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Old 09-14-2008, 02:41 PM
 
Location: God's Country, Maine
2,052 posts, read 3,977,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Interesting but the territories of 1860 would have voted for Lincoln, siding with the Union.

So only the South would have stuck out as an anomaly and the rest of the map would have been blue except for the thin swath of border states.

Nowadays, the only way to get a map as unified as an 1860 map that showed the territories as supporting the Union would be a situation like 1984 where Reagan won in a landslide. I think that would only happen in for a Republican incumbent seeking a second term. I can't ever see a Democrat carrying the entire plains and inland Western states. If true, that in itself says something about the division in the country although I can't quite put my finger on what it means!
Do not forget that the Missouri Compromise was to come. It would ignite serious unrest in Kansas, as the pro slavery outsiders would come in incite the abolitionists.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,274,509 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
The very democratic process is built on disagreement. Thus, division and disagreement are generally good things, that lead to progress -- and the dirty business that is politics is the price we pay for having a liberal democracy.
An excellent point. I am a fan of close elections, even though I usually end up disgusted by all the divisiveness a close race can stir up. For one thing, the candidates don't become complacent, and for another, both candidates have become more centrist in their views, and more diversified in their advisors. They do this to pick up votes from "the other side" but so what? IMO, the country ultimately benefits from the balancing act that results.

Of course, it's not just about the election. There's another kind of divisiveness going on these days. I think it pops up whenever there is a lot of economic insecurity, and when people feel the cultural balance of power is shifting... two things definitely happening now. Once again we're at a crossroads and that makes a lot of people insecure. Divisiveness is how we respond to feeling threatened. "Us" vs. "them" thinking feels good, and it gives you someone to blame for all your troubles.

As others have already noted, we quickly forget the past and how many times this has happened before. The divisiveness we see today is nothing. How about what happened in the west as towns vied to be along the railroad? Families were at each others' throat, brothers fought with brothers, because a railroad station was a matter of life and death for many small towns. Divisiveness tore communities apart when cowboys and farmers had different purposes for the same land. Or when mill towns went through labor crises.

As for the political divisiveness that's making so much noise right now? Frankly, I think it's mostly faux outrage. Why? Because I don't see anything solid behind all this rage--no specific gripes, no unattained goals, nothing defined at all. No genuine sense of desparation, or that this election is really a life or death matter. It's generic hatred--and that's the kind of stuff you hear from people who like to shoot off their mouths just for the fun of being in a rage. I think most of it will fade away after the election, no matter who wins.

Last edited by normie; 09-14-2008 at 03:16 PM..
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:08 PM
 
2,305 posts, read 2,673,880 times
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There is a huge difference between disagreement and division on issues and vile attacks on individuals and groups that have differing points of view. I don't think any sane person would say we should all agree on every issues, but when the discussion is about demonizing your opponents instead of the substance of the issues, that doesn't do anyone any good and is counter to the fundamental tenets of a democracy.

It may be my imagination, but I believe that current political discourse is seldom about issues anymore and is most often about creating a view of your opponent that paints them as the epitome of evil even if you have to make everything up.

Disagreement and diverse views make us all a better country. But the discourse that is taking place is not disagreement it is divisive hate speech that puts one’s desire to be in power above all else, including what is good and right for this country.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,274,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightofcenter View Post
It may be my imagination, but I believe that current political discourse is seldom about issues anymore and is most often about creating a view of your opponent that paints them as the epitome of evil even if you have to make everything up.
And 'twil be ever thus, as long as people continue to fall for it. Sadly, the success of fears and smears during this campaign only guarantee that it will be even worse in 2012.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:39 PM
 
2,305 posts, read 2,673,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
And 'twil be ever thus, as long as people continue to fall for it. Sadly, the success of fears and smears during this campaign only guarantee that it will be even worse in 2012.
Sadly, I think you are correct.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,274,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightofcenter View Post
Sadly, I think you are correct.
It's like an alcoholic spiral. People on both sides claim to hate it, but they'll continue to play these games until we hit rock bottom. And I shudder to think what horrible, disgusting destructive event will finally be at that bottom. A political assassination? A riot? A politician who starts a war just to win an election?

I don't think we're at the end of the spiral yet. Not this election. But we will go through unsettling times if we continue on this path. And we will continue on this path until we go through those unsettling times.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:09 PM
 
31 posts, read 74,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
My question to you all is...

1. Do you think this division in America is overblown, or is there real deep seated animosity among us?
2. Is this the most divisive era you've seen in your lifetimes? I'd especially like responses from people who lived through the 60s
3. When and how did this division come about, and what, if anything, can resolve it?

I'm not interested in slams against the president or Democrats, just a great debate about what appears to be an un-civil war.

Thanks!
Mackinac
1) Yes it is overblown. The Internet enables anonymity and allows people to be hateful and rude. I don't come across this nearly as much when talking to neighbors/friends/etc.

3) The rise of the internet and ubiquity of media have caused this preceived division. I don't think we should try to reduce division of thought. Instead we ought to encourage respectful, and good natured debate. It's the best way to learn about others and for them to learn about you. It fosters understanding but only if you bring an open mind.

Good topic. I think alot of political debate, especially red vs. blue, turns into a religious like debate. Where people begin blindly defending positions because that's what their team does w/o examining and forming one's own opinion.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:11 PM
 
1,353 posts, read 3,133,305 times
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There is only one solution: the eventual secession of the blue states, perhaps forming some sort of partnership government with Canada. Especially if Obama loses in November.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,274,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xavierob82 View Post
There is only one solution: the eventual secession of the blue states, perhaps forming some sort of partnership government with Canada. Especially if Obama loses in November.
Now this is an interesting thought to debate. I hope you don't mind if I start a new thread with it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:02 PM
 
5,340 posts, read 12,359,340 times
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It is so funny, for years I would say "If only we could seceed from the Union..." I was joking... lately - on some level - it's wishful thinking.

I DO think we are that divided. I think national elections just make the divide greater. I am really repulsed by what happens. I have very strong opinions of my own, but I've always been very respectful of others opinions. But - and this is nothing I'm proud of, but I'm being 100% honnest - I'm not so much anymore. I don't think everyone has to agree with me, don't get me wrong, but after 8 years of Bush and being told "if you are not with us you are against us" I really have begun to have contempt for the "other side."

Ironically, 4 years ago I had said I would have loved to see a Presidential race between Obama & McCain because I felt they were both able to reach out to the other side. I felt they were both pretty moral men who would run a decent, issues based campaign. I thought it would be respectful and refreshing. Well, we all see how well that has gone....

I honestly feel, at this point, if McCain/Palin wins, I'd rather not be part of the US anymore. I KNOW THIS IS RADICAL. And I'm typically not radical. But I can't help but feel that if our values are so out of line with the values of other parts of the country - and if the will of the Right is going to be impossed even more on those of us who are not in "red states" - it's just not where I want to be.

I doubt this would lead to secession, largely because Americans as a whole lack motivation when it comes to such issues. I think more people care about the Super Bowl than the Presidential Election... but for those of us who it DOES matter... I honnestly feel this way. And I don't LIKE that I feel this way, but I do.

I honnestly think that the statment of "there is more that unites us than seperates us" is becoming less & less true.
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