Why wont the US resolve issues?

I hope that badger has answered your question, Stoneburg.

Because coming to a consensus is communism!

Why is it that the views that you present are statistically much more prevalent in groups with low educations?

By any definition, the death penalty is mainly prevalent in the less developed countries (the US and Japan(?) being the exceptions). You’re in the same group as Afghanistan, China, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Somalia and Zimbabwe. Other than Japan and the US, I can’t think of a single democratic country with access to higher education that hasn’t abolished the death penalty. Why do you think that is?

Well, you do realize that the cultural of the south is part of this diversity. You have traditional Protestant Christians, black and white, who are against the things mentioned in the OP. You may disagree with the thoughts of those people, but they still count. The key is that they are congregated in one area.

I’m going to guess that, say, 15% of people in Sweden support the death penalty. If they were all in two regions of Sweden, and regions in Sweden were given authority to enact their own policies on the death penalty, then you would have the same thing there. Two regions with a legal death penalty while the other regions sneered at them.

Your question has been answered. Due to the federalist structure of the government, the “United States” cannot outlaw the death penalty, or legalize gay marriage, or mandate the teaching of evolution. Those are internal matters decided by state governments.

If you want to ask, “Why hasn’t Texas reached a consensus on the death penalty?” then that is a different argument. You are asking for what is impossible within federalism.

Thanks, that’s a super clear answer.

The obvious follow ups:

Are there states where such a consensus has been reached on these issues (ie: there is no real political movement to change it)?

You can’t have it both ways. The Federal system that places more power at the state level should make each state more likely to adopt progressive policies as we don’t need to reach a national consensus. Certainly Europe has more diversity within it, and even more power vested with the various governments than the United States, yet each country has embraced more progressive positions than the Unites States. As different as Alabama and Massachusetts are, they are more similar to each other than Finland and Italy.

That assumes that the progressive policy is the right policy.

Good point Stoneberg. I don’t have much education I am a high school dropout. I think many of us have something called common sense! My point was we are free in this country to disagree, the masses will not always make the right choice. If choices are based on convenience for instance they may not be the best for society in the long run. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around saving a killer but killing an innocent for instance. Many choices we make will not be better made based on education but rather on values. Values are what will determine the long term success of civilization.

A good example of millions making the wrong decision is the recent failure or our banking system. Most hardworking simpletons like myself knew at least 3 years prior to the collapse that it was inevitable, it simply was not a sustainable program, we knew housing prices would crash and we knew the banks would fail. It was simple common sense the educated were not able to grasp.

Sounds like you need to read up on the US system of government. Due to historical quirks and sheer size, it’s a federal system where each state has much more sovereignty than say… a province of a European nation. This means that with the exception of certain powers granted to the Federal government by the States back in the beginning, most things are reserved to the States.

The provenance of Federal power is the crux of the matter- in the beginning, after the Articles of Confederation failed, the States came together in a convention to write a Constitution and create a better government. As part of this, the states voluntarily surrendered some powers to the Federal government.

They did NOT however, surrender all power, and wrote this into the constitution.

So in short, if it’s not within the Federal government’s jurisdiction to enforce or legislate, it’s within the purview of the 50 states to decide on individually, and there’s nothing the Federal government can do about it.

Occasionally, there are court cases that decide that Federal law applies in some cases, or there are amendments to the Constitution that trump state law, but both of those are comparatively rare- there have been what… 27 amendments since 1789, with the 27th being proposed in 1789, but not ratified until 1992.

Since we have 50 separate judicial systems, one for each state, and a Federal system that pertains to only Federal crimes and Federal jurisdiction, something like the death penalty is possible in all 51 systems.

So, if you murder someone in say… downtown Omaha, you’ve broken Nebraska law, but not Federal law, unless you killed them in a post office or some other Federal installation. Nebraska law would apply, and Nebraska punishment would be administered unless it was a Federal crime, in which case you’d be tried by the Feds first, and if they acquitted you or otherwise failed to punish you, the state could also try you. No double jeopardy either - they’re 2 different trials for 2 different things.

Well the jury is still out on Creationism.

But less sovereignty than countries in Europe. So why have all the countries in Europe, more diverse and numerous than the states, outlawed the death penalty?

New Jersey is not Texas. We don’t have the death penalty in this state. Our current governor states he’s anti-abortion but such legislation is not going to get passed here. We have a form of state mandated health care here although it is deeply flawed. One of our most recent governors was gay. Granted he had to resign because he was being blackmailed because of it but polls at the time indicate that voters would have voted for him had he been openly gay.

So you really can’t lump all Americans together.

If we’re going to ask about things that were resolved long ago I might ask why the Swedes still have a monarchy. The very idea that you give some inbred people money and a say in your national affairs for no other reason than birth is rather repulsive to many Americans including myself.

(slight hijack)

They were fully aware of what they were doing, and knew good and well it was unsustainable. They just didn’t care. Because we didn’t have law regulating those practices, pretty much everything was legal, if ethically suspect. They stood to make massive profits, which they did, and most of them have gotten away with it.

Eh. There is no “right” answer to abortion or the death penalty. I personally align with the progressive position on both, but I don’t hold the conceit that I am objectively right. My position is based on the assumptions I start with, and I accept that other people can start with different assumptions. Neither set of assumptions can be objectively proven to be correct.

Is common sense something that you lose when you get more education (ie: learn more things)? How does “common sense” relate to knowledge, competence and understanding?

If you get sick, would you prefer to be treated by someone without education to make sure you get a common sense approach, or would you prefer someone who has studied your particular affliction to treat you?
The abortion issue for example. We don’t have to agree on whether abortion should be considered murder or not, we only have to look at the choices we have and the consequences of making those choices as a society.

Whether we chose to have abortions legal or not does not affect whether abortions are performed, abortions are performed whether they are legal or not. It does however affect HOW the abortions are performed.

If it is legal, the abortions will be supervised and performed in a hospital with minimal risk to the mother. You can offer counsen and give the mother the choice of adoption, educate her on contraception for the future etc.

If it is illegal, the same abortions will be performed in unsafe conditions with very high risks to the mother, and a high likelyhood of additional costs and damages to society. Infections, disease, even death is fairly common in these cases.

So the result in both cases are dead babies. But in one case you also risk getting dead mothers and a bunch of other bad stuff.

I’m not “for” abortion, I think every abortion is a failure in some way, I’m just much more against the alternative.
We have the exact same debate here regarding circumcision. I’m dead against it. I think it’s barbaric to mutilate the genetalia of babies. It’s awful, it disgusts me, I hate the people who do it to their children. But I always argue (and vote) for it being legal. Because the alternative to parents having their childrens genetalia mutilated by a surgeon at a hospital is parents having their childrens genetalia mutilated in some basement or on a kitchen table. So if I really want to work for the best interest of the baby, I have to work keep something that I really hate legal.

The benefit of keeping it legal is that we can now work to minimize the harm done. Now the law requires medical professionals to perform the circumcision and for anastethics to be used. We can also offer counseling and use “soft” methods to try and convince people to quit the practise. Same as you can educate women who want to get abortions on contraception.

Let’s assume it is*.

In the european meaning of the word.

I believe your perspective is the perspective of an individual. Why don’t millions of people in another country think like you do? Or your neighbors do? Or your country does? Or the members of your geographic location do? Why doesn’t your country “rule” the world? Lack of concensious? That would make things so much simpler, of course, except for the people who have their own individual ideas.

And why would anyone bother to disagree with you or your nation anyway? They “seem” so sensible from your individual perspective.

I see your questions as asking one twin brother, “Your brother likes chocolate ice cream, why don’t you like chocolate ice cream”? The answer is that, although they are twins, they are still individuals. Individual nations are still individual nations, and as such, have individual histories, prejudices, and matters of national pride and embareassment. (FYI - I like spelling it that way.)

“Europe” didn’t make a decision on the death penalty. Individual nations decided how they should deal with the issue. In the U.S., there are 50 individual States and they all have the authority to deal with the issue but are guided by federal law and Supreme Court rulings. The voters in those individual States elect lawmakers who support their individual views and those individual lawmakers create laws that represent the views of their individual constituents.
So I have to ask you, do you object to the U.S. having a death penalty or how the U.S. decides whether it should have a death penalty?

Would you accept your nation becoming the 51st State or do you prefer your nations individual status? And who should decide this individual issue, your relatively small number of countrymen or the much larger numbers available in the U.S.?

Can we just agree that Canada is the most evolved nation? Thanks.