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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?      Home login  
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 Telenochek
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 1
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?Page 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
What happened to the "we" the people in America?

There is a lot of talk ... about bailouts being wasteful, and about the need to restructure large failed businesses immediately! Of course we should do it! Economics says that the market will eventually brutally punish inefficiencies. So propping up empty shells (large zombie banks such as GS, JPM, C, WFC, BAC, FRE, FNM, AIG etc...) simply does not make any economic sense. They will just fail later with more bang. They say GS and JPM are well-capitalized (yeah, excluding their derivatives exposure of galactic proportions, and btw these derivatives are starting to go bad just about now (april 09) just like the toxic CDS)

So, how many of you who literally write pages here on the forums on this very topic have actually contacted your representative and your senators, expressing your concerns?
It's very easy, and, believe me, they do listen.
They spend thousands of dollars on estimating sentiment in their districts in order to best position themselves politically on a number of issues. This is why you receive voter ballots for local measures and propositions etc...it's a measure of sentiment! Some propositions actually pass against the people's will, so many of them are used just to gauge sentiment.

There are many economists that are suggesting the right things.
I personally like what the Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz is proposing:
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/stiglitz110
http://www.josephstiglitz.com/

It's time to stop talking the talk and write to your local representative and senator.

Stop being dismayed at Congress apathy and inability to accomplish things and start being more active. These are critical times in American history, not just because of the economic crisis, but also because of the healthcare crisis and retiring baby-boomers leaving the economy.

The longer you (and Congress) sit on ur azz, the longer will the downhill slope of America be.

What should you write in your letter?
I'm not going to push any agenda here, but read up on it from respectable people (Stiglitz, Roubini, Soros, Volcker, etc...). Please don't buy into the whole "we'll just print money to get out of this mess". Printing money does not fix economic inefficiencies.

We need to kill zombies and improve regulation so that we no longer have zombies so large that they threaten the entire economy.

Write e-mails to Congress, and do it OFTEN!
They need your encouragement.

Don't you think the apathy of the American public is responsible for what's going on in Congress?
 shipoker58
Joined: 8/23/2008
Msg: 2
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 5:40:25 AM

Don't you think the apathy of the American public is responsible for what's going on in Congress?


Yes, but more importantly, it's the apathy of the American voter that is responsible for the current Congress even being there. It seems we vote with our short range goals in mind and our short range financial prospects at the head of our voting priorities. We are an "instant gratification" voter! Or..it's easier to just stay home on election day and not get involved at all, thereby keeping the same people in office year after year. Term after term.

If Congress did nothing four years ago, and people don't go to the polls to kick them out, what do you expect these same people to do in the next four years? Nothing!

So, while there is a fair amount of apathy for sitting legislators...there is even more apathy in the attitudes of voting. Upon moving to Nevada, I registered to vote before getting my driver's license changed.


...JMO
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 3
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 5:49:38 AM
because america is getting dumber......our parents went to hear cantidates speak......they researched their voting records..........and made up their own minds...........todays voters cast their vote to whoever the media backs...........think back to clintons second election.....and all the hype about the "soccer moms" support............even though he had just proven himself as a liar and a womanizer........the very type of man that particular demographic group claimed to hate...........they still re elected him..........mostly because of the media hype.....[of course...the republicans did pick the one cantidate that nobody liked]

one seriously has to wonder how the last election would have turned out if the media remained silent and non partisan
 NoBushLover
Joined: 1/27/2009
Msg: 4
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 5:51:37 AM
According to historians, during the American Revolution, only 1/3 of the population supported independence. Another 1/3 supported remaining a colony of England, and the last 1/3 didn't care much either way.

The more things change, the more they stay the same
 shipoker58
Joined: 8/23/2008
Msg: 5
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 8:41:02 AM
...
........todays voters cast their vote to whoever the media backs...........think back to clintons second election.




Are you saying that for the two terms that Bush served, too? Or the term his father served? Or does that philosophy only apply when the democrats win??


...JMO
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 6
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 9:40:03 AM
A lot of the younger vote is sick of the idea of actually having to go somewhere to cast a ballot for somehting they feel doesn't affect them. They want to sit on their phones at home casting votes for American Idol. I am amazed at the number of votes cast weekly by these idiots, for something that does not affect them in any way, while they throw away the one vote they do have that does actually affect their lives!
Then they wonder why they are at war and protest it....all they have to do is cast a vote for the politician who says "Let's bring home the troops"....
 oddandy
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 7
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 9:45:11 AM
all they have to do is cast a vote for the politician who says "Let's bring home the troops"....


Herein lies the problem. The sad reality is that this is EXACTLY what the American voters did in 2006. They voted out the majority Republican congress and voted in a Democratic majority in no small part because the democrats promised to end the wars and bring the troops home.

Almost 3 years later they haven't done it or even gotten close to it. Yes, Obama says he's workign on a time-table to get us out, but that's not the point....what about the liars we elected in '06 on the promise of getting us out?

THAT is why you have voter apathy. Even when you vote in new politicians they don't honor their promises. So the prevalent thinking is "what's the point? They're all full of shite."

We have a corrupt system and are rarely given a choice other than the lesser of two evils, the big liar or the "little liar." What good is the ballot box when nobody worth electing is ever offered as a choice?
 NoBushLover
Joined: 1/27/2009
Msg: 8
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 10:07:04 AM
It's sad when, in order to promote the fallacious notion that both parties are equally to blame, independents have to make up stuff about politicians promising to bring the troops home

Anyone who was listening heard Obama promise to INCREASE the number of troops in Afghanistan and DECREASE the number of troops in Iraq. At no time did Obama promise to "bring all the the troops home"

And no, Obama did not promise a timetable to "get us out". He promised a timetable to get the regular combat troops out, leaving a residual force to protect our embassies and bases plus enough forces to deal with any AQ remnants.


We have a corrupt system and are rarely given a choice other than the lesser of two evils, the big liar or the "little liar."


There are more than two liars in politics.
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 9
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 10:30:23 AM
no shipoker58........i used that as a glareing example because the so called soccer moms .as a group...were supposed to dislike men like clinton.........ie.liars.....womanizers and cheaters.................thats the point i was trying to make
 Telenochek
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 10
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 10:52:31 AM
One of the biggest problems IMO is that elections are not performance-based.
In fact, there are essentially no measures of performance in our political system (for a reason, of course).

Then come election time we have a dog'n'pony show
 oddandy
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 11
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 11:03:07 AM
It's sad when, in order to promote the fallacious notion that both parties are equally to blame, independents have to make up stuff about politicians promising to bring the troops home

Anyone who was listening heard Obama promise to INCREASE the number of troops in Afghanistan and DECREASE the number of troops in Iraq. At no time did Obama promise to "bring all the the troops home"

And no, Obama did not promise a timetable to "get us out". He promised a timetable to get the regular combat troops out, leaving a residual force to protect our embassies and bases plus enough forces to deal with any AQ remnants.


What's sad is that I made it very clear in my post that I was referring to the campaign promises of the democrats during the 2006 congressional elections yet you've chosen to rebut with a straw-man argument about Obama.

I don't dispute your more accurate representation of what Obama has said about the wars. Of course, that wasn't my point, but hey.
 JackDiamond312
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 12
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 1:32:00 PM

We have a corrupt system and are rarely given a choice other than the lesser of two evils, the big liar or the "little liar." What good is the ballot box when nobody worth electing is ever offered as a choice?


Even though I think calling everyone a liar in some form is a little harsh, I get your point.

I believe we need to look at peoples actions, not their words... and you will never like everything about anyone, but it's like the lesser of two evil's.. the evil being differences of opinion. That in mind, lets look at this last election.

Obama, had a very little record to go by, and it was very liberal, so people had to buy into his words... which went very liberal in the Democratic primaries, sailed close to center in the general election, and now he is back to very Liberal.

McCain, is a Moderate Conservative, he ran there in the Republican Primaries, and stayed there in the General election, He had a long record of exactly that, being a maverick, some like to call him, but a Moderate Republican, you didn't have to rely on his words... his actions were much louder.

But people had different views, He was not far enough right for a lot of Republicans, and too far right for Democrats... But I believe he was exactly in the right place for what America needs. Agree or disagree with his views, He would be better to close this divide that has been growing over, what? 20 years. where the die hards that either vote one way or another and will never consider voting for the opposite party no matter what!... has been growing.

It's like the saying goes.... "You can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."

A Moderate, Conservative or Liberal.. would please all of the people some of the time.
 J_in_SD*
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 13
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 2:28:25 PM

Don't you think the apathy of the American public is responsible for what's going on in Congress?

Who cares?
 Jim978
Joined: 7/15/2008
Msg: 14
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 3:51:26 PM

because america is getting dumber......our parents went to hear cantidates speak......they researched their voting records..........and made up their own minds...........


Anyone that actually believes this is simply delusional. "Our parents" usually got their info straight from their Union Boss, Employer, Clergy Member or the Editor of the weekly newspaper that served their town.

National level politicians seldom made themselves available to the general public and voting records were seldom discussed. "Our parents" voted for the candidates that the Political party's selected to run. If a candiate couldn't work their magic in a smokey back room deal they didn't stand a chance. "The Party" was the be-all, end-all of political life. Once the party bosses decided who the candidiate was going to be they pulled the strings on lower level party-boss-wanna-be types and the word filtered down to the street level.

What "the media" has done is allowed us to bypass the party machines and let candidiates speak directly to individuals and groups. Someone that wants to run for National Office can run and pay lip service to their party and the party has little control over it. People like Joe Lieberman can tell the Party to pound sand and still get elected. People like Obama can overcome the party boss's preferences and become the party candidiate without the back-room deals.

There are pros and cons to both systems. But the change has little, if anything to do with people getting dumber.
 curlygrl
Joined: 11/8/2006
Msg: 15
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 4:12:50 PM
Why are we so apathetic-
Because people are afraid to say today how they really feel.
Its easier to go with what the majority thinks. God forbid you
disagree you are labeled all kinds of sh*t from a hater to well,
apathetic.

There used to be a forum here on politics- it got thrown away-
why you ask- because no one agreed with the majority of the posts
and people just got sick of free speech and personal opinions
turned into verbal mini wars.

Its not worth it. It is better to keep your thoughts to yourself
and sit back and watch the outcome. I know it is a sad thought but
this is how it has come to be. There is no more "agree to disagree"-
it is now "my way or no way" of thinking. You think out of the box, you
get shoved right back in.
 knightwhosaysnih
Joined: 4/2/2009
Msg: 16
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 5:19:49 PM
Re: We have a corrupt system and are rarely given a choice other than the lesser of two evils, the big liar or the "little liar." - can't resist.

"When choosing between the lesser of two evils, don't be too suprised to find that it's evil." (JK Galbraith)

Next time someone tells you they're not involved in politics, inquire as to how they avoid paying taxes.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 17
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/21/2009 9:22:35 PM
16 posts and the appropriate contact information is still missing?
Well, here it is:
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Links to contact the President, your Senator, your House Representative, your Governor and your state Legislature, all in one convenient place. It only takes a few seconds to send a message.
 The Artful Codger
Joined: 2/29/2008
Msg: 18
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History
Why?
Posted: 4/21/2009 10:04:03 PM
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Could be they've been too busy focusing on the pursuit of happiness.

There used to be a forum here on politics- it got thrown away-
Merely hidden, actually...along with a couple others.

Politics:
http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingForum98.aspx
Religion:
http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingForum12.aspx
Current Events:
http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingForum7.aspx

 Telenochek
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 19
Why?
Posted: 4/21/2009 10:25:33 PM


Could be they've been too busy focusing on the pursuit of happiness.

And ignoring the molassus that our gov't has become.
 Uncle Fist
Joined: 12/18/2006
Msg: 20
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/22/2009 4:34:21 PM
Just my theory here.

The more you do for someone, the less self sufficient they become. The less responsibility they have, the less they're going to care about what's going on. We've created such a state of "no one's responsible for anything, it's all on everyone else" that a lot of people probably don't feel like they have any reason to keep up with things. They're all being treated like children. Everything's being done for them, and they're not held accountable for anything. Where's their incentive to care?

This country is in serious need of going back to the "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" mentality.
 PrimeWoman
Joined: 4/25/2006
Msg: 21
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/22/2009 5:34:32 PM
Besides writing our congressmen/women and senators, Americans need to be more cognizant of what they purchase and realize that not buying a particular product or patronizing particular eastablisments and events can speak volumes--as in show me the money.

For instance, I will pay more for gas to avoid giving my business to CITGO.
One of the reasons I buy from Chipotle's is that the plasticware they provide is made in America (aside from the fact that they have good food of course).

I patronize small businesses in my community rather than go to a Great Clips, hire the Geek Squad, etc. Those small businesses are not beholden to shareholders, who insist on high profits which encourages greed.
 Telenochek
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 22
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/23/2009 8:46:59 AM


Besides writing our congressmen/women and senators, Americans need to be more cognizant of what they purchase and realize that not buying a particular product or patronizing particular eastablisments and events can speak volumes--as in show me the money.


I wouldn't always agree with that.
There are many large businesses that make better products that small businesses, are very efficient and are honest businesses. And the law of the marketplace dictates that cheaper products of equivalent quality will always win.

However, I do agree that some large businesses do not deserve customers (Citi, BofA)
 Plzd2meetU
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 23
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/23/2009 3:01:24 PM
Why?
Americans as a rule are self centered. Our world starts in our immediate vicinity and travels outward.

Something is only a real problem if it directly affects us. "we are too busy" to worry about everyone else... and this is a direct result of our rugged individualist nature. What does the average American care about homelessness... until they are about to be homeless.?. Do Americans really care if the rest of the world will starve because instead of exporting our corn we choose instead to make cheap fuel for our cars?

Does America really care about Somali pirates? not until they were stupid enough to take one of our ships... Does America really care about Muslims, Islam, and bin laden,, not until they murdered 3000 civilians... in short the rest of the world (meaning everyone outside of our individual daily lives) could turn into purple zombies and eat tofu and we wouldn't bat an eye.

Americans are apathetic because we understand the meaning of the word "I".

We give very little credence to the "village" so long as our home and livelihood are secure.

So Michigan doesn't care if Vermont legalizes gay marriages, we don't care if new york makes it legal for 13 year olds to have abortions without parental notification, We don't care if Washington D.C. tries to ban firearm ownership, i think you get the picture... but raise gas to 4.50 a gal, jump cigarettes to 6.50 a pack, and reduce their credit limit on their credit cards and people start to take notice.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 24
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/24/2009 4:51:05 PM
"So, how many of you who literally write pages here on the forums on this very topic have actually contacted your representative and your senators, expressing your concerns?
It's very easy, and, believe me, they do listen."

It's a waste of time, and no, they don't listen. They can't. They can count totals, do you have 100,000 friends in your district that will write too?

Our country has outgrown our form of government. To have the same ratio of congressmen to voters as we had back in the day, congress would have to be expanded to 5000 members. So, no congressman can possibly "listen". They represent themselves, and no one else.

People are apathetic because they aren't fools. The game is rigged.
 Telenochek
Joined: 1/1/2009
Msg: 25
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/24/2009 5:13:09 PM

It's a waste of time, and no, they don't listen. They can't. They can count totals, do you have 100,000 friends in your district that will write too?

Our country has outgrown our form of government. To have the same ratio of congressmen to voters as we had back in the day, congress would have to be expanded to 5000 members. So, no congressman can possibly "listen". They represent themselves, and no one else.

People are apathetic because they aren't fools. The game is rigged.


Yes, the game is rigged and the people are fools for not participating.
One only needs to try running for any local government position to realize that not paying attention to your constituents guarantees a swift evaporation of your campaign hopes. Yes you can pay for the newspapers, TV, mailers etc... but if you don't promise people what they want to hear, you are not going to get elected.

I don't need to have 100K friends from my district write, but I can guarantee that a lot of people living nearby are feeling the same way. So in other words, a few voices from the neighborhood can often illustrate the overall prevailing sentiment.

Therefore, they do listen!

Also, there are a lot of special interests at all levels of gov't.
However, what most people fail to realize is that these special interests are often not aligned with each other. Let's take the current situation with banks: the interests of the small and regional banks are currently not aligned with the interests of the megabanks (WFC, BAC, C, JPM, etc...).
We, the People, can align with the smaller banks and win.

It's time to break up the large banks into smaller, more manageable pieces, because they are clearly undercapitalized to lend, and they will never be adequately capitalized as they are too big and corrupt. We can't afford to throw taxpayer money down these black holes, when instead we could use this money much more productively. For example, we could either use this money to restructure these banks and resell the pieces to smaller banks. Or we could set up brand new banks after breaking up the megabanks. Or we could simply stop money on these banks and have a little "sink or swim". Meanwhile the money could be spend on investing in infrastructure or other "real" investments.

They do listen, as long as you are aligned with some of the special interests .
At this point, aligning with the community banks is in our common interests.
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