Thursday, September 18, 2008

This Week's Winner is...

Roland of Militant Ginger!

Send me an e-mail with your address Roland! I am announcing the winner a day early because my Mama is flying in today and we are off for a special Mom/Daughter weekend! I will be back on Monday!

I leave you with this Question:

How do you view the United States? What is a typical American like in your world? Do you believe there should be more stringent requirements for being able to vote?


Just Me said...

Hmmm... My view of the USA changes daily. Right now I am irritated with it's

The typical American, in my view, does NOT appreciate the freedoms we have and the battles fought to protect them.

I get very annoyed with people who are proud of the fact that they don't vote. The ones who have the nerve to not vote and complain about our government should sit down and shut up.

Additional requirements to vote? Heavens no. Voter turnout is already pathetically low. Our ancestors fought hard to give the right to vote to all Americans regardless of race, gender, or status. That is how it should be. The Government represents all of us, and all of us should have a say.

I don't think it's discriminatory, however, to have ballots in English only. American citizens should have enough command of the language to comprhehend a ballot.

Just Me said...

Hmmm... How'd that happen?

My view of the USA changes daily. Right now I'm irritated with its decision to dump millions of dollars into Fannie, Freddie, AIG, et al in an effort to postpone the inevitable. It's only a matter of time before the dike crumbles beneath the Bubblegum and Scotch tape.

Tom said...

Congrats to Roland.

How do you view the US?

The US, though flawed, is one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known. From being the arsenal of freedom in WWII, to being one of the last hopes for market democracy in the '70s, to helping to end the cold war, to the current fight against Islamic extremism, the US has not only fought for freedom; we've lead those fights.

Every day, I find something new about the US to be proud of. When the Boxing Day Tsunami hit, we were able to redirect a carrier battle group--- one of 12--- to provide relief, in the form of clean water and the helicopters needed to get it places safely. We have the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, two thousand bed hospital ship that can be anywhere in the world in a week or two.

The US created things people use every day. With GPS, anyone with a working receiver can never be lost again. These "lighthouses in the sky" are a phenomenal accomplishment that has been so simplified people around the world take it for granted, and don't think about how it was accomplished. Ditto the Internet, which was created in the US, and the US still protects from those who would censor it at the address space level.

What is a typical American like in your world.

The shared experience of the average American is that someone in our family, in the past two hundred years, chose to come here. For most of them, the choice involved dropping everything they knew in the hopes of a better life in America. The sort of person who could do that must have been so optimistic--- an optimism that remains in the American psyche today. If you ask the average American if 25 years from now will be better than today, the answer is "of course". This isn't the case in some other countries

The other thing to realize is the the US isn't a nation formed by ethnicity, like most of those in the rest of the world. It's a nation based on ideals and ideas. When someone is naturalized, they sweart to "support and defend the Constitution".

Do you believe there should be more stringent requirements for being able to vote?

Yes. I believe photo ID should be required (to prevent fraud).

More grandly, I think people should be required to pass a relatively easy combined history/civics test before being entitled to vote, similar to the one that is given to prospective citizens.

Roland Hulme said...

How do I view America?

I think America is simply the Bee's Knees.

People keep saying 'Oh, America is good, but it has it's flaws...'

I guess that's true, but I can't help but be reminded just about every single day how minor America's flaws are to those of every other country I've lived in.

The most amazing thing about America is it's origin. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were, quite simply, two of the most amazing and important documents ever written. The founding fathers themselves had a vision and scope that has not been seen since.

The philosophy of the American nation - that all men have inalienable rights - is mind boggling in it's significance. What worries me most is how we've lost sight of that and some wings, like people who are against giving gay people rights - are promoting a very unAmerican attitude that tries to enforce a narrow minded view on other people.

America, to me, is like Superman. He was the most amazing superhero. Totally indestructible and practically unlimited in his power.

Now Superman COULD have enslaved the world with this power, but instead he strives for truth, justice and the American way.

I think America should remember that before we do ANYTHING abroad. We should be a symbol other countries look up to and that involves being responsible, both in domestic and foriegn policy.

In any event, I love America and the greatest gift I could ever have given my son is the opportunity to be born here and be an American.

What is a typical American like in your world?

Ha! Is there such a thing as a typical American?

Well, from the moment I met my first American girl, I knew I'd want to marry one. To generalise about Americans and why I think American girls are so attractive, it's because of their confidence.

Americans seem to be naturally more outgoing, open, friendly and more willing to share their opinions (even when they aren't wanted!)

Americans are also more willing to ask for things. Brits tend to be reserved and don't open themselves up for rejection. I've always been amazed at the requests Americans make - and the positive results they get! If you don't ask, you don't get, I suppose.

Most of the negative things I've heard about Americans are untrue. People say Americans are not very outward looking and stereotype foriegn people (saying the French smell, for example.) I've found this to be worse in England.

Americans, in my experience, are more open minded, tolerent and less rascist that Europeans, since America is such a cultural melting pot. I mean, I went to school in England with no black people and one indian person in a class of 40 kids. In New York, you meet people from all sorts of cultures and races and I think kids are more open minded as a result of that.

All in all, I think Americans are some of the best people in the world and I love them.

Do you believe there should be more stringent requirements for being able to vote?

I will admit, I'm tempted to write: If you believe that Obama is a muslim, or that dinosaurs and humans coexisted six thousand years ago, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

But that's just me expressing my frustration...

No, I don't think there should be any restraints on people being allowed to vote. Maybe photo ID, like Tom suggested, which is logical. Not any kind of test, though, since 'voter registration' tests in the deep south were manipulated by racists and that could happen again.

One man (or woman), one vote. The great equaliser.

BLBeamer said...

Do you believe there should be more stringent requirements for being able to vote?

In the case of voting for candidates, no. Prescribed age, citizenship and legal registration should be all that is required. Residence is important, but our state has liberal absentee laws (a good thing, in my opinion). Requiring proof of identity is appropriate.

I struggle with this one since we are lucky to get 50% turnout most elections, so I guess in a way we already evidently have a stringent requirement in that you have to be willing to vote.

However, I often think that only those who actually own property ought to be allowed to vote on whether or not taxes should be raised (or levied) against property values.

Note: I understand this may not be the case in all states, but in my state the Constitution allows the citizens to vote on certain taxes rather than reserving that power only to the legislature.

Tom said...

Roland wrote:

What worries me most is how we've lost sight of that and some wings, like people who are against giving gay people rights - are promoting a very unAmerican attitude that tries to enforce a narrow minded view on other people.

The problem with this is that it takes a potential right (gay marriage) and elevates it to the level of some of the rights that people have historically had. I could claim that I find it upsetting that nobody recognizes the right to go streaking naked through the street... but barring any recognition of that right at all, it's hard to see me having that claim.

Now, I personally like the idea of gay marriage... it's better than gay living-in-sin, the current state. But I'd rather see it imposed by legislatures in their role as representatives of the people, then by judicial fiat.

Becky said...

Well, Roland just banned me from voting.

Since I don't buy into evolution...and I tend to be a bit of a right wing nutjob, well, I guess I don't qualify.

But being born in England, I could never be president Roland, you are safe!

The Maid

Roland Hulme said...

Hello Becky!

Actually, I didn't ban you from voting! I was just being a big mouth - I did follow up by saying their shouldn't be ANY additional restrictions.

Otherwise you end up with grumps like me telling people they can't vote because they believe this, or don't believe that. It ends up being a farce of democracy... True democracy is everybody having a vote, even if you don't agree with what they believe in.

Back in the deep south, they had that 'voter registration' test because they KNEW that many black people wouldn't be able to pass it (or made it so difficult they couldn't pass it) basically fixing it so black people couldn't vote. NOT COOL.

So you go right ahead and believe whatever you want to believe and vote however you want to vote. That's what makes America so wonderful.

Besides, I'm not a citizen yet, so I can't vote.