Date registered: Sep 2004
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RE: The world thinks conservatives are dumb
I have to admit that the headline is nothing more than idiotic pandering.
However, I do have to wonder about people that declare themselves "conservative" and vote for candidates that enact policy after policy of penalizing those same voters.
In Alberta, we're "conservative" and people LOVE to call themselves that. The provicial gov't takes great advantage of it, and beats us to death, but people just keep electing them. Example?
We had the least expensive electrical utility rates in North America. We had abundant supply and an incredibly well engineered grid that was nearly 100% reliable. But, simply because it's "public" it's considered broken. No one could figure what was broken, but it was. So, we deregulated. Now we have nearly tripled our rates and have minimal excess capacity. We've had rotating outages and other problems. Great.
However, it makes no difference in the voting scheme, 'cause people call themselves "conservative" so they just keep voting that way, no matter what. Idiotic? Yes. Are they "stupid" people? No, but they just can't look beyond labels.
I am willing to bet that many people in the US that voted for GWB had no idea of why. It happens here, and it happens there. They hang their hat on a certain hook, and ignore everything else.
Now, the rest of the world has little respect for President Bush, and the main reason is that he seems unlikely to ever seek a dimplomatic solution to any problem. Many nations are trying to work away from war, not increasing the use of it, and people have a tough time with heads-of-state that use guns first. Whether you yanks see that as right or wrong has nothing to do with world perception. We see a leader that takes a selfish approach and has no conern for anything other than US foreign policy. And that policy is based on bombing.
Most of the people in the world want to like the US, and like it's people. The US people can be generous to a fault and have an enthusiasm and youthfulness that should be envied.
As to the terrible "attack on US soil" it's true, and the US should defend itself. But, remember that many, many nations have experienced much worse, and do on a regular basis. The US's cry that they are singled out by terrorism is not true, and it is a global problem.
The US has become a polarized nation with the right somehow unifying the religious zealots, and other right-of-center splinter groups along with upper-class white people and middle and lower class social conservatives. It's actually kinda amazing. In Canada, our right-wing parties are more moderate in social policy as the population generally is. We are much more accepting of gay marriage and are probably going to leagalize pot usage completely within 10 years. Stuff like that.
That is another reason why many people the world over do not understand the election results. Most nations are working towards moderating the effect the church has on the state and relaxing "morality" in it's legal framework. The US seems to be going the other way. The extreme measures against it's citizens with respect to drugs is not understood outside of some religiously charged nations.
I think that we used to see the US as a "world citizen" interested in making things better. Sure, we were all confused as heck by the freaky anti-communism thing, but we thought you'd get over it. Most nations now see the US adminstration as little more than bullies. You can go on all you want about "need to defend ourselves" and so on, but I'm simply explaining where the perception comes from.
I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass