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Thread: Top Five - most stupid politcal concepts.

  1. #49
    Volcanic Erupter
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    Quote Quote by: Ken Carman View Post
    Your list...

    1. It may seem odd coming from me, but I think there was a slim possibility, very slim, we might have won... if we had gone in and involved the populace much more so in rebuilding their country, running their country, and stopped being the typical blind Americans who pay little attention to the culture and history. Oh, and can the contractors. This is their country, or should be. Instead we did pretty much the opposite. Kind of makes you wonder if the intent was to created a bottomless pit that would keep us there forever... and an endless supply of patriotic themes for the party who started the whole thing that they can use to beat anyone over the head who has a different idea.

    Nah, couldn't be... could it?

    2. Whose American dream? Mostly myth with little truth. Self reliance? The greatest generation who pushed this theme on us kids received tons of help from the gov. Come here and make something of yourself while passing hte Statue of Liberty? Ellis Island and the way we viewed the Irish, the Germans, slaves... walls...

    "The dream," in reality, is a goal and there are many. I even count Native Americans who are "no good drunks" and "lazy bums:" unless they attempt to make something of themselves by building casinos and selling gas cheap then the same loudmouths calling them those names just get pissed off at that.

    3. That's one of my top five. We're using the wrong tactics. Legalization may or may not be the answer, but illegalization sure as hell hasn't worked... except to provide jobs and contracts for doing something that really doesn't work.

    4. Here I disagree with you. It has happened, just so damn infrequently it's incredible. I believe the space program, at first, was a good example. Now I'm sure we will disagree on specifics, probably that example I just mentioned, but I'm sure there are others in the past you might agree with. The problem is that we have been so long into Newt's revolution and the current sense of overblown partisanship that we know nothing else. I don't mean to blame Newt specifically, but I do believe when "compromise" became a curse word he was partially responsible for that, and it has done more harm to out nation than damn near anything in the past 100 years. Can't spread Democracy, it has to grow on it's own. We've never quite gotten that, mostly because of some military types who think the point of a gun is the solution, and those on the left who are isolationists at heart.

    My list.

    1. "War" on drugs, or in the broader sense that any "war," metaphorical or not, is a solution. At best it can only hold back what we battle on a temp basis. Fascism didn't die after WWII, and is always ready to rise again. I'm not even sure "Nazi" is out in the long run. We need a better way to solve our problems as a species than legalized murder, or thinking doing battle, rather than using reason and learning HOW to reason... offering just one alternative.

    2. Mixing religion and politics. One should use the last, whatever they believe, to decide how they'll vote, but when every pol has to pander to Christians, even the religious Conservative, and an admitted Agnostic usually hasn't a chance in hell to get on a ballot, not to mention in an election, there's a problem. I fear if we were faced with a Kennedy question these days he wouldn't have a chance in hell.

    3. Spreading Democracy at the point of a gun, the drop of a bomb, or at the end of a noose.

    4. Two party system. We need run off voting. We don't need instant results which is a concept that begs for corruption and vote theft. I include electronic voting: the best way to steal an election with the largest amount of graft and make sure it can't be traced... ever.

    5. The fact we can't talk, debate, participate in the national discourse anymore without it being personal, insulting, abusive and childish.

    I also include in my list the tendency to tell others who they can and cannot love, in most but not all cases. If someone is of age: sound mind, wants to love someone of the same sex: their business.

    I'm in no way wedded to the order I put them in. I think they may all be equally bad.
    I would agree that your comments about my (first) top 5 are reasonable enough. Although in Iraq we could have shifted to mission of mercy and got the Iraqi people busy to maintain their economy in the manner they were used too. It was miss-managed at an important point once Saddam was captured. We liberated them from Saddam but not from the distruction and poverty that likewise haunted their recovery. But even the capture of Saddam was not a "win" because the claimed objective was to locate and get rid of this nuclear and bio WMDs which did not exsist as the U.N. was about to discover anyway in a more peaceful manner.

    I agree with your top 5 listing.

    I also agree that the American Dream is for forieners who come here for that motive. It should not be for people born here as we should be living it. But somehow we have been isolated by events from our own "perks" for being born in the USA causing many to feel like the forieners of our own county which we have intrusted the government to manage for us.

    The big American Dream was always for a few individuals who made it happen for their self, not for everyone. But the rest of us at least would like get a good nights sleep without nightmares about the high cost of living. A smaller dream but one that should be within easy grasp.

  2. #50
    Demosthenes oades11's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Ken Carman View Post
    Your list...

    1. It may seem odd coming from me, but I think there was a slim possibility, very slim, we might have won... if we had gone in and involved the populace much more so in rebuilding their country, running their country, and stopped being the typical blind Americans who pay little attention to the culture and history. Oh, and can the contractors. This is their country, or should be. Instead we did pretty much the opposite. Kind of makes you wonder if the intent was to created a bottomless pit that would keep us there forever... and an endless supply of patriotic themes for the party who started the whole thing that they can use to beat anyone over the head who has a different idea.

    Nah, couldn't be... could it?

    2. Whose American dream? Mostly myth with little truth. Self reliance? The greatest generation who pushed this theme on us kids received tons of help from the gov. Come here and make something of yourself while passing hte Statue of Liberty? Ellis Island and the way we viewed the Irish, the Germans, slaves... walls...

    "The dream," in reality, is a goal and there are many. I even count Native Americans who are "no good drunks" and "lazy bums:" unless they attempt to make something of themselves by building casinos and selling gas cheap then the same loudmouths calling them those names just get pissed off at that.

    3. That's one of my top five. We're using the wrong tactics. Legalization may or may not be the answer, but illegalization sure as hell hasn't worked... except to provide jobs and contracts for doing something that really doesn't work.

    4. Here I disagree with you. It has happened, just so damn infrequently it's incredible. I believe the space program, at first, was a good example. Now I'm sure we will disagree on specifics, probably that example I just mentioned, but I'm sure there are others in the past you might agree with. The problem is that we have been so long into Newt's revolution and the current sense of overblown partisanship that we know nothing else. I don't mean to blame Newt specifically, but I do believe when "compromise" became a curse word he was partially responsible for that, and it has done more harm to out nation than damn near anything in the past 100 years. Can't spread Democracy, it has to grow on it's own. We've never quite gotten that, mostly because of some military types who think the point of a gun is the solution, and those on the left who are isolationists at heart.

    My list.

    1. "War" on drugs, or in the broader sense that any "war," metaphorical or not, is a solution. At best it can only hold back what we battle on a temp basis. Fascism didn't die after WWII, and is always ready to rise again. I'm not even sure "Nazi" is out in the long run. We need a better way to solve our problems as a species than legalized murder, or thinking doing battle, rather than using reason and learning HOW to reason... offering just one alternative.

    2. Mixing religion and politics. One should use the last, whatever they believe, to decide how they'll vote, but when every pol has to pander to Christians, even the religious Conservative, and an admitted Agnostic usually hasn't a chance in hell to get on a ballot, not to mention in an election, there's a problem. I fear if we were faced with a Kennedy question these days he wouldn't have a chance in hell.

    3. Spreading Democracy at the point of a gun, the drop of a bomb, or at the end of a noose.

    4. Two party system. We need run off voting. We don't need instant results which is a concept that begs for corruption and vote theft. I include electronic voting: the best way to steal an election with the largest amount of graft and make sure it can't be traced... ever.

    5. The fact we can't talk, debate, participate in the national discourse anymore without it being personal, insulting, abusive and childish.

    I also include in my list the tendency to tell others who they can and cannot love, in most but not all cases. If someone is of age: sound mind, wants to love someone of the same sex: their business.

    I'm in no way wedded to the order I put them in. I think they may all be equally bad.
    I like your list, and agree on basically everything you said. As for #1, however, war may be unavoidable at times (though that doesn't make it acceptable by any means). Ideally, advocating pacifism is great. But when so many different groups have their own interests at stake, it's hard to argue what's rational. From the perspective of countless US citizens, corporations, and politicians, doing what is in your own self interests IS rational. However, no one said anything about it being moral. This country is so philosophically ignorant as a whole I doubt morality factors into most political decisions. From a realists' perspective, the international system is just a careful balance of power, and right now it's a unipolar system with the United States sitting in the throne. Neoconservatives, allied with Big Business, have so much invested in that perpetual idea (ever since the end of the Cold War), that deciding anything on the basis of liberalism is out of the question.
    Your opinions on Iraq were very aligned with mine. Private contractors messed it all up, and were extremely counterproductive. It was like we wanted to be there forever, so we could fill the pockets of these pawns of Big Business- and also to fill the pockets of the Fed, since a prolonged war means even greater borrowing, and in turn, greater national debt and greater interest payments. If we had gone in with a full-scale Iraqi and Middle-Eastern PR campaign and actually sent, not just soldiers who didn't speak their language or know anything about the place, but dedicated cultural experts to start a grassroots movement that would counteract any insurgency, we really MIGHT have won. But I'm not sure that option is really still available to us. It's probably too late, especially seeing as how neither potential Presidential candidate will do those things. Barack is going to get us out of there, which I think, is what the majority of our citizen's want, and McCain is going to continue Bush's Big Business agenda.

    I wish more people believed like you and me. Number 2 on your list is very well put, and it's a pity that this country has to be so vehemently religious. So much so, that they're blinded to every other issue.

    As for #3, you're totally right again. Any kind of use of coersion or force is completely antithetical to the very nature of a democracy. We've got to appeal to the hearts and minds of the people we want to see things our way, and lead by example. Currently, the example we're setting is pretty pathetic, especially when you consider that our electronic voting system (or point #4 for you), is probably completely rigged. Diebold Corporation is almost undoubtedly scamming the American public, usurping our very democracy right out from under the noses of the people, and entirely destroying the fundamental basis for a so-called Democratic system. (I assume you've read Bev Harris' stuff, and seen the movie Hacking Democracy? Extremely scary stuff.) Run-off voting is a great idea, but we don't necessarily need to get rid of our two primary parties. Just slightly revise them. If we focused on revamping our educational system in this country maybe the average American wouldn't be so clueless, not to mention apathetic, about politics.

    #5 This kind of relates to the gross anti-intellectual, entertainment-saturated environment of this whole country. ANd I think educational reform and a FAR greater media focus on education could really help here.

    Overall, your opinions are so very close to mine, I could almost see what you said coming straight from my mouth- well, fingertips in this case.

  3. #51
    Just plain WEIRD Ken Carman's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: oades11 View Post
    I like your list, and agree on basically everything you said. As for #1, however, war may be unavoidable at times (though that doesn't make it acceptable by any means). Ideally, advocating pacifism is great. But when so many different groups have their own interests at stake, it's hard to argue what's rational. From the perspective of countless US citizens, corporations, and politicians, doing what is in your own self interests IS rational. However, no one said anything about it being moral. This country is so philosophically ignorant as a whole I doubt morality factors into most political decisions. From a realists' perspective, the international system is just a careful balance of power, and right now it's a unipolar system with the United States sitting in the throne. Neoconservatives, allied with Big Business, have so much invested in that perpetual idea (ever since the end of the Cold War), that deciding anything on the basis of liberalism is out of the question.
    Your opinions on Iraq were very aligned with mine. Private contractors messed it all up, and were extremely counterproductive. It was like we wanted to be there forever, so we could fill the pockets of these pawns of Big Business- and also to fill the pockets of the Fed, since a prolonged war means even greater borrowing, and in turn, greater national debt and greater interest payments. If we had gone in with a full-scale Iraqi and Middle-Eastern PR campaign and actually sent, not just soldiers who didn't speak their language or know anything about the place, but dedicated cultural experts to start a grassroots movement that would counteract any insurgency, we really MIGHT have won. But I'm not sure that option is really still available to us. It's probably too late, especially seeing as how neither potential Presidential candidate will do those things. Barack is going to get us out of there, which I think, is what the majority of our citizen's want, and McCain is going to continue Bush's Big Business agenda.

    I wish more people believed like you and me. Number 2 on your list is very well put, and it's a pity that this country has to be so vehemently religious. So much so, that they're blinded to every other issue.

    As for #3, you're totally right again. Any kind of use of coersion or force is completely antithetical to the very nature of a democracy. We've got to appeal to the hearts and minds of the people we want to see things our way, and lead by example. Currently, the example we're setting is pretty pathetic, especially when you consider that our electronic voting system (or point #4 for you), is probably completely rigged. Diebold Corporation is almost undoubtedly scamming the American public, usurping our very democracy right out from under the noses of the people, and entirely destroying the fundamental basis for a so-called Democratic system. (I assume you've read Bev Harris' stuff, and seen the movie Hacking Democracy? Extremely scary stuff.) Run-off voting is a great idea, but we don't necessarily need to get rid of our two primary parties. Just slightly revise them. If we focused on revamping our educational system in this country maybe the average American wouldn't be so clueless, not to mention apathetic, about politics.

    #5 This kind of relates to the gross anti-intellectual, entertainment-saturated environment of this whole country. ANd I think educational reform and a FAR greater media focus on education could really help here.

    Overall, your opinions are so very close to mine, I could almost see what you said coming straight from my mouth- well, fingertips in this case.
    I would agree "unavoidable," though when it comes to making war... no. As a method of self defense when actually attacked it is what we must do sometimes... probably most of the times. But provoking war generally backfires and makes you the villain: even if the intent really was good. Of course all countries claim "good," but that's usually BS when they provoke war. As with anything I would never say never, but this one's damn close to "never."

    "From the perspective of countless US citizens, corporations, and politicians, doing what is in your own self interests IS rational."
    True, for the most part, but the problem is when such "rationality" is shallow: without at least attempting to get out of the box created by your own attempt at rationality and see it from the perspective of others. Some might claim this would be loser-based reasoning, I say if you don't you will be the loser. Kind of like chess. If you ignore your opposition's POV you do so at your own peril.

    "...we really MIGHT have won. But I'm not sure that option is really still available to us."
    Agreed.

    I have read Bev's site and am familiar, but haven't read that specific book. I did read Mark Crispin Miller's first book on the topic. I also am part of a group called the Gathering here in Nashville... (I hate the cult like name: not my choice.) ...that has held seminars on the topic run by Bernie Ellis, This is their issue and I jumped onboard immediately when the organization was formed. But I have found the group a bit to clique-like. I have to pull and tug just to get updated. This is something we can't afford. In the 60s all the different factions worked together on Nam. We need to get back there in that sense. (Oddly enough I was on the other side back then, proving you don't become more Conservative as you age: you just, hopefully, change.)
    Ken's weekly column...

    Inspection.

    (Note: link may list other posts.)

  4. #52
    Just plain WEIRD Ken Carman's Avatar
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    "The big American Dream was always for a few individuals who made it happen for their self, not for everyone. But the rest of us at least would like get a good nights sleep without nightmares about the high cost of living. A smaller dream but one that should be within easy grasp."
    Great phrasing!
    Ken's weekly column...

    Inspection.

    (Note: link may list other posts.)

  5. #53
    Please be gentle Taco's Avatar
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    I must say I haven't seen Americans like oades11 or Ken Carman before.
    A lot of Australians share identical views, which is strange given how similar culturally the two countries are.

    Australia is almost like a little America. As oades11 stated, there is so much anti-intellectualism and just utter bull in the entertainment-centred media here as well. Our 'problems' aren't as bad as they are in the US: The cost of living is fairly high although most people earn good salaries and there is a lot of opportunity as labour is valued a lot here (in my experience).

    For example, I always thought the military in America was a low paid minimum wage job you did if you were desperate and had no skills. Am I right? No offence. In Australia you can earn a good wage in the military. An Australian Private earns slightly more than an American Captain. There is a recruiting crisis in Australia with the military at the moment, even with very good pay (relatively speaking). If i joined the Army as a rifleman I would be making roughly $50,000 AUD per year as an eighteen year old, almost twice the average pay for a civilian in an unskilled type position. I'm not sure what it is like in the U.S but I heave heard a lot of bad news.

    There are a lot of government initiatives in Australia to help give people training, there is welfare and a good (but not perfect) health care system.

    What is it like in the contemporary U.S in terms of opportunity? Sorry if this is a bit off-topic I'm just interested.

  6. #54
    Resigned Matt W's Avatar
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    Taco, let's stay on-topic, please.

    [do not respond]
    I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.

    -George Best, on being asked what he did with his footballing fortunes.

  7. #55
    one voice
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    5 for the UK.

    1, poll tax
    2, fortnightly bin collections
    3, 10p tax abolition
    4, joining Europe
    5, my all time favourite was when peter bottomley was trying to strap us motorcyclists to our bikes! way to go peter! just like your missus!

  8. #56
    Volcanic Erupter
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    Top 5 ( 3rd of 15 )

    1. Every vote counts.

    2. As this state (insert name) goes, so goes the nation.

    3. Departing Iraq would mean that we lost the war on terrorism.

    4. The generals in the field should tell the Commander and Chief when to end the war in Iraq.

    5. In God we trust.

  9. #57
    Demosthenes oades11's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Ken Carman View Post
    I would agree "unavoidable," though when it comes to making war... no. As a method of self defense when actually attacked it is what we must do sometimes... probably most of the times. But provoking war generally backfires and makes you the villain: even if the intent really was good. Of course all countries claim "good," but that's usually BS when they provoke war. As with anything I would never say never, but this one's damn close to "never."
    I agree with you, but I think breaking this down into finer terms is necessary. How exactly would you define "provoking war"? We could economically strangle an enemy, say, by boycotting and sanctioning a trade embargo, but is that provoking war? What about if such boycotting is starving some of the country's citizens/inhabitants or depriving them of essential resources? We could even covertly sabatoge a country and probably keep it pretty quiet- if anything surfaced in the corporate/government controlled mainstream media, it would instantly be called propaganda.
    Some of our military forces may kill or detain the citizens or inhabitants of a foreign country, perhaps even unintentionally- is that provoking war? In a lot of cases, whether something was intentional or not is unknown, particularly so in these types of cases because the information is intentionally obfuscated on both sides for political and/or possibly strategic/military reasons. That's where the lines blur significantly here. The government can claim that almost any information regarding international relations or international activity (especially those issues which would merit 'provoking a war') is a national security issue- and since they're the only ones privy to the information, they can just boldface lie to the public. And we're supposed to trust them, because if we don't then there's public unrest and uneasiness (at least for the people who actually care). And this unrest undermines our democratic effectiveness and any possible post-partisan cohesion. And obviously, the government can't afford to disclose issues that *may* be a national security issue simply for the sake of our collective security.

    In international relations, there are two primary views: realism, and liberalism (though there are others, these are most well known). The realist sees everything in terms of economic and militaristic power, with the international balance of power and the degrees of leverage based on this power being of the utmost concern. Conflict, based on this balance of power among international 'states', is what defines and characterizes a realists view. Liberalism takes other things into account, claiming that the international community is characterized primarily by economic interdependence and the theory of 'democratic peace', that democracies don't wage war on one another. Our country seems to favor the realist's view the most.

    True, for the most part, but the problem is when such "rationality" is shallow: without at least attempting to get out of the box created by your own attempt at rationality and see it from the perspective of others. Some might claim this would be loser-based reasoning, I say if you don't you will be the loser. Kind of like chess. If you ignore your opposition's POV you do so at your own peril.
    I really like that analogy, especially as a big chess fan. However, when it comes to defining selfish behavior, and you know that you've got to look at the bigger picture- that you MUST sacrifice pawns and other pieces in order to win- who draws the line on when it's okay to send your pawns to die? ANd for what cause (especially when the cause is deliberately witheld from those pawns that volunteer their own sacrifice, analogous to those who sign up to fight in the military)? For example, if the people who originally volunteered to go 'fight terror' in Iraq knew the full reasons for our invasion and the latent motives of our preemptive strategy, would they still have willingly sacrificed themselves to that cause?

    Agreed.

    I have read Bev's site and am familiar, but haven't read that specific book. I did read Mark Crispin Miller's first book on the topic. I also am part of a group called the Gathering here in Nashville... (I hate the cult like name: not my choice.) ...that has held seminars on the topic run by Bernie Ellis, This is their issue and I jumped onboard immediately when the organization was formed. But I have found the group a bit to clique-like. I have to pull and tug just to get updated. This is something we can't afford. In the 60s all the different factions worked together on Nam. We need to get back there in that sense. (Oddly enough I was on the other side back then, proving you don't become more Conservative as you age: you just, hopefully, change.)
    Well, I'm glad to hear about not becoming more Conservative with age, but to clarify, it was just a correlation i seemed to notice- not any causal relationship. And it wasn't a book I was referring to, it was a movie called Hacking Democracy. It's available on the web if you google for it.

    I'm in Memphis for the summer, and I noticed that an inordinate number of people down here are extremely ignorant and also extremely conservative. Another sad correlation. I guess Nashville is more liberal, but still probably pretty bad I'd imagine, at least from the perspective of political and philosophical awareness/knowledge and extreme conservatism. On a sidenote, didn't these two cities recently rank in the top five for the most violent cities in the United States (for the most violent crimes, Mempis #2 and Nashville #3)?

  10. #58
    slipping sand another day's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Chaossaber314 View Post
    While it may be deceptive the concept that one can hate war but do what is necessary isn't a stupid concept. Perhaps a lie or deceptive in this instance but certainly not stupid. We all do things daily that we hate but are necessary.
    The best propaganda always passes a superficial logic test like that.

    But that's all it is. War propaganda. A vote for McCain is not just a vote for another decade, two decades, 100 years in Iraq, but probably an invasion of Iran, etc. He has said himself that "there will be more wars".

    He might hate war, but he thinks it's necessary. It's not necessary. Period.

    The problem with McCain, and what makes him such a warmonger, is that his whole life has revolved around war and the military. It's all he knows!

    He has said himself, he knows very little about economics! A republican candidate for president who knows nothing about economics? That used to be unheard of! The republican party was once won or lost based on solid economics (Reagan anyone?) It's supposed to be what they idolize!

    And yet here is McCain, saying he hates war, but that it's necessary. Right away, you can see what a four trip with him is going to consist of - WAR, and lots of it. This guy is the absolute twin of george bush, in policies, in speech, in attitude, in every aspect. The really sad fact is that his warmongering drum beating has already begun before he's even elected.
    Look out kid, they keep it all hid.

  11. #59
    Volcanic Erupter
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    Quote Quote by: another day View Post
    The best propaganda always passes a superficial logic test like that.

    But that's all it is. War propaganda. A vote for McCain is not just a vote for another decade, two decades, 100 years in Iraq, but probably an invasion of Iran, etc. He has said himself that "there will be more wars".

    He might hate war, but he thinks it's necessary. It's not necessary. Period.

    The problem with McCain, and what makes him such a warmonger, is that his whole life has revolved around war and the military. It's all he knows!

    He has said himself, he knows very little about economics! A republican candidate for president who knows nothing about economics? That used to be unheard of! The republican party was once won or lost based on solid economics (Reagan anyone?) It's supposed to be what they idolize!

    And yet here is McCain, saying he hates war, but that it's necessary. Right away, you can see what a four trip with him is going to consist of - WAR, and lots of it. This guy is the absolute twin of george bush, in policies, in speech, in attitude, in every aspect. The really sad fact is that his warmongering drum beating has already begun before he's even elected.
    I would agree with your observation about McCain . His wife might be better qualified in the area of economics, although she is one the wealthy few.

    I recall when Reagan had his first Ads out to be President and they showed him in a store with a can of beans and he was talking about how the cost of living was going up and that he would insure more jobs for everyone. The unions flocked around him. But soon after elected the got "re-trained" by the Republican party.

  12. #60
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    And now, this is how our canidates should sound like.

    YouTube - Wake up America

    Wake up America.

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