So does the board skew left?

This was going to be a reply to the Pit thread discussing Manhattan but it got long enough and off-topic enough (since it’s not about him) that I decided to post it separately.

Does the board really skew left? Nope, I don’t think it does. Well, on the American scale it leans towards the left, no doubt. But is it so much so that a conservative is adrift with no one to call their friend or ally? Not at all.

But it sure fucking looks that way. Because the Lefty Lunatic Fringe has been permitted to run wild of late. And yeah, it is the left. I’m not going to cross my fingers and repeat the bullshit line that, “Both sides do it equally. We should all try to be nicer.” Look around: since Brutus, bless his absent heart, decided not to renew, and milroyj (resquiat in pacem) has left us, the political asshole crowd has become pretty damn one-sided. I’m not saying the SDMB’s right wing is composed of perfect paragons of virtue, but I’m growing increasingly ashamed to share a political perspective with these excretions.

They’re not just unfriendly to conservatives. They’re unfriendly to anyone with insufficient zeal. I spoke out on rjung’s obnoxious hijacks, and Demostylus labeled me an apologist for Bush. Yeah, that’s right, fucktard, I’m the president and only member of “Socialists for Dubya.” It’s not just not acceptable among these fucklings to be conservative, it’s not acceptable to do anything other than stand around and clap at whatever they spew, whenever they choose to. “Gorj Bush is teh st00pid!” Clap, clap, clap.

It’s been observed by others that I’ve been growing rather more hostile in the pit of late. See, I decided to try to register my presense as a liberal, and a hardcore liberal at that, who wasn’t completely divorced from reason in order to help counteract the Loony Left. And every time I find myself being insulted for not being sufficiently zealous in support of the cause, I find myself a little more hostile next time along.

I guess this means my time here is probably running out too; I’m beginning to think the place isn’t good for my blood pressure. The mods seem to be completely permissive of these assholes controlling the political agenda around here, so there’s not much hope that it will improve.

The funny thing is that when you examine a lot of issues, the prevailing sort of thought here on the board is probably more libertarian-leaning (if softly) than liberal. Socially liberal and fiscally conservative is really what most members are pushing, so far as I can tell at least. In fact, certain solid liberal issues are real non-starters for debate: I sure wouldn’t try to discuss affirmative action or “tort reform”. But it’s hard for people to even see what the real political leanings of the place are when the Reeders and rjungs set all the talking points.

I sympathize with the conservatives - and anyone who wants to talk politics. Because what the fuck is the point in even trying around here anymore? The shrill screeching coming from over yonder has made it damned unpleasant to even try nowadays. Manny was kinda crazy at times, but he’s not leaving because he doesn’t like being in the minority. He’s leaving because it’s unpleasant having one’s political views occasion a pile-on every time they’re mentioned. They’re unpleasant enough to me - I can’t imagine what it’s like for those who don’t share their politics.

And as far as I can tell, all of this happens with the tacit approval of the mods. I’m not asking for bannings - just some hardcore indication that hijacks aren’t okay, personal attacks outside the pit aren’t okay, and maybe that it’s not cool for half the threads in the pit to be aimless Bush-bashings. Because frankly, the conservatives are already leaving. If this drives me away, it might make me the first liberal to leave because of it but I sure won’t be the last. Soon the only politically-aware Dopers left will be the shrieking morons who drove Manhattan away. The shitty part is that they’ll actually like it that way.

Anyway, if anyone wanted to know why I’ve suddenly been showing up in the Pit so much, there you go. I tried to give a more honest perspective on the politics I see around here than you’ll get from the folks stuck half-heartedly defending the Looney Lefties on account of shared political goals. I used to feel that way too, until I decided that fairness and productive discussion were better goals to aim for.

Well said. It may be dispiriting to be a conservative on this board, but it’s downright embarassing to be a liberal.

No. The political climate here has been, of late, more left leaning, but I remember when it seemed more right leaning. It’s a temporary trend. The pendulum will swing back again.

Are Reeder and rjung really representative of the whole board? Or are the simply the loudest?

It’s pretty obvious to me that the board skews left. I’m OK with that, but it does seem that we’re getting fewer and fewer different points of view, and that’s making the board less interesting. I’m not as familiar with everyone’s names and political leanings as many of you, but I always make a point of reading **Briker’s ** and **Brutus’ ** posts because they generally take a position contrary to my own, but at the same time they articulate it well.

I’m not as interested in conversations - whether cyber or real - in which all parties agree. It’s much more interesting to have different points of view, and in the long term we all come away with much more knowledge than if we’re all just nodding our heads.

I’ve often wondered if there is a right skewing board around that is equivelant to the SDMB in reason and debate. It seems that most of the Righty boards I’ve come accross just ban anyone who strolls in and puts in an opposing opinion. Is there such a beast out there folks?

Precisely. Any poster who does not express sufficient hatred of Bush - real, actual hatred, not simple disagreement, not disapproval of some policy or other - is attacked.

The board here breaks moderately left (apart from the out-and-out Marxists and socialists) on economic issues (apart from health care). It breaks hard left on social issues. But no matter what the issue, if you don’t sprinkle your posts with “I hate Bush” every third paragraph or so, prepare for a pile-on from the usual suspects.

I don’t think it is a conscious decision, but the hateful Left would like it very much if this turned into the Democratic Underground. They make some noise sometimes about tolerance and respect for diversity, but they don’t mean it.


Hell, I just stay away from political threads, for the most part. There a number of hard-core lefties around here whose politics I loathe, but whose knowledge in other areas I treasure. It’s only the ones who make every discussion a political discussion that need to be reined in.

Thank you, that’s exactly my point. They’re so loud, in fact, that they drown out anyone who attempts to talk rationally. And as much as one shouldn’t let insults from creatures like them get under one’s skin, why would anyone bother posting a well-reasoned, insightful conservative viewpoint if it’s inevitably going to turn into one of their pileons? No, they’re not representative. But they’ve been allowed to run wild, and apparently to reproduce as well because they sure seem to have gotten more numerous. My theory is that Reeder’s spawn are taking over.

They’re not even the loudest. The loudest is the only person I’ve ever had to put on ignore and it was precisely for that reason. Hope I didn’t violate any rule for saying that. It’s not like I’d name a name.

I don’t venture into political threads much anymore and I miss that. As others have mentioned, it’s important to be exposed to differing points of view but, frankly, the harping just kills it for me.

I was going to say “yes, there is,” until I saw the part you bolded. I’ve looked for one, but every right leaning board I’ve found strongly discourages opposing view points. There is one I post to that actually shut down its political forum because people were unable to “debate” without attacking opposing posters on a personal level. It was discouraging to say the least.

Can you name names? And link to an example or two? Because I just don’t see the mindless vitriol that others are complaining about.

which is why I founded the “Liberal but not a fucking lunatic” society. we serve a nice brunch at our meetings, you should drop by.

strident shrill voices do tend to drone out reasonable calm ones, even IRL.

One would prefer that adults understand that:

  1. mature people can legitimately disagree about issues w/o having to resort to “Poopy-head” comments.

  2. that when people who essentially agree with you are suggesting that you ratchet it backa notch or two, it may be a good idea to, um, ratchet it back a notch or two.

  3. I more often see people change their minds about things after a reasoned discourse, vs. a head banging shrillfest.


Pretend for a minute you’re a mod. You mentioned some goals you’d like to achieve, but what specific rule(s) would you suggest? No hijacks allowed? I think this board would suck big time if we had to warn/ban everyone who veered slightly from the topic of a given OP. Jokes, off-topic comments and straight-up hijacks have lead to some wonderful threads. Personal attacks against posters outside the Pit are already against the rules. Limiting the number of threads on a given topic is highly subjective – how many election threads should we have allowed? How many 9/11 threads?

I’ve only been a mod for a couple of weeks, but I’ve already bumped up against how hard it is try to set the tone of discourse without people feeling like we’re trying to stifle discussion. I have no interest in trying to guide the board in a given direction, political or otherwise. I can’t imagine a more thankless job guaranteed to piss off more people.

Maybe instead of looking to the mods, those of you who are annoyed by specific posters could grow a sack and give them a good old-fashioned Pitting? You know, with links and cutting observations about their personal habits?

I think psychologically people are going to notice posts they disagree with more that the ones they agree with. And I also suspect that some people think the board is leaning left because they’ve been told the board is leaning left so often (not that I’m saying it’s definitely not, I just think people are affected by repetition). And let’s not forget that some are going to take every disagreement with Bush or his policies as a “lefty” post, when in fact it might be a conservative who simply disagrees on the subject at hand. If we had a Dem as president the past 5 years, there’s likely be more people claiming that the board skews right.

If somebody comes up with an objective way to really study this, that’s be interesting.

Your lack of revolutionary zeal has been duly noted Comrade Excalibre and you will pay when the regime changes.

Although I lean to the left and lurk more than I post, I enjoy the reasoned and well written posts of some our conservative members and would hate to see them flee.
I may not agree with what is said but I normally learn something or at least am forced to consider another perspective.
I don’t get anything from posters repeating “Bush is ultimate evil, Bush is ultimate evil” except maybe, that they don’t much care for Bush.

This thread, The Political Gauge, did a pretty good job of measuring the board, at least to an American defintion of left/right. Post # 160 provides a graphical summary. Note the large number of dots in the lower left quadrant (the lower the number on either axis, the more liberal).


Not always wrong.

But loud.

Is the skewing of the board indicative of a larger issue with the Democratic Party at large? After all, they have Howard Dean, hardly a voice of reason, as the head of their party. There seems to be no room for the Zell Millers and Joe Liebermans any more. Instead, there’s Harry Reid calling President Bush a loser, Al Gore screaming that Rumsfeld and Rice should resign, etc. Are the moderate voices here being drowned out, just as they are in the national political arena?

Yeah this place has gotten a bit one dimensional. I generally have been staying out of the political threads myself.

Al Gore screaming?

Zell Miller being posed as moderate?

What ARE you smoking?