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  1. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    Political Campaigns and Hatred

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Matt E, Feb 10, 2016.

    I have something that I have to get off my chest. It’s about the impressions I’ve gotten when debating with republicans and democrats both, and also the things I hear on news channels. This isn’t anything related to specific individuals, particularly not on this forum, as I haven’t debated here much yet.

    When discussing presidential campaigns, discussion tends to migrate away from real issues, and more towards a set of talking points that are swirling around either party. Usually these talking points are incredibly extreme, such as “I would never support Hillary Clinton, because she is a liar, a cheat. Email servers! Benghazi! Need I say more?” The democrats are guilty of this as well though. People who dislike Trump tend to say “I would never support Trump, because he’s a blow-hard, racist, sexist bigot who hates women. Need I say more?”

    It’s as if the party as a whole gets together, decides not to like the candidate, and comes up with their own concise summary of why they will never support that candidate. Whenever you try to debate someone who listens to enough of their party’s media, they will always bring up the pre-arranged talking point as a wall to protect them from the real issues that they are uncertain on. No progress can be made at all, because it’s extremely hard to prove someone isn’t a liar, and extremely hard to prove someone isn’t a sexist.

    This is particularly difficult because, most of the time, there is a kernel of truth to the complaint. Every single person alive is, to some extent, a liar, a cheat, and a bigot. We all harbor our own internal prejudices, even if we don’t let them show. Quite often, the people who are most adamant that they don’t have a particular prejudice are the ones who have to deal with it the most; they deny it because of their own insecurities, rather than accepting that everyone is human and has faults. If you put me in front of a camera all day, every day, then you could find enough scandals to fill a dozen issues of the New York Times, because I’m human. The same applies to our leaders. Why do we look at their human faults so easily, rather than analyzing their beliefs on a deeper level?

    This concerns me in particular because some people that I know very well are consumed by this strong dislike of the other party. On some level, I think it’s unhealthy to harbor these views about the other side of the aisle, particularly if they are the ones that end up winning the election. The bitterness of every presidential campaign drives a wedge between the 50% of us who won and the 50% of us who lost, and the strength of that wedge is determined by how much personal hatred is stirred up by each party about the other party’s candidate. I can understand that the media is only slinging personal attacks because they feel that the other side would do it if they didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Americans should buy into the rhetoric as much as we do. We need to learn to take every extreme statement said on the media with a grain of salt, and examine the candidates based on their views, not personal attacks.

    And that said: a lot of us aren’t effected by this so much. But a lot of us are. By us, I don’t mean the people on this forum necessarily, but people in general. I meet a lot of people who can’t look past the Clinton emails or Trump’s more bravado-driven comments and consider the actual issues they support or are against. And while all of the examples I used were American, I imagine the same applies to other nations, and across history as well. If you've observed a similar effect in another country's politics, feel free to add in your viewpoint from that country's perspective.

    Which brings us to the point of discussion:

    Do you agree? If so, why is it that people can buy into this type of hatred so easily? Is there anything that can be done to look past the long-beaten-down talking points, and examine the real issues when debating who should be president?
     
  2. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    A good starting point, probably online, would be the in-group/out-group attitudes in the psychology of prejudice, which applies to all humans. :)

    ETA: After Googling the terms for myself, can't say I left you with much advice. I'll come up with something more substantial.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  3. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I've said over and over again in other threads here, I think things are very different this election, and that wedge between our two halves of the nation, which you mentioned, while maybe very real in the past elections, only exists now superficially.

    Look at both parties. On the left, you have a famous someone, who was thought by the political pundits to be a shoe in for the democratic nomination, now rapidly losing popular support( and almost losing in Iowa and really losing in New Hampshire) to someone whom most people didn't even know about just a few months ago, and not just any someone, a socialist. On the right, you have someone deliberately acting like a jackass on television, hogging all the polls, many of the delegates in Iowa, and winning New Hampshire. Jeb Bush, who is probably as establishment as you get, has virtually no support. Red or blue, the majority of Americans do not like the establishment any longer, and this is why they are supporting Trump and Sanders. Yes, the trump supporters are conservative and yes, the Sanders supporters are liberal, but both of these parties deep down are exactly the same. They are pissed about wealth inequality and what they seem to be corrupt politics. My belief, come general elections, is that both these parties will become one group that is motivated by the same issue (wealth inequality) and that a lot of the things you lament above will diminish.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I cannot wait for the effing elections in the U.S. to be over. How many threads is this now with nearly identical themes? I would proffer that at least in America, the issues plaguing politics are alarmingly similar to those that that describe addiction.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    :superlaugh: This is just the primaries! This isn't even the general Presidential elections yet!
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I see myself having to make unpopular decisions in the near future.
     
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  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Eh, to be honest once the Democratic primary winds down, I see things getting more quiet around here as there aren't really any supporters for the people who will be running as the Republican candidate. So there will be a lot less arguing.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    For what it's worth, you both are some of the few people in the current politics threads that are sticking to actual discussion and not dumpster diving into insults and cheerleading the insults.
     
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  9. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    I was going to point to some academic terms that encompass the phenomena, but I have personal experience, so, what the hell, why not?

    When I entered university I wanted to be a clinical psychologist, but the school I went to (U. Toronto) is pretty competitive and the undergrads get screwed over by the bellcurve, especially in first and second year, and especially in psych. At the time, there was a federal election (2006) in which I took part; I was already somewhat of a leftist but as becoming a psychologist seemed more unlikely, I began aiming at social work, and so fighting for the lefty in the two-way race for that district seemed to converge well with my new overall focus.

    It was great, it was like making a statement against the corruption and indifference of the party that stayed in power for the 12 (whatever) years previous. We hardly gave an ounce of breath to policy -- if anything at all, it was presenting some figures to students about education reform. Basically, everything was about scandal, vague ideas of the environment, progress, "books not bombs," yada, yada, yada. We crucified any possibility that the moderate party could possibly give a shit about anyone not making $40K. A confluence of groupthink and identity politics, and I loved every minute of it.

    Although my candidate won, the party remained in fourth place (third nationally, cuz of Quebec separatists). The further right party that won made me rethink my loyalties. Not unlike the States, the common idea of the lesser of two evils has a lot of sway here, though certainly less. I didn't like what I was seeing and I helped defeat the previous moderate party. We also did fucked up things like call the fire department when one of the new leadership hopefuls of that party was making a speech at a library, and in our "estimation," the over capacity crowd was unsafe. I wasn't too comfortable, personally, with this hyperpartisan mentality, and the refusal for my fellow party people to make distinction between the only two parties that have governed Canada led me to part ways.

    That didn't go over so well, either. That's treachery. So, basically, it's all great to try to have respectful dialogue and analyze things rationally, but, especially with people you don't know, politics is definitely going to be a team-sport above all else. That also applies to the more "reasonable, balanced, open-minded" party-promoter too. No one is there to have their own mind changed.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Yes but one can still hope, and there could be lurkers, or people who at least pick up a concept or two about teasing out evidence and looking at how the media misrepresents the actual truth. :p
     
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  11. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    Democrats and Republicans have very little in disagreement. They both agree on tax and spend economics and are pro-government bloat.

    They have to keep the lower classes turned on each other (poor Democrats vs, poor Republicans) rather than on the poor vs, the rich, This is how they do that,
     
  12. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    I agree about the addiction part. I know a few people in real life that think about everything in terms of politics. Is a restaurant empty today? It's because the economy is crap. Inn particular though, this constant focus on politics is made concerning by the dislike that each political party focuses at the other during election season.

    Not sure what you mean by threads with identical themes. I haven't been following other threads in this section as much, but this thread is more oriented towards how people all over the US are tending to fixate their hate on particular candidates (Trump, Clinton, etc) than on who to vote for in this election cycle.

    I like how you compare politics to a team sport. It seems to me that one is just as likely to convince someone to be a fan of the Dallas Cowboys instead of the Denver Broncos through logical debate as convince someone to switch from being a Democrat to Republican (or the other way around). :p

    I don't think it's as deliberate as that. I like to think of it as two political parties vying for power, and resorting to pretty much any means (including insults, and maybe even mild vote rigging every now and then) in order to win. They may agree on many things, and perhaps most things, but that should be expected in my opinion. They do seem to take their differences a bit too seriously though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  13. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Sanders or Trump, they are the only two that can actually change anything. If they don't, they have the balls to call everyone out on why its not getting done. Half the congress and senators are praying they don't win, because then they would have to go to work and not cater to the rich as much.
    Anyone else besides Sanders or Trump, will give us the same old government. By 2020 most of our military will be depleted and its pretty much the end by 2024.
    Sanders and Trump are the only two that can set us back on track.
     
  14. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    I really like your post here, but I do not agree that all will come together at the end.
    Trump could have been taken down a long time ago. But the greed of the people running has spit votes all over the place. The longer their is more than five republicans running, Trump will stay on top.
    As far as Sanders goes, you are right, the media was always all about Clinton. Even they cannot understand how Sanders is rising. Its easy, nobody likes Clinton, she will be the same old same old candidate.
     
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