As you know we're all about fostering deeper interactions, asking the tough questions, and making the mind bending earth shattering awe inspiring conversations part of our everyday experience. We've all gotten a healthy dose of the "politics" discussion for the past few months, but have we been political big talking or . . . ? What is political big talk? What are the questions that aren't being asked, and what issues are being ignored? What is the real reason behind a position, and what is the mindset the generates this philosophy?
This month's question the format changed in honor of the peak in national civic interest that sweeps the US every four years. Instead of asking one question, we asked you to engage in some open ended political big talk - tell us something that we're not hearing. Go further, beyond the surface. So while these snippets are intended to be conversation starters in your lives, we encourage you to get on the forum and share your thoughts and observations beyond the few topics we opened up. Continue to ask these different questions in your lives. Voting is not the only way to have your voice heard. Let's get the ball rolling!
Does your vote really Matter?
"Insofar as whether your vote might change the election, we can estimate this empirically. For presidential elections, the average US citizen has approximately 1 in 60,000,000 chance of affecting the election. But residents of some states are more likely than others to effect the outcome..."
Should gay marriage be allowed?
"I do not believe that gay marriage should even be a political issue. Our society is far too concerned with declaring what is morally "right" and morally "wrong". How two people choose to spend their intimate time together is really not of anyone's concern, providing they are not harming others or imposing their will upon others..."
"I can't think of a single ethical argument against homosexuality, or homosexual marriage. I wonder if any of those who are against gay marriage could proffer an argument for us?"
Would you elect a Muslim for President?
"What then should we think about the continuing whisper campaign against Obama? Is “Muslim,” or “Arab” a more politically correct way of saying “I can’t trust him because he’s Black”? Or does it have deeper political roots? Has our fear of the Other (terrorists, for example) become so strong that it can be used to overthrow the very foundation of our political system?"
What should be the role of the media?
"Americans often forget that while we have Freedom of Speech we were never intended to have freedom of media. In this election cycle, with its predictably bitter partisan bickering and highly effective fear tactics, we are told to yearn for objectivity – there is none. Starting with Benjamin Franklin and continuing to modern day, our media has been a for profit enterprise, in many ways just like our government which tends to be either the realm of our remote elite or soul-for-sale populists."
Is Obama's tax plan fair?
"Here's a great example of how I think the Obama mindset is, "let the government do your work for you (and we'll make the rich people pay for it)." I'm sure simplifying tax code is not a bad thing, but having the IRS do your taxes for you just makes them accountants - and the $2 billion of tax preparer fees is going to go to IRS agents instead of accountants..."
A view from abroad
". . . I spoke with one guy who bombarded me with questions, saying, "since we have a real live American here, I should be able to profit from her presence." His sarcasm was easily noticeable, especially when he started talking about how the French needed to attentively follow the elections. "Everyone is very interested to see who will be the next boss of the world. And furthermore, thank you for causing the break down of the world financial system." At this point, I'm thinking, "I didn't vote for Bush. I don't own any stock. I don't pay a mortgage. I don't even have that much money in the bank. I didn't cause anything. . ."