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Political Decay
Negative Partisanship Rises
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  • FriendlyGoat

    Democrats have some ideas. Don’t do more high-end tax cuts. Don’t kill all the unions. Don’t put corporate-leaning judges on the Supreme Court. Don’t return health care to the “markets”. Don’t let state legislatures exclusively determine education policy. Don’t let the environment be trashed. Don’t deregulate business practices, especially those in financial matters. Don’t put religion in government. Don’t sell the Internet to the highest-bidding for-profit entertainment companies. Don’t ignore climate change. Don’t ignore the wealth divide. Don’t be intimidated by gun nuts. Don’t pretend 401(k) solves retirement income for most workers. Don’t send men and women to dumb wars. Don’t neglect the infrastructure. Don’t advertise prescription drugs on TV. Don’t tacitly support rape culture. Don’t act like running prisons and jails is actually “economic development”. Don’t allow unlimited secret money into elections. Don’t blame immigrants for the mess their employers caused by being a magnet for immigrants.

    If this list—-and perhaps dozens of other items—–makes us the “Party of Don’t”, so be it.

    • Pete

      The Democrat’s mascot is a jackass. In reality, it should be a tapeworm or some other parasite.

      .

      • FriendlyGoat

        My donkey is prettier than your elephant. (Sorry, for want of any higher-level thought, you have invited us to this type of discussion.) C’mon, Pete, why don’t you either engage or give it up.

        • Pete

          For the record, mine is not an elephant; it’s an eagle. The eagle represents the America the Democrats (parasite class) wants to destroy.

    • JR

      So you are for everything that is good in the world? Jeez, aren’t you tired from caring so many straw men? Guess what, the other guys want the same things. It’s just the proposed methods that differ. But I’m glad your own personal hobby horse, namely stealing from those who work by the government with ever increasing powers. After all, you are doing it for the good of us all. Even if some of us are too blind to see what’s good for us. Thankfully we have our betters to tell us what’s what.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Actually, Pete, Republicans are on the opposite side of virtually everything I mentioned, with the possible exception of advertising drugs on TV. Your side and my side DO NOT all want the same “good” things, differing only on approaches and methods. The differences are stark and they are substantial. Many of us are indeed voting against your side as much as for our side because we think the summation of your platform is empty deception.

        • JR

          And we’ve heard and seen enough of Leftwing nonsense to reject that as well. Jee, really, you want more infrastructure? And the Republicans don’t? REALLY??
          Listen you have deeply held religions believes in the power of statism. Just don’t expect me to live under your theological doctrine. Your self-righteousness and hypocrisy are sickening.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sorry to make you sick. Just tickin’ off a good list of how we differ.

          • JR

            I see you are taking a special pride today in not comprehending different points of view. Everything that doesn’t fit your statism agenda is empty deception. Examples of failures such as Soviet Union, current Latin Left and North Korea are not enough to dissuade you. You are intent on fostering that kind of hell on the rest of us. And then you wonder where Donald Trump and his schlocky disdain for elites comes from. I especially loved your suggestion for judges. Heaven forbid you get a judge that doesn’t rule in your favor, or who might expose you to a different point of view. No, we can’t have that. Don’t worry, with Hillary’s inevitable election you will be able to destroy more of our liberties. You are winning and dragging the rest of the country into the gutter with you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I don’t wonder where Donald Trump comes from as much as you do.
            Nearly all the serious Republicans wonder how the heck he is their standard-bearer, and why the spirits of Scott Walker or Jeb Bush or Chris Christie didn’t sell anymore EVEN TO YOURSELVES.

          • JR

            Perfect example of Leftwing thinking. Alito is issuing ruling with which I disagree, he must be wrong. Well, I think the Wise Latina is using her position for advocacy and we are trying to avoid that as well. But like I said, you think anything and everything that furthers the role of statism is good. And your side is winning, so please stop lecturing us on how everything you do is for our own benefit and that you are the good guys because you hate all the right people.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I don’t hate the “right” people. I made a list of things they dwell on and that we don’t believe in.

          • JR

            Your lack of belief doesn’t make them not important to others.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s not about me. It’s about all of “us” from the center-left to the far-left.
            The conservative positions taken as a whole are “too much” and too many flat-out hoodoos. The country is catching on. Your new guy Trump is helping that to happen. I can’t predict the outcome of the election, but I am hoping you folks have now reverted to Goldwater-level suicide. We can only wait and see.

          • Tom

            And then, 16 years after Goldwater, Reagan came along and said the exact same things.
            Which is why we talk about the two terms of Jimmy Carter and the election of Walter Mondale…oh wait…

          • FriendlyGoat

            Which proves you could sell an actor on image——one, BTW, who was far more balanced than Goldwater. Now you’re trying to sell an even more quirky entertainer on image. Did you notice that the other 16 starting GOP candidates didn’t get enough traction even in your camp? Cruz was your purist. But the game doesn’t work without a dash of hoodoo in the standard-bearer. So, hoodoo, we are getting.

          • Tom

            Given that Trump’s biggest numbers were in the NE, you might rethink that statement. But I doubt you will.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The reason the Bible Belt folks were less enthusiastic about Trump is that he is not a Bible man. They all know it and most of them are going to eventually say, “Meh, so what? We’re going with the NRA and the Chamber of Commerce like we always do. We are mesmerized by hoodoo anyway. Yea, Nascar!. Yea, Duck Commander!”

          • Tom

            No, they’re going to go with Trump because the Democrats bled off their only candidate with crossover appeal back in February.
            And you accuse Republicans of buying into hoodoo.

          • Anthony

            FG, relief perhaps? Here’s a quote from my city’s national news paper and just may be apropos: “I think people in this country have had enough of experts – ignoring the experts (economics, scientists, academics and others with knowledge, experience and intellectual curiosity) does simply things. It’s easier to feel than think.”

            “Those who expect to benefit from tearing down structures and strictures they see as holding them back may find otherwise when the euphoria of empowerment wears off and they have to live with what they’ve wrought.”

    • Fat_Man

      My disgust with you goat, makes me hate liberals even more.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Actually, your accumulated hate overrides and shows through on virtually everything you write on this forum, whether to me or anyone else. Don’t blame me, dude. I’ve been looking at your stuff for years now and “Goat” didn’t make you into a perma-cynic. All I’m trying to do is keep your style of rancor from running our government.

        • JR

          So you go on sites where you know a lot of people are conservative/libertarian and write lists that push the statist agenda you so desire. Obviously, it creates a reaction like it is meant to. Hooray for you!! What this is telling me is that you are not interested in dialogue, but merely to have men with guns enforce your version of paradise on everyone else. I have opposed people like you as far as I can remember, because I think you are an insufferable prig.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Of course you do. But I wrote a good list—-for good reasons. I know that I did and I don’t care what you think. That’s why I write—for me, for clarification of thought. Not for you or for anyone else whose mind is locked.

          • JR

            Oh yeah, your mind is wind open…. Riiiiiiiiight……..

          • Tom

            Given that your vision boils down to “give more stuff to the government and trust the politicians not to waste it” I’d say JR described it pretty well.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Once again, of course you would. Entrenched conservatives really have a hard time with a list of 20 big subjects that their spokesmen are vocally on the wrong side of—-at once. I wrote a good list, and I know that I did. I didn’t write it just to fluster all of you guys into disorganized unison of off-point complaints, but it does have that effect, apparently.

          • JR

            perfect example of begging the question fallacy. You assume that you are right. Nay, you are convinced of it. You won’t hear any argument for why you might be wrong. Is that an example of liberal tolerance towards other opinions. Or is this more of an example of liberal nuance of thought? I’m not sure.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I just listed twenty ideas from and for Democrats in an original comment. Please review the reactions to them from my regular gang of critics here. There has not been any real argument for why I might be wrong on the twenty of them taken as a whole—-or even taken individually. My frenemies here have brought up jackass, straw men, being “made sick”, statism, disdain, hate and a general discussion of how intolerant I and all liberals must be. I am in a minority of numbers here, but that does not mean you guys have offered anything at all OTHER THAN the same conservative tribalism. Seriously. I am not blind and I CAN see it. You should take a look.

          • JR

            You used a bunch of buzz words like “rape culture”. Whatever, you are so blinded by your own self-righteousness that further conversations with you are pointless. What you described is pure statism, something that always and everywhere leads to misery. Go live in Venezuela, where all of your statist dreams came true and leave the rest of us to lead our lives the way we want to, not the way you want us to.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Just because you don’t like my buzzwords? Go to Venezuela? Well, just for you I went out and polled my goats. You know what they said? Tell JR we’re all staying here. So I agreed with them. We’re all staying here.

          • JR

            Like all religious fanatics, you are blinded by your self-righteousness. Heaven help us and protect us from people like you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            This is amounting to less and less. You’re making fun of Heaven and asking for its help at the same time. Now leaving thread.

          • JR

            You won’t be missed.

          • Tom

            Why take the time to write a parody list when summing it up is so easy? Your politicians are no better than ours, and are worse because they demand more power be given unto them and taken away from the people they supposedly serve.
            This in itself would be bad enough, but thus far they have proven themselves to be utterly incapable of not mususing the powers they’ve been given.

          • FriendlyGoat

            It’s not a “parody list”. It is a list of many of the largest policy consequences of the election outcome. If I could get independents to focus every day on this kind of a BROAD listing of things to think about, conservatism would completely fold. That’s why I write lists.
            Even with few people here and even fewer caring what I might say, I need to know WHY Hillary’s emails, Bill’s womanizing indiscretions, and the size of Donald’s jet, empire or appendages are not what we are voting on. I DO KNOW. I CAN ARTICULATE IT. That matters in substance.

          • Tom

            You really need to work on your reading comprehension. I was talking about writing a list parodying yours.
            Fact is, if people really understood what the Left’s solutions to America’s problems entailed the Left would fold like a house of cards.
            You need us, Goat, because if we’re not here you’re the conservative–and that would be far too much for your self-image to bear.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Go ahead and write your parody list. It will require more real thought than you are otherwise affording me.

          • Tom

            Yes, but it would require more effort than your regurgitation of Democratic lies and half-truths is actually worth.

    • Matt_Thullen

      This is in line with what the article mentioned. You seem more motivated by opposing what you think Republicans want more than anything else.

      • FriendlyGoat

        I wrote it to be in line with the “negative motivation” theme of the article. And yes, most of my “don’ts” are in opposition to what conservatives want to do—-as far as anyone could tell from their summed rhetoric.

  • Anthony

    “Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers – political parties, career politicians….”

    “Neurotic hatred of the political class is the country’s last universally acceptable form of bigotry.” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/how-american-politics-went-insane/485570/

    • QET

      In fact many would argue, and I would agree, that it is the psychotic hatred of the political class for the people that is the most prevalent form of bigotry in this country and preceded the recent populism. That populism was provoked by that bigotry. The directionality of the cause and effect is all-important for a correct understanding of today’s situation. This Atlantic piece tries to condense way too much political history into so short a space. And I’ll just observe that his paean to Tammany Hall and smoke-filled rooms represents a de facto repudiation of the entire Progressive movement, which is the movement that over many decades and after bitter fights succeeded in accomplishing the “disintermediation” that the writer now deplores. Rauch disingenuously slights a Platonic ideal of democracy when in fact the ideal whose actualization we are burdened with today is the ideal of 20th century Progressives, who embraced “direct democracy” with a vengeance. See the 17th Amendment for the first and foremost act of such “disintermediation.”

      • Anthony

        Many argue much, qet.

  • QET

    I admit to directing my political energies to fending off what I see as a totalitarian wave the Left is attempting to generate rather than Stoically disregarding that tsunami bearing down on us in favor of what some some self-regarding moderate (such as TAI, I think) would allow to be “positive” or a “solution.” What I do not agree with, however, is that this is a nihilistic attitude. In fact it is the tsunami that is without morals and will sweep away all before it. It is the Left, after all, that has called, openly, militantly, for disregard, disrespect, of our enumerated Constitutional rights, at least when it hasn’t been able to secure the transmogrification of those rights out of all recognition by like-minded Federal and state judges. To oppose such a threat is, I suppose, “negative” in a dialectical sense, but it is no way negative in the New Age sense.

  • Matt_Thullen

    I’d be willing to bet that negative partisanship has risen in lockstep with the use of the internet and social media. Social media allows everyone to only connect with one’s group, and the internet allows people to only read stories that are in line with their preconceived notions. Furthermore, even if you have a diverse personal relationship, debating politics online, through apps or through email is just not the same as having that discussion face to face.

    I’ll also note that before declaring a general pox on both houses, Haidt et al have shown that conservatives understand liberals much more so than liberals understand conservatives. I’d chalk that finding to the notion held by many liberals that conservatives don’t have any arguments worth listening to, and that liberals are dispassionate, data-driven, smart people.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Some liberals stay off of “social media” and concentrate on making our arguments to and against those of conservatives in forums like this.

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