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How do we combat distracting fluff?
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besson3c
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Jun 5, 2016, 12:36 PM
 
One of the things I find most frustrating about political campaigns is all of the distractions.

How do we blow off relatively unimportant things like whether building walls is possible, email servers, transgender bathrooms, whether a candidate is racist, etc. (I'm sure we could extend this list for several pages), and spend an appropriate amount of time looking at some root causes of key and important issues?

Like or dislike Bernie Sanders, he was very good about engineering the conversation to be about the things he thought were most important. If any, his speeches and comments sounded like a repetitive drone, but at least there was usually a clear focus to them. Now that he will likely start to disappear from the media spotlight, how do we get Joe Sixpack and the media to not get lost in all of this other relative fluff and, in doing so, lose track of what is most important?

I mean, we almost seem to all agree on some key and important issues such as the influence of money in politics. The left and right obviously have different solutions to these problems, but I say it is better to debate these rigorously rather than wasting time with the fluff.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 5, 2016, 12:38 PM
 
Getting us talking about the fluff may very well be engineered so that we leave the bigger issues alone to allow the status quo to continue.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jun 5, 2016, 12:53 PM
 
WOW, we actually agree on something
     
ghporter
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Jun 5, 2016, 02:38 PM
 
Yep. Keep people fussing about something trivial, and they won't ask hard questions or demand difficult answers. To me, the more a campaign puts out fluff, the more they're trying to hide.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 5, 2016, 09:51 PM
 
Is racism in a leader (supposedly a leader of the free world) trivial? Its kinda not for me.
( Last edited by Waragainstsleep; Jun 11, 2016 at 04:36 AM. )
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 10, 2016, 11:52 PM
 
There are many bright people here, it is up to us to steer this national conversation in the direction it needs to go. That we all get so distracted by these sort of issues is disappointing.

I get that it is important who gets elected, but this whole ordeal is a never-ending pattern that has to stop:

1) we fuss over various issues that are pretty inconsequential in the big picture
2) somebody is elected, somebody else isn't
3) we are all so exhausted by the end of the long election cycle that we go back to not caring about the day-to-day of politics
4) in part because we haven't really been debating the important issues we get the same old stuff happening in our politics
5) we continue to be programmed to hate the Ds or Rs in a complete knee-jerk fashion. BadKosh is a perfect example of the results of this.
6) loop back to #1
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 09:55 AM
 
Isn't Trump's entire campaign based on "distracting fluff"?

I have yet to hear what his actual policy positions are on just about everything important. Hell, even McConnell said Trump doesn't know the issues.

Is Trump's idea to build a wall "distracting fluff" or is it an actual policy of his he believes can be implemented?

Is Trump not releasing his tax returns "distracting fluff" or is this a legitimate concern we should have? What is he hiding?

Is the Clinton email fiasco "distracting fluff" or a sign of complete disregard for established policy and procedure?

Is a candidate's racist, bigot comments "distracting fluff" or a sign of his/her true feelings?

Many, if not most of these things are not "distracting fluff" - they are legitimate talking points that say a lot about the candidates' demeanor and character.

It's hard to ignore the "distracting fluff" when the "distracting fluff" is really all we have to base our support or non-support of a candidate on, i.e., Trump. People don't talk about Trump's policies because he either doesn't have any or hasn't told us what they are in any detail. All he keeps doing is giving us more "distracting fluff" so that's what we have to discuss.
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besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 10:36 AM
 
You have a point, but I don't think that our demands to our politicians should be based on a settlement of the best and worst of what a candidate, and all the fluff that comes with him/her, brings to the table. If we do this we lose track of the big picture really, really easily, and our political agendas become about getting somebody elected or not elected.

Instead, as a population we need to debate and get our shit together in establishing what we need and want. I think Trump is an embodiment of that confusion, and that confusion is also perpetuated by various power centers. Even if we cannot agree upon what we need and want, we need to break our patterns of being so easily distracted so that we can form a clearer picture.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 11, 2016, 01:32 PM
 
This might warrant a thread of its own, but when was the last time that a western government made a really big, really positive change?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 01:34 PM
 
I understand what you are saying and in an ideal world that's how it would work.

The problem as I see it is that the average voter doesn't care about all of the best and worst and fluff of a candidate. Most people are what I consider "one issue" voters be that abortion, gun control, taxes, etc. It doesn't matter to them (and they likely don't even know) what the candidate's position is on other issues. If they are for (or against) abortion, that's is all that matters to them. They don't care if that candidate holds other positions they might agree or disagree with.

Trump is an example of this. I don't think anyone really knows his position on most issues as I said above. But for some reason, people don't care. He has made racist and/or bigoted comments (repeatedly) but people don't care. He is running on fear-mongering but people don't care. He has no qualifications to be leader of the free world but people don't care. I can't figure out his appeal and neither can most political pundits. His supporters naively think he is going to make them more money because his businesses are successful. Problem is, you cannot run a country like a business but people don't care.

Many people hate Hilary because she is a "liberal" and a "Democrat". Most of these people probably couldn't tell you what her positions are because they don't care. All they care about is the label.

The other problem is the way primaries are run and who is allowed to vote in them. There is a reason why most nominees represent the extremes of their party - because that's what the primaries cater to. Generally, people who vote in primaries are far right or far left. Centrist candidates can't get votes in primaries so we never get the option to vote for them in the general election because they never make it that far, even though the average American is probably more centrist than far right or far left.

We are inevitably left with the choice between the "lesser of two evils" (a far right or far left candidate). When that happens, Republicans will vote Republican, Democrats will vote Democrat, and independents will (likely) split their vote. So, it comes down to districting and who can get the most voters out, not who would be the "better" choice.

This is why I generally don't care about politics - no matter who is elected nothing is really going to change much, it rarely does. Laws will be (or not be) passed, not because of the President but because of Congress and their agenda and their like or dislike of the President and his positions.

All of that being said, I think Trump would be an absolute, unequivocal disaster as President, especially when it comes to foreign policy and diplomacy. If he is elected, even people who voted for him will be saying "What on earth have we done?" in 1-2 years, maybe less.
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Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 01:43 PM
 
Try focusing more on policy over personality, on outcomes over intentions, on the product over the sales pitch. IMHO
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 01:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
Try focusing more on policy over personality, on outcomes over intentions, on the product over the sales pitch. IMHO
I agree and I do. And if people did that Trump would never have won the Republican primary. His entire campaign has been about personality, intentions, and sales pitch, not policy, outcomes, and product (IMO).
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besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 01:59 PM
 
Jingle: I agree that people are one-issue voters, but they are influenced as to who best represents their one-issue with a lot of marketing and human psychology generated by demagogues and ideologues.

For example, why does the right wing dominate Christianity? I would argue there are a lot of things not Christ-like about right wing politics, and you could argue the same about representing the poor. Like you're pointing out, it is largely an emotional connection that sometimes lines up with reality, sometimes doesn't.

However, somebody has to set the agenda for the puppet masters, and those people could be us. I agree with everything you've said, I just think that we can control the ideologues and the trickle down effect this has on the entire population of one-issue voters.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
I agree and I do. And if people did that Trump would never have won the Republican primary. His entire campaign has been about personality, intentions, and sales pitch, not policy, outcomes, and product (IMO).
And the current incumbent before he was elected? And the other front runner today?

You bring up the wall, what do you think the outcome of controlled borders would be? On the "flip" side, what do you think the outcome of open borders would be?

FTR, i think the primary purpose of government is to protect the country from foreign threats and to maintain sovereign borders. (A close second is a legal and judicial system to protect citizens from each another and conflict resolution).
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 02:31 PM
 
People are set in their ways. Just look at this forum. We can debate and discuss issues until we are blue in the face but when was the last time someone changed their position on anything based on such a debate and discussion? It happens, but it's rare.

Republicans are republicans and democrats are democrats. It's unlikely any of them are going to change, especially older voters.

Like you said, it's an emotional connection in many cases and in many other cases it's because their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. were republican (or democrat). It's how they were raised and most people never learn to think for themselves and form their own opinions on things political. "Why did you vote for them?" "Because they are Republican".

The only way for the agenda to be set by us is if we elect people en masse who are willing to debate and compromise to do what's best for the country, not their reelection, regardless if they are Republican or Democrat. We need people who are thoughtful and rationale, not demagogues. We need people who don't care if a bill is written and sponsored by the opposing party but what is in the bill. We need people who are not hell bent on "winning" but on doing what is best for the country.

It's precisely why I am a registered Independent. I don't care if you are Republican or Democrat. I care about your position on all issues and whether I think you are willing to compromise as evidenced by words and your voting record.
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Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 02:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
And the current incumbent before he was elected? And the other front runner today?
Both had/have established positions on issues domestic and foreign and established track records in politics. You knew where they stood as evidenced by their voting records.

Trump? Not so much. He has no voting record because he's never been elected to ANY political position. The only record we have is what he's said, which has changed over the years and even in the last year. Who knows what his position will be on any given subject next week, let alone in November.

You bring up the wall, what do you think the outcome of controlled borders would be? On the "flip" side, what do you think the outcome of open borders would be?
We have closed borders. We need more funding for border patrol, not a wall that can never be built.

The outcome of a wall? A deluge of low-paying, manual labor jobs that no American will take? A decline in Mexican-American relations?

Not sure what you asking about "open borders" - we don't have "open borders". So, the outcome is the way things are now?

FTR, i think the primary purpose of government is to protect the country from foreign threats and to maintain sovereign borders. (A close second is a legal and judicial system to protect citizens from each another and conflict resolution).
We have sovereign borders. We have U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Building a wall isn't going to change anything. I don't understand where people get the idea that Mexicans are pouring into the country by the millions by simply walking into the U.S.

You know there are other ways illegal immigrants can get in the country, right? Every country with borders has illegal immigrants.
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Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
I agree and I do. And if people did that Trump would never have won the Republican primary. His entire campaign has been about personality, intentions, and sales pitch, not policy, outcomes, and product (IMO).
Not to harp on and on about it, but in my observation..... The current incumbent has been the most "scripted" that i have ever seen. Great oratory and great speech writers (ie great marketing and sales pitch... how about the outcomes/results?).

Trump on the other hand, doesn't seem like he is concerned with investing in any of that. As far as his presentation skills and public personality, lol..i would hardly call it professional or well calculated. His speeches(not that i have seen any of them in full), seem like he comes up with them on the spot.

But what i will say, is that he has tapped into the dissatisfaction of the public with the current major parties.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
.. wall stuff...
If the current policy and implementation are satisfactory/adequate, why are there ~11 million illegal immigrants (estimates, which are prolly on the lower side)? And why did the *idea* of a wall resonate? Are the ~11 million a myth? Shouldn't that be a bipartisan issue, to secure the borders?

Could it be that neither major party was doing anything satisfactory regarding border protection?

(Personally, i think the "wall" is figurative and could be an immediate deportation policy, and banning the person from ever obtaining residency or citizenship for life).

So strengthening border protection is a good/bad thing? (I think whats needed is policy with "teeth")
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 03:11 PM
 
I think one of the problems with the immigration debate is that it is framed as "securing" the border, as if it is a security issue. It's an economic issue, primarily.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think one of the problems with the immigration debate is that it is framed as "securing" the border, as if it is a security issue. It's an economic issue, primarily.



Exactly.
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Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 04:00 PM
 
Do either of you think ~11 million illegal immigrants is a big issue? If so what are your policy proposals to discourage people from illegally crossing?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 04:11 PM
 
I think the ways we think of immigration laws are completely outdated.

Our North American economy is largely built around a wide plethora of jobs that can be done remotely. In the past one of the arguments surrounding immigration laws seemed to be about giving permanent residents and citizens first dibs over jobs, but in many cases PRs and citizens have fierce competition with the rest of the world regardless of what immigration laws are in place given the multiple ways in which our economy and the workforce has been transformed.

I think immigration law should be reformed to focus on not exploiting cheap labor continuing to do basic background and health checks, but that's about it. No more endless bureaucracy that people are inspired to work around, and no more framing this as some sort of issue of safety and security.
     
Hawkeye_a
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Jun 11, 2016, 04:20 PM
 
So, you don't think ~11 million illegal immigrants is an issue? And whatever policies are responsible for encouraging it should continue unabated?

If anyone can manipulate the system, or cross the border undetected, should they be rewarded with residency/citizenship? (ie open borders)

Illegal immigrants (being illegal) can work for any wage/benefit below the minimum legal requirements, they have that bargaining power. But citizens cannot work for anything less than minimum wage. How would you reconcile that issue?
( Last edited by Hawkeye_a; Jun 11, 2016 at 04:38 PM. )
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jun 11, 2016, 04:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
So, you don't think ~11 million illegal immigrants is an issue? And whatever policies are responsible for encouraging it should continue unabated?

If anyone can manipulate the system, or cross the border undetected, should be rewarded with residency/citizenship? (ie open borders)

Illegal immigrants (being illegal) can work for any wage/benefit below the minimum legal requirements, they have that bargaining power. But citizens cannot work for anything less than minimum wage. How would you reconcile that issue?

I thought what I wrote was enough for you to deduce logically what my position is. I'll be more clear and explicit.

I feel that illegal immigration rates are high because the current system is overly bureaucratic, time consuming, stressful, and ill-conceived. If you simplify this system dramatically and make it far easier to live in this country so long as you are not a felon or are carrying some weird disease, the illegal immigration rates will drop dramatically.

The immigration system is the way it is because it was designed for an earlier time when, by restricting who can live in a community, you can provide more assurance of job availability to PRs and citizens, and reduce stress on our social safety nets. I don't think this makes sense anymore, so the lengthy application process doesn't accomplish what it was originally designed to accomplish.

If the US were to do as I'm describing, the influx of new applicants would probably be too great for our safety nets to support right now, but we could set a quota on the number of applicants that are accepted while keeping the process braindead easy and simple, so this was simply about the early bird getting the worm.

Another alternative is to keep the English requirements so that we hopefully acquire more tax payers that would help support our safety nets rather than being completely dependent upon them.

As you can gather, I haven't put a ton of thought into exactly how I'd reform our immigration laws, because I'm mostly just disgusted with the current debate and feel strongly that we are thinking about this entirely foolishly. I don't really care much about this issue as currently framed, to be honest.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jun 11, 2016, 05:06 PM
 
I'm with Besson in that I don't really care about this issue as currently framed.

Are the 11+ million "illegal" immigrants a problem? I don't know. That's less than what, 3% of the population? To be honest, it doesn't affect me and likely doesn't effect you. Do you personally know any illegal immigrants? Have they harmed you in any way? Taken a job from you?

I can assure you they are not all rapists and murderers as Trump would have you believe. His position is based on business and economics, not politics.

What, specifically, is the issue/problem as you see it?

What is the problem with letting someone who has been in the country, albeit illegally, for decades and raised their family in this country, obtaining citizenship?

What if your parents were born in, say Mexico, came into the US illegally, and you were born and raised here? Would you want your family deported?

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are talking about when you frame your opinion. That's generally a good idea for any issue.
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subego
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Jun 11, 2016, 05:21 PM
 
I know illegal immigrants.

They have not harmed me.

They have not taken a job from me.

They have fake SSNs and pay taxes.

It doesn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyway... this is only a half-dozen data points out of several million.
     
el chupacabra
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Jun 11, 2016, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
I'm with Besson in that I don't really care about this issue as currently framed.
I guess one thing the thread teaches us is we have at least 2 completely different ideas as to whats fluff and whats important. Personally I dont get why democrats are so obsessed with the fluff of a presidents reputation with foreigners. ie. Obama went to Germany etc to campaign during his election. Democrats nodded & applauded this like it somehow mattered. What did that gain us? 8 years later what have we gotten out of Germany or any nation as a result of Obama's supposed great international reputation? Is it just something to cater to the 1-nation line of thinking? Is politics a soccer game to most people? You mentioned Trump ruining relations with the Mexican government. We dont have relations with Mexican government, they walk all over us. They force their unwanted misfit citizens to live in the green zone (right against the border) hoping they'll move to the US. The Mexican government doesnt even have good relations with its own people. The government shows up at businesses/ factories with guns at random times shaking them down for money on the spot. Their government is the only thing stopping us (and people like me) from moving our manufacturing from China to Mex.
Somehow the cartel has access to all their military grade weapons. They need a regime change almost as bad as Iraq. I would love a president to put the hammer on them.

Are the 11+ million "illegal" immigrants a problem? I don't know. That's less than what, 4% of the population? To be honest, it doesn't affect me and likely doesn't effect you. Do you personally know any illegal immigrants? Have they harmed you in any way? Taken a job from you?
Yes, and even killed some people I knew. Splattered their blood and guts all over the street in an almost unidentifiable manner using machine guns they acquired from the Mexican government. It didnt make the news because it didn't fit the media's narrative. The criminality is more common than you think. For me, Im more concerned with the dangers from spreading disease from cultures with no concept of hygiene. We had an African restaurant in town caught reserving scraps they had cleaned off other people's plates. I wonder how many people got sick before they were caught. I wonder how many of these aren't getting caught. In an airport bathroom the other day I went in and saw piles o crap all over the floor. When I talked to an employee they said it was the recent influx of refugees who have no concept of toilets. Those of us living around these people find ourselves wondering if hepatitis etc is laced on various things we touch in public spaces.

I can assure you they are not all rapists and murderers as Trump would have you believe. His position is based on business and economics, not politics.
The issue is we dont know who the murderers are due to lack of screening in the free for all process
What is the problem with letting someone who has been in the country, albeit illegally, for decades and raised their family in this country, obtaining citizenship?
Possibly nothing, depends on a number of factors such as what they're contributing. Each individual case should be determined by a screening process. The issue isn't with letting good people stay. The issue is it's currently an immigration free for all with no logical criteria favoring people who have no business being here, while creating a bureaucratic nightmare for people we do want here.

What if your parents were born in, say Mexico, came into the US illegally, and you were born and raised here? Would you want your family deported?
No, but it's not about ME. This isn't about senseless political compassion. I would blame my parents if such a thing happened.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are talking about when you frame your opinion. That's generally a good idea for any issue.
Im trying to picture myself in the shoes of one of these waving the Mexican flag screaming ##$% america. Im having trouble understanding the extreme pomposity, sense of entitlement & self righteousness that would ever cause me to wave my birth country's flag in another country I chose to live in and have been feeding from. Should their actions cause me to gain compassion for them?

What do you think of the people waving Mexican flags screaming ^%$# america?
Would you wave another country's flag? why or why not?
Based on recent history what would 2nd world countries like France do in this situation?
How many people should we let in the US? Hypothetically what if the whole world decided to visit as tourists and drop anchor babies? It's actually a very plausible scenario.
     
el chupacabra
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Jun 12, 2016, 11:26 AM
 
A video to bring tears to the eyes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfj8lXqn-XY

It's like he's the Bruce Wayne of America
     
Chongo
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Jun 12, 2016, 12:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
re Mexico
One needs to keep in mind that, except for the short stint of PAN (English name: the National Action Party), Mexico has been run by the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) for almost 100 years.
     
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Jun 12, 2016, 11:58 PM
 
@MrJingles, besson
You guys are overly focused on the personality of Trump (and the same with the incumbent). You probably seem to think the presidency is a like a 'dictatorial' position and so focus in on personalities to an unhealthy extreme IMHO.

Every criticizm you have, so far directed towards Trump (and probably every Republican candidate) could be levied against the current front runner and/or the incumbent at the time of his first election.

So spare us the bs.

If you want to focus on results, make a list of foreign/domestic achievements and failures of the current incumbent and then think about what the state of those parameters were back in 2008.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 13, 2016, 08:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hawkeye_a View Post
@MrJingles, besson

If you want to focus on results, make a list of foreign/domestic achievements and failures of the current incumbent and then think about what the state of those parameters were back in 2008.
Why would they bother? Theres no way you'll agree with the facts and figures.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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