Monthly Archives: November 2012

2012 Presidential Election Results (Updated)

Here are the 2012 Presidential Election Results (Popular Vote) as of Wednesday, November 28.  Not all votes have been tabulated at this point.

2012 Presidential Election

Barack Obama (D) 64,916,510

Mitt Romney (R) 60,493,449

Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 1,266,693

Jill Stein (Green) 459,125

Virgil Goode (Constitution) 119,364

Roseanne Barr (Peace and Freedom) 64,742

Rocky Anderson (Justice) 41,233

Tom Hoefling (America’s) 38,903

Others 225,930

There were significant increases in the vote totals since I first posted them on November 8.

What are your thoughts on these updated totals?

Network (1976) and What It Means Today

Network (1976) which stars William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Duvall, deals with a fictional television network, UBS, and the some of the personalities affiliated with that network.  The film is a satire of the news business.  At the time, no one thought of the news as a source of entertainment.  Today, however, the division between news and entertainment has been blurred.  Fact based stories are now laden with reporter and network opinions and commentaries.  Here are two scenes from Network; both with network news anchor Howard Beale (Finch) at the forefront.  The first scene takes place after Beale, who had been going through a nervous breakdown/religious revelation, shows up to work drenched from walking the streets of New York.

After the head of programming, Diana Christensen (Dunaway), realizes how powerful Beale’s message resonates with the public, she transforms the nightly news show into a showcase for Beale’s commentaries.

Network is a fictional movie, but the question remains:  Is Network relevant today?  Can you make a connection between what Beale is talking about to what you see today on television and in the media?

What is America’s Ideology?

There are four primary ideologies espoused in the United States.  We usually discuss them from a left-to-right perspective, so that is how they’ll be presented here.  First off, an ideology is a clear, coherent, and consistent set of beliefs about the role of government and its relationship with the individual.  Those on the left side of the ideological scale tend to believe in more federal government involvement, while those on the right side of the scale believe in a federal government that is smaller in size and scope.  We will look at the four primary ideologies (socialism, liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism) from an economic perspective.  The crux of each is founded on economic principles and government’s reach within the economy.  When social issues (i.e. gay marriage, abortion) or the military are discussed, that consistency which makes up the fundamental makeup of an ideology gets clouded.  Here are some brief descriptions of the four ideologies:

Socialism:  This ideology is found on the left-hand side of the left-to-right scale. Socialists believe in curbing the excesses associated with private capital, but also they believe in a more active government intertwining itself within privately run businesses.  The end result being that privatization would no longer exist, and that which was once private becomes “public” in the form of a government controlled and regulated economy.  Socialism would provide more government programs to those in need, but would also need more taxes from the public to pay for those programs.

Liberalism:  Moving to the right of socialism is the liberal ideology.  Liberals tend to believe in the role of government as a “safety net”.  Government is designed to help those in need through social welfare programs.  This may sound like socialism in theory, but liberals do not believe in government controlled, or statist, society.  Private capital and businesses may be regulated and taxed by the federal government, but they would not be taken over and controlled by the government either.

Conservatism:  To the right of the liberal perspective is the conservative ideology.  In the case of the conservative, he believes in a smaller government which is cut down to size by reducing the number of social welfare and spending programs in the United States.  Conservatives also believe in cutting taxes.

Libertarianism:  The ideology at the most right of the scale being described here is libertarianism.  Libertarianism, at its American core, was promoted during the American Revolution.  Classic liberalism, as it was called then, supported a federal government that had very limited powers.  The definition of limited powers would be derived from the United States Constitution.  Simply put, if there was  a question on the size and scope of the federal government, then the Constitution would be final arbiter in settling a governmental dispute between the federal government and the states.  Only that which is written specifically for the federal government in the Constitution can belong to the federal government.  That which is not a federal government power would then belong to the states.

What is the predominant ideology in the United States?  Perhaps you believe that we live in a moderate or middle-of-the-road nation.  Remember, however, that the moderate position is not an ideology.  Moderation in politics is not clear, consistent, or coherent as the definition of an ideology suggests.

Susan Rice and the Secretary of State

Current Events Quiz

This week’s quiz is live in MySearchLab.  Good Luck!

LBJ, Ice Cream, and Barry Goldwater

What is the purpose of this ad from 1964?  Have political ads changed in any way since then?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-VzZQGWOqA&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Looking Ahead to 2016

It’s not even the end of 2012 and names are already being thrown about for the 2016 Presidential contest.  President Barack Obama is term-limited, so that leaves the Democratic nomination wide open.  Governor Mitt Romney will more than likely not be running for the Republican nomination in 2016.  Since neither 2012 candidate is eligible nor likely to run, both political parties will have their work cut out for them in deciding who their Presidential nominees will be.  Voters, of course, will be the ultimate deciding factor in choosing the party nominees.  On the Democratic side, Vice President Joe Biden, newly elected US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are most frequently mentioned.  Outgoing Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper are also discussed as possible candidates for President.  The Republican side, after two straight Presidential defeats, also has a strong list of possible candidates.  Among them are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney’s chief conservative opponent in 2012, has also made overtures about running for President in 2016.  Former US Senator Scott Brown, who lost to Elizabeth Warren in his re-election bid this November, is also seen as a dark horse candidate for the White House.  What should we be watching out for when trying to determine who will run for President in 2016?  Pay attention to those who visit Iowa and New Hampshire in 2013.  Those two states conduct the first caucuses and primaries respectively.  Historically, Iowa and New Hampshire help narrow the field of candidates from the serious and not-so-serious.  Since they are first, it is understandable as to why those with Presidential aspirations visit them.  With that in mind, who do you think will run for President in 2016?