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#1 Old 04-10-2006, 01:08 PM
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I know a lot of you here are American, so this question goes out to all you Americans (BTW, though I am from Belgium, I used to live in the US when I was a kid so it's not like I'm some stereotypical ultrabiased anti-American European).



Here goes: how the h*** did Bush end up elected President TWICE? I can understand the first time, I guess people didn't know him well enough and maybe some people felt Gore lacked charisma, but 2004, that really left pretty much everyone here in Europe absolutely dumbfounded: how can millions and millions of people from a non-third world country vote for a warmongering moron, after the Iraq fiasco and his numerous stupidities?



I'm sorry if this offends some of you (I guess you could be Republican and vegetarian at the same time), but this is the opinion of an overwhelming majority of Europeans, including my grandparents' generation who have always considered Americans as their liberators for their role in freeing Europe from Nazi Germany in the forties.



And it's not only Europe. America's reputation abroad is arguably at its lowest point ever. How could this ever happen? How could so many people vote for him? Even if you personally voted for Kerry, you must know a huge number of people who (re-)elected this guy. What were they thinking? Is there something we're missing? I remember America as a fantastic country full of sensible and perceptive people. Did it go wrong at one point? Is it just an aftermath of 9/11?



Thanks for enlightening me...
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#2 Old 04-10-2006, 01:15 PM
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I am Canadian, but have a lot of American friends. The ones who voted for Bush are dedicated republicans who felt any republican candidate was better than the democrat alternative. Most of them don't care for Bush, but still think he's better than Gore/Kerry.



And the more people bash Bush and insinuate that Americans are "stupid" for voting for him, the more my conservative friends dig in their heels in support of the current government. It's like anything else; the more someone tells you you're wrong, the more committed you become to proving you are right.
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#3 Old 04-10-2006, 01:26 PM
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like Medesha mentioned, many people vote according to party platforms and not based on the work of individual candidates.



to give you an insight into my own voting practices, i look to the impact of the particular office. while the presidency is a really important office, the lasting impact of it is actually in the judicial system. the president appoints appellate and supreme court justices, and these are the individuals who interpret the constitution and determine whether or not the workings of the legislature (the laws that they pass) are constitutional.



so, when i'm looking at a presidential candidate, i'm actually looking to his/her policy or ideologies in regards to the interpretation of the constitution. There are a variety of interprative stances that a justice can take--and i have my preferences. If i can determine, during the election campaign, which sorts of interpretations the candidate supports--or his/her party supports--then i'm more likely to vote for that candidate, particularly if there is the possibility of appointing a number of supreme court justices.



but, i often find that if i'm giong to vote one way toward the presidency, i don't necessarily want that in the legislature. I find that i like the legislature to be liberal, in general, as most liberal laws will be constitutional from the interpretive standpoint that i prefer. when voting for legislators, i vote according to individual platforms and i look for corruption and avoid that--even if it means voting 'off party' that i normally might (such as, if i voted democrat for pres, then i'll vote repub for legis; but if that legislator is corrupt, then i'll vote dem).



Similarly, since our presidencies don't last very long--4 years each term--they don't have a whole lot of lasting impact. i don't know if a different president would have avoided war (gore) or moved us out of iraq more quickly (kerry), but pardon my cynicism when i say that in most cases, it's easier to think along party and platform lines over longer-terms than it is to think about rich-boy individuals who are so intertwined with big business and politics that they'll never actually do what we want them to do anyway.



So, i look to the parties, to the platforms, and the long term implications of things. another example is economic policy. it takes a number of terms under a particular economic theory before something actually starts to work--which means we'd have to vote one party direction long enough to maintain an executive branch that could maintain a particular policy structure long enough (beyond 8 yrs) for certain things to take root. But, i'd likely vote against that party in legislature, where they make laws regarding these policies and what not--so that there would be natural arguments or disagreements within the government, meaning we'd actually get a functional medium or functional law.



so, yeah. it's more complex than "i voted for bush because i think he's really smart and had a great previous administration."
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#4 Old 04-10-2006, 01:40 PM
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Thanks a lot to both of you for your insight.



Zoebird, that was very interesting although I have to disagree about a US president's legacy being mostly in the judicial system. This might be true for internal affairs, but certainly in the case of America the president has a huge role to play in all international matters, including wars but also ecology, global economy via trade agreements and the like. All these things affect everyone in the world on a daily basis even long after the president is out of office. And eventually, the problems an administration causes abroad come back to hurt the country somewhere down the line.



In my view Bush has contributed massively to the rising sentiment of fear and to the further division of a world that urgently requires uniting.
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#5 Old 04-10-2006, 01:58 PM
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Euroguy - as an american I hate to break it to you - most of the stereotypes you hear about americans are true. Many americans do not care about other countries, or the environment (especially if it costs them money.) Not half as much as they care about what other people do with their bodies (abortion.) Hence, why Zoebird is right - I know a lot of people who hated Bush's policy on the war, but STILL voted for him again because they assumed... correctly... that he'd have the opportunity to appoint conservative supreme court judges, which could lead to an attempt to overturn Roe V. Wade (the american ruling which legalized abortion here.)



I apologize on behalf of my nation. I assure you there are a large number of americans who DO feel EXACTLY way that you do, and cannot believe that this has happened (seriously, many people on the east and west coasts were practically in mourning the day after that second fateful election.) I'd like to blame our poor education system, and our extremely biased media - but we tried our hardest to win and did not. We'll keep trying, I promise, and hopefully our next president can start to reverse some of the damage this one has done to our reputation abroad. Please be patient with us.
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#6 Old 04-10-2006, 02:07 PM
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This is what my mother told me on election day:



"Well Anne, in elections during war time people vote out of fear and confusion and in situations like this, sometimes the devil you know beats the devil you don't."
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#7 Old 04-10-2006, 02:08 PM
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Don't look at me! I didn't vote for him either time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

I assure you there are a large number of americans who DO feel EXACTLY way that you do, and cannot believe that this has happened (seriously, many people on the east and west coasts were practically in mourning the day after that second fateful election.)



-raises hand-
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#8 Old 04-10-2006, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euroguy View Post

Thanks a lot to both of you for your insight.



Zoebird, that was very interesting although I have to disagree about a US president's legacy being mostly in the judicial system. This might be true for internal affairs, but certainly in the case of America the president has a huge role to play in all international matters, including wars but also ecology, global economy via trade agreements and the like. All these things affect everyone in the world on a daily basis even long after the president is out of office. And eventually, the problems an administration causes abroad come back to hurt the country somewhere down the line.



The president can only endorse and veto legislation and trade agreements. Before you make statements, have your facts right. Thanks!
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#9 Old 04-10-2006, 02:12 PM
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The www.sorryeverybody website was a big comfort to the world after the election. It went more than just words. It was a real showing of the sadness that so many Americans felt when Bush won.



It was heartwarming. Really. So many people I know would log on there daily to get over the shock.



http://www.sorryeverybody.com
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#10 Old 04-10-2006, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

Euroguy - as an american I hate to break it to you - most of the stereotypes you hear about americans are true. Many americans do not care about other countries, or the environment (especially if it costs them money.) Not half as much as they care about what other people do with their bodies (abortion.)



And what stereotypes ar those? If they don't agree with you they must be uneducated and ignorant? Guess what, sunshine, I can turn that right back around on you.



Environment? Just because something is called an environmental policy doesn't mean that the policy is useful or needed. I know that is a tough concept for some tree huggers to grasp, but it's true.

Abortion? Yeah, they don't care about their own bodies. That's it. No other reason at all.



What a ****ing joke.



Quote:
I apologize on behalf of my nation.



You aren't apologizing for me, so hush.



Quote:
I assure you there are a large number of americans who DO feel EXACTLY way that you do, and cannot believe that this has happened (seriously, many people on the east and west coasts were practically in mourning the day after that second fateful election.)



Yeah, because how dare others be entitled to their views.



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I'd like to blame our poor education system



^^^A truly ignorant remark.



You want to know why the panty-bunchers on the left can't win an election? Just read your own post again.

Give me a better alternative than Bush, and I'll agree that it shouldn't be hard, and I'll vote for him/her/it. But you better be able to accept that many of us don't share all of your values, and if you want us to support your side, you better at least respect ours.
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#11 Old 04-10-2006, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tame View Post

And what stereotypes ar those? If they don't agree with you they must be uneducated and ignorant? Guess what, sunshine, I can turn that right back around on you.



Environment? Just because something is called an environmental policy doesn't mean that the policy is useful or needed. I know that is a tough concept for some tree huggers to grasp, but it's true.

Abortion? Yeah, they don't care about their own bodies. That's it. No other reason at all.



What a ****ing joke.







You aren't apologizing for me, so hush.







Yeah, because how dare others be entitled to their views.







^^^A truly ignorant remark.



You want to know why the panty-bunchers on the left can't win an election? Just read your own post again.

Give me a better alternative than Bush, and I'll agree that it shouldn't be hard, and I'll vote for him/her/it. But you better be able to accept that many of us don't share all of your values, and if you want us to support your side, you better at least respect ours.





Wow.



I'd just like to add on to the last thing you said - both candidates were horrible choices. Period. That would have been my reason for not voting in the election at all (I was too young).
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#12 Old 04-10-2006, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

It was a real showing of the sadness that so many Americans felt when Bush won.



This is how I felt when Clinton won the first time. For a while, I was in utter shock.
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#13 Old 04-10-2006, 02:58 PM
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So, that's the answer why Americans voted for Bush??
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#14 Old 04-10-2006, 03:03 PM
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Two thumbs up for Tame.
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#15 Old 04-10-2006, 04:44 PM
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Conservatism has become more popular in recent years, probably as a backlash to the democrats' shortcomings (this coming from a liberal), and also out of fear (fear of invasion, fear of declining morality, etc.). The religious right has also become quite politically powerful in this country in recent years. Remember though that only about half of American voters (and that's only a fraction of Americans) voted for Bush, and currently his approval ratings are at an all-time low.
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#16 Old 04-10-2006, 04:55 PM
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hey tame, i'll show you a candidate better than bush. how about anyone who wouldn't raise the national deficit (sp?) by at least 3 trillion dollars? at least during the clinton years, the budget was on its way to being balanced.



kerry may not have been charismatic but i can almost say with certainty that he would not have made the national deficit what it is now. before you ask, no i have no sources on that.
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#17 Old 04-10-2006, 05:25 PM
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Most everyone I know didn't vote for him. The only ones that did were an acquaintance who did because she thought he was better looking than Kerry (yes, they really let people with that mentality vote) and my ultra-conservative brother and SIL, whose main reasons were the abortion and gay marriage issues.
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#18 Old 04-10-2006, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inie View Post

So, that's the answer why Americans voted for Bush??



Was this for me?



I didn't claim to be answering the original post. Hence quoting what and whom I was answering.
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#19 Old 04-10-2006, 05:47 PM
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Why Bush? Why is he president?

Because we decided our greed is more important than the environment.

Because we decided it's more important for us to drive huge gas guzzling machines than it is for animals to have a clean, safe place to live.

Because we want to step on the poor and weak so we could flex our muscles.

Because we want to be the world police.

Because hunting is fun and its even more fun to kill humans in other countries especially the ones that have oil.

Because we decided civil and human rights are over rated and we don't need them.

Because we thought it would be fun to have a dictator for president.

Because we are americans, we are greedy and selfish, and we are ignorant.





I didn't vote for him and I only know of three people who did. One said it was because bush claimed to be christian and the other two did it because of the reasons above.

He didn't win the first time and I just can't believe he won the second time, at least not honestly. I can't believe there really are that many people in this country ignorant enough to actually vote for him. I was positive he would not win the second time and I told everyone I would leave the country if he did. Boy was I shocked when he did. Now even if I did want to leave the country I'm afraid to because we are hated so much around the world thanks to him.

bush =

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#20 Old 04-10-2006, 06:23 PM
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#21 Old 04-10-2006, 07:02 PM
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Can't help you.

I didn't vote for him, either time. I don't know anyone who voted for him, either time. Even my staunchly conservative husband didn't vote for him, either time. Frankly, I think he rigged both elections. He has the IQ of your common fruit fly and anyone watching the debates could easily see that.

I do think, though, that the democrats could've done SOO much better than Kerry. It's like they were trying to lose the election.

Wasn't Tony Blair voted back in over in England though? He was Bushs' little lap dog through most of this mess. I think accomplice in this mess is just as bad honestly.

I'm a blue state. Although I saw a few bumper stickers and signs I never actually met anyone who voted for him. Even my military pals and coworkers either voted democrat or not at all (and that's really sad imo).

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#22 Old 04-10-2006, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Euroguy View Post

Zoebird, that was very interesting although I have to disagree about a US president's legacy being mostly in the judicial system. This might be true for internal affairs, but certainly in the case of America the president has a huge role to play in all international matters, including wars but also ecology, global economy via trade agreements and the like. All these things affect everyone in the world on a daily basis even long after the president is out of office. And eventually, the problems an administration causes abroad come back to hurt the country somewhere down the line.



actually, the presidency doesn't have a lot to do with this either. a large part of treaty agreements have to go through the legislature first, approval there is critical. And in some instances, even though a president can act--on controversial issues--he still may not. For example, the kyoto protocol was 'ready to go' as far as the legislature, etc, went, and Clinton could have signed it before leaving office--but didn't because he didn't want to be politically accountable, particularly with the new republican administration taking over.



also, the larger part of that influence again comes from the office of the secretary of state--while under the auspices of the presidency, like economic policy, it's really a matter of long-term philosophical/political concepts that are at play, and not the individual work of a person over 8 years. In a few more years, there will be a new president: and if the party is the same, then the policy will be similar or identical; if the party is different, then the policy will be different. So it's not the president himself that impacts, but rather the political party and it's platforms or ideologies at work.



Quote:
In my view Bush has contributed massively to the rising sentiment of fear and to the further division of a world that urgently requires uniting.



in my view, bush is simply the figurehead for a political ideology that comes through a particular party platform. there's also corruption involved. his family's fortune is in oil, directly linked to whatever the situation is in the middle east. our VP's companies are making a great deal of money off the war effort and in the rebuilding effort. And, there are others.



but ultimately, i still see it as a party issue, not an individual presidency issue. Any republican president--regardless of name or business connections--would likely be 'causing these problems' and any democratic president would be 'causing other problems.'
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#23 Old 04-10-2006, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by whisper View Post

Why Bush? Why is he president?

Because we decided our greed is more important than the environment.

Because we decided it's more important for us to drive huge gas guzzling machines than it is for animals to have a clean, safe place to live.

Because we want to step on the poor and weak so we could flex our muscles.

Because we want to be the world police.

Because hunting is fun and its even more fun to kill humans in other countries especially the ones that have oil.

Because we decided civil and human rights are over rated and we don't need them.

Because we thought it would be fun to have a dictator for president.

Because we are americans, we are greedy and selfish, and we are ignorant.



Get back to me when you finish middle school. Or should I say "if".





Quote:
He didn't win the first time



Yes, yes he did.



Quote:
and I just can't believe he won the second time, at least not honestly. I can't believe there really are that many people in this country ignorant enough to actually vote for him.



I can't believe there are people ignorant enough to say such things and actually believe they are right. I also can't believe that FX cancelled "Lucky" after one season.



Quote:

I was positive he would not win the second time and I told everyone I would leave the country if he did. Boy was I shocked when he did. Now even if I did want to leave the country I'm afraid to because we are hated so much around the world thanks to him.



Well there ya go. Bush shouldn't have won because you said so.
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#24 Old 04-10-2006, 09:53 PM
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Evidently, Bush won the election twice because the majority of American voters supported him. What a novel concept!



I have a related question, though. Why do a handful of liberals, blinded by their hate over "everything Bush!!1", keep making sweeping generalizations that all conservatives are greedy, uncaring, uneducated, Bible-thumping jerks? I know it's a hard concept for some of you to understand, but those conservatives may possibly be honest people who simply like the world the way it is (hence, "conservative!") and keeping their lives morally sound, or protecting our nation, or whatever. I'm almost certain that this is the same group of liberals that has a fit when they get called pansy little tree-huggers, but, you know, I guess that generalizations are sometimes wrong.
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#25 Old 04-10-2006, 10:08 PM
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Meo -- totally agree with you. There are so many accusations and generalizations on both sides. I get totally disenheartened when my liberal friends bash my conservative friends. Especially over my conservative friends' "lack of tolerance"!!!!
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#26 Old 04-10-2006, 10:17 PM
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The democrats slogan was "anybody but bush" and that is exactly what they settled for. Personally I am not a democrat though, so I can't really speak for them.



The real reason Bush won, is because there are lots of people in the US that like his (or at least many of his) policies. This includes people who are religious, anti-choice, fiscally conservative, etc. On top of that citizens get scared into the two party idea and some times out of fear they automatically vote for one side or the other without agreeing with it. You see this on both sides. Some of the greens voted for Kerry and some of the Libertarians voted for Bush.



My voting system did not allow me to say that I pefer person A, but should person A not win I prefer person B over person C.
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#27 Old 04-10-2006, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
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Evidently, Bush won the election twice because the majority of American voters supported him. What a novel concept!



Technically a majority of voters did not vote for him in 2000, but a majority of the electoral vote did.
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#28 Old 04-10-2006, 10:23 PM
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Tame, you beat me to it again.
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#29 Old 04-10-2006, 11:58 PM
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Why Bush?



IMO because humans are short-sighted and selfish, basically.

"Hey, he'll lower my taxes, that's good enough for me."
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#30 Old 04-11-2006, 12:26 AM
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I'm not basing my opinion on stereotypes, I'm basing it on the people I know who voted for him. They love that we are attacking Iraq and killing Iraqis. They think we should police the world. The environment is there for us to take what we want from it. They think there shouldn't be places we can't drill for oil, etc. They think gays and immigrants (legal or illegal) should not have rights and that the patriot act is wonderful. I do only know three people to base my opinion on but all three think this way. I know not everyone is like this but I believe it is a big majority who are.

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