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Why are political topics so divisive?

Posted by Max K on 5/15/03 at 02:03 (118798)

It must be because people are strongly attached to their values. But how can people have values that are so opposite? It must be that there is something even more basic than values: a fundamental way of looking at the world. I first noticed my leaning towards conservatism when I started reading about gun control. I was astounded to see that proponents of both sides of the issue have lots of (what looks like) strong evidence supporting their side of it. It took me years to realize that nobody in the gun control debate arrives at their position via statistics and studies. It is probably useless to cite any of those statistics in an attempt to change the way somebody else feels about gun control (except possibly if someone is very young or otherwise undecided).

I think it's the same thing with politics in general: evidence is presented on this board supporting one political viewpoint or another, but I don't believe for a minute that it will turn a liberal into a conservative or vice versa. Apparently, that which what makes a person liberal or conservative LIES OUTSIDE OF THE REALM OF EVIDENCE, and therefore cannot be 'reached' that way.

So we see a different world, liberals and conservatives do. So what now, what do we do about these conflicting interpretations of the world, from which our values and politics flow? Or will humankind always be so deeply divided, no matter what? If so, then maybe liberals and conservatives should stop trying to convert each other, and start looking at these differences as something that cannot and should not be changed, like ethnicity or gender.

Max

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Richard, C.Ped on 5/15/03 at 07:44 (118809)

It remindes me of religion discussions. so many strong opinions one way or another.
Richard

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

john h on 5/15/03 at 08:59 (118818)

Much of gun control differences come from where you were born,raised and live. In my state of Arkansas hunting is a way of life. Deer season and Duck season are like Xmas. Being a rural state we are not that distant from a time when a gun was necessary for food and survival. No Republican or Democrat could win an election in this state advocating gun control. Much of the same can be said of the Mountain states and other Southern States.

The abortion issue is another one that has the country split down the midddle. Religion, womens rights, the Constitution are all used as supporting one side or the other. I do not ever see everyone agreeing on this issue. On this issue I will not state where I am but will say over time I have switched my position after listening to all the points and counter points.

Politics is probably mild when it comes to the above two issues. Some Presidents seem to have qualities that you either love them or you hate them. Clinton was like that. Roosevelt actually had a large group of people who really hated him. Other Presidents you may not like but do not evoke tha hate that some do.

When I grew up in Georgia I do not know if there was such a thing a Republican in my small town. Roosevelt was like God. Yesterdays Democrats like JFK could easily be considered a Republican in many ways today. Our view of Liberals and Conservatives and Democrats and Republicans changes with the times.

If one looks back in history at how elections were conducted and how much name calling went on you would be surprised at how mild we are today compared to the 19th centrury. We have had duals in Congress, fist fighs in congress and newspapers were horroriffic in there treatment of candidates.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Kathy G on 5/15/03 at 09:37 (118825)

I think that many people tend to see others' opposing opinions as personal attacks. Some, especially those who are not familiar with the rules of debate, are unable to debate issues without resorting to such personal attacks and the problem escalates. Political discussions don't have to become personal and derisive; it depends on personaliies. As I have said before, as far as these boards are concerned, I believe that the problem is the lack of being able to see the disssenter and not being able to say, in the midst of a discussion, 'Oh, wait, you've misunderstood what I've just said.' or 'Wait, that came out the wrong way.' We are unable to see body language and facial expressions. Opinions are posted, probably not always carefully re-read, and the poster has no idea how others are interpreting his/her comments. The result is anger and hurt feelings.

It only takes one person who doesn't know how to disagree with respect to totally change the dynamics of a discussion. Unfortunately, some dissenters cannot state their opinion without implying that the opposition is dense, stupid, misinformed, whatever. That immediately puts the others on the defensive and without a moderator, discussion quickly dissolves into arguing.

That's just my opinion!

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Suzanne D on 5/15/03 at 10:29 (118837)

I agree with what you have stated so well, Kathy!

There are three things that bother me the most about the political discussions here on the board:

1) I keep getting the distinct impression from some that they feel that those who do not agree with them are misinformed or blindly following a cause without thinking or just not very smart. Some seem to imply that those (like me) who do not get into the debates only post about trivial things which are not worth reading. While they champion their right to post at will, they (perhaps inadverdently) slam others for posting as they choose by these comments.

2) Sometimes in the midst of a heated round of these controversial posts, I am afraid cries for help from posters get mostly ignored, and their messages quickly end up on the next page where they are lost, for all practical purposes. While anyone has a right to post anything here, it is, after all, a site dedicated to foot pain answers and support for those suffering. It is not primarily a political discussion group although there's nothing wrong with comments about anything decent.

3) Messages which state that the poster will probably not post again because there are so few thinking individuals, etc., etc. set a negative tone. If someone feels it's not a worthy place for their written thoughts, I'm not sure why they need post that they aren't going to post again unless things change. It comes across to me as a manipulative tactic although they may not mean for it to be.

I have kept mostly quiet through many rounds of these debates although I have read most of them. These are my opinions which stem from much reading and thinking.

Suzanne :)

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Kathy G on 5/15/03 at 10:47 (118842)

You're one up on me, Suzanne. This time around, I didn't read a single political post. I don't come here to discuss politics or national policy. And it's very true that just because some of us don't address these issues, it doesn't mean that we don't have opinions regarding them. As for 'foot' posts getting lost in the shuffle, I fear that not only does that happen but that newcomers may not be posting at all. It takes a lot of courage to post for the first time and I'm not sure that this is the welcoming board that it once was. I fear that people may be put off.

I've been here a long time and even I have chosen not to post about problems with my feet for fear of it being thought that my problems are rather mundane compared to what's going on in the world. They are, but they are what's going on in MY world, the world I can control, and sometimes that's the only thing I can relate to.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Bev on 5/15/03 at 12:57 (118855)

Kathy G,
I can relate to that too. I read some of the political posts , however I am not smart enough to get involved in them. :'> Right now I am in my own 'little world' trying to find healing for my feet and getting over the stomach flu that my daughter and grandson so nicely shared with me :) We watched the boys while she was at church convention at a beautiful hotel and she spent the whole time in bed sick , and one of the boys got it too, and now I have it. So I can see how you feel about us having our plates full and relating to what we can handle at this moment. I never could have thought that my 'feet' could consume 18 months of my life /:)
Heck, I never thought I would be using a computer, I never had the time before PF to even sit down , I was always on the go , I never thought I would be side - lined x-( I worked full time , we belonged to organizations, were involved in lots of stuff, we walked a lot, would ride the bike path for miles, we went camping, hiking, we always were on the go. I never thought I would be sitting home 'resting my feet' for months, this is crazy :o Will this ever end :-/
Hey, sorry I got carried away , pitty party , sorry , shame on me [-X . I think I will try to have a cup of tea ~o) You have a nice day :)

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Sharon W on 5/15/03 at 14:10 (118869)

Kathy,

That was very well said.

I think part of the problem is preconceived notions (stereotypes) about what someone from the other side 'must' think or prefer or dislike or choose, based on our own assumptions of what someone on the other side is like. These preconceived notions may be that the other side is idealistically ignorant, that they all eat granola and meditate and live in their own little world that's out of contact with reality. Or the preconceived notions may be that people on the other side are all stupid, bloodthirsty warmongers who don't value human life or care about the environment, and never question authority, and always try to stifle anyone brave enough to dissent. They may be misconceptions never intended to offend (similar to what you described) or deliberately exaggerated (sometimes sarcastic) slurs intended to provoke. Either way, assumptions based on stereotypes do tend to make people upset.

To expand a little bit on your comments: If only (without resorting to veiled insults or whining or angry retorts) whenever we see something like that starting to happen, we could just say, 'Oh, wait, you've misunderstood what I've just said' or 'Wait, that came out the wrong way' -- or even, 'Wait, you've misunderstood how I am, here is what I really think and feel' -- perhaps we could communicate our thoughts on politics, etc. without a lot of anger and hurt feelings.

Sharon

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Sharon W on 5/15/03 at 14:36 (118873)

Kathy, Suzanne,

I think you both make a very good point -- that some people may be very put off by the political posts. But there are also some (myself included) who find this stimulating and interesting.

If I've ever left anyone with the impression that I think discussions of politics and world affairs are more important than sore feet or even just chatting about what's going on in our lives, then it is time for ME to say, 'Oh, wait, you've misunderstood what I've said' or 'Wait, that came out the wrong way'. I don't feel that way at all, and I aplogize if I've ever left that impression.

We all have our interests and preferences, and we all have the choice to read or not read these threads. It's no big deal to me if I'm not interested in what's being discussed -- I just skip it and move on. I never feel irritated about it or have any thoughts of resentment that someone's 'taking up space' on the board discussing something that doesn't appeal to me.

Sharon
:)

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/15/03 at 15:25 (118883)

The political posts here generally go well when both or several parties don't make sarcastic comments about one thing or another. I would say that has happened on both sides. If you really read the posts you'll see that we spend more time trying to figure out how our communincation has failed than on the politics itself. That tells me that all sides really do care about the folks at the the other end of the computer. With practice we will improve. Contraversal topics always make for misunderstanding. We just have to recognize it for what it is.

I haven't met a stupid person yet on this board.

Distraction is a really good way to take your mind off chronic pain. My brother as many of you know had a cornea transplant today. Because he has progressive MS it will be tough on him. He is the master of distraction. That is why they had an American Idol party at his house the night before his surgery. I think a good debate or just sharing common interests on this board is a great way to distract us from the reality of our dumb feet.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Pam S. on 5/15/03 at 17:06 (118906)

Just a quick comment from me. I am so happy to be a part of your elite foot group. I was so thrilled when someone answered my post the first time. I did not think anyone would. It is like a little present. I was afraid my post would sound silly since you all use such big words and fancy medical terminology. I was impressed.

I am interested to read about people's foot problems even though I do not often have an answer or solution. It just helps to know you are not alone. I like to think maybe I have or can help someone one of these days but you all are a tough act to follow. Keep up the great work.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/15/03 at 18:43 (118912)

Thanks Pam!

I have not been posting that long myself. I mostly lurked for about 6 months. I learned so much about all kinds of foot problems. I was so happy to find a place were people had the same kind of psin. This is a nice place. Sometimes we get a little fired up but when it comes down to it I think everyone here will give you support whenever you need it.

later marie

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/15/03 at 18:46 (118913)

Max:
There are definitely differences in the manner in which people of different political persuasions view life and human nature. The left often views circumstances, including the structure of society, political and economic as a prime determinant of human behavior. Those on the right are more focused on the individual and the individual's behavior deriving from within.

As such the left believes that if somehow society and the world can be structured along more egalitarian, and perhaps collectivist lines, individual behavior will improve as will the entire human condition. The right looks to the character of the individual shaped perhaps by upbringing and possibly religion to be the important determining factor.

The left often tends to villify the US as an obstacle to the type of egalitarian world society that they idealize. The success of the US, to an extent, is a result of freedom afforded to the individual, rugged individualism. The left cannot accept that but beleives that the US achieved success by exploiting other countries.

Who is correct? Without doubt, it is the right. Most successful countries are nations endowed with political and economic freedom and are capitalist countries. It is not a matter of money. The oil producing countries of the middle east are flooded with cash but are living hell holes of repression.
Ed

Re: For Bev

Sharon W on 5/15/03 at 20:25 (118921)

Bev,

If you can become an RN -- and you DID -- you are smart enough to do pretty much whatever you want to do. The fact that you are unable to work right now certainly DOESN'T make you stupid! What it means, is that those who come looking here to heelspurs for help, will find a compassionate and knowledgable woman here who does her best to make others feel good about themselves and forget about their pain for a while. How lucky for all of us!

Sharon
:)

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Max K on 5/16/03 at 03:13 (118940)

Dr Ed, you said: 'Who is correct? Without doubt, it is the right.' I tend to agree with that, but: if the left is clearly wrong: how can an ideology that is wrong maintain itself for so long, and with such strength?
How can they not see that they're wrong? Is this some kind of perceptual shortcoming, a blind spot, or is this a form of denial that goes together with some kind of payoff?

Max

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/16/03 at 09:12 (118957)

Try not to take this as an insult....but the problem with the right is that they always think they are right even when the facts are in their face. Case in point......weapons of mass destruction. Instead of taking a mature rational acceptance that there may not be the weapons of mass destruction and perhaps a mistake was made the right is trying to focus on other reasons that justify our attacking Iraq. The reasons are valid. There were many horricifc human rights violations. We have yet to prove or not prove the presece of WPD. I just don't give alot of credence to folks who can't accept their mistakes and correct them. Trust is gone.

Nixon took a beating when Watergate came out. I think the right has been suffering sense. I feel that the right has been looking for a left politician that they can attack in order to justify Nixon's mistakes. I was a Republican for many years of my adult life. I had too, in good consceince, change to a Democrat because I feel that the Republican party did not represent the average working American. I still vote for some Republicans if they are not a mudslinger and their record of success.

Facts are facts. The left I think wants the right to provide solid facts and the right tends to see possibilities as facts. I know not everything is black and white but when American lives are on the line facts are necessary.

marie

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

marie on 5/16/03 at 09:48 (118963)

I would have much more respect for the Republicans if a spokesperson said 'We realize that we attacked Iraq because we felt there were weapons of mass destruction in that country. We felt that there were indications that Iraq was in violation of resolution 1441. We felt that the safety of our country was threatened. We realize no evidence has been found yet. We realize that we must continue to look for that evidence.'

What is so hard about that?

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Sharon W on 5/16/03 at 10:46 (118969)

Marie,

I object to the word 'always' in your first sentence, above.

There may not be weapons of mass destruction (anymore) and perhaps a mistake was made.

The current US administration probably would have done well to come right out and say to the public what I just did. However, our administration has NOT tried to fabricate any evidence or bogus 'discoveries' of WMD. They probably COULD have gotten by with doing so, but they haven't. (And THAT gives them a lot of credibility in my eyes.)

What the administration HAS done, was to focus on positive things and goals that their actions in Iraq have achieved. We DID identify freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam's stranglehold as a major focus of the upcoming war, even naming it 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' (although I think that was largely propaganda) -- and therefore we can legitimately claim to have achieved that goal.

We know that there were WMD in Iraq. It is clear that, assuming Saddam still had WMD, he would have done everything in his power to hide them. It is equally clear that he is VERY accomplished at hiding, having put a lot of time and effort and research and money into building his secret bunkers and tunnels, etc... Iraq is still a very dangerous place, and it seems obvious to me that our troops do NOT have the ability to inspect every building, searching for hidden passages as well, and to do so either simultaneously or repeatedly in case the WMD are moved from place to place. The weapons inspectors also found this business of 'looking for a needle in a haystack' to be an essentially impossible task -- and it is.

I think the Bush administration was wrong to refuse to bring the weapons inspectors back into Iraq once the shooting was officially over. That was a mistake. They should have been welcomed as 'allies' in this difficult search process.

I think our administration has made quite a few mistakes, especially in terms of foreign policy.

However, they DO have reason to distrust the UN and its ability to deal with the situation effectively. Clinton wanted respond militarily when Saddam kicked all the weapons inspectors out of his country. (This was during the Monica Lewinsky thing and some critics were saying he just wanted to distract the public from that issue -- but I saw it as a real and very serious issue believed that Clinton was right to deal with it aggressively -- it SHOULD have been dealt with aggressively.) Unfortunately, the UN flatly refused to consider allowing any extensive military actions to be taken against Iraq at that time. Clinton apparently didn't want to do anything like that without UN backing, so he backed off... But SHOULD we be backing off from something we believe to be a serious danger to our country and others?

I'm getting off track now -- and I finished my morning coffee a while ago. I do think it is a fact that our government firmly believed that there were WMD in Iraq and that they had real intelligence information (probably based mostly on reports from Iraqis who had gotten out of the country) to convince them of that. I do not believe their intelligence info was fabricated. WHERE are the WMD? I don't know. Perhaps they were indeed destroyed by Saddam's regime several years ago, as their captured scientists insist. Perhaps they were buried, or smuggled out of the country. We may never know for sure. But I know ONE thing -- I would rather take my own country's word for something, than the word of someone from Saddam's regime.

Sharon
.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/16/03 at 11:03 (118973)

Your right...'always' shouldn't be used on either sides. I think that is something that offends everyone not matter what the subject. I'll do my best not to do that.

I would never even consider that our government would fabricate evidence of WMD and I don't recall mentioning that in my comment. Too me that is off track with my original comment. I don't put alot into 'well we didn't accomplish this but at least we didn't do that.' That is just another way of making excuses. Your comment is a offensive too me.

I would just like for them to broach the situation honestly. I think folks both right and left are waiting for that too happen.

What are your thoughts about what Max and Ed said? I can't help but notice that you have allowed them to make blanket statements without any critcism. Just think about it for a moment. Seriously. Don't take it personally but I think this is how things begin to get out of hand here. I have no criticism for them. I take their comments for what they are.

marie

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

Max K on 5/16/03 at 11:21 (118978)

Marie, you say: 'We felt that there were indications that Iraq was in violation of resolution 1441'. What? Indications? Aren't you being way too nice and forgiving to Saddam Hussein? He is a proven mass murderer, and his credibility is zero. With a mass-murdering tyrant like that, you do not give him the presumption of innocence, you do not give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead, you say: here is someone who has created a fertile breeding ground for terrorist activity. This breeding ground is a threat to the United States. It is not an imminent threat, like when a mugger holds a gun to your head, but it is nevertheless a threat that must be stopped without delay, like a drunk man who steps out of a bar and drives off in his car, towards the neighborhood where your children are playing. I don't know what the names are for these different types of threat, I would imagine the CIA has names for them. Anyway, this threat must be defeated, this is how we combat terrorism: First, by hunting down individual terrorists (ya gotta love that CIA drone that fired an aptly named hellfire missile in Yemen by remote control and blew up a carload of top terrorists in the desert), and second, by draining terrorist swamps, that is, doing whatever we can to eliminate the living & breeding conditions of the terrorists. I think these are both complex tasks involving many different levels of work. We know that Saddam used WMD, and we know that his credibility is zero, so, given that, he had to be PREVENTED FROM ASSISTING FUTURE TERRORISTS with their dirty deeds. Saddam Hussein is not innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Saddam Hussein is guilty, and is a continuing threat, especially with regard to the future and NBC weapons. After 9-11, we have to think backwards when it comes to homeland security: we have to think backwards from the next major attack on our homeland: thousands of people are dead again, many thousands more than were killed on 9-11: how could we have prevented this latest attack? We have to think backwards from that point, and take action based on that, and those actions are: defeat individual terrorists (when possible), and drain whole terrorist swamps (make a region unhospitable for terrorists while at the same time protecting and helping the innocent population as much as that objective allows). I see the war in Iraq as a largely preventive measure, draining a swamp so that no more terrorists are likely to breed there.

Max

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

marie on 5/16/03 at 11:54 (118981)

Once again you are putting words in my mouth that I never said. I don't put words in your mouth. If you have read my posts you will know that I was fairly impressed with Colin Powell's presentation to the UN....which I watched and listened too very closely. It is you that suggest I am too forgiving of Saddam Hussein not me. Creating a dialog that never excisted is offensive to me. I find it interesting that this occurs on this board.
Max you will find that I acknowledge very quickly mistakes I have made. If I offend someone I will do my best to rethink what I have said and do my best to correct my writing as to not continue to have misunderstandings. I don't make up words or emotions that don't excist so that I may use that to justify an attack on someone's character. I would hope that you could do the same for me. Again respect is something you give. If you give it peoplw will respect you.

My discussion included the reason why we attacked Iraq because they were in violation of 1441 and nothing else. If you wish to hear my feelings about humantarian issues in Iraq please have the consideration to ask. By the way I am not a left I am a moderate.

thank you,
marie

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Sharon W on 5/16/03 at 12:07 (118982)

Marie,

You said you take Max and Ed's statements for what they are. Well, so do I. What's to comment on? They were blanket statements that indicated a mindset much further right than mine, statements of where they personally stand on the liberal/conservative continuum, and I didn't see anything that seemed like an 'attack' on anyone. (I also know from experience that a viewpoint like that is not going to be changed by argument.) If Mason made a blanket statement that the liberals are right and the conservatives are wrong, I wouldn't challenge it either.

You wrote, 'I would never even consider that our government would fabricate evidence of WMD and I don't recall mentioning that in my comment. Too me that is off track with my original comment.' You added, 'Your comment is a offensive too me.'

I'm not sure exactly what comment you considered offensive, but I think you may have meant my assertion that our government probably could have gotten by with fabricating evidence of WMD but haven't done so. I meant no offense by that, and if I left the impression that I assume you would claim any proof of finding WMD that our country provided might be fabricated, I apologize. That wasn't what I intended to say.

I meant to show that our government has been pretty straightforward about what they haven't found so far. They've found a couple of trucks that MIGHT have been used as WMD labs at one time, but they've been unable to find any evidence in their search of those vehicles.

The US administration has come right out and said that they haven't found any proof yet that Iraq still had WMD, but they've also stated that they do believe such weapons exist, and have promised that they will continue to look for them. This is part of what you said liberals want to hear: 'We realize no evidence has been found yet. We realize that we must continue to look for that evidence.'

As far as I know, however, no spokesperson for our government has ever said that they might have made a mistake and there might not be any WMD in Iraq for them to find.

Sharon
.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/16/03 at 12:22 (118983)

Thanks for your response. Yes I was a little surprised at the mere suggestion that our government would do such a thing.

I just wanted to point out how we get conversations off track.....changing the topic or criticism of one comment while others go uncriticized etc...gives the appearence, even if unintentional, that an individual is being attacked here. Aside from that and I am not aiming this at you, Sharon....the constant made up comments and views. So far this week I supposedly thought tickling our enemies would be a good solution or just because I brought up resolution 1441 that I don't see the value of ridding Iraq from a monster like Saddam.

I do respect your opinions....in fact I think your ideas presented here have given me a great deal to think about. I hope you continue because I think your posts have great merit.

marie

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

JudyS on 5/16/03 at 12:32 (118986)

I feel just the opposite Kathy - around here there's nothing mundane about feet :) or talking about them. I'd far rather come here and post about feet than come here and see yet another hot topic discussion dissolve in to name calling. I sure hope that anyone who hesitates to post about feet because of that kind of discourse is not put off long.
I suppose it can be rewarding to show that one is up on current events, but the fact is that, mundane or not, what we're all really here for is feet. And it's terrific that good folks like you and Suzanne can remind us of that when we need it the most.

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

Mason M. on 5/16/03 at 12:41 (118989)

Marie, I just caught up with posts from the past few days. I think people such as Max, Ed, and Sharon have made some points that make sense, and some that don't.

What I most notice is a tendency to puts words in the mouths of people who see things differently from how they do. It certainly doesn't happen in every post, but it happens enough to derail the real issues of the discussion. I have to wonder why they (and this includes BG) do that. Again, I think they have some valid points to make, but there is some kind of 'throw the other side [or even the middle!] off track by manufacturing statements or implications they didn't make.' It puts you in a defensive position that makes it hard, if not impossible, to keep the main issues in the forefront and the main topic.

From posts I read in the past few days, I know for a fact that several people have misread me and my intentions. Throwing rocks? At a hornets' nest? In an attempt to knock it down? And highfalutin, 'subtle' language meant to accomplish nefarious goals that I do not have? I make mistakes, but I don't tend to throw rocks and I've never in my life wanted to knock anyone down. The way I speak is the way I speak - I can't automatically conform to whatever you've all agreed on here as a way to express yourselves. It does not mean that I assume anyone is stupid - I along with the rest of humanity sometimes needs to THINK things through more thoroughly. I've never held myself up as an exception, but I see nothing wrong with serving as a reminder the same way I have been reminded by people i know and for whom I am grateful. I am always willing to rethink. Yet people take that suggestion here as a form of condescension.

I apologize to everyone to whom this doesn't apply, but a double standard exists here, in the extreme, in my opinion. The motivations attributed to me, mostly wrong, have actually been demonstrated by a good number of people themselves, yet they hasten to accuse. And I see the same thing happens to Marie.

Marie goes out of her way to see both sides and admit her leanings, and seems to try with real honesty to express herself without cutting the legs off of other people. There are others who do this, but they are very few. I for one appreciate Marie's efforts, and I hope that one day people who think differently from how she does will appreciate them too and learn from her as she and I have learned from you.

Stick to your own soul, Marie, and speak from it. I know you will, but I just want to give you a bit of extra encouragement from another who doesn't always agree with the politics here and gets suffocated for it.

It is my own choice if I don't continue to post because of this. I do take responsibility for my own choices, and I blame no one but myself for inserting myself into a discussion that sometimes brings on a hurricane and leaves me struggling to stand up and keep on responding.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Sharon W on 5/16/03 at 13:02 (118997)

Marie,

There have been many stereotyping comments made, some of them sarcastic, and that tactic has been empolyed on both sides by quite a number of people. There are a couple of individuals who seem to employ these tactics frequently, and they don't seem to see anything wrong with it or any reason to change tactics just because others get annoyed.

I am more likely to dispute something said by a person on the liberal side because I lean toward the conservative side. I think that is also true in reverse.

I am also more likely to respond to someone who seems willing to hold a reasonable dialogue with me than with someone making inflexible statements and/or demonstrating that they don't care what others may think. I know, for example, that if I make a valid point about something, you will probably take it into consideration and may concede that it's reasonable. You make many valid points yourself that give me (and others I'm sure) something to think about. You make an effort to do so without giving offense -- and I know that if I point out to you I was bothered by something in your post, and I explain why, it will help to IMPROVE our communication -- not shut the door on it. That's one of the things I like about you. (By the way, I know that you are 'moderate' -- although we are on different sides of it, you and I both seem to be in the middle.)

What do you say to someone who takes the position, 'My mind is made up; don't confuse me with facts'?? In the past, this has sometimes led to a situation where one or two people (conservative OR liberal) may SEEM to have 'won the day' because they've continued to aggressively assert their own inflexible views over and over until everyone gives up on arguing with them. They haven't really 'won' anything; what they've actually done is driven everyone else away from the discussion.

Sharon
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Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

marie on 5/16/03 at 13:55 (119009)

Mason,

I really appreciate your comments. I guess I thought this was a discussion about why politics divides us so. I had hoped by giving a few examples of what bugs me it would help others, specifically on the right, to understand why there are so many folks on the left, instead it turned into another political discussion. I didn't mean to put anyone on the defensive or engage in a battle of ideaolgy. I simply want the folks here on the right to understand that the left wants to stay on topic, accept facts as they are, and that assumptions are just that assumptions. A little respect goes a long way. We are a wonderful example of the average American....teacher, doctor, ped, nurse, taxi cab driver, businessman and so on. We live all over the country and some out of the country. Do we have all the answers....heck no. Do we all have bad feet? Heck yeah we do....well maybe Ed and Brian don't. Do we all want our children to be safe and have the freedom to accomplish whatever dreams they may have? Heck yeah we do. As diverse as we are we have many of the same dreams and goals in common we just have different ways of getting there.

later, marie

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/16/03 at 14:00 (119011)

Sharon,

I hope that everyone reading this thread will read the last paragraph that you wrote. You're right what good does it do.

Thanks so much!
marie

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

john h on 5/16/03 at 15:58 (119029)

Mason have a good weekend and forget about politics,religion and all this stuff we really can not do much about except vote. When I walk out the door tomorrow I sure will not be thinking about these things. About the best most of us can do is help those we meet along lifes road in the best way we can.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

john h on 5/16/03 at 16:00 (119030)

Bravo Judy. Feet are sure a hot topic here on this board and far out weigh any politics of the moment for most of us. As for name calling you are a dear.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

john h on 5/16/03 at 16:03 (119031)

I have a sudden idea. Maybe we should only discuss politics on Mondays and Fridays? Mondays usually suck and Friday is a good day. Anyone think this is an idea or an idea that sucks?

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/16/03 at 21:00 (119051)

Max:
It is hard to say why ideologies and ideas can persist for so long. I think that one reason is that there are few systems that are ideologically 'pure' and, as such, many would argue that the failure of certain systems is due to lack of adherence to ideologic principles. For example, the Soviet Union demonstrated a failure of Communism although there are those who argue that if the Soviets adhered to 'true' communism, it would not have failed.
Ed

Re: What the left needs to hear from the right.

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/16/03 at 21:03 (119053)

Marie:
WMD was only one reason for our action in Iraq so such a statement would only reflect a partial truth. Evidence of WMD has been found although the weapons themselves have not.
Ed

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/16/03 at 21:10 (119054)

Marie:
Numerous facts and discoveries have supported our action in Iraq including new evidence of Saddam's atrocities. WMD was only one of several issues yet even that issue is yet to be resolved. We have captured a number of Saddam's people involved in the production of WMD. It is likely that we cannot divulge what we know about the location of diverted weapons until we have first acted on that evidence. It is way too early to jump to conclusions on the WMD issue.
Ed

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

marie on 5/16/03 at 22:24 (119064)

Lets just say we have talked this one out! ;) I think we've talked about a months worth. so maybe we could wait a month....and talk about your idea or does that suck too.

marie

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

john h on 5/17/03 at 12:51 (119103)

That could work for me Marie.

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

JudyS on 5/17/03 at 20:35 (119149)

@};'

Re: Why are political topics so divisive?

JudyS on 5/17/03 at 20:41 (119151)

try again....
@};-