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  1. #51
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    The empathy argument is not entirely unfounded... Democrats generally advocate action that is more empathetic to the unfortunate, while Republicans generally are more individualist (irrespective of whether or not these strategies are good or harmful to the entire population). I sort of understand the feeling: like the big kid picked a fight with the little kid, but the little kid beat him anyway. It's hard not to jeer at the big kid, even though ultimately it is not the right or effective thing to do (and of course, the perception of who is the protagonist and antagonist is dependent on your personal views).

    This is said with full recognition that social media and campaign material is quite "nasty" when it comes to competition. It isn't really new, though. I recently read about how in the 1884 Presidential election, one of Cleveland's slogans ran "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, continental liar from the state of Maine", in reference to Blaine's potential involvement of making laws that financially benefitted him personally; Blaine's slogan was "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?", in reference to Cleveland's potential fathering of an illegitimate child.

    Unfortunately usage of dirty tactics becomes "reasonable" when we begin to feel that victory is more important than cordiality... the downside being that it makes it all that much harder to cooperate later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    The empathy argument is not entirely unfounded...
    If it weren't for the fact that Republicans give more to charity...

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    If it weren't for the fact that Republicans give more to charity...
    Private charities that support chosen demographics...

    I left the disclaimers for a reason - I don't think either party is inherently more empathetic. I think their lenses just make each other seem less empathetic. But if you don't fall into the group the party is empathetic towards...

    For instance, it's hard for me to feel amiable towards those who advocate private health insurance only given that genetic medical conditions prevent me from being able to obtain anything but extremely expensive health insurance. So frustrating to have to pay so much more only because I was born into a less lucky state. It's not like I had the chance to pull my immune system up by my bootstraps, you know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Private charities that support chosen demographics...
    There's always a chosen demographic.

    Even in government programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I left the disclaimers for a reason - I don't think either party is inherently more empathetic. I think their lenses just make each other seem less empathetic. But if you don't fall into the group the party is empathetic towards...
    I don't know...

    I don't think Republicans make much of a "they're less empathetic than us" argument.

    I think Democrats constantly make it, because Republicans believe there are better ways to express their empathy (whether rightly or wrongly; in certain circumstances, it might actually make more sense for the government to be involved) than thru government programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    For instance, it's hard for me to feel amiable towards those who advocate private health insurance only given that genetic medical conditions prevent me from being able to obtain anything but extremely expensive health insurance. So frustrating to have to pay so much more only because I was born into a less lucky state. It's not like I had the chance to pull my immune system up by my bootstraps, you know?
    This I do empathize with, and I think the ACA should help fix the problem.

    I've never been against the tenets of the ACA (they came from the Heritage Foundation, for christsake).

    I have only been against its timing, as I think some 1-3 million more people would be working right now if it had not been passed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    There's always a chosen demographic.

    Even in government programs.

    I don't know.

    I don't think Republicans make much of a "they're less empathetic than us" argument.

    I think Democrats constantly make it, because Republicans believe there are better ways to express their empathy (whether rightly or wrongly) than through government programs.

    I would agree that Democrats make the argument more than Republicans - but I would also make the argument that Republicans constantly present themselves as morally superior, which is pretty much the same message when you strip it down.

    But at least with government, there is a greater scope of people selecting the recipients of the charity, and more collaboration, so there's less likelihood that an entire group goes unintentionally unattended.


    This I do understand, and I think the ACA should help fix the problem.

    I've never been against the tenets of the ACA (they came from the Heritage Foundation, for christsake).

    I have only been against its timing, as I think some 1-3 million more people would be working right now if it had not been passed.
    I hope so! What do you mean though? From what I've read, as many people are arguing that the ACA should have positive impacts as well as negative.

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    From Rod Dreher's column at The American Conservative:

    Admirable Liberal Truth-Telling

    Boy, a huge Evans-Manning Award for quality comments goes to Church Lady, the deeply liberal regular who is writing first-rate commentary on the Single Parenthood and Childhood Poverty thread. The basic thrust of her commentary is that liberals who think that all we need to reduce single parenthood is more sex ed classes are not facing reality any more than conservatives who claim that all we need is abstinence-only classes are. From the thread:

    [Church Lady's critic writes:] Another example of false equvialency. Find me a recognizable group of liberal parents that opposes marriage or favor sexual activity for those not mature enough to engage in it. Obviously there is no need to demonize single parents, and I would guess that most people raising children on their own long for a stable married status.

    [Church Lady responds:] But don’t you see that you have exposed your own ingrown bias and hostility right there? You interpret the cultural message “Everyone should be married before having kids” as demonizing single parents. That’s precisely the attitude you and other liberals are going to have to let go of, if this problem is really going to be dealt with.

    Of course educated liberals agree that one should be married before having kids, and be mature enough to responsibly use contraception before having sex. But they keep these messages private to their own social enclaves. They don’t make it a widespread cultural message for everyone, for feat that it will somehow make single parent families feel bad or “demonized”. As if that’s more important than reducing the number of single-parent families.

    The truth is, single parents really did screw up somewhere along the way. That can’t be hidden. One doesn’t have to shame them, and one has to accept their situation as it is and help them as much as one can, but you still have to put out the message that this is a screwup to be avoided, and not part of the “new normal”. Liberal elites do give their kids the message that unwed motherhood really is wrong, stupid, and a mistake. That’s why their kids don’t have these problems generally speaking. They feel the pressure. So what’s wrong with making everyone feel that pressure, and adopting that social message universally? Sure, don’t shame people in the process. Emphasize the positive. But make sure the message really is pervasive and clear, and educate them in how to take responsibility for their sexual life, without fear for how it makes some people feel. Anti-smoking campaigns didn’t much care if cigarette smokers were made to feel ashamed or bad for their habits. So the same approach needs to be taken here.

    And let me remind you, I am precisely one of those educated liberal elite parents, and we gave our kids precisely those values, as did most of our cohort. I see nothing wrong with extending that message to the whole of our culture, in the effort to curb an out of control situation that harms kids substantially. Frankly, I don’t much care if some single parents feel shamed or bad in the process. I don’t want to target them that way, but it’s a small price to pay for giving kids a far better life than they would have otherwise.
    More:

    [A Church Lady critic writes:] I’m glad to see a bit of pushback against some of the weird misconceptions of mainstream liberal views here, like Church Lady at 9:29pm. There’s been a lot of discussion in the aftermath of the election about how conservatives are in an especially bad version of an epistemic bubble.

    [Church Lady responds:] I would say that your post is a perfect example of the epistemic closure that many liberals live under. For example, you assume that I’m a conservative, but everyone on this blog who’s been around for any time knows I’m one of the most stalwart liberals here, often attacked for that. I guess your universe can’t image a liberal actually criticizing other liberals, so you assume I must be a conservative?

    It’s also amazing that you and other liberals commenting here assume that my comments imply that liberals aren’t in favor of waiting until marriage to have kids, or having a responsible sexual life, when I said precisely the opposite. And yet, reading skills suddenly decline to zero, simply because I say that liberals have a problem preaching their own real values in the public sphere, for fear of offending single parents or making them feel bad. Or for fear of implying something is wrong with black culture when single-parenthood is becoming the norm. Hell yes there’s something wrong with that. Don’t you think?

    There are some conservative criticism of liberals that are actually true, and that you are making clear are true. One is the assumption that liberals can’t criticize other liberals, and if they do, they are pawns of the right-wing propaganda machine. Another is that epistemic closure only exists on the right. You’ve proven that one wrong by a mile.
    I highly recommend reading the original post, and the commentary.

  7. #57
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    If it weren't for the fact that Republicans give more to charity...
    When a sizable minority of them are told Sunday after Sunday that if they don't hand over 10% of their gross earnings that God wil not "rebuke the devourer" you'll get that.
    “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

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    When a sizable minority of them are told Sunday after Sunday that if they don't hand over 10% of their gross earnings that God wil not "rebuke the devourer" you'll get that.
    I didn't realize those charity statistics included religious offerings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I didn't realize those charity statistics included religious offerings.
    They might not. If they are going by what can be claimed on one's taxes, they probably do. All the churches I've gone to have provided statements at the end of the year for congregation members for tax purposes.
    “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

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    They might not. If they are going by what can be claimed on one's taxes, they probably do. All the churches I've gone to have provided statements at the end of the year for congregation members for tax purposes.
    I guess a lot of church donation money goes to support the poor and needy though right? It would be interesting to see the breakdown.

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