Author Topic: Interesting perspective  (Read 3371 times)

Offline Pugnate

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Interesting perspective
« on: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 10:59:42 AM »

Offline W7RE

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #1 on: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 09:25:34 PM »
This might be the best political statement I've heard in a decade or more.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #2 on: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 11:26:14 PM »
Was just having a conversation about this with my sister and mother, both of whom are hyper-conservative in most regards and who have at times labeled me a liberal even though I'm not, strictly speaking. It's not just the fault of the left, however—although in this case he's totally right about a lot of that. It's the fault of basically everyone, because everyone is a knee-jerk reactionary about basically everything these days. Even if you're actually moderate, if you say the wrong thing you'll immediately get labeled a liberal or a conservative and be totally written off by people in whatever camp.

I continue to say that partisan politics will be the death of this country. We have no room for real ideas anymore.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline scottws

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #3 on: Sunday, November 13, 2016, 02:15:03 AM »
I agree with Que.  This guy is right in the sense that the left has created an environment where people with socially conservative views are basically Puritans that should be silenced, ignored, or shamed.  Not that I don't myself agree.  You are free to practice any religion you like in this country so long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of someone else.  How does someone else's lifestyle or beliefs have any impact on you, individually?  Trying to force specific beliefs on other people through law is basically the same as what goes on in the Middle East with certain segments of the population trying to put in place governments that will enforce sharia.  In addition to the sense of having some other belief structure forced upon you or others - which is actually against the Constitution to a certain degree - there is a real risk of the loss of scientific advancement.  That's what scares me the most.

There has been an uprising in what I've come to call "redneck culture":  extreme to the point of being unhealthy patriotism, blatant racism, intimidation, and demagoguery.  The people in this culture seem to vote Republican simply because that's what they've always done and that's what everyone else in their communities are doing.  In addition to the simple inertia, these communities appear to be driven to vote Republican mostly based on the social aspects of the GOP's platform, even though such positions have no direct impact on one's own life and instead really just affect the lives of others.  They vote based on these social planks despite Republican politicians' actions, which clearly demonstrate that they are in the pocket of the wealthy and corporate America. 

Of course, me just labeling it as redneck culture is kind of what this guy is talking about.  That said, it's not just a leftist thing.  People in these blood red communities are intimidated and shamed if they express that they are thinking about voting for one of the Democrats or Green party politicians.  I'm friends with a few Tea Party Republican supporters on Facebook, and you would not believe the lunacy they spout on there.  "I need Hillary Clinton like I need ebola!"  "Hillary Clinton is a frail lesbian"  "Crooked Hillary blah blah blah"  "Thanks, Obama!" (in response to some random crime committed by a black person).  Sometimes I do try to debate with them, but I'm usually jumped on by a hundred similarly minded folks who just do stuff like simply call me a "libtard", "pussy", and an "Obama lover".  This is not the stuff that builds a foundation of intelligent political discourse. 

Frankly, I blame the current divide in this country and the rise of the alt-right and redneck culture on outfits such as Fox News and Breitbart.  People that consume those news sources tend to do so unquestioningly and never seem to try fact-checking anything they see.  To any leftist that spends any amount of time watching, these outfits appear to be full of pure, unbridled propaganda.  Like Brexit: The Movie, but for American issues.  It seems impossible that people would actually buy into a lot of what's said on those outfits, but yet they do.  People complain that the "mainstream media"* is leftist.  I'd agree that a lot of journalists are indeed leftist and this comes out in the types of stories they cover and what is said.  That said, as leftist as - say - MSBNC is, Fox News is far, far more rightist.  It's created a serious malaise in this country.  The right doesn't compromise anymore, because if you do you're seen as weak and will get voted out in favor of someone even more extreme right wing, thanks to Fox News and the unintended effects of gerrymandering.  Anyone who holds any leftist position or compromises with the left is a "libtard pussy".

I wish I knew what the answer was.  I think reigning in Wall Street, large business consolidation, and business executive compensation could go a long, long way to helping this country as a whole, but I don't see it happening in the current political climate.  The interesting thing is that I think that's one area where many that voted for Donald Trump and many leftists would agree and there is a real opportunity to build some sort of coalition to force changes through.  Unfortunately, I don't think it will result in any useful coalition because the chasm between us is already so wide and deep.  That said, now that Donald Trump is elected based on such sentiment, I do suppose it behooves us on the left to rally some support behind him to see if he follows through on some of those promises, since they match our wishes as well. 

* I hate the "mainstream media" phase thrown around by the right.  There are statistics that show that Fox News viewership tops all the other major news networks (e.g. CNN, MSNBC, HLN).  Even Fox News themselves claims this.  Someone, please help me understand how a news network that has more viewers than any other isn't considered mainstream.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #4 on: Sunday, November 13, 2016, 04:16:59 PM »
Well said.

And I do think we need to find ways to start listening to each other better, but I just don't see how it's going to happen. There are too many people in control of what people hear (and because so few have any ability to think critically anymore, they also control what most people think). I'm more liberal than conservative, especially on certain key issues, but it doesn't mean I don't understand why so many poor white Republicans are pissed off. I get it, and I agree that we have a corrupt government that isn't serving the people, and that corruption absolutely comes from both the right and the left. I don't think almost anyone disagrees with that.

The problem is that we all disagree on the solution, and voting in Donald Trump seems as idiotic to many of us—because he's more or less the poster child for the current problem (corporocratic government)—as it seems like the most sensible thing in the world to someone who looked at Clinton and saw just more of the same. Neither of those interpretations is strictly wrong. Both are limited in one facet or another. With careful analysis, I personally have come to conclude that Donald Trump is a nightmare, but that the primary difference between he and Clinton was really just accountability. She had more reason to listen to people and be accountable to her constituents, even though she's not a particularly decent human being and has a long track record of political corruption. But between the two, she was still a safer choice, because Donald Trump has literally no reason to listen to anyone except the corrupt people all of us want to stop controlling our government. And I think everyone who voted for him would discover that with some examination of things as his presidency wears on, but for the fact that so many are coming from this place where you never question your own ideology, you just defend it against everything, because no matter what the other side says it's coming from the mouth of the devil himself.

We've had a term for this for thousands of years. It's a logical fallacy called ad hominem, which I'm sure you've all heard of: an attack against the person making the argument, not a refutation of the argument itself. This is what I've watched my conservative family do over and over again lately. They also commonly commit the Straw Man fallacy, setting up a false representation of someone's argument and then refuting that instead. Frankly, the latter is becoming increasingly common on both sides, and it all comes down to the same desire to just label the other guy as evil and not truly consider the argument being made.

I have no idea how we get past this on a national level. Personally, I've come to believe that listening more and talking less are two of the most important things we can do, and to speak only when it's truly contributing something valuable to the conversation, but that's a much harder thing in practice than in principle, especially when you're facing issues like hate. Even when I do understand where people whose methods I don't agree with are coming from, I can't get them to understand that. Because unless I go along with their proposed solutions, they think I must not understand.
« Last Edit: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 03:45:20 PM by Quemaqua »

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Offline scottws

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 01:38:09 PM »
I just reread your post, Que, and it's amazing.  Post of the year I've seen anywhere!  Good job.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 03:49:19 PM »
Well thank you! I appreciate that. Funnily enough, right after reading your post I noticed a typo, so now there's an edit. heh

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Offline Cobra951

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #7 on: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 09:41:59 AM »
Well said.

And I do think we need to find ways to start listening to each other better, but I just don't see how it's going to happen. There are too many people in control of what people hear (and because so few have any ability to think critically anymore, they also control what most people think). I'm more liberal than conservative, especially on certain key issues, but it doesn't mean I don't understand why so many poor white Republicans are pissed off. I get it, and I agree that we have a corrupt government that isn't serving the people, and that corruption absolutely comes from both the right and the left. I don't think almost anyone disagrees with that.

. . .

We've had a term for this for thousands of years. It's a logical fallacy called ad hominem, which I'm sure you've all heard of: an attack against the person making the argument, not a refutation of the argument itself. This is what I've watched my conservative family do over and over again lately. They also commonly commit the Straw Man fallacy, setting up a false representation of someone's argument and then refuting that instead. Frankly, the latter is becoming increasingly common on both sides, and it all comes down to the same desire to just label the other guy as evil and not truly consider the argument being made.

I have no idea how we get past this on a national level. Personally, I've come to believe that listening more and talking less are two of the most important things we can do, and to speak only when it's truly contributing something valuable to the conversation, but that's a much harder thing in practice than in principle, especially when you're facing issues like hate. Even when I do understand where people whose methods I don't agree with are coming from, I can't get them to understand that. Because unless I go along with their proposed solutions, they think I must not understand.

Your post is what encouraged me to break my silence in the Trump thread.  That's a compliment, in case you thought the opposite.  Conversations even with family have been very heated here too.  My two local brothers feel much as most here do about politics, and try as I would to prevent it, political topics would eventually meander into the picture.  It was not pretty.  The sense of outrage against a pro-conservative stance is palpable, and spills over from the arguments to me personally. 

I did not want a repeat of that here, and thankfully, that fear was unfounded.  Part of that difference I'm sure is the medium.  A face-to-face facilitates overreaction, while a forum lets you blow off steam offline, then compose your thoughts more civilly.  My brothers don't hate me.  The topic is just too hot for unchecked reactions.


I agree with Que.  This guy is right in the sense that the left has created an environment where people with socially conservative views are basically Puritans that should be silenced, ignored, or shamed.  Not that I don't myself agree.  You are free to practice any religion you like in this country so long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of someone else.  How does someone else's lifestyle or beliefs have any impact on you, individually?  Trying to force specific beliefs on other people through law is basically the same as what goes on in the Middle East with certain segments of the population trying to put in place governments that will enforce sharia.  In addition to the sense of having some other belief structure forced upon you or others - which is actually against the Constitution to a certain degree - there is a real risk of the loss of scientific advancement.  That's what scares me the most.

. . .

Of course, me just labeling it as redneck culture is kind of what this guy is talking about.  That said, it's not just a leftist thing.  . . .

Frankly, I blame the current divide in this country and the rise of the alt-right and redneck culture on outfits such as Fox News and Breitbart.  People that consume those news sources tend to do so unquestioningly and never seem to try fact-checking anything they see.  To any leftist that spends any amount of time watching, these outfits appear to be full of pure, unbridled propaganda.  Like Brexit: The Movie, but for American issues.  It seems impossible that people would actually buy into a lot of what's said on those outfits, but yet they do.  People complain that the "mainstream media"* is leftist.  I'd agree that a lot of journalists are indeed leftist and this comes out in the types of stories they cover and what is said.  That said, as leftist as - say - MSBNC is, Fox News is far, far more rightist.  It's created a serious malaise in this country.  The right doesn't compromise anymore, because if you do you're seen as weak and will get voted out in favor of someone even more extreme right wing, thanks to Fox News and the unintended effects of gerrymandering.  Anyone who holds any leftist position or compromises with the left is a "libtard pussy".

. . .

Has it occurred to you that perhaps you're putting the cart before the horse?  Why has the extreme right risen in prominence?  What has changed in conservative America to grant these guys a more profitable voice?  Wackos and extremists were always so.  The difference is that now some of them have gained visibility, because of the vacuum in coverage of widespread issues that don't jell with the left's agendas.  When the "mainstream" media (e.g., NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC) doesn't cover or represent white middle-class America, the eventual result should be obvious.  They may seethe in silence for a decade or two, but eventually they're going to find their voice, possibly an extreme one.  And they'll turn away from those who turned on them.

Sharia law is wholly against the Constitution.  The only way that would work here is on an individual basis--i.e., each person is free to impose it on him or herself, but not even on immediate family members.  While it's true that much of the conservative power comes from evangelicals, I in no way support the imposition of religious views on anyone.  The Creation Museum across the river here is an embarrassment.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #8 on: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 12:01:43 PM »
I mean I don't think you're wrong at all. I've never been one to say the minorities are more important than white people. We talk a lot about equality but then don't always treat people equally because we're so big on swinging the pendulum. Is that an inevitability? I don't know if it truly is, but it certainly seems to be so here. And yes, those people who are neglected eventually find a voice somewhere. I'm not a disenfranchised white person, and I'm lucky for that, but it doesn't mean I don't on some level understand the group of white people that's not been the focus of attention for a while. I have my own thoughts on exactly how real those feelings are, and discussed in IRC the fact that I think a lot of white folks actually have many advantages they simply don't acknowledge because those things are "advertised" to minority groups instead, but setting that totally aside, I understand the feelings there.

But again, I don't think Trump is any sort of rational expression of that rising voice, and here too is a typical American trend, where we find the biggest and loudest representation of something gets attention but doesn't really end up even being a terribly accurate representation in the end. It happens on both the left and the right, and happens all the time since this is the way so many people get elected; and from what Trump has done and said so far, he seems to be another textbook instance of walking back on promises and doing things that fly in the face of a lot of what his supporters actually wanted. In a few cases I'm glad about that, but in other cases not at all. I agreed that we needed to stop corporate control of our government and that nobody was doing enough to stop it. Unfortunately, I was never convinced Trump had any desire to do much to change it, and nothing he's done so far has inspired confidence.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #9 on: Sunday, November 20, 2016, 07:47:56 AM »
I was actually replying to Scott about the alt-right and the right-wing news outlets.  I wasn't thinking Trump at all when I wrote that part of my post.

I doubt Trump will even attempt to do half of what he said.  However, any rules with the force of law Obama imposed on the country by executive order will most likely go away quickly.  Obamacare will follow, or at least have all its teeth pulled out.

Offline scottws

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 11:13:34 AM »
Has it occurred to you that perhaps you're putting the cart before the horse?  Why has the extreme right risen in prominence?  What has changed in conservative America to grant these guys a more profitable voice?  Wackos and extremists were always so.  The difference is that now some of them have gained visibility, because of the vacuum in coverage of widespread issues that don't jell with the left's agendas.  When the "mainstream" media (e.g., NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC) doesn't cover or represent white middle-class America, the eventual result should be obvious.  They may seethe in silence for a decade or two, but eventually they're going to find their voice, possibly an extreme one.  And they'll turn away from those who turned on them.

Discarding the social planks for a moment, I believe that the entire Republican agenda is basically politics bought and paid for by large businesses and extremely wealthy individuals.  Just look at all their anti-consumer stances on nearly everything and their stance on tax policy.  Their opposition to 'Net neutrality is one specific example.

Since most people aren't executives at huge companies or successful stock brokers, Republicans would never get elected if their business and tax agenda was all they ran on.  So instead they decided to take up conservative social issues as their primary cause during election seasons.  That helps get them elected tremendously, because for some reason there are a whole lot of people that vote primarily based on the social issues.

I believe Fox News was created as another element.  It was a way for the established elite to basically indoctrinate its viewers in order to soften opposition to their ideas and goals and also to denounce their opposition.  The most recent rounds of gerrymandering coupled with a couple generations of propaganda from Fox News moved the Republican Party and, subsequently, its loyalists noticeably farther to the right.  This significant shift to the right then led to ears being more open to extreme right media sources (e.g. Breitbart) which then exacerbates what I'll go ahead and call a problem today.

Now, I know this all sounds pretty tin foil to someone that leans right.  But consider that I grew up in a staunchly right wing/Republican family and community, went to a conservative university (Miami U.), and have a fiancee that leans left on the social issues but right on everything else.  You might even remember that I was a fairly staunch GWB supporter, at least during his first term.  It's not like I'm in some leftist echo chamber and don't get exposed to other ways of looking at things.

Also, I seethe whenever I see the phrase "mainstream media".  I will grant you that only one of the major news networks leans right: Fox News.  That said, Fox News actually has more viewership than any one of the other major news networks.  So tell me, how is it conveniently excluded when using the phrase "mainstream media"?  In any case, I'd contend that many of the major networks are more centrist or slight left.  Of course, with today's political climate here that might as well be extreme left.

I think you have to be careful making statements like "the major news networks minus Fox News are ignoring or not representing the white middle-class".  For instance, I'm white middle-class and I don't feel that way at all.  It's much more nuanced than that and, frankly, I think the right wing, including its media, has become so oppositionist that it's created an environment of us vs. them that maybe wouldn't have existed to such an extreme otherwise.  On one hand, yes, people shouldn't be ignored and everyone should have the right to a voice.  But forgive me if I'm not overly concerned about what people like this think about anything (FWIW, I don't personally follow The Witty Liberal; someone I am friends with shared it).

My point about Sharia was simply to compare it to attempts by some of the right to try to put religiously-influenced items into law.  Things like the pro-life viewpoint, creation/intelligent design as an alternative to evolution, and opposition to homosexual marriage are all things that I think you would agree are rooted in religious beliefs.  It is in that spirit that making these things law is similar to putting Sharia into law.  It's just that it's more opaque.
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 02:34:04 PM by scottws »

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 11:43:06 PM »
I'd echo Scott's sentiments here. I also grew up conservative, and my family is still almost exclusively comprised of hyper-conservative actively religious Christians and Catholics. But I've noticed the same thing he has, and would describe it very similarly. I've watched my own family get manipulated over the years, and I've watched as the things they said about the left shifted from things I agreed with to things that had less and less basis in fact. Almost all of them are held captive by conservative media, even if they claim they only half listen to it. They often call me biased by the mainstream media and college, ignoring the fact that I haven't had TV in years, most of the news I get firsthand is from Japanese slingbox streams (supplemented by the occasional article here or there, none of which are consistently left or right), and the college I went to was in the heart of conservative Texas.

We all have blind spots, but it's very dangerous to take such hardline stances as many of us are while being totally ignorant of how we're being manipulated. Much of this is a repeat of some of our more terrifying moments in history. I think that scares me more than anything. Given a little more time, this won't be about ideology any longer. It will be about the power already taken by people who convinced us it was.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 04:49:01 AM »
Why would you think that right-wing propaganda would manipulate half the country?  We are all bombarded with opposing views on everything.  I don't ever take one view of anything as absolute.  But I won't cover my ears and shout "LA LA LA LA!" when a conflicting viewpoint is expressed either.  That's how we arrive at the truth.  It's like our eyes--one left and one right add depth to the image.  You get a more complete picture.  No one manipulates me, at least not without me knowing it.

Sane adults have a mindset that exists independently of what anyone tells them.  That may get shaken by events that shatter some preconceptions, alter the mindset.  This is a good thing, as it makes us more in tune with reality.  As we get older, the sum of our experiences let us see things much more clearly.  A lot of optimism, idealism and adherence to dogma get swept away in the process.

I've watched and read all the news networks, including Fox.  Most of what they report is factually correct, and I can discern when they've moved from reporting to editorializing.  When there is conflict in the reportage, or one outlet reports something the others don't, it's time to seek more information elsewhere, and peg what is really going on.  Don't take them blindly at their word, but listen to what they're saying.  How is one side ever to understand the other if they don't ever listen?

Offline scottws

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Re: Interesting perspective
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 06:32:35 AM »
I do actually read news on Fox News' website from time to time and find it to be very responsible reporting.  But I can't stomach Fox News the TV channel whatsoever.  I personally find that a huge amount of it is just propaganda.

But I agree with listening to opposing viewpoints.  I don't think you can truly make a good decision without stepping out of your box and seeing things from a different perspective.  That said, I've been doing that that over the last decade plus and I've found that I disagree with the ideas from and actions of Republican candidates nearly all of the time.  You claim that you do the same and you've arrived at different conclusions.  That's fine and that's one of the things that makes America great today.

What isn't great today is the bluster, vitriol, and demagoguery spewed by, almost exclusively, right wing media outlets.  Don't take my word for it, check out Blue Feed, Red Feed.  But I'm not just talking about the alt-right websites that have garnered peoples' attention, but even things like radio shows.  How many radio shows have ultra left wing personalities spewing all kinds of bullshit as you have ultra right wing ones?  I literally can't think of one.  If pressed, the hosts and authors may use the cop out argument that "It's just entertainment," but people listen to that stuff on those sites and shows.  It's really increasing the divisions in this country and, in my opinion, getting people elected that want to do things that are bad for most Americans individually and America in general.

I respect your faith in humanity and ordinary Americans making adequately informed, intelligent decisions.  Personally, I don't share that faith.