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Congress is not the Only Place ...

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ShinyTop, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    ... where actual discussion between opposing groups has broken down. Years ago, over a decade, many of us were members of DSL Reports. We engaged in discussion in a forum. As time wore on anybody not far left of center was feeling unwanted. Then the owner of the site created blue and red rooms and if you posted in one you had to toe the line for the politics of that room and you were not allwed to post in the other.

    Many of us then migrated to Global Affairs. Discussion remained spirited and people from the left and right enjoyed the conversation, sometimes bordering on the less than decorous. Eventually those with views on the left dropped off the radar or left in the manner of drama queens. Nobody on the left is denied entry but they do not seem to want to stay so we are a board that leans right on the edge of tipping over.

    I started thinking about other boards I belong to and find the same process has occurred. No board seems to have civil discussion between the left and right. Everything said by each side appears to be complete fact with which your disagreement leads to open accusations of ignorance of facts, such as even thinking more facts are needed on an issue like the cause of global warming.

    So we are divided by these left and right labels, labels whose meaning shifts with the formation of splinters of political parties. And then we look at society and see divisions by race or color. It is not enough to not practice segregation, we are no longer even allowed to associate with those we are most comfortable with. If we practice this most human choice in friends we are racist. We cannot even require voters prove they are eligible voters without being racist. We have a huge divide in income in this country. If you question it you are not a true American and you are Socialist. And only a divine being can help you if you choose to tell a female coworker she looks nice today.

    And here is the real kicker. The divide is exacerbated by members of each group. The Tea Party is formed. Then the most extreme members espouse views that many conservatives abhor. And yet the left now believes those views belong to the Tea Party. In another case you are either a creationist or evolutionist. But what if you believe in looking at the evidence and keeping an open mind? There are atheists who are now calling it a religion and trying to organize. What, say that again.

    I do not feel optimistic for our society or our country. The divisions seem to be growing wider and I hear no voices calling for moving from the state of confrontation we are now in.
    ethics likes this.
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Good post, Rick.

    As you know we've started the forum way back when it was Global Crisis on CompuServe, the division was there but the division was along the issues not party lines -- although there was plenty of that. Then we came here, about 8 or so of us. We had people disagreeing even then between each other. I was a lot more Left than most people, socially, still am, and when DSLR exodus happened, that's what my vision was, to have at least an understanding.

    I was missing a very important variable, the variable of OTHERS wanting that too.

    Across the web, there are silos being put up and people join the silos that agree with them more. That's what we have out there but it's been pushed and flamed on by "blogs" like Blaze and Huffington Post, like MotherJones and RightWingNews. People go there not to challenge but to atta boy each other, suck each other's dicks, if you will.

    When I gave up on that, I've let it go, even passed over the site to Tom, not only because I don't see much debate or discussions on coming together, but because I gave up on that myself. I have my views, and I am really tired of repeating myself, listing the facts that support my view.

    Lastly, one thing that occurred to me. In over 20 years of forums, I've never, not once, changed anyone's mind about even a minor issue. So why bother?
  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Untrue. With your guidance even in these most "progressive" of times, we've all come to realize that pink thongs are never manly.
    ethics likes this.
  4. cmhbob

    cmhbob Did...did I do that? Staff Member

    Leon, there's a saying or school of thought among evangelicals that goes something like "I may not reap the harvest, but I've planted the seed." That means that your witness may not bring that person to Christ that day, but you may have started them down the path, and I think that's what has happened here. So I don't think your statement that "In over 20 years of forums, I've never, not once, changed anyone's mind about even a minor issue" is necessarily true, nor does it matter.

    I think that position changes don't occur overnight, nor should they. If they do, then I would question the sincerity of the original position or the change. Honestly and strongly held positions don't change easily.

    And Rick, great post. I have to agree with a lot of what you said.
    ethics likes this.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Well, thanks Bob.. I hope you are right. My views were never extreme in one way or another, but I tend to think I have something that the youth here doesn't have, and thats experience with Socialism and Communism.
  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Shiny, I've been thinking of your post a lot. It was a good post, and thank you for posting.

    We have a problem in this country, that's for sure. Maybe it is just me, but I don't recall as much black/white discord before Obama came to power. Some of it has always been there as an undercurrent, of course. I also don't recall as much talk about income inequality and the need to redistribute wealth before Obama came to power. Are there any statistics to show that income inequality has worsened in the past five years or so? Are you expecting equal pay for unequal job responsibilities, or are you referring to a too large gap between top and bottom salaries?

  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Leon, does your experience with socialism and communism make you leery of income redistribution?

  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Income redistribution tries to give those that don't want to work for something, from people who do (whether they want to or not).
  9. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Precisely! AKA wealth redistribution, it's one of the tenets of communism. I won't willingly go down that road ever.
    ethics likes this.

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