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OverSword

How corrupt is US democracy

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Posted (edited)

The information on the linked page will certainly be argued by some to be what you would expect. I however feel that this is a clear cut visual illustration of how big business has compromised the United States Government for the people.

My link

The very first diagram clearly shows the amount of influence Goldman Sachs has over the current administration.

How can we change this?

Edited by OverSword

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Voting new people into office is the best way. Seems some representives keep getting in for decades no matter what they do. Also demanding that investigations be launched to nail those guilty of corruption.

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These people are appointed. These big corporations also fund the elections. For decades the government has voted down any attempt to change this.

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately the voting process isn't an effective method.

For one, most of the candidates who reach a position where they could actually effect big change have already gone through a long process of working their way up the food chain. Joe Schmoe off the street is never going to be able to walk in and be put on the ballot for senate or presidency, regardless of his ability to properly represent the people if he doesn't have the political ties necessary.

In order to get up the food chain, a person would have to fit in with other politicians either by being like them or pretending to be like them. It seems only the former make it all the way to a position of real power... and because they're like other politicians, they do the same things that were already going on.

There's also the factor that America has hugely different demographics throughout the country and the majority of people either don't think there is a problem (too busy with other things in their life) or don't see the problem for what it is. (they only know to complain about taxes being raised, but do not understand the flaws in the system)

Those of us who see the problems and their sources and genuinely want the change are in the minority, and it is the majority who rules over us even though what we want is in their best interest as well.

There are more than a few people who will vote for Obama again even if they don't like his work thus far because they have the idea that "the incumbent should be kept for the maximum term so he can clean up his messes"... which they never seem to do anyway.

There are states in this country vastly larger than many countries around the world, and states about the same size as many countries in the world. I feel that the country is simply too large and has too many people of differing mindsets to effectively govern them all - even without corruption.

I personally would like to see each state given the majority of governing power over its citizens and have the federal government shrunken down to something more like a central hub of governing, focusing on the big picture and NOT micromanaging people's daily lives. That way, the politicians within each state would be better representatives of the people within the state and would have more of the decision making power for those people. People could chose their state of choice based on whether the policies of that state reflect their personal convictions best and laws, taxes and policies would likely be quite different in various states.

There are pros and cons with any system, but I feel that a system which best represents the people rather than being more unified is better. Many disagree with me though.

Edited by karmakazi

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SOURCE/MORNING SENTINEL/A MAINE PAPERIt's corrupt from the top down. Everybody blames everyone else, but I think Governor LePage has a point here.

Capitol for a day: Newport

1:00 AM

LePage: Corruption in mid-management

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com

State House Bureau

NEWPORT -- Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday state government continues to be too big and too expensive, and part of the problem is the state work force.

“Keep their feet to the fire. Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, we need to get the work done in Augusta.”

Gov. Paul LePage

"The problem is middle management of the state is about as corrupt as can be," he said.

LePage made the comments during a town hall meeting at Nokomis Regional High School. A questioner wanted to know why there are so many fees to get a cosmetology license in the state; the governor said it's because lawmakers through the years needed to find more ways to pay for larger government.

He said while he can control appointed state workers, such as his commissioners, he has little power to bring change to protected workers in middle management or unionized state employees.

He told those in the audience that while Republicans made progress in the last two years, voters need to be careful about the decisions they make in November when choosing new lawmakers.

"I urge everyone to talk to their candidates," he said. "Keep their feet to the fire. Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, we need to get the work done in Augusta."

It was LePage's 15th Capitol for a Day town hall meeting, a series he started shortly after becoming governor. A visit to a Kennebec County town for the final installment of the 16-county series probably will be held in June, his spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said.

About 50 people came to the event, significantly fewer than other town halls that have drawn 200 or more. Noticeably absent were LePage opponents -- the 61 percenters -- who typically stand outside town halls with protest signs and ask pointed questions. LePage was accompanied by five members of his Cabinet, including the heads of the departments of labor, transportation, and human services.

One audience member asked about a welfare program that provides funds to Mainers to pay for car repairs. He said some repair shops have seen those on welfare get money from the state based on a car repair estimate, then never come in to get the work done.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said she has her fraud unit looking into that situation, and problems with other welfare programs.

"Who receives the money?" she said. "How are we handling the delivery of the money? It's a level of concern about the overall management of these programs we are taking a look at."

While talking about education, the governor said schools have "failed miserably" in the last 20 years to prepare all students for the work force. He said he has offered to help teachers get better training by providing additional funds for professional development if the teachers union kicks in funds as well.

"I've made the offer three times and I'm still waiting for an answer," he said.

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Interesting stuff, and good charts.

It is good that government is tuned to what business needs, but of course that relationship can be overdone, as is the case today. I think we have a form of fascism today, with government being controlled by industry.

Democracy? That's an illusion.

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These people are appointed. These big corporations also fund the elections. For decades the government has voted down any attempt to change this.

So what's the solution then? If voting won't work and the courts won't work (something I disagree with) how do you change things? You could increase the power of the states, like karmakazi suggested, but I'm sure there's just as much corruption on the state level as at the federal level. Perhaps the strong formation of a new political party can shake things up.

And yes it can be argued that democracy is an illusion but then it has been for most of history and there have always been limits on it. Having each citizen vote on every matter just isn't effective anymore, thus representative government. Still it's better than all other forms of government in the world.

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I agree with your points Corp.

What to do? I don't know, and I'm just about too damn old to care.

My opinion is that the people could take back their government by way of the Jury Power, but these days most folks are completely ignorant of that power.

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It's unsettling to see those b******* from disney being appointed to government level positions.

And I thought their programming was evil..

The problem we are trying to solve cannot happen with the wave of a finger; clearing corruption.

We need a redress; down to its fundamental definition; those in charge are questionable. We need to evaluate and take action.

First by getting those animals out of the media. And if those are just all democrats, then this is much more worse off than I thought.

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The problem is we let every idiot and ignorant person vote in this country...shocker they vote for scum bags...But I guess that is the price you pay for democracy.

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Hutton, what would you propose in correcting who can vote and who can't? Who gets to choose? You?

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Posted (edited)

Hutton, what would you propose in correcting who can vote and who can't? Who gets to choose? You?

Honestly, I know there is nothing you can do about it. I know you are probably going to flame me but I may as well answer...

Who gets to vote? Someone that has taken a test on American government and recieves a passing grade. They should understand the three branches of government and how they work. They should understand districting, gerrymandering, and the electoral college. They should understand that Obama is not a dictator, and its not what he says goes, but rather that congress has a large part in what happens in this country. They should understand how difficult it is for a president to pass bills when the congress is dominated by the other party.

I would also like a test in philosophical logic and critical thinking. I would like to know why they think things such as evolution should not be taught it schools but then wonder why our science scores lag behind the rest of the developed world. I would like to know why they feel that the Bible should dominate our government even though it appears to contradict the constitution. I would also like to know why people think our country was greater when it was founded than what it is today. I would like to know why people think capitalism, and out sourcing specifically, improves their lives. I would like to know why poor and uneducated people think rich people should not be taxed more. I would like people to consider the motives of politicans and why they think these people have their best intrests in mind.

Can't read the tests? Tough, learn to read. If one cannot read with the educational system we have, why should I conclude that they have any idea how a country should be, or needs to be run?

Who gets to choose? Let the test choose. Who writes the test...well that is the problem. I guess it would be those damn educated liberals because universities are liberal breeding grounds.

What do I think is the best type of government? Empire, with an emperor. Do like the Romans did...hope for a good one that will do good for the people and weather the bad ones. I mean it is pretty obvious that half the people will be unhappy in this country anyways.

Edited by HuttonEtAl

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The USA is the only country that has given omnipotent power ,to corporations.

It doesn't matter who is in office I anymore.

The unholy alliance of corporations and banks,Goldman Sachs,Dow,Monsanto,and Big Pharm and Agro,control the USA.

Half the things Oblamya has done in office,made it seem as if McCain had won.

Call it Republicrates.Its just one big joke,and the jokes on us.

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I agree with your points Corp.

What to do? I don't know, and I'm just about too damn old to care.

My opinion is that the people could take back their government by way of the Jury Power, but these days most folks are completely ignorant of that power.

I am ignorant of Jury Power... tell me more!

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Karma

Jury Power is people power. The Jury is the conscience of the community when everybody knows the rules. It is an old Common Law institution, and affirms that since all political power flows from the people to the government, 12 citizens sitting as a Jury can judge both the facts of any given case, and the law addressing it. We the People, through the Jury can take a very active role in a case-by-case basis as to how our government is run.

The American Jury Institute has a website.

The Jury has power to control government shenanigans. Thomas Jefferson observed something to the effect that the jury is the best tool yet devised by man to keep a government within its legal bounds.

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Honestly, I know there is nothing you can do about it. I know you are probably going to flame me but I may as well answer...

Who gets to vote? Someone that has taken a test on American government and recieves a passing grade. They should understand the three branches of government and how they work. They should understand districting, gerrymandering, and the electoral college. They should understand that Obama is not a dictator, and its not what he says goes, but rather that congress has a large part in what happens in this country. They should understand how difficult it is for a president to pass bills when the congress is dominated by the other party.

I would also like a test in philosophical logic and critical thinking. I would like to know why they think things such as evolution should not be taught it schools but then wonder why our science scores lag behind the rest of the developed world. I would like to know why they feel that the Bible should dominate our government even though it appears to contradict the constitution. I would also like to know why people think our country was greater when it was founded than what it is today. I would like to know why people think capitalism, and out sourcing specifically, improves their lives. I would like to know why poor and uneducated people think rich people should not be taxed more. I would like people to consider the motives of politicans and why they think these people have their best intrests in mind.

Can't read the tests? Tough, learn to read. If one cannot read with the educational system we have, why should I conclude that they have any idea how a country should be, or needs to be run?

Who gets to choose? Let the test choose. Who writes the test...well that is the problem. I guess it would be those damn educated liberals because universities are liberal breeding grounds.

What do I think is the best type of government? Empire, with an emperor. Do like the Romans did...hope for a good one that will do good for the people and weather the bad ones. I mean it is pretty obvious that half the people will be unhappy in this country anyways.

I appreciate your points of view, and agree with many points you raise, though I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion regarding selective suffrage.

Assuming that you are familiar with the Constitution, and that by your post you suggest that Congress can do no wrong when it passes laws, what do you think about it's passing a law and the President signing it, which nullifies Habeas Corpus? Or contradicts and violates the Fourth Amendment?

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Honestly, I know there is nothing you can do about it. I know you are probably going to flame me but I may as well answer...

Who gets to vote? Someone that has taken a test on American government and recieves a passing grade. They should understand the three branches of government and how they work. They should understand districting, gerrymandering, and the electoral college. They should understand that Obama is not a dictator, and its not what he says goes, but rather that congress has a large part in what happens in this country. They should understand how difficult it is for a president to pass bills when the congress is dominated by the other party.

Amen to that...

I would also like a test in philosophical logic and critical thinking. I would like to know why they think things such as evolution should not be taught it schools but then wonder why our science scores lag behind the rest of the developed world. I would like to know why they feel that the Bible should dominate our government even though it appears to contradict the constitution. I would also like to know why people think our country was greater when it was founded than what it is today. I would like to know why people think capitalism, and out sourcing specifically, improves their lives. I would like to know why poor and uneducated people think rich people should not be taxed more. I would like people to consider the motives of politicans and why they think these people have their best intrests in mind.

That one is fairly easy to explain, in my mind anyway... The United States has always been a land of "opportunity". People are told here that they can be anything they want, do anything they want... so we work our backsides off to make it... we finally make it after years of working and pushing (not everyone, I know there are silver spoons out there) and then you get told "well, since you made it, we are gonna take more of your money away just because you have it". That doesnt sound like freedom to me. Especially when the "Rich" are already paying the majority of taxes in this country.

Can't read the tests? Tough, learn to read. If one cannot read with the educational system we have, why should I conclude that they have any idea how a country should be, or needs to be run?

Who gets to choose? Let the test choose. Who writes the test...well that is the problem. I guess it would be those damn educated liberals because universities are liberal breeding grounds.

What do I think is the best type of government? Empire, with an emperor. Do like the Romans did...hope for a good one that will do good for the people and weather the bad ones. I mean it is pretty obvious that half the people will be unhappy in this country anyways.

To me, it sounds like you are against many of the things this country was founded on. Everything you suggest pretty much flies in at the face of freedom. By your logic, someone with a learning disability couldnt vote. Let us remember... Rome fell for a reason...

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At this point I do not see a way to fix it. The entire political system is setup in a way to support itself and keep itself going no matter what, and the only people who are benefitting are the same ones who have the power to change the system, but choose not to.

Any person who comes into the system is easily converted into a corrupt person as corporations pump billions of dollars into donations for those in power. Having all that money(and the ability to do insider trading with no worry of getting in trouble) and power just changes people and they end up serving those that donate the most, not those that voted them into power.

If there were a way for the citizens to end the riduculous campaign/donation programs, it would help, but that power lies with those already voted into office...so I don't see it happening.

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At this point I do not see a way to fix it. The entire political system is setup in a way to support itself and keep itself going no matter what, and the only people who are benefitting are the same ones who have the power to change the system, but choose not to.

Any person who comes into the system is easily converted into a corrupt person as corporations pump billions of dollars into donations for those in power. Having all that money(and the ability to do insider trading with no worry of getting in trouble) and power just changes people and they end up serving those that donate the most, not those that voted them into power.

If there were a way for the citizens to end the riduculous campaign/donation programs, it would help, but that power lies with those already voted into office...so I don't see it happening.

I've often wondered why, if we as citizens own the airwaves, all campaign airtime can't be free for every candidate? If the cost of radio and TV advertising were negligible then the cost of campaigning would be a small fraction of what it is today. Remove this burden and we could have representatives in the mold that the FF's envisioned.

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I appreciate your points of view, and agree with many points you raise, though I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion regarding selective suffrage.

Assuming that you are familiar with the Constitution, and that by your post you suggest that Congress can do no wrong when it passes laws, what do you think about it's passing a law and the President signing it, which nullifies Habeas Corpus? Or contradicts and violates the Fourth Amendment?

I was not trying to suggest that Congress can do no wrong. I think issues run deep though most politicians and our entire government. The point I was trying to make is that our president is not a dictator. It is no secret that I am a liberal but I can see both sides of an argument. I hate how everyone blames Obama and for a long time I wanted to blame Bush for things (because I am in the military and strongly against the Iraq "war") but at the same time I understand that it is the presidents right, as Commander in Chief, to send troops and start of a military conflict BUT the key point that many people fail to realize (as did I) is that congress can vote to withdrawl the troops. Bush sent them, Congress supported it. Same as Obama, Bush was not a dictator.

I cannot address your other questions specifically (well I could if I used google and winged it) because I do not know enough about that specific issue. I am not a political science major, but a history major that has dealt a good deal with the composition of the Constitution and the Constitution in regards to religion (Religious Studies is another one of my majors) and education (my 3rd major.) Other than that I only have only covered American government in a couse by that name, philosophy classes and geography classes. It is a new reading hobbie though that I would like to tackle this summer inbetween the work on my senior paper. I mean I guess that is why I have the opinion I do...I have very little education, not even a minor, in politics and government but only the liberal arts requirements and I get the impression that I am WAY ahead of the average citizen as far as understanding how things work. I guess my point is that it is not hard to become aware of the workings of our government...

And for the record...I have never voted...

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That one is fairly easy to explain, in my mind anyway... The United States has always been a land of "opportunity". People are told here that they can be anything they want, do anything they want... so we work our backsides off to make it... we finally make it after years of working and pushing (not everyone, I know there are silver spoons out there) and then you get told "well, since you made it, we are gonna take more of your money away just because you have it". That doesnt sound like freedom to me. Especially when the "Rich" are already paying the majority of taxes in this country.

Yes, I have heard this argument. "Why punish someone for being sucessful?" Well first off, this is my view because I am a communitarian. I believe in sacrafice to help your community. That means the more sucessful will pay more. It is not a punishment to them as much as helping those in need. Granted I know people will take advantage of the system and that too p***es me off, but some people really do need help. It is not like the wealthy are facing hardships because of higher taxes. For many of them it MIGHT mean they have to go with brass finishes in their yahts and private jets instead of gold finishes. They drive around 100,000 dollar cars while people struggle to get a 500 dollar car. If Warren Buffet agress with paying more taxes, that is enough for me.

Also it is a myth that people who work hard will become wealthy. To make capital, one needs capital. I am not even talking about our silver spoon, old money brats but in general. Creating a business costs money, period. Many people work hard their entire lives and are still in lower classes. Their hard work does not lead them anywhere because they only make enough money to get by. A lot of this does have to do with education and as a co-worker of mine says..."Get off your lazy ass, go to college, and get a government job." Thanks for that Yoda. The problem is many people in this country do not have parents that can help them get school loans. Many do not have parents that will co-sign for loans. Many have to work full time just to have a place to live and do not have time for school. To say "just go to school" is very ignorant view that many middle and upper class Americans have. Granted I will say "well join the military." There are very few requirements to get into the military and I am not getting paid to go to school... There is also the problem of paying for college for those who worked so hard to get through it. My wife worked hard to go to a good school. She got scholarships that paid for a third of her schooling and her school loans cost us 800 dollars a month. By the time they are paid off they will be costing us 1,500 dollars a month. School loans and a mortgage will cost us nearly 3,000 a month. That is 36,000 a year just for those two things. Life is rough and it takes more than hard work. You have to be somewhere to get somewhere.

To me, it sounds like you are against many of the things this country was founded on. Everything you suggest pretty much flies in at the face of freedom. By your logic, someone with a learning disability couldnt vote. Let us remember... Rome fell for a reason...

Yeah, I am against many of the things this country was founded on...Slavery, bigotry, persecution of Catholics and Jews, genocide of the American Indians, poor treatment of immigrants, lack of rights for women, just to name a few...but I have many more. The freedom you speak of is the freedom of is called tyrany of the majority (and the few rich,) not freedom for all. I would hardly consider slavery "freedom."

Yes, by my logic someone with a learning disability would not be able to vote. I mean you really want someone with a learning disability having a say in public policy and how this country is run? If you want them to vote it is because you know how to manipulate them to vote for things you believe in. Sorry but everyone is not equal and not everyone should have a say in everything. I should not have a say in how things are run at your job because changes are I have no idea how things work at your job, but are you suggesting I should have a say in it?

Yes, I know Rome fell...I am a history major...but Rome fell for a number of reasons and the existence of the United States is not even in the ball park of the Roman Empire.

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I was not trying to suggest that Congress can do no wrong. I think issues run deep though most politicians and our entire government. The point I was trying to make is that our president is not a dictator. It is no secret that I am a liberal but I can see both sides of an argument. I hate how everyone blames Obama and for a long time I wanted to blame Bush for things (because I am in the military and strongly against the Iraq "war") but at the same time I understand that it is the presidents right, as Commander in Chief, to send troops and start of a military conflict BUT the key point that many people fail to realize (as did I) is that congress can vote to withdrawl the troops. Bush sent them, Congress supported it. Same as Obama, Bush was not a dictator.

I cannot address your other questions specifically (well I could if I used google and winged it) because I do not know enough about that specific issue. I am not a political science major, but a history major that has dealt a good deal with the composition of the Constitution and the Constitution in regards to religion (Religious Studies is another one of my majors) and education (my 3rd major.) Other than that I only have only covered American government in a couse by that name, philosophy classes and geography classes. It is a new reading hobbie though that I would like to tackle this summer inbetween the work on my senior paper. I mean I guess that is why I have the opinion I do...I have very little education, not even a minor, in politics and government but only the liberal arts requirements and I get the impression that I am WAY ahead of the average citizen as far as understanding how things work. I guess my point is that it is not hard to become aware of the workings of our government...

And for the record...I have never voted...

Never? You are free to do something that millions have lived and died without benefit of and you voluntarily chose never to cast a choice for government? I don't understand that.

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I no longer participate in federal elections. in 1992 you had G.Bush sr. and Bill Clinton saying things like we need to create jobs and lower the debt and balance the budget, then you had H. Ross Perot showing pie charts showing exactly how spending would be cut, from where money for programs would come from, and exactly how long it would take to completely fix the federal governments budgetary problems. Then you heard the American voters saying "he talks funny" of "he's got a bad hair cut", or "he's short" and then they proceeded to elect yet another guy whos plan was government as usual. That year I lost all faith in the intelligence of the american voter. These idiots will do whatever the TV tells them. I can hardly wait to see what the world will be like in 30 years.

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..."Get off your lazy ass, go to college, and get a government job." Thanks for that Yoda. The problem is many people in this country do not have parents that can help them get school loans. Many do not have parents that will co-sign for loans. Many have to work full time just to have a place to live and do not have time for school. To say "just go to school" is very ignorant view that many middle and upper class Americans have. Granted I will say "well join the military." There are very few requirements to get into the military and I am not getting paid to go to school... There is also the problem of paying for college for those who worked so hard to get through it. My wife worked hard to go to a good school. She got scholarships that paid for a third of her schooling and her school loans cost us 800 dollars a month. By the time they are paid off they will be costing us 1,500 dollars a month. School loans and a mortgage will cost us nearly 3,000 a month. That is 36,000 a year just for those two things. Life is rough and it takes more than hard work. You have to be somewhere to get somewhere.

Sounds like a lot of excuses to me.

I grew up absolutely dirt poor. Joined the Military and over the course of 22 years got a College dgree.

Easy? Not even a little bit, but it did set up the next generation in my family.

You will never get people like me to feel sympathetic to those that make excuses.

And as far as forcing the rich to pay more? Have you ever worked for a poor person?

The more you force a person to pay, the more they will cut to keep the margins the same.

And as far as Warren Buffett? if he wants to give it all away to the IRS good for him.

This is America, we dont just stop and obey people like Buffett.

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I no longer participate in federal elections. in 1992 you had G.Bush sr. and Bill Clinton saying things like we need to create jobs and lower the debt and balance the budget, then you had H. Ross Perot showing pie charts showing exactly how spending would be cut, from where money for programs would come from, and exactly how long it would take to completely fix the federal governments budgetary problems. Then you heard the American voters saying "he talks funny" of "he's got a bad hair cut", or "he's short" and then they proceeded to elect yet another guy whos plan was government as usual. That year I lost all faith in the intelligence of the american voter. These idiots will do whatever the TV tells them. I can hardly wait to see what the world will be like in 30 years.

Actually. Ross Perot dropped out of the race and was never on the ballot.

He cited intimidation and threats to his kid at the time as the reason for his withdrawl.

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