IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 1st October 2021, 05:41 AM   #1
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 4,680
American Politics for Non-Americans

I'm starting this thread because of what I'm reading on this forum about the US political landscape, and the reactions I've had when trying to discuss it.
I have been roundly insulted and attacked by the Democrats on this forum, and also kicked out of the Trump Conspiracy thread, twice, and had most of my posts removed from there by the mods.
The reason for this seems to be that, as a non-American, I simply don't understand the situation well enough to be able to make any kind of comment or contribution.
OK. Fair enough.
What I'm going to ask then, is that the Americans on this forum help me with this. Educate me. Please explain the horrible mess you're making of your country.
I'd like this to proceed in baby steps, if you don't mind, so I know I've got my head round the first part before moving on any further.
If that's acceptable, then I'd like to begin:
Right now, it seems to me that the Republicans think the Democrats are evil communist baby-eaters who hate America and Christianity.
On the other side, the Democrats think the Republicans are "barking, frothing at the mouth, swivel-eyed loons who simply want to crush anyone who fails to worship their chosen leader": irrational, racist rednecks, incapable of reason or compromise.
Each side hates the other with a passion. Each side thinks the other is evil, and represents the worst of humanity.
I do not recall this being a feature of earlier American politics. Thinking back to Bush Sr, Clinton, Reagan and Carter, I don't remember the debate being cast in these terms.
So, here's my question: has it always been like this? Have you guys always hated each other this much?
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 06:08 AM   #2
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
As I've said many times if you really want to understand American politics you have to understand the scale of the urban/rural divide in America.

America is, to oversimplify it, ruled by two cultures. The cities, dense urban eras which skew toward multicultural, younger, generally more educated and tends toward service and tech jobs and the rural areas which traditionally depended on farming, manufacturing, and other "blue collar" jobs.

Starting in the 80s or so the rural jobs went into a hard, deep decline which, in my opinion, caused a basically a breakdown in the culture of the Right.

I get from your OP that you're looking for some "Oh both sides are the problem if they would just compromise and go sit on the hillside and drink Cokes and sing Kumbaya" answer but right now the Right is in full on "Burn it down" mode because basically they have nothing left to lose.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 06:13 AM   #3
shemp
a flimsy character...perfidious and despised
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: People's Democratic Republic of Planet X
Posts: 43,923
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
I'm starting this thread because of what I'm reading on this forum about the US political landscape, and the reactions I've had when trying to discuss it.
I have been roundly insulted and attacked by the Democrats on this forum, and also kicked out of the Trump Conspiracy thread, twice, and had most of my posts removed from there by the mods.
The reason for this seems to be that, as a non-American, I simply don't understand the situation well enough to be able to make any kind of comment or contribution.
OK. Fair enough.
What I'm going to ask then, is that the Americans on this forum help me with this. Educate me. Please explain the horrible mess you're making of your country.
I'd like this to proceed in baby steps, if you don't mind, so I know I've got my head round the first part before moving on any further.
If that's acceptable, then I'd like to begin:
Right now, it seems to me that the Republicans think the Democrats are evil communist baby-eaters who hate America and Christianity.
On the other side, the Democrats think the Republicans are "barking, frothing at the mouth, swivel-eyed loons who simply want to crush anyone who fails to worship their chosen leader": irrational, racist rednecks, incapable of reason or compromise.
Each side hates the other with a passion. Each side thinks the other is evil, and represents the worst of humanity.
I do not recall this being a feature of earlier American politics. Thinking back to Bush Sr, Clinton, Reagan and Carter, I don't remember the debate being cast in these terms.
So, here's my question: has it always been like this? Have you guys always hated each other this much?
I'd say that part is going too easy on them.
__________________
Every time you feed a troll, God kills a kitten. Please stop killing kittens.

I used to think that Republicans were just jerks. Now I'm convinced that they're all sick, evil, twisted pieces of [first of George Carlin's seven dirty words].

"Biden's a Commie, like the Rockefellers!" -- some idiot overheard
shemp is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 07:08 AM   #4
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,242
Parties often select who runs for office in party-only formats. This can include caucuses, which are mostly only attended by party faithful who are really into the process and who are generally more to the left or right than the average joe - this is especially true for conservatives, who favor caucuses over primaries, or closed primaries over open primaries.

This results in candidates chosen only by the most motivated, but who are often out of sync with the actual world. They are, however, very, very popular with the super-motivated. So we get politics by the confrontational people, for the confrontational people.

Rural/Urban is a huge thing. It also includes people who live in large cities but who aspire to live in rural areas and who identify with the rural people. Kinda like poor people who like policies that favor the rich, because these poor people figure they'll be rich someday and want policies that will be supportive of them when that time comes.

To some extent, the rural/urban divide is based on insularity that cuts (unevenly) both ways. I mean, I see the right as much more insular than the left, but especially on the far left there is also a fair bit of insularity, misinformation and Conspiracy-based beliefs. I grew up and lived most of my life in relatively small towns - but I am generally much more liberal than conservative and can't imagine voting for any current Republican. Nonetheless, I do see a fair but of sentiment from people in urban areas that suggests a lack of understanding of how things function in rural areas, especially in the sorts of jobs that exist in those areas.


ETA: Tomorrow this suburban Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (who favors gun control and strong controls on pollution and strong regulation of business and single-payer healthcare and vaccine mandates and who loves Obama and Biden and even Al Gore) is going to a family reunion on a farm up north.

My extended family is mostly pretty conservative - but nice, very nice people. Who likely think the election might have been stolen, who voted for Trump and would do it again, who think gun control is a plot to take all the guns away so the communists can take over. Who deny the existence of climate change or think it is a totally natural process, or maybe they think it is human caused but is actually a good thing. I mean, these are farmers, but they're college educated industrial-scale farmers who can figure out how to adapt their choice of crops and farming techniques to work in a different environment. We'll just stick to the safe subjects and things should be fine.

The cousin hosting the event keeps a field of about two acres that is all pumpkins and a million different types of colored gourds. He keeps that just for this event every year, we get to pick through the field and take any we want, I'll probably bring home two or three big shopping bags worth. Plus peppers and tomatoes. And dry beans - he grows Maricoba beans, I'll bring home three or four pounds worth of those to cook up with my home canning kit. I don't know how old he is, probably in his mid-70's at the youngest. He's my father's generation, and Dad is 82. The guy doesn't retire because he still likes the work of farming.

In truth, it's a pretty ugly industrial-looking farm, all the buildings steel and aluminum, few trees except around the house (but in this climate, trees don't grow unless planted and cared for, this was all shortgrass prairie back in the day). Still, he's pretty generous - and probably likes Trump and such. They're not all jerks, but are often portrayed that way.

But as I stated earlier, these sorts of everyday conservatives are not the ones picking candidates for office. They'll just vote for whoever the party nominates. The selection of candidates is one of the areas that seems most dysfunctional these days.

Last edited by crescent; 1st October 2021 at 07:30 AM.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 07:10 AM   #5
d4m10n
Philosopher
 
d4m10n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Mounts Farm
Posts: 7,941
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
As I've said many times if you really want to understand American politics you have to understand the scale of the urban/rural divide in America.
Couldn't agree more.

https://www.niskanencenter.org/expla...itical-divide/
__________________
"Well, a statement like that is all the better for proof, but go on, anyway." - Salvor Hardin
d4m10n is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 07:34 AM   #6
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 4,680
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I get from your OP that you're looking for some "Oh both sides are the problem if they would just compromise and go sit on the hillside and drink Cokes and sing Kumbaya" answer but right now the Right is in full on "Burn it down" mode because basically they have nothing left to lose.
Actually, I was hoping to avoid this kind of strawmanning, and concentrate on filling the gaps in my (apparent) ignorance.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 07:38 AM   #7
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
A much more minor, but still significant, factor is what I've come to think of as the rise of political fandoms, and I use that term deliberately and with intentional disparage.

People have always supported, even with fervor or even fanaticism, their political preferences (for ref please see the "Bloody Obvious" edition of the book "All History of All Time" chapters "Always to Forever") but basically being fanboys for political ideologies is somewhat new.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 07:58 AM   #8
crescent
Illuminator
 
crescent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,242
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
political fandoms
This too. People start to treat political parties like sports teams.

You watch a game. The Refs make a bad call, but it favors your team, so you're okay with it. Happy even.

You want your team to win, every time, no matter what.

The same attitudes should not apply to politics - but they do.
crescent is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 08:21 AM   #9
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,388
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
So, here's my question: has it always been like this? Have you guys always hated each other this much?
You're correct in that there's ire on both sides, but you're wrong in implying that it's mutually unjustified ire. Republicans have made a strategy of pure obstructionism for decades, while the Democrats have wrung their hands over bipartisanship and continually lost influence until animosity is the only tool they have left.

If you want to identify the moment things started going to pot, look at the political fallout of Nixon's impeachment. The lesson the GOP took from it wasn't that they needed better leadership, but that they shouldn't have turned on one of their own. Nixon may have been a crook, but he was their crook, and preserving the integrity of the office meant nothing if they couldn't hold the power themselves.

Then Reagan pioneered the tactic of spending on everything while in power and screaming about the debt when not, and Reagan/Bush invited the Christian evangelicals on board. Bush Sr. was probably the last GOP leader with moral fiber (he lost his re-election because he had the balls to raise taxes to pay for things), but he wasn't above getting his hands dirty with racist dog whistles to gain power. I could go on, but more recent political history can be summarized with "and then they stooped lower," so I'll leave it as having answered your question.

Last edited by Beelzebuddy; 1st October 2021 at 08:23 AM.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 08:22 AM   #10
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16,126
I think it's necessary to see the meta-game that is going on in America.
Actual politics and the accompanying media coverage are almost completely divorced from the daily experience of Americans. Most are not active in Parties or on the local level, and those who are have to devote all their time on the political game and soon lose contact with their base.
The voters don't understand the politicians, and vice versa, which is why lobbying is such a central part of governing, and why both parties need some friendly Media companies.
__________________
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
-Anne Lamott
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 08:31 AM   #11
Random
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,282
The big three issues would be:

Flawed Constitutional design and the Two-Party System – Our current Constitution is a second draft from a bunch of people who were creating a Nobility-Free Government with no experience (the first draft was even worse). It functionally built in a bunch of advantages for smaller, less populous states in order to get them to sign up, but after the Industrial Revolution, those advantages became magnified and made the whole thing unstable. We are on course for a 30-70 Senate by 2040, where thirty Senators will represent seventy percent of Americans, and thirty percent of Americans will be represented by seventy Senators.

General Media Suckage – After Rupert Murdoch created his 24/7 right-wing propaganda network and we had a few decades of people complaining about “Liberal Media Bias”, the mainstream media has basically neutered itself. To shield themselves from accusations of bias, they have adopted the stand of “Balance”, where they try to provide even-handed coverage regardless of how uneven the facts are.

Racism/Slavery - Racism was basically invented to justify Slavery. When Slavery went away, the Racism stuck around. Throw in some psychological stuff like last place aversion and unwillingness of successful people to recognize that they had advantages over less successful people and you have a persistent mess that can be utilized by demagogues to acquire and maintain power.
__________________
"...Am I actually watching Big Bird argue with the Egyptian God of the Dead? Is PBS sending some kind of weird religious message here?"
Random is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 08:49 AM   #12
sackett
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Detroit
Posts: 6,945
A horrible mess? Wow! Glad I looked in, I hadn't realized how bad it is these days.

But if you listen to Americans, you'll always get that impression. We are the bitterest bitchers and complainers on earth. Nobody has it worse than us! And it's always our own fault, because we don't kick those dirty basterdz outa Washington and turn this country around! Yessir, 'bout 720 degrees and that's just for starters!

See my location? Soon as I post, a pack of Real Americans will pile in here angrily telling me to shaddap,
because 'Troit's the dismalest city in a dismal nation, and that just proves how right they are!

They have a point about detroit, and if I could just get it across to all those foreigners who visit here every summer, we'd, uh, well, see some goddammit don't expect an American to explain everything to you!
__________________
If you would learn a man's character, give him authority.

If you would ruin a man's character, let him seize power.
sackett is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 08:55 AM   #13
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Originally Posted by sackett View Post
A horrible mess? Wow! Glad I looked in, I hadn't realized how bad it is these days.

But if you listen to Americans, you'll always get that impression. We are the bitterest bitchers and complainers on earth. Nobody has it worse than us! And it's always our own fault, because we don't kick those dirty basterdz outa Washington and turn this country around! Yessir, 'bout 720 degrees and that's just for starters!
That kind of "LOL politics, whatcha gonna do?" routine sells a lot better when you're not in the same calendar year as an attempted coup.

Yeah people always complain about politics. That doesn't mean everything is always the same on some good-bad scale.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 1st October 2021 at 08:57 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:14 AM   #14
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 4,680
Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
That's an interesting link, and thank you for posting it.
I get that the Republicans are more of a rural party, and the Democrats more urban: I have mentioned this before, to general disdain, and also mentioned contact theory, where heterogenous areas show lower levels of racism and groupthink. (This also was derided).
This kind of split is not unique to the States, though. What is still puzzling me is why this split, and this polarisation, is now being expressed in such extreme and hate-filled terms, from both sides of the political divide, in America.
Where did this extreme hatred come from? I'm not sure it's an inevitable consequence of the urban/rural divide.
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:16 AM   #15
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
That's an interesting link, and thank you for posting it.
I get that the Republicans are more of a rural party, and the Democrats more urban: I have mentioned this before, to general disdain, and also mentioned contact theory, where heterogenous areas show lower levels of racism and groupthink. (This also was derided).
This kind of split is not unique to the States, though. What is still puzzling me is why this split, and this polarisation, is now being expressed in such extreme and hate-filled terms, from both sides of the political divide, in America.
Where did this extreme hatred come from? I'm not sure it's an inevitable consequence of the urban/rural divide.
Again there is no simple answer, but it's that pretty much every single advancement in the last... couple decades-ish have the left rural areas behind.

Their economy is for all practical purpose dead and never coming and they have lost their identity as "Real America" is the online age.

I've referenced this article so many times on this board I should have just saved myself the trouble and wrote it myself to begin with, but:

https://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reaso...ne-talks-about
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 1st October 2021 at 09:28 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:20 AM   #16
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 4,680
Originally Posted by sackett View Post
A horrible mess? Wow! Glad I looked in, I hadn't realized how bad it is these days.

But if you listen to Americans, you'll always get that impression. We are the bitterest bitchers and complainers on earth. Nobody has it worse than us! And it's always our own fault, because we don't kick those dirty basterdz outa Washington and turn this country around! Yessir, 'bout 720 degrees and that's just for starters!

See my location? Soon as I post, a pack of Real Americans will pile in here angrily telling me to shaddap,
because 'Troit's the dismalest city in a dismal nation, and that just proves how right they are!

They have a point about detroit, and if I could just get it across to all those foreigners who visit here every summer, we'd, uh, well, see some goddammit don't expect an American to explain everything to you!
Well, if you read the comments from some Americans here, you would indeed believe that the whole country is going to burn to the ground quite soon.
This is one reason I started this thread. If you guys want to destroy your own country- or gleefully watch as others destroy it, just to prove your side was better for not doing anything to stop it- then go ahead. I will watch, with some sadness, yes, but I'm not going to get involved or take sides. You carry on. I would like to understand, though, how it got that bad. Might be a lesson for the rest of the world.
On the other hand, if, as you imply, it's just moaning for the sake of moaning, then why do you do this? It's horrible reading, really it is.
Plus, all this hatred is fanning the flames, so possibly making this a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To restate my original question, slightly differently: do you guys really hate each other as much as you claim?
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:22 AM   #17
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
The existence of "There's going to be a Civil War anyday now" types does not mean the people who are saying "This is not normal, this is not just normal toxic political discourse and whining about same, this is something new and bad" are wrong.

Again there's been an attempted coup since the last time I got my car tags renewed. Some of this is new and noteworthy.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:24 AM   #18
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8,388
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
To restate my original question, slightly differently: do you guys really hate each other as much as you claim?
I would have said "no" prior to people getting run over at protests and storming the Capitol building. Somebody clearly hates enough to take violent action, and that doesn't exactly inspire goodwill all around.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:28 AM   #19
Cosmic Yak
Illuminator
 
Cosmic Yak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Where there's never a road broader than the back of your hand.
Posts: 4,680
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Again there is no simple answer, but it's that pretty much every single advancement in the last... couple decades-ish have the left rural areas behind.

There economy is for all practical purpose dead and never coming and they have lost their identity as "Real America" is the online age.

I've referenced this article so many times on this board I should have just saved myself the trouble and wrote it myself to begin with, but:

https://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reaso...ne-talks-about
In the other thread, I said several times that the Democrats were out of touch with rural voters. I was howled down.
This article seems to say pretty much the same thing, adding that rural populations are equally as out of touch with urban citizens. Curious.
I'm not suggesting solutions, despite what you might think. I'm trying to understand how this situation has spiralled so out of control that neither side considers the other to be human. (No, I'm not exaggerating: I've seen these statements, from both sides, on this very forum).
Would you consider this state of affairs to be recent, or has it always existed?
__________________
Fortuna Faveat Fatuis
Cosmic Yak is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:33 AM   #20
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Both sides being "Out of Touch" with the other doesn't mean one side is correct though.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 09:39 AM   #21
The Great Zaganza
Maledictorian
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 16,126
The thing is: there is a lot more urban population, putting the onus on the rural Americans to understand the city dwellers, not so much the other way around.
__________________
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
-Anne Lamott
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 10:04 AM   #22
Myriad
The Clarity Is Devastating
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Betwixt
Posts: 18,379
This commercial (for a personal injury law firm, but that's irrelevant) metaphorically explains Trump's appeal and support in the U.S.


YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


The guy on the left is Trump. The guy on the right, who whoops and cheers at the impressive display despite being perfectly aware that the Trump guy is screwing him over, is the American right. Cucks, basically.
__________________
A zømbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 10:19 AM   #23
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
I'm on the fence as to whether you can explain Trump and.... *gestures broadly at everything* separately or not.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 10:53 AM   #24
tyr_13
Penultimate Amazing
 
tyr_13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 16,754
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
In the other thread, I said several times that the Democrats were out of touch with rural voters. I was howled down.
This article seems to say pretty much the same thing, adding that rural populations are equally as out of touch with urban citizens. Curious.
I'm not suggesting solutions, despite what you might think. I'm trying to understand how this situation has spiralled so out of control that neither side considers the other to be human. (No, I'm not exaggerating: I've seen these statements, from both sides, on this very forum).
Would you consider this state of affairs to be recent, or has it always existed?
I'm a progressive who lives in a rural area not far from a very small city.

Over my lifetime the right has increasingly become out of touch with reality. Not political questions, but questions of how reality operates. It is a separate problem from the political divide, but one informs the other.

Further the ways urban people are out of touch are, generally, a lot less impactful now than the ways rural people are on almost every level. The right around here talk a lot about how much money we send to New York City and support them. The exact opposite is true. The urban left wing are not so out of touch they believe it isn't in their best interests to support rural areas, even if not all their ideas are the most efficient. The rural right wing not only think they shouldn't have to support the urban areas, they don't realize that they're really not doing so (beyond trade stuff like food, but that's not the same thing). This rejection of reality on every subject wouldn't be so bad if they weren't given so much more political power than population justifies.

And then their suffering, which can't be fixed by outside powers and needs them to buy into their own transition, gets used to justify their tribal hate and violence towards the left. It is not a coincident that in the US political violence is overwhelmingly, at a ten to one or more level, comes from the right. They don't want to help you. They don't want to help me. They don't want to help themselves. 'Personal accountability' are just magic words to rationalize not caring about others.

(No, the left and urban areas are far from perfect and do a lot of stupid things that also suck, it just isn't close to equal right now.)

It isn't sustainable.
__________________
Circled nothing is still nothing.
"Nothing will stop the U.S. from being a world leader, not even a handful of adults who want their kids to take science lessons from a book that mentions unicorns six times." -UNLoVedRebel
Mumpsimus: a stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong
tyr_13 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:07 AM   #25
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
The Rural Right created this mythology around themselves where their identity was all wrapped up in this vague idea of frontier independence and self reliance. They justified a lot of their bad qualities via "Well I don't nothing from nobody, so I don't owe nobody nothing." You can rationalize a lot of jackassery with "Well if you don't like it leave me alone, it's not like I asked you to interact with me."

But as the rural areas basically died and the government had to pump resources into the rural areas just to keep them from devolving into the Hunger Games meets Mad Max they had to face the reality of depending on the government (outside of one or two weird one-off exceptions like Texas no reliably "Red State" pays more into the Federal Government than it pays in, essentially the entire Red States of America are on welfare) and never got over the cognitive dissonance outside of just adopting reality denial.

It's why a single black mom in "the ghetto" getting (checks notes) about 400 bucks a month to live on is "welfare" but the (checks notes again) 20 billion in farm subsidies isn't. It's why unemployment is socialism but social security isn't.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:22 AM   #26
Venom
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 5,250
I think it's also helpful to study the alliance of the Christian Right and neoconservatives since the 1980s. They spawned much of the rightwing media and political propaganda that would demonize Clinton and mainstream Dems to cartoonish lengths. There shouldn't be 24-year olds sharing the "Clinton death list" conspiracist crap on social media today, but sadly there are.
Venom is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:24 AM   #27
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Right now, it seems to me that the Republicans think the Democrats are evil communist baby-eaters who hate America and Christianity.
On the other side, the Democrats think the Republicans are "barking, frothing at the mouth, swivel-eyed loons who simply want to crush anyone who fails to worship their chosen leader": irrational, racist rednecks, incapable of reason or compromise.
Each side hates the other with a passion. Each side thinks the other is evil, and represents the worst of humanity.
Seems like you understand it pretty well.

Actually, it only seems that way, even to us.
Mostly because of:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
As I've said many times if you really want to understand American politics you have to understand the scale of the urban/rural divide in America.

America is, to oversimplify it, ruled by two cultures. The cities, dense urban eras which skew toward multicultural, younger, generally more educated and tends toward service and tech jobs and the rural areas which traditionally depended on farming, manufacturing, and other "blue collar" jobs.

Starting in the 80s or so the rural jobs went into a hard, deep decline which, in my opinion, caused a basically a breakdown in the culture of the Right.

I get from your OP that you're looking for some "Oh both sides are the problem if they would just compromise and go sit on the hillside and drink Cokes and sing Kumbaya" answer but right now the Right is in full on "Burn it down" mode because basically they have nothing left to lose.
There's little more to it. We've self segregated a lot more. Not just geographically but even our various social groups have done so. We used to go to clubs and churches and what not where there were lots of folks that disagreed with us. The parties are a lot more ideologically uniform too. There was a time when which party you were in really didn't say much about your political and social beliefs, it was more about where lived. The segregation and primary system in politics means that politicians have more to fear from with in their on party and ideology than from the opposition so it pushes politicians to pander to the more extreme elements of their party. This a a uniquely democratic part of the US system that was meant as progressive reform.

We think twitter represents the actual american electorate, it doesn't. For the most part, moderates aren't the voices you hear, its the loud mouths on both sides. Polling tends to show that the majority of people aren't really that far apart from each other but they think the other side is uniformly more extreme than they are.

There is for instance broad consensus in the US on a lot of contentious issues but you would never know it. Immigration, most Americans are fine with it and with immigrants and want sensible reform that includes some sort of path for folks brought here as kids to become citizens, we mostly want even the adult illegals with clean records to stay as long as there is some sort of penalty for breaking the law in the first place. We mostly want some sense of control over who comes here in the first place. Some relatively simple requirements on who gets in. We would mostly be satisfied with a system like Canada's. You would never know that if you listen to any media in the US.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:25 AM   #28
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Well, and I'd dust off this drum but I never leave it along long enough for dust to really build up on it, I still think we really screwed up where we let fringe conspiracy theorist and internet trolls basically refine "Bad argumentatives" to the point that it's basically psychological warfare and didn't do anything about and now mainstream politicians are using their tactics and... we can't do anything about.

Yes I'm saying it again, I will say it again, and stand by it, and I believe it. This is where "Ignoring the trolls" and "Oh just let them believe in Woo, they aren't hurting anyone" got us.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:25 AM   #29
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Both sides being "Out of Touch" with the other doesn't mean one side is correct though.
It means both sides are wrong about at least one thing.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:29 AM   #30
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
A few references:
https://www.axios.com/poll-political...1218a1098.html

https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/r...-united-states
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:32 AM   #31
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
There is for instance broad consensus in the US on a lot of contentious issues but you would never know it. Immigration, most Americans are fine with it and with immigrants and want sensible reform that includes some sort of path for folks brought here as kids to become citizens, we mostly want even the adult illegals with clean records to stay as long as there is some sort of penalty for breaking the law in the first place. We mostly want some sense of control over who comes here in the first place. Some relatively simple requirements on who gets in. We would mostly be satisfied with a system like Canada's. You would never know that if you listen to any media in the US.
Okay is this going to be like your abortion argument where you go "No you don't understand, nobody is disagreeing with X but *dramatic pause* 'most people' don't agree with this extreme version of X that doesn't actually exist that I'm making so I can pretend I'm the balance in the discussion" thing again?

Yes the open borders that people want exist right next to those "Get 9 Late Term Abortions and Get the 10th One Free" Clinics that you think exist and we have to "balance" against.

I'm reminded of how you can ask a Conservative if they would support reducing... like the cost of foreign ad from 15 to 10 percent of the National Budget and they'll agree and then you tell them "Well that's weird because it's less than 1 percent of the budget, can we raise it to 5" they'll freak out.

It's fake "balance" so you can come across as a centrist instead of an extremist. Stop making up extreme positions that don't exist so you can pretend you're just "keeping things grey and not black and white."

BTW this is a perfect example of why American Politics is how it is. Thank you for demonstrating it.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 1st October 2021 at 11:35 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:34 AM   #32
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm on the fence as to whether you can explain Trump and.... *gestures broadly at everything* separately or not.
I think he is much more a symptom of the general *gestures broadly at everything* than a cause or something separate from it. He certainly made it all worse though.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:36 AM   #33
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay is this going to be like your abortion argument where you go "No you don't understand, nobody is disagreeing with X but the.... *dramatic pause* most people don't agree with this extreme version of X that doesn't actually exist that I'm making so I can pretend I'm the balance in the discussion" thing again?

Yes the open borders that people want exist right next to those "Get 9 Late Term Abortions and Get the 10th One Free" Clinics that you think exist and we have to "balance" against.

I'm reminded of how you can ask a Conservative if they would support reducing... like the cost of foreign ad from 15 to 10 percent of the National Budget and they'll agree and then you tell them "Well that's weird because it's less than 1 percent of the budget, can we raise it to 5" they'll freak out.

It's fake "balance" so you can come across as a centrist instead of an extremist. Stop making up extreme positions that don't exist so you can pretend you're just "keeping things grey and not black and white."

BTW this is a perfect example of why American Politics is how it is. Thank you for demonstrating it.
Your post certainly is an example of it. You really do want to see anyone who doesn't agree with you as a cartoon villain. As do so many other folks that insist on dominating the conversation.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:37 AM   #34
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Your post certainly is an example of it. You really do want to see anyone who doesn't agree with you as a cartoon villain. As do so many other folks that insist on dominating the conversation.
No but if you're going to argue that you're inherently right because you're "the grey area" between "two extremes" both of the extremes have to actually exist.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:42 AM   #35
varwoche
Penultimate Amazing
 
varwoche's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 15,648
In no particular order...

1. Electoral college
2. Two senators per state
3. Gerrymandering
4. Senate filibuster
5. Robust anti-democracy movement
6. Robust fact-free bubble
7. Composition of Supreme Court
8. A system and a constitution that effectively comprise a suicide pact
9. A non trivial demographic of ignorant, bigoted, largely evangelical, generally unhinged crackpots, strong overlap with #5
__________________
To survive election season on a skeptics forum, one must understand Hymie-the-Robot.
varwoche is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:43 AM   #36
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 53,085
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
No but if you're going to argue that you're inherently right because you're "the grey area" between "two extremes" both of the extremes have to actually exist.
Two Extremes don't exist?
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:46 AM   #37
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
And this brings up back to the central problem.

Both sides, way too much in my opinion, sells themselves on some vague idea of "No you see no matter how bad we get, you have to vote for us as a bulwark against the other side."

It's stupid, Us Vs Them political nonsense but the key difference is the things the Left is scared the Right is going to do aren't absolute reality denying lies.

The Left is scared of the things the Right has openly declared they will do, have already attempted to do, and sadly in too many cases currently in the process of doing while the Right is scared of the Left doing things THAT THE LEFT IS NEVER, CAN NEVER, OR WOULD EVEN WANT TO DO.

Like ah... voting. The Right is scared that the Left is going to bus in brown people and back massive voter fraud while the Left is scared that the Right is going to initiate a massive voter disenfranchisement campaign against minorities and continue to stack the system so their shrinking demographic popularity doesn't lose them political power.

The reason the Left is being more rational is because THE RIGHT IS ACTUALLY DOING WHAT THEY ARE SCARED OF THEM DOING!

This is where those pesky "facts" things come, or at least should come, back into the discussion. Regardless of what the internet's Proudly Wrong Troll Farm has spend the last 10 years arguing being afraid of consequences for thinking 2+2=4 and being afraid of consequences for thinking 2+2=the Jews did it are not "equally paranoid."
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:49 AM   #38
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 35,612
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Two Extremes don't exist?
Not really. Not politically. Unless you want to be like Ahhell and argue that "I got it let's have a Coup" and "No let's not Coup" are both extremism and to be "fair and balanced" we need to agree on "Okay you can Coup a little..."

The Left is annoying, loud, can't stay focused, can't stop infighting, picks the dumbest hills to die defending, and puts more effort into making sure everything they want to say comes across in the dumbest way possible then anyone has ever put effort into for anything history, but extremist? No.

When one side is killing people inside the Capital Building the "Fair and Balanced" card is not in play.
__________________
"When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies." - Jon Snow

"Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid." - Valery Legasov

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 1st October 2021 at 11:51 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:50 AM   #39
ahhell
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,800
@Cosmic Yak, the real issue is that this forum, the internet, and the media in general are not especially representative of what most Americans actually believe.

The media is primarily composed of and representative of the educated urban elite mentioned earlier. The internet and this forum are composed of the most interested and invested partisans. Those are the least reliable folks when comes to highly politicized questions like this one.

https://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462...akes-us-stupid

Study showing that partisan suddenly forget how to do math if the math involves partisan politics.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st October 2021, 11:50 AM   #40
Warp12
Master Poster
 
Warp12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 2,497
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And this brings up back to the central problem.

Both sides, way too much in my opinion, sells themselves on some vague idea of "No you see no matter how bad we get, you have to vote for us as a bulwark against the other side."

It's stupid, Us Vs Them political nonsense but the key difference is the things the Left is scared the Right is going to do aren't absolute reality denying lies.

The Left is scared of the things the Right has openly declared they will do, have already attempted to do, and sadly in too many cases currently in the process of doing while the Right is scared of the Left doing things THAT THE LEFT IS NEVER, CAN NEVER, OR WOULD EVEN WANT TO DO.

Like ah... voting. The Right is scared that the Left is going to bus in brown people and back massive voter fraud while the Left is scared that the Right is going to initiate a massive voter disenfranchisement campaign against minorities and continue to stack the system so their shrinking demographic popularity doesn't lose them political power.

The reason the Left is being more rational is because THE RIGHT IS ACTUALLY DOING WHAT THEY ARE SCARED OF THEM DOING!

This is where those pesky "facts" things come, or at least should come, back into the discussion. Regardless of what the internet's Proudly Wrong Troll Farm has spend the last 10 years arguing being afraid of consequences for thinking 2+2=4 and being afraid of consequences for thinking 2+2=the Jews did it are not "equally paranoid."
This seems like a very objective and completely unbiased viewpoint.
__________________
“The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.” - Confucius
Warp12 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:29 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.