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revefsreleets
03-20-2009, 01:12 PM
As one of the few truly centrist/moderate posters on this board, I think this is 100% spot on. You can see it in almost every political thread. There is not so much a sharing of information in a high-minded exchange of opinions and views as there is a "teaming up" of conservatives versus liberals. Then the name-calling starts. Nobody actually changes their mind, their is just an increased polarization. Even ridiculous positions from both sdes become rabidly defensed, even when they are indefensible.

This is very concerning.

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/41547752.html

NEW YORK: Some of the obituaries these days aren't in the newspapers but are for the newspapers. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is the latest to pass away, save for a remnant that will exist only in cyberspace, and the public is increasingly seeking its news not from mainstream television networks or ink-on-dead-trees but from grazing online.

When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about.

Nicholas Negroponte of MIT has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that's the trend, God save us from ourselves.

That's because there's pretty good evidence that we generally don't truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.

One classic study sent mailings to Republicans and Democrats, offering them various kinds of political research, ostensibly from a neutral source. Both groups were most eager to receive intelligent arguments that strongly corroborated their pre-existing views.

There was also modest interest in receiving manifestly silly arguments for the other party's views (we feel good when we can caricature the other guys as dunces). But there was little interest in encountering solid arguments that might undermine one's own position.

(Don't we see this all the time here? Posting articles that call attention to the oppositions gaffe's?)

That general finding has been replicated repeatedly, as the essayist and author Farhad Manjoo noted in his terrific book last year: True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.
Let me get one thing out of the way: I'm sometimes guilty myself of selective truth-seeking on the Web. The blog I turn to for insight into Middle East news is often Professor Juan Cole's, because he's smart, well-informed and sensible — in other words, I often agree with his take. I'm less likely to peruse the blog of Daniel Pipes, another Middle East expert who is smart and well-informed — but who strikes me as less sensible, partly because I often disagree with him.

The effect of The Daily Me would be to insulate us further in our own hermetically sealed political chambers. One of last year's more fascinating books was Bill Bishop's The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. He argues that Americans increasingly are segregating themselves into communities, clubs and churches where they are surrounded by people who think the way they do.

Almost half of Americans now live in counties that vote in landslides either for Democrats or for Republicans, he said. In the 1960s and 1970s, in similarly competitive national elections, only about one-third lived in landslide counties.
''The nation grows more politically segregated — and the benefit that ought to come with having a variety of opinions is lost to the righteousness that is the special entitlement of homogeneous groups,'' Bishop writes.

One 12-nation study found Americans the least likely to discuss politics with people of different views, and this was particularly true of the well-educated. High school dropouts had the most diverse group of discussion-mates, while college graduates managed to shelter themselves from uncomfortable perspectives.

The result is polarization and intolerance. Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor now working for President Obama, has conducted research showing that when liberals or conservatives discuss issues such as affirmative action or climate change with like-minded people, their views quickly become more homogeneous and more extreme than before the discussion. For example, some liberals in one study initially worried that action on climate change might hurt the poor, while some conservatives were sympathetic to affirmative action. But after discussing the issue with like-minded people for only 15 minutes, liberals became more liberal and conservatives more conservative.

The decline of traditional news media will accelerate the rise of The Daily Me, and we'll be irritated less by what we read and find our wisdom confirmed more often. The danger is that this self-selected ''news'' acts as a narcotic, lulling us into a self-confident stupor through which we will perceive in blacks and whites a world that typically unfolds in grays.

So what's the solution? Tax breaks for liberals who watch Bill O'Reilly or conservatives who watch Keith Olbermann? No, until Obama brings us universal health care, we can't risk the surge in heart attacks.

So perhaps the only way forward is for each of us to struggle on our own to work out intellectually with sparring partners whose views we deplore. Think of it as a daily mental workout analogous to a trip to the gym; if you don't work up a sweat, it doesn't count.
Now excuse me while I go and read The Wall Street Journal's editorial page.
Kristof is a New York Times columnist.

xfl2001fan
03-20-2009, 01:26 PM
Well, then...for a few of us, this shows just how good we are. I mean, I'm a Browns fan on a Steelers site! There's a select few of us out there (RWWPC, CB1977, TNEWMAN, that Bungles fan!) :flap:

I like the article and do try to play devils advocate as much as possible...however, I do find myself becoming more conservative the older I get...and the more I talk to my family (some of whom are just shy of radically conservative.)

Guess Tony HypSheep and I need to engage in more conversations! :chuckle:

X-Terminator
03-20-2009, 01:28 PM
I still blame the mainstream/sensationalist media for creating this situation. Before you had the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet and guys like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore, people were more willing to have civilized discussions. Now you might get maybe ONE thread out of a hundred that doesn't degenerate into a flame-fest, and forget about discussing politics with someone who disagrees with you in person. You'd be ready to kill each other within 5 minutes. I still remember the 2004 election cycle that was the kiss of death for the other Steelers board I was an admin on. Things were so bad over there that we actually had to kill all political discussions for a period of time. This is where we are, and as we become more polarized, it's only going to get worse. I also think that we have a LOT of people who simply do not like having their opinions challenged, and that certainly does not help matters.

xfl2001fan
03-20-2009, 01:47 PM
To add to what you're saying, it's easy to talk tough and strongly on the internet. You can be as brash as you wannabe when the guy you're talking to can't hit you in the mouth.

MasterOfPuppets
03-20-2009, 02:14 PM
. I mean, I'm a Browns fan on a Steelers site! :
yeah ummmmmm.....we need to talk about that .......:flap:

tony hipchest
03-20-2009, 02:30 PM
To add to what you're saying, it's easy to talk tough and strongly on the internet. You can be as brash as you wannabe when the guy you're talking to can't hit you in the mouth.



Guess Tony HypSheep and I need to engage in more conversations! :chuckle:

piss off, brownboy! :toofunny:

:popcorn:

Indo
03-20-2009, 03:33 PM
This is a good read

It is a shame how we, as a nation, tend to act like cattle in a field, all facing the same direction...

In his book, "An Inconvenient Book", Glenn Beck talks about how there have been studies that show that people will sign petitions purely due to that fact that other people are signing the petition---doesn't matter what the petition is about. Similarly, if media polls tell them that this person or that person is ahead in the poll, they will tend to vote for that person's ideas...

Beck tends towards the conservative side in his NPR show, but in his book he states that he told his children that he doesn't care which side of an issue that they fall on, but that they MUST read the opinion of the other side as well. It's all about INFORMED education first.

I respect that

HometownGal
03-20-2009, 03:58 PM
To add to what you're saying, it's easy to talk tough and strongly on the internet. You can be as brash as you wannabe when the guy you're talking to can't hit you in the mouth.

Sad, but true.

I am an Admin on the same BB XT refers to in his post above (which, all in all, is a very nice little Steelers site) and if these political threads ever developed into pure hate fests riddled with personal attacks and even threats as happened over there, there would be no more political topics permitted. Luckily, we haven't gotten to that point . . . .yet. :hope:

Nice read, revs. :drink:

xfl2001fan
03-20-2009, 07:08 PM
piss off, brownboy! :toofunny:

:popcorn:

You're lucky you're in the SouthWest...cuz otherwise I'd beat you to a pulp you wannabe socialist!:coffee:

tony hipchest
03-20-2009, 07:14 PM
youre lucky that you are in the north east, cause with your head buried in 3 feet of snow it would too simple to kick your ass! i wouldnt even work up a sweat... :thumbsup:

(i see this thread becoming very revealing, enlightening, and theraputic) :cheers:

xfl2001fan
03-20-2009, 09:31 PM
youre lucky that you are in the north east, cause with your head buried in 3 feet of snow it would too simple to kick your ass! i wouldnt even work up a sweat... :thumbsup:

(i see this thread becoming very revealing, enlightening, and theraputic) :cheers:

Easy Gringo. You're getting entirely too personal now! :flap:

tony hipchest
03-20-2009, 09:49 PM
Easy Gringo. You're getting entirely too personal now! :flap:
hey..... youre the one who got and made it way too geographical. :sofunny:

youre just bummed i hit you with 'head in the snow" before you could get me with 'head in the sand". :busted:

quit watching so much o'reiley. :boxing:

GBMelBlount
03-20-2009, 10:00 PM
I understand the fact that people ignore information that conflicts with their set views in order to minimize internal conflict. but i don't agree with everything here.

This country is moving towards the left as a whole. People are less educated, more ignorant, less motivated and less prepared to succeed on their own in this world. There is now a larger chasm between liberals and conservatives because the left has moved so much farther to the left in the last 100 years. Our country is becoming what our founders fought to get away from. That is a large part of the problem is in my opinion, the widening difference between conservatives and liberals.

But ya, I agree there is way to much nastiness and ridicule as opposed to intelligent, respectful discussions.

steelwall
03-20-2009, 10:30 PM
I understand the fact that people ignore information that conflicts with their set views in order to minimize internal conflict. but i don't agree with everything here.

This country is moving towards the left as a whole. People are less educated, more ignorant, less motivated and less prepared to succeed on their own in this world. There is now a larger chasm between liberals and conservatives because the left has moved so much farther to the left in the last 100 years. Our country is becoming what our founders fought to get away from. That is what a large part of the problem is in my opinion.

I have to sa IMO this is one of the truest posts I've ever seen on this board.:thumbsup:

Give the Browns fan a break Toney he's one of the good ones. But I guess in a way it is theriputic to rip into someone (Don't get your bloomers in a wad I don't mean it's just you, hell I do it too) There's a few of us here that get into heated debates or arguments, that sometimes get out of hand, but I guess we all feel pasionatly about our beliefs, I guess the positive side is we can voice our opinions, people are starting to wake up and get more into politics.

Take me living in China for example, politics is a no-no unless you are but kissing the establishment rosey yellow behind, decent is usually crushed, but on the other hand the average Chinese person has no desire to worry about politics. For example not long after I first met my wife (mind you she is a colledge grad) she didn't even know who the president of China was:noidea:

In my opnion each side is gaining strength, (left and the right not much middle ground anymoe) the next elections (I mean all the way down to the local level) will reflect on how people percieve Obama is doing, just like with Bush, when people went out and said hey "screw you guys, I'm voting Democrat across the board.

No brown noseing, but I know we must give the mods fits sometimes. sorry bout that.....

GBMelBlount
03-20-2009, 10:34 PM
I think they were just playin' Steelwall.

tony hipchest
03-20-2009, 10:39 PM
I think they were just playin' Steelwall.

:chuckle:

steelwall
03-20-2009, 10:42 PM
I think they were just playin' Steelwall.

Yes, but I got to rambling on and couldnt stop.:chuckle:

cubanstogie
03-20-2009, 10:54 PM
I understand the fact that people ignore information that conflicts with their set views in order to minimize internal conflict. but i don't agree with everything here.

This country is moving towards the left as a whole. People are less educated, more ignorant, less motivated and less prepared to succeed on their own in this world. There is now a larger chasm between liberals and conservatives because the left has moved so much farther to the left in the last 100 years. Our country is becoming what our founders fought to get away from. That is a large part of the problem is in my opinion, the widening difference between conservatives and liberals.

But ya, I agree there is way to much nastiness and ridicule as opposed to intelligent, respectful discussions.

Too many handouts, especially to non americans and now we are paying. No one wants to work for anything anymore. Close the borders, quit giving welfare to Eastern Europeans, Mexicans etc. Get tough on crime, kill on death row prisoners and free up room for the future screw ups. Fire these politicians who break the law, hold people accountable.

devilsdancefloor
03-20-2009, 10:58 PM
http://img06.picoodle.com/img/img06/3/3/20/gumby12001/f_6pkbHarpLagm_258b07b.jpg

i really think we need to take one and pass it on tothe next person! no matter what happens inthe future we all still live in the greatest country in the world & most of us here support the greatest franchise in the NFL! so Cheers im already on my 4th! God Bless the USA!

GBMelBlount
03-20-2009, 11:21 PM
http://img06.picoodle.com/img/img06/3/3/20/gumby12001/f_6pkbHarpLagm_258b07b.jpg

i really think we need to take one and pass it on to the next person!

I agree, and we can use Tony's big ol butt as the bottle opener! Oooops, sorry. Perhaps that was a little combative...... :drink:

revefsreleets
03-21-2009, 07:43 AM
I'm not entirely sure the country is moving left as a whole. I actually think what is happening is the far poles of each party, the real fringy hardcore envelope pushing radicals are gaining some juice, and that weirdo radicalism tends to spill over a little into the more moderate elements. I think that's what the spirit of this article is as well: If you're a little left or a little right, the mere act of sparring with the opposition galvanizes each side and drives people away from the center and more towards the far edges of ideology...

GBMelBlount
03-21-2009, 09:48 PM
What do you feel are the fringy/ hardcore/radical positions on the right?

The way I see it Revs, a lot of things that were considered radical left fringe 40 years ago are now becoming mainstream for the liberals.

And I think things that were considered main stream conservative/republican are now viewed as radical.

Texasteel
03-21-2009, 10:10 PM
What do you feel are the fringy/ hardcore/radical positions on the right?

The way I see it Revs, a lot of things that were considered radical left fringe 40 years ago are now becoming mainstream for the liberals.

And I think things that were considered main stream conservative/republican are now viewed as radical.

I agree with you GB. I feel that as a true conservative, I have lost my party. I believe I would gladly switch to a 3rd party that has a sound conservative platform, and will if I find one that I am more comfortable with than I am the Republican party.

GBMelBlount
03-21-2009, 10:31 PM
This is a good read

Beck tends towards the conservative side in his NPR show, but in his book he states that he told his children that he doesn't care which side of an issue that they fall on, but that they MUST read the opinion of the other side as well. It's all about INFORMED education first.

I respect that

Does he? I have watched and listened to him a few times and I like him. His views seem like "common sense" to me.

revefsreleets
03-22-2009, 06:14 PM
What do you feel are the fringy/ hardcore/radical positions on the right?

The way I see it Revs, a lot of things that were considered radical left fringe 40 years ago are now becoming mainstream for the liberals.

And I think things that were considered main stream conservative/republican are now viewed as radical.

I'm talking about the radicals, the fascists and extremists (like Aryans, guys who bomb abortion clinics, etc...), BUT, to a lessor extent, I'm also talking about the unbending extremists, the guys who want to outlaw ALL abortions, even the ones that save mothers lives, the same kinds of guys who blow up abortion clinics. The guys who want their wives to walk 3 paces behind them. That kind of extreme right winger...

GBMelBlount
03-22-2009, 06:29 PM
I'm talking about the radicals, the fascists and extremists (like Aryans, guys who bomb abortion clinics, etc...), BUT, to a lessor extent, I'm also talking about the unbending extremists, the guys who want to outlaw ALL abortions, even the ones that save mothers lives, the same kinds of guys who blow up abortion clinics. The guys who want their wives to walk 3 paces behind them. That kind of extreme right winger...

I agree Revs. That 3 steps behind thing is kind of creepy. Maybe it's just me, but anything less than 5 steps and I feel "crowded".

hindes204
03-22-2009, 07:08 PM
I agree with GB...i think the country as a whole is moving towards the left...there is no personal accountability anymore, no values anymore, no discipline instilled in our children anymore, too much political correctness and not enough punishment for our actions