Things you sincerely believe about politicians and elections others might find weird

  1. Polls are garbage. Less garbage in 2 candidate races but still poor indicators at best. Media likes them because they support long term narratives, it’s like they provide a continuing story within the story: polls are therefore functions of media not politics. Internal polling is another matter altogether - that’s worth paying money for and parties do. A lot of people on this message board are totally sucked into that entirely bogus bullshit.

  2. The GOP is doomed. It doesn’t understand that the forces against it are hugely flexible. If the race looks tight, more people will come out to vote democrat, if the race looks really tight even more people will come out democratic. This isn’t a function of political preference, it’s the middle ground being rational: ‘I might not like what I’m hearing from Clinton, but this other lot are fucking mad so I’m holding my nose this time’. That sane middle will always defeat this Faux News version of the party. I don’t believe there is a study that supports the view that the GOP vote is finite and the Democratic Party vote is fluid in relation to wht the GOP is scoring.

What you got, crazy heads?

At least 90% are atheists.

  1. Most politicians have integrity and believe that what they are doing is in the best interests of their constituency and their state/ city / nation.

  2. The polls are generally accurate. Most times politicians that want to downplay the polls know that, and are just full of wishful thinking. However, the polls have a hard time gauging voter “intensity” and that’s where they usually err, and that’s pretty much unavoidable.

I really believe that the majority of folks who run for office, and I’m talking about those who start at local levels, sincerely want to serve and make a difference in their communities. But, alas, I also believe the system is so corrupt that the longer you’re part of it and the higher you rise, the more self-serving you become. And those who try to do the right thing ultimately get discouraged and leave.

My 9-year-old self truly believed that the President was elected because he was the best man in the whole country, which is why I was so devastated when President Kennedy was killed - why would someone want to kill the best man in the country???

I believe that a big issue rapidly approaching is wether or not we want to openly declare that we like our western culture and and demand that politicians honor this. More than anything else I see this as an issue that crosses party lines. I believe this would favor the republicans significantly.

If the Republicans get trounced bad enough in this election they will finaly take a hard look at their platform and make some adjustments. By becomming more enviromental, More willing to place regulations where needed and more vocal about recognizing the needs of some mnorities, I believe they could swing at least 10% of the vote.

Well, having a great deal of integrity and believing you can make a difference is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. Many terrible men have great integrity and want to make a difference. I think history is littered with them.

I believe that the great majority are not particularly religious, but find it necessary to be seen going to church in order to placate some of the voters.

I believe a great many would like to tell their party that it is wrong about something but are afraid to do so.

I believe that many of them think to themselves in the middle of a campaign speech “holy shit, these stupid rubes are buying it!”

I believe that Republicans will hang onto power by gerrymandering and election fraud up to a tipping point, and then cease to be a significant party when these tricks fail to work.

I agree completely with this, and extend it to say at least 90% of everyone are atheists.

Compromise is a good word.

Seriously… Democracy should not be thought of as “rule by the people” but as “compromise among the people.” Do you hate half of the government. GOOD! Someone else likes that half. The current status is compromise between the two of you and neither of you likes more than half of the result. This is basically the way it should be. If either of you was totally satisfied, the other would be totally unhappy and that’s not a good compromise.

Although I agree with the general sentiment I would disagree with regard to cause and effect. I would say that in order to rise in the ranks of a party a certain degree of narcissism and ruthlessness is necessary. So its not so much that the system corrupts you as you move higher, but that those who are more amenable to being morally flexible are more likely to rise.

I am of the firm belief that the sort of person who can look themselves in the mirror and say that they should be president are probably not the sort of people who should actually be president, but I don’t see that this catch 22 has any real solution.

The majority of voters have no idea what the president’s powers are or what he actually does, and the majority of presidential candidates know this and play to it in their campaign platforms.

  1. Voter fraud *does *exist, although not on a huge scale.

  2. Many politicians are more moral and upright than the voters that elected them.

  3. Many Democrats secretly hold militarily-hawkish views.

  4. If illegal immigrants voted mostly Republican, you’d suddenly see Red and Blue completely switch sides on the illegal-immigration issue.

  5. Recessions and economic booms are rarely the President’s fault or credit.

It really makes a difference if and how I vote.

Nah - just kiddin’! :smiley:

The POTUS has never had any say in the price of oil. But when it goes up, people always blame him/her.

#1. At the national level, most politicians really only care about getting reelected. Everything else serves this.

#2. The partisans on both sides actually believe that the politicians care about them and their issues. Hint, the pols don’t give a shit, see #1.

#3. When you point out that the politicians on both sides are liars and only give a damned about getting reelected, partisans do not believe you. See #2.

#4. The integrity/honesty/ability of the politician doesn’t matter, with a few exceptions. The exception being on the level of ‘Dead girl/Live boy’ type scandal.

#5. When a politician is caught in a lie/scandal, the partisans who voted for/would vote for the politician don’t care. There are exceptions, see #4.

#6. When a politician is caught in a lie/scandal, the partisans on the other side view the transgression as the worst thing ever done. Even if the candidate they are presently supporting has done exactly the same damned thing.

#7. Due to points 1 through 6, we end up elect absolute scumbags and give them lots and lots of power. The politicians know this. They count on it. It frees them to do almost anything they want. They know that the base won’t vote for the other side and therefore all the politician has to do is con about half of the independents.

#8. There are a lot of people who know all of this but don’t do much about it as they have a vested interest in keeping the politicians happy. Reporters/Editors/etc won’t burn bridges unless the scandal really bad. See #4. (Note, there probably ought to be another point in here about how the media picks a side and runs with it. The partisans watch/read the stories that reinforce their core beliefs. This causes each side to have a different set of stories to be outraged about.)

#9. This will not change until each side begins policing its own side. This, of course, is very unlikely to happen due to #2.

And therefore those of us who find the whole damned thing disgusting cannot do a thing about it because the partisans are more interested in party identity than electing non-scumbags to office.


Almost none of your beliefs are wrong or weird, but it’s true that most people don’t seem to get it, so they might seem weird.

Here’s mine: most lobbyists are doing good. Hillary Clinton had the guts to defend lobbyists in a 2007 debate, and she was right. Almost every interest group has an army of lobbyists, and almost every American is a member of multiple interest groups, so there are in fact people fighting for you in the Halls of Congress.

IMO, it’s not lobbying that is bad, it’s secret lobbying to get stuff put into laws that 99% of legislators never see because they don’t read the bills. I don’t care if the oil industry writes a whole bill as long as we know that the oil industry wrote a bill and everyone in Congress knows they wrote a bill.

My second observation is that most people seem to think of politicians as dirty, but regard them as also remarkably intelligent and mature. Well, they do know how to get on their high horse and act like they are the adult in the room when needed, but politicians tend to exhibit extremely childish behavior when doing their actual job. They treat the rules as something to be gotten around rather than respected, they seek to avoid dealing with problems, and they like to say they’ve done something when they haven’t, kinda like a kid saying they’ve cleaned their room when all they did was throw some stuff into the closet. And while I have no patience for the Tea Party’s unwillingness to ever compromise, you also have to understand the context, that Congress has been compromising for decades by agreeing to not deal with problems. Sometimes they like the appearance of making deals for the good of the country rather than actually making deals for the good of the country. At least half of compromises are just agreements to delay action on a problem(like the numerous “doc fixes” and constant lifting of budget caps.)

As far as intelligence goes, most politicians are unremarkable. Just as Wentworth Miller could play a genius on TV(Prison Break for those who don’t know the name), politicians play a smart guy on TV. Instead of a script, they have a staff that actually knows what’s going on and coaches the politician whenever he or she has a speech or TV appearance. Some politicians are genuinely smart guys that could hold their own on Straight Dope and jousting with other smart guys on TV. Most are so obviously out of their depth without a script that it’s embarrassing. It’s true that politics is acting for ugly people. Most of them would get laughed off the Dope.

But here’s my actually weird belief: the voters almost always make the right decision.

Lobbying is of course fine and normal in a democracy - single issue campaigning, etc. Buying influence is anti-democratic, and we all know that game.

In a Wisdom of the Crowd sense?