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Opinion | When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls

Opinion | When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls

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  • “Differences remain as fundamental as ever, but the way we talk about them is so superficial as to have become incoherent.”

    To a certain extent, I agree here, but not wholeheartedly. Rhetoric has certainly devolved, but so too have the accepted doctrines of each party been adjusted to fit a new political

    “Differences remain as fundamental as ever, but the way we talk about them is so superficial as to have become incoherent.”

    To a certain extent, I agree here, but not wholeheartedly. Rhetoric has certainly devolved, but so too have the accepted doctrines of each party been adjusted to fit a new political landscape.

    Republicans have abandoned concern for budget deficits and government over-reach, as they attempt to jam through their ill-conceived legislation in last ditch attempts to get anything at all done.

    Liberals have turned their backs on the working class voters who were once their biggest supporters. They disregarded the needs of their blue collar members in order to double down on urban elitism and the future of identity politics.

    As we sink deeper and deeper into this new world, neither of us wants to take responsibility. In desperation, we cast blame at the other side, willfully ignoring our own hand in the making of the destructive discourse that has consumed modern American politics.

    It is the unwillingness to see in ourselves the very accusations that we hurl across the line, that make us unable to move forward.

  • There is a researcher at the University of Washington who can predict with decent accuracy whether a couple will stay together within just a few minutes of watching them interact. What does he look for? Mutual respect. Even when they quibble, good couples aren’t derogatory - they operate from a long-term

    There is a researcher at the University of Washington who can predict with decent accuracy whether a couple will stay together within just a few minutes of watching them interact. What does he look for? Mutual respect. Even when they quibble, good couples aren’t derogatory - they operate from a long-term perspective that privileges staying together.

    Can we stay together as a country? That’s not a rhetorical question; the answer isn’t transparently clear. But what is clear is that our ability to do so depends on our ability to speak earnestly and with respect.

    This article forgets the actual Jon Stewart incident, in which he chides not just one but both of the commentators. Not conservatives or liberals, but the format itself. It was profoundly respectful in that it presumed that Carlson could change, that he could make a different choice. And that’s ultimately the crux of it: when we stop discussing with the belief in resolution, then we really are just hurting America.

  • This seems like an incredible oversimplification of real issues and a false equivalency. Characterizing people who are caught up in racist and sexist language as trolls and not as problematic is insulting to the people they offend on a daily basis. And then there is the assumption that elitist out of

    This seems like an incredible oversimplification of real issues and a false equivalency. Characterizing people who are caught up in racist and sexist language as trolls and not as problematic is insulting to the people they offend on a daily basis. And then there is the assumption that elitist out of touch language from the Democratic side is comparably evil. Dont get me wrong, both are problematic, but they aren't the same kind of bad--its reminiscent of the false comparisons of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the election, i.e. they're honestly the same kind of evil.

    Also, "If people were nicer to each other things would be better" shifts blame from real issues and places them in a moral space where they simply don't belong. "Talk to eachother better" is an aspirational goal that has little to no realm of possibility, and ignores the core issue(s). There are racist people; there are sexist people; there are people in power who should not be; there are people taking advantage of people they should not be--and at the end of the day there are people who benefit from all of this and/or dont think any of this is a problem (on both sides). To wrap all this in a metaphorical bow and pretend like because we don't talk about them nicely that's why we can't get anything done is, for lack of better term, ridiculous.

  • James Madison in Federalist #10 defines factions as “a number of citizens...who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” So... what we have today with the polarization

    James Madison in Federalist #10 defines factions as “a number of citizens...who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” So... what we have today with the polarization of two very vocal sides.

  • This is a terrific analysis of why politics are so obnoxious right now on all sides.

  • I absolutely hate this thought process. Making a sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic statement does not make you a troll it makes you sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic. And having 0 tolerance for that crap does not make me smug, it makes me a good person.

  • I’m sorry. It’s tempting to attribute the current polarization of political tribes to all kinds of complex sociological factors. The truth is much more simple. The US has elected a divisive figure to one of the only two nationally-elected positions in its government (the other is vice-president). The

    I’m sorry. It’s tempting to attribute the current polarization of political tribes to all kinds of complex sociological factors. The truth is much more simple. The US has elected a divisive figure to one of the only two nationally-elected positions in its government (the other is vice-president). The current occupant also has no respect for the knowledge, skills and training an experienced politician brings to the job. It’s a profession, like any other, and its requirements must be respected.