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The Well-Leathered Mod
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Every year the US seems to become more and more polarized. The political leaders become more and more extreme. Moderates are increasingly considered apostates by both parties.
I look at facebook and people are foaming at the mouth angry at those who disagree with them, whether from the right or left.

My perspective is if it's from the left, they'll publicly shame you and try to to ruin your life, destroy your career, etc.
If it's from the right, they'd prefer to just shoot you and get it over with.

Watching this divide continue to grow ever wider, it makes me wonder, will there be an "American Spring" in this country, an uprising of some sort, or civil war?
Could there possibly be some sort of Rawandan style genocide that could occur here? I'd like to think our society is more advanced than that, but I couldnt say I would be surprised if the far right decided to round up the liberals and end them, although the logistics of rounding up a political persuasion would be difficult.

What do you see the future as looking like?
 

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I wouldn't say it is impossible. I don't think genocide will be a part of any civil war here. Most likely it will mimic how the civil war happened. States dividing. It could be as simple as that with no fighting or go into an actual war. Depending on how things go, I could see either as valid.

But what you described is the greatest danger and challenge we face. greater then Terrorist, other countries, economy, climate change, ... By only seeing our viewpoint as the only viewpoint and refusing to see others as just as valid, we are not only tearing this nation apart (slowly) but also losing our greatest strengths. It is the source of the problems on why we can't solve some of our problems we face today.
 

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While I don't share Mr. Brooks' general world-view, I am a contemporary of his, and my assessment of where we are and how we got here (politically) agrees with his.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/o...est&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0
Since the Depression and the New Deal, people have seen that government can solve some problems, although not always the important ones (poverty and racial disparities seem intractable, and the attempted solutions have had some unfortunate unanticipated consequences.) In contrast, ideologues and hyper-advantaged folks on the Right have been alarmed by the fact that they have to pay taxes and participate in certain collective actions (e.g. Social Security) The result has been a constant drumbeat of an undifferentiated "government is bad" message from the Right ever since the John Birchers of the mid-fifties. Trump's over-wrought rhetoric, and the approving "poorly educated" chorus that supports it is just the latest iteration of that closed monologue. Pat Buchannan in the 80s sounded similar, but he seemed to play to a smaller audience.
I don't think we're heading toward some watershed conflict. I think the resentful nativist movement will eventually dissipate as more people come to see that there are other, more palpable economic challenges facing most Americans.

As far as Facebook et al go, we are the first generation to have to learn how to behave on personal public media. I'm not saying we'll get it right, but I don't think anybody is going to war because Facebook has introduced an "unlike" button. I'm just sayin'.
 

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While I don't share Mr. Brooks' general world-view, I am a contemporary of his, and my assessment of where we are and how we got here (politically) agrees with his.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/o...est&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0
Since the Depression and the New Deal, people have seen that government can solve some problems, although not always the important ones (poverty and racial disparities seem intractable, and the attempted solutions have had some unfortunate unanticipated consequences.) In contrast, ideologues and hyper-advantaged folks on the Right have been alarmed by the fact that they have to pay taxes and participate in certain collective actions (e.g. Social Security) The result has been a constant drumbeat of an undifferentiated "government is bad" message from the Right ever since the John Birchers of the mid-fifties. Trump's over-wrought rhetoric, and the approving "poorly educated" chorus that supports it is just the latest iteration of that closed monologue. Pat Buchannan in the 80s sounded similar, but he seemed to play to a smaller audience.
I don't think we're heading toward some watershed conflict. I think the resentful nativist movement will eventually dissipate as more people come to see that there are other, more palpable economic challenges facing most Americans.

As far as Facebook et al go, we are the first generation to have to learn how to behave on personal public media. I'm not saying we'll get it right, but I don't think anybody is going to war because Facebook has introduced an "unlike" button. I'm just sayin'.
But that is the one sided view that I was talking about. Because the view of a smaller, less intrusive government is somehow not valid?
 

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Because the view of a smaller, less intrusive government is somehow not valid?
Not at all. The typical conservative principles (which, BTW, evolve over time) include rational things like living within your economic means, being self-reliant, and not trying to be the world's policeman make sense. But American Conservatism has shifted around so much during my lifetime (62+ years) that I don't know whether it's a movement dedicated to the super-constitutional supremacy of the Southern Baptist Convention, the military conquest of the world, the abolition of reproductive rights, or the elimination of the federal government (these goals are, in some way, mutually exclusive). From the outside, it appears to me that "conservative" means whatever the loudest voice says it means.
 

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The Well-Leathered Mod
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Discussion Starter #7
While I don't share Mr. Brooks' general world-view, I am a contemporary of his, and my assessment of where we are and how we got here (politically) agrees with his.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/o...est&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0
Since the Depression and the New Deal, people have seen that government can solve some problems, although not always the important ones (poverty and racial disparities seem intractable, and the attempted solutions have had some unfortunate unanticipated consequences.) In contrast, ideologues and hyper-advantaged folks on the Right have been alarmed by the fact that they have to pay taxes and participate in certain collective actions (e.g. Social Security) The result has been a constant drumbeat of an undifferentiated "government is bad" message from the Right ever since the John Birchers of the mid-fifties. Trump's over-wrought rhetoric, and the approving "poorly educated" chorus that supports it is just the latest iteration of that closed monologue. Pat Buchannan in the 80s sounded similar, but he seemed to play to a smaller audience.
I don't think we're heading toward some watershed conflict. I think the resentful nativist movement will eventually dissipate as more people come to see that there are other, more palpable economic challenges facing most Americans.

As far as Facebook et al go, we are the first generation to have to learn how to behave on personal public media. I'm not saying we'll get it right, but I don't think anybody is going to war because Facebook has introduced an "unlike" button. I'm just sayin'.

Im not saying Facebook is at fault. Im saying through that, I am exposed to people's attitudes about whatever crap they're posting, and the foaming at the mouth anger they express. Their inability to act like an adult on the internet only shows me the truth of what they're thinking.

SO you think people will come to their senses, and the pendulum will swing back the other way where society is more moderate and united?
 

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Not at all. The typical conservative principles (which, BTW, evolve over time) include rational things like living within your economic means, being self-reliant, and not trying to be the world's policeman make sense. But American Conservatism has shifted around so much during my lifetime (62+ years) that I don't know whether it's a movement dedicated to the super-constitutional supremacy of the Southern Baptist Convention, the military conquest of the world, the abolition of reproductive rights, or the elimination of the federal government (these goals are, in some way, mutually exclusive). From the outside, it appears to me that "conservative" means whatever the loudest voice says it means.
It is pretty much living within your economic means, being self-reliant, and not trying to be the world's policeman. The later can very a little bit, but from conservatives I know it still holds true.

I think the outcry we see has a lot to do with the problem I mentioned. As we have moved to the "My way only" methodology we see today (both political and individual) we thus see the more loudest voice (which also exist on the liberal side as well).

Best way to disarm this and remove the cloud is to start recognizing that other views are valid. Had to do in the political arena, but individually we can start doing this. Which is one reason I posted a link about this in the Should we have guns thread.
 

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While I don't share Mr. Brooks' general world-view, I am a contemporary of his, and my assessment of where we are and how we got here (politically) agrees with his.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/o...est&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0
Since the Depression and the New Deal, people have seen that government can solve some problems, although not always the important ones (poverty and racial disparities seem intractable, and the attempted solutions have had some unfortunate unanticipated consequences.) In contrast, ideologues and hyper-advantaged folks on the Right have been alarmed by the fact that they have to pay taxes and participate in certain collective actions (e.g. Social Security) The result has been a constant drumbeat of an undifferentiated "government is bad" message from the Right ever since the John Birchers of the mid-fifties. Trump's over-wrought rhetoric, and the approving "poorly educated" chorus that supports it is just the latest iteration of that closed monologue. Pat Buchannan in the 80s sounded similar, but he seemed to play to a smaller audience.
I don't think we're heading toward some watershed conflict. I think the resentful nativist movement will eventually dissipate as more people come to see that there are other, more palpable economic challenges facing most Americans.

As far as Facebook et al go, we are the first generation to have to learn how to behave on personal public media. I'm not saying we'll get it right, but I don't think anybody is going to war because Facebook has introduced an "unlike" button. I'm just sayin'.
But that is the one sided view that I was talking about. Because the view of a smaller, less intrusive government is somehow not valid?
Not at all. The typical conservative principles (which, BTW, evolve over time) include rational things like living within your economic means, being self-reliant, and not trying to be the world's policeman make sense. But American Conservatism has shifted around so much during my lifetime (62+ years) that I don't know whether it's a movement dedicated to the super-constitutional supremacy of the Southern Baptist Convention, the military conquest of the world, the abolition of reproductive rights, or the elimination of the federal government (these goals are, in some way, mutually exclusive). From the outside, it appears to me that "conservative" means whatever the loudest voice says it means.
Wow. Where to begin with this.

If we have another civil war in this country, it will be caused by the same exact thing that caused the first one. A federal government passing laws that it demands, at the bullet end of a gun, everyone else follow while refusing to follow the rules directed at it.

This country is no more polarized than it was when it started. The difference is that nobody, then, expected otherwise.

As I have said numerous times, this country wasn't designed as it was because people agreed on everything. It was designed the way it was because they didn't.

The problem we have now is that not only do we not have a major political party in this country that actually cares about the constitution, at least one o the two parties is openly hostile to anybody who does.

Until we abandon this absurd notion that one central government can do something that has never been seen, ever... and that is be all things to all people... we are going to see the same sort of dynamic that caused the first civil war eventually drive us to a second.
 

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that is only a perception from the liberal side
Strongly disagree with this.

I'm am, by nature, moderate-to-conservative. At least in the traditional political meanings of that term. Most of my life I voted Republican (starting with Ford in '76), or for a moderate Democrat if in that particular race it seemed to be a better choice.

However, what has happened to the Republican party in the last 10-15 years has rendered it unrecognizable to me. It now seems a vicious, uncaring group of idealouges, people willing to tear up the social contract that has governed most of human existence for theoretical ends that make no sense and have no basis in reality.
The loudest (and often most irrational) voice does seem to be carrying the day, at least if Trump's success is any indication.
 

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Strongly disagree with this.

I'm am, by nature, moderate-to-conservative. At least in the traditional political meanings of that term. Most of my life I voted Republican (starting with Ford in '76), or for a moderate Democrat if in that particular race it seemed to be a better choice.

However, what has happened to the Republican party in the last 10-15 years has rendered it unrecognizable to me. It now seems a vicious, uncaring group of idealouges, people willing to tear up the social contract that has governed most of human existence for theoretical ends that make no sense and have no basis in reality.
The loudest (and often most irrational) voice does seem to be carrying the day, at least if Trump's success is any indication.
Well, given that there hasn't been a moderate Democrat on the ticket since Kennedy, I'm not quite sure who you could have been voting for that wouldn't still have you labeled a leftist.

While there are certainly areas of disagreement that I have with Republicans... enough to no longer be one, in fact, I reject the notion that they are uncaring.

Far too much we allow the political left to define what is and isn't caring. And, more often than not, it's defined as the person who will promise the most.

Personally, I find very little that is actually caring about the Democrat agenda. They care more about appeasing union bosses than they do about educating our kids.

And, personally, I find the entire welfare system to be one of the cruelest acts of oppression ever inflicted on a supposedly free people.

I would rather somebody do absolutely nothing for me than to pretend to want to help and end up doing nothing but holding me back.

I also don't subscribe to the notion that opposing abortion is somehow being anti-woman. Given that, statistically, most of the children conceived in this country are, in fact, female... and, further, that most of the children aborted around the world are also female... if they were really anti-women they would do what the left does and that is encourage women to abort their kids. The result would be far fewer women.

The left has a very difficult time grasping that opposing abortion isn't about hindering women, but rather about protecting life. All life. Including that of unborn girls.

But, then, many of us realized a long time ago that abortion is the ultimate expression of leftsm. It is the most extreme act one can engage in as an expression of believing one can live their life consequence free.

And, make no mistake, you can dress it up with a nice catch phrase like "reproductive rights." But, in fact, the only right they are really seeking to protect is the right to be irresponsible.

Most people in this country are disadvantaged by their own choices. African Americans may well be the exception to that rule. Not because Republicans don't do enough for them. But, rather, because Democrats have done too much.

Of course, nobody will ever convince me that the virtual overnight change in the Democrat party from openly wanting to oppress blacks to wanting to be their besties was anything but a scam.

And, one needs look no further than the never ending support for an organization that was created specifically or the eradication of blacks and the poor to understand that.

I think most left leaning VOTERS are decent, caring people. Most left leaning politicians, however, are not.

Unfortunately, there is little left in the two party system to counter it. There is no conservative party. Faux social conservative (read: evangelical pandering) is as close as you get to it.

Everything else is as big government as anything the left wants to do.

But, of course, it will still be called conservatism.
 

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It is to be noted that I didn't say they agreed on everything or even most things, just that they were more oven to the idea of other ideas or other choices being as valid as their own. Not saying it was the opposite we see today. Just that in today's society it is far easier to associate with like minded people over a large area. Making it easier to sure up that concept of My way only. This even in a world where you can see different ideas with a simple click.

Perhaps my view is a little more local but in the past I have seen the government be a lot more cooperative with each party. Not saying they agreed, but a lot less of "it's my way only" that I have seen at a lot of levels of our government.
 

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The simple fact that the Democrats seem hellbent to send Hillary Clinton to the election...despite her crimes that day by day appear to be more and more legit and not some figment of the 'vast Right-Wing conspiricy', one has to wonder just what the heck is going on?

We have people...good people...in prison as we speak for superficial violations of security protocols, and here we have the presumptive Democrat nominee with multiple THOUSANDS of MAJOR violations...and she'll very likely skate off scott free. How is this fair? And if we were looking for a reason to go to Washington and revolt against the 'system'...putting her into the Whitehouse sure seems like a good enough one to pick up arms.

I am praying that when the FBI puts forward their recommendations...which surely must be to indict her...and the current administration looks the other way, that the tanks will roll into Washington to make things right. Oh please...let it happen.....:)
 

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The simple fact that the Democrats seem hellbent to send Hillary Clinton to the election...despite her crimes that day by day appear to be more and more legit and not some figment of the 'vast Right-Wing conspiricy', one has to wonder just what the heck is going on?

We have people...good people...in prison as we speak for superficial violations of security protocols, and here we have the presumptive Democrat nominee with multiple THOUSANDS of MAJOR violations...and she'll very likely skate off scott free. How is this fair? And if we were looking for a reason to go to Washington and revolt against the 'system'...putting her into the Whitehouse sure seems like a good enough one to pick up arms.

I am praying that when the FBI puts forward their recommendations...which surely must be to indict her...and the current administration looks the other way, that the tanks will roll into Washington to make things right. Oh please...let it happen.....:)
Especially hypocritical given the fact that it is the same party that says the criminal justice system is broken.

Oregons governor was involved in a major ethics issue, not only was still elected and resigned but the legislation around the ethics was forced through over the want of the majority and the people's rights to vote on it removed by their declaration of it being an emergency.

People wonder why there is so much distrust on the Democratic Party. Not that the Republicans are any better. Actions or rather inactions in congress and others (NJ?).

Given current climate I am not surprised about talks of revolution. I would be surprised and probably worried if there wasn't.
 

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It is to be noted that I didn't say they agreed on everything or even most things, just that they were more oven to the idea of other ideas or other choices being as valid as their own. Not saying it was the opposite we see today. Just that in today's society it is far easier to associate with like minded people over a large area. Making it easier to sure up that concept of My way only. This even in a world where you can see different ideas with a simple click.
They were more open to it because they understood the value of voluntary segregation. Today, like many things, we see that concept as something bad when, in fact, it is something human.

It would be nice if everybody agreed on everything and never had issues with anything.

Me, personally? I prefer to live in the real world. Not a fantasy one that will never exist.

The level of discord now is not worse than it was. And, if anybody questions that, I would simply point to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

Violence and anger comes about from two things....

1) when somebody wants what somebody else has and decides that they have a right to take it.

2) When somebody decides that everybody should be restricted to having and wanting the same things.

Neither is a principal upon which this country was built. Yet, every election seems to be fought over the POWER (not right... not authority) to do those very things.

Perhaps my view is a little more local but in the past I have seen the government be a lot more cooperative with each party. Not saying they agreed, but a lot less of "it's my way only" that I have seen at a lot of levels of our government.
The federal government wasn't meant to cooperate except in times of war. That is why we have divided government. Only one of which was intended to be chosen by the people.

Obstruction is seen as a bad word when, in fact, it was the designed intent.
 

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They were more open to it because they understood the value of voluntary segregation. Today, like many things, we see that concept as something bad when, in fact, it is something human.

It would be nice if everybody agreed on everything and never had issues with anything.

Me, personally? I prefer to live in the real world. Not a fantasy one that will never exist.

The level of discord now is not worse than it was. And, if anybody questions that, I would simply point to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

Violence and anger comes about from two things....

1) when somebody wants what somebody else has and decides that they have a right to take it.

2) When somebody decides that everybody should be restricted to having and wanting the same things.

Neither is a principal upon which this country was built. Yet, every election seems to be fought over the POWER (not right... not authority) to do those very things.



The federal government wasn't meant to cooperate except in times of war. That is why we have divided government. Only one of which was intended to be chosen by the people.

Obstruction is seen as a bad word when, in fact, it was the designed intent.
Like I said or maybe it's just referenced, but I do believe it is the differences that make us stronger then if we all agreed. I just think our disagreement needs to be more constructive and less destructive. We get a better view of the world and better solutions that way over a singlular view we get if only one view is used (be it forced or we all agree on everything).
 

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Disagreement is only destructive if it is solved by force.

And that is only necessary in the face of force.

Most problems do not require such a big over reaching show of force. Most problems are more likely to be caused by it than solved.
 

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Democrats and Republicans have consistently been able to agree on one thing,

limiting ballot access and keeping 3rd parties at bay
 

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Democrats and Republicans have consistently been able to agree on one thing,

limiting ballot access and keeping 3rd parties at bay
While right and certainly a bad thing, If this were the only thing they agreed on, the country would be far better off.

Other than POSSIBLY in times of war, one can probably count on one hand the number of times in the last 100 years that both parties agreed on something to any great extent that didn't result in the American people getting screwed.

And, you'd probably have a finger left over. I'm sure we all know which one.
 

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I think Americans are way too comfortable now to risk their necks, but if there was a civil war, it would be the absolute end of the USA.
China and/or Russia would watch you kill each other from afar, then just roll in and take it all, and nobody could stop them.
And where would all the millions of American refugees flee too, Mexico? Canada? Bridges are being burned there as we speak.
 
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