America At The Crossroad

Sep 2nd, 2007, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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We have traveled all over Europe for the last year and have met nothing but warm, wonderful Europeans. We have not found that Europeans hate Americans.

That said, we have heard LOTS of comments about thier dislike of bush and how he has harmed the U.S. and I think there is tremendous amount of dislike for bush and the Iraq war.

I think those sentiments do impact as they do not understand why the American people would vote him and that type of thinking in twice.

I do not think most Europeans hold our politics against us, but I think the Iraq war is VERY unpopular ( as bush is and the war is at home) in Europe and it has an effect.

We rarely see Americans in our travel, but have had no trouble bonding with our European friends as we have much in common. The few Americans we have met ( young backpackers to retired cruise types) seem perfectly happy visiting Europe and how they are treated.

I think European attitudes have changed and they have a hard time understanding American right wing thinking.But in the life of a traveler, things do not appear that much different.

WTnow is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:29 AM
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>> I wonder why it's crossroadS and not just crossroad<<

There may be only one cross, but to have it, there has to be more than one road.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM
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Hi L,

>OTOh how can someone with only 35% of the vote be given so much "unrestricted" power. Do "65%" against don't count?<

As I noted earlier, Clinton had 43% and Lincoln less than 40% of the popular vote. Both were reelected.

>There is a true left-right division in France; there is a right-wing consensus in the US, and the distinction between the two major parties is nuance, not ideology.<

One can just as easily say, "There is a true left-right division in the USA; there is a left-wing consensus in France, and the distinction between the two major parties is nuance, not ideology".

I submit that this is what one wants in a democracy.

>I wonder why it's crossroadS and not just crossroad? Help, Ira.<

An interesting question, U.

"CrossroadS" once meant something different from "Crossroad". I suggest that it is simply an other example of the general lessening of standards.

This is from about 1900.

Cross-road (kr6s'rtd), n. 1. A road that crosses from one main road to another; a by-road.-
A road that crosses another, especially a main road or one of two or more roads that cross each other. Two or more roads so crossing; the point where they intersect.

Cross=roads (or a crops-roads, the word im this sense being often used as a singular) often form the nucleus of a village, having a general store, a blacksmith's shop, etc., and being a resort or stopping-place for the rural population.

Hence the term is often used in the United States (sometimes attributively) with all implication of provincialism
or insignificance.

I would have used "at a crossroad", as the series refers to the events of 9/11, which could be considered to be a point at which the direction of travel changed.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference".

ira is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 08:31 AM
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"Both were reelected"
Is the re-election now almost a slam dunk?
If so is it a recent trend?
If so is it a fear it will send a message of non-support for the president or is it a feeling of better the one you know?
robjame is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:13 AM
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In France, that bastion of liberalism, the Vichy government sent thousands of Jews to their deaths in World War II. Yes, the Germans ordered it, but Vichy went along. The main guy who went along, Maurice Papon, later served in high positions under Presidents de Gaulle and Giscard d'Estaing and was inducted into the Legion of Honor by de Gaulle for his services to France. Rene Bosquet, the Vichy chief of police, enjoyed a prosperous post-war career and the continuing friendship and protection of President Mitterand, himself a former Vichy official. Paul Touvier, a fascist murderer by anybody's standards, was sheltered by the Catholic hierarchy of Lyon and later pardoned by President Pompidou in the name of national reconciliation. It took fifty years for France to elect a president, the much maligned Chirac, who had the guts to admit French complicity in the Holocaust. By Paidraig's standards, this must mean there's an anti-semitic consensus in France. Or am I over-reacting to his post?
sjj is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Hi rob,

>Is the re-election now almost a slam dunk?

Well it wasn't for Johnson, Carter, Bush1 or Bush2.

>If so is it a recent trend?
Mckinley - yes
Roosevelt1 - yes
Taft - no
Wilson - yes
Harding died in office
Coolidge chose not to run
Hoover - no
Roosevelt2 - yes, yes, yes
Truman - did not run for reelection
Eisenhower - yes
Kennedy - died in office
Johnson - chose not to run
Nixon - yes
Ford was not elected
Carter - no
Reagan - yes
Bush1 - no
Clinton - yes
Bush2 - yes, close though.

>If so is it a fear it will send a message of non-support for the president or is it a feeling of better the one you know?

As Clinton pointed out. "It's the economy..." - mostly.

Wilson neat Taft because of a rift in the Republican party.

Hoover lost because of the depression.

Roosevelt was reelected the first time because he seemed to be doing something to combat the Depression, the second time because he was the most astute politician in the US, the third time because of the War ("Don't change horses in mid-stream").

Eisenhower was reelected because the Democrats couldn't think of anyone better than Stevenson, again.

Nixon was reelected because the Democrats nominated McGovern.

Reagan was reelected because the economy was doing well.

Ditto for Clinton.

Bush was reelected, in my opinion, because Kerry just didn't excite the independents. There was also the question of supporting the troops in Iraq.

My prediction for 2008:

The Democrats will nominate the only person who could lose to a Republican.

The Republicans will nominate the only person who could lose.

ira is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 09:22 AM
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What's it like being ruled by folk who can't get work elsewhere?
alanRow is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:05 AM
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ira, again ... it was a response to smueller's statement:

"... distance from one end of the mainstream political spectrum to the other.

For example, the difference in positions between Ségolène Royale and Nicolas Sarkozy or David Cameron and Gordon Brown as opposed to those between George Bush and John Kerry.

Beyond disagreements over the EU constitution, the mainstream political differences in continental Europe seem more quantitative than qualitative."

S/he basically said that candidates in Europe represent very little diverging political opinions. Now, that means that the citizens also don't diverge much in their opinions/ideas. Otherwise they would vote for other politicians/parties (like the extreme left or right). Thus, people who voted for Schröder can feel represented by Merkel, too, in most fields of politics. And vice versa.
Ingo is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 10:24 AM
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sjj wrote "... By Paidraig's standards, this must mean there's an anti-semitic consensus in France. Or am I over-reacting to his post?"

Yes. I think. But I'm not sure, because I don't follow your line of reasoning.
Padraig is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 11:06 AM
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I think Sarkosy and Royale were FURTHER APART ideologically than Bush and Kerry.

Please don't let the extraordinary amount of heat generated over the current incompetent confuse you. Bush and Kerry's political positions were actually very similar.

There were minor differences concerning relatively trivial amounts of money that each would spend on social programs, mainly in what KIND of social programs. Kerry would have directed more money at support for the poor, in government programs, whereas Bush is, or is trying to, funnel that money and more into religious-based programs.

But they're both big government types. Republicans love to natter on and on about "smaller government", but the reality is that Bush won election both times by pandering to the large Evangelical Christian bloc, by promising them tons and tons of money. It wasn't the Democrats who proposed a new government bureaucracy to counsel people against divorce, it was the Republicans. And as a result, Bush's government is increasing spending faster than any administration since Johnson's.

A big part of that is the war. But all the leading Democrats in 2004 were FOR the war. It's almost impossible for a prominent Democrat to come out against the war, because they are all fundamentally cowards -- not afraid of fighting, but afraid of being seen as weak.

Kerry likely would have pursued a course in Iraq not dramatically unlike Bush's. The problem is, you can't put the egg back into the shell once you've broken it, and Kerry would have operated under some obligation to the country his country destroyed without reason. We'd be backing out in a more intelligent, reality-based way, and the Democrats almost certainly would have done a better job of reining in the rampant criminality of the war profiteers who control the Republican Party now, but I think we'd still be there in some capacity.

And no Green can ever get into an American parliament. That's a huge difference. If you don't think the Greens are important, you know nothing of European coalition politics.

But we do have coalitions. They are just not electoral ones. They are the results of somewhat hidden deals, like the hugely successful one between the Evangelicals and Bush, which is now biting those Evangelicals in the ass, as they slowly come to grips with the fact that they have cast their lot with Satan.
fnarf999 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
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What's amazing about most of these posts is the arrogance in which so many write their opinions and couch them as fact. Let's face it, the media and the opposing party spin-makers have been operating under this sham for years. Have we now adapted is as our dominant social paradigm?

I'd say that there's about a .000000001% chance that any of you/us have any 1st hand knowledge of any real honest to goodness facts. Yet we write that X happened because of Y. AND we expect that the reader will be naive enough to accept our premise because we took the time to write it.

"JMHO" should prominently start and end each our little propoganda pieces.


...and having a little fun.

altajoe is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:08 PM
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I have a good friend from South Carolina that recently visited me in Kent, England. He has been in the military for his whole working life, his wife had never before left USA. When they came they were quite nervous and a little apprehensive because of a
perceived anti American attitude of Europeans.

We took them to Paris for the day (high speed train from England) they were amazed how simple travel across Europe was, how friendly and efficient immigration and customs dealt with them. They are
two of the most courteous (southern) folk you could ever meet, they found no anti American attitudes on their trip, apart from my attitude towards Bush
and my perception of American non interest in issues of climate change. Their trip educated them to English attitudes, and reminded me that you mustn't judge individuals by the foreign policy of their homeland government.
jonbobbi is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Let's see now:

I am not a soldier and I have never been to Iraq, so I have .000000001% personal knowledge of the Iraq War.

When Katrina hit, I was in California, so I have .000000001% personal knowledge of that hurricane and its aftermath.

I have never been to the White House nor have I ever met GWB in person, so I have .000000001% personal knowledge that there actually is a President Bush sitting in the White House.

Which means that that the War in Iraq, Katrina, and whether there is actually a President Bush is almost 100% my personal opinion.

easytraveler is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Thanks, Ira, not least for the appropos Frost quote.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Underhill.......... you brought up the punch line from an old Kingston Trio song....(how old ARE you -
Anyhow, as I recall:

They're rioting in Africa...
They're starving in Spain...
There's hurricanes in Florida...
And Texas needs rain.

The whole world is festering
with unhappy souls..
The French hate the Germans
theGermans hate the Poles.
Grandma is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 03:51 PM
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(sorry I hit the key too soon... song continues..

The Swedish hate the Danish*
South Africans hate the Dutch
I don't like ANYONE very much!)

Well ... if you can remember the music -

* That line is inauthentic...can't remember the original.. But I am Swedish so it has some validity -
Grandma is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch and I don't like anybody very much!
robjame is offline  

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