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Old 12-21-2008, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,101 posts, read 67,193,623 times
Reputation: 15748

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As a social liberal and fiscal conservative I chose to register Democrat and voted for John Kerry on my eighteenth birthday back in 2004. I just voted for President-Elect Obama last month. I'm pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, anti-death penalty, and pro-civil equality (which "gay rights" really IS). As an aspiring CPA I'm staunchly opposed to rewarding fiscal irresponsibility with tax payer dollars with all of these recent corporate bailouts. I had been against the invasion of Iraq since the very beginning and have been an ardent critic of the Bush Administration ever since. I'm big on "green living" and plan to purchase a hybrid as soon as my finances permit. I'm a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) from an upper-middle-class suburban family near Scranton, PA, former home of Vice-President-Elect Biden and Secretary of State-designate Clinton.

Nevertheless while I hold such strict viewpoints myself I am always open to persuasion from others. I ENJOY reading or hearing divergent perspectives on political issues, and every once in a while someone articulate comes along to make me abandon former beliefs I had held in favor of jumping on a new bandwagon as I see errors in my ways. My best childhood friend also turned eighteen on Election Day 2004 and was the first in his town to vote to re-elect President Bush, much as how I was the first in my town to vote for Kerry. My friends now are mostly Democrats, but I attend a conservative Roman Catholic college and have befriended a large number of Republicans as well. They respect my views. I respect theirs. My question is if my fellow 18-24-year-olds can disagree with civility, then why do people twice our age foam at the mouth, twitch their eyes, hurl expletives, and otherwise act like such uncivilized beasts when someone from an opposing political party approaches them?

This forum is a prime example. The lengthy thread about President-Elect Obama's choice for a pastor to speak at his inauguration has incensed many Democrats. Why? As an openly-gay male myself I have NO QUALMS with his choice. We ARE a nation where most people are rather moderate and/or centrist, and I think Obama realizes that in order to move our nation forward and repair the damage done by the Bush Administration he will have to first try to bring us together after years of strict polarization. If putting aside my selfish desire to be viewed as an equal citizen in our nation is what it would take to help bring the GOP and the Dems. together, then so be it.

Any suggestions on how the right-wing and the left-wing can STOP spewing such vitriol at one another?
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:01 AM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,002,442 times
Reputation: 14896
"My question is if my fellow 18-24-year-olds can disagree with civility, then why do people twice our age foam at the mouth, twitch their eyes, hurl expletives, and otherwise act like such uncivilized beasts when someone from an opposing political party approaches them?"

We've been in the game longer.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:08 AM
 
1,315 posts, read 1,442,398 times
Reputation: 402
I don't see the extremists on either side reforming themselves - they have become too partisan for that...

I DO think that someone will need to unite them... Someone like Obama...

He can reach across to both sides and get us to work for a common good.

The problem with the past 30 years or so of politics is that political leaders learned it was beneficial to them (in the short term) to divide us against one another - and it worked like a charm - up until 2006...

Now people realize that this partisan bickering amongst ourselves really has to stop if we are to resolve the problems this nation faces...

I am confident that Obama is the man for that challenge.. I think his message of shared-sacrifice, and working for the betterment of all is the only way we are going to come together.
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:20 AM
 
268 posts, read 303,721 times
Reputation: 72
My cynical thought is that there is too much of a market for the the conservative hate/anger machines for them to tone it down. Those guys make a lot of money. And people eat it up.

Air america on the other hand, couldn't make money. I thought I wanted a liberal counterpart to Rush/Hannity etc. But it just got my BP up and put me in a bad mood. and I new instinctively that things are just not that black and white. And generally it isn't good for our country to pit one half against the other half so hatefully.

It would mean people would stop listening to Rush/hannity etc. Now if there were more thoughtful conservatives like Buckley out there, that would be good. Civil disagreements on certain matters....
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Old 12-21-2008, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Irvine, CA to Keller, TX
4,831 posts, read 6,177,928 times
Reputation: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
As a social liberal and fiscal conservative I chose to register Democrat and voted for John Kerry on my eighteenth birthday back in 2004. I just voted for President-Elect Obama last month. I'm pro-life, pro-2nd amendment, anti-death penalty, and pro-civil equality (which "gay rights" really IS). As an aspiring CPA I'm staunchly opposed to rewarding fiscal irresponsibility with tax payer dollars with all of these recent corporate bailouts. I had been against the invasion of Iraq since the very beginning and have been an ardent critic of the Bush Administration ever since. I'm big on "green living" and plan to purchase a hybrid as soon as my finances permit. I'm a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) from an upper-middle-class suburban family near Scranton, PA, former home of Vice-President-Elect Biden and Secretary of State-designate Clinton.

Nevertheless while I hold such strict viewpoints myself I am always open to persuasion from others. I ENJOY reading or hearing divergent perspectives on political issues, and every once in a while someone articulate comes along to make me abandon former beliefs I had held in favor of jumping on a new bandwagon as I see errors in my ways. My best childhood friend also turned eighteen on Election Day 2004 and was the first in his town to vote to re-elect President Bush, much as how I was the first in my town to vote for Kerry. My friends now are mostly Democrats, but I attend a conservative Roman Catholic college and have befriended a large number of Republicans as well. They respect my views. I respect theirs. My question is if my fellow 18-24-year-olds can disagree with civility, then why do people twice our age foam at the mouth, twitch their eyes, hurl expletives, and otherwise act like such uncivilized beasts when someone from an opposing political party approaches them?

This forum is a prime example. The lengthy thread about President-Elect Obama's choice for a pastor to speak at his inauguration has incensed many Democrats. Why? As an openly-gay male myself I have NO QUALMS with his choice. We ARE a nation where most people are rather moderate and/or centrist, and I think Obama realizes that in order to move our nation forward and repair the damage done by the Bush Administration he will have to first try to bring us together after years of strict polarization. If putting aside my selfish desire to be viewed as an equal citizen in our nation is what it would take to help bring the GOP and the Dems. together, then so be it.

Any suggestions on how the right-wing and the left-wing can STOP spewing such vitriol at one another?
Get rid of all party affiliations, rid ourselves of the corrupt 2 party system we have that is/has been a choice of the lesser of 2 evils every time we vote.

Punish presidents when they make campaign promises that they don't ever intend on keeping.

Recall/impeach all politicians once they no longer have the public good in mind.

I myself would prefer a parliamentary type of government. It is much easier to change power and show the elected representatives how much we like or dislike them.

Basically we need major reform, we need people to take back control of their government and get out of their apathy.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:12 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,052,603 times
Reputation: 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccersupporter View Post
Get rid of all party affiliations, rid ourselves of the corrupt 2 party system we have that is/has been a choice of the lesser of 2 evils every time we vote.

Punish presidents when they make campaign promises that they don't ever intend on keeping.

Recall/impeach all politicians once they no longer have the public good in mind.

I myself would prefer a parliamentary type of government. It is much easier to change power and show the elected representatives how much we like or dislike them.

Basically we need major reform, we need people to take back control of their government and get out of their apathy.
You are very much on the correct track.

My thoughts are that we also need to get rid of the damned stinking labels that are used to demonize each other. Both parties use these idiotic labels as accusations, and all the terms have taken on ugly connotations.

Would prefer that we associate people with ideas, not labels.

Myself, being a Democrat this year (after 20+ years as an Independent), I'd be labeled a worthless liberal by the 'right' yet I don't see myself as a liberal. I'm financially conservative, believe in balanced budgets, efficient targeted spending, good government, and sound policy. That SHOULD mean I'm a conservative, in the classic GOP sense. But I also am socially progressive (equal rights for all, including gays) but for that noble ideal I'm called a liberal for wanting our democracy to be fair for all.

Meanwhile, our GOP has spent OUR money like a drunken fool. The GOP is no longer the party of fiscal conservatism. When it comes to Wall Street, the current GOP has fully had it's head in the sand, letting Wall Street do as it pleases with NO oversight for 75% of what goes on up there. Today's GOP won't even follow Reagans' sage advice to "trust, but verify." If the GOP had verified what Bernie Madoff was doing these past 8 years, this current scandal would've been greatly reduced. But today's "conservatives" can't even do that much to keep the system honest. IMO, the GOP no longer deserves to be called conservative, not in any sense of the word.

The "social conservatism" of the religious right is NOT a substitute for TRUE fiscal or political conservatism. It's merely a form of religious extremism, from the mild form of Rev Rick Warren to the insanely radical Fred Phelps. The religious right has gone a long way to ruining the GOP, and we've many threads on that demise of the GOP which focus on the detrimental effects that the religious right has had on the GOP and our politics.

I really think that our 'labels' for each other have become switched around. Before the Civil Rights Act (1964?), it was the Democrats who wanted to keep segregation in the south, and it was the GOP, in the form of Eisenhower, who used Federal troops to integrate schools in the south. Now, the Democrats are the party of black civil rights and it's the GOP who seem to have abandoned blacks, gays and others seeking equality and civil rights. Now, up is down, black is white, and who knows who anyone is politically.

Our labels are garbage and should go away. We need to refer to ourselves and each other in terms that define us, not label us.

I'm a financial conservative and a social progressive. If I had to label myself, I'd call myself a Constitutional Centrist.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-21-2008 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Road Warrior
2,015 posts, read 4,996,004 times
Reputation: 798
Personally I don't think they will bridge that divide. The 2 party system is more of a status quo to keep the same system in place. Where the social issues distract the general public from the bigger picture. And people dig this distraction, although most of the social issues are already determined(constitution, state rights and common sense). It is very interesting if you go back read the farewell speeches of most presidents ... it's sort of a reconciliation or a deathbed warning ... warning us about the potentials of big government that take more of your tax dollars without representation for wasteful spending and big government that run over its people like mere speed bumps.

I come from a military family where we served WWII, Vietnam and 9/11, but we served as patriots where once our founding fathers thought patriots were ones who would fight against the tyrannies of their own government, we fought because we wanted the government and other governments to keep their hands out of our lives - freedom. Patriotism is redefined today where people fight for whatever their government tells them to do and freedom well when you can't think for yourselves, when you can't question the government anymore, your first Bill of Rights is good as gone, then what is freedom.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Missouri
3,640 posts, read 4,396,869 times
Reputation: 768
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
My question is if my fellow 18-24-year-olds can disagree with civility, then why do people twice our age foam at the mouth, twitch their eyes, hurl expletives, and otherwise act like such uncivilized beasts when someone from an opposing political party approaches them?


Any suggestions on how the right-wing and the left-wing can STOP spewing such vitriol at one another?
First off, you are incorrect in saying that all 18-24 year olds disagree with civility. That is a generalization and is not correct. I have seen many young people, on both sides of the parties, act like complete idiots and do all that you somehow think only older people do.

The only way the vitriol will even come close to being downgraded is when people stop being so damn partisan. That is it in a nutshell.
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Old 12-21-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,444,834 times
Reputation: 3101
I know what you mean ScranBarre. I'm 27 and it's shameful and dispiriting to watch people twice my age go after each other like this. Shouldn't they be teaching us by their actions how to treat others?

This year I've gone back and forth between conservative, libertarian, moderate, left of center and back to moderate. And finally, I realized that I don't fit into any label, and that if I don't fit then there are probably many others that don't fit either (like you, ScranBarre). Most of the time I feel like a conservative among liberals and a liberal among conservatives. I hope the divide will be bridged, but people need to rediscover civility. It's true that politics is rough and tumble, but the division in the country has reached a toxic level and really needs to end.
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Old 12-21-2008, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Missouri
3,640 posts, read 4,396,869 times
Reputation: 768
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
I know what you mean ScranBarre. I'm 27 and it's shameful and dispiriting to watch people twice my age go after each other like this. Shouldn't they be teaching us by their actions how to treat others?

This year I've gone back and forth between conservative, libertarian, moderate, left of center and back to moderate. And finally, I realized that I don't fit into any label, and that if I don't fit then there are probably many others that don't fit either (like you, ScranBarre). Most of the time I feel like a conservative among liberals and a liberal among conservatives. I hope the divide will be bridged, but people need to rediscover civility. It's true that politics is rough and tumble, but the division in the country has reached a toxic level and really needs to end.
Blame the parties and the people who head them.

BTW, you are also wrong when you say that it is only older people. You need to not generalize so much.
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