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Old 02-11-2018, 09:13 PM
thatbpguy thatbpguy is offline
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When Did We Get So Hateful?

**DISCLAIMER** I am a registered independent. I sometimes vote democrat and sometimes republican. I dislike political parties.

I am 60. So I've been around for a while. Growing up and well into adulthood the parties had their differences and sometimes it got ugly, but there was also a lot of civility, compromising and often things got done.

Now, we live in an era where there is far less civility and a lot of hatred in DC. When did this start and will it ever end?

Seems to be it began when Bush Sr was President. After about 2 years the democrats started blocking everything and then when Clinton won, the republicans returned the favor and it has gotten worse ever since.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:35 PM
Lancia Lancia is offline
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The first election I voted in was 2000. I distinctly remember sitting in the break room on the day after the 2000 election when everyone was (naturally) talking about the not-yet-called presidential race. Every single one in the conversation was talking about policy—most were for Bush and were bitching that Gore wouldn’t be able to do anything, that nothing would get done. Nobody in the conversation was attacking his character or calling him a criminal simply because he was a democrat.

This was in a nursing home. I worked in nursing homes from early mid 2000 until 2011. The stereotype of “old people watching Fox News” has a lot of truth to it. Doing my rounds I couldn’t help hearing O’Reilly and the rest of the evening pundits bitch and bitch and bitch about the democrats.

But then 9/11 happened and the Democrats became the enemy. Bush and the rest of the republicans adopted their famous “if you aren’t with us you’re again’ us” approach and Fox of course followed (I think that the Republicans still controlled Fox then, not the other way around).

A PoliSci prof I had in college argued that it started with Newt Gingrich when he instructed Republican members of congress to adopt certain words and phrases to label their opponents. This is the memo. I’m not quite sure I buy that (obviously Gingrich got the ball rolling to some extent in congress) as what I saw working along the Fox News true believers was the post-9/11 patriotism frenzy had a lot to do with it. Democrats simply were painted as the nation's enemy the enemy rather than fellow Americans with differing governing priorities and strategies.

I wasn’t paying attention in the early 90’s, but from what I gather it was nothing like this. Yeah, Republicans didn’t like Bill Clinton but the rank and file didn’t want him dead. Today a good chunk of Republican voters would be happy to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama literally lynched.

Last edited by Lancia; 02-11-2018 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:37 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is online now
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when the Boomers got old.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:03 PM
Dropo Dropo is offline
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U.S. politics has always had a more or less nasty edge. In the modern age, I think a lot of the blame for its seeming exacerbation can be laid at the feet of this now-forgotten, despicable human:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:13 PM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by Dropo View Post
U.S. politics has always had a more or less nasty edge. In the modern age, I think a lot of the blame for its seeming exacerbation can be laid at the feet of this now-forgotten, despicable human:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Atwater
Lee Atwater was bad, but I don't think he's the real culprit. Political campaigns themselves have always been nasty, but there were boundaries at one point.

I could write at length but don't have the time tonight, but there are three factors that have removed the boundaries:

1. The rise of the religious right

2. The rise of the billionaire class

3. Fox News

4. AM talk radio

Not necessarily in any order.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:45 PM
Railer13 Railer13 is online now
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
I could write at length but don't have the time tonight, but there are three factors that have removed the boundaries:

1. The rise of the religious right

2. The rise of the billionaire class

3. Fox News

4. AM talk radio

Not necessarily in any order.
IMO, the nastiness can be traced to two people: Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh.

Before these two guys arrived on the scene, there were disagreements, but almost always in a civil matter. These two emboldened all right-leaning groups and taught them that it was okay to mock the left and that liberalism is a dirty word.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:48 PM
Flyer Flyer is offline
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Originally Posted by thatbpguy View Post
**DISCLAIMER** I am a registered independent. I sometimes vote democrat and sometimes republican. I dislike political parties.

I am 60. So I've been around for a while. Growing up and well into adulthood the parties had their differences and sometimes it got ugly, but there was also a lot of civility, compromising and often things got done.

Now, we live in an era where there is far less civility and a lot of hatred in DC. When did this start and will it ever end?

Seems to be it began when Bush Sr was President. After about 2 years the democrats started blocking everything and then when Clinton won, the republicans returned the favor and it has gotten worse ever since.
Your problem is a lack of historical perspective.
Quote:
Attacking an opponent’s intellect is a recurring motif in American political history. Ulysses S. Grant, and Donald Trump, both Republicans, had not come from the political world. Grant had risen to the Presidency through his military exploits in the Civil War. Trump through the business world. Like Trump, some politicians questioned Grant’s intellectually heft. Former Georgia Governor Joseph Brown belittled President Ulysses S. Grant, stating: “The people are tired of a man who has not an idea above a horse or a cigar.”
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0a1bb90b8308e

And for good measure, here's British history.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/aut...wns/gladstone/

And we're nearly the model of decorum compared to Taiwan.
Quote:
While parliamentary brawls occur occasionally in other countries, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan is notorious for them.

Rowdy and sometimes violent scuffles occur as often as several times a year and even every few days or weeks.

Punching, hair pulling, throwing plastic bottles and water balloons, as well as splashing cups of water on the faces of rival party legislators are common scenes. Air-horns and filibustering - more like shouting - are also used to drown out one's opponents.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40640043
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:02 PM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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Seems to me that it went from "below the surface" to "out in the open" when Bill Clinton was elected. The Republicans had just held the presidency for three consecutive terms and believed it was their God-ordained right to hold it in perpetuity. Bob Dole, as I recall, was especially caustic that night. Newt turned it into an art form. Rush, FOX, Sean, Billo the clown, all joined in.

Also, the Clinton presidency taught the right that they could turn character assassination into a cottage industry by publishing books critical of the incumbent. People could buy books that would tell them what they already thought better than they themselves could think it. The ability to quote each other relieved them of having to find actual facts and turned the whole thing into one big mutual-masturbation society. That trend continued with John Kerry and the Swiftboaters (band name?), the Obama presidency even brought it to the big screen with the political "mockumentary" 2016. And Hillary, of course, was especially vulnerable to that sort of thing.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:31 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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"We"?

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  #10  
Old 02-11-2018, 11:58 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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I remember around 1980 or so, the “moral majority” was ramping up, and one of their strategies seem to be turning “liberal” into a slur. They seemed to be rather successful with that. Before the '80s, it seems like there was a period where there were compromises crafted, instead of ideological-hard-lining legislation. After all, Nixon created the EPA and signed the '73 version of the ESA into law. As Reagan became embroiled in Iran-Contra, acrimony levels started to rise, and the Contract on America widened the divide.

As long as the two-party state is maintained, with two parties having all but locked up the government, this can only get more polemic.
  #11  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:53 AM
guizot guizot is offline
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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
IMO, the nastiness can be traced to two people: Jerry Falwell and Rush Limbaugh.

Before these two guys arrived on the scene, there were disagreements, but almost always in a civil matter. These two emboldened all right-leaning groups and taught them that it was okay to mock the left and that liberalism is a dirty word.
Yes, Limbaugh discovered that he could rake in the bucks by peddling self-righteousness--and that it was addictive to a certain market. Like a dope dealer who starts to cut his product to sell more, he started to constantly manufacture more imaginary offenses to feed the self-righteous indignation, and keep the market hooked.

It's important to understand, that while this manufactured self-righteous indignation essentially started off as a form of diversion for this market--something to occupy the time while they were on the job, driving, or doing things around the house--it inevitably started to shape the world-view of this market, the same way an addiction completely consumes the attention of an addict. Certain opportunists realized that they could exploit this market to get into political office, and they have been using it to perpetuate their political careers ever since.

Of course, it spawned a whole lucrative media industry, from talk radio to Fox News, that continues to this day, and it is what has created the "base"--the cult, really--that Trump plays to with his constant dog-and-pony show. (CF, the imaginary "war on Christmas," etc.) It also is this base to which so much of the Republican party is beholden, and thereby beholden to Trump, who milks the base for everything he can. It is the reason they have become so craven and unprincipled--it drove their gerrymandering in 2011, and it drives their rhetoric now. Even George W. Bush, upon hearing Trump's inaugural, could respond only by saying, "That was some weird shit."

Both the OP and the mainstream media perpetuate the myth that among the country as a whole there is some kind of huge "cultural divide," or "unprecedented partisanship" -- with two equal and equally intractable sides that are irreconcilable, but I maintain that that mostly is a fictional narrative to serve certain interests, such as politicians who couldn't get elected otherwise, or the media, for whom it holds an intrinsic dramatic appeal. Fundamentally most of the nation as a whole shares the same core values it always has, but for a certain minority, there's no profit in that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:27 AM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
Lee Atwater was bad, but I don't think he's the real culprit. Political campaigns themselves have always been nasty, but there were boundaries at one point.

I could write at length but don't have the time tonight, but there are three factors that have removed the boundaries:

1. The rise of the religious right

2. The rise of the billionaire class

3. Fox News

4. AM talk radio

Not necessarily in any order.
There are only 540 billionaires in the US, out of a total population of 327,000,000. That's hardly a "class".
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:32 AM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
There are only 540 billionaires in the US, out of a total population of 327,000,000. That's hardly a "class".
If you can classify people per a specific parameter, that constitutes a “class”. The extreme exclusiveness does not disqualify a class from being a class.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:27 AM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
There are only 540 billionaires in the US, out of a total population of 327,000,000. That's hardly a "class".
Sometimes, Mr. D, class sizes are small, but possess disproportionate influence.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:45 AM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Yes, Limbaugh discovered that he could rake in the bucks by peddling self-righteousness--and that it was addictive to a certain market. Like a dope dealer who starts to cut his product to sell more, he started to constantly manufacture more imaginary offenses to feed the self-righteous indignation, and keep the market hooked.
Limbaugh's start probably seemed innocuous. He came of age at a time when competition on the airwaves was pretty intense and on-air personalities had to fight to get attention and get noticed, or else they got bumped to 3AM instead of their preferred 3PM shift. There were already shock jock personalities like Howard Stern and other Stern-esque personalities, so that niche was filled.

But Limbaugh was, in reality, a Midwestern guy who wanted to make it big in media but hated many of the sophisticated personalities he was competing against. Limbaugh was some bumpkin from Kansas City but to make it, he had to compete with guys from New York, LA, DC, Chicago, and other major cities. Many of his colleagues were better educated and more sophisticated than he. His contempt for coastal elites was real and that started to come out in his on-air performance. When he attacked liberals, he wasn't just attacking Tip O'Neal; he attacked his voters on a personal level, because that's how Rush Limbaugh felt about liberals. As it turned out, he had an audience of millions who began to identify with him. Soon, others began copying him, and trying to out-Rush, Rush.

The impact of Fox News can't be overlooked either. Limbaugh planted the seed in people's mind that the liberals comprised the media and that there was a different side of the story not being told. Murdoch's Fox News tapped into that sentiment and began what is now essentially the alternative facts network. Limbaugh started the movement, but Fox News gave people a version of the world that they could come home and watch on television. The true purpose of news is to inform and, hopefully, to educate; Fox News' purpose was to reinforce conservatives' worldview and to tell them that they're right, no matter what evidence liberals produce to the contrary. The result of this is that by the late 1990s and early 2000s, we already have hard fault lines developing in the electorate and in society.

The Internet served to further fracture the American public, first with websites and blogs that catered to special interests, and then social media. The paradox is that Americans had many more sources of information on one hand, and thus many more ways to inform and educate themselves about social and political issues. And yet on the other hand, this consumer "choice" resulted in less quality information circulating to the masses. Much more than in the past, Americans live in the world of their choice. They get the information they choose to receive. They connect only with people they want to connect. Choice seems like something positive, but it has segregated and polarized society to the point where we don't trust others who aren't like us.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:30 AM
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Means testing. Once everything was open to ‘means testing’, people began to confuse it with ‘worthiness’. Which lead everyone to believing it was okay to judge everyone else’s worthiness. For everything from healthcare to respect, suddenly it wasn’t enough to be a human in need, you had to be worthy. And much as we see with sexual assault victims, there is always a way to blame the victim for their circumstances.

Whether you’re blaming a black kid for knocking on someone’s door after dark in a hoodie, who gets killed for doing so, or a girl who gets raped while wearing a short skirt and who’d been drinking, or a family unable to afford health care because both parents work minimum wage jobs, we all feel comfortable finding any reason to blame the victim, call into question their worthiness.

Our parents generetion helped refugees and gave money to the poor because their compassion was moved by the suffering of others. I get the impression they didn’t feel the need to determine the worthiness of individuals, quite the way we all do.

Just one opinion.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:55 AM
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when people began hearing hateful speech on national radio and tv, (many other Radio shows beyond, even worse than Rush), they began to express their own hateful views openly. People in my generation were used to having parents who were racist and dismissive of the poor, but they didn't express their views openly, knowing that those attitudes were not acceptable. When they started to feel empowered to affix blame for every ill in our society on other people, the base for today's open hatred of Republicans by Democrats and v.v. was established.

As I matured, so many years ago, I took the pov that Republicans were mostly people who adhered to rigid views of morality and finance; they didn't strongly work for imposing those views on everyone. Democrats were those people who, while even agreeing with the basic principles, did not think it right to impose them on the whole world. Even today, education at a higher level opens us to more Liberal attitudes. Cutting off education, cutting off connections with other groups of people and of other societies abroad, these things limit the intellect and create people without perspective. That leads to extreme self interest and a desire to protect one's way of life by forcing everyone to live the same way you do.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:02 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Starting in the 90s, I used to despise Righties I ran into on internet discussion boards because they had a smug self-righteousness that just irritated the shit out of me. Their constant nattering about Lefties being EVIL was insufferable. Then, during the GWB years Lefties began enthusiastically aping the Righties. Smug. Check. Self-righteous. Check. Other side is EVIL. Check.
Of course, this impression of both sides is driven by the most obnoxious among them. I agree with guizot for the most part.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:25 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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p.s. I expect it won't be long before someone posts "But what if the other side IS evil?!!!!"
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:32 AM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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Human nature has always had evil. It's never bubbled far beneath the surface. In the past it might have been disguised by a bit more veneer, is all. But the hate was always there, from both sides. It is simply making itself manifested more clearly.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:37 AM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is online now
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It has its roots, as do most of today's societal ills, with the liberal activism of the sixties. (Witness the behavior of anti-war demonstrators taking over college admin buildings, chanting 'Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today' and excoriating returning servicemen as 'baby killers', etc.) The erosion of the fabric of society that followed the breakdown of family values plays a large roll too. But long story short, today's hatred began when the left began hurling accusations of racism, sexism, bigotry, etc., at anyone who had even a slightly different opinion than they on anything, and even worse, hurling them when they weren't remotely called for. To have heard the left tell it, anyone who opposes universal health care wants people to die, anyone who opposes abortion wants women to die, anyone opposed to forced busing was a racist (hell, for that matter, anyone who opposed Obama was a racist). Etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum from the sixties up to today.

Predictably, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell, Fox News, etc., are getting the blame for today's political hatred on this board, but their success was a reaction to the hatred and intransigence coming from the left that had become so prevalent by the time they rose to prominence. When you yell at people, hurl insults at them (especially when they're undeserved and/or make no sense and take a my-way-or-the-highway-and-if-the-highway-you're-an-asshole' approach to politics, you create enemies, and so much of the country that had been seething under relentless leftwing attack were ripe to become the audience of the aforementioned media figures.

Then with the advent of social media, the right finally had an effective way to fight back, and, deciding to fight fire with fire, we get to where we are today.

And now of course, it's gotten so bad and so many on the left are so eager to find some way to virtue signal their superiority that even card-carrying members of the left are being attacked by their own - the brouhaha that arose when Steve Martin dared to describe Carrie Fisher as beautiful being just one example. And so now we've got 1,000 different liberal groups with a 1,000 different perspectives all shouting at everyone else for not seeing things their way, which of course leads to more hatred and more division. Even the election of Donald Trump and a Republican Congress, both of which were a direct pushback against all this, has been enough to put them off their game. In the wake of Trump's election any of wiser and more prescient liberal commenters tried to caution their brethren about their politics of insult and hatred but the most of the left in this country would have none of it, vowing not only to back off with their attacks but to increase them. I have no idea how this will all end and there's not even a hint of it on the horizon, but more than ever things look quite bleak as to our future.

The left in this country is notoriously blind to the consequences of its own behavior, and this post will no doubt be followed with an endless number of 'No u' responses. But all you have to do is look at how people comported themselves in this country prior to the late sixties and how they behave now, where people are brawling and stabbing each other in J.C. Penny's no less in a mall that already has 'a history of violence', and the reasons are obvious.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:53 AM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
And we're nearly the model of decorum compared to Taiwan.
If I may comment on that a bit - sure, the politicians behave clownishly, but by and large there is not as much venom by voters against voters in Taiwan as there is in America. (I lived in Taiwan for over 10 years.) There also isn't as much partisan "I'll always vote for my party no matter" dynamic there, either - the Blue voters can vote Green and the Green voters might vote Blue - whereas in America, both sides are incredibly, deeply, entrenched, and there is a baked-in vote for every D or R presidential candidate by default. Trump still got almost all of the Republican votes by mere virtue of having an R after his name.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:58 AM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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Also, American society tends to have more of a moral streak than most other countries. Once you insert morality into a quarrel or dispute, it is gasoline on the fire; it makes the dispute that much nastier, the heels dug in that much deeper, the battle all the more ruthless. Because then the other side is EVIL, and how can you possibly compromise or have dialogue with EVIL?
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:02 AM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Your problem is a lack of historical perspective. ...
Yep.

And a recent 538 on the same subject:
Quote:
... Some reports suggest that a quarter of Americans have real animosity toward the other party. You’d be forgiven for wondering why we can’t just go back to those halcyon days of bipartisanship. Remember when Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill would supposedly come to compromise over drinks?

Here’s the thing: By some measures, the United States is more partisan than ever, but that more peaceful and unified past, that golden age of unity, was … pretty much never. ...

... The sorting of issues about race and immigration have certainly contributed to the sense that Republican and Democratic voters are living in different worlds. The anger inspired by such questions makes it that much harder to reach governing compromises, especially when issues are increasingly regarded in racial terms.

These issues are difficult and divisive. It isn’t a trivial difference that they now separate the two parties from each other, where they once were points of internal contention. Partisan differences over fundamental issues of identity and justice certainly contribute to a sense that Republicans and Democrats live in two different worlds. But the thing is, looking closer reveals that Americans have pretty much always lived with major differences in experiences and opinions. Furthermore, periods in which the two parties were less clearly “sorted” have produced immigration policies that excluded whole nations and racial groups, and — in many cases — what amounted to an elite consensus to do nothing about violence and inequality.

Before we let nostalgia for compromise go too far, we might consider that finding common ground politically has sometimes made things worse.
From the partisan party POV I'd guess we've had other divides wider but 538 has it right: the current environment is not especially nasty, the nastiness and the positions are just more entrenched along party lines than is typical. And along geographic lines as well.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:16 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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No one has brought up the obvious reason: the Internet.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:20 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I would agree it has to do to a large extent to the rise of FoxNews and AM radio, especially Rush Limbaugh, but not exactly for the reasons stated. Back in the day, the Left had pretty much a monopoly on the media - all the TV networks and the Washington Post and the New York Times felt that they controlled the national debate by rights.

What started the slide was Reagan. The MSM hated him, and yet he won his elections, first decisively and then in a landslide. Even though the lefties in the MSM explained, over and over, that the apparent prosperity of the country and success in foreign policy didn't really exist. But nobody bought it. Then Bush Sr. was elected, he was not nearly the politician that Reagan was (or Clinton was) despite winning an overwhelming victory in Desert Storm, and then Clinton was elected (albeit with less than a majority) and the Dems controlled Congress and all was supposed to be right with the world. But Clinton's inability to tell the truth on a bet, plus his zipper problems, and the discovery of the GOP that they could stop him from increasing the budget deficit, and the various scandals like the Congressional Post Office scandal allowed the GOP to regain control of Congress, aided and abetted by AM radio who had no interest in covering anything up, as the MSM wanted to do.

Then the election of 2000 happened, and the Dems were outraged that they couldn't sue their way into the White House. Fast forward four years, and they found to their horror that the endless repetition of "Bush lied!!!!" and their efforts to slant the news coverage didn't work - Bush was re-elected, with a majority of the vote. So, much screaming and yelling later, at long last we elected a liberal Democrat, and a black guy at that. Now at last, we can run this country as it should be - fix health care, fix racism, raise taxes on the rich and use it to fix everything else. Except, oops - if you like your plan, you can't keep it, your premiums went way up, not down, Putin and Syria treated Obama with contempt, North Korea paid no more attention to a liberal Democrat than he did to anyone else, Black Lives Matter spent most of their time and energy complaining when some black criminal got his nasty ass shot resisting arrest instead of addressing the real causes of the problems in their community - and the Dems steadily and consistently lost ground in Congress in all ensuing elections. And no, you don't get another liberal Supreme Court justice to jam the next liberal cause down people's throats.

Then Trump was elected, and the screaming ratcheted up to eleven. And here we are. And I would, at this point, predict the chance of Trump's re-election at better than 50-50 (early days, I know), and the chance of anything that resonates with the general public as a result of the Mueller investigation at <20%. Wait until you hear the howls then.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:41 AM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is online now
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When republicans abandoned science and reason in favor of "Jesus told me so." So now we get yet another activist supreme court judge shoving their sicko version of Christianity down everyone's throats.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:01 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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When republicans abandoned science and reason in favor of "Jesus told me so." So now we get yet another activist supreme court judge shoving their sicko version of Christianity down everyone's throats.
A relevant quote from Barry Goldwater: “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:28 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
the Left had pretty much a monopoly on the media...
What started the slide was Reagan. The MSM hated him ... the lefties in the MSM explained, over and over...Clinton's inability to tell the truth on a bet, plus his zipper problems, and the discovery of the GOP that they could stop him from increasing the budget deficit...
Etc. You're providing evidence of the results, not the causes.

That includes following the traditional RW alternative-facts approach that pretends Clinton didn't produce budget surpluses. Just for one example.

Quote:
Dems were outraged that they couldn't sue their way into the White House.
In fact, it's bad enough that the devoted adherents of one party can no longer recognize the importance of democracy and the integrity of the voting process itself. They can no longer even understand Country Before Party.
  #30  
Old 02-12-2018, 10:41 AM
Inbred Mm domesticus Inbred Mm domesticus is offline
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I think the start of this trend had more to do with the Fall of Communism, our changing economy, and sheer boredom with longterm issues more than anything else. I remember the change in politics much the way others have described in the 90s. We can certainly find fault in the way one party or members of the media speak of their strawmen of the other side, but this rhetoric has always been here and will exist in any liberal democratic society.

With the absence of the USSR and Communism to focus our Conservatives' ire upon, it turned on their political enemies. Liberals never really changed their focus throughout this period. They've continued to fight the same fights and have been met with boredom on the part of the largest proportion of our electorate. Couple all this with an economy that has apparently taken the rug from under a sizeable majority of the largest proportion of our electorate and you have the anger we have today.
  #31  
Old 02-12-2018, 10:43 AM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is online now
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I would agree it has to do to a large extent to the rise of FoxNews and AM radio, especially Rush Limbaugh, but not exactly for the reasons stated. Back in the day, the Left had pretty much a monopoly on the media - all the TV networks and the Washington Post and the New York Times felt that they controlled the national debate by rights.

What started the slide was Reagan. The MSM hated him, and yet he won his elections, first decisively and then in a landslide. Even though the lefties in the MSM explained, over and over, that the apparent prosperity of the country and success in foreign policy didn't really exist. But nobody bought it. Then Bush Sr. was elected, he was not nearly the politician that Reagan was (or Clinton was) despite winning an overwhelming victory in Desert Storm, and then Clinton was elected (albeit with less than a majority) and the Dems controlled Congress and all was supposed to be right with the world. But Clinton's inability to tell the truth on a bet, plus his zipper problems, and the discovery of the GOP that they could stop him from increasing the budget deficit, and the various scandals like the Congressional Post Office scandal allowed the GOP to regain control of Congress, aided and abetted by AM radio who had no interest in covering anything up, as the MSM wanted to do.

Then the election of 2000 happened, and the Dems were outraged that they couldn't sue their way into the White House. Fast forward four years, and they found to their horror that the endless repetition of "Bush lied!!!!" and their efforts to slant the news coverage didn't work - Bush was re-elected, with a majority of the vote. So, much screaming and yelling later, at long last we elected a liberal Democrat, and a black guy at that. Now at last, we can run this country as it should be - fix health care, fix racism, raise taxes on the rich and use it to fix everything else. Except, oops - if you like your plan, you can't keep it, your premiums went way up, not down, Putin and Syria treated Obama with contempt, North Korea paid no more attention to a liberal Democrat than he did to anyone else, Black Lives Matter spent most of their time and energy complaining when some black criminal got his nasty ass shot resisting arrest instead of addressing the real causes of the problems in their community - and the Dems steadily and consistently lost ground in Congress in all ensuing elections. And no, you don't get another liberal Supreme Court justice to jam the next liberal cause down people's throats.

Then Trump was elected, and the screaming ratcheted up to eleven. And here we are. And I would, at this point, predict the chance of Trump's re-election at better than 50-50 (early days, I know), and the chance of anything that resonates with the general public as a result of the Mueller investigation at <20%. Wait until you hear the howls then.

Regards,
Shodan
So glad we have an 'unbiased,' 'fair and balanced' view from one of the usual suspects.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 02-12-2018 at 10:47 AM.
  #32  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:36 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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The impact of Fox News can't be overlooked either. Limbaugh planted the seed in people's mind that the liberals comprised the media and that there was a different side of the story not being told. Murdoch's Fox News tapped into that sentiment and began what is now essentially the alternative facts network. Limbaugh started the movement, but Fox News gave people a version of the world that they could come home and watch on television.
Rush didn't plant the seed - that the media was biased to the left was screamingly obvious. AM radio and FoxNews tapped into that, but they would not have been successful if people didn't see it already.

That's how capitalism works - find an underserved market and address it. The market here was people who were tired of the liberal spin on everything. Before Rush and Fox, they didn't have much of an alternative. After, they did. And much of the fury is the MSM in particular and liberals in general finding out that people had an alternative, and that all the "we are telling you the truth" in the world didn't stop them. Because the alternative spin provided by Rush et al. is not always wrong, as the Democratic party wanted to claim. As mentioned, the question of the 1984 elections was the US was doing well, and the Dems asking "who are you going to believe - us, or your own lying eyes?" They chose differently from what the Dems wanted. And one of the infuriating things about people is that they don't always do as they are told.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Etc. You're providing evidence of the results, not the causes.
No, I am talking causes, and one of the causes is the failure of the liberal narrative to control the public debate when other narratives are available that cannot be spun away. F or instance -
Quote:
That includes following the traditional RW alternative-facts approach that pretends Clinton didn't produce budget surpluses.
There is your problem - the idea that Clinton produced budget surpluses is one of those narratives that cannot survive examination, and so depends on not having any examination available. Because the budget was not balanced until after the GOP took over Congress, Clinton's first act upon becoming President was an attempt to increase the deficit, Clinton's submitted budgets had $200 billion deficits as far as the eye could see, and it takes a determined effort to ignore the GOP's fulfillment of balancing the budget which they made in the Contract With America and Clinton's efforts to stop it, and then give the credit to the Democrat who fought it instead of the GOP who brought it about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Ace View Post
So glad we have an 'unbiased,' 'fair and balanced' view from one of the usual suspects.
Yes, it is good to have other viewpoints even on the SDMB, because ignorance fights on the liberal side a good deal of the time. Even if it infuriates those in the MSM and elsewhere, who want ignorance to win, providing it's liberal ignorance.

Regards,
Shodan
  #33  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:37 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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A relevant quote from Barry Goldwater: “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.”
While I do agree that in past days the hate was stronger (there even was a civil war) there was in more recent times more chances at effective government and compromises based on positions that had independent support. IMHO that time was when Bob Dole decided to get into politics and so evenly handed on the issues where the Dems and Reps that he had to ask his mentor what party should he join to make a difference. Nowadays he would (and was) spat on by the party that he belonged for so long.

With the embrace of conservative religions, anti-science and media (including the internet) that is being corrupted by powerful interests, many compromises that were possible before are not now, because powerful interests press most of the current Republicans to not have any use for democracy and even (ironically) Republicanism.
  #34  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:49 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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OTOH, JFK would be unacceptable to today's Democratic party. Both parties change over time. Both are in particularly shrill phases where ideological purity trumps all just now.
  #35  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:51 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Rush didn't plant the seed - that the media was biased to the left was screamingly obvious.
You've made your point, such as it is. Yes, Fox etc. did recognize that there was a large market for people who want to be reassured more than informed. But that isn't really the good thing you portray it to be, now is it?

Quote:
Because the budget was not balanced until after the GOP took over Congress, Clinton's first act upon becoming President was an attempt to increase the deficit, Clinton's submitted budgets had $200 billion deficits as far as the eye could see, and it takes a determined effort to ignore the GOP's fulfillment of balancing the budget which they made in the Contract With America and Clinton's efforts to stop it, and then give the credit to the Democrat who fought it instead of the GOP who brought it about.
All of that, including the Fed chairman cautioning against "irrational exuberance", stemmed from the 1993 Budget Act, didn't it? Now tell us how many Republicans voted for it. Here, I'll save you the trouble: 0.

Alternative facts, your people call them.

Quote:
who want ignorance to win, providing it's liberal ignorance.


You could choose to be part of the solution. You always have that option. Even now.
  #36  
Old 02-12-2018, 11:55 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Rush didn't plant the seed - that the media was biased to the left was screamingly obvious. AM radio and FoxNews tapped into that, but they would not have been successful if people didn't see it already.

That's how capitalism works - find an underserved market and address it. The market here was people who were tired of the liberal spin on everything. Before Rush and Fox, they didn't have much of an alternative. After, they did. And much of the fury is the MSM in particular and liberals in general finding out that people had an alternative, and that all the "we are telling you the truth" in the world didn't stop them. Because the alternative spin provided by Rush et al. is not always wrong, as the Democratic party wanted to claim.
Just by looking at issues like evolution and climate change I can say that a lot of the "alternatives" were, and are even more so today, poppycock.

One can grant that on some issues liberals and Democrats are wrong, but as I noted the situation is not like it was before; in the past there was a lot of pandering to the religious right, anti-science believers and media influenced by the same and divisive powerful interests. Nowadays the pandering is gone and now the ones that were pandered are driving the ship of government.

What you are showing then is actually a capitalistic tragedy, the one called of the commons.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-...f-the-commons/

https://www.ft.com/content/ec74ce54-...a-d9c0a5c8d5c9
  #37  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:17 PM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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It has its roots, as do most of today's societal ills, with the liberal activism of the sixties. (Witness the behavior of anti-war demonstrators taking over college admin buildings, chanting 'Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today' and excoriating returning servicemen as 'baby killers', etc.)
Of course I disagree. I think the Vietnam protesters did enormous good for the country, forcing the end of the war which otherwise might still be going.

I believe hate began with Nixon's Southern Strategy, where all the racist wing of the Democratic Party were welcomed into the Republican Party with open arms. Gerald Ford I believe was not a racist, but enter Ronald Reagan and his stories of welfare queens. He blew a giant dog whistle by opening his campaign in Philadelphia, MS. Tax cuts for the rich and union busting and benefit reductions for the rest of us. George HW Bush capitalized on the racist wing of the GOP with the infamous Willie Horton ad, which sent the unsubtle message that voting Democratic would unleash violent black men upon our white women.

With the election of Bill Clinton, Republicans lost what they thought was their birthright to the White House. This led directly to the rise of Rush Limbaugh. Republicans figured out that their base is so stupid they will believe anything you tell them, and fed them a constant diet of lies and conspiracy theories. Limbaugh begat a host of like minded Hate Radio hosts as well as Fox "News", America's answer to Pravda. Pseudo scandals were manufactured out of whole cloth from Whitewater to a consensual relationship with an intern to whack-a-doodle theories about the Clintons murdering people. Nothing was too extreme for the Republican base to swallow.

Enter W and his disastrous presidency. As bad as he was, I never considered him to be a bigot nor do I think he was intentionally steering the ship of state squarely into the reef (though the did do that remarkably well for not trying).

It was Obama's election that sent Republicans over the edge. Here they spent the last 35 years ginning up racial animosity and a black guy gets in the Whites Only House. For all the carping about the ACA passing with only Democratic votes, the ACA had plenty of hearings and incorporated many Republican changes. When it became apparent that no concession would be enough, it passed through reconciliation. Immediately the lie machine went into overdrive. "Death Panels" was too stupid for anyone but the Republican base to believe, but they ran that message relentlessly. "If you like your coverage you can keep it" was twisted out of all reality to imply that cheapo insurance that covered nothing could be kept. Any increase in healthcare cost was blamed on the bogeyman ACA. White America was being convinced that "their" money was going to support minorities to whom they felt morally superior.

With Obama came the rise of Facebook. Lies were now spreading at warp speed. Bigots felt free to come out from under the rocks and spew anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim lies. Hate speech was now shared and spread as quickly as it was generated. Hillary became the embodiment of all that was evil and her use of a private server became tantamount to treason. Those same voices calling for Hillary's head about the emails are noticeably silent when it became revealed that the guy who read every top secret document that landed on the desk of the Howling Yam did not have a security clearance, could not get one, abused two ex-wives, and was considered by the FBI to be at risk for blackmail.

This of course, led to the election of the most evil person in US history, and rivaling Hitler and Stalin for being the most evil in world history.

We're in two warring camps because one camp lives in alternate reality and spends all of its time spewing lies and hate. This is nowhere close to bothsidesdoitism, this is one party that is perfectly willing to become a Russian satellite state if it means that the rich pay less taxes and minorities have jackboots on their necks.
  #38  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:26 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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I few months ago, I was watching the movie version of Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) on HBO or something. The Tom Wolfe book it was based on was written in 1987, towards the middle of Reagan's second term. The film wasn't very good, but if the story is any indication, racial and class tensions were very much a thing in late 80s New York (this was also the New York of Ed Koch and Bernie Goetz). But in all fairness, growing up during that time, I don't recall the level of animosity that we see today.

I think a couple of things changed:
The election of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1993 caused Republicans and conservatives in general to lose their mind.

The founding of Fox News Channel in 1996 as a conservative response to CNN's 24 hour coverage

The mid-90s rise of the internet as a form of mass media communications


Fast forward to the system you have today. Media is split between two "teams" that to varrying degrees continue to stoke controversy to generate viewership.













Quote:
Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
There are only 540 billionaires in the US, out of a total population of 327,000,000. That's hardly a "class".
Add in another 5000 families with a net worth over $100 million, plus another 70,000 or so "ultra high net worth" individuals worth over $30 million.

But it's not just these wealth families that constitutes a "class". It is also the institutions and organizations that these individuals create and participate in that perpetuates a "class" structure. It is also their ability to pass on advantage to their offspring.

Not to mention that there are thousands of people who directly or indirectly have interests tied to many ultra-wealth people staying ultra wealthy - lawyers, financial advisors, real estate people, people who sell them products and services, so on and so forth.
  #39  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:07 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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OTOH, JFK would be unacceptable to today's Democratic party. Both parties change over time. Both are in particularly shrill phases where ideological purity trumps all just now.
There are other threads for massaging bothsidesism, or you can start your own. This one involves respect for factuality.
  #40  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:12 PM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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OTOH, JFK would be unacceptable to today's Democratic party. Both parties change over time. Both are in particularly shrill phases where ideological purity trumps all just now.
I don't know about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3oY93doosg

The degree to which the parties have changed is a reflection of how the issues have changed. But still we have one that looks forward with hope and one that looks back with nostalgia.
  #41  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:17 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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The ubiquity of the Internet, with all of its non-vetted sources of bullshit mixed in with the fact-based ones, does seem to have a lot to do with it, I agree. Even if you can't get Fox or its imitators on your TV, you can at least read the comments section from whatever sites provide you comfort and reassurance. It's easy to avoid the others.

That change overlapped the networks' realization, during the Clinton Administration, that TV news could be a profit center, and therefore had to be. That meant gutting their former senses of journalistic integrity, eliminating the Fairness Doctrine, and pandering to numbers of viewers instead of informing them. Fox was just the first to go all-out, and proved the Big Lie works even here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
one that looks back with nostalgia.
To a time when the races and the wimmenfolk knew their places.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 02-12-2018 at 01:18 PM.
  #42  
Old 02-12-2018, 01:57 PM
Bone Bone is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
the Left had pretty much a monopoly on the media...
What started the slide was Reagan. The MSM hated him ... the lefties in the MSM explained, over and over...Clinton's inability to tell the truth on a bet, plus his zipper problems, and the discovery of the GOP that they could stop him from increasing the budget deficit...
Etc. You're providing evidence of the results, not the causes.
The ellipsis here change the message of the quote. It doesn't seem to be intentional, more for brevity, however I'd recommend not mixing in multiple different sentences like this where the subject changes.

This however, is too far:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
That includes following the traditional RW alternative-facts approach that pretends Clinton didn't produce budget surpluses. Just for one example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
All of that, including the Fed chairman cautioning against "irrational exuberance", stemmed from the 1993 Budget Act, didn't it? Now tell us how many Republicans voted for it. Here, I'll save you the trouble: 0.

Alternative facts, your people call them.
I find it ironic in a thread asking when we became so hateful you show no compunction for engaging in this manner.

This is a warning for accusing another poster of lying. This is not permitted in this forum. If you feel you must, the BBQ Pit is right around the corner.

[/moderating]
  #43  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:14 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Please. This thread is about, among other things but at core, respect for factuality, and the lack of same being integral to the causes of political hatred we are discussing.

Obviously there's a way you will accept to point out that a statement is not derived from fact. It would be helpful to us all to inform us what that is. Thank you.
  #44  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:23 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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FWIW, a thread to discuss the warning mentioned above is here.

Regards,
Shodan
  #45  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:26 PM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is online now
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Please. This thread is about, among other things but at core, respect for factuality, and the lack of same being integral to the causes of political hatred we are discussing.

Obviously there's a way you will accept to point out that a statement is not derived from fact. It would be helpful to us all to inform us what that is. Thank you.
You would find this link informative, I think.
  #46  
Old 02-12-2018, 04:11 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
Add in another 5000 families with a net worth over $100 million, plus another 70,000 or so "ultra high net worth" individuals worth over $30 million.

But it's not just these wealth families that constitutes a "class". It is also the institutions and organizations that these individuals create and participate in that perpetuates a "class" structure. It is also their ability to pass on advantage to their offspring.
Right. Not only are extreme plutocrats* a class, they acquired class consciousness a LONG time ago, quite a bit earlier than the working class at that. That's the kind of thing you can see on shows like Peaky Blinders or Downton Abbey and all those shows focusing on the late 19th/early 20th. There are always industrialist toffs scoffing that so-and-so whom Effie wants to marry is not "one of us" or "the wrong sort" - and that's class writ large.
Class was (and still bloody well is, ask the Kochs) at work with things like union breaking, political lobbying to further one's class at the expense of others, furthering monopolies and economic inequalities etc...

Socialism, Maxism, unions, antitrust laws and so on were all created in response to top-to-bottom class warfare. The bourgeoisie created class consciousness amongst the proles through systematic abuse, oppression and privilege ; and counter-revolution pre-dates revolution, always, no matter how unintuitive that seems.

One of the miracles of the modern era is that the plutocrats have seemingly been successful in destroying the working class' class consciousness while hanging onto theirs. Not sure how or when that happened.

* that sounds like an MTV show, doesn't it ? "eXtreme Plutocracy - what dumb thing will they buy next or demand be remade out of diamonds and truffles ?!"
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  #47  
Old 02-12-2018, 04:20 PM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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This thread is hilarious. Remarkable, really, how the entirety of the fault for the undesirable climate always just happens to lie with those aligned opposite the writer politically! So here's Shodan, spinning himself a pat little fable about how it's all the fault of the left, and there's half a dozen posters on the other side, with pat little fables of their own about how it's all the fault of the right. And we toss out Rush Limbaugh and the "MSM" and we certainly never take any of the blame for ourselves. No, we turned into dicks because Rush Limbaugh or Anderson Cooper forced us to. What choice did we have?
  #48  
Old 02-12-2018, 04:21 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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I don't know. I'm a liberal democrat who is guilty of his onw share of hate and contempt.

Personally, I think in the 80s and 90s the right wing was taken over by authoritarians, the religious right and conspiracy theorists. After that happened the left reacted with disgust and contempt for the right starting under the Bush jr admin.

Plus I think civil rights (esp gay rights) picked up a bit in the last 20 years, and the contempt people feel for those they feel are anti-civil rights has picked up.

Now here we are.
__________________
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 02-12-2018 at 04:22 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-12-2018, 04:27 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storyteller0910 View Post
This thread is hilarious. Remarkable, really, how the entirety of the fault for the undesirable climate always just happens to lie with those aligned opposite the writer politically! So here's Shodan, spinning himself a pat little fable about how it's all the fault of the left, and there's half a dozen posters on the other side, with pat little fables of their own about how it's all the fault of the right. And we toss out Rush Limbaugh and the "MSM" and we certainly never take any of the blame for ourselves. No, we turned into dicks because Rush Limbaugh or Anderson Cooper forced us to. What choice did we have?
Yeah I know. People use their own partisan slant to push an agenda.

I do think part of the reason for incivility is that now both sides fully feel that if the other side is in power, then pain and suffering are going to ensue.

Democrats in power? Abortions everywhere, street crime out of control, terrorists emboldened, national defenses down, our political enemies emboldened, economy on the brink of collapse due to debt and regulation.

Republicans in power? Endless unnecessary wars, cuts to programs for the poor and middle class, suppression of civil and human rights, emboldening of the plutocrats.

Both sides now feel when the other party is in power, people are going to be miserable and in constant states of vulnerability, oppression, pain and suffering.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 02-12-2018 at 04:29 PM.
  #50  
Old 02-12-2018, 05:41 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Yes, it is good to have other viewpoints even on the SDMB, because ignorance fights on the liberal side a good deal of the time. Even if it infuriates those in the MSM and elsewhere, who want ignorance to win, providing it's liberal ignorance.
Funny how you can talk about ignorance while advancing the most ignorant and partisan of all possible viewpoints.

That signature is getting really annoying. I keep wanting to add my own: 'Disregards, Ace;' but you're not the only one I answer. If those are your regards, I'd hate to see your dislike.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 02-12-2018 at 05:42 PM.
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