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Discussion in 'Other Hot Topics' started by Darryl, May 24, 2010.

  1. swellman

    swellman Approved members

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    You, and I have to think, most everyone else knows I wasn't playing the race card. I wasn't suggesting race as a motivation for anyone on these boards. It was merely a true anecdote of how people think that a fact, that may very well be true, is relevant to opposition to a public (or private) figure when it isn't. To that person, Obama being black had a whole ball of ignorant understandings all rolled up into one awful word. To him, it explained everything and served to reinforce every irrelevant "tag" the President was ever going to receive - it is textbook confirmation bias. What I loathe is people banking on confirmation bias. The talking heads of both philosophies bank on it - politically and, most importantly to them, financially. There's a reason that Rush followers were called "Ditto Heads" because that's all they had to say .... "Ditto". If that's not the lord-god-king-bufu of confirmation bias I don't know what is.

    As for the "socialist" tag "socialist" is the new "communist". You may very well be using the word to be simply descriptive but you have to admit that there are some who use it as a derogatory term. These people aren't trying to give their audience a civics lesson - c'mon. They are banking on the fact that the word resonates with their audience in a way that stirs up opposition and paints a negative image for the recipient - they are banking on confirmation bias.
     
  2. Brensdad

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    If I thought he was a communist, what makes you believe that I wouldn't say so?

    He seeks power through controlling the flow of money through the economy. Communists use machine guns. If I thought he were a communist, I would have said so.
     
  3. Lisa P.

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    You made it clear you weren't tagging anyone here as racist.

    But "guilt by association" is as powerful as confirmation bias. You just put the people who disagree with you in the same room as a person who would call the president the meanest word in our language. I don't want to be in that room, I don't think I am in that room, I don't think I'm bigoted in the sense of racially prejudiced and I don't think I'm bigoted in the sense of the description you give here. I think I try -- try -- to listen, learn, and take each issue on its merits instead of prejudging based on ingrained assumptions. I may fail, but I'm not unaware of the temptation and I doubt you know me well enough to see into my soul and know I offend in this way more than your average chick.

    As for confirmation bias itself, I'll ask you -- Rush listener? 'Cause if so, you know what a joke that ditto stuff was. If not, you are relying on anti-Rush commentators to confirm your biases about Rush listeners, aren't you? The only way to avoid CB is to take every single question on its own merits, using past knowledge to inform your judgment but not pre-dispose it. Pretty tough to do, for any of us.

    Well, I'll use socialist as a derogatory term, but that's because I think socialism is a bad program that leads to people doing wrong to each other. Doesn't mean I use it as a slur. If I called someone a j@ck@ss, I'd be slurring him or her. If I called someone a monarchist, I wouldn't be slurring him or her, but if you knew that I thought monarchy wrong you would know that I didn't approve of this person's philosophy and didn't think you should, either.

    Yes, some people just use it as a jargon word to get a knee-jerk response. But not everybody does. Are you sure you can see in the heart and mind of another person and know who is doing which?

    You commie you.
     
  4. Lisa P.

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    Hey, Swellman, didn't you call me a communist once? Marxist? Comrade? Hmmmm. . .. .(I don't need to put a little face at the end of this, do I? Don't make me. . . ).
     
  5. swellman

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    Yes, it was "Comrade" and it was obviously tongue in cheek. :p
     
  6. swellman

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    I'm sorry if I dirtied everyone in the room - that was not my intent .... drama queen. Did I just type that out loud?!? :eek:
     
  7. SueM

    SueM Banned

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    It is my belief that the Dems/Repubs or the "right/left" (however we want to categorize the two parties in our country) are two sides to the exact same coin. People eat up their differences and every few years the "side" which is not in power gets to moan and groan and talk about how awful the other side is (which they are). Then, the power structure changes and it's the other sides turn to moan and groan and talk about how awful the other guys are (which they are)... It's *almost* commical... except that it isn't because our entire political system is based upon lies, corruption and nonsense. :)

    It's so much bigger than "Obama stinks" and/or "Bush stinks"... which I know that everyone understands but by making it always about Obama/Bush (right/left) or whoever the next puppet will be... dilutes the fact that we need to look deeper as to why we are where we are...
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

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    That's fair enough. It just always amuses me to think of posters from other countries snickering every time Obama is painted as some fringe left-wing looney.

    Well, you can use whatever term that you like. If you want to be understood, I'd suggest that you stick close to dictionary definitions, but you can call him a one eyed, one horned flying purple eater, if you want. As for your question about what I would call a person who wants extensive federal involvement and regulation of most aspects of American life, I guess I'd call that person a typical American career politician.

    Really? I thought we already established (1) that he's not really socialist; and (2) it's at least debatable how radical the man is. "They" want to boogedy Joe because it's not in their best interest for the other party to remain in office. It's really that simple. "Reasonable middle of the road Democrat" doesn't motivate the base like "radical left-wing socialist." And I'll admit that I'm a snob, but you give a lot more credit to the intelligence of the American public than I do. Honestly, what percentage of people do you think could adequately explain the difference between Socialist and Communist? Ten percent? What percentage of people even know that there IS a difference?

    Lisa. Where did I paint a nasty picture of you? Where? I have no idea why you are so offended by my post.
     
  9. hawkeyegirl

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    I could not agree more with this post. Two sides of the same coin, indeed.
     
  10. Lisa P.

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    I knew I was setting you up for a spike here!


    I'm not offended by your posts, I'm just trying to get through. This is not one of my snits about forum courtesy, if that's what you thought. I don't think anything here has been offensive, so much, I just think dissecting the voice but avoiding what the voice is saying devalues the conversation, don't you?
     
  11. hawkeyegirl

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    Well, yes, but I also think that it distracts from the conversation when you (you generally) throw in phrases like "radical, left-wing socialist." For me, it's kind of like if I was talking to swellman and he said, "Lisa P. said x, y, and z. But, you know, she's a white woman...." Now, it's true that you're a white woman. (I think. You're not a 58 year old Asian man living in his mother's basement, are you? ;)) But now we're not talking about what you said anymore or what swellman thought about it. We're talking about whether he was being descriptive when he was calling you a white woman, or whether he was implying something else altogether. And if so, what he was implying. Now if we were talking about whether you are indeed a white woman or an Asian man, it would be pertinent to the conversation. And of course, our race and gender inform probably all of our opinions, so I guess you could argue that it's always relevant. But it's pretty obvious from the context that swellman meant SOMETHING by using those words, and it probably wasn't just to remind the reader that you are white and female.

    I'm not saying this very well.
     
  12. swellman

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    Great ....
     
  13. Lisa P.

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    I think I get the idea that you get distracted by what you see (reasonably) as rhetorical speech and derailed into addressing that instead of the content of the post.

    And that it's valid to address jingoism because if one group consistently practices it that says something about the group.

    But I think this example you gave really, really, really, really highlights why we are talking across each other.

    Because, see, me being a white woman (or Asian man) tells you nothing -- nothing -- nothing -- nothing about me except my skin color. If I were a white woman growing up in the middle of Kenya my race would effect my emotional and social development, but in ways entirely different that if I were a white woman growing up in Georgia or Massachusetts. You cannot make any judgments at all about what I believe or what I will do based on the fact that I am a white woman.

    But if I am a Catholic, what I believe and what I will do can to a degree (and sometimes with flaws) be predicted.

    If I am a Republican.

    If I am a mother.

    If I am an exotic dancer.

    If I am a Marxist.

    These are all choices. Now, you may have a skewed view of what it means that I'm a Marxist. And you can't prejudge whether I will wear red on Monday because I chose to be a mother. But if I describe myself as a practicing, believing Catholic (or someone can reasonably assume I am one because I go to Mass, confession, and take communion each week) then it is reasonable to conjecture that if you vote for me as a politician you are voting for someone who takes certain political positions, unless I specifically tell you that I don't.

    No one is born a radical, left-wing socialist. If a man chooses to conduct himself in a way that he seems to me to be a radical, left-wing socialist it is fair for me to label him so in order to oppose or support him. I may be in error, but I'm not being unfair. I'm not bashing. I'm describing in a way that applies.
     
  14. Lisa P.

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    Hah!

    And you think a scenario in which you call me a white woman is worse than one in which you call me a drama queen?

    You're not getting out of this thread intact, buddy.

    I will confess, though, that although no one on this forum knows with certainty whether or not I am a white woman, everybody knows I'm a drama queen. . .
     
  15. hawkeyegirl

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    Well, I will grant you that you did not choose to be white or (presumably) choose to be a woman. And maybe they weren't the greatest examples, but I do think that you got my point. So yay for that! :)

    And I don't think it's unfair to label people. I just think that it's not always particularly advisable if your (general your) goal is to have a rational, reasonable, intelligent conversation/debate about politics on a message board. So when Sarah Palin gives a speech saying that Obama "pals around with terrorists," I don't get particularly riled up. (Well, I kind of do, but to be fair, I'm not sure she could say much of anything that wouldn't get me riled up.) She's not trying to have a reasonable discussion with someone. She's rallying the base, which is her job. But if in the middle of a conversation on here, you dropped that phrase, I'd wonder what exactly you were trying to accomplish with it. It would be a pointless distraction from whatever was the topic at hand.

    Oh, and for the love of all that's good and holy, let's not discuss whether Obama "pals around with terrorists." ;)

    ETA: Ooooh. I thought of a good example of what I'm trying to say. Lots of conservative commentators like to use the president's full name when talking about him. So "Barack Hussain Obama" is the man's name and all, but come on. When people use his full name, is it really any great mystery what they're trying to imply?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  16. Lisa P.

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    No. way.:eek:
    Check for eclipses!
    I'm quitting on that, actually thrilled to get there, and I won't jump down the Palin rabbit hole (now ya know I care, that kind of restraint is usually beyond me.).
     
  17. Darryl

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  18. SueM

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    Oh no... I spelled comical with two m's... :eek:
     
  19. StillMamamia

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    Hahahahaha:D
     
  20. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Darryl, I've been feeling really furious lately, as the oil slick spreads and most of us are doing our damnedest to forget what a nightmare we have wrought. And much of that anger is focused on the anti-government, bash of civil servants that the Republican party has been fomenting since the Gingrich days.
    You spend 20 years telling everyone that all regulation, all regulators, all civil servants, and NIH, all CDC, all Federal Reserve, the EPA, etc etc documents are nefarious at their core ... well, you get this environmental disaster and the sort of long winded, puffed up, bs that passes for political debate these days, (as exemplified in the last hijack of this thread).

    How depressing. Happy 4th of July everyone ... :(
     

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