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Old 06-10-2019, 08:11 AM
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On vitriol and the state of America


Not sure if this belongs in GD, IMHO, or the Pit. Started it in GD to allow us to talk about our personal feelings while hopefully keeping it civil (and not naming any names of posters).

In the last year or two, I find myself feeling more and more twinges of vitriol and even hatred towards some of my fellow Americans. I recognize this is not a positive thing. I don't remember ever feeling this way in the 90s or 00s, except about fringe assholes like David Duke. I used to have many friends with differing political views - now I find it impossible to stay close friends with Trump supporters (though I still have many conservative friends who disagree on a multitude of issues... just not about Trump). I think these sorts of feelings of hatred and vitriol are harmful and negative and ultimately detrimental to society.

I understand politics is about compromise on so many things, but I haven't figured out how someone who truly values women, or truly thinks racism and bigotry are abominable, can support and make excuses for Trump.

But this isn't meant to be another thread to bash Trump or his supporters. It's meant to be a thread for Dopers to talk about their feelings of hatred, vitriol, and similar feelings. How have these feelings changed for you in the past few years? How has it affected your life and your relationships? Are these feelings based on fundamental fissures in our culture and society, or something more superficial?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:24 AM
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I always knew the deplorables were out there, but I always imagined them as an insignificant fraction of the population.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:34 AM
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I think there are fundamental differences in values that have lead to these deep fissures. Progressives are often accused and shamed of expressing contempt for a segment of the population that is currently identified as Trump supporters. I beg to differ. When a full 33% of the country has demonstrated and continues to support values of racism and bigotry of the worst kind; When the same 33% has knowingly supported willful ignorance and bold faced lies; When half of congress has embraced an openly corrupt and morally bankrupt administration as a political means to justify an end that only serves to further undermine the social fabric of the country -- Anyone with a conscience has to ask themselves, is it progressives expressing contempt for a third of the country or is it a third of the country expressing contempt for the majority of those who do not align themselves with Trump Party values?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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From my perspective, the Right has been engaged in a decades long project to re-frame the Left from "opposition" or "adversaries" into "enemies". To the result that the garden variety FOX view / AM radio listener only hears the word "liberal" as a sneer word.

Whereas, the Left, over the same period was still playing the game of the Right being the "loyal opposition", without a co-comitant decades long project to re-frame the language (and consequently, the belief system).

IMHO, however, the past couple of years, and antics on the Right, have pushed more mainstream Left into a similar level of enmity that has been the traditional purview of the Right.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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From my perspective, the Right has been engaged in a decades long project to re-frame the Left from "opposition" or "adversaries" into "enemies". To the result that the garden variety FOX view / AM radio listener only hears the word "liberal" as a sneer word.

Whereas, the Left, over the same period was still playing the game of the Right being the "loyal opposition", without a co-comitant decades long project to re-frame the language (and consequently, the belief system).

IMHO, however, the past couple of years, and antics on the Right, have pushed more mainstream Left into a similar level of enmity that has been the traditional purview of the Right.
I agree, and I think I know exactly how and when this began Ė in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan and the conservative Republicans got in bed with the evangelical Christian right. Because religion (at least, their sort of religion) isnít about right and wrong; itís about good and evil. The culture warriors of the Christian right donít have opponents who are wrong-headed or misguided; no, they war with enemies who are debased, corrupt, and evil.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:02 PM
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From my perspective, the Right has been engaged in a decades long project to re-frame the Left from "opposition" or "adversaries" into "enemies". To the result that the garden variety FOX view / AM radio listener only hears the word "liberal" as a sneer word.
Somehow, despite growing up deep in Republican territory, I first learned about "liberal" from the video game Sid Meier's Civilization IV. In that game "liberalism" is one of many social advancements, in this case it unlocks social policies such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The first player to reach "liberalism" also gets a free advancement, which I usually use to discover the "economics" advancement, which in turn gives me a "great person" who I use to send my civilization into a golden age.

For those who haven't played the game, the point is that the word will always have a positive connotation in my mind.

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Old 06-12-2019, 01:34 AM
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Somehow, despite growing up deep in Republican territory, I first learned about "liberal" from the video game Sid Meier's Civilization IV. In that game "liberalism" is one of many social advancements, in this case it unlocks social policies such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The first player to reach "liberalism" also gets a free advancement, which I usually use to discover the "economics" advancement, which in turn gives me a "great person" who I use to send my civilization into a golden age.

For those who haven't played the game, the point is that the word will always have a positive connotation in my mind.

~Max
Civ IV liberalism is classical liberalism which is different than modern liberalism.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:31 AM
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Civ IV liberalism is classical liberalism which is different than modern liberalism.
Nevertheless I always do a double take when someone uses "liberal" in a pejorative manner. And we didn't learn about "modern liberalism" in school, we learned about "progressivism". FDR, LBJ, MLK, etc. weren't normally described as "liberals", they were "progressives" (although they were liberals in the classical sense, too). Mind you we never learned about conservatism in school, except maybe one paragraph about Barry Goldwater stating that he opposed the New Deal and LBJ but lost. Then suddenly school was out and we had to turn in our textbooks.

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Old 06-10-2019, 09:11 AM
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Same level of vitriol for me, just a higher number of people to direct it at, by their own self-identification of people who deserve my contempt.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:33 AM
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IMHO, one of the biggest changes in society is that we have gone from "Hatred is bad" to a stance of "Hatred is good if it's targeted at the right people."

Which is really worrisome.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:06 AM
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IMHO, one of the biggest changes in society is that we have gone from "Hatred is bad" to a stance of "Hatred is good if it's targeted at the right people."

Which is really worrisome.
At what point in US society was 'Hatred is bad' the actual philosophy and not just something people paid lip service to? It certainly wasn't when open warfare against Natives to seize land and things like the Trail of Tears were common, or when balck people were so hated that they were considered chattel and were routinely forced to labor, tortured, raped, and killed. Was it maybe when things went from outright slavery to Jim Crow? Were 'no Chinese or dogs allowed signs' a sign of lack of hatret? Or perhaps once racial issues settled down, was it during the time when gays were routinely beaten and killed by police and classed as mental defectives, or during the time when 'I found out this person was trans or gay and I don't like it' was considered a valid defense for murder charges?

I'd really like to know what this time is that we changed away from. Because it seems that what has actually changed is that people are standing up to the hateful, destructive people instead of just saying 'oh, it's a difference of opinion'.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:30 AM
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At what point in US society was 'Hatred is bad' the actual philosophy and not just something people paid lip service to? It certainly wasn't when open warfare against Natives to seize land and things like the Trail of Tears were common, or when balck people were so hated that they were considered chattel and were routinely forced to labor, tortured, raped, and killed. Was it maybe when things went from outright slavery to Jim Crow? Were 'no Chinese or dogs allowed signs' a sign of lack of hatret? Or perhaps once racial issues settled down, was it during the time when gays were routinely beaten and killed by police and classed as mental defectives, or during the time when 'I found out this person was trans or gay and I don't like it' was considered a valid defense for murder charges?

I'd really like to know what this time is that we changed away from. Because it seems that what has actually changed is that people are standing up to the hateful, destructive people instead of just saying 'oh, it's a difference of opinion'.
This is a good point. People are tribalistic by nature. It is easy for leaders to stir up hatred for other tribes instead of actually improving things. People used to hate each other for being the wrong nationality, race, or religion, but now they hate each other over who they vote for.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:30 PM
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IMHO, one of the biggest changes in society is that we have gone from "Hatred is bad" to a stance of "Hatred is good if it's targeted at the right people."

Which is really worrisome.
Has that mindset ever not existed in society? It seems like we always have to have a scapegoat to blame our problems on. Immigrants have always been a favorite to blame when we can't think of anyone else to blame. Others who have been blamed similarly: Witches, Communists, Sexual "Deviants" (whatever definition that carried at the time), Catholics, Muslims, or a favorite scapegoat of ours here in Maine, "Massholes."

If we lacked convenient scapegoats to blame our problems on, it's almost like we might have to look inward, and that's just too scary, as we might find out that we are the cause of our own problems, and thus have to take responsibility for solving them. And that's just too much like work; we can't have that.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:49 AM
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I feel a big chunk of the responsibility deserves to be laid before those who are withholding their votes, to be honest. There is one thing that will always unite both sides, however divided, and that’s democracy. But it’s being malformed and exploited by a lack of participation.

I kinda think, as deplorable as you may find the views of the other side, if an actual sweeping majority of Citizens voted, the defeated side would, quite possibly, be more willing to suck it up.

But with such low voter participation, it is stunningly easy to assume there are more people who agree with your views, than quite possibly, is the reality.

If either side had a sweeping majority, in a large turn out, they wouldn’t need the salty dialogue and degraded tactics.

Which is not to say the distasteful rhetoric, and those exploiting it to political advantage, are and always will be, gasoline on a fire.

Last edited by elbows; 06-10-2019 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:03 AM
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There's a new guy at work. His vehicle has a couple of American flags in the back window, so it's easy to spot. I saw it around the corner from my house one day, and realized I had a new coworker neighbor. At work I said Hey, I think you're a neighbor of mine. He said Oh hey, you should drop by, we're grilling tonight. (Aside- my neighborhood is racially mixed. Like, highly.) I stopped by and we met in his garage which featured wall decorations including a big confederate flag and a Trump/Pence campaign sign. I stuck around for an hour or so to be neighborly, and in that time he mentioned that the neighbors didn't seem very friendly. Big mystery, real head scratcher, huh? I won't be back and I don't second guess that for a second.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:24 AM
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....we met in his garage which featured wall decorations including a big confederate flag and a Trump/Pence campaign sign. I stuck around for an hour or so to be neighborly, and in that time he mentioned that the neighbors didn't seem very friendly. Big mystery, real head scratcher, huh? I won't be back and I don't second guess that for a second.
In the spirit of the thread, that would have been a good time to open a dialog. Ask him why he needs to fly the flag. Suggest that in your neighborhood, so-called "liberal" attitudes prevail.

Now, also in the other spirit of the OP, I admit my "opening a dialog" would have started with, as soon as I walked in the garage, "What the everlovin' fuck? You have a confederate flag in your garage? What the fuck is wrong with you?". So I have begun leaning to the side of hate and vitriol.

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Old 06-10-2019, 11:37 AM
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In the spirit of the thread, that would have been a good time to open a dialog. Ask him why he needs to fly the flag.
... I admit my "opening a dialog" would have started with, as soon as I walked in the garage, "What the everlovin' fuck? You have a confederate flag in your garage? What the fuck is wrong with you?". So I have begun leaning to the side of hate and vitriol.
As he is a coworker, I'm falling on the side of keeping the peace. I don't care to know why a grown man can't understand why the confederate flag can be hurtful. I don't hate the guy, and I actually just expressed sincere sympathy to him when he confided in me about his dying dog. But if he's looking for friends, he's gonna have to keep looking.
(For the record, not that you stated so but just for the record, I do not consider the confederate flag to have anything to do with "politics". Flying that flag is not an expression of a political opinion.)

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Old 06-10-2019, 10:09 AM
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If either side had a sweeping majority, in a large turn out, they wouldnít need the salty dialogue and degraded tactics.
You'd see worse than salty dialogue and degraded tactics. You'd see outright oppression, done via "clean" means. If U.S. elections were consistently 80% Republican or Democrat, the winning side would soon try to strip away the losing side of various rights and freedoms. They wouldn't have to resort to vitriolic language because they could simply politely squash the other side. No executioner has to be rude to the man he's about to execute.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:17 PM
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I paid very little attention to politics, especial the personalities of politicians, until retirement. I came of age under Nixon, but hardly paid attention to Watergate. It was Gingrich and Judge Starr's spending millions tracking down the semen-stained dress that awakened me. But I was still willing to give Dubya a chance until the hypocrisies of the Iraq War became impossible to overlook.

Nowadays I come in contact with very few Americans; those few are mostly older white males. I smile but no longer say Hello: odds are they are Trumpists.

I know OP specifically passed that the thread be ABOUT vitriol rather than vitriolic itself, but we're here to try to stamp out stupidity right? Thus ...

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If U.S. elections were consistently 80% Republican or Democrat, the winning side would soon try to strip away the losing side of various rights and freedoms.
What are the strongest synonyms of wrong and stupid that are allowed outside the Pit?

The Ds are specifically the Party of Inclusion. They favor extending rights to women as well as men, to blacks and whites, to gays and straights, to rich and poor. Inclusion. The GOP almost brags about being the Party of Exclusion. Look up Inclusion and Exclusion in a dictionary for heavens' sake.

The infuriating ignorance in an unfounded Tu Quoque like we see from Velocity provokes my vitriol.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:41 PM
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The Ds are specifically the Party of Inclusion. They favor extending rights to women as well as men, to blacks and whites, to gays and straights, to rich and poor. Inclusion. The GOP almost brags about being the Party of Exclusion.
Which the GOP will no longer be allowed to do if the Dems have their way.

They're having their rights to strip away the rights of other people stripped away.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:16 AM
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I feel bad for people who have their identity so entangled with politics. It is a symptom of democracy that many will feel hatred for their countrymen. I feel it is acceptable to hate the state, even required if one says he favors liberty. If war is the health of the state, and I believe it is, there is no wonder that a cold civil war among factions in a democracy only serves the interest of the state.

Vitriol is ok if it has an element of humor to it. H.L. Mencken is a good model for approaching political issues.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 AM
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I feel bad for people who have their identity so entangled with politics.
For many, "politics" can be a threat to their body and even their lives. I have trouble judging anyone harshly for being very wrapped up in an issue that has a decent chance of resulting in their avoidable suffering or death, but YMMV.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:54 AM
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For many, "politics" can be a threat to their body and even their lives. I have trouble judging anyone harshly for being very wrapped up in an issue that has a decent chance of resulting in their avoidable suffering or death, but YMMV.
I donít judge them harshly. I feel bad for them. If they are being victimized by the state to such an extent, that is unfortunate. I would still advise them to avoid politics and make changes to their style of life. They will be much more likely to experience a positive change.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:31 PM
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I donít judge them harshly. I feel bad for them. If they are being victimized by the state to such an extent, that is unfortunate. I would still advise them to avoid politics and make changes to their style of life. They will be much more likely to experience a positive change.
So a person who had a homosexual orientation in previous years should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?
A black or Latino person (or Asian or American Indian in portions of the country) who is hassled by police should simply make a change to their lifestyle so that they can be a different ethnicity to be happier?
A person who is witnessing direct climate change affecting their ability to make a living or to survive in a specific location should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?
A person who firmly believes in the Biblical Creation myth and finds their children being taught evolutionary science should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?

I do not have a lot of sympathy for the positions of the last example, but your solution is not simply realistic (or fair) to any of them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:50 PM
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If you come to WillFarnaby for advice I would suggest the following:

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So a person who had a homosexual orientation in previous years should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?
Yes they should move to an area where the society is accepting. They will have near zero impact getting involved with politics in an area where they are experiencing problems from the state.

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A black or Latino person (or Asian or American Indian in portions of the country) who is hassled by police should simply make a change to their lifestyle so that they can be a different ethnicity to be happier?
If you like your local area, move to a suburb where the likelihood of your being harassed decreases. This is not too expensive considering the alternative, which is to be harassed by police and protest while making near zero impact.

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A person who is witnessing direct climate change affecting their ability to make a living or to survive in a specific location should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?
Move to a place there the climate is more conducive to your thriving. Not expensive considering the alternative, which is to be a victim of climate while protesting and having near zero impact on policy and zero impact on climate.

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A person who firmly believes in the Biblical Creation myth and finds their children being taught evolutionary science should simply avoid politics and make a change to their lifestyle to be happier?
Homeschool or find alternative methods of educating your children. Very easy stuff people have been doing since the beginning of mankind.

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I do not have a lot of sympathy for the positions of the last example, but your solution is not simply realistic (or fair) to any of them.
Life isn’t fair. You can be an angry victim or a joyous survivor. You tell people to join your pet causes because you want more numbers on your side. It’s simply not in their interest and it is not a rational means to get they actually want, which is to be free from state predation. If they want the thrill of screaming protest slogans and getting victimized in a barely veiled imitation of Christ Jesus, it is of course a rational approach to achieve that.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 06-10-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:01 PM
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I am a straight white guy who, once upon a time, threatened to really succeed at college in Red State America. It was about 20 years ago that I was subjected to what I consider a hate crime assault there... for being a "liberal."

Yup, my Bible beater company was getting worked up into a drunken froth one day and began spitefully accusing me of being a liberal. What really pissed them off was my asking them, "What does that mean? What specifically are you accusing me of that gets me this label?" Apparently questions like this are considered a liberal thing to do by the lumpenyokel, as that was what actually got me sent to the clinic AFAICT.

I think it was absolutely a case of Rush Limbaugh in particular getting people who simply do not know what they are talking about worked up into a hateful froth about "liberals" as the root of all their problems. To me it seems like a cultural mass delusion- when pressed, they can't even tell you what a fucking liberal is, but I don't really think it is something new to the Trump era. It goes way back. I was there.

Maybe Hillary set them off and got them to vote? Maybe the rise of Fox has amplified it? Maybe a black president plus gay marriage made them realize that people were really going to use their freedoms as they saw fit, without running it past their local Bible beaters first? I don't know exactly what was new in 2016, but the Trump era is mostly an extension of an older trend.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:44 PM
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I donít judge them harshly. I feel bad for them. If they are being victimized by the state to such an extent, that is unfortunate. I would still advise them to avoid politics and make changes to their style of life. They will be much more likely to experience a positive change.
If a person's mere existence is a political issue, then simply existing fails to avoid politics. I do not think that people simply existing, or suppressing fundamental parts of their identity (when that's even possible) actually produces a positive result in the majority of cases.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:53 PM
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If a person's mere existence is a political issue, then simply existing fails to avoid politics. I do not think that people simply existing, or suppressing fundamental parts of their identity (when that's even possible) actually produces a positive result in the majority of cases.
Exist where you wonít be harassed. Of course you will likely not escape taxation, but some of the other state violence is avoidable with lifestyle changes.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:51 PM
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I donít judge them harshly. I feel bad for them. If they are being victimized by the state to such an extent, that is unfortunate. I would still advise them to avoid politics and make changes to their style of life. They will be much more likely to experience a positive change.
"The State" isn't some nebulous force that acts without thinking. It's a group of people, elected by a second group of people, and victimizing a third group of people to please the second group.

The answer, fueled by my vitriol, is to fuck the people who run "The State", and fuck the people who put them there, because they are shitty human beings who think that victimizing people is something they should feel free to do.

The answer is NOT to have the victims shut up and change their lifestyle to play nice with the bigots who want to make them victims.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:56 PM
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"The State" isn't some nebulous force that acts without thinking. It's a group of people, elected by a second group of people, and victimizing a third group of people to please the second group.

The answer, fueled by my vitriol, is to fuck the people who run "The State", and fuck the people who put them there, because they are shitty human beings who think that victimizing people is something they should feel free to do.

The answer is NOT to have the victims shut up and change their lifestyle to play nice with the bigots who want to make them victims.
Yes you can indignantly stamp your foot. Iíd rather see more human flourishing than live out some morality play damning the evils of society. Of course your impulse to ďfuckĒ your fellow humans is totally in line with human history. There have been all sorts of persecutions and pogroms to eliminate the evil ones.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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"The State" isn't some nebulous force that acts without thinking. It's a group of people, elected by a second group of people, and victimizing a third group of people to please the second group.
Yeah, politicians elected by the rich victimizing the rest of us in service of the rich.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:52 AM
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I think for me, the real revelation has been to find out just how many people are so afraid/paranoid/brainwashed against the Democratic party that they're willing to put up with all that stuff (racism, homophobia, sexual assault, etc...). I mean, these people aren't necessarily bigoted, racist, etc..., but they're so wound up about socialism/socialized medicine/collapse of family values/small government/what-have-you, that they're willing to go along with the GOP's position on all that stuff.

It's like they're thinking "Well, he may be a baby-eating dog sodomizer, but at least he's not a Democrat.", and not realizing how ridiculous and insane that sounds.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:45 AM
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I find myself swinging between unvarnished contempt for the "other side," and working on seeing commonalities and understanding their concerns.

I believe that the embers for this level of divide were present, but that the current President in particular has fanned them to ever higher levels for his own gain. I think it's dangerous to continue to exist in this environment as a country. I also persist in the optimistic idea that we have more in common with each other than we realize.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:53 AM
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I find myself swinging between unvarnished contempt for the "other side," and working on seeing commonalities and understanding their concerns.

I believe that the embers for this level of divide were present, but that the current President in particular has fanned them to ever higher levels for his own gain. I think it's dangerous to continue to exist in this environment as a country. I also persist in the optimistic idea that we have more in common with each other than we realize.
I think this last part is probably true. And people are complicated -- having been in the military in life-threatening situations, I've personally known people with abominable and even hateful political beliefs who, nonetheless, put their lives at risk to help their shipmates (in one case, a sailor who had pretty openly expressed white supremacist ideals put himself in danger to help a black shipmate). Does this mean he was a good man, in spite of the hate he put out into our little community? I don't know. And I don't know what it means about all these millions of folks that, by appearances, seem to be tolerating, excusing, or even celebrating abusers of women and open bigotry.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 06-10-2019 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:07 PM
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I'm definitely more angry about politics now than in the past. I think I'm internalizing Karl Popper's thoughts on tolerance.

If "they" are intolerant about equality, race, sex, gender, poverty, whatever, I'm not interested in playing nice and tolerating their point of view anymore.

I think this attitude coalesced during the push for gay marriage. I looked at myself as a married, straight man, and could not for the life of me dredge up anything in my life that would change if gay people got to marry. Besides calling married gay couples "married", of course.

Yet, other people like me were fighting, arguing and voting to make sure gay people couldn't marry. Putting huge energy into denying happiness and security to people, for literally no benefit to anyone else's life, not even their own. I'm supposed to tolerate this? I'm supposed respect their position enough to debate it, as though it's not just a repackaging of hate for gays?

No, I'm done with that.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:24 PM
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This is a pretty open ended question so I am going to paint with a wide brush...you have been warned (and I don't want to hear any shit about it)...

I have always considered the conservative side of America to be full of scared and angry people who are constantly looking for someone to call an enemy (ex. Nazis) so they can be hateful and angry in what they consider to be a constructive way. When these people can't find an enemy they look for the nearest group of people who are not like them (minorities, gays, Muslims, etc.) and they make them the enemy so that they can be hateful and angry in what they consider to be a constructive way.

I have always considered the liberal side (and the minority side) of America to be too passive and scared to confront the conservative side. IMHO, the fear and passivity of liberals has allowed the current batch of conservative "thought" to go unchallenged for far too long and the result has been a resurgence of that good old fashioned American bigotry that the US should be ashamed of.

I think the election of Trump was a massive wake up call to the liberal side of the country. It let us know beyond any shadow of a doubt that if we don't get mad and stand up to fight conservative "thought" in all of it's stupidity then we are at risk of returning to the bad old days.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:00 PM
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It seems immature and ultimately counterproductive to hate people over a difference in opinion. It smacks of a ridiculous amount of self righteous entitlement. Consider for a moment that people may have perfectly valid reasons for looking at a set of facts and using their own moral compass to come to a different conclusion. It’s funny, in a sad sort of way, the threads where people are encouraged to enact violence upon others because of choice of dress or who they voted for.

So feeling vitriol towards a large contingent of fellow citizens? Not me. I think many believe and act very destructively but I think most of that is from ignorance and not malice. Now, the politicians who should know better I dislike.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:23 PM
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It seems immature and ultimately counterproductive to hate people over a difference in opinion.
Even when that opinion is "you should left to die" as expressed in bills that protect medical professionals who decline to treat people, "someone should be allowed to kill you when they discover who you are" as expressed in the gay/trans panic doctrines which are still active in many states today, or "we should take you, work you until we're tired of you and sell you south while raping your wife, and sell her and the kids somewhere else" expressed by the Confederate flag?

Calling death threats a 'difference of opinion' is not really honest. Treating them as some minor issue is not healthy either.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:29 PM
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Even when that opinion is "you should left to die" as expressed in bills that protect medical professionals who decline to treat people, "someone should be allowed to kill you when they discover who you are" as expressed in the gay/trans panic doctrines which are still active in many states today, or "we should take you, work you until we're tired of you and sell you south while raping your wife, and sell her and the kids somewhere else" expressed by the Confederate flag?

Calling death threats a 'difference of opinion' is not really honest. Treating them as some minor issue is not healthy either.
Not everyone who has a point of view or wears a particular symbol does so precisely how you interpret that point of view. In a democracy, I don’t care if a nutty minority wear a Nazi, Communist, Confederate, etc. attire. A couple hundred nuts or however many Southern Pride people exist aren’t that dire a threat to a nation of 300+ million that it is necessary to compromise on the concept of individual liberty. If the only point of view one is allowed to express is the point of view that the violent majority allows then one has no freedom at all.

Last edited by octopus; 06-10-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:16 PM
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Not everyone who has a point of view or wears a particular symbol does so precisely how you interpret that point of view.
If their point of view is that I should die, I'm going to interpret their point of view as a death threat. Pretending that wishing to kill an entire class of people is just a difference of opinion is suicidal. And criticizing someone who responds with 'vitriol' to a death threat for spreading too much hatred by calling out the death threat while defending the person making death threats is absurdly backwards.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:08 PM
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I do notice that while both liberals and conservatives have significant components that demonize the other side, and both liberals and conservatives have significant components that get angry about the other side of demonizing them. Conservatives don't seem to have a significant component that thinks that Conservatives need to step back from the hate and try to reach a common ground with liberals the same way that Liberals feel that they need to step back from the hate and reach a common ground with Conservatives.

You don't see conservative columnists suggesting that Republicans from rural states need to spend some time looking into addressing the needs of the Urban voter, or wondering how to alleviate the socioeconomic hardships led to the alienation of the angry black female voter to vote Democrat.

So while I agree that the there is too much vitriol on both sides, and that it would be nice if we could get back to relative sanity, its not clear that both sides are as interested in finding a solution.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:22 PM
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Alternately, protesting and advocacy and resistance can actually result in changes to state policy -- for example, the Civil Rights movement, the end of slavery, advances in women's and LGBTQ rights, etc. Advocating for changes to state policy can be effective and positive in some instances.
Yes when it is clear that your ideas are approaching near-majority, it doesnít hurt to stick your neck out a bit. This may not translate well since I believe you are some type of leftist, but conservatives and others on the right understand that politics lags way behind society.

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I don't have to tolerate bigots anymore.

I don't have to play "live and let live" with the bigots anymore. They are the ones who have to change, not everyone else.
Thatís easy for a member of a majority to say. My advice is to minorities (of any kind, please see beyond race) who donít have a hope when the vast majority is set against them.

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I do notice that while both liberals and conservatives have significant components that demonize the other side, and both liberals and conservatives have significant components that get angry about the other side of demonizing them. Conservatives don't seem to have a significant component that thinks that Conservatives need to step back from the hate and try to reach a common ground with liberals the same way that Liberals feel that they need to step back from the hate and reach a common ground with Conservatives.

You don't see conservative columnists suggesting that Republicans from rural states need to spend some time looking into addressing the needs of the Urban voter, or wondering how to alleviate the socioeconomic hardships led to the alienation of the angry black female voter to vote Democrat.

So while I agree that the there is too much vitriol on both sides, and that it would be nice if we could get back to relative sanity, its not clear that both sides are as interested in finding a solution.
There are many many think-tank conservatives who do just that. Bill Kristol, Max Boot, David Brooks, etc. basically the warmongering conservatives who abase themselves so liberals will be open to their warmongering.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:35 PM
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You don't see conservative columnists suggesting that Republicans from rural states need to spend some time looking into addressing the needs of the Urban voter, or wondering how to alleviate the socioeconomic hardships led to the alienation of the angry black female voter to vote Democrat.
One reason is because the examples you listed are people who would never vote Republican. Angry black women, or urban voters, are unlikely to ever flip red. Conservative columnists don't focus on them because there's not much point.

By contrast, after 2016, there were many editorials about what the Democratic Party had to do to win the "flyover America Trump voter" vote - but those were focused on Trump voters who could easily be wooed back to the blue side - i.e, union members, Rust Belt voters, soccer moms or the unemployed white working class or farmers or former Obama voters. Nobody was writing "What does the Democratic Party have to do to win the vote of Baptist evangelical fundamentalists?", because those were far out of reach.

But I won't digress further, since this is GD and not Elections and I don't want to hijack the OP's thread direction.

Last edited by Velocity; 06-10-2019 at 02:39 PM.
  #44  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:21 PM
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There’s basically nobody in the US that advocates taking proactive measures to kill other groups. There are some secessionist and ethnic nationalist types who would rather live separately, but let’s be real.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:31 PM
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Thereís basically nobody in the US that advocates taking proactive measures to kill other groups.
There are plenty. And they have acted.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:37 PM
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Thereís basically nobody in the US that advocates taking proactive measures to kill other groups. There are some secessionist and ethnic nationalist types who would rather live separately, but letís be real.
Are you kidding?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:47 PM
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There’s basically nobody in the US that advocates taking proactive measures to kill other groups. There are some secessionist and ethnic nationalist types who would rather live separately, but let’s be real.
Republicans are taking proactive measures to make it safe to kill people. This one has been around for a while: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_panic_defense , allowing someone to dodge murder charges because they were perturbed at discovering that someone was LGBT, and this is what they're currently pushing https://www.wired.com/story/how-the-...thand-science/ to protect healthcare providers who refuse to provide healthcare to people. I'm sure you've got some Libertarian-style 'paramedics letting someone bleed out doesn't count as killing them' claim, but I don't accept that weird set of definitions. Anyone wearing a Swastika or other Neo Nazi regalia is explicitly supporting genocide. Anyone wearing a Confederate flag is explicitly supporting slavery.

So I'll need a cite for your claim that none of these things are happening.

Last edited by Pantastic; 06-10-2019 at 03:49 PM.
  #48  
Old 06-11-2019, 05:30 AM
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If you were alive in 1933 and your friends, neighbors, and co-workers were Nazis, what would you think? What would you do?

The Nazis didn't seem like the Nazis until well into the 1930s. They just seemed like a bunch of fringe cranks who dressed comically and said outrageous shit, but a lot of people probably didn't take them that seriously - the ruling conservatives certainly didn't. In the same way that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan felt they could use Tea Party and Trump rage, German conservatives probably they thought they could use them to their benefit and rein them in before going too far.

But it doesn't work like that. Once you take tribalism and make it a mainstream thing, that's lethal politics. People are going to die as a result. People already have died - Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, ICE detention. People have already died as a result of the ethnic animus, and people will continue to die because of it until this country decides it's not going to tolerate it any longer. I don't take that lightly. Neither should the rest of us.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:35 AM
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I lurk (and occasionally post) on r/AskATrumpSupporter because 1) I'm genuinely curious about the mentality of people who continue to support Trump and 2) I was eager to have my misconceptions about Trump supporters shattered. I didn't want to be another "libtard" stuck in an echo chamber. I wanted to see if I could form some bridge across the ideological aisle.

It hasn't happened yet. 95% of the Trump supporters who post regularly are truly "deplorable". Immigrant kids being fed spoiled food and being left in vans for days on end in the middle of the desert? Their parents shouldn't have brought them in the country! Trump obviously obstructing justice? Well, it's not a crime because no collusion! Trump lies about the weather for the nine millionth time? You libtards are fools for taking him so seriously! Trump has spent eleventy billion dollars playing golf? Obama played golf too! Trump's ignorance on something he should know is exposed to the world? He's a genius but he doesn't have to know everything! On a rare occasion, a Trump supporter will concede that Trump shouldn't have done or said X, but the concession will always be followed up with a dismissal ("We knew what he meant to say!" "What do you expect? He's a salesman!" "It hasn't happened yet, so it's not a big deal!" "All politicians do it!")

I know people who voted for Trump who aren't teh evil. I believe they were conned by a consummate conman, so I have some compassion for them--even if I'm also frustrated by them. But Trump supporters? I have never met a Trump supporter who wasn't an absolute dickhead. The Trump apologists on the SDMB all seem to be on the dickhead spectrum. I've tried to give them a fair listenin'-to, but honestly all I've been hearing is garbage.
  #50  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:04 PM
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After a conservative murdered Heather Heyer by running her down with his vehicle, lawmakers in North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Texas proposed bills that would make it legal for drivers to kill protesters if they offered the defense "I didn't mean to."

How are we supposed to feel about people who want vehicular homicide legalized for their political opponents? Mere hatred seems a bit mild.
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