Political party identification be damned

G. Murphy Donovan posted another excellent article, “Rent Seeking and Other Blood Sports”,  at The American Thinker the other day.  Real life intruded on my time, so excuse me for lagging behind on the blogging.  Real life versus politics in my own very mundane life isn’t even a choice really, because for me gabbing about politics here is more like a hobby and having a few readers is a gift I never expected to receive.  Once again thanks for your time.  This difference between how I embark on blogging and how many others approach it, struck me recently when I ventured onto a blog, where a genuine question about a stereotype of Tea Party folks as “despising constitutional principles” led me to question this.  Polls were cited, I was castigated as being a Fox viewer, all with the intent to discredit my opinion as next to worthless and maybe it is.  GMD’s article made me think of this difference between those who take themselves very seriously and people like me, just ordinary Americans, who watch in disgust and dismay as our country teeters ever closer to collapse.  Now, the issue on that other blog was about whether we need a new Pledge of Allegiance or no pledge and all I could think about are the millions of Americans struggling to survive, raise their kids in this crappy economy and hope there’s some future worth inheriting from us and these folks on this blog, who tout all their academic and career credentials are worrying about whether we keep the Pledge of Allegiance.  I got lectured and dismissed, which is fine, but really GMD highlighted the real problems, where we are failing large segments of the population, especially way too many children and the mentally ill.

One more comment about that other blog (which shall remain nameless, because maybe they do have great solutions that I failed to see), but the way in which my simple question led to automatic stereotyping of me as an idiot Fox viewer/Tea Party sympathizer irked the hell out of me.  And here my last lengthy response (because I can’t just leave well enough alone) went as follows:

“The trick is not to mark groups’ opinions as “not worth talking to”, because finding solutions to our country’s problems will require pulling along as many people and they come with widely divergent views. Every team is built by finding some common ground, so it’s an inclusive process and that’s how to begin uniting America.

Our problems are much deeper than whether we have a pledge of allegiance. We’ve got so many people so keen to stereotype based on perceived political groupings, that we’ve lost touch at looking at all Americans as individuals with lots of potential strengths, ideas, skills sets, etc. that might be useful.

I won’t be posting here again, so you can put me into whatever group you choose – just place me as far away from your elitist snobbery as possible. I haven’t heard one solution yet here, just who you think shouldn’t be listened to based on your stereotyping. How on earth you think you can fix what’s wrong when you start off writing off entire large segments of America is beyond ridiculous – “Oh you stupid person, you don’t understand the Constitution, so your comment doesn’t count!”, “Oh you must be a Tea Party member, because you asked why this thread says they despise constitutional principles or you’re dreaded Fox viewer or something – you’re just not smart enough to post here among the enlightened few!”

The Constitution was written with a mechanism for change – to add or repeal amendments – suggesting such a change does not make one despise the Constitution – it’s the exact mechanism that follows constitutional principles. The founders also, in their infinite wisdom, made it a steep hurdle to make such changes – thankfully. And no, I never supported repealing the 14th Amendment, I never joined a Tea Party, I watch Fox news, MSNBC and CNN, because I like to compare coverage, mostly I read as many newspapers online as I can, I oppose capital punishment and drone strikes ( except maybe in a declared war and under tight controls), so I am not sure what that makes me. Maybe when you’ve decided amongst your chosen few, you can let us ordinary Americans know and show us the way. I spent most of my life as a homemaker – I talk to just about everyone and I try to learn as much about what they think, what they’ve done, so I know who they are. I don’t discount anyone.”

Now of course my views were cited as utopian and wrong, on pulling as many people along as possible, with the factual statistic on the very small percentage of rebels who launched the American Revolution, (but of course they worked damned hard to up that percentage quickly).  This behavior pattern of wiping the floor with other people, by quickly stereotyping them into convenient political boxes is the problem of thinking in terms of factions and not of people.  At the end this blogger lectured me about resorting to name-calling when from his first response to my honest question he discarded me as a “Tea Party sympathizer/Fox viewer”, making whatever I had to say worthless.  The further elaboration was that the Tea Party is made up of angry old white people, who are racists and can’t accept a black President.   This entire attempt to find out why he stated the Tea Party despises constitutional principles ended with this lame stereotype.   More breaking down America into rabid political factions.  And while all these factions keep throwing gasoline to keep these fires burning out of control, the rest of us, ordinary Americans sit here hoping the wind doesn’t send the flames in our direction and closer still to the flames are all those who are least able to beat back the flames – those living in poverty, especially children and the infirm.  Factions and political party identification be damned, since 2008 the group of those not able to find a path to upward financial mobility keeps increasing, as does the number of children and the infirm, who need help.

You can’t unite a country if you constantly work to discount and marginalize large segments of it.  We’ve either got to find a way to reach some middle ground on some very existential problems or we will crumble.  And we’ve got to welcome everyone to the table, put some of the rabid politics aside and find our talents and strengths and rebuild the American team.   GMD’s article presented our failure as a society, one that we prefer to talk about in abstract terms, but he knows each one is a life, not a political talking point.  We all need to remember that beyond the political flame-throwing are real lives left in ashes.

8 Comments

Filed under Culture Wars, Pet Peeves, Politics

8 responses to “Political party identification be damned

  1. Justin

    A “Fox-Viewing Utopian”?

    Did you think to ask LibertyBelle, just what sort of “credentials” your opponents had been awarded?

    • I didn’t think of that and since I told him I wasn’t going to post there again – well, I am done with that blog, after all, being a typical Fox viewer, Tea Party sympathizer and besides all that I work in an ordinary job, one can only imagine his ire at wasting his precious time and intellect on me. Even worse, most of my adult life I was a homemaker – now that’s a choice that will get you relegated to the “too stupid to exist” category quicker than just about anything else. I mean, really, only idiots would want to dedicate their time to making sure their children are properly trained to become civilized members of society and properly taken care of on a daily basis. Even worse, I loved being a homemaker – it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

  2. Able

    Join the club!

    It has always bemused me the extent of divisiveness and elitism in, shall we say, the ‘left leaning’ (Oh it happens across the political spectrum but whilst it is rare, occasional and derided in most areas, in the left it is a ‘defining characteristic’). They evince the behaviour of the malignant narcissist, most specifically ‘projection’ – in other words, they accuse you of the very ‘crime’ that, they are fully aware that, they are guilty of. (I particularly ‘liked’ their ‘citing of polls’ a typical, very selective, and often constructed or even made-up, tactic. My experience is, challenge that and rather than cite more or defend them the automatic response is .. name calling. As here, no?). They are simply unable to question their own beliefs and will lie, cheat and manipulate to support them.

    To use the current fashionable term, to them the divisiveness, marginalisation and exclusion is ‘a feature, not a bug’. They represent an obvious example of Platonic thought, with their considering themselves as the obvious philosopher kings. They ‘wish’ to divide, undermine and ‘radicalise’ any opposition to what they ‘know’ all ‘right thinking’ (ie. someone who believes what they do) believes is right.

    The framers of the Constitution, and remember I am writing as a ‘simple’ foreigner, deliberately and intentionally wrote in plain, understandable and unequivocal terms and English. Consider all the debate and quibbling on semantics and linguistics of the Constitution and unreservedly you find those whose aim is not to ‘understand’ but to ‘challenge’, to support (their) actions and beliefs blatantly (and obviously) antithetical to the intent of the framers.

    As you, I believe in as wide and inclusive a debate as possible, but ….. how do you include those who view the simple fact of inclusion as something to be prevented? (A similar situation exists surrounding the debate of integration of Islamics here in the UK, perhaps why the left and Islam, despite the endless discrepancies in their views, seem to ‘get on’ so well?).

    Oh, at times I view the LIVs and despair that their votes count as much as those who actually understand (or at least attempt to) a subject. I may even at times have wistfully dreamed of a ‘voter qualification’, but the overriding difference between ‘right’ and ‘left’ is that the left always, without question, ‘always’ believes that they, and only they, ‘know the truth’. It is an article of ‘faith’ for them, and by that definition disagree (or even question) and become a heretic deserving no more than ridicule, at best, death at worst (surprisingly uncommon – I have trouble thinking of many actions/opinions I hold that ‘haven’t’ at one time or another had leftist death threats made against them).

    It is a difficult situation repeated, as I’ve said, in the integration of Islamics, male rights, and, currently, in the alleged ‘war between blacks and whites’ in the US. I’ve travelled widely there, and for what it is worth, the impression I have is that the overwhelmingly common white reaction to blacks is ‘live and let live’ (with a touch of ‘we’ll avoid black areas for our safety’). The black? A sizeable proportion seem inclined towards ‘if I have a problem, it’s whiteys fault and I’m justified in acting however I want’ and crucially ‘nothing any white says on the subject of race has any relevance’. How can you resolve a difference when one side not only fanatically believes that its, and only its, opinions are correct but the the simple inclusion of dissenting/differing opinion should be prevented at all cost?

    I fear this is where ‘they’ have already won. ‘We’ attempt debate, concession, inclusion and compromise. ‘They’ refuse even to consider such. In any conflict between two such sides, the outcome is almost always a foregone conclusion.

    Cheerful aren’t I?

    Justin

    Oh get real! As any right thinking person knows simply membership of the right (left) political party automatically endows you with infinite intellectual qualifications. Whilst the wrong (right) leanings equates to imbecility (but without the calls for support, assistance, rights, benefits and special treatment for your ‘disability’ from the left). They’re probably academic elites, I would have said burger Flippers, but they at least would have some real world experience and not be so up their own a@*ses).

    • Why thank you Able for cheering me up, seriously, it made me feel better to know I’m not the only one to experience this. The only hope might be that a good chunk of America is sick to death of the poisonous politics and the politicians who spread it. I asked a simple question and got relegated to the idiot section, yet he thinks his theoretical bs about whether we need a new pledge of allegiance is an important aspect to fixing what’s wrong with America. I never joined a Tea Party group, but their candidates ranged from excellent to fringe kooks and the same can be said for their ideas. The mainstream press and the left-wing politicos launched a concerted effort to stereotype the Tea Party as hate-filled, racist, zealots, so of course polling will reflect this is the common perception. Ted Cruz had a target on his back, because he’s a very gifted, smart guy, who can articulate his political views eloquently. The left desperately wants to marginalize him quickly. On this other blog. here’s part of his enlightened response to educate me on the Tea Party, “More broadly, social change occurs largely as generational change. Anyone who has debated the average Tea Party enthusiast quickly recognizes its futility. These are to a large extent angry old white people. They believe that a black President is inherently illegitimate, that Freedom of Religion means the US should be a Christian Nation. Decades of indoctrination have given them deeply held but largely false knowledge of history and economics. They are now at their peak of influence: peak income, and as they retire, peak time. Only age will remove them from the national stage.” And he thinks I am the idiot, lol. Most of the Tea Party folks struck me as decent ordinary people who are concerned about the direction America is headed. I didn’t perceive a racist angle at all, in fact, there are direct racist quotes from Joe Biden, but the left and the press would never label him a racist. The hypocrisy astounds me sometimes.
      At work tonight this young black girl (one of my less than stellar worker bees) was standing there talking, talking, talking to this young white girl, whom she apparently knows. The conversation was on food stamps, until I interrupted and sent her back to doing some real work. My worker bee was telling this girl that she needs to be a good liar on her food stamp paperwork and she told her, “just remember your lies!” Is it any wonder hard-working, honest taxpayers perceive that fraud is rampant in these government hand-out programs. I’ve listened to many conversations among young, able-bodied workers about their efforts to get full disability as their main goal in life. No desire to work hard and advance in our company or at some other type of work. Working toward disability is the goal. I work with a lot of young people and it’s heart-breaking to me to see so many young people, with so much potential, heading nowhere, because they’ve bought into the victim-hood culture. No one has taught them how to deal with set-backs or that to achieve most things in life takes a good bit of time and even more effort. Unlike the theory guy at that other blog, I live in the real world everyday and talk to all kinds of ordinary people and our cultural and political problems go much deeper than whether we say the Pledge of Allegiance, need a new one, of none at all.

      • Able

        Oh I did so enjoy reading the excerpt you included, is this a kool-aid addict or what?

        I wonder what arbitrary definitions of ‘social change’ and ‘generation’ they’ve chosen (made up so as to fit only their preconceptions and allow only their ‘data’ to fit). So massively significant changes occurring (e.g. during/after Independence? The Second World War) all ‘within’ the same population obviously don’t count. He may as well have stated ‘indoctrination is only complete when those who remember a period before our radical/progressive diktats have been exterminated’ lol

        The ‘futility’ in debating an average TEA party member? Ah yes, it must be ‘so’ frustrating having to support your pronouncements with actual facts (which they have the embarrassing effrontery to ask you to show aren’t just made-up, as they are) let alone their annoying habit of presenting reasoned argument supported by real world evidence instead of hypothetical, imagined, if-only fantasies.

        ‘Angry old white people’? Hmm so those who’ve worked, struggled and sacrificed, fought and died, scrimped and saved only to have their legacy destroyed by lazy moochers, to have their savings and investments decimated (or more) by inflation and the rest stolen to pay for the lazy, incompetent or corrupt. Those who because of who they are are treated as second, third or twenty-seventh class citizens. Heh, what have they got to be angry about?

        “They believe a black President is inherently illegitimate”. No, you idiot, they believe that a corrupt, incompetent, anti-American President is illegitimate – he just happens to be black. The racist is the one (you) who supposes simply by the colour of his skin that he should be above criticism and deified.

        Freedom of Religion? Ah yes, so the vast majority of the population are Christian, either active worshippers or raised within its tenets, but their wish to continue the very philosophy and faith which allows even the concept of freedom of religion (its isn’t a coincidence that the ‘only’ nations which allow this are Christian you know) should be utterly destroyed in continuance of your furthering of ‘any religion but Christianity’. It is ‘so’ inconvenient having a faith that counteracts your wish to destroy family, communities and institutions by its teachings isn’t it? (And that dratted Constitution document, written by another bunch of angry, old, white Christians which allows you the very protections you use to try to destroy everyone else’s rights is another ‘inconvenience’ isn’t it?)

        “Decades of indoctrination have given them deeply held but largely false knowledge of history and economics. They are now at their peak of influence: peak income, and as they retire, peak time. Only age will remove them from the national stage.” Dear Lord, I did mention projection didn’t I? I think he must have been looking in the mirror when he typed that. It isn’t/wasn’t TEA party types who consistently rewrote history to hide multi-millions of deaths, abuses and corruption – that would be your lot. It isn’t TEA party types who use economic models so divorced from reality you have to move the goal-posts just to be able to pretend you know what wealth is. Why do I detect a note of regret in the fact that you must be forced to wait for them to die of old-age? It would be much better if you could just follow your role-models example and exterminate them, wouldn’t it?

        I’m sorry LB but this ‘person’ is obviously a true-believer, literally nothing could possibly threaten the vaguest possibility of their deviation from the holy book of Marx. Your only option in dealing with such is to use it as a learning experience, to see just how far they will go, and how much mental gymnastics they will put themselves through, so they will never be forced into the heresy of questioning their cult.

        I’m ashamed to admit, whilst working at St. Thomas’ in London, I and a colleague (a Mauritian, two PhDs and an eidetic memory) used to frequent the bars and pubs near the LSE precisely to engage such true-believers in debate. Think that scene from ‘Good Will Hunting’ where the stuck-up idiot quoting verbatim from ‘the correct’ texts was humiliated and shown to be the fool he was – that was almost us (except for the part of getting the girl – dammit!). Yes, I’m a lefty-bater. Does this make me a bad person?

  3. Justin

    I never (well, rarely) Able, miss the Saturday podcasts put on by one of your exports (gladly received in this case – unlike your Piers, whom I remain steadfast in thinking, a return to “hanging from the yardarm” would be appropriate)

    Who might that be? I hear you ask. That’d be John Derbyshire who, as it happens, only yesterday mentioned the obvious “Grievance Industry.” Maybe it’ll download for you:

    http://takimag.com/radioderb#axzz2WnHzoiiu

    (Mainpage takimag.com)

    • Able

      I already, thanks to your previous mention, read/listen to him regularly – this one was his usual corker, wasn’t it? I wonder if you can get Gucci on an EBT?

      You bought Piers, you keep him. I’m still a bit annoyed that you sent Russell Brand back without a receipt – there were parties when both left you know? (I have no idea of her beliefs or politics but based purely on looks I suspect Katy was actually waiting for me, and simply took him as the only alternative in desperation due to her pining. It’s hard being such a heart-throb what with Anne and Janine constantly feigning disinterest by ignoring my daily letters, phone calls and the occasional billboard or sky-writing. Still, their playing-hard-to-get pretence of getting restraining orders was going a bit too far, to my mind.).

  4. Able

    LB

    With regards to ‘your opponents’ rant, you may wish to view a couple of posts at American Thinker

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/dont_know_much_about_history_1.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/the_you_can_keep_your_doctor_lie_starting_to_hit_medicare_recipients.html

    So, history rewritten – check, elderly to be killed off – check, now all we wait for is the Constitutional Convention to get rid of/rewrite that pesky document.

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