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How clued in do you think America is to the political process?

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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:30 PM
Original message
How clued in do you think America is to the political process?
Here at Du, even the newbies are pretty savvy to what's going on out there. We have a good discourse going on about what moron* and his room full of dopes are doing to this nation, but honestly, do you really think that the average joe tv watching, working 9-5/swing shift has an idea of how truly screwed up things have become?

Or does it just appear that way to us because we are so close to staying on top of this various issues that it seems impossible to us that people out there don't know what's going on.

Thoughts?
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not at all.
Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Americans are, by and large, political idiots.

.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. some are "idiots" some are just "ignorant"
there's a difference. An "idiot" is someone who chooses to remain ignorant.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. You're correct. But I think most do choose to remain ignorant.
How many times has someone told you "Oh, I can't be bothered with politics," or, "They're all the same anyhow, what's the point?" More often than not, I'd bet.

.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. sadly, that's very true
I even have heard close friends who are very liberal become disgusted because they feel like they have no voice. And they get angry if you try to tell them how imprtant it is.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. If you vote for the Dems, they'll raise your taxes.
Dead giveaway for a voter who has no idea about anything.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. We're victims of our own success
I think is the problem. Our gov't has worked so well for so long, that people, other than us political junkies, have felt very safe not paying much attention to it at all. So safe, in fact that they just opt out of it entirely.

Whereas, in other countries that have recently had a lot of civil unrest and strife, the people generally don't take their franchise for granted. They get educated and they participate because their lives and safety depend on it.

Here, not so much.
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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. In any other country the Republicans would be polling in the 15% range.
They would be swept out of power.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. My d-i-l won't be voting because she claims she doesn't feel
knowledgeable enough about the issues. She's chasing three little ones and rarely watches any news, so I guess I cut her some slack, though I'm not happy about it. Her husband is disabled; I figured she'd show more enthusiam. :shrug:
So yes, there are people out there who don't have a clue and appear too busy to care.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. She should be a one issue voter, then. Vote for the party that does the most
for the disabled. If you can bear to, get on her--every vote counts.

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I tried, but she's had a lot of trauma this year as well as a
newborn in Feb., so she might just be feeling overwhelmed. Her other challenge is what to do with the kids while she votes, and we live in different states, so I'm no help there.
I did send them the link to early voting in their area; her husband is on a walker, missed the deadline for absentee voting, so I'm hoping he'll go early one day this week to vote early; at least he can represent them.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Say, call her local election board--a lot of them offer a daycare right
in the voting area where the kids can hang out while the parents vote.

Also, in most states you CAN take your kids in the booth. Teach 'em about democracy while she's at it....be worth checking it out for her; eliminate one excuse at a time.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thanks,
but I'm the dreaded 'mother-in-law'. I don't want to rub her the wrong way by being so insistent. If her kids were a bit older, I would and did for the 04 elections (she only had one then), but she flat out told me she wasn't going this year. x(
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. Some are genuine MAROOOOOOOOOOONS, sad to say
Some don't know that there are two legislative bodies on the Hill (one of the JERSEY GIRLS actually admitted she didn't realize there was a House AND a Senate before she went looking for answers re: 911). Some couldn't tell you how many years a President serves, never mind a Senator or Representative, and plenty couldn't tell you the line of succession past the VP.

And if you think they're bad on national politics, they're even worse with regard to state and local politics. All politics may be local, but sadly there are too many who are politically non compos mentis and just don't pay attention. The crappy voting turnout tells us there are way too many people who just don't get it, don't give a damn, or are too busy/lazy/what-have-you.
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
10. I bet most people aren't even aware there is an election coming up.
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. Hoooooey, is that a new one of them reality shows??
:banghead:
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
15. There are millions of clueless people out there.
I would bet big money that a majority of adults in the US could not name both Senators from their state. And, probably close to a majority couldn't even correctly identify Cheney if shown his picture. People just assume politicians are all corrupt and not worth their time or interest.

A few years ago C-span cameras followed then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle around South Dakota during a summer recess. At one coffee shop off the highway he walked in and absolutely no one recognized him. He introduced himself to a few people and was met with vacant looks and shrugs. After a minute one man finally stood up, walked over, extended his hand, and said, "It's a pleasure to meet you." The stranger than lead Daschle over to his table and introduced him to his family -- all of them (including the man) tourists visiting from France. He said, "This is Tom Daschle. He's the Majority Leader of the United States Senate." It was one of the most cringeworthy things I've ever seen - a foreign tourist who knew more about our government and its leaders than the US citizens who happened to be present. Shameful.
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BrokenBeyondRepair Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
16. a very very small percentage on both sides of the phoney..
left right paradigm

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
18. I'm picking up a "funk" bordering on "depression" in my state....
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 03:18 PM by KoKo01
Around the malls this weekend there were few shoppers. People seem to be eating out less and folks I see don't look happy.

I compare this to the "rah rah" times just after "9/11" when every car had a flag somewhere, and many had two flags flying from their car windows using those stick on things folks use for their favorite Ball Team. It seems to me that after "Selection '04" that lots of those yellow "support our troops" and flags decals disappeared. While I saw many W'04 decals still around then..it seems that even those have been removed within the last year, so that it's now rare that I see one.

There's a quietness that seems sort of a "funk" or "depression." The Dems I know are even quiet, holding their breath hoping that THIS TIME we can MAKE IT.

Some of this might have to do with the economy and that Bush's war isn't turning out to be the picnic folks here thought it would be. I'm in a boom area that benefitted from the "Dot Com" and the Bush War Hype and the "Housing Bubble." Bush can say the economy is great all he wants but fewer shoppers, fewer folks dining out and folks ditching even "Support our Troops" magnets ...just isn't good for him. Gas prices hurt our Service Industry folks and even though prices are down it doesn't make up for that jump that really hurt folks this Summer. That money isn't coming back into their pockets.

I'm also near the RW Fundie Center of Baptist Theology and I don't really know what those folks are going to do (because I don't know any) but I wonder if they won't just go and robotically vote Bush/Repug Straight ticket because it's programmed in. But, they aren't going to do it with much enthusiasm because I see few Repug Candidate signs...mostly Dems.

That's the view from where I am in NC.
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