Are you a moderate?

Jan 2014
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The problem with your premise is that no one drowning is going to reach out for a shark, number one (even in an exaggerated analogy). Any thoughtful person of moderate intelligence should be able to piece together simple observance that the features (not the political labels) they dislike, are no different or no more attractive simply because another person or person of another label, possesses them. If one hates lying and elites, WHY would one vote for a lying elite? It's as simple as that.

What happened to the ability of Americans for basic observance? I grew up in a Republican family, had/have tons of Republican friends and was a Republican myself, but that was before the neo or "new" republicans moved in and usurped the party and demonstrated some of the worst features of humanity as planks in their platform. When anyone. I don't care what their party is or the label on their hat or T shirt says, needs to cheat and lie to get ahead, THAT, not the labels, NOT the political party affiliation is the thing, not just me, but many Republican friends and family noticed in enough people of what was a different (in terms of philosophy and action) political party than what it was transforming into and has become.

I have always voted candidate throughout my life, even when I considered myself a Republican. Now, I am an Independent, but because the shift in general ideology of the neo republican party has been so much toward the right, I sit in what was considered at one time, mainstream Republican territory that has since slid into solid Democratic territory, because of slide to the right. I really don't care about political labels as much as what the bulk of any party stands for at any one time and what individuals within that bulwark stand for, on their own. I find one has to apply some generalization, but apply it with some discrimination as well as "all" people of any one grouping are not identically the same and within any grouping there are hardline extremists in the direction of the polar tip of any shared ideology and there are those that tiptoe the border between what separates them from the "opposition". At any one time though, the bulk of the weight of any group can fall anywhere between the extreme edge and the middle border dividing line that separates them from the opposition.

Currently, I and many others, including my formerly Republican friends and family, see the bulk of neo republican party as having moved toward the extreme right end/edge of the political spectrum pole. The mystifying thing is how utterly partisan some, especially on the right, have become. They complain about features and characteristics of "the left" and reject them, while at the same time, electing candidates that have the same features and characteristics and in many cases, more terrible versions of them. For example; Trump pledged to "drain the swamp" in Washington of millionaire elitist professional politicians, yet look at what he has filled his cabinet with, look at his own bragging about his own elite status? THAT, does not make sense, but to say under certain conditions and aiming propaganda at a certain profile of people, reality can in fact, be twisted as his has in the past and people led, by promises that are in a way, greedy to their own special interests, (nationalism/false senses of patriotism) and "trained/taught" by bombardments of simple slogans and memes to find blame where it does not really lie and to in many ways, be MORE, not less selfish and be LESS, not more, humane and considerate of one's fellow human beings. The world has witnessed the tragedies of where such things led and how massive numbers of people were led, because of hard times (in many cases out of anyone's control) to as you have said, grasp on to what someone is telling them are easy solutions, which often involve finding scapegoats to blame, unity through nationalism and suggestions of "sense of duty" (false senses of patriotism or patriotism by causing guilt feelings if one does not wave flags and salute or otherwise go through the less important motions of appearing to be "patriotic").

The Great Recession, set up many of the same conditions for many people, not the majority, to be led in the same sorts of directions and trained/taught to believe that the opposition party, in spite of the remarkable economic recovery made (that was also in spite of all the "stifling" regulations and taxes, people were taught/led to believe was happening, even as the economy was recovering, in spite of them. Con artistry works, because it appeals to a sense that someone acting friendly is going to do something great for those taken in by the con artistry. Sadly, greed and selfishness, inherent in us all, but stronger in some than others, is a large factor in how con artists are so successful. They act friendly, gain trust, then get their victims (marks) to hand over, if not their life savings, their power, all because those handing over those things are led to believe those they hand them over to, are going to get something greater in return. When they then find out they have been ripped off, the don't want to talk about it, because they feel like fools.

I have been with friends when young, who were talked into buying all kinds of books about a "cause" we were all asked to give some time to hear about. When someone tries to hard sell me, I get turned off, even if I might really want what they are trying to sell me. Immediately I start thinking about what the angle is and what's either wrong with the product or the terms of the sale. I try to look around the curtain, as in the famous "Wizard of Oz" scene where Toto reveals the man behind the controls of the "Great and Powerful Oz" and I often find something that is not revealed in the sales job, sometimes something that was truly deceitful, sometimes not so, but the point is, that a level of skepticism prevented being ripped off by people who were perfectly friendly, but a bit too (and suspiciously) pushy when it came to trying to close a sale

I'm not sure what it is, but perhaps it is our living in a consumer oriented society and one where greed seems to be okay for a lot of people, at least from their side of the coin, but not when others are greedy. People appear to have lost the capacity of what I had believed was innate. That is, to be observant and connect dots in a very basic way. I see more and more people crossing the road without so much as a look up from their "devices" to see if the coast is clear. I see people walking four or five abreast on a busy road or on a sidewalk totally clueless as to anyone else in the world, that is sharing the same road or sidewalk. I have seem many of the same people that do such things be among the first to complain when others do the same to them. Where did this disconnect between what others do and what we do, come from? I don't know other than to think something led us to become a very selfish society and that is being amplified by people like our current POTUS, rather than a feeling of being considerate about and toward, one's fellow human beings.

It's sad and I see no end to it until many people sit down and take the same stock of themselves that they constantly take of others and see if they meet the same criteria they expect others to meet or even more simply, try to get into the habit of thinking of other people aside from or in addition to themselves. Practice seeing things not only from their own perspective, but from others as well, based in the thought of putting themselves in the place of another and looking at themselves or simply doing unto others, the same things they want others to do undo them and NOT doing unto others, the things they DON'T want others to do, unto them.

The other side of it is choosing a free for all, where any reality, any subjective truth goes and either live with it without complaint or simply tolerate the absurd world of whining and complaining by people who complain that someone else, did to them, the same things they do to others.
again, you are quoting facts and logic. this simply doesn't work for those who have seen administration after administration (both parties) ignore them. while it may seem illogical to you, it's not logic but emotions they are operating under. not everybody operates logically when they are desperate.
 

Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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Trump, himself is not that far right, actually. If you look beyond the high profile issues, Trump more 'right-of-center' than far right.

The problem with Trump is not so much where he is on the political spectrum with regards to left or right, rather how he operates, e.g., bypassing congress and acting unilaterally. He is very dictator-like and make no mistake about it; if he could, he would be POTUS until he is 90 and he would change the laws to do it.

I consider myself to a tad bit to the center as far as the whole Left/Right dichotomy, but polar opposite to Trump's nationalistic/authoritarian controlling type of government.

Here is a typical political spectrum chart:



I'm more towards the liberty side of the spectrum, this is why i will often clash with some of the staunch nationalists of our site over issues of police brutality, institutional racism, etc.
Considering that the pole opposite your own on the diagram is "down" and is labeled "tyranny," it's obvious that anyone who would use this diagram to illustrate political positions would be "towards the liberty side." That's like saying you're mostly against poison.
 
Jun 2013
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again, you are quoting facts and logic. this simply doesn't work for those who have seen administration after administration (both parties) ignore them. while it may seem illogical to you, it's not logic but emotions they are operating under. not everybody operates logically when they are desperate.
I don't disagree with what you are pointing out, BUT how would you or anyone else. suggest such a concern be solved, short of an immense tragedy like WWII and where Germany was led, based on so many of same base or similar premises, regarding a worldwide depression, a nation defeated and depleted by WWI, blaming/scapegoating democracy, "liberals" and certain groupings of people, calling for nationalism and suggesting threats to a way of life and promoting fear of dilution of the predominate "group" or population, again, making use of domestic and alien groups as scapegoats and suggesting they are to blame for all the ills.

I recognize the problem is similar to trying to explain to those with substance abuse problems how their abuse is hurting them overall and in the longer term, for all the "effect" they "enjoy" from whatever substance they are abusing. Basically, it is up to them to finally see how what they are doing is harming them, in order to start the process of stop hurting themselves and in many cases others, as a result.

I would hope we don't need another terrible financial meltdown, another war or other sort of tragedy for enough people to wake up and stop doing things that actually hurt them and others in the long term, in trade for short term "feel good" periods, but I am not so sure that is possible, based on what I am seeing. The only hope is that from what information can be gathered, those that continue to support Trump remain in the minority of Americans and if those in the majority can unite enough and get out to vote, they can at least be able to act as a check and balance to the worst and be able to reverse some of the reversals on things like environmental and consumer protections.
 
Jan 2014
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south
I don't disagree with what you are pointing out, BUT how would you or anyone else. suggest such a concern be solved, short of an immense tragedy like WWII and where Germany was led, based on so many of same base or similar premises, regarding a worldwide depression, a nation defeated and depleted by WWI, blaming/scapegoating democracy, "liberals" and certain groupings of people, calling for nationalism and suggesting threats to a way of life and promoting fear of dilution of the predominate "group" or population, again, making use of domestic and alien groups as scapegoats and suggesting they are to blame for all the ills.

I recognize the problem is similar to trying to explain to those with substance abuse problems how their abuse is hurting them overall and in the longer term, for all the "effect" they "enjoy" from whatever substance they are abusing. Basically, it is up to them to finally see how what they are doing is harming them, in order to start the process of stop hurting themselves and in many cases others, as a result.

I would hope we don't need another terrible financial meltdown, another war or other sort of tragedy for enough people to wake up and stop doing things that actually hurt them and others in the long term, in trade for short term "feel good" periods, but I am not so sure that is possible, based on what I am seeing. The only hope is that from what information can be gathered, those that continue to support Trump remain in the minority of Americans and if those in the majority can unite enough and get out to vote, they can at least be able to act as a check and balance to the worst and be able to reverse some of the reversals on things like environmental and consumer protections.
of course, I agree. but never forget - it is easier to recognize a problem when you are on the outside looking in, and immeasurably more difficult when you are on the inside looking out.
 
Likes: KnotaFrayed
Jun 2013
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of course, I agree. but never forget - it is easier to recognize a problem when you are on the outside looking in, and immeasurably more difficult when you are on the inside looking out.
As Americans, we are all "on the inside, looking out", it depends upon where one is standing. Each has a right to see things "their" way, but divides, become less productive, not more productive, for the nation, especially when they widen. There has to be some anchor to prevent the rift from widening. If that anchor is not in reality, then what would those who appear to ignore reality expect to find as a result? Compromise and coming to terms has to be based on something. Simply refusing to even listen to facts and figures because they are proffered by what is imagined or taught to be the "enemie" or "opposition" and believe only what comes from unverifiable (except among themselves) sources, leads where?

How many people would not only trust, but follow a virtual stranger (Trump was only widely known in gossip and entertainment rags and circles as a brash wealthy celebrity and star of a reality TV show. People in his own state and hometown, saw the reality of his character and actions and they went thumbs down on them.) into the woods because they told you where they were taking them would reveal what sounded too good to be true? Not only that, this virtual stranger was sounding like he believed he was the best thing for humanity since Christ walked the earth, maybe even better. Again, the flaws Trump supporters talk about regarding Hillary Clinton were apparent in Donald Trump, BEFORE he was elected and have been proven to be valid since. What thinking person is wary of one person, but throws all caution to the wind with someone even cursory study showed, was even MORE suspect? This is what non-Trump supporters are asking and the only answer they are getting is that he isn't/wasn't Hillary Clinton, yet that makes no sense, considering the reasons they give, for not voting for Hillary Clinton and it is almost or as if, they just don't care if the nation is led down the tubes, as long as it was not led there by HRC. If large numbers of men did not vote for Clinton because she is a female, that would even make more sense, as highly discriminatory and chauvinistic, perhaps even misogynistic as that might appear. It would also make some sense on one level to claim they didn't want Bill Clinton back in the WH in any capacity or that women who voted against HRC did so because they didn't like the way she handled Monica Lewinsky, yet that still does not make sense on other levels regarding Trump being a known adulterer, news of additional alleged affairs and payments to silence news of the, his "locker room talk" and his unaffected stature in spite of all those who have fallen to the "Me Too" movement.

Once again, the question remains. Do the vast majority of Americans not care that they have elected someone to office, based on reasons that make no sense at all? Even more importantly, if they elected Trump in spite of himself, because they thought Trump would bring them one or two things, like reversal of Roe v. Wade or support for discrimination against LGBTQ folks or even people of color and immigration status, what about all the other things about Trump they don't care for? Again, it is like a Faustian deal with the Devil. Yes, the Devil might grant you what you wish, but what would anyone who makes such a deal expect when it comes to the ultimate cost of it? Would they HONESTLY believe a deal with the Devil is NOT going to cost them far more than the value of that which the Devil granted them?

Again, if people voted for nonsensical things, in trade for a few things that make "sense" to their senses, then what sort of nation are they expecting, will result? It's like taking a job taste testing rat poison so you can be happy about having a job.
 
Jan 2014
16,472
6,301
south
As Americans, we are all "on the inside, looking out", it depends upon where one is standing. Each has a right to see things "their" way, but divides, become less productive, not more productive, for the nation, especially when they widen. There has to be some anchor to prevent the rift from widening. If that anchor is not in reality, then what would those who appear to ignore reality expect to find as a result? Compromise and coming to terms has to be based on something. Simply refusing to even listen to facts and figures because they are proffered by what is imagined or taught to be the "enemie" or "opposition" and believe only what comes from unverifiable (except among themselves) sources, leads where?

How many people would not only trust, but follow a virtual stranger (Trump was only widely known in gossip and entertainment rags and circles as a brash wealthy celebrity and star of a reality TV show. People in his own state and hometown, saw the reality of his character and actions and they went thumbs down on them.) into the woods because they told you where they were taking them would reveal what sounded too good to be true? Not only that, this virtual stranger was sounding like he believed he was the best thing for humanity since Christ walked the earth, maybe even better. Again, the flaws Trump supporters talk about regarding Hillary Clinton were apparent in Donald Trump, BEFORE he was elected and have been proven to be valid since. What thinking person is wary of one person, but throws all caution to the wind with someone even cursory study showed, was even MORE suspect? This is what non-Trump supporters are asking and the only answer they are getting is that he isn't/wasn't Hillary Clinton, yet that makes no sense, considering the reasons they give, for not voting for Hillary Clinton and it is almost or as if, they just don't care if the nation is led down the tubes, as long as it was not led there by HRC. If large numbers of men did not vote for Clinton because she is a female, that would even make more sense, as highly discriminatory and chauvinistic, perhaps even misogynistic as that might appear. It would also make some sense on one level to claim they didn't want Bill Clinton back in the WH in any capacity or that women who voted against HRC did so because they didn't like the way she handled Monica Lewinsky, yet that still does not make sense on other levels regarding Trump being a known adulterer, news of additional alleged affairs and payments to silence news of the, his "locker room talk" and his unaffected stature in spite of all those who have fallen to the "Me Too" movement.

Once again, the question remains. Do the vast majority of Americans not care that they have elected someone to office, based on reasons that make no sense at all? Even more importantly, if they elected Trump in spite of himself, because they thought Trump would bring them one or two things, like reversal of Roe v. Wade or support for discrimination against LGBTQ folks or even people of color and immigration status, what about all the other things about Trump they don't care for? Again, it is like a Faustian deal with the Devil. Yes, the Devil might grant you what you wish, but what would anyone who makes such a deal expect when it comes to the ultimate cost of it? Would they HONESTLY believe a deal with the Devil is NOT going to cost them far more than the value of that which the Devil granted them?

Again, if people voted for nonsensical things, in trade for a few things that make "sense" to their senses, then what sort of nation are they expecting, will result? It's like taking a job taste testing rat poison so you can be happy about having a job.
I will reply as best I can, which may not be sufficient. you're "deal with the devil" comment is quite interesting as it indicates the level of division currently gripping - and possibly crippling - this country. our political system has forced this upon us. I know......I know.... this is being simplistic. we, as citizens, have, over time, allowed this to happen. we have created this monster which will devour us. this has been done slowly and consistently over many decades. we allowed the choices to come down to either left or right - other opinions are subjugated by a series of rules by the major parties. everything is either all black or all white - as determined by the two parties. now, you and I - and many others - understand this. we understand the word "compromise" has become a dirty word for both of the controlling parties. compromise is what founded our country. it was expected from all representatives and senators. that is no longer the norm. we were warned about this by those who founded this government - as well as the influence of the "merchant class" on politics. we have not listened - and we are reaping the harvest of weeds which our neglect has sown. this will continue until a dramatic change is made. as Franklin is attributed to saying - we must all hang together, or we shall surely all hang separately.
 
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Rasselas

Former Staff
Feb 2010
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An article I read today that championed the socialist-progressive viewpoint called the Democrat party "the second-most enthusiastic capitalist party." I'm good with that. I think the market makes a good basis for economic relations, with ameliorations of its worst features by government. It's said that no one washes a rented car. I'm concerned about what detaching ownership from so many elements of economic life would do to...economic life.