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Comments about ‘Letter: Public discourse impossible with such divergent world views’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It may be best to start with the assumption that we're not going to agree, but the other person is a decent human being anyway.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I have heard comments about this election being a choice between a European social welfare state and a small limited government. Personally I think that's nonsense. Federal spending under Obama is currently running at about 23% of GDP. Romney pledged to cut that to 20% of GDP. Had it actually been a contest between a social welfare state and small limited government we would have been debating spending at 35% of GDP vs maybe 12% of GDP.

This election was about a little bit more vs a little bit less, it was never about two completely different forms of government. Our positions are not as far apart as we seem to think.

Salsa Libre
Provo, UT

Remove the wingnut noise machine from the equation and you'd find much more to cooperate about than not. There is this element which has a vested interest in maintaining discord and increasing partisan rhetoric. It is a profitable business which has made people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh extremely wealthy.

And, of course, there are many movement conservatives who are happy to fill the coffers of the wingnut fringe because their histrionics feeds their anger. For them, anger is a central component of their life. Rationality detracts from this.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

If all the moderate voices of America spoke, we would surely drown out those loud mouthed minority extremists.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I know it is fashionable to say that the two camps have diverged, but the truth is that liberals have stayed the same on most issues. The change has occurred on the right. The "average" liberal looks a lot like a moderate Republican from the 70's and the current norm in the Republican party reminds me of the John Birch Society members of the 1960s.

Unfortunately for the right, their message appeals mainly to older white men, a demographic that is rapidly aging out. Republicans will need to moderate their message, or continue to lose national elections.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

I don't know if my other comment will be approved or not, but here is a follow-up that will be approved.

Yeah Limbaugh and Beck are often rude and demeaning. Hannity used to be that way, but he changed his approach. Liberals should take a listen once and see how tolerant he is of his liberal guests and how rude they are, trying to talk over him, in return.

Then take a good look at your chosen entertainment. Cobert makes total fun of conservatives. Many shows make total fun of Christians, and Lawrence O Donnell makes lying derogatory statements about Mormons, and people consider these reliable news sources. Hardly.

Stacey Dash gets totally attacked by Hollywood folks for supporting Romney. Hollywood and news are totally unrestrained in their bigoted behavior.

Then there is the name calling and stereotyping, and suggestions that some free speech should be taken away right here. On a forum you can't talk over someone, but you make it clear that is what you like to do. I am sure you do it in person.

Have fun, and do it without me. I will choose a more civil dialogue.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Actually, there are areas of agreement but we are so self-segregated, listening to and reading sources that only confirm biases and which often demonize the "other side" so that the gulf is widening. I agree with Salsa Libre. Once upon a time we all watched/listened to people like Walter Cronkite who had a semblence of journalistic standards. Today a large segment of the populace listen to nothing more than propoganda.. This segment of the population is now angrier than ever since their side lost, and they were led to believe they were well on the way to winning.

one old man
Ogden, UT

But I have seen many times when a couple of moderates have been able to communicate -- and pleasantly, too.

1conservative
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Its been extremely heartwarming to read the concern the left wing tax and spend liberals have for the Republican party since the election.

I don't read much about their plan on helping the economy. Maybe their "plan" is to just wait for their lamestream media handlers to fill them in on what they should like?

Their time might be better spent finding that second job they didn't think they'd ever need.

Don't bother worrying about us conservatives, we'll be fine!

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Roland,

Assume the other person is a decent human being? Really???

Why, pretty soon, you'll want me to think they might have an idea or two that is viable . . .

Midvaliean,

Moderates make for poor TV and radio. They have low entertainment value.

Salsa Libre,

But the wing-nut noise machine drives the conversation . . . and the parties.

KDave
Moab, UT

We will get along fine if liberals just remember, it is conservatives that pay the bills.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I'm a liberal. I have two brothers, one a moderate, and the other a slightly right of center conservative. My Dad's a pure Tea Party conservative, and my Mom's pretty much as conservative as he is. And every time we get together, we talk politics. And we get along fine. We love each other, and we disagree. So what?

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

"Remove the wingnut noise machine"

Which conveniently means anyone with a different point of view.

Civility is a noble goal; but I have little respect for those who advocate a one-way form of civility that is really nothing more than a manipulative front for silencing opposition.

As soon as I hear Truthseeker, Salsa Libre and liberal larry complain about Bill Maher, I will pay attention to their complaints about Rush Limbaugh, but until then, I will continue to discount the passive/aggressive "civility for thee, but not for me" attitude as being far far far worse than Limbaugh

BTW: The left has changed over the last 50 years far more than the right has. Claiming that the right has become more extreme is a classic example of left wing extremist passive/aggression.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I loved watching the election returns...

As I flipped channels,
it was interesting to note that time and again ONLY FoxNews kept saying ---

"Us", "We", and "Ours"
vs.
"Them", "They" and "Theirs" when referring to the Republican and Democratic leads.

Whilst the rest of the "Lame-Stream-LIBERAL-Media" never ONCE chose a side, and simply reported the numbers.

Telling.
Propaganda, plain and simple.
Stinking biased Journalism at it's most nauseating.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Eric,

EXACTLY. I have family and friends with differing political views. We talk about them. But at the core are three things.

First, a recognition that the other person is intelligent and worthy of respect.

Second, given the first point, that there is a real possibility that I might gain something (even if it is "only" insight) by listening to them.

Third, that we love/like each other and would really like to keep it that way. So we don't go into hyper anger mode the second anyone disagrees about something.

The third point is, I think, especially important to our national discourse. If we give up civility and fail to recognize that our political system requires some degree of cooperation and goodwill, we can end up with an ungovernable nation. The consequences there are too dire to describe in the very limited space here.

Demosthenes
Rexburg, ID

In a good education, a person learns to consider multiple points of view that conflict with each other, and to understand the validity of each. Even after education is technically over (which it never really is), an educated person will continue this mental exercise as a habit.

The problem is, fewer people -- including elected officials -- seem to be able to consider the validity of divergent points of view, and instead retreat into stubborn obstinacy. That shuts off meaningful discussion.

Congress and the president will only make meaningful progress if they filter out the ideological rhetoric and focus on the consequences of decisions.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:CounterIntell

Does Bill Maher have a daily radio program? I wasn't aware of that. He used to be on a subscriber-based program, HBO.
Maher first and foremost is a comedian. And I don't think his listeners tune in so they can become irate, or become "informed" from what he says, yet i've met many "true believers" who follow Rush Limbaugh. Actually, i myself used to listen to Rush until one day a caller on his program said he wanted to "take matters into his own hands" against liberals. Then I realized i was only contributing to the sickness.

I don't care for Maher. The few times i've seen seen his program i would agree he goes "over the line" of what appeals to me. Actually there are several programs on MSNBC i don't care for and rarely watch MSNBC. But it does seem so called "liberal media" is more apt to self-discipline than right-winged media (which is why Maher lost his network TV show).

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@KDave

"We will get along fine if liberals just remember, it is conservatives that pay the bills."

Really? Only conservatives pay taxes? Only conservatives donate to charity? Only conservatives pay property taxes? Only conservatives pay sales taxes? Only conservatives pay gasoline taxes? Only conservatives work for a living?

Do you really believe that? If so, you need to get out a little more. The last time I checked the "blue" liberal states keep this country afloat. The "blue" generally receive less money back from the federal government that "red" conservative states. If you don't believe me, the data isn't hard to find. Even our beloved Utah takes in more federal dollars than it pays in taxes.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The biggest part of the problem is that they don’t have the same meaning for words.

Words like socialism, free market, freedom, government, God.

Socialism, people working together, versus an evil wicked plan of the devil.

Free market, price decided by supply and demand, versus no government control.

Freedom, doing what you want to do, versus doing what you are told to do by your betters.

Government, an authority controlling the actions of it’s citizens, versus an alien authority paid to protect against military attack.

God, a supreme being, versus the natural world.

And it’s especially hard to communicate when you don’t know the others orientation.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:CH 85

Indeed.

UT ranks in the top 10 of states with the highest number of federal employees per capita.

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