know yet
Referendum N: I don’t know yet
Referendum O: I don’t know yet

10:35 AM  
Blogger BenH said...

It's amazing the lengths some people will go these days just to prove a point. There used to be a time when people wouldn't even think to question the tastiness of donuts. Sometimes the state of our society saddens me.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Courtney L. said...

Agreed, Ben.

I'm also rather bitter at the election because the Obama magnets got stolen off my car in the school parking lot. Really? Really?

Most kids at the school are too young to vote, too lazy and apathetic to do any research, and too angsty to leave it at "I don't care." Well, angst away, magnet stealing jerks! You certainly showed me!

. . . :'(

9:40 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

It looks like we have our results. This election was obviously historic, even beyond the first African American president. Obama never could have won without the Internet, and he will face many unique and unexpected challenges over the course of the next four years.

Now we just wait and see if stockpiling all that soup and duct tape was worth it.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Sander K said...

I am looking for final numbers on the Senate, can anybody tell me? I keep seeing estimations of the dems having 56 or so seats.

9:41 AM  
Blogger nathana said...

There are four races whose outcomes are unclear. In Georgia they might need to hold a runoff election if the winner doesn't get 51%. That wouldn't be until December 4. There will probably be a recount in Minnesota. It looks like Stevens is still going to narrowly win in Alaska, and the democrat will win in Oregon. These four races are not finalized.

By the way, you fascist barbarians need to be more tolerant of people who don't like donuts.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Michelle S said...

I feel one of the reasons voters have become so "burnt out" over political discussions is because this election started more than two years ago. Why so early? In England, political candidates get one month to campaign before elections. Though I think one month is a bit short, two years or more of campaign-building in America is a massive waste of money and effort.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Sander K said...

Do you think that it could be a sign that we care more about our elections, don't like to regulate things as much, or just a interesting fluke that we carry on so much about our elections?

10:48 AM  

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