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View Poll Results: What stance should the government take?
Support 1 10.00%
Oppose 9 90.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Xujhan Offline
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Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 11:25 AM

Thought experiment for you:

--

Obama gets to work one morning and finds on his desk a piece of legislature drafted by some unnamed senator, along with a set of polls from reliable media sources indicating that approximately 65% of the American public is in favour of the bill. Its contents?

"No elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school will be permitted to accept both students of American descent and students of foreign descent. Instead, all school jurisdictions will contain an adequate number of schools to educate each student group separately."

Should Obama support the contents of this legislature, or oppose them?

--

And to preempt any cleverness; I'm aware that this is simplifying the American governmental system significantly. The point isn't to argue legal technicality. The point - in case it isn't evident - is a question of principle; should the government defer to the opinions of the majority in controversial issues, or should the government's first priority be to protect minority groups?


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 11:40 AM

Support/opposition of this measure, along with support/opposition of the measure you're obviously using this as an analogy for, should be independant of the mob rule based system of majority rule.
   
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Re: Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 01:15 PM

Besides the unconstitutionality of "separate but equal," I disagree with the separate but equal mantra anyway. I personally don't think this is analogous to the health care bill at all, as I'm guessing you are making a point about.
   
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Re: Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBL87 View Post
Besides the unconstitutionality of "separate but equal," I disagree with the separate but equal mantra anyway. I personally don't think this is analogous to the health care bill at all, as I'm guessing you are making a point about.
The question isn't about what we think is correct though; I'd wager we're all of us here enlightened enough to recognize the evils of "separate but equal". The question is where we think the government's responsibilities lie. We'd all want the government to oppose, but whether we think the government should oppose depends on your view of the government's role in society. Prop 8 comes to mind as a similar real-life example of this kind of problem.

And while this thought did come to me while discussing the health care bill, it's only tangentially related. The point could be extended to health care, but I'm more curious about the question of responsibility in general. It seems to me that it's in important consideration of any government; balancing what they see is popular against what they think is right.


The atoms that make up you and me were born in the hearts of suns many times greater than ours, and in time our atoms will once again reside amongst the stars. Life is but an idle dalliance of the cosmos, frail, and soon forgotten. We have been set adrift in an ocean whose tides we are only beginning to comprehend and with that maturity has come the realization that we are, at least for now, alone. In that loneliness, it falls to us to shine as brightly as the stars from which we came.
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Re: Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 07:29 PM

Government officials are elected by us to represent us. If U.S. citizens honestly wanted something like this bill passed, then they elected the wrong president. The majority of the people will just have to wait until the next time around and elect someone who promises segregation.

Obviously oppose. Even if it is the majority of the people support it (though considering the bill is extremely unconstitutional it'd never get passed anyway), its still the governments job to make decisions that they think are in our best interest. Once we elect someone we basically trust them to make our decisions for us. That's what democracy is all about I suppose.


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Re: Government Responsibility - March 24th 2010, 08:00 PM

It depends on the situation. Sometimes the majority doesn't know what's best for them. Sometimes the minority is oppressed to the point where government needs to step in. Or maybe the minority's concerns are unsubstantial and not important to the society as a whole.

As for the example, oppose. I would be more in favour of similar schools where people of different cultures try to understand and co-exist with one another.
   
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