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  1. #101
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    It is interesting to read over the discussion. There is a big difference in the underlying assumptions for people discussing these issues from detached vs. entrenched positions (this does not correlate exactly to the T vs. F designations).

    The entrenched position is more apt to create an "Us vs Them" dynamic which seriously needs to be stopped. At one time it was T vs. F, or N vs. S, now it's rich vs. poor or Republicans vs. Democrats? No. Just no.
    The entrenched mentality most furthers the "Us v. Them" mentality not by merely referring to its existence (and may not even acknowledge its existence), but rather by engaging in disingenuous dialogue and mental gymnastics to defend and further it's objectives. This happened time and time again with defenders of Obama where they jumped to his defense without knowing facts or ignored actions that would have had them screaming bloody murder had W done it.

    The side defending Romney, while entrenched in defending their side, seemed less inclined to engage in such ridiculousness. This had less to do with the quality of their character and more with just the nature of the race where Romney had a minimal or contradicting track record to run on and was essentially trying to win at being "not Obama."

    Even though I was more detached on this issue, in general being entrenched and engaging in such seemingly unreasonable arguments is not such a bad thing in the right context. In recent years I've come to appreciate that arguments can be about loyalty, too, and can bind people together in a way that shear focus on truth and logic can't. It just makes more sense irl situations where you're dealing with people that have a large impact on your life.

    Surrendering reasonability for loyalty to Obama or Romney is stupid since neither of them give a shit about you.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  2. #102
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    It is interesting to read over the discussion. There is a big difference in the underlying assumptions for people discussing these issues from detached vs. entrenched positions (this does not correlate exactly to the T vs. F designations).

    The entrenched position is more apt to create an "Us vs Them" dynamic which seriously needs to be stopped. At one time it was T vs. F, or N vs. S, now it's rich vs. poor or Republicans vs. Democrats? No. Just no.
    The entrenched mentality most furthers the "Us v. Them" mentality not by merely referring to its existence (and may not even acknowledge its existence), but rather by engaging in disingenuous dialogue and mental gymnastics to defend and further it's objectives. This happened time and time again with defenders of Obama where they jumped to his defense without knowing facts or ignored actions that would have had them screaming bloody murder had W done it.

    The side defending Romney, while entrenched in defending their side, seemed less inclined to engage in such ridiculousness. This had less to do with the quality of their character and more with just the nature of the race where Romney had a minimal or contradicting track record to run on and was essentially trying to win at being "not Obama."

    Even though I was more detached on this issue, in general being entrenched and engaging in such seemingly unreasonable arguments is not such a bad thing in the right context. In recent years I've come to appreciate that arguments can be about loyalty, too, and can bind people together in a way that shear focus on truth and logic can't. It just makes more sense irl situations where you're dealing with people that have a large impact on your life.

    Surrendering reasonability for loyalty to Obama or Romney is stupid since neither of them give a shit about you.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  3. #103
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    The entrenched mentality most furthers the "Us v. Them" mentality not by merely referring to its existence (and may not even acknowledge its existence), but rather by engaging in disingenuous dialogue and mental gymnastics to defend and further it's objectives. This happened time and time again with defenders of Obama where they jumped to his defense without knowing facts or ignored actions that would have had them screaming bloody murder had W done it.

    The side defending Romney, while entrenched in defending their side, seemed less inclined to engage in such ridiculousness. This had less to do with the quality of their character and more with just the nature of the race where Romney had a minimal or contradicting track record to run on and was essentially trying to win at being "not Obama."
    This is a general cycle, so I think comments in isolation to the cycle just contribute to the problem. I was a registered Republican when Dubya came into office, and I got SO sick of hearing the staunch Bush supporters over that time who consistently justified the adminstration's decisions and heckled the other side even when they had valid concerns, because they happened to be in a position of power. It was just political bullying; it was ugly and mean-spirited and irrational. That behavior in part led me to leave the Republican party in 2004.

    And I think the reaction in 2008 plays right off the frustrations that built over that time, so if you saw some zealotry then, you need to frame it in context of eight years of abuse of the Left by the Right. It doesn't justify it, but it does help explain why it existed, rather than just being an outright case of zeal.

    (I'm not sure about the Clinton years, because things seemed to be equally matched then. Clinton messed up big-time in a few ways; but the Republicans hated him and wanted his blood. It was just the pre-game to the insanity happening when Obama took office and the Republicans dug in far more because they could.)

    Even though I was more detached on this issue, in general being entrenched and engaging in such seemingly unreasonable arguments is not such a bad thing in the right context. In recent years I've come to appreciate that arguments can be about loyalty, too, and can bind people together in a way that shear focus on truth and logic can't. It just makes more sense irl situations where you're dealing with people that have a large impact on your life.
    I agree with that.

    Surrendering reasonability for loyalty to Obama or Romney is stupid since neither of them give a shit about you.
    I agree with the part I did not strike out. I don't think national politicians care necessarily about particular individuals not in their own personal family unit, but they can still care globally (or not). I don't think people were necessarily Romney's first concern, based on his career track record prior to running and based on what he emphasized during his run, so I think it's erroneous to equate the two; your original comment seems to be just a simplistic way of trying to level the playing field while ignoring the nuances of the two men's behavior in positions of power.

    However, I think surrendering reasonability is foolish, we have a responsibility as voters and citizens to always think through our decisions and make sure they align with what we think we believe. And Obama's fall from grace was inevitable because his followers in 2008 were irrational in their zeal.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Since I was asked for my opinion, I'm far more concerned about the general level of insanity that prevails on this forum than which end of the political spectrum it tilts towards.
    Fair enough.

  5. #105
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I agree with the part I did not strike out. I don't think national politicians care necessarily about particular individuals not in their own personal family unit, but they can still care globally (or not). I don't think people were necessarily Romney's first concern, based on his career track record prior to running and based on what he emphasized during his run, so I think it's erroneous to equate the two; your original comment seems to be just a simplistic way of trying to level the playing field while ignoring the nuances of the two men's behavior in positions of power.
    What does it mean to "care globally"?

    You can only care for humans to the extent you can actually maintain a relationship with them and love them. Nobody ever experienced love from a bill being signed into law. More importantly to care "globally" implies caring for everything which is the same as caring for nothing. But, that seems to be what many Americans want these days... to care for nothing and yet to do so in a manner that enables you to tell yourself you're a good person. It reminds me of Larry David making an insulting racist remark, but stating afterward "don't worry, it's ok, I vote democrat." The same could be said for a hateful Christian who says "It's ok, I vote pro-life."

    Caring in politics is only done at the local level when people engage in their civic duty of caring for and loving their neighbors through real relationships. In an effort to gain power politicians have downgraded civic duty to merely voting which should be the least important aspect of citizenship. They have relieved people of the duty to love their neighbor with the lie that all they have to do to be a good person is vote for someone who will "globally care" for them.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    What does it mean to "care globally"?
    I mean, you can actually give a crap about people as a collective and show warmth to people without knowing them individually; you can also show warmth to people when you meet them, even if you don't know them; and you can have as a conscious thought in your head their plight when you meet them and they share it. It's a more kind of "philanthropic" connection with a personal awareness when you meet individuals, vs politicians who view people in a more skeptical/cynical manner or as numbers or as utilitarian.

    (In some situations, it's better not to feel so philanthropically about people, such as when you are a general who has to play the high-concept strategy game; it helps to remember you are dealing with people in general and your end goal is to save as many as you can, but it DOESN'T help in that case to think about how Johnny in unit 31112a is being sent into a hot zone and has a young wife and child. Politicians have to be a little more human, though.)

    You can only care for humans to the extent you can actually maintain a relationship with them and love them.
    That's a rather bizarre thing to say, from my perspective. You don't feel philanthropically for humanity, or feel connection/warmth with someone when you meet them? When I meet people, even if I don't want to be in a committed daily relationship with them, I feel some sense of kinship and pathos and empathy for their personal story. And I'm not really a "warm" person, so I know that there are many out there who would feel even MORE than that. How could you NOT care about another human being with as much right to live as you do? I don't get that.

    Nobody ever experienced love from a bill being signed into law. More importantly to care "globally" implies caring for everything which is the same as caring for nothing. But, that seems to be what many Americans want these days... to care for nothing and yet to do so in a manner that enables you to tell yourself you're a good person. It reminds me of Larry David making an insulting racist remark, but stating afterward "don't worry, it's ok, I vote democrat." The same could be said for a hateful Christian who says "It's ok, I vote pro-life."
    Now you're way off what my point was, and I'm not sure where you're going.

    Caring in politics is only done at the local level when people engage in their civic duty of caring for and loving their neighbors through real relationships. In an effort to gain power politicians have downgraded civic duty to merely voting which should be the least important aspect of citizenship. They have relieved people of the duty to love their neighbor with the lie that all they have to do to be a good person is vote for someone who will "globally care" for them.
    I think connection is far more than the "binary" you make it out to be. Maybe you'd have a less cynical view of leadership if you could see various degrees of relationship between people, rather than the extremities of "love madly and in personal daily commitment to" vs "don't care / remain completely detached." That was what I was criticizing in your last post -- this kind of binary approach to situations. There are various legitimate degrees in-between; why should we have to settle for the endpoints, or why should we write off something that has some degree of value?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #107
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I mean, you can actually give a crap about people as a collective and show warmth to people without knowing them individually; you can also show warmth to people when you meet them, even if you don't know them; and you can have as a conscious thought in your head their plight when you meet them and they share it. It's a more kind of "philanthropic" connection with a personal awareness when you meet individuals, vs politicians who view people in a more skeptical/cynical manner or as numbers or as utilitarian.

    ...

    That's a rather bizarre thing to say, from my perspective. You don't feel philanthropically for humanity, or feel connection/warmth with someone when you meet them? When I meet people, even if I don't want to be in a committed daily relationship with them, I feel some sense of kinship and pathos and empathy for their personal story. And I'm not really a "warm" person, so I know that there are many out there who would feel even MORE than that.
    You pretty much conceded my point. Caring is only abstract until you actually meet someone. Until then it's pretty meaningless.

    How could you NOT care about another human being as much right to live as you do? I don't get that.
    Idk. Ask Obama. He's the one currently killing women and children in Yemen without congressional approval.




    I think connection is far more than the "binary" you make it out to be. Maybe you'd have a less cynical view of leadership if you could see various degrees of relationship between people, rather than the extremities of "love madly and in personal daily commitment to" vs "don't care / remain completely detached." That was what I was criticizing in your last post -- this kind of binary approach to situations. There are various legitimate degrees in-between; why should we have to settle for the endpoints, or why should we write off something that has some degree of value?
    I don't have a cynical view of leadership. I don't know why you're trying to misrepresent my views of relationships. It's really annoying when people put things in quotes that you never actually said. Please don't do that. That's the kind of disingenuous argumentation I was referring to in my first post.

    Degrees of relationship can exist, but only with people you actually meet. No matter what I feel about Obama and how I think he does or does not care for me that does not change in any concrete way his relationship to me.

    To the extent that people feel that Obama's caring for them is real (being based in an abstract almost metaphysical relationship) that's really more akin to placing faith in a religious deity as opposed to electing a president to do a job.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    You pretty much conceded my point. Caring is only abstract until you actually meet someone. Until then it's pretty meaningless.
    Uhhhh.... how am I supposed to care specifically about someone I don't even know exists?

    But I can still care about groups of people based on their similarities to people I *have* met; I'm quick to see patterns and potential similarity. If I know a black junkie or a white skid-row prostitute, or I have read about stories/interviews with them, then I can find myself caring about all people in that category on the level that I understand their narrative. And it's an actual pull that I experience, that I have trouble laying aside even when I'm vexed.

    It sounds like you cannot do that.


    Idk. Ask Obama. He's the one currently killing women and children in Yemen without congressional approval.
    Arguing from a complex situation like Yemen to apply in the general sense globally? Nice faulty argument there.

    So why do you think he does that? Because he's an asshole and/or doesn't give a shit? (Note: If you don't say "yes," then your bringing it up makes no sense in this discussion.)

    I don't have a cynical view of leadership. I don't know why you're trying to misrepresent my views of relationships. It's really annoying when people put things in quotes that you never actually said. Please don't do that. That's the kind of disingenuous argumentation I was referring to in my first post.
    Then explain it better so that I can track you. You now know what I perceived from your original post -- just like in the exchange right above, I can't see a rational reason for you bringing up Yemen the way you did except to say Obama doesn't give a shit about people (whereas maybe he's balancing various needs?) Is that an illegitimate assumption as well?

    Degrees of relationship can exist, but only with people you actually meet. No matter what I feel about Obama and how I think he does or does not care for me that does not change in any concrete way his relationship to me.
    I disagree strongly.

    Do you ever read fiction or watch movies? Do you feel anything towards the characters? Does it lead you to feel anything to people who are similar to characters? Does it leave you with good/positive/concerned intent toward them? Or do you need a tangible interaction with a specific individual before you really feel anything toward them?

    To the extent that people feel that Obama's caring for them is real (being based in an abstract almost metaphysical relationship) that's really more akin to placing faith in a religious deity as opposed to electing a president to do a job.
    I honestly don't understand why you are taking it to that extreme. I track you partway, then you draw this conclusion that seems well past any data you have provided. It makes me think your conclusion is driving your data.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  9. #109
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    As a non-American, I wonder how much of this Us vs. Them attitude derives from your 2 party system. It is of course a common human tendency but seems stronger (and even violent) in some americans compared to people from other countries.

    Also as a non-American, you guys know that left and right are relative, right? Sure the forum is left-leaning....compared to the Southern US. It's pretty center of the road for US urban areas/West coast/similar areas (I believe) and Canada, and I'd imagine it leans right compared to some of the more leftist countries in Europe. As a Canadian, your democratic party is incredibly right-leaning about some issues.

    What's especially puzzling to me is that I see a shit ton of complaining in this thread about being persecuted despite the evidence showing that the complaining individuals respond with vicious personal attacks and threats without any provocation besides their ideologies being questioned. They are all for freedom of speech until someone happens to disagree with them, apparently - at that point it becomes "persecution".

    Cry me a goddamn river.
    -end of thread-

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Also as a non-American, you guys know that left and right are relative, right? Sure the forum is left-leaning....compared to the Southern US. It's pretty center of the road for US urban areas/West coast/similar areas (I believe) and Canada, and I'd imagine it leans right compared to some of the more leftist countries in Europe. As a Canadian, your democratic party is incredibly right-leaning about some issues.
    Yup. For example, use of the word "Socialist" in the last election seems laugh-worthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    As a non-American, I wonder how much of this Us vs. Them attitude derives from your 2 party system. It is of course a common human tendency but seems stronger (and even violent) in some americans compared to people from other countries.
    Having little experience with some foreign systems, I'm aware there are multi-party nations in existence.... How are these multi-party systems maintained so they don't reduce further? The USA tends to see parties swallowed (or made so tiny as to be irrelevant) until only two main parties remain.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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