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  1. #11
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Ruthie, the only one of those I'd definitely say no to is #3, that is, unless the kid got some sort of compensation such as college money or job opportunities etc. A 'successful' life is now extremely tracked so sticking a year in the middle of it for civic or military duty (I have a feeling the vast majority of kids would choose civic at this point) right in the middle of it is disruptive enough to ruin the rest of your life.

    Then again, with a lot of these things, I may think they would be good ideas, but there might be so much backlash to them that it might not be such a good idea because of that.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    If you sift through the laundry list of issues, at its heart social conservatism makes the following comparisons between past and present:

    1. Families are less stable than they used to be.
    2. Communities are more transient.
    3. Social mores regarding behavior have deteriorated.
    4. There is less deference to previous generations or their values.
    5. Community, national, religious institutions have become less relevant.

    On the facts, it's tough to argue the truth of those points (easy to measure stats like divorce rate, crime rate, average number of job/career changes, church membership, etc... and compare it to the same statistics from, say, 1945.)

    So, here's what I want to open up to the board for debate: setting aside the issues the social conservatives back today (same-sex marriage chief among them), are those five changes positive, negative, or neutral?
    1. Can be positive. It means less people are putting up with things like domestic violence and seriel infidelity. There are good and bad points to this, of course. I think some of the youngest parents, though, have gotten carried away with this whole single parent business. It's a little extreme. I see the good side of it, but I also see room for some balance.

    2. Again, good and bad. Transient communities mean that people are more aware of other cultures and different ways of living - that's great That can keep certain communities from becoming so closed off that their beliefs are totally barbaric and archaic. On the other hand, a sense of community is a wonderful thing to have, and admittedly a part of what I love about living in West Virginia.

    3. Good and bad. (Ha ha) Some social mores are outdated, useless, even cruel. It's stupid to hem people in just because they're worried about what others will think. On the other hand, people are rude and selfish and obnoxious these days, I'm not going to lie. I may not be an Fe dom, but I have enough Fe to be considerably bothered by the lack of common decency and kindness many people exhibit in this era.

    4. Ah...a sense of history is nice. It's important to care for the elderly. That being said, deference to older people isn't always a good thing, particularly when said elders are racist, homophobic, sexist ignoramoses. It's one thing to take care of grandpa and treat him with courtesy and kindness, it's quite another to defer to his archaic, hurtful belief system.

    5. I don't know if this is even true...maybe with religion, but community and national institutions are very much alive and well.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    I don't see how anyone could look at those 5 points above and think they were anything but negative. But, okay...

    Next question - the remedies. What's your take on these?

    1. Do away with no-fault divorces.
    2. Strengthen labor unions [the need for multiple incomes adds stress to marriages].
    3. Mandating a year of national or military service [re-teaching the ethic of duty].
    4. Use public funds to bring jobs back to old industrial towns [cut back on transient communities]
    5. Support same-sex marriage. [Marriage is a social stabilizer]
    6. Increase the minimum wage. [money issues are the number one cause of divorce]
    7. Teach character and civic values in school [hopefully encouraging participation in basic institutions, whether religious, civic, or community-oriented]
    8. Stiffer prison sentences for violent offenders [crime kills neighborhoods]
    9. Strict banking and wall street regulations [greed hurts families and communities]
    10. Public support of faith-based organizations [they feed the hungry and house the poor effectively]
    11. Medicare for all. [medical catastrophes lead to bankruptcy; bankruptcy hurts families.]
    12. Stricter gun control laws [see #8]

    My guess is that most people will support some of these and oppose some of these (except for my libertarian friends, who are likely to oppose most if not all of the above). Still, it's an interesting idea... using liberal means to bring back "Main Street"* values. There really isn't a platform for this side of things right now.

    *I deliberately used the term "Main Street" instead of "conservative." The concepts of faith, family, duty, country, service, loyalty, and patriotism are often called "conservative values." But conservatism is all about rampant individualism over community cohesion. "Main Street" seemed more appropriate.
    1. No. Why? I don't see the point and how this will actually help anyone.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Yes
    5. Yes
    6. Maybe. There need to be complex changes, not just raising minimum wage.
    7. Yes
    8. Depends. Some violent offenders need psychiatric help, not stiffer prison sentences.
    9. Yes
    10. No. It's called seperation of church and state. It will never happen.
    11. Yes
    12. Partly. People should be allowed to have shot guns. People do not need to own semi-automatic weapons.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    5. I don't know if this is even true...maybe with religion, but community and national institutions are very much alive and well.
    I was mostly thinking of the whole "Bowling Alone" phenomenon. Don't know if you've read or heard about the book, but basically uses the fact that people used to join bowling leagues in greater numbers than they do today (despite the fact that the number of people who go bowling has maintained) to make the point that decreasing numbers of people join groups.

  5. #15
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    Yes Robert Putnam has noted the loss of community in our society, even as a result of our growing diversity*. Multi-culturalism has resulted in social fragmenation.

    *There is a difference between geniune diversity and the shallow diversity promoted nowadays*

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Ruthie, the only one of those I'd definitely say no to is #3, that is, unless the kid got some sort of compensation such as college money or job opportunities etc. A 'successful' life is now extremely tracked so sticking a year in the middle of it for civic or military duty (I have a feeling the vast majority of kids would choose civic at this point) right in the middle of it is disruptive enough to ruin the rest of your life.

    Then again, with a lot of these things, I may think they would be good ideas, but there might be so much backlash to them that it might not be such a good idea because of that.
    In countries where a year of civic duty is required, university expenses are extremely low, practically free with the exception of certain fees and insurance. I only answered yes based on what I know about how those countries operate, and not under the assumption that getting a university education would continue to be so insanely expensive.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    I was mostly thinking of the whole "Bowling Alone" phenomenon. Don't know if you've read or heard about the book, but basically uses the fact that people used to join bowling leagues in greater numbers than they do today (despite the fact that the number of people who go bowling has maintained) to make the point that decreasing numbers of people join groups.
    I see. I've never read that book, but I'll definitely look into it. And it certainly is sad, as I say, that's part of the reason why I like living in West Virginia - sense of community.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I see. I've never read that book, but I'll definitely look into it. And it certainly is sad, as I say, that's part of the reason why I like living in West Virginia - sense of community.
    WV is a great part of the country. I've spent a lot of time in the eastern panhandle.

  9. #19
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    10. No. It's called seperation of church and state. It will never happen.
    I am pretty sure it is happening now and has been since W. Funding Opportunities I could be misunderstanding, though.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #20
    Sniffles
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    Seperation of church and state doesn't mean they can't associate with each other on certain points. In fact religious institutions are often important actors in promoting social cohesion and virtues that are necessary for the survival of the body politic.


    *Yay 5000 posts*

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