Alarming News

June 9, 2012

They really are

I just left this comment on a NY Times piece titled “Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One” (he doesn’t actually think he’s ruining the world. He thinks conservatives are ruining the world and make him a worse person). I don’t know if it makes it through their monitoring process since all the comments under the piece are positive so figured I’d post it here:

You seem to believe your article is some sort of rallying cry for liberals and conservatives to get along. In fact, you insult conservatives and Republicans all the way through the piece and then imagine we’ll, what, work with you for *your* idea of a better world? The one TV news station that isn’t openly and entirely liberal is a “reliable conduit by which paranoid hogwash infects our mainstream media.” The GOP is “cynicial”, conservatives are “wack jobs” and “wing nuts.” The policies we support are “cruel and self-defeating.” You’re the one “amplifying conflict” in your article but can’t manage to see it, even in a piece about minimizing conflict. Pretty funny. – @karolnyc

Posted by Karol at 07:08 PM |

“You seem to believe your article is some sort of rallying cry for liberals and conservatives to get along.”
You must be reading a different article to the one you linked to.
The message I read between the lines was that many libs are as bad as the “right-wingnuts” (term of reference they use) they deride, and further, their derision helps the ratings of the medias uber-righties whose outlandish opinions do not reflect the true decency of most people who are right-leaning.

He also says that this sort of clownish behaviour (such as his stance on Condi Rice and Rush’s Fluke-baiting) does not help the debate and makes for polarization.
In short ‘mean what you say, say what you mean. No need to say it mean’

Posted by: Old Grumpy Tired at June 10, 2012 at 6:59 am

“Imagine, if you will, the domino effect that would ensue if liberals and moderates simply tuned out the demagogues.”

“Liberals and moderates would no longer be able to mollify themselves by watching Jon Stewart mock conservative wack jobs. They would be forced to consider their own values and the sort of actions necessary to reify those values in the world. They might even consider breaching our artificially inflated partisan divide.”

“But as Americans, we are endowed with the freedom to vote for the sort of democracy we want — not just at the ballot booth, but with our attention and energy. The more we devote to amplifying conflict, the less we listen to each other. ”

“It’s time for all of us — liberal, conservative and otherwise — to define ourselves as Americans not by who we hate but by what we can do to strengthen our communities and country.”

Rallying cry.

Posted by: Karol at June 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

Your quotation confirms what I just said.

There are a huge number of people who broadly agree about nearly everything. Some lean left some lean right. Some conform to the Chris Rock routine (”I’m conservative about crime; prostitution I’m liberal). Allowing the debates and decisions to be controlled by the 2% at either end of the political spectrum is mad. There are just as many demagogues to the left as to the right. They are skewing the debates.

Posted by: Old Grumpy Tired at June 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Huge number of people who broadly agree about nearly everything?? Like what??! Look at almost any issue and you’ll find a 50/50 division across the country.

Posted by: Karol at June 10, 2012 at 3:03 pm

And the point is that the 2% either side polarize the rest. The 25.1% either side of the ‘middle’ (for want of a better wording) are like the Chris Rock routine, and this 50.2% thankfully form the majority.
I want people who debate and think, not those who tie their favor to the bloviator they like the most from TV.
There are many issues people agree on. The polarizers would have you believe otherwise. I am surprized at you Karol, because I credit you with some high level of insight and an ability to look at the bigger picture.
There are very few Americans who don’t celebrate the fourth of July, ditto Thanksgiving ditto Veterans day. A successful party would try to compare rather than contrast.

Posted by: Old Grumpy Tired at June 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Can you name some of these issues you claim people agree on? Don’t name holidays, name issues and policies.

Posted by: Karol at June 10, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Ah, the old ‘redefining the parameters of the argument’ dodge. Compare Karol, not contrast. I might as well not continue because you seem unable to live without your polar truthing

Posted by: Old Grumpy Tired at June 11, 2012 at 2:22 am

‘Allowing the debates and decisions to be controlled by the 2% at either end of the political spectrum is mad.’

If you think about it logically; it is only those people at the polar ends of the debate who have even the mere possibility of being right about anything. The people in the middle are by definition wrong about everything. So it’s those horrible centrists who are slowly destroying America! We should celebrate polarization, which means diversity of opinion, not deride it.

The side benefit is that those politicians will be so busy arguing with each other; they will have less time to vote away my rights.

Polarization and debate are necessary for any healthy society. Can you imagine a world where everyone agreed on everything? Sounds like an anti-utopian nightmare to me. Sheesh!

Posted by: Steve D at June 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi Steve
Utopia was a fictional place written about as a joke (it can never exist)
So The extremes of the right (lets say the KKK) and the extremes of the left (lets say Stalinists)are the only people likely to be right? Wow.
A society is about give and take.

Posted by: Old Grumpy Tired at June 12, 2012 at 2:52 am

Hm, like “Old Grumpy Tired” I strongly disagree that Almond’s piece was a rallying cry for “everyone to get along.” The “common ground” bit seemed to be more about finding a way to engage civilly while still disagreeing on many issues. Maybe the article did get a bit “I’d like to teach the world to sing” towards the end, but I think the crux of the argument was that we need to stop allowing ourselves to indulge in the instant/fleeting gratification of getting worked up over the latest exaggerated gaffe or some provocateur being gratuitously provocative; that behavior provides a spurious sense of “satisfaction” and wastes energy we should have spent actually doing something. And I agree with him.

Posted by: Michele at June 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm
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