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2020 State of the Union


33 replies to this topic

#26
Brando

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I think it should be difficult to change things through the courts. I'm a former conservative, although I don't feel like my opinions have changed as much as the conservative movement has drifted further into insanity and cruelty.

But the supreme branch of government is, by design, the legislative branch. It's the most representative and has the most authority. The judicial branch should be very slow and deliberate when overturning the will of the people. That hasn't been the case for quite some time, but it should be. Similarly the executive branch should have extremely good reason to defy the will of the people. That includes ruling by executive order, a favorite move of presidents.

Congress is so powerful that they alone have the right to remove people who are duly elected or, in the case of the judicial branch, duly appointed. The president can't remove a member of Congress, but Congress can remove the president.

When you have the executive branch and judicial branch taking on the role of the legislative branch, you're operating against the Constitution and subverting our entire government. Unfortunately, Congress is okay with that happening.
  • Ms. Spam +1 this

#27
The Kurgan

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My question is, when you see Trump/the GOP working double time to roll back or reverse measures that strip women and LGBQT people of rights, or take away environmental regulations, or actively remove restrictions that keep billion dollar corporations from running wild, how do you think that is okay?

I get fiscal conservatism. I think a smaller government would be great. But I also don't see why it's bad thing to want to try and help people through social programs or make sure we fight any sort of withholding of rights.

Do you--

A. Think this is okay?
B. Think it doesn't matter cause the other side will just even it out?
C. Think that everything I said isn't happening and it's all just liberal propaganda?

Or, so I don't seem like I am being reductive, is there a D Option I am unaware of?

Any other time I ask something like this I never get a straight answer-- I always get Deflection 101-- "Dems did it first! Who will pay for it!?"

 

I'm not a conservative now, but have in the past sympathized with paleolibertarian and even neoreactionary thought. To a small extent, neoreaction still animates my thought. So I have some understanding of the right wing mind. I will try to answer as best I can.
 
The answer is really that there are many answers. That's part of the problem. It's also compounded by the direction that political discourse online and in social media has taken over the last dozen or so years. Straight answers are not in vogue. Team red and team blue are more like ideological tribes than political parties. They're clubs, and if you don't "get it" then you're not in. If you're not in, you're a fair target for ridicule. Team blue smears you as a nazi, bigot, racist, incel, knuckle dragging rube, idiot who believes in 3000 year old books about sky daddies and the like. Team red smears you as a soyboy, a cuck, commie, too weak or stupid to make your own way through life, a spoiled child who feels entitled to everyone else's money, etc. This is a crap state of affairs, but it's what we have to deal with.
 
There are a lot of different reasons why team red might want to roll back women's rights, LGBQT rights, environmental regulations and the like.

  • Brando sort of alluded to one reason. They're less perturbed that the rights exist, it's how they came about that's the problem. Court rulings, executive branches of government overriding legislative jurisdiction, federal government overriding state's rights and so on. Strict constitutionalism, if we can call it anything. This can come across as a hollow rationalization at times. Sometimes it is, but I think it's more sincerely held than a lot of progressives give them credit for.
  • Genuine bigotry. I don't think this is the biggest reason. I don't think it's even the reason any more than a minority of the time. Certainly not in the case of G.O.P establishment movement conservatives. You won't find genuine bigotry at the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise institute, or the like. They may (or may not) understate the extent of bigotry out there and the extent to which government programs may be needed to combat it, but they far from actively perpetuate it. Never the less, it is there.  
  • The more traditionalist and authoritarian strands of rightist thought genuinely fear social change and the intrusion of what are seen as outside thoughts or influences on the body politic. They see society as a precarious thing. Too much sexual liberation, for example, and birth rates start falling and you start seeing more out of wedlock births. The former result in a dangerous depopulation while the later creates a burden for the taxpayers. Too much immigration and you unbalance the social and cultural structure, resulting in unforeseeable and more often than not negative consequences. It's not so much that they "hate" anyone, though they can and sometimes do, it's that they fear the destabilizing effects of social change. They fear what will happen when whites become a minority or when most of the commanding heights of industry and government are held by a more highly educated and hypergamous female gender.
  • What I think is by far the most prevalent reason among the younger right leaning baby boomers and gen-Xers can be summed up in the phrase "there's no such thing as society, only individuals and their families." It was Margaret Thatcher who said that, I think, and its influence on her ideology and policy direction should be obvious. As a corollary to this, they tend to think that good outcomes in life are the result of good and smart people doing good and smart things. Misfortune is seen as the result of bad decision making on part of the individual to whom it happens, and they therefore have a responsibility to clean up their own messes. This lends itself to a much more libertarian world view. They don't hate women, minorities or LGBT people, and may in fact be quite progressive socially in their own ways. To them, discrimination and bigotry are the result of collective, identity based thinking and the antidote to it is a doubling down on their very individualistic outlook.  What they don't accept are the more abstract notions of power and privilege, and they are resistant to the notion that collective action problems can result in perverse incentives for even good and smart individuals outside of the government's sphere. In their view, any kind of redistribution upsets the natural order wherein good things happen to good people and vice versa. Redistribution punishes success and rewards failure. Billionaires and billion dollar corporations got to where they are by selling people products and services that they're willing to buy, so they must be good. They may accept the idea that pollution or climate change are bad, but believe the market will lead to the best outcomes. I my view, this kind of thinking underlies a sizable majority of right wing thought. 
  • A corollary to the above is the sovereignty of private property, an idea that's widespread among more reactionary libertarian types. They believe the government simply doesn't have the right to levy taxes or regulate what are seen as voluntary transactions. 
  • Conspiracy theories. I think this is more a corollary to some of the above reasons rather than a truly independent reason, but it's worth mentioning. After all, if we don't acknowledge the power of more abstract social forces and instead attribute the march of history to the works of individuals, then the most compelling reasons why social and cultural change isn't happening in the way that the right wing like is due to bad people doing bad things. This is why they tend to demonize the persons of democrat party politicians to the extent that they do. Ms. Spam alluded to the political mileage Trump can gain by rolling back Obama's legislative accomplishments.  Further out, you see more bizarre and elaborate conspiracies and, of course (((them))). Among the few legitimate purposes of government is to roll back changes enacted by previous administrations that were headed by bad people.
  • Another corollary to the above is religious belief. Thankfully, it's not 2006 any more and we don't have guys like Basil, Qui Gon Vodka and Drunken Master here any more to attribute all of the evils of the world to too much church attendance on part of red state America. The new f**king atheism, man. Just what we needed. Another catch all deterministic answer to everything. But atavistic religious belief is a factor. The bible does say that women should keep silence in the churches and obey their husbands, that men shall not lie with men as they would lie with women, and that man has dominion over all of the earth and its animals. And these types of views are advanced by people who still have influence and deep pockets, and a lot of everyday people out there profess to believe in the bible, however ignorant they may be of its actual contents. Regressive religion remains a big business, and these folks have a lot of money and can deliver a lot of votes for the tribe red cause.
  • Outright personal self interest, though this will rarely be stated openly. This is especially true in the economic realm, where a more laissez faire policy environment will no doubt allow the largest and strongest players to profit enormously. But it no doubt applies in the social sphere as well. We all like to have someone to look down on, and if unpopular minorities improve their station, some people may be threatened by that. I don't think that's the case all or even most of the time, but it is a factor.

I've no doubt missed some. Underlying a lot of this is the fact that most people's prospects have deteriorated over the last few decades, and there's an anger surrounding that. That anger is easily misdirected into reactionary causes. Plus, the value of peer pressure can't be ignored. People tend to believe what their family, friends, coworkers etc believe, even if they're not exactly the party faithful. 

 

The weakness of progressivism is that they focus almost entirely on bigotry and naked self interest as reasons. If they ignore the other reasons why right leaning people believe as they do, they'll be limited in their capacity to formulate counter arguments. We've seen this play out especially in the last few years, where the Clinton campaign's attack on "deplorables" ended up backfiring considerably. It doesn't look like they've learned their lesson. Classical conservative, fundamentalist, paranoid, libertarian and even neoreactionary arguments are not always, and probably not even usually mere rationalizations. These people really believe this stuff, however far fetched or easily refutable a lot of it may seem from a comfortable academic coastal progressive vantage point. That's why it's not enough to simply cry "bigotry" or "hatred!" Progressives need effective responses to various kinds of right wing framing techniques, or they will keep on losing.  


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#28
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No, it may not have been childish on her part because it was calculated to do just this. If that's the case, I think its brilliant strategy. Hardly anyone talked about the speech and that has to have angered Donnie, at least. She changed the entire narrative for the whole country in one Sinead O Connor paper rip.

 

Brilliant? Only to the usual suspects ranting on late night talk shows, Twitter and of course, CNN & MSNBC.

 

Pelosi is playing a game just to appear relevant, depending on which way the wind blows; just a handful of months ago, she was hesitant about impeachment, then after the fringe Left (which has become the face of the democratic party) screamed enough, suddenly, she was chattering about Trump committing the worst act in U.S. history (I wonder if she ever attended any school when she made such claims).

 

Several months ago, she refused to work with Trump on trade and other issues, grandstanding about how "unchristian" it is to build a border wall (yes, I'm sure that's in scripture), only to turn around and give him much of what he wanted (e.g. trade, defense spending, etc.) just to avoid being seen as a do-nothing suit. She does not have a consistent, legitimate leg to stand on.


  • The Kurgan +1 this

#29
Tank

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My question is, when you see Trump/the GOP working double time to roll back or reverse measures that strip women and LGBQT people of rights, or take away environmental regulations, or actively remove restrictions that keep billion dollar corporations from running wild, how do you think that is okay?

I get fiscal conservatism. I think a smaller government would be great. But I also don't see why it's bad thing to want to try and help people through social programs or make sure we fight any sort of withholding of rights.

Do you--

A. Think this is okay?
B. Think it doesn't matter cause the other side will just even it out?
C. Think that everything I said isn't happening and it's all just liberal propaganda?

Or, so I don't seem like I am being reductive, is there a D Option I am unaware of?

Any other time I ask something like this I never get a straight answer-- I always get Deflection 101-- "Dems did it first! Who will pay for it!?"

 
I'm not a conservative now, but have in the past sympathized with paleolibertarian and even neoreactionary thought. To a small extent, neoreaction still animates my thought. So I have some understanding of the right wing mind. I will try to answer as best I can.
 
The answer is really that there are many answers. That's part of the problem. It's also compounded by the direction that political discourse online and in social media has taken over the last dozen or so years. Straight answers are not in vogue. Team red and team blue are more like ideological tribes than political parties. They're clubs, and if you don't "get it" then you're not in. If you're not in, you're a fair target for ridicule. Team blue smears you as a nazi, bigot, racist, incel, knuckle dragging rube, idiot who believes in 3000 year old books about sky daddies and the like. Team red smears you as a soyboy, a cuck, commie, too weak or stupid to make your own way through life, a spoiled child who feels entitled to everyone else's money, etc. This is a crap state of affairs, but it's what we have to deal with.
 
There are a lot of different reasons why team red might want to roll back women's rights, LGBQT rights, environmental regulations and the like.
  • Brando sort of alluded to one reason. They're less perturbed that the rights exist, it's how they came about that's the problem. Court rulings, executive branches of government overriding legislative jurisdiction, federal government overriding state's rights and so on. Strict constitutionalism, if we can call it anything. This can come across as a hollow rationalization at times. Sometimes it is, but I think it's more sincerely held than a lot of progressives give them credit for.
  • Genuine bigotry. I don't think this is the biggest reason. I don't think it's even the reason any more than a minority of the time. Certainly not in the case of G.O.P establishment movement conservatives. You won't find genuine bigotry at the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise institute, or the like. They may (or may not) understate the extent of bigotry out there and the extent to which government programs may be needed to combat it, but they far from actively perpetuate it. Never the less, it is there.  
  • The more traditionalist and authoritarian strands of rightist thought genuinely fear social change and the intrusion of what are seen as outside thoughts or influences on the body politic. They see society as a precarious thing. Too much sexual liberation, for example, and birth rates start falling and you start seeing more out of wedlock births. The former result in a dangerous depopulation while the later creates a burden for the taxpayers. Too much immigration and you unbalance the social and cultural structure, resulting in unforeseeable and more often than not negative consequences. It's not so much that they "hate" anyone, though they can and sometimes do, it's that they fear the destabilizing effects of social change. They fear what will happen when whites become a minority or when most of the commanding heights of industry and government are held by a more highly educated and hypergamous female gender.
  • What I think is by far the most prevalent reason among the younger right leaning baby boomers and gen-Xers can be summed up in the phrase "there's no such thing as society, only individuals and their families." It was Margaret Thatcher who said that, I think, and its influence on her ideology and policy direction should be obvious. As a corollary to this, they tend to think that good outcomes in life are the result of good and smart people doing good and smart things. Misfortune is seen as the result of bad decision making on part of the individual to whom it happens, and they therefore have a responsibility to clean up their own messes. This lends itself to a much more libertarian world view. They don't hate women, minorities or LGBT people, and may in fact be quite progressive socially in their own ways. To them, discrimination and bigotry are the result of collective, identity based thinking and the antidote to it is a doubling down on their very individualistic outlook.  What they don't accept are the more abstract notions of power and privilege, and they are resistant to the notion that collective action problems can result in perverse incentives for even good and smart individuals outside of the government's sphere. In their view, any kind of redistribution upsets the natural order wherein good things happen to good people and vice versa. Redistribution punishes success and rewards failure. Billionaires and billion dollar corporations got to where they are by selling people products and services that they're willing to buy, so they must be good. They may accept the idea that pollution or climate change are bad, but believe the market will lead to the best outcomes. I my view, this kind of thinking underlies a sizable majority of right wing thought. 
  • A corollary to the above is the sovereignty of private property, an idea that's widespread among more reactionary libertarian types. They believe the government simply doesn't have the right to levy taxes or regulate what are seen as voluntary transactions. 
  • Conspiracy theories. I think this is more a corollary to some of the above reasons rather than a truly independent reason, but it's worth mentioning. After all, if we don't acknowledge the power of more abstract social forces and instead attribute the march of history to the works of individuals, then the most compelling reasons why social and cultural change isn't happening in the way that the right wing like is due to bad people doing bad things. This is why they tend to demonize the persons of democrat party politicians to the extent that they do. Ms. Spam alluded to the political mileage Trump can gain by rolling back Obama's legislative accomplishments.  Further out, you see more bizarre and elaborate conspiracies and, of course (((them))). Among the few legitimate purposes of government is to roll back changes enacted by previous administrations that were headed by bad people.
  • Another corollary to the above is religious belief. Thankfully, it's not 2006 any more and we don't have guys like Basil, Qui Gon Vodka and Drunken Master here any more to attribute all of the evils of the world to too much church attendance on part of red state America. The new f**king atheism, man. Just what we needed. Another catch all deterministic answer to everything. But atavistic religious belief is a factor. The bible does say that women should keep silence in the churches and obey their husbands, that men shall not lie with men as they would lie with women, and that man has dominion over all of the earth and its animals. And these types of views are advanced by people who still have influence and deep pockets, and a lot of everyday people out there profess to believe in the bible, however ignorant they may be of its actual contents. Regressive religion remains a big business, and these folks have a lot of money and can deliver a lot of votes for the tribe red cause.
  • Outright personal self interest, though this will rarely be stated openly. This is especially true in the economic realm, where a more laissez faire policy environment will no doubt allow the largest and strongest players to profit enormously. But it no doubt applies in the social sphere as well. We all like to have someone to look down on, and if unpopular minorities improve their station, some people may be threatened by that. I don't think that's the case all or even most of the time, but it is a factor.
I've no doubt missed some. Underlying a lot of this is the fact that most people's prospects have deteriorated over the last few decades, and there's an anger surrounding that. That anger is easily misdirected into reactionary causes. Plus, the value of peer pressure can't be ignored. People tend to believe what their family, friends, coworkers etc believe, even if they're not exactly the party faithful. 
 
The weakness of progressivism is that they focus almost entirely on bigotry and naked self interest as reasons. If they ignore the other reasons why right leaning people believe as they do, they'll be limited in their capacity to formulate counter arguments. We've seen this play out especially in the last few years, where the Clinton campaign's attack on "deplorables" ended up backfiring considerably. It doesn't look like they've learned their lesson. Classical conservative, fundamentalist, paranoid, libertarian and even neoreactionary arguments are not always, and probably not even usually mere rationalizations. These people really believe this stuff, however far fetched or easily refutable a lot of it may seem from a comfortable academic coastal progressive vantage point. That's why it's not enough to simply cry "bigotry" or "hatred!" Progressives need effective responses to various kinds of right wing framing techniques, or they will keep on losing.  

Thank you for such a well thought out and measured response. This actually gives me a lot to think about.
  • The Kurgan +1 this

#30
Brando

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One thing that Kurgan touched on, but that is worthy of a little more discussion is the tribal attacks pushing people away.

Shaming and insulting is not a good way to convince people that your stances are correct, but it is the best way to ensure people never take you seriously. Every time that someone like monkeygirl goes on a tirade about the flying spaghetti monster, it seriously harns the chance that a person who practices any deistic religion if going to want to side with her on anything. She sets herself up as an enemy, so who is going to listen to her? And she ends up tarring anyone who agrees with her on other topics.

Trump is cruel in a way that is new for national politics, but he's a symptom of what's been happening for a long time.

Conservatives have their own versions, of course, of things they're deeply against and mock, but since the topic is what conservatives think, I don't think we need to go down that rabbit hole too much. The majority on both sides are decent people, but the ***holes do a great job of dividing people.

Abortion in particular is a divisive topic, but I think people can speak reasonably of they want. The biggest division is whether the rights of an unborn child exist. The typical US liberal position is no, the typical US conservative position is yes. (Ignoring that politicians on both sides don't care and only use it as a wedge.)

Liberals see abortion as a matter of women's rights, and conservatives see that argument akin to the claim that slavery was a matter of states rights. There's room for civility, but not much room for compromised: both see it as absolute. It's either a necessary woman's right or it's murder, and those things are diametrically opposed.

#31
Ms. Spam

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Honestly I see abortion as nonsensical now. There is better ways but much like any voter who clings to ABORTION is BAD they are ancient (usually if you drive by a planned parenthood it's retirees holding signs and maybe an odd Catholic family which is an old religious idea that is being embraced by religion to push that only old things embrace abortion is bad). There is only a tiny proportion of the populace that need or want an abortion. With birth control and education and help for a better world for poor people the abortion rate will be even smaller. So even focusing on abortion is like can we talk to you about getting a landline in your house? Political things are like two decades behind EVERYTHING. Basically the base in the GOP is the guy still clinging to myspace and thinks napster is still going strong and posts on Facebook and are slowly moving to Twitter. (Oddly I think TSquare is out there on Twitter but I can't be bothered to look).

 

I think liberals are moving off abortion. They're moving more towards human rights like for gays or income equality or student loans. Since Obamacare pushed health care in their faces by making it so it is required or you pay a penalty more people are paying attention to health care stuff too.



#32
David

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Im 36 years old. Im pro life. It isnt an old people thing. Theres many people my age that are pro life.

Tank, Im not ignoring you, I just really hate Lyceum and Im actually kicking myself in the ass for even posting anything. But give me tonight and Ill come up with something. Not anything as thoughtful as Kurgan, but Ill at least try and explain my side of things, as someone who generally leans conservative.

#33
monkeygirl

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No, it may not have been childish on her part because it was calculated to do just this. If that's the case, I think its brilliant strategy. Hardly anyone talked about the speech and that has to have angered Donnie, at least. She changed the entire narrative for the whole country in one Sinead O Connor paper rip.

 

Brilliant? Only to the usual suspects ranting on late night talk shows, Twitter and of course, CNN & MSNBC.

 

Pelosi is playing a game just to appear relevant, depending on which way the wind blows; just a handful of months ago, she was hesitant about impeachment, then after the fringe Left (which has become the face of the democratic party) screamed enough, suddenly, she was chattering about Trump committing the worst act in U.S. history (I wonder if she ever attended any school when she made such claims).

 

Several months ago, she refused to work with Trump on trade and other issues, grandstanding about how "unchristian" it is to build a border wall (yes, I'm sure that's in scripture), only to turn around and give him much of what he wanted (e.g. trade, defense spending, etc.) just to avoid being seen as a do-nothing suit. She does not have a consistent, legitimate leg to stand on.

 

well, I said IF it was a calculated move-nobody know if it was. I am not 'the usual suspects ranting on late night talk shows, Twitter or CNN & MSNBC' and i thought so. I can't be the ONLY person.

 

"Pelosi is playing a game just to appear relevant" Do you know that or is it just your guess? She was hesitant about impeachment, yes, and I feel she was through it.  "she was chattering about Trump committing the worst act in U.S. history" Again, is this something she said or something you're guessing on?

 

'(I wonder if she ever attended any school when she made such claims).'? I don't understand this-elaborate/explain, please?

 

'Several months ago, she refused to work with Trump on trade and other issues, grandstanding about how "unchristian" it is to build a border wall (yes, I'm sure that's in scripture), only to turn around and give him much of what he wanted (e.g. trade, defense spending, etc.) just to avoid being seen as a do-nothing suit. She does not have a consistent, legitimate leg to stand on.'

 

? She didn't 'turn around and give him' anything. Money was diverted from Pentagon funding. And even if all of this were 100% accurate on your part, it still has no bearing on the fact that that one paper rip changed the entire National conversation about the State of the Union speech-it was largely ignored.



#34
monkeygirl

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'Every time that someone like monkeygirl goes on a tirade about the flying spaghetti monster...'

 

EVERY TIME? Like I do this on a regular basis...?

 

 

'And she ends up tarring anyone who agrees with her on other topics'

 

Tarring? Wow. Okay.

 

 

'Abortion in particular is a divisive topic, but I think people can speak reasonably of they want. The biggest division is whether the rights of an unborn child exist. The typical US liberal position is no, the typical US conservative position is yes. (Ignoring that politicians on both sides don't care and only use it as a wedge.)

Liberals see abortion as a matter of women's rights, and conservatives see that argument akin to the claim that slavery was a matter of states rights. There's room for civility, but not much room for compromised: both see it as absolute. It's either a necessary woman's right or it's murder, and those things are diametrically opposed.'

 

I think these views are far too simplistic.

 

It's extremely problematic to think of giving an unborn person who can't communicate legal rights as a person in a country that has the freedoms and Constitutional Rights that we have in the USA. I lean liberal but I don't just think it's a matter of women's rights-I just don't think politicians who are strangers should have the ultimate control over any of my medical decisions so that doesn't really put me in either of the camps you've outlined.

 

And it is not murder-it cannot be defined that way. Murder is a legal term for killing another human being. A fetus is not legally defined as a human being, so killing one is not murder. And isn't that all this focuses on-the legality-not the morality?

 

I feel the GOP has made this legal issue a moral one by defining it in emotional terms. Abortions will happen whether or not they are legal. The GOP has framed this in a way that makes voters feel as if they can end abortion simply by passing a law. So, voting to end abortion right becomes a moral imperative. The subsequent deaths of fetuses and the women who carry them will occur if they're made illegal again-so where is the moral imperative in that? You've not stopped the death of the fetuses and now, you'll also ensure women will die, too. What good does that do anyone?

 

Sorry to TAR anyone-as a woman who has had to have 2 abortions, this deeply moves me. I'd like the fed to pass a law requiring castration of men, just so you can know how it feels to have legislation control your body.





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