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Old 06-30-2008, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Albany, GA (Hell's Waiting Room)
602 posts, read 1,769,520 times
Reputation: 287

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Anybody who's spent five minutes perusing the political/election-related threads here can attest that there's great anger and no slight willingness to sling mud back and forth. Each of the leading candidates has been not just criticized, but derided. Liberals call conservatives stupid, ignorant and backward God-botherers. Conservatives refer to liberals as Godless babykilling Communist dupes. Each side demonizes the other. We saw this in 2000 and 2004 and it seems to be even worse this time around. (It probably was commonplace in previous election years too, but I can't specifically recall those times or attest to any particular level of hostility then.) Each side, conservative and liberal, as well as the undecideds, moderates and independents, feels that the fate of our country--and indeed our world--is at stake with this election. Each side feels it has good reasons for venom.

Here's what I want to know: Is it possible to discuss issues and candidates without rancor or hatred? Is it possible to concede that your opposition might have a good point or two? Or do we honestly, truly hate each other this much, so much that no candidate alive could ever really unite us? (And PLEASE, no rushing to plug your candidate as the Second Coming, no matter who he or she may be, and that includes Republicans.)

It just looks to me as though we all regard this election as being a zero-sum game. If one party wins, the other loses everything, at least in our perception at this point. If the Republicans win, the Democrats will mourn the loss of hope for racial equality and economic parity. If Democrats win, the Republicans grieve over the loss of personal freedom and incentive to work and prosper, in the face of forced redistribution of wealth. And with each thread and each post here, the animosity builds. Can we debate anything without impugning each other's morality, intellect, and goodwill? Are we ALL that incapable of letting facts trump emotion? (Please note that I am as emotional as anybody, and that I claim no superiority to anyone here. Doing so would be patently false and a joke besides.)

Discuss, if you want to. Or ignore. Your prerogative, really.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
8,323 posts, read 13,499,033 times
Reputation: 4884
It's possible to debate the "hot topics" with civility and without the hatred, name-calling, and otherwise uncouth aspects more often seen. However, I've noticed that amongst many debaters, they find it easier to demonize the opposition vice trying to see things from their prospective. For most, it's very difficult to put one's thoughts and emotions aside and try to see things from the minds of somebody else.

I do find it sad that instead of everyone agreeing to disagree, that they feel the need to resort to foolish name calling tactics in order to get their point across. Instead of, "well, I disagree with your thoughts because....." we see more of, "well, you're just a *something something something* so your opinion means nothing anyway".

It does make for some good laughs, though.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:18 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,463,825 times
Reputation: 3101
Finally, a rational thread! I almost posted one of these myself.

When I first came to this forum a week ago, I felt like I stepped into a war zone. It was nothing but a constant volley of cheap shots and insults that left me really frustrated. I'd like to see more rational discussion and more civility. The mood sometimes is just toxic.

As Jefferson once said "We are all Federalists, we are all Republicans" And it's true. And now we (And Mr. Jefferson) will probably be labeled as gutless, moderate sellouts who don't really know what's at stake
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:21 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 7,668,883 times
Reputation: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuharai View Post
It's possible to debate the "hot topics" with civility and without the hatred, name-calling, and otherwise uncouth aspects more often seen. However, I've noticed that amongst many debaters, they find it easier to demonize the opposition vice trying to see things from their prospective. For most, it's very difficult to put one's thoughts and emotions aside and try to see things from the minds of somebody else.

I do find it sad that instead of everyone agreeing to disagree, that they feel the need to resort to foolish name calling tactics in order to get their point across. Instead of, "well, I disagree with your thoughts because....." we see more of, "well, you're just a *something something something* so your opinion means nothing anyway".

It does make for some good laughs, though.
I hope I'm not off track here but in another thread me and another person disagreed on an issue. Went back and forth a couple of times, nothing major or nasty. We decided to agree to disagree. We shook hands (on posts..hehhee) and tried to be diplomatic. Then someone comes in and accuses us of being 'senior members' chit-chatting so we could give each other rep points. I think people thrive on the negativity and the back and forth nastiness that occurs in these posts at times.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:22 AM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,110 posts, read 8,116,763 times
Reputation: 5160
I think the professional political operatives, media talking heads, and some blog writers have, for their own profit, done their best to keep us all divided and at one another's throat. This is true for both parties. The trouble is that, unless we can overcome the manipulation and began working together, discussing and resolving the problems facing us, this country will continue to self destruct. I think the majority of Americans recognize this and want to stop this tearing apart of our country. If you notice, the two people who made it through the primary process both campaigned on a platform that included their willingness to reach across the aisles and work together. I hope, whoever wins, they mean that because it is the only thing that will actually solve the problems that face us all.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Albany, GA (Hell's Waiting Room)
602 posts, read 1,769,520 times
Reputation: 287
I read The Bleat (the blog run by James Lileks) and have for many years now, originally because I loved his pop-culture commentary and later because his centrist/conservative take on things appealed to me. He is not a hardline conservative; he is, in fact, much more liberal than I am on several issues, and was one of the first people I ever read who pointed out that utterly discounting any good in your opposition is the surest way to lose. It's amusing to see how gracefully he rolls his eyes at both extremes.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Albany, GA (Hell's Waiting Room)
602 posts, read 1,769,520 times
Reputation: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG77 View Post
I hope I'm not off track here but in another thread me and another person disagreed on an issue. Went back and forth a couple of times, nothing major or nasty. We decided to agree to disagree. We shook hands (on posts..hehhee) and tried to be diplomatic. Then someone comes in and accuses us of being 'senior members' chit-chatting so we could give each other rep points. I think people thrive on the negativity and the back and forth nastiness that occurs in these posts at times.
I don't think you're "off track". I just kept seeing more and more threads with vile titles, and vile posts within them, that disgusted me and frankly made me tired. I kept thinking that if there is truly this much hate on each side for the other, no mortal can unite us, no matter what his military service record, or how hopefully audacious (or audaciously hopeful) he is.

If we really hate each other this much, the election is not our biggest problem, people. WE are.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:38 AM
 
3,758 posts, read 7,668,883 times
Reputation: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlourChild View Post
If we really hate each other this much, the election is not our biggest problem, people. WE are.
You are right.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:57 AM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,110 posts, read 8,116,763 times
Reputation: 5160
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlourChild View Post
I don't think you're "off track". I just kept seeing more and more threads with vile titles, and vile posts within them, that disgusted me and frankly made me tired. I kept thinking that if there is truly this much hate on each side for the other, no mortal can unite us, no matter what his military service record, or how hopefully audacious (or audaciously hopeful) he is.

If we really hate each other this much, the election is not our biggest problem, people. WE are.

I agree. I was saying to my son the other day that, if it is true that people get the government they deserve, then heaven help us all. We have to quit looking at politics and elections as a form of Jerry Springer style entertainment and begin looking at it as a serious responsibility. People have laid down their lives to protect our right to choose our own government. We need to do it thoughtfully and be well informed on the issues. Not as though we are part of a mob chanting "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry."
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Pa
20,310 posts, read 19,461,405 times
Reputation: 6523
I think that it would be easy to discuss political topics as soon as people put aside their party lines and comprehend that both parties are filled with exactly the same beast. Liars, thieves and arrogant self serving emperor wanna be's. In short politicians.
George Bush lied? Did he? Or was it a case of the American people wanted some butt after 911 and were ready to go after anyone even remotely involved? Congress saw the same intel as Bush and they jumped on the war band wagon. The war went as expected. The quagmire followed. Bush lied.
6 years ago it was the evil republicans who over spent.
In the last 2 the dem controlled congress and senate have set new records for waste spending. They are the same beast different rhetoric same end result. Its no coincidence.
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