Comments about ‘Matthew Sanders: Reframing the debate’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 7 2012 9:55 a.m. MST

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Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

So this is the prospectus for a new column in the DN? Is that what's going on? So we really need more conservative op-ed? Seriously?

Roger Terry
Happy Valley, UT

It appears so, Eric. Or as Kurt Vonnegut would put it, "So it goes."

ObjectivelyBiased
Pleasant Grove, UT

In this world where not only most media but also most public schools frame the debate "to favor the tenets of permissiveness, secularism and public control," I would love to see more editorials and commentaries framed like this column.

I am optimistic this will be principled, well-reasoned discussion and not just a flood of emotion and talking points without much substance to back it up. The latter is the type of TV/radio/newspaper op-ed I can not stand from either side of the debate.

Please keep it coming! I look forward to seeing how this column unfolds!

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Is the assumption that where conservatives get their "news" not conservative enough? Or is it the tired argument that while conservatives agree with their news bias they want my news to be more conservatively biased?

I have an opinion about the pornography though. We should zone the internet just like anything else. Pornography should be on an .XXX zone instead of .com . That way I can block it easier.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

We'll be here, working to keep it real.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "So we really need more conservative op-ed? Seriously?"

It's interesting that the universal "progressive" response to anything that opposes "liberal" thought is to suggest it should not be heard.

That so effectively rips the mask from the real face of liberalism, I don't think further comment is necessary.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

Why did the man not educate his child not to look at pornography?

How big is their small business that these tax increases are impacting them? Why should they get to place their family prosperity above the safety and well being of the public they serve?

If the sex education class offends their beliefs, why don't they opt their daughter out of it instead of insisting that everyone else be restricted by their beliefs?

If you want to frame the debate as personal access to family, faith, and free enterprise then frame it as such - but if the only way to do things is to demand that everyone comply to your side, how is that any different from you are claiming the other side is doing?

The idea that you can make someone make the right choices by limiting their options has a really familiar ring - and is an idea that has been rejected since the beginning of time.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

It's said that, "He who frames the question wins the debate."

The Deseret News apparently plans to be the ones who "frame" discussions of current issues to ensure that the conservative theocratic position wins.

Will they ever begin by asking, "Are the situations and people we're discussing real, or made-up?"

Will the DesNews offer readers an in-depth, reality-based look at complicated issues, or will it just skip like a stone on a pond over the hot-button bumper sticker language that guarantees a strong reaction from readers?

I _don't_ want to stifle debate, but I do ask that the debate is about complex realities and not simplistic fantasies.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Melanna
Salt Lake City, Utah

Let us explore the second scenario: What happens if taxes get cut? The school budget gets reduced, his company either loses the contract or has to reduce their rates to stay competitive. What effect does that have on his family budget?

I find it ironic when those who profit from government contracts think they pay too much in taxes. They are making a profit - obviously they are paying less in taxes than they are receiving from tax payer money. Reducing taxes is going to cut their ability to get any tax payer funded contracts - and they really think that argument makes sense?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "I _don't_ want to stifle debate, but I do ask that the debate is about complex realities and not simplistic fantasies."

In other words, you want to frame the issues so that only leftist points that you agree with or advocate are heard.

That's called stifling debate.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

"How can they help their representative support policies that favor personal prosperity over government control?"

I can't even begin to articulate how ridiculous the previous (straw man) sentence sounds. Who is arguing for "government control" or against personal prosperity?

What a joke.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

To Procuradorfiscal:

I don't believe Blue is taking about "framing issues" but longs to discuss real-world issues and not ridiculous "issues" like why progressives favor government control over personal prosperity.

I got one. Maybe we could discuss the real world issue of how much money Churches should hoard (by buying up U.S. farmland for example) while millions of people in the world are starving?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Do we need more people carefully framing the debate or do we just need the media to do their job of reporting the facts?

"Longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.

Mann and Ornstein are two longtime centrist Washington fixtures who earlier this year dramatically rejected the strictures of false equivalency that bind so much of the capital's media elite and publicly concluded that GOP leaders have become "ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition."

The 2012 campaign further proved their point, they both said in recent interviews. It also exposed how fabulists and liars can exploit the elite media's fear of being seen as taking sides."
(Dan Froomkin)

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

procuradorfiscal at 7:20: Re-read the original post. The comment was about balance, not stifling a point of view. The DesNews already has a preponderance of conservative opinion (Krauthammer, Will, Hart, etc.). Its only arguable "liberals" are Pignanelli (Dem) and Kathleen Parker (Republican), both of whom skew strongly centrist. Samuelson's point was that adding another conservative voice does nothing to improve the quality of the debate or the enlightenment of issues. It only increases the din in the echo chamber.

procuradofiscal at 3:20: So keeping debate to "complex realities and not simplistic fantasies" is liberal. I suppose it then follows logically that conservatives work in the realm of fantasy and simplicity.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "So keeping debate to "complex realities and not simplistic fantasies" is liberal."

Yep. Liberal and evil.

I know it's difficult for curiously smug, curiously elitist liberals to engage in the sincere self-examination necessary to understand that "Keeping" a debate to their particular topic or spin on that topic is controlling that debate, but let's try, anyway.

Participate, don't participate. Agree, disagree. Accept, bullyrag. Understand, refuse to consider. ALL are in keeping with American debate.

But "keeping" or controlling the debate, confining it to a subject, a set of terms, a particular spin -- not so much.

Requiring "balance" [a horrifyingly subjective term that has been misused by despots since time immemorial] IS stifling debate.

The solution to any censorship you allege may be occurring is MORE, not less information.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ procuradorfiscal: You are half right - we do need more information, but it needs to be factual information.

The fact that you view complex realities as liberal and a limiting of information speaks very poorly of you - only when we ignore a significant portion of the facts do we get simple, clear cut fantasies.

Take a look at the scenarios posited in the article: In the first scenario, his son saw porn at a public library. Was his son the one looking at the porn, or did he see it on someone else's computer? Was it actual porn where people were having sex, or was it the Victoria's Secret Fashion show? Was it a site that opened in a pop-up window as someone was searching for information on an otherwise innocent topic needed for a research paper?

Looking at only the simple scenario presented in the article it is easy to be shocked and dismayed - but the reality is much more complex and makes the answer more difficult.

What about Melanna's comment? How would reducing taxes affect the business done for the schools?

Life is complex and the more information we have the more complex it gets.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . we do need more information, but it needs to be factual . . . only when we ignore a significant portion of the facts do we get simple, clear cut fantasies."

I know it's hard for liberals to engage in meaningful introspection, but listen to yourself -- you feel enabled, even ennobled as a smug, self-appointed arbiter of what is "factual," which "facts" are important, and that only "complex realities" deserve consideration.

In the real world, you can't actually get away with it.

Eg. -- the hypotheticals. A father is heartsick because a child viewed pornography on a library computer and has lost some light in his eyes. Who cares whether it's Victoria's Secret or Hustler? It's a government violation of principles he values, and he justifiably wants the government out of his child's rearing.

The business couple's experience persuades them that prosperity IS more enabling than government programs.

There IS a cogent, conservative side to issues, supported by compelling logic.

We're not the clueless rubes liberal sophistry insists we must be, and we demand a voice, too.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ procuradorfiscal: I'm sorry you don't think the facts matter.

If the father wants the government out of the rearing of his child, then he needs to rear the child himself. Why is it the governments responsibility to make sure the child is not exposed to things with which the father disapproves? And how is the government controlling what the child is exposed to different than the government rearing the child?

So the family's prosperity is more important to it than government programs such as the public schools that pay them to maintain the kitchen equipment - but what happens to that prosperity and their ability to save for their children's college education if they are no longer being paid to maintain that equipment or if they have to pay to send their children to private school?

We do not live in a simple black and white world.

If you have compelling logic, then use it. Dumbing down the conversation by ignoring real life and real facts indicates a lack of compelling arguments.

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