saltone wrote:And the Right is just Soooo Tolerant of opposing views. Because I believe the war in Iraq is a mistake I am branded as "un-american" or "pro-terrorist". Because I question the qualifications of a vice presidential candidate (who has a good chance of becoming president) I am labeled sexist.
I don't know when it happened, I blame it partially on talk radio, but the party divide in this country is unbelievable. It breeds a society of hate. Dems hate repubs, and repubs hate dems. No more trying to work together. Everyone now has an us vs them mentality. I work with people that truly believe if Obama is elected that it will be the end of America as we know it. (to be fair, I also know people that believe the same thing if McCain wins)
I am not looking for a love fest, but this "I'm right you're wrong" attitude is what is destroying America as we know it. I hate to inform people, there have been many ups and downs in the US, some while Dems had power and some while repubs had power. And we are still one of the most powerful countries in the world. (financially and militarily). The US will be here in four years no matter who becomes president.
I never said the Right was especially tolerant, but they don't claim to be "Liberal".
Political deadlock is a good thing, BTW. It results in only the things that are truly necessary enough to pass through the grinder being implemented, instead of either side's pipe dreams. Political hatred is not a good thing.
I think the problem predates Talk Radio. I think that Talk Radio became popular because a lot people were sick of being told (by editorial writers, politicians, etc) that they were Wrong and Evil and Bad because they didn't agree with those who buy ink by the barrel or had access to The Mike. When they started hearing people expressing the same opinions and frustrations that they had, and realized that *they* suddenly had access to The Mike, they of course gravitated to the format. Before Talk Radio, the public expression of who was right and who was wrong was a controlled commodity.
My opinion is that what we have today is primarily the logical extension of Class Warfare and Victimhood. The easiest way to unite a disjoint set of people is to manufacture a common enemy (see Hitler, 1984, etc). These related philosophies/strategies both depend on convincing one segment of the population that they are being repressed or cheated by another segment and are therefore owed something that they must take back. (Ross Perot cheated Republicans and we got the Clintons. The Supreme Court cheated Democrats and we got Bush. Yada, yada.) Since this is, of course, self evident, anyone who disagrees is Evil and Bad and must be fought.
Talk Radio has morphed into a forum for those Bad and Evil people to fight back and reinforce their opinions instead of just being rolled by editorials and soft "news" stories designed to promote a particular viewpoint (such as the sob stories of illegal immigrants). People on the Right hear others and know that they *aren't* the only ones who think this way and aren't Bad because they do (as they are told by the Left). Unfortunately, these people hear most of this in the context of "them" attacking "us". Then when the Old Media gets caught trying to pull something (the Bush forgeries October Surprise), there's someone to call them on it. This hardens the positions of each side and prevents either side from gaining a significant advantage, resulting in WW I-style trench warfare.
So, in a way, I guess you could blame Talk Radio.
You know, as I re-read this before posting, I had another thought. One of my best friends is a Liberal (yeah, yeah, but it's true) who I use to work with. I've never "hated" him even though we both sincerely believe that many of each others ideas are completely wrong. We often send news/opinion links to each other to poke at each others beliefs. We know each other and each know that the other is a good person regardless of those beliefs. The problem is that it has now become so easy to anonymously personally attack someone without knowing them. It used to be that for you and I to have this kind of discourse we'd have to meet and talk in a personal context, even if it were by mail or the phone. Now, in the spur of the moment, either one of us could launch a vile, hate-filled public attack on the other with no real repercussions. I have no idea of who "saltone" is and you have no idea who "wallsg" is, so what's lost if we end up hating each other? And since each of us would now have an unfocused hatred of an anonymous person it would be very easy to transfer that hatred to anyone who happened to express some of the same opinions, resulting in a kind of group hatred.
I wish that web sites would require real identifying handles since I believe that while everyone should be able to say anything that they want to (including hatred, but sure, exclude "fire!" in a crowded theater and inciting riots) I don't believe that they have the right to be anonymous while saying it. People tend to be less incendiary when others can see who is spewing the hate.
Personally, I consider myself a conservative libertarian. I believe in a small, limited government (something we'll never have under either major party because the purpose of power and bureaucracy is to perpetuate itself) that interferes minimally in the life of the population (even when doing things that I morally disapprove of). I believe that government should not be involved in coerced "charity" under penalty of law (redistributionist tax policies). I believe that if you want to shoot up or smoke crack or use meth until your head pops off, then fine, but you don't have the right to force me to help you afterward. (I might help you, but it would be from charity and compassion, not obligation.) I completely disagree with the Libertarian Party in enough areas (such as open borders), though, that I don't consider myself a Big-L Libertarian.
B.O.C. - 10/23/08, 12/25/08, 12/25/09, 01/28/10, 06/24/10, 12/01/10, 08/17/11, 09/14/11, 10/12/11, 11/09/11, 12/06/11, 12/25/11, 01/19/12, 03/22/12