Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jon Huntsman: The Moderate Candidate

"So what do you think of Jon Huntsman" -Question
"Who?" -Response
The following exchange was a conversation I had with a fellow peer over Jon Huntsman, a conversation that didn't last long due to the fact that very few people actually know who Jon Huntsman. For those who don't know who Jon Hunstman is, he is a 2012 presidential candidate for the Republican party. His record paints a picture of a fiscal conservative with daily liberal social views, making him the most moderate candidate of all the Republicans. He is also the person that I want to win the Republican presidential nomination.

This is easier said then done when most of the population doesn't even know of the existence of Huntsman. If Huntsman wants to win, he will absolutely have to show up in all the remaining debates in order to get attention. The last GOP debate, which was on CNN, had him failing to show up, a big error on his part, as the event would have allowed him to earn some recognition. The biggest problem with Huntsman is that he still has yet to establish an identity in the party, a problem that could be easily fixed with the appearance in debates. If he were to appear, Huntsman would gain attention for his lack of anti-Obama rhetoric (Used by nearly every single Republican candidate) and his moderate political views that will be a big contrast to the fringe views of most of the candidates.

Fiction For Political Geeks: Rubicon

Before we begin, I would like to introduce Fiction for Political Geeks. This is a segment of my blog where I will introduce a work of fiction that I believe is necessary reading or viewing for my fellow political geeks. The work can be a movie, book, or television show.

When I think of Rubicon, I immediately conjure up depressing memories of a show that showed enormous potential in it's first season (13 episodes), but was never allowed to grow due to a swift cancellation caused by low ratings. The show was a conspiracy thriller that followed brilliant intelligence analyst Will Traverse (James Badge Dale), who finds himself embroiled in a government conspiracy involving his own intelligence organization, after the death of his step father, the leader of the organization, causes him to investigate. The show was glacially paced, meaning viewership for the show tanked despite fantastic acting, beautiful cinematography and an intelligent plot, leading to the inevitable cancellation of this thrilling political drama.

The reasons I would recommend this would be the following: First, the shows depiction of intelligence gathering is highly realistic, as the show features intelligence analysts looking at stacks of paper trying to find information over foreign threats in an archaic manner, unlike the high tech method in which shows like 24 do. This is also true in the manner that these analysts fight terrorism, as they spend a majority of their time thinking, with nearly no fight scenes or action taking place during the entire show, again unlike 24. What makes Rubicon even more realistic is the way it depicts terrorism, exploring the causes of it and the various reactions that the government has to it. Rubicon is definitely a show for those who love to spend lots of time thinking about these topics, rather then wondering when the car chases are going to take place. (Hint: There are none.)

Secondly, Rubicon features a conspiracy plot, while less realistic then the intelligence gathering plot, that is still very interesting due to the many subjects it deals with, its intelligent writing, its great acting and the remarkable tense mood that steadily builds up as a results of its fantastic cinematography and paranoia that the main character feels due to fear of being silenced by the conspirators. The pacing is very slow initially, but speeds up steadily, rewarding the audience with shocking plot twists in the second half of the show.

Their is only one huge flaw with this potential masterpiece: It never ended. The first season ended on a cliffhanger, meaning that the cancellation of the show resulted lots of dissatisfaction. With a second season never to exist in the future, I do hope they at least create an alternative ending to the first season or a least a webisode to provide the ending so desperately needed to satisfy those who watched it. Sadly, Rubicon has still yet to get even a DVD or Blu-Ray release date, despite it being a year since the show aired on AMC, making an alternative ending or webisode an unlikely prospect.

That being said, I still do recommend that you watch Rubicon. The lack of a conclusion may be a big problem, but it's a thriller that political geeks will come to love. It's a show relevant in our current time due to its accurate depiction of terrorism and intelligence gathering. Do not pass this up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Same-Sex Marriage Passes in New York

When it comes to social issues, I believe that the government should never have any control over the personal lives of the people. For example:

I believe that if those of the same-sex want to marry, they should be allowed to do so. It is not the role of government to pass judgement on their lifestyles or the lifestyles of anyone else. Government only has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of its own citizens and same-sex marriage does not in any way harm those who are not involved in the marriage. The marriage of two people of the same-sex has absolutely no consequence on me, for that reason alone, I say that it should be legalized.
On June 24, the state of New York legalized homosexual marriage, making it the sixth largest state to legalize it. Spearheading the effort was Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had promised to push for gay marriage last fall's campaign. Supporters included New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (An independent) and former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat. The most remarkable aspect of the vote, which passed the New York senate 33-29, was the use of bipartisan support, as four Republicans and 29 Democrats voted for the measure, while 28 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted against it. This use of bipartisanship, while not a major difference in voting patterns, shows that gay marriage is starting to gain acceptance in society.

A problem that I have had with the fringe groups of the Republican party, is this belief that government should promote family values, meaning that they are thus against homosexual marriage, despite the party's core belief that government should have a severely limited role in the lives of people. Remember that quote by Reagan, you might have heard of it.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden." -Ronald Reagan

It's strikes me as ironic that the majority of Democrats, a party obsessed with government interference, should be in support of gay marriage.

What are your views on gay marriage? Voice your opinions on the comments section.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First GOP Debate on Fox News

The Republican candidates had their first debate May 6 on Fox News. While the debate unfortunately did not feature any of the high profile candidates that I was hoping for: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Mitch Daniels; the debate was still very interesting due to the various personalities we were introduced in this debate. Here's my analysis of those participating in the debate, from the worst performances, to the best:

Gary Johnson:
While I do give Mr. Johnson some credit for being the first to establish that he's running instead of setting up an exploratory committee , his performance was by far the most disastrous I've seen in this presidential race so far. Not only did he get little questions asked of him (So little that he had to ask for more questions), he poorly utilized the questions, rambling off topic on the final question and doing little to distinguish himself from other candidates. Plus his profuse sweating and excessive movement made him seem nervous, the worst possible trait for someone running for the most powerful position in the world.

Rick Santorum:
Bland would be the best way to describe Rick Santorum. He suffered from simply not being able to distinguish himself from other candidates, meaning that while he didn't do as bad as Gary Johnson... he might as well have. People may remember Gary Johnson for his poor performance, but I guarantee that no one will even remember Rick Santorum.

Ron Paul:
While definitely not the winner of the debate, Ron Paul gave an acceptable performance, establishing himself as one who will fight government control. He did have a lot of interesting things to say, making good idealogical points of why he supports the legalization of drugs such as marijuana and his opposition to foreign military intervention. That being said, Ron Paul's actual delivery was below average, mostly due to the fact that he has not aged well, giving people the impression of weakness. His stammering also made him seem tired, another trait unfit for those running for president. While he does have my support, his performance was more damaging then beneficial.

Tim Pawlenty:
Tim Pawlenty was able to give an average performance due to his very likable personality. That being said, the problem was that it was too average. Sure he made no moves that harmed him during the debate, but I wished he tried to at least put himself out their in order to distinguish himself from other candidates. Sure the dropping out of Mike Huckabee could allow his base of evangelical supporters to grow, but he should not rely on that if he expects to make it to the primaries. That being said, his gracious remarks at the beginning of the debate for President Obama's acievement of the killing of Bin Laden will allow him to be viewed as above the fray of partisan politics, while still being critical of his policies due to harsh remarks made later in the debate.

Herman Cain:
Ultimately, Herman Cain was the victor of this whole debate, as he was the only one who seemed presidential. Sure I'm still not convinced a business man running the country is a good idea, as running the country is not the same as running a business. That being said, I did like his responses on foreign policy, which called for a clear definition to the missions in our Middle Eastern conflicts. His decisive answers and confident demeanor definitely stood out from the rest of the candidates, making the CEO of Godfather's Pizza a serious presidential candidate that opponents should be wary of.

So who did you believe won the debate and why?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Welcome to The Amateur Political Pundit!

Hello and welcome to my site, The Amateur Political Pundit. The following site will be my official political site for various topics I consider important in the world of politics. Due to the fact that I have no experience writing about politics, I have decided to name the site 'The Amateur Political Pundit', in an effort to warn those looking for the opinion of a professional pundit away from this site. I admit that while I have been following politics for a while (5 years), I still lack the insight necessary to ensure that all my articles are well supported. That being said, I have to start somewhere, so I'll treat this as a learning experience. For now, here is a little information about me:

Name: Eric Robinson
Political Affiliations: Independent
Hobbies: Reading Politico, Watching C-CSPAN, Listening to NPR, Watching any AMC or FX Original Series, Reading Politically Charged Books, Tweeting (theaustincritic), Listening to Pandora Radio
Education: Still in High School
Aspirations: One Day Hold A Position of Leadership in Politics, Degree in Political Science
Location: Austin, Texas