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Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the cthulu-write-in dept.

Republicans 792

Okian Warrior writes "An oft-repeated sentiment on Slashdot is that we should change the situation by voting in better officials. An opinion that appears in nearly every political thread is: 'we're to blame because we elected these people.' On the eve of the first primary (in New Hampshire), I have to wonder: how can we tell the candidates apart? Ron Paul is an obvious exception, and I am not discounting him, but otherwise it seems that no candidate has made a stand on any issue. Consider the candidates (all of them, of any party) as a set. What issue can I use to divide them into two groups, such that one group is 'for' something and the other is 'against'?"

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same old same old (4, Insightful)

jfholcomb (60309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644058)

The R's and the D's are truly just 2 arms of the same beast. They both survive only due to blaming the other camp for all of the problems in the world.

Re:same old same old (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644272)

I used to think this, but I've come to realize that this thinking is not entirely correct.

The Republicans generally support the goals of big business, and have a top-down approach to wealth. They believe that making people at the top rich will lead to prosperity for all. Many believe that social programs do not help well enough to justify many of them. Many members feel that they have a moral imperative to attempt to push their moral agenda on people who have nothing to do with them, and whose behaviors do not affect them in the slightest. The Republicans are also very good at compelling members to conform and follow, even when a given member may disagree with a lot of party rhetoric, and even when it's not in their best interests to actually agree.

The Democrats look at individuals for success, and define success through a bottom-up approach, rather than a top-down approach, as many believe that top-down approaches have led to severe inequality. They believe government has the ability to address such injustices and to help dampen inequality. Many believe that an individual's right to make ones' own choices, so long as those choices don't victimize others, is important, but are not willing to ignore data that demonstrates particular freedoms causing lots of harm. Democrats generally like to build consensus before agreeing on a plan, which lately has been to their detriment, as it allows their political opponents to stonewall things that should be able to pass despite objection.

There are times for either, and both political parties have this habit of becoming sort of rotted out from the insides due to corruption. Unfortunately, it seems that the Republicans rot-out a lot faster than the Democrats, yet members of the party have seemingly short memories of it, like Newt Gingrich, who has managed to be a serious contender for the Republican party's nominee for President despite having resigned from the House of Representative in disgrace.

Re:same old same old (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644538)

I disagree. The real difference between the leaderships of the two party is which elite interests they represent.

The Republicans are largely the party of the primary economy and part of the secondary economy (resource extraction, agriculture and base manufacturing.) The cultural values that they support - religious values, etc. - are those which coincide with that sector. The democrats are largely the party of the tertiary (and past) economies - some manufacturing, but mostly services, especially financial services and the culture industry. Their cultural values are also thus in line: cosmopolitanism, a sense of "progress" (very important in sectors of the economy that emphasize changing styles, such as retail.) These elites agree on a lot, but they disagree on enough things - where they want public sector activity and where they don't, for example - that the different parties do compete.

The social / cultural values things - the left's diversity, the right's "family values" - are mostly window-dressing.

Re:same old same old (1)

dainbug (678555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644278)

Yes but the beast is "Right Handed", approach from the left.

Ron Paul! (-1, Redundant)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644062)

Also frist psot.

Re:Ron Paul! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644100)

Ah shucks, I wanted to be a frist psot.

Re:Ron Paul! (2)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644126)

Probably not Ron Paul this time.

Not first post.

Frist isn't running for president.

Wrong on three counts.

Re:Ron Paul! (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644212)

Probably not Ron Paul any time.

His preferred position on economics is to ignore that silly mathematics stuff and go with a mix of psychology and gut instinct.

Re:Ron Paul! (4, Funny)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644252)

The free market is magic. It's powered by unicorns. Have some faith.

"Magic" is the province of Keynesianism (3, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644394)

Let's see here, now:

1) If the economy recovered, Keynesian stimulus worked!
2) If the economy didn't recover, the stimulus wasn't big enough!

Heads I win, tails you lose.

Re:"Magic" is the province of Keynesianism (2)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644534)

let's be honest. no keynesian thinks the stimulus was enough, nor spent in the correct places, regardless of economic growth rate. it was certainly stimulus (and mostly ineffective), but not keynesian stimulus.

Re:Ron Paul! (4, Informative)

z4ce (67861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644450)

Erm... I'm pretty sure RP has a much, much better mathematical background in economics than any of the other candidates. He has actually written books on it, is a member of the Mises institute, and has photos of Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard on his wall.

I'm not sure if I agree %100 on his monetary policies, but he's certainly learned about it. You might prefer Keynesian economics but its certainly not more based in mathematics.

Re:Ron Paul! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644588)

Parent is referring to the fact that one of the underpinnings of Austrian School economics is often ignoring empirical data, mathematics, and the scientific method. Economics as a whole has been called The Dismal Science, but the Austrian School takes it to new lows by ditching the "science" part altogether.

CAPTCHA: nonsense

Re:Ron Paul! (3, Insightful)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644724)

I have photographs of all those guys plus Friedman and Greenspan. I must be a freaking genius economist.

Re:Ron Paul! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644476)

That silly mathematics stuff is working out great right now. No economic problems at all.

Re:Ron Paul! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644528)

Not really, he actually wanted the USA to default on all debt. Tell the other countries to stuff it up their butts and say, "the USA will not pay any of it's debts, If you want to try and collect, please send the air force your GPS coordinates and we will launch your payment to that location."

and honestly it would have been better for the USA to have completely Defaulted. we would be in a far better financial position right now if we did.

a Lot of rich people would have lost some money, no big loss there. All the middle and lower class already lost any of their money, so they would not lose anything.

The problem is, every single one of the scumbags in the Congress, White house, and Supreme Court care more about the ultra rich than the poor. the Democrats support bullshit like SOPA that only benefit the rich. The Republicans believe in the bullshit of the trickle down theory. in reality all of them are there to do one thing. protect their riches and their friends riches.

It has always been that way, and will always be that way. Luckily us poor have TV to keep us preoccupied and not pay attention to what the rich people are doing.

Re:Ron Paul! (1)

webserf256 (717589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644612)

lol. what do you know about Ron Paul? You obviously haven't read his books.

Racist Ron Paul is a serious candidate now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644078)

Where did I put my Jim Crow Tshirt.. hmmm.. ?

Who uses technology versus who talks about it (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644086)

I'm much more inclined to look at a candidate that uses or has used technology versus those who just like to talk about it.

In that sense, Obama came into his position while using a Blackberry to keep connected. Presumably this allowed him to use the business features of the device to make his work more efficient. As a user, he would be affected by changes to the law that might restrict what he could do if companies now stop things that they've been doing in practice.

A candidate who talks about technology without actually putting it into practice is not necessarily a good candidate, in that their understanding doesn't come to a practical level and the could think they understand issues that they don't, and since they don't even use the tech, making a bad decision wouldn't even impact them.

Run away from candidates who are proud of their provincial, luddite behavior. That's perfectly fine in any random person, but is unacceptable in someone who will be expected to make decisions that affect millions of people but can't be bothered to get informed.

"Those Internets" -George W. Bush

"The Internet is a great way to get on the Net" -Bob Dole

Re:Who uses technology versus who talks about it (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644244)

"We do have to make sure that there are computers in a computer age inside classrooms, and that they work and that there’s Internets that are actually -- there are Internet connections that actually function." - Obama

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/president-obama-internets_n_891781.html

Re:Who uses technology versus who talks about it (5, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644338)

Users don't understand the technology they use, and what legislation would do to it in the long (or even short) run. They look at currently available features, and it never enters their mind that other possibilities could exist. It's only the power users and geeks who do the digging to be informed (regardless if the subject is computing, cars, politics, etc).

I'd rather have a technologically unaware representative who will work against PATRIOT/SOPA/etc than somebody who uses an iPad and has buys into security theater and its IP equivalents.

Re:Who uses technology versus who talks about it (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644484)

Yeah, but I'd rather have somebody who actually takes the time to understand why SOPA/PIPA is fundamentally incompatible with DNSSEC than somebody who just works against SOPA/PIPA because the tech people in his/her district tell him/her to do so. Ultimately, the latter merely changes which lobbyists are writing the laws....

Re:Who uses technology versus who talks about it (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644474)

I just got a huge example of why Santorum is probably the wrong candidate from this point of view, but it came from the Archdiocese of Detraoit- which just said that a right-wing website whose owner is in Indiana never asked the Archdiocese of Detroit if they could use the name Catholic for a series of online Youtube videos filmed in Michigan, none of which individually use the name Catholic at all, but are promoted on RealCatholicTV.org.

Somebody in the AoD doesn't have any clue how DNS works. And Canon Law will need 600 years worth of updating before it's competent to tackle the Internet.

Geek issues? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644090)

Geeks are not even in agreement on technical issues, so how can you expect a candidate that would be good for "geek issues?" Half of /. supports net neutrality as a way to protect the spirit and nature of the Internet, and half oppose it as yet another regulation that will lead to handouts to entrenched interests at the expense of everyone else. There are people who support the interests of the copyright lobby, and people who oppose them. There are free software supporters, and people who think the GPL is a bad thing. Any number of candidates might be supported by the general geek community.

Re:Geek issues? (3, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644410)

Geeks don't agree, but geeks don't literally come down as on only one side of each of several issues with another group of geeks coming down on exactly the opposite side of the set of issues either. A politician who knows the issues and can actually talk about them with some kind of insight is the kind of person we would ultimately want, even if not everyone agrees with everything they stand for all of the time.

My wife is an MIT alum and is really active in her alumni group, so I know A LOT of extreme übergeeks. They fall all over the place as far as opinions on the political responsibilities and ramifications of technology, yet they all would agree that generally understanding and employing technology and being able to look at the results of its usage is essential in the further progression of society. After all, Technology is what differentiates human beings from all of the other animals on this planet. We are the only species that engages in any sort of high level manufacturing beyond a little bit of the use of found objects in a few other mammals.

Re:Geek issues? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644548)

Most of the folks coming out as against net neutrality are those who don't fully understand what true net neutrality means. Unfortunately, most of Congress also doesn't, so the folks coming out against it are probably right, if only because the odds of our government getting any complex technological issue right in the first hundred tries are about the same as the odds of our sun going supernova. Congress should instead focus on ensuring that the regulatory agencies have the authority to create the needed regulations.

choosing between 2 parties (4, Funny)

jockeys (753885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644096)

When asked to choose: "R or D?" it's sort of akin to a polite rapist asking you: "Which hole?"

Re:choosing between 2 parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644364)

When asked to choose: "R or D?" it's sort of akin to a polite rapist asking you: "Which hole?"

Your comment brings a whole new perspective to South Park's Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich [imdb.com] election.

Re:choosing between 2 parties (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644460)

The way it's going lately, it's more like "Which hole first?"

Re:choosing between 2 parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644466)

When asked to choose: "R or D?" it's sort of akin to a polite rapist asking you: "Which hole?"

I agree completely, but sometimes we have to keep in mind that some holes hurt worse than others. Shouldn't you vote for the hole that hurts less?

Re:choosing between 2 parties (2)

CyberSaint (1376273) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644580)

That doesn't sound, I dunno, a little defeatist to you?

Re:choosing between 2 parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644652)

Only if we've still got a chance to not get raped (Senate'd). Do we?

Re:choosing between 2 parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644686)

Shut up and pick a lizard.

Re:choosing between 2 parties (5, Interesting)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644678)

The two party system has to go. It only fosters a "you're with us or against us" mentality that doesn't get anything done. Get rid of political parties, make lobbying illegal, and one more thing. Make all politicians write summary documents about any bills they vote for. If they can't summarize it like any child does in reading class, they should NOT be able to vote on it. It also provides an audit trail into their dumb thoughts at the time.

Re:choosing between 2 parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644696)

The reply should always be "this one", followed by a gunshot to the rapist's head.

It's got nothing to do with politics and technology, but really, who doesn't want to shoot a rapist?

SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates. (1)

Bolas (2239328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644106)

I'd like to know who is in favor of SOPA and who is opposed to it. Personally I would prefer to vote for people that oppose SOPA.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644182)

Ron Paul has come out fairly strongly against SOPA, IIRC.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644444)

Ron Paul isn't a viable candidate. I'm sorry to break it to you, but he's just about the last person that ought to be in charge of a country the size of the US. Excessive rigidity in thinking is just as dangerous, if not more so, than excessive malleability is. Most people want a candidate that represents them and doesn't change his or her mind without good cause. Having somebody that refuses to change his or her mind ever isn't something that's going to work well. Just look at the TEA Party morons that lost out on a big win because they weren't willing to compromise a little.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644614)

true, his foreign policy is completely incompatible with US imperialism. We'd have to change greatly in that sense if he were pres. I don't know if that's bad or not....probably a good thing. Of course he'd screw up the economy with his gold standard garbage; I can't imagine how he got the notion that it would be good to tie economic growth rate to how fast we can pull rocks out of the earth.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (1)

pootypeople (212497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644286)

http://www.sopaopera.org/ [sopaopera.org]
Current for/against on the first page.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644406)

dunno about candidates, but there is a Chrome Plug in [google.com] that tells you when you are visiting web sites that support SOPA.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644610)

Hmmm... whitehouse.gov supports it.

Re:SOPA is a good one to decide between candidates (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644506)

The Democratic Senators from Oregon are both opposed to SOPA- and Ron Wyden has offered his services to Fillibuster it.

WTF are "Geek Issues" (3, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644116)

Just admit it, you wanted a politics flamewar on /. for some entertainment, and since flamewars are page view magnets the editors happily oblige.

Re:WTF are "Geek Issues" (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644202)

Just admit it, you wanted a politics flamewar on /. for some entertainment, and since flamewars are page view magnets the editors happily oblige.

Usually they save them for weekends. Monday is probably the high-traffic day.

Disenfranchised (1)

backspaces (747193) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644132)

I'd like to vote for a Dem. But one of the other ones. Why don't they have a primary too?

God, maybe AmericanSelect? Of them I fear.

Re:Disenfranchised (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644340)

They do hold a primary. No one is seriously running a campaign against the president. The party of the president rarely does, although in 1992, Pat Buchanan tried to knock off GHW Bush. And Ronald Reagan tried it against Ford in 1976.

Re:Disenfranchised (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644412)

Historically, attempting to primary a sitting president has always failed -- either in the primary, or in the rare cases that worked, in the general. Moreover, strong primary challenges to sitting presidents are viewed to jeopardize the general even when the bid fails. Can't blame the Democratic Party for not wanting to shoot themselves in the foot.

Consider voting third party (5, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644136)

Full disclosure, I managed Warren Mosler's [warrenmosler.com] 2010 US Senate campaign. But I encourage Slashdotters to look at the third party candidates running in their jurisdiction. As Eugene Debs pointed out, It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.

Re:Consider voting third party (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644510)

Well, that all depends. Was it better to vote for Nader in 2000, and get George Bush? Or would it have been better to vote for Al Gore and get Al Gore?

Hard to say, really, but I don't think the tautaulogy works for everyone.

Re:Consider voting third party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644726)

Voting for the lesser evil is exactly how the US' political system became the load of crap it is.

John Huntsman (5, Interesting)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644140)

You can see John Huntsman tip toe around certain questions about the envrionment by saying that he believes that a leader should listen to the experts in the field on the issues.

Re:John Huntsman (5, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644276)

He's the only acceptable one in the GOP bunch. Romney is second but he's clearly a 1-percenter and beholden to big money so you can't expect any solutions from him.
Perry and Santorum are GWB squared and Libertarianism is a stupid outdated ideology so Paul doesn't make the cut either although he has a few good ideas. Gingrich has proven that he's an unethical asshole (just like Perry and Santorum.)

Re:John Huntsman (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644458)

Huntsman's a 1%er too, you know. He's not batshit crazy and seems able to respect those he disagrees with, but he's certainly rich.

Re:John Huntsman (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644494)

Yeah, but the AC vote is definitely going to Santorum as they finally have Santorum to go with their frosty piss. Seriously just Google Santorum and you'll see why ACs prefer it.

Re:John Huntsman (1)

mikecase (1991782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644672)

John Huntsman may be the wealthiest candidate in the race. Not that that would make him less acceptable, particularly in the primaries.

Re:John Huntsman (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644556)

Well? Listen to experts on the issues they are experts in and making your decisions based on what they have to say sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Only question you need to ask (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644142)

What issue can I use to divide them into two groups, such that one group is 'for' something and the other is 'against'?"

Next time you're at one of their townhall meetings, just ask one simple question -

vi or emacs?

What Issues Matter To You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644144)

I think you probably want to weigh which issues matter the most to you and look them up from there.
Off the top of my head, I can think of the following:

NDAA
SOPA (and DMCA at that)
Civil Liberties and Rights (Speech, Press, Guns, Religion, Due Process)
War on Drugs
Economics (Taxes, Monetary Policy)
Taxes
War on Terror
Cybercrime
Intellectual Property
Net Neutrality
Government Transparency
International Relations (Alliances, Economic Ties, Trade, Non-Government Organizations, Etc.)

The problem in finding the "right" candidate, is that the Government has it's hand in so many cookie jars that finding somebody you agree with is practically impossible. Especially since you are trying to bring a group of individuals to some consensus that candidate A is better than candidate B.

Blame media coverage (2)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644148)

I'll bet most anyone can tell you who is winning the Republican horserace for NH based on polls, but I'd wager much more that almost no one could tell you anything about Mitt Romney's 59-point economic plan. This is not simply because Americans are dumb and lazy, it is a direct result of the garbage that is known as American media. Whether it is a sympathetic media outlet for Republicans like Fox News, a virulently opposed one like the NY Times, a neutral one like CNN, or a totally disinterested one like BBC America the media that serves the American people has made a collective decision that issues do not matter nearly so much as poll results. Horserace coverage makes for better ratings than in-depth analysis I guess.

Two party system is failing us (4, Insightful)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644152)

I'm beginning to believe this "2 party system" is the problem. It seems like the R's and D's just recycle the same ole, same ole; as some other comments have stated. Independents and other parties have little hope, and very rare success, of seeing candidates in Congress. I can't even imagine its even possible that we will ever see the white house held by a party other than R's and D's. Part of it the problem, maybe all of it, is $ from corporate and union donors. There is just too much $ handed over via campaign contributions to too few candidates.

Re:Two party system is failing us (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644332)

"One party with two right wings." I forgot who said that.

Re:Two party system is failing us (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644570)

...I even get the feeling that a lot of party members are actually in the wrong party.

Re:Two party system is failing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644658)

I like that.

both right wings are fighting for a chance to flap the bird seemingly oblivious to the fact that there's nobody on the other side to keep the bird from spiralling out of control.

Re:Two party system is failing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644386)

Its even worse than that. I have seen R & D yell at each other of how stupid an idea is then election time rolls around they flip sides of the argument... For example the healthcare thing was a republican idea for a long time. Democrats calling it the stupidest thing ever. Flipo flapo and its the exact opposite...

You know what we need? Strict constitutionalists at this point. Is it constitutional? No? Oh then dont vote for it. Instead of who will we steal from to give to? With R&D's just arguing about who to steal from and who to give it to.

Re:Two party system is failing us (3, Insightful)

prshaw (712950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644416)

I don't think it the 2 party system that is the problem, more that we (voters/public/peons) expect to find someone that will take a position on all the issues that we agree with. We could have 20 parties and different canidates from each and still not find one that agreed with our views.

That and our 'if you are not with us you are against us' mentality.There is no bend in what we will tolorate anymore.

I don't have a problem with the $ from corporate and union donors, I have a problem with the either outright lying or badly distorting the facts with the money. Any money that is used for something that was proven to not be 100% factual should have a penality of 10x that much to be split up amoung the opposition.

Re:Two party system is failing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644452)

>> I'm beginning to believe this "2 party system" is the problem.

Actually it's a problem of the people. Most people are content with the two party system. They may complain about it, but they will still vote for one of the two. It's a real shame.

Re:Two party system is failing us (1)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644512)

>> I'm beginning to believe this "2 party system" is the problem.

Actually it's a problem of the people. Most people are content with the two party system. They may complain about it, but they will still vote for one of the two. It's a real shame.

Very true. They just show up and vote to say they did their duty. I'm sure many just vote along party lines because that's what they've always done/mom/dad/bro/sis/bf/gf/spouse/someone/its cool to/etc

Re:Two party system is failing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644480)

Bullshit. artor3 summed it up perfectly on http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/29/218209/tsa-got-everything-it-wanted-for-christmas:

One party fought for public option health care. They fought for increased taxes on those who can afford it, rather than insisting that taxes only ever go down. They fought against the enormous and expensive blunder that was the Iraq war. They fought against allowing unlimited corporate money to influence politics. They fought against torture. They fought against teaching creationism in school. And despite your hand-waving dismissal, they fought for the rights of gays and women, who probably don't view themselves as minor issues. And that's just off the top of my head.

Saying the parties are the same is just the excuse of the lazy, trying to rationalize why they don't bother voting.

Re:Two party system is failing us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644546)

I know everyone has fun bashing the Tea Party, but it's really all about replacing establishment Republicans with Constitutionally-minded ones. If you want to see the 2-party system work, change one of the parties.

IT's easy... (1)

Demerara (256642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644172)

...if they are not named Mitt Romney, then they are all AGAINST Mitt Romney.
If they are named Mitt Romney, they are FOR Mitt Romney.

They are ALL AGAINST Barack Obama.
They are ALL AGAINST tax increases.
They are ALL FOR invading Iran. No, wait, that's not quite right....

It's a Republican primary. Don't expect too much clear blue water between candidates....

Re:IT's easy... (2)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644328)

Ron Paul is completely against invading Iran and has been very clear about it.

Don't vote for politicians (1)

dankasak (2393356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644174)

Voting for politicians is the problem, not the solution. Voting is handing ALL power we are nominally given to a corrupt political system which will only work in favour of big business. People who think a single politician can make any change to the system are unfortunately deluded. That's not to say that voting itself is bad. But we should vote for POLICIES, not POLITICIANS. If we can organise nightly votes for teen signing idols, for fuck's sake, we can have nightly votes on issues of actual importance.

Trivial challenge (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644186)

What issue can I use to divide them into two groups, such that one group is 'for' something and the other is 'against'?

It's trivially easy to divide them into two groups, on lots of different issues:

One is "for" electing Romney, the rest are "against".

One is "for" electing Gingrich, the rest are "against".

One is "for" electing Perry, the rest are "against".

etc.

But what's this about "geek issues"? Aren't there some fundamental civic issues that this country has cast aside, that should make a more compelling platform than any "geek issue" you could name?

Re:Trivial challenge (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644596)

Funny thing is, they are at each other throats at the moment but once they have their candidate they'll endorse him and help him campaigning.

Every 4 years the same humbug.

Re:Trivial challenge (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644730)

Funny thing is, they are at each other throats at the moment but once they have their candidate they'll endorse him and help him campaigning.

Every 4 years the same humbug.

That's why the incumbent has a built-in advantage. When go into the voting booth, you've heard the other guy trashed by his own party for months.

They're getting kind of rude this year, too.

Politicians are not geeks (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644210)

Politicians are scheming winners of popularity contests. They are experts at manipulating people. Gadgets are not their thing. The best you can hope for is to vote for someone who has a science policy that isn't completely looney tunes and doesn't pander to the largest religious groups.

Re:Politicians are not geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644434)

Not necessarily..I believe David Cameron of the UK has a custom iPad app to help him do his job. When I was on a Civ 3 forum years ago one of the active members was a member of the House of Commons and had a tech background. In this day and age I think it's important they're familiar with the tech so that any laws related to it are based on common sense and they understand the advantages and the issues involved. If they're not interested/knowledgeable in tech they should have advisers who are and could council them on such issues. It's been clear in the SOPA debate that some of them are not interested in the tech or even what experts have to say.

Re:Politicians are not geeks (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644630)

Yes, it is a popularity contest. Hence nobody wants to say anything wrong or rub anybody the wrong way hence they say nothing.

I wonder what those family values actually are they go on about.

A Miss America contest is much more honest. At least they shave their legs.

That set is too limited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644226)

There is an assumption that any of them are good candidates. It is quite possible that we need somebody completely different. I think it is time to find somebody outside of the proposed politicians.

Vermin Supreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644234)

His mandatory tooth brushing will save us millions in the fight against tooth decay, and his Pony ID is vastly superior to any other ID program proposed to date (which other ones can you ride to work on?). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d_FvgQ1csE [youtube.com]

My issue (0)

AmericanGladiator (848223) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644246)

Not sure if this is a geek issue, but let's reduce the spending! We (the US) passed $15T in debt recently. It's crazy I tells 'ya!

!RonPaul (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644260)

"Ron Paul is an obvious exception, and I am not discounting him"

I am discounting him. He's a medical doctor who in the 90's advocated banning HIV positive individuals from restaurants to prevent the spread of HIV. Other gems of his are linked/quoted below. My point: how can a guy with such closed-minded beliefs be expected to embrace new technologies and ideas (as well as enact sane policies concerning new technologies, etc.), which I think what most slashdotters are looking for in a politician. It's amazing to me that he is so highly-revered in some circles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul#Newsletter_controversy
from the wikipedia article:
Two other statements that garnered controversy were "opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions". In an article titled "The Pink House" the newsletter wrote that "Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."

Re:!RonPaul (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644608)

Actually, the one country that has had the best response to the AIDS crisis has been Cuba- their solution? Send entire families into internal, if very comfortable, exile, and make sure they have the best comfort and symptom drugs available in the world. They effectively limited the spread of AIDS to the 3% of returning soldiers lent to the USSR for 1970s and 1980s adventures in Africa- and NO other group, not even homosexuals, have gotten AIDS. Complete segregation *works* when it comes to disease prevention.

Re:!RonPaul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644670)

Second this motion

WTF is this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644336)

it's not news for nerds. how about abortion? oh, maybe which of them are racist, homophobic, or whatever have you lies one side can say about the other side just to get you to vote a certain way. Did you know the Republican women are really, really stupid, for example? So the other candidates are at least "for" being smart, except they're religious, which means they're also all retarded.

Politics DO NOT belong on Slashdot. please, PLEASE stop posting this trash, admins.

I don't think the OP understood what was meant ... (4, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644374)

An oft-repeated sentiment on Slashdot is that we should change the situation by voting in better officials. An opinion that appears in nearly every political thread is: 'we're to blame because we elected these people.' On the eve of the first primary (in New Hampshire), I have to wonder: how can we tell the candidates apart? Ron Paul is an obvious exception, and I am not discounting him, but otherwise it seems that no candidate has made a stand on any issue. Consider the candidates (all of them, of any party) as a set. What issue can I use to divide them into two groups, such that one group is 'for' something and the other is 'against'?

I don't think you got the appropriate sense of the pronouns in use. When it's said that we(1) should change the situation by voting in better officials and that we(1) have no one to blame but ourselves, that we(1) refers to the voting populace at large. You've transposed that to mean we(2) meaning /.ers (or perhaps geeks in general) but we(2) do not have a lot of political clout for a number of reasons mainly boiling down to the number of voters that will base their decision on "geek issues". First, there aren't many of us -- so already that's going to be a niche demographic to target. Second, as a group, we are very divided on non-geek issues such as economics and foreign policy. That makes us less attractive as a target because it means that we aren't likely to vote as a bloc unless geek issues become so important that they override other policy differences (for instance, most /.ers wouldn't vote for a foreign-policy hawk that was anti-gay and pro-life even if he had 100% from the EFF). Finally, geek issues just aren't very poignant with the electorate at large -- virtually no one is going to make their political decision based on those issues so there's very little for candidates to gain (and much to lose) by staking out strong positions.

Ultimately, living in a democracy means accepting that sometimes the voters either don't care or disagree with you, even after all your attempts to convince them otherwise. It's a hard pill to swallow, especially when many arguments are of the form "if you REALLY understood issue X then you would have policy Y" and its contrapositive "if you don't favor policy Y then you don't understand issue X" that simply can't accept that sometimes you just can't convince people. Politics always has losers, and the losers invariably believe that they are right and somehow the political process must be defective merely because they lost.

[ And, I hate to say this but I'm not being cruel here, I personally will not vote on geek issues. I think foreign policy and economics are far more important than SOPA and patent law. That's not to say I don't have opinions on the latter, or think that the 'wrong' policy might harm us, but rather I have priorities and I'd rather have the foreign policy that I like and the geek law that I don't rather than the other way around, in such cases where it appears that I cannot have both concurrently. ]

They are in fact really different! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644388)

If you need positions laid out neatly, a good place to start is Project Votesmart: http://www.votesmart.org/
Click on "issue positions" for a breakdown.

Candidates are very, very different. Although in a primary you may see general agreement on a few core issues (abortion, tax cuts) they differ on secondary issues. And where there is agreement, that usually means it's being forced by the voters, so it's not a case of limited choices foisted on people. (For instance, look at Mitt Romney's stands on abortion: to be elected as governor of Massachusetts, he *had* to be pro-choice. Today he *has* to say he's pro-life.)

Ron Paul & The Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38644414)

Ron Paul is a strict constitutionalist and is against the federal government being responsible for and therefore against enacting any private business regulation. He believes it is the responsibility of the individual states to deal with such matters if they are so deemed necessary.

Speaks in Interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c76yeqQY2ms

Speaks in Congress:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b7_h_OyTI0

Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Ron_Paul

"He believes the internet should be free from government regulation and taxation, and is opposed to internet gambling restrictions and network neutrality legislation.[155]

Paul voted against an amendment[156][157] that would have legally protected net neutrality: "One of the basic principles, a basic reason why I strongly oppose this is, I see this as a regulation of the Internet, which is a very, very dangerous precedent to set."[158] Paul was also asked, "Do you trust the Verizons or the AT&Ts of the world to give internet users equal access to all media online?" He replied, "Well, quite frankly I don't understand all the details, but if you believe in the free market you try to work out a way to solve those problems through contractual arrangements, not through depending on government regulation, so yes they are difficult and like I admit, I don't understand all those problems that we face, although the point I make is I have a healthy disregard and fear of the bureaucrats doing it because once you do that, those big companies are going to regulate, they're going to be the lobbyists and the politicians that regulate the law, and I think you'll be in worse shape."[159] He was perceived as softening this stance later.[160]

Paul has been criticized for voting against legislation to help catch online child predators, one of the votes used in the CNET "Technology voter guide". In response to critics, Paul said, "I have a personal belief that the responsibility of raising kids, educating kids and training kids is up to the parents and not the state. Once the state gets involved, it becomes too arbitrary." He also believed that the proposed law was unconstitutional.[161]

Paul was one of two representatives to vote against the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act of 2007,[162] which states that anyone offering an open Wi-Fi Internet connection to the public, who "obtains actual knowledge of any facts or circumstances" in relation to illegal visual media such as child pornography transferred over that connection, must register a report of their knowledge to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.[163]"

Re:Ron Paul & The Internet (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644656)

Hint: Copying the footnote markers, without copying the footnotes makes it very obvious you just copied it from somewhere else, rather than using your own words.

However, Ron Paul may believe a lot of things, but he's wrong on many of them.

For instance, the constitution clearly gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce. Thus, the idea that actually doing that is unconstitutional is beyond ridiculous.

Look at who actually FUNDS science. (1)

lacaprup (1652025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644418)

I'd think a good place to start is to look at which party has funded science institutions historically. For instance, under George W. Bush, the budgets for the following went up significantly: National Institute of Health - tripled in fact; National Science Foundation; NASA (after it was reduced under Clinton). You may find this counterintuitive, but it’s true and on the record. Funding for science organizations has historically been higher under Republicans than Democrats. Neil Tyson (host of NOVA) explains this quite well. http://youtu.be/x7Q8UvJ1wvk [youtu.be]

Pete Ashdown! (5, Informative)

nilbog (732352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644456)

Pete Ashdown isn't running for president, but he is running for a senate seat against that epic ass clown Orrin Hatch. He started the best ISP I've ever used here in Utah and has run for congress before with a very tech-savvy platform and utilized cool technologies in his campaign.

Check him out: http://peteashdown.org/ [peteashdown.org]

In my mind getting rid of Orrin Hatch and getting Pete Ashdown to replace him is killing two birds with one stone.

The real answer. (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644606)

Who cares, it's politics.

Worry about something more important in life then political nonsense.

We have met the enemy and he is us (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644616)

I believe that the American political system can't be reformed because Americans are too stupid. I read a recent poll that said that something like 76% of voters want all incumbents out of Congress, but something like 56% actually say "All but my Congressman". That sums up the problem in this country. Everybody wants everybody else to sacrifice so they don't have to. When nobody will sacrifice, nothing will change. It pains me to say it, but we get the government we deserve because of our own stupidity.

we're to blame because we elected these people (1)

physicsdot (530505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644622)

An opinion that appears in nearly every political thread is: 'we're to blame because we elected these people.'

For the record, this is only true if your politicians don't lie to you...

beware the cult of ron paul (0)

ronpaulisanidiot (2529418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644626)

the ron paul worshippers claim that he represents all that is good and possible in the world. do not believe them. think instead of what is actually required for him to accomplish his "government small enough to drown in a bathtub", and what that actually means for anyone who is not currently well off. sure as geeks we like to think we are doing well because we believe ourselves to be smarter than average, but no smart person would vote for someone such as ron paul who aims for such unitary unchecked control over government and such total dismemberment of basic functions that make life possible for those of us who make less than $250k per year.

just because ron paul is wildly popular with slashdot members does not mean he will actually do anything good for many of us.

"Geek issues"? Really? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644638)

Unless you consider trifling little things like your Civil Rights under the Bill of Rights to be "geek issues", I suggest you re-examine your priorities.

Romney is Against SOPA (1)

CapitalOrange (1552105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644668)

Romney has come out and slammed SOPA today, while many professionals have said Obama will sign it because of the vast money he gets from Hollywood. Romney gets my thumbs up because while there is no perfect candidate, being in favor of SOPA is an automatic disqualification. The fact that Obama has come out in the past and said he will veto bills, but hasn't had the guts to same the same about SOPA/PIPA reflects poorly on his knowledge of the situation. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120108/00322817330/did-mitt-romney-just-come-out-against-sopapipa.shtml [techdirt.com] http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/video-mitt-romney-slams-sopa [patch.com]

Geeks know we are not to blame for who's elected (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38644676)

Geeks know we are not to blame for who's elected

You research the candidate positions, you go to the polling place, you go into the voting booth, you use the voting machine, and whoever Diebold wants to win wins.

-- Terry

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