Social and Political NOTES, January 2014

  • National Review post called “Dear Hysterical Liberals: Hectoring Hurts Science” says this: “But conservatives (including Christian conservatives) aren’t anti-science as much as they’re anti-hectoring and unpersuaded by naked appeals to authority delivered with maximum condescension.”  No joke.  Early in college, my religious and political beliefs developed largely for the same reasons: because I saw solid, irrefutable results in one way of thought and not in the opposite way, and because the advocates of those opposite views typically relied more on belittling the character of others than on engaging in serious argument.  I noticed that anti-Mormons (and anti-Christians in general) as well as secular leftists tended to ridicule others rather than refute their points, or even support their own.  I saw so much bandwagon elitism from those allied corners that it just added a deep layer of comfortable relief to the more objective conclusions I had otherwise reached about politics and religion.
  • If aliens from another planet came and observed America, they would determine that the purpose of our public school system is to make girls and minorities feel good about themselves.  After all, where does the balance of our energy and resources go?  What are our most sacred values there?  What agendas permeate the system top to bottom more than any other?  Based on the evidence, what else could those extraterrestrial visitors possibly conclude?   Continue reading

Five Election Truths

Yes, about 90% of Mormons will vote for Mitt Romney.  About 90% of Mormons always vote for a Republican.

Yes, about 90% of blacks will vote for Barack Obama.  About 90% of blacks always vote for a Democrat.

Stop complaining about negative attack ads.  If we didn’t actually respond to them, then campaigns would stop making them.  Blame the voters, not the candidates.

Stop complaining that everybody’s talking about the election.  Huge decisions about the future of our jobs, military, and health care, among other things, hinge on who wins.  I think we can put our favorite sitcoms on the backburner for one more week for that.

Too much political talk on Facebook?  See above.  You have three options: drop all of your friends, don’t check Facebook for a while, or realize that living in a free democracy means being surrounded by citizen debate which you may not like or be interested in.  Deal with it.

Recall Nonsense

In Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, there are currently efforts at work to recall at least two recently elected officials.  It seems that as soon as anybody is put in office these days, someone wants to kick them out. 

As soon as any president steps into the White House now, somebody starts talking about impeachment.  No doubt there are people already planning to impeach whoever wins in 2012 and 2016.

This is ridiculous.  Recalls and impeachment were not meant to be political tools to use against those with whom you disagree.  People are trying to use nuclear options where a slap on the wrist is called for, or merely as a weapon in the arsenal of poor sports.  In general, I don’t agree with President Obama’s policies, but I would never agree to an attempt to kick him out of office because of that.  Good grief. 

Note to the recall-happy out there: That person you don’t like won a fair election.  You can complain and be involved in the public process all you want, but trying to trump up a scandal and yank every politician out of office is little more than pitching a tantrum, and not far from cheating.  It subverts the democratic system.  You want a politician out of office?  You got it.  It’s called another election, and it comes at the end of the term that a majority of voters decided to let them have.   Deal with it.

North Las Vegas Election Non-Endorsements

So North Las Vegas has an election on Tuesday and I have no deep feelings about it.  In the two North Las Vegas campaigns, I like both candidates in one race, and in the other, I don’t really like either one.

In the ward 4 city council race, incumbent Richard Cherchio, who was nominated two years ago to fill a vacated spot, defends his seat from Wade Wagner. 

Continue reading

How Do You Choose For Whom To Vote?

With the election now over, I’m still thinking about something that has long fascinated and confused me: how exactly do we decide which people we support?  In my own experience, I’ve chosen people based on party affiliation, ideological similarity, and various kinds of advertising.  Still, I’m curious what people in general care about.  I don’t know that there is any research out there about this; at least, none of which I’m aware. 

So, here’s a start.  You can choose up to two options: what are the most significant factors that influence you in choosing which candidates will get your votes?