Published: Wednesday, Nov. 14 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
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.
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.
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.
If all the moderate voices of America spoke, we would surely drown out those
loud mouthed minority extremists.
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.
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.
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.
But I have seen many times when a couple of moderates have been able to
communicate -- and pleasantly, too.
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!
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.
We will get along fine if liberals just remember, it is conservatives that pay
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?
"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 LimbaughBTW: 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.
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.
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.
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.
Re:CounterIntellDoes 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
@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.
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.
Re:CH 85Indeed.UT ranks in the top 10 of states with the
highest number of federal employees per capita.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments