Freedom of speech...

How come it's always liberals that have mass shouting protests...

in England over war....

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...

In Miami over...well I don't know what that's one's about....

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...

Why don't conservatives ever mass a group and protest something like high taxes or blocking judicial nominees? Even anti abortion rallies tend to be few and far between and limited to this country. Is it that conservatives are not as passionate about the issues? What do you guys think?

Why don''t conservatives ever mass a group and protest something like high taxes or blocking judicial nominees?

We did - on the last two election days...

Ral is teh funNee!1!!1!

Sorry, couldn''t resist. I''ll go spank myself now.

...err, wait, that didn''t come out right...

Ral is teh funNee!1!!1!

As Eminem says, ""A lot of truth is said in jest""

If everyone who ever hit the street to protest could, instead, convince two people to vote, there might be more changes. Just a theory. But it might work.

If everyone who ever hit the street to protest could, instead, convince two people to vote, there might be more changes. Just a theory. But it might work.

That''s an interesting thought, but it would require the protesters to have an idea of what they are against. I am reminded of the Penn and Teller ""Bullsh*t"" segment where they went to an environmental rally and got everyone they asked to sign a petition against dihydroxide - which is a fancy way of saying water. Everyone of these passionate, vocal, morons signed without asking what they were opposing.

Protest is about venting, not making a difference. That''s why young people protest, while old people vote. Guess who gets the most policies changed?

"ralcydan" wrote:

Guess who gets the most policies changed?

Old people with money?

We should raise the voting age back to 21. Young people don''t understand the responsibility they have. They have no grasp on politics nor do they even care. Old people, on the other hand, know exactly what is going on and take action. These wise people don''t vote for selfish reasons, they vote to benefit all of us.

Try raising it to 25.

Try raising it to 25.

A fine idea. Eliminates the riff-raff.

Hell, why stop there, raise it to thirty. People under the age of 30 clearly have no grasp on reality, nor would you want them to make decisions that could affect everyone in the nation. They just don''t have the brain power to do it. Old people, on the other hand, do.

Hell, why stop there, raise it to thirty.

Works for me. Heinlein was onto something when he suggested tying voting rights to military service. If you aren''t willing to defend the country, maybe you shouldn''t get a say in running it. Not sure I wholeheartedly agree, but it has merit...

Absolutely. People who fight for their rights are the only ones that deserve. Kick those free-loadin'' draft-dodgers out of the political process!

Absolutely. People who fight for their rights are the only ones that deserve. Kick those free-loadin'' draft-dodgers out of the political process!

Looks like a Bush vs. Kerry 2004 to me! Damn, and I really was looking forward to seeing Dean''s campaign go down in flames.

"belt500" wrote:
"ralcydan" wrote:

Guess who gets the most policies changed?

Old people with money?

More so Old people who vote......

Does anyone else miss when we used to have discussions?

Does anyone else miss when we used to have discussions?

Come on in the water''s fine...

That''s a good thread so far, you linked. Let''s have more like them!

Ralcydan wrote:
Works for me. Heinlein was onto something when he suggested tying voting rights to military service. If you aren''t willing to defend the country, maybe you shouldn''t get a say in running it. Not sure I wholeheartedly agree, but it has merit...

Well, my basic problem with this is that we would then have a military state, not a democracy. But a lot of Republicans seem to think that would be a good idea.

Well, my basic problem with this is that we would then have a military state, not a democracy. But a lot of Republicans seem to think that would be a good idea.

Define military state. Having service as a prerequisite for voting rights is not the same as the country being run by the military. Lots of veterans vote currently - are you saying that their influence equates a ""military state""?

I think his point, though I agree ''military state'' is incorrect, is that in the US the right to vote is just that. The idea that freedom should only be apportioned to some runs pretty counter to everything else you seem to stand for. The right of every citizen to participate in our government is the fundamental principal upon which this country was founded, and ultimately better crafted to support, and the false assumption that greater wisdom is gained either through service or age is pretty narrow and naive. It is not a defacto assumption that every person who served in the military is a patriot, or that those who didn''t serve aren''t.

Frankly, I think the very idea of restricting the right to vote is a pretty unamerican and unpatriotic thing to even suggest. I find it offensive, and I''m pretty sure that some of those patriots who died for those freedoms might feel the same way.

The right of every citizen to participate in our government is the fundamental principal upon which this country was founded

Except for women and blacks, of course...and we still restrict it from the young and criminals.

the false assumption that greater wisdom is gained either through service or age is pretty narrow and naive.

So are you more wise than you were 10 years ago, or is that a narrow and naive assumption? Does someone who has been a social worker or teacher have greater insight into how our society should work than a fry cook? I think generally, both age and service are very likely to offer greater wisdom.

Frankly, I think the very idea of restricting the right to vote is a pretty unamerican and unpatriotic thing to even suggest.

Why? The founders envisioned a representative government specifically to shield the workings of our country from the masses. They even went so far as to declare that our Constitution was designed solely for those with Christian morals. They were a restrictive bunch, in theory, even if they didn''t have the foresight to imagine the current degradation of a once homogeneous society. And really, the idea that anyone, regardless of their character or contribution to society, is equally able to govern or select leaders is - how did you put it? - pretty narrow and naive...

we still restrict it from the young and criminals.

Criminals had the right to vote and lost it by disobeying the laws they''re voting for. If they won''t even obey the law, why should they have a hand in making it. Even at that we only do this to Felons. We don''t let the young drive either, let''s just start arbitrarily limiting who can and cannot drive based on personal preference and being contrary to Rat Boy.

And really, the idea that anyone, regardless of their character or contribution to society, is equally able to govern or select leaders is - how did you put it? - pretty narrow and naive...

Okay, so let me get this straight. You don''t think just any US citizen should be allowed to vote, yet very vocally and adamantly defend our government''s decision to invade Iraq and give them the universal right to vote.

People have differing levels of ability. Some people are in better shape than others, they use air more efficiently and effectively. Does that mean you get to decide who gets to breathe and who doesn''t? What if I think that military service shouldn''t be the deciding factor, but instead the opposite? After all, the military doesn''t really practice democracy while in the service, why should they be allowed to vote?

This is simply a matter of ""I like this group, they should be the only one''s allowed to vote"" There is nothing at all about military service that makes you better able to pick civilian leaders.

If you haven''t served in the military yet, that would be Irony with a capital I.

Except for women and blacks, of course...and we still restrict it from the young and criminals.

I''m not sure what you''re trying to say with the first part, but criminals have proved themselves individually to not work for the common good, so there''s a solid argument to be made there. And, I don''t think the absurdity of having 10 year-olds voting is analagous to whether there''s a significant difference between 21 and 30.

{edit} Also, I don''t recall us asking of those not of an age to vote to pay taxes, to serve in the military, to be responsible for themselves as adults otherwise, to maintain steady jobs, to be financially responsible, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Participating in this society is participating in America, and that gives the right to all those people regardless of your limited and arbitrary dividing lines, the right to choose who leads them. If you can''t understand that, then I honestly don''t think you get what it is to be American.

So are you more wise than you were 10 years ago, or is that a narrow and naive assumption?

But that''s not what your suggestion assumes. Your suggestion assumes that every 35 year-old is better suited to vote than every 21 year-old and that every 21 year-old is better suited than every 18 year-old. I think that''s ridiculous.

And really, the idea that anyone, regardless of their character or contribution to society, is equally able to govern or select leaders is - how did you put it? - pretty narrow and naive...

Well that''s kinda why we all get a vote. You sure go on about freedom a lot, but I really don''t think you get it sometimes. Let''s keep in mind that your suggestions, supposedly aimed at getting the best and brightest voting, would have your thirty year-old army private fry-cook voting, while an eighteen year-old academic scholar on scholarship to study politcal science at Harvard would not be able. _That_ is what I''m talking about when I suggest that your blanked suggestion is narrow and naive.

Service and age simply do not make good universal signposts for whether a person is suited to lead or whether a person is worthy to choose his own leaders. And ultimately that ''choosing our own leaders'' thing is pretty crucial, and pretty fundamental to the founding father''s argument. How did it go:

No taxation without representation

You''re awfully casual in flying in the face of that. Unless your suggesting that those not worthy of voting in your ''free'' society don''t have to pay taxes.

{edit} Finally, I apologize if this came off sounding personal at all. It''s not meant as an attack, but I find your suggestion offensive in the worst degree.

"Elysium" wrote:

I apologize if this came off sounding personal at all.

That''s a pretty off-hand apology, all things considered, but apology accepted. What I find funny about your and Pyro''s responses to me is that you seem to think this was somehowmysuggestion. Rat Boy and Flux talk about raising the voting age, and I play along, somehow making me the bad guy. For future reference, when I refer to a group as riff-raff, it may be tongue in cheek...

Now having said that, we don''t let 10 year olds vote, and for good reason. And in today''s society, social and intellectual maturation comes later, as the adult responsibilities people took on 200 years ago at age 15 (marrying, supporting a family) are now being postponed by most until their mid-20''s. I would be shocked to hear anyone even a few years past 18 not acknowledge that all 18 year-olds are kids (including you and I when we were 18 ). And there is merit to the idea that kids, whether 10 or 18 aren''t ready to participate in governing. We restricted the drinking age to 21 - personally, I would rather not have a group that can''t be trusted to handle beer picking my Senator.

"Pyroman[FO" wrote:

""]
Okay, so let me get this straight. You don''t think just any US citizen should be allowed to vote, yet very vocally and adamantly defend our government''s decision to invade Iraq and give them the universal right to vote.

Correct, I don''t think that just anyone should be able to vote in the US. I am against felons, children, and non-citizen residents being able to vote. I''m not sure where you got the idea that I ever said there should be universal voting rights in Iraq - it''s up to them what restrictions they place. Some I would think would be a good idea, some not.

"Pyroman[FO" wrote:

""]
People have differing levels of ability. Some people are in better shape than others, they use air more efficiently and effectively. Does that mean you get to decide who gets to breathe and who doesn''t?

Yes, this is exactly analagous to what I said. Thanks Pyro, for letting us know that if we were to require voters to actually contribute to society, then the next step would be genocide! Whew, barely dodged that bullet!

"Elysium" wrote:

Your suggestion assumes that every 35 year-old is better suited to vote than every 21 year-old and that every 21 year-old is better suited than every 18 year-old. I think that''s ridiculous.

So do I. Which is why requiring some sort of service to the country in addition isn''t so crazy. A 21 year-old in Americorps is probably better suited to act on society''s behalf than a 35 year-old fry cook.

"Elysium" wrote:

Participating in this society is participating in America, and that gives the right to all those people regardless of your limited and arbitrary dividing lines, the right to choose who leads them. If you can''t understand that, then I honestly don''t think you get what it is to be American.

Well, ad hominem bullsh*t aside, our participation in this society was pretty limited by the founders, and intentionally so. We had no right to vote for the President, or even for presidential electors. Individuals had no say in selecting justices for the Supreme Court. Even in creating policy, the people had no say, but had to act through representatives. There is nothing un-American about limited participation by the citizenry, and nothing wrong with linking liberty to responsibility and requiring something given back to society in exchange for what society gives to you.

"Elysium" wrote:

No taxation without representation

You''re awfully casual in flying in the face of that. Unless your suggesting that those not worthy of voting in your ''free'' society don''t have to pay taxes.

Let''s see. 16 year-olds work and pay taxes. So do resident aliens. Do you want them voting? Also, ""taxation without representation"" doesn''t mean what you think it means. The colonies had no representation at all in England''s government. But even those without voting rights in this country have representatives. Congressmen from New York are charged with caring for the needs of everyone in New York, voters and non-voters alike.

I find your suggestion offensive in the worst degree.

What is it about serving your country that you really find so offensive? Israel and lots of democracies in Europe all have requirements of military service - do you find those societies ""offensive in the worst degree""? Would it have been better if I had stated thatsomekind of service should be a pre-requisite for voting rights, so that it didn''t elicit a knee-jerk, anti-military, reflex response from your lefty-bone?

Again, you guys have an awful lot of passion (anger?) towards me for arguing the merits of a case I specifically stated I don''t wholeheartedly agree with. Argue to me why Israel''s military service requirment is offensive, or explain how an 18 year-old is suddenly more mature than a 17 year-old, but if you really miss when we used to have discussions, maybe you can dial it back a bit while doing so...

As far as mandatory service goes, there would need to be certain exceptions for special cases.

For example, I''m a pacifist. Granted, I don''t carry around some card that says ""pacifist"" on it, and if needed I will hurt someone, but I refuse to kill unless it is absolutely necessary with no remotely possible alternative. Heck, even then I don''t know if I could bring myself to actually kill someone else.

If I were required to serve, there had better be some exemption in there for me so that I can be allowed to serve as a medic, chaplain, whatever. Sure, I''ll be a field medic if I have to, and yeah I''d probably wind up dead in a real conflict, but don''t slap a gun in my hands and tell me to go kill people, or you''ll be responsible for putting a man into a unit who cannot pull his weight in battle due to personal convictions.

In fact, in that instance, I''d probably just defect and leave for Canada or something. A government who would force me to compromise my beliefs has just invalidated itself as a nation of freedom.

However, I still say that mandatory service is in violation of a democracy. That''s more of a socialist concept. Kind of interesting, Ral, that you seem to be more in favor of (though you have stated that you aren''t fully proposing this) mandatory service in the military, but yet don''t find it equally important to, oh say, have mandatory health care for all citizens? Promote death over life? Conflict over healing?

Note that I used the phrase ""seem to be""; I''m not stating fact, just perception. If I''m wrong in that perception then that makes the previous paragraph obviously moot. (Frankly, I hope I''m wrong in this instance)

Anyway, I''ll cease my rambling at this point.

You can be classified as an ""objecter"" and not fight, but still serve the military. But you''d be missing out on all the fun.

There was this President I forgot who his name was, I know he was a Democrat so you maybe can remind me. I think this weekend was a memorial for him or something. He said ""Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"". That''s a quasi justification for the government requiring citizens to act for the benefit of the state, without requiring a quid pro quo from the government ""health care"".

That''s a pretty off-hand apology, all things considered, but apology accepted.

It really wasn''t. My fight is not with you, but with the suggestion, be it your or others.

And there is merit to the idea that kids, whether 10 or 18 aren''t ready to participate in governing. We restricted the drinking age to 21 - personally, I would rather not have a group that can''t be trusted to handle beer picking my Senator.

And my point is that, aside from the drinking issue, they are treated as adults in every other respect and in the eyes of the government. You want to make them kids, that''s something we can discuss, but you have to do it across the board. You can''t just take away their right to choose their leaders and expect them to be adults in every other capacity.

Even in creating policy, the people had no say, but had to act through representatives.

Who they get to vote for. It''s almost like you''re saying a vote is irrelevant so who cares who gets to vote. Your trying to diminish the role of the individual to satisfy the position you support, and then suggest that''s how the founders wanted it, and that''s how it should be. You want to talk about bullsh*t?

There is nothing un-American about limited participation by the citizenry

*shudder*

I think there''s no point we disagree further on. This strikes me as a pretty extremist viewpoint. You''re always on my case about being out of the mainstream. Well, welcome to my world.

wrong with linking liberty to responsibility and requiring something given back to society in exchange for what society gives to you.

Which people do everytime they pay their taxes. You make it sound like working people who didn''t serve in the military are unpatriotic leeches. What about being a teacher? A doctor? What about working in charitable organizations, or even just donating? What about participating in your church? You, and by you I mean people who support this position, have some strange perception that the only way you can participate and support America is by serving in the military. I don''t think you''ve even considered how much it would cost to try and pay and feed every citizen of the United States if they had to serve, but the fact that it''s not practical aside, it''s also not realistic to imagine the only way to support the nation is by participating in the military. I don''t exactly see an issue with people not wanting to serve our military. It''s not like we can''t scrape up enough soldiers, and it''s because the freedoms we have are ones the populace generally wants to protect on its own. The pride people have in the freedoms, including the fundamental one of getting to choose our representatives, is insulted when you discard it as ad hominem bullsh*t.

It seems like you''re flying in the face of everything you stand for in every other post just to be right. Well, let me save you the time. You''re wrong on this one. And it seems to me you''re also alone on it.

The colonies had no representation at all in England''s government. But even those without voting rights in this country have representatives.

They just wouldn''t get to help choose them. That''s definitely a step forward for freedom.

What is it about serving your country that you really find so offensive?

Wow. Now that was a fun magic trick. Did you just take a sentence and pick what you wanted me to mean by it, without taking any consideration for what I might have meant by it?

Let me be very specific so you can''t spin.

I find the suggestion of removing voting rights from lawful adult citizens of the United States insulting and offensive. It strikes me as one of the most unamerican things a person could suggest.

Again, you guys have an awful lot of passion (anger?) towards me for arguing the merits of a case I specifically stated I don''t wholeheartedly agree with.

This has nothing to do with you Ral. And using the disclaimer ''wholeheartedly'' is just a way to float an extreme idea without having to defend it. It was a cop-out, and you know it. But that aside, my issue is with the idea and not with you.

Also, my disagreement is every bit as strong with the age issue, which you do say you support. I think taking voting rights from those we treat as adults and bumping it to 21, 30, or 35 - to get out the ''riff raff'' - is egregious.

Argue to me why Israel''s military service requirment is offensive, or explain how an 18 year-old is suddenly more mature than a 17 year-old, but if you really miss when we used to have discussions, maybe you can dial it back a bit while doing so...

1) Israel is much smaller, with an entirely different constitution and framework to its government, in a much more hostile part of the world, surrounded by countries that want it eliminated. You know, exactly like the US ....

2) No, you explain to me how a 21 year-old is suddenly much more adult than a 20 year-old. Or a 30 year-old much more adult than a 29 year-old. The onus is on you here to prove the point, not me.

And 3) We are debating an issue here, and there''s nothing wrong with being passionate about issues. I think this is one of the best discussions we''ve had in a long time, because you haven''t once had to resort to lumping me in as a liberal and I haven''t resorted to lumping you as a conservative. We''re debating a fresh idea that hasn''t be rehashed a dozen times, and that is much more inspiring to me. I don''t want people to dial down their passion, I just wanted them to change the topic a little bit. To debate instead of using rhetoric. You honestly can''t say you haven''t had fun with this issue? I sure was.

"Elysium" wrote:

We are debating an issue here, and there''s nothing wrong with being passionate about issues.

Sure, but when Pyro implies that tying government service to voting is one step away from the final solution and you use phases like ""I find your suggestion offensive in the worst degree"" and ""I honestly don''t think you get what it is to be American"", I somehow get the impression that your passion is about more than the voting age.

If Koesj had started a thread stating that many Eurpoean countries have mandatory government service and asked what we thought in America, would you have scoffed and let him know how un-American the idea is? If I had started a thread asking what the voting age should be in the new Iraqi democratic process, would you have told anyone who threw out ""21"" as an answer that you found the very idea offensive?

Now I know you''re going to say that wasn''t your point, but rather that I am talking about ""removing voting rights from lawful adult citizens "", but why is that sancrosact? Are you in favor of gun control, which takes away 2nd amendment rights from lawful adult citizens? The Supreme Court tells us abortion is a right, does that mean you oppose any restrictions on it at all? My point is that rights are neither sacred nor absolute, but are conditional, mutable parts of the social contract. And I would be willing to bet that you agree with this idea, so what is it about 21 instead of 18 that pushes your buttons?

"Elysium" wrote:

using the disclaimer ''wholeheartedly'' is just a way to float an extreme idea without having to defend it. It was a cop-out, and you know it.

I know no such thing. I didn''t realize that the forum police were going to let me know that I couldn''t explore the merits of an issue without being firmly behind it. I do see the merits of having the voting age higher than it is. I do see the merits of tying rights to responsibilities. That doesn''t mean I am advocating either action.

Ironically, the reason that the voting age was lowered to 18 in the first place was because 18 year-olds were being conscripted into mandatory military service. If it were not for that responsibility, ths group would probably still not have this right. I would not take this right away, not because I think that the average high school senior getting drunk in a field deserves a say in government, but because I agree that those willing to fight for the country should get the right to vote - even if their peers get a free ride at the same time.

Other than letting me know I am wrong, un-American, and offensive, you don''t seem to have much of a point. You''ve ignored my actual arguments, and I have no idea why you are opposed to service or the idea of tying responsibility to rights. I have no idea whether you agree that 18 is still basically the tail end of childhood, since you copped-out and told me that you don''t have to actually make any points...

"Farscry" wrote:

Kind of interesting, Ral, that you seem to be more in favor of (though you have stated that you aren''t fully proposing this) mandatory service in the military, but yet don''t find it equally important to, oh say, have mandatory health care for all citizens?

Or in other words, ""I am more interested in finding some way for other people to pay my way and shoulder my responsibilities than I am in adding to those responsibilities by helping society or others.""

You''ve ignored my actual arguments

As you have mine. Ah well. What''s next?

Interesting topic.

I personally am in favor of raising the voting age to 25 or 30. I don''t think a person is mature enough, or has enough world experience to be able to intelligently vote until then. As Ral said, we have pushed the heavy responsibilities of society to a later age (marrying, children, working for a living), which I think results in a bunch of kids (who thankfully don''t vote in heavy numbers) voting on emotion as opposed to an actual intelligent opinion.

I am not as concerned with 18 year olds being treated like adults for purposes of criminal law, as an 18 year old knows right from wrong. Military service does make it a bit stickier, but why should voting age be tied to military service age, or criminal legal age as opposed to drinking age or driving age?

The difference in legal age and driving age; or legal age and drinking age shows that we, as society, recognize that people are ready for different levels of responsibility at different ages. I think voting is no different.

If military service age is really a reason for having the voting age set, I would say that perhaps your voting age is 18 if you enlist, and 25 if you don''t.

Or is that un-American as well?