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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?      Home login  
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 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 2
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?Page 1 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
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
 oddandy
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 4
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?
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 5
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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
 oddandy
Joined: 3/5/2008
Msg: 7
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.
 curlygrl
Joined: 11/8/2006
Msg: 8
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.
 Beaugrand®™©
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 10
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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: 11
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

 Plzd2meetU
Joined: 2/21/2009
Msg: 15
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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: 16
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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.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 18
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/25/2009 6:53:00 AM
I see you are speaking locally, whearas I am speaking more to the federal situation. Therefore, we are both right. :)

Per my point about the 5000 congressmen, that would make federal representation much more local in nature.
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 4/25/2009 4:39:27 PM
The OP is a good queston. It's why we're in the mess we are.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 26
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 11/28/2009 8:45:27 PM


To put it in a "political news sense", we need a "Keith Olberman" far left party, a
"campbell brown" left of center party, a "joe scarborough" right of center party and a "rush limbaugh/sean hannity" far right party.

aka: socialist, democrat, republican and libertarian parties.


I seriously take issue with the characterization of Limbaugh and Hannity as Libertarians. They are both religious neo-cons. They favor big government whenever it benefits military interventionism, corporate political power, and Christian dominionism. A far more accurate exemplar of Libertarian news person is John Stossel.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 27
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 11/28/2009 8:53:50 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?


You may recall that the bailouts were supported by Bush, McCain, Palin, Obama, Hillary, Cheney, and Biden.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 28
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 11/30/2009 12:38:16 AM


I wonder if we wouldn't have been better off, just letting it all fall down.

Some people go to jail, ~ the ones that have the most to lose ~ "DO" ~

and everyone rebuild from the ashes.


I, for one, don't think the system can be fixed. It's going to crash within my lifetime, and I'll be there to piss on its grave when it does.
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 29
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 12/3/2009 7:12:54 PM

the law of the marketplace dictates that cheaper products of equivalent quality will always win.


Almost true. Substitute "perceived value" for quality. That is why organics have a niche, even though they are, in most cases, more expensive. The organics consumer perceives organics to be of higher value (healthier, more environmental, etc.) and thus is willing to pay more.

It's called value adding - quite common in the marketplace among food products.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 30
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 12/4/2009 11:52:39 PM


Almost true. Substitute "perceived value" for quality. That is why organics have a niche, even though they are, in most cases, more expensive. The organics consumer perceives organics to be of higher value (healthier, more environmental, etc.) and thus is willing to pay more.

It's called value adding - quite common in the marketplace among food products.


I used to work for a company that was all about increasing "perceived value" and therefore increasing price, but didn't care at all about increasing actual quality (because it generally meant increasing costs).
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 12/6/2009 4:24:28 AM

Don't you think the apathy of the American public is responsible for what's going on in Congress?
That's a reasonable question and an understandable characterization but I believe it's a mischaracterization.

If anything, you see a massive surge in people who are not apathetic but, instead, are rising up to restore what has, historically, been a center-right nation based on conservative values.

So, instead of attributing it to "apathy", I think it would be more accurate to portray non-involvement to "inertia"... for many years, people had been comfortable enough with the pendulum-like swings of the political process.

Just like the Attack on Pearl Harbor, 9/11 "woke a sleeping giant"... after every war ends, the "era of peace" is really just a "return to trance"... we are able to turn more of our attention back to those things about which we are really more passionate and become fixated on those things. And, if we are passionate about nothing, then we go back to focusing on survival...

...but, despite copious complaints in forums and on tv, I still wouldn't chalk non-involvement up to apathy.

Thanks for asking, thanks for listening,
Eric
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 33
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 2/14/2010 3:07:53 AM
The biggest problem is not really even the people, its the Senate.

If it weren't for the filibuster, then people would see the results of their vote quicker... Congress would be more nimble.

If instead of needing 60 votes to do anything of consequence, the Senate could settle things by a majority vote and results would come quicker. Right now, what people are most frustrated with is not really parties... its gridlock. The gridlock is historical in nature. Perhaps no other government has been as indecisive as the US government, and its all because of a rule called the filibuster... not a constitutional institution either, but just a Senate tradition...

If the Senate was anything like the old boy "deliberative" body it used to be, this would be a radical suggestion... but with the 24 hour new cycle and a more fast moving economic and security situation, the last thing our less-than-statesmanly Senate needs is more time to divide up pork spending and make compromise... what they need is incentive to cooperate... and a simple majority vote would end the tyranny of the minority in the Senate forever.

People tend not to care about electing a representative if some "great deliberative body" has rules that trump their will... rules like the filibuster...
 merelymortal
Joined: 11/24/2009
Msg: 35
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 2/14/2010 3:44:19 PM
Without constitutional reform, there never will be any viable 3rd or 4th or 5th or any other type of party... Our constitution weakened parties in value... its more about individual candidates... which is a big part of why we have apathy imo...

No 3rd party has a chance of taking power, all 3rd parties have a chance to do is upset the balance of power in favor of whoever they oppose...

so guess what you do when you support the TEA party? You strengthen Democrats. The same goes when someone votes libertarian because they are liberal but want less government spending... they only weaken the republican vote. Overall though, if there is no third party, the liberal vote suffers, because the churches and gun enthusiasts are ever-paranoid and will always turn out en-mass to support their regressive causes.
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 40
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 2/15/2010 2:32:04 PM
Your vote is essentially irrelevant because this whole county is going Democrat either way because of the way this overall system is set up here. That's another part of why I am not a fan of the electoral college with the "winner-takes-all" system.
The Founding Fathers originally envisioned a model where the President was elected by the legislature rather than popular vote as a means to protect the States' interests (fearing large states would run roughshod over smaller states) and because they didn't trust the motivations of simple majority voting (tyranny of the majority). The electoral college was the compromise which was THOUGHT to be unlikely to produce a winner, thereby requiring Congress to choose the President.

*Interesting aside: In the Kennedy/Nixon election, several southern states attempted to use this states' interests aspect of the electoral college to continue to impose their brand of "tyranny of the majority". They had hoped, by placing unpledged electors, to be able to defeat Kennedy and avoid any further desegregation. A case where the intent of the Founding Fathers was used in an attempt to create exactly the situation they had hoped to avoid.*

The thing about "winner takes all" is... the U.S., with it's presidential system HAS to be "winner-take-all", you simply can't operate a presidential system in any other way, even popular plurality vote would entail "winner-take-all"... going straight popular vote would have made little difference overall, historically speaking (ONLY 4 elections have ever resulted in a President who won the popular vote but not the electoral vote and the only one where popular-over-electoral vote would have resulted in a huge historical difference is the 2000 election. Harrison/Cleveland, Hayes/Tilden, or even Adams/Jackson, would not likely have resulted in any huge alteration of US history but Bush/Gore unquestionably would have)... to change it from the current "winner-take-all" system for President, the US would either have to move to the South African model (president is determined by the vote of the legislature), a semi-presidential model like France (where executive power is divided between legislature and the presidency) or a parliamentary republic where the President has little to no executive power... you simply can't have an effective presidential system based on anything other than a plurality voting system (which, technically, is what the electoral college is, they are just not necessarily bound to vote according to their State's popular vote), a proportional voting system would not work (unless you want to go with the old Roman 'triumvirat' model and we know how well that worked out)...

The biggest problems lie in the U.S. presidential system itself rather than the means by which the president is elected... it creates a "feast or famine" situation, particularly in recent decades... where the President, as head of gov't, typically "feasts" when his party has unquestioned control of the legislatures or "starves" when that unquestioned control is absent... Presidential systems also have an extremely strong tendancy to devolve towards totalitarianism...

*aside:

Have a look at this list of nations with a presidential republic system and see if you can find more than a bare few such countries that have never devolved towards totalitarianism during their history as presidential republics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_system#Republics_with_a_presidential_system_of_government*

The real answer, if the goal is to keep the current presidential system, is to change the method of electing Congress... to move from a plurality electoral system (one rep/district) to a proportional electoral system (multiple reps/district) while leaving the presidential electoral process on a plurality basis based on apportioned districts... This would enhance the representation of the minority vote, allow for greater opportunity to elect "third party/independant" candidates and force a greater level of bi-partisanship (more co-operation and compromise would be required to secure congressional votes) while while evening out the partisan "feast or famine" situations...

If that is indeed what you're talking about then you're right, we should give much more scrutiny to those selections.

Judges should NEVER be chosen based on public popularity contests... only on the basis of their knowledge of jurisprudence and ability to rule according to the letter, spirit and intent of the law... public perceptions of jurisprudence and criminal justice are far to often based on vengence and vigilantism with little to no understanding of fundamental legal principles or criminology/sociology/psychology.
 mungojoe
Joined: 11/15/2006
Msg: 42
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 2/15/2010 3:38:44 PM

I agree. But in a sense this was what I was getting at. I often wonder if at some point, perhaps not in our lifetimes, the US could or would change to a type of system like either a semi-presidential or a parliamentary republic. A complete systemic change, as I said. I imagine it is not very realistic, but , one never knows.

Far too many Americans are far too convinced that "the American way" is God-given and superior to anything else in the world (even when that "American way" involved racial oppression in the pre-Civil Rights Acts era) and not only shouldn't be changed but should also be "taught to" (read: forced upon) the rest of the world for such a major rework to ever happen...

I would suppose that there is a far better chance of moving to a proportional representation electoral system for Congress (assuming the corporations can be kept out of the debate or at least to a minimum) than a complete rework of the entire system... Proportional representation would fundamentally alter the way "business" is conducted in the capital, requiring reps to consult, co-operate and compromise, not just with reps from other parties or other states, but also with other reps from the same district in a way that would be far more representative of the concerns of the ENTIRE district rather than just those of the bare majority or with the biggest bullhorn... they wouldn't just have to work gain the support of other reps from different districts/states, they would also have to work gain the support of other reps from the SAME district...

There would also likely be a dramatic increase in voter turn-out and participation as all those who simply don't bother now, because they think their vote is a "throw-away" in their district, realize they can still gain some representation...
 Secondhand_Lion
Joined: 11/10/2008
Msg: 44
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Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 2/22/2010 12:35:40 PM
^^^^^would you buy naive or ignorant?
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 48
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 3/20/2010 11:10:08 PM


However, reforms of Congress appear unlikely. There doesn't appear to be any significant momentum at this time behind efforts to change the rules that govern passing legislation or Congress's need to constantly campaign and fundraise. With an election year beginning, it's also unlikely that congressional leaders will begin to see eye to eye more often on major legislation.


Maybe we could start by repealing the 17th Amendment. Previously senators were elected by the State Legislature. The 17th changed that so that senators were elected by popular vote. I think this would go a long way towards eliminating big money from senatorial races.
 calisto04
Joined: 12/9/2009
Msg: 49
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 3/23/2010 10:13:58 AM

Don't you think the apathy of the American public is responsible for what's going on in Congress?
No, the apathy of the American public is a result of poisonous lies coming from the Republicans who have never been able to accept the fact that we have a "minority" man as President and he's not only smart and educated and articulate, he honestly wants what's right for America.
 calisto04
Joined: 12/9/2009
Msg: 52
Why are the majority of Americans so apathetic in politics?
Posted: 3/23/2010 3:56:49 PM
I don't think I've ever heard any political party (other than this time around with our current administration) say they are going to do anything to cause the President to fail.

I'm afraid that's a first.

And that's what makes this all very different. The Republicans are sore losers and they made it clear when the Democrats won the election (in spite of all the "birthers" and "truthers" and "racists" and "bigots") and Obama was elected that they would do whatever it takes to make him fail and I have the impression they do not care if the country fails while they are busy throwing their temper tantrums.
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