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ianwilkins

Talking politics around the campfire

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The Constitution creates no rights.  To a greater or lesser extent, the Constitution protects rights from government.

 

Rights have been found to exist that are not even mentioned in the Constitution ("right" to "privacy")

 

This language seems to clearly recognize that citizens of the U.S. have a right to vote:  Amendment XV, Section 1: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

 

Or so the argument goes.

 

Agreed. But that does not establish the right to vote, it is argued that it merely protects a right that is believed to exist already.

 

This is beginning to sound like my Constitutional law class. ;) I really enjoyed that class a great deal.

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Yup.  All the rights mentioned in the Constitution are said to be ours at birth (or some at  conception in the view of some)

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Our scouts are discussing politics at meetings and around the campfire more than in the past. There have been numerous Robert Gates interviews regarding the Presidential candidates.Each interview introduces Mr. Gates as the former ... and current president of the Boy Scouts of America ...which immediately catches scouts' ears and further sparks political discussion which always follows the Scout Oath and Law  :rolleyes:

 

I am very encouraged when I hear scouts, our future leaders, say, Mr Schiff I think I could do a better job as President, as Senator, as Congressman, as a reporter, as a moderator, as a ...

 

No doubt, they will.

 

My $0.02

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I do not mind a bit of political discussion around the campfire. I think it is a part of being an active citizen, provided it is done well and thoughtfully. It sounds like the fellow in your scenario went overboard, but I don't know that I would have chastised him or anything. At most, I would have tried to change the topic or guide the discussion in a less political direction.

 

That is, so long as he wasn't haranguing a scout. No scout's parent  sends their boys with us for political indoctrination. Have to draw the line there.

 

(And we do not permit scouts to loiter at the adults' campfire for precisely this kind of reason. In our troop, either the scouts would have been asked to leave and go back to their campsites or the adults would have left the scouts' campsite.)

 

I think, though, it is a "teachable moment", as they say. I think I would look up the scouts shortly after that and just have a short discussion. "It wasn't any fun to be lectured like that, was it?" "Do you really think that's how to win somebody to your position?" "Be sure to consider the other side of the argument and don't just take somebody's word for it." That kind of thing.  You don't want the scouts to think that's the way to go through life. There's a reason you don't talk politics, religion, or money in polite company.

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Depending on their age and maturity - I tend to play devil's advocate with the boys if they have a very strident political position.  Kind of a bastardization of the Socratic method - just to get them to think and challenge themselves. 

 

But rarely is it the boys who start a political discussion.  When the adults start it, I usually decline participation if the boys are around. 

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Acco40, I like to ask them what evidence or observations would it take for them to change their minds? Usually that's the end of the discussion because they think they know what they know 'absolutely'.

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It is actually interesting to hear the opinions expressed on politics by scouts.  At an OA ordeal dinner a couple of political issues came up.  Much of what was said clearly mirrored things they have heard -- most likely from parents.  My perception was that all of the guys were expressing opinions on the same end of the political spectrum with some opinions being more extreme than others.  I asked a bunch of questions that probed their level of understanding of issues and asked questions that made them consider whether a generalization (despite making a good sound bite) would make good policy.  I also asked questions which tried to get them to think of principles and goals as opposed to policies - WHY your are doing something rather than WHAT you should do.  We also talked a little about the WHO in politics and to what extent personal traits of the candidates should matter.  

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I once has to interrupt an argument over 'Marbury vs Madison' and thought they actually must be learning something in 8th grade US History.

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As long as the youth members learn the right lesson ... and I'm sorely afraid this election cycle will not teach those lessons ... I'm all in favor of our youth learning citizenship by doing.

 

Sadly, this is the election cycle of the ad hominem attack, and I think we will have to push "A Scout is Friendly" on the youth in discussing how we select who we will vote fore.

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As long as the youth members learn the right lesson ... and I'm sorely afraid this election cycle will not teach those lessons ... I'm all in favor of our youth learning citizenship by doing.

 

Sadly, this is the election cycle of the ad hominem attack, and I think we will have to push "A Scout is Friendly" on the youth in discussing how we select who we will vote fore.

ROFL.

 

THIS election is the "cycle of the ad hominem attack"?? Did you miss 2012, 2008, 2004 and 2002?

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ROFL.

 

THIS election is the "cycle of the ad hominem attack"?? Did you miss 2012, 2008, 2004 and 2002?

Politics has never been civil, but this election has been noticably more childish and stupid than normal. Feels like a dumb reality tv show. Edited by Sentinel947

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Politics has never been civil, but this election has been noticably more childish and stupid than normal. Feels like a dumb reality tv show.

 

Well this one has been vile, to be sure...on both sides.

 

When you have Dumb and Dumber running it is hard to have any optimism about the next four years. Which liar lies the least may win.

 

I feel like we just hit another dark period in Presidential politics.

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Hard to say "both sides do it" when one side is arguing about whether or not a chair was raised by a supporter in Nevada, while the other side's candidates are directly comparing "hand size" and offering to cover the legal fees of supporters who punch protesters in the face. For all the heatedness on the Democratic side, I never heard either candidate encourage violence from their supporters. This is not a "both sides do it" race.

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Hard to say "both sides do it" when one side is arguing about whether or not a chair was raised by a supporter in Nevada, while the other side's candidates are directly comparing "hand size" and offering to cover the legal fees of supporters who punch protesters in the face. For all the heatedness on the Democratic side, I never heard either candidate encourage violence from their supporters. This is not a "both sides do it" race.

 

ROFL...whatever you say.

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I've never heard Secretary Clinton call Senator Sanders, "Lying Bernie".  Don't fall into the trap of the false equivalence.

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