Sorry for posting a thread that isn't related to atheism but I have a burning desire to understand what is going on out there, in America. ( I'm from Europe )

I heard that there are 2 parties. Republican and Democrats, if I remember correctly. Everyone is crazy about their politics. I, personally, am from Romania and we have a corrupt, lazy and flawed government and I can't seem to comprehend this civic responsibility, since I hate my countries politics. 

I heard you guys are pretty responsible and aware about your situation. I would like to get more details on the possible parties, choices, methods and please explain to me like you're explaining to a kid, because I have little or no experience on what being a citizen means. ( by the way, Romania is now on strike, but I don't think we can overturn the government ).

In Romania, a high number of adults are pretty aware and angry at the political system, mostly on the incompetence of the politicians. More or less, the whole system is a play. Nothing gets done, even though it's aggressively present in the media. Most of the politicians are corrupt. And, because of our countries brain-drain phenomena that we are experiencing, all that is left are the unqualified and uncaring workers, thus leading to a faulty economy that is focused on consumerism ( with little or superficial production ).

I would like to know the mechanics of politics, the available choices and the consequences of civic action, mostly in America. 

Thank you!

Tags: America, citizen, civics, democrats, government, political, politics, republican

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Hi loop johnny,
I can't believe I am on the only one who has anwered your questions. In fact, I don't know that I'll have the answers you wanted or were expecting. There are so many more people on TA who are so much more educated and articulate than I am, but I'll give it a shot.

There are two parties (Demorat and Republican) and many have tried over the years to institute a third, whether it was the Green, Libertarian, Communist, Independent, etc. It just never has worked out, and we've never truly had more than two.

My opinion is that there are some serious differences between the two parties. Let me just say that I have always voted as a Democrat and have never known of anyone from a different party that I could truly support when it comes to my vote. Anyway, the Democrats haven't always been the "good guys". One of the most famous Republicans, Abraham Lincoln, instituted policies that would eventually lead to the freedom of black folk from actual "slavery" in our country. That is not to say that our black folk have not suffered immeasurably since that great president's proclamation. Regardless of the fact that we've had one good Republican president that we all speak about favorably, at this point in our country's history, the Democrats are considered the party "of the people". The Republicans are the party that sticks up for big business and the hard charging xtian "right" in our country. Republicans want businesses to be able to move between countries and economies, freely, with no regulations or restrictions. They don't want people above a certain income level to have to pay their fair share of taxes, and their representatives push hard for loop holes in our laws to make that happen.

That is not to say Democrats don't have their own ideas of how our government money should be spent. I believe they want it spent socially, rather than giving rebates and tax breaks and subsidies to big businesses that don't need them. They would rather use tax revenue to enhance social programs.

My theory is that the more time people have, the more they get involved in politics in this country, which sometimes means the older they get. I have found that to be true for myself at least. The older I get and the more time I have, the more involved I am.

Even though some people believe that their vote does not count, I have always voted. I know it counts, at the very least, in the local election. For example, I live in Texas, after George Bush destroyed our state, he went on to become the president who destroyed our reputation and much of the faith in government our country sees today. Our next governor, Rick Perry, has been governor since Bush left in 2000. My vote, as a Texan, counts exactly as that one Texan who does not want Rick Perry to be governor here any more. My neighbor's vote counts as that one who does want to keep that imbecile as governor. Hopefully, I have more neighbors and folks in other parts of the state who also want Rick Perry out of office, and will vote for Bill White, the Democrat candidate. When it comes to our presidential elections, it's not so simple as one person, one vote, be we are all still as vehement about our candidates and opposition (and someone else would be better suited to explain our electoral college and presidential elections). Like I said though, a lot of politics in the U.S. has to do with the time on peoples' hands and their age. As you may or may not know, just living can be time consuming in any country.

I know this barely scratches the surface, but maybe we'll get some more of these smart atheists to talk politics! :)
Here's a link that I find quite useful when I need a reminder about US government it's pretty simply worded.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/usconstitution/a/govt101.htm
This is an excellent link. I've bookmarked it, thanks!'
Becky

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