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I've been working in Houston these past couple of weeks and my boss is a hardcore Republican. I've never paid too much attention to American politics but maybe i should start.

So, who do you back - Democrats or Republicans

And

How much does the policy of the US of A affect our wee island across the pond?

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Very definitely Democrat if I HAD to choose. Yeah both sides have their crackpots but I just don't agree with most Republicans ideologies at all.

Im with you on this one. I had to listen to a Republican radio station for 2 hours in a car travelling from Houston to Dallas. It was farcical. Having said that i don't agree with a mass-welfare system. I like what the Tories are doing over here with the shake-up in disability benefits. I agree that we should offer help to those who need it but those who don't need it or abuse the system need to be weeded out.

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Im with you on this one. I had to listen to a Republican radio station for 2 hours in a car travelling from Houston to Dallas. It was farcical. Having said that i don't agree with a mass-welfare system. I like what the Tories are doing over here with the shake-up in disability benefits. I agree that we should offer help to those who need it but those who don't need it or abuse the system need to be weeded out.

Absolutely. I don't think Republicans believe in welfare at all and considering there are still loads of Americans in poverty with Americans going bankrupt over healthcare etc (I quoted some figure recently on something i learned today thread) I just can't abide that.

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I find with American politics i would tend to swing more than i do here rather than be a supporter of one party. I think i believe mostly with the ideologies of the Republican party but i disagree with an awful lot too. You just need to look at their views on religion and abortion to see some extreme samples of crazy, Democrats are equally as extreme though, except more left wing, despite never really even registering on the left wing spectrum. Probably democrat.

Find it interesting, the American "left-wing" party, is more right wing than the UK's main Right-wing party.

So what do you agree with with regards to the Republican party?

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Very definitely Republican. Small government, low taxes. It has its crackpot wing and often its message is muddied by the priorities of some its more outspoken supporters, but the same can be said of the Democrats.

I don't think it's so much the policy and politics in play in the US that affects us as much as our shared culture and history. It's a symbiotic relationship that benefits both countries even if the policies of the individual governments at any one time happen to be at odds.

I wouldn’t be so sure. I think a lot of the ‘special relationship’ is superficial and cosmetic. The USA will fuck over any country (including the UK) in a heartbeat if it benefits them.

This came to the fore immediately after WWII when the US saw the UK was fucked and did everything it could to speed along the dismantling of the Empire, so as to remove the UK as a World Power. But it’s still the case that the US will ‘use’ the UK – like a chess piece – whenever and however it suits US foreign and domestic economic policy. (There’s a great book by Paul Kennedy called ‘The Great Powers’ – check it out).

Iraq war anyone?

Afghanistan anyone?

Complicity in dismantling of basic human rights in the name of The War on Terror anyone?

Look what happened with the Gulf of Mexico DeepWater Horizon incident. The whole-fuck-up was down to a US crew (it just so happened that BP was commissioning the rig). But the media and the politicians at every level jumped up and down on BP’s head like it was the Boston Tea Party all over again. They went out of their way to refer to BRITISH Petroleum – not BP (which has been the trading name for almost 30 yrs).

Don’t be swayed by the superficial gloss of liberty and freedom for all, in a classless society. And I speak as a great fan of America and Americans generally. I've spent a lot of time in the USA, and have a great fondness for the people. But the USA is a deeply divided society with a huge racial schism which is increasing year by year.

Oh, PS: Democrats for me.

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The general right-wing ideology, much like what dave said. Private industry, self-reliance, low taxes = competitive economy, etc. I think the republicans could do better to fix the economy but the democrats could do better for social living standards. Which one America needs more in the long term right is hard to decide. Overall if i was living in America i think there would have been times when i voted for each party.

Similar to what Labour vs Conservative do here over the long term. Conservative bring prosperity, Labour bring better social standards. Overall in America or the UK they seem to just tag team it when wrecking the economy and then the other fixes it.

The republicans really do seem like people who would leave people dying in the gutter, though obviously not in their gate community gutter. I just don't think you can have self-reliance with such a big population especially with decline of jobs over profit.

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What part of their views on religion do you disagree with, bearing in mind that their presumptive nominee for the presidency is not a Christian?

I don't think I'd agree that the dems are more left-wing than the Conservatives. Maybe it was true in the 90s but the Obama administration is the most left-wing government either country has seen since the 70s.

Really? Please explain? He may not be Christian but he shares a lot of their views on Christian sensitive issues.

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Most folk, like it or not, vote with their bank accounts. The lowest common denominator is: who’s going fuck me over least? My old man used to say that he was always better off (had more money in the bank) when Labour was in power here.

When Clinton left office there was a national budget SURPLUS of <insert $$$ squillions figure here>

When Dubya left office 8 years later he turned that round and left a national DEFICIT of <insert $$$ squillions figure here>

Go figure.

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I saw someone said that Republicans having lower taxes as a positive for the Republicans, but isn't the Democratic progressive tax structure to provide more services in prevention of the widening gap between lower and upper classes? Democrats are also hugely in favour of a much higher minimum wage, as well as a health care reform to make such services more affordable. Republicans don't seem bothered about any of that. Whilst they still carry their fair weight of shittiness, some of the good the Democrats do seems to be focused on putting things back into the reach of less fortunate people, where the Republicans seem to be fine with putting such things completely out of reach.

Gun Control too. Republicans seem to not have a problem with Americans going around pumping each other full of bullets. It's impossible to completely police, but at least the Democrats have the very basic sense of decency to realise that GUNZ IS BAD and have very gradually been putting the infrastructure in place to initiate some sort of gun control.

Oh, and Reagan and H & W Bush were all lunatic bellends.

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It bugs me how Obama goes on talk shows like The View and Jimmy Fallon - as Murr says, it seems like everyone spends all their trying to win rather than do the task at hand. I don't want a president who knows who Kim Kardashian is, I want a president who sits in his office all day and plans how to make the country a better place.

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Personally - the very idea of religion having any effect on politics is what makes me feel that American politics are fucked. Left and Right in the UK are more political standpoints than idealogical ones.

If the Right wing didn't have such an association with the gun-loving, foetus-worshipping gay-bashing fuckwit fundamentalists then I'd be willing to at least hear them out. As it is, I wouldn't want anyone who wouldn't do everything within their power to distance themselves from that shit to ever come into office.

high/low tax, private/public healthcare, I don't mind. I'd accept the leadership of whichever party would be willing to say "I don't give a flying fuck what the religious texts say, let all the gays get married and have abortions, you cunts." I'm not a politician and I don't know enough about the economy to say for certain which approaches I think would be best for our country or the people in it. That's why I don't vote. If the CGP referendum taught us anything it should be that a misinformed voter is more dangerous than an apathetic one.

xx

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If the Right wing didn't have such an association with the gun-loving, foetus-worshipping gay-bashing fuckwit fundamentalists then I'd be willing to at least hear them out.

Reminded me of this song from the fantastic Todd Snider:

I prefer Jon Stewart to Bill O'Reilly so I'd go Democrat.

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I was speaking to a Texan yesteray. He had historically voted Republican but this time round he was going to vote Democrat purely on the basis that at least they're trying to make a change. His thoughts were that for too long the Republicans had tried to stick to the status quo and, whilst he did not agree 100% with what Obama was trying to do, it's better than doing nothing at all. This is pretty much the impression of the American policitcal system that i get.

Republican = no change traditionalism

Democrat = plenty of change liberalism

Somewhere in the middle of those two seems to fit for me.

On another note, what's the Tea Party all about and where do they fit in the political spectrum?

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It's standard right vrs left though. Right wing would say that lower taxes means a more competitive economy where everyone pays less and more people come to live there to pump their money in meaning the government get more in the long run.

Right-wingers are of course classically all in favour of opening up the borders.

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This isn't a little off-tangent, I know, but guys like this really make it difficult for me to be interested in American politics:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHzhtARf8M

Bill O'Reilly is an incredibly well-educated man. He has a Masters degree, he's been a teacher, he's studied at Harvard. He clearly isn't stupid, and yet he articulates his arguments in such an asinine way. To an extent, he is a troll. I think he has complete belief in his points of view, but he expresses himself like an irrational child and yet he's one of the USA's most prominent media personalities. With his level of education there's no way he couldn't put forward an extremely well-put argument.

The guy is incredibly dangerous. He knows the easiest way to incite an irrational reaction from people and he continually exploits it. He *chooses* to be a hysterical, belligerent, fear-mongerer, and yet The O'Reilly Factor is one of America's most-watched shows! O'Reilly is an intelligent guy who's deliberately brash in order to influence opinion. I'm aware that this problem isn't unique to the USA, but it's certainly more prominent on those shores than over here.

Glenn Beck is much the same, except I'm convinced that he's just a complete dipshit:-

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This isn't a little off-tangent, I know, but guys like this really make it difficult for me to be interested in American politics:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHzhtARf8M

Bill O'Reilly is an incredibly well-educated man. He has a Masters degree, he's been a teacher, he's studied at Harvard. He clearly isn't stupid, and yet he articulates his arguments in such an asinine way. To an extent, he is a troll. I think he has complete belief in his points of view, but he expresses himself like an irrational child and yet he's one of the USA's most prominent media personalities. With his level of education there's no way he couldn't put forward an extremely well-put argument.

The guy is incredibly dangerous. He knows the easiest way to incite an irrational reaction from people and he continually exploits it. He *chooses* to be a hysterical, belligerent, fear-mongerer, and yet The O'Reilly Factor is one of America's most-watched shows! O'Reilly is an intelligent guy who's deliberately brash in order to influence opinion. I'm aware that this problem isn't unique to the USA, but it's certainly more prominent on those shores than over here.

Glenn Beck is much the same, except I'm convinced that he's just a complete dipshit:-

Have you watched Outfoxed?
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