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stoneunhinged
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OK, I've been bugged about this for several years, but I'm now going to ask y'alls' opinion.

The impression I get living abroad is that there has been a turn toward nastiness in American political life. What I'm saying is this: Americans no longer say something like, "My crazy neighbor...God bless him...good man with a sweet wife and a rotten kid...thinks FDR was the greatest thing that ever happened to America. What's up with that?" Instead they say: those who do not have my own political beliefs are the ENEMY. They are stupid, uninformed, stupid, dangerous, stupid, and in fact are my ENEMY.

Now, I don't really want to know any of your political views in this thread. And I don't really want to talk about politics at all. What I (as an American who has lived for nearly two decades abroad) am asking is this: have you noticed a change in political discussion? Is it nastier than ever? Or is that just a false impression gained from Internet forums...WHOOPS!...news forums and stuff like that?
Marlin1894
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I don't think it's a false impression. It's true. It may be cyclical and maybe it's been like that in the past as well. But in my lifetime I've seen the change.
critter
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I think politics has always been nasty, it's just that the nastiness spreads faster now. It's the age of instant communication and nobody takes the time to filter themselves.
We go to check our email =) There's a Yahoo! news story about Obama =) We skim it just long enough to get mad =) We leave an angry comment.
It happens that fast now.

This is an interesting article about the related subject of dirty politics:
http://www.freakonomics.com/2007/11/06/t......-a-vote/
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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Woland
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If you review the political rhetoric commonly used, in print, in the first half of the XIXth century, you will find that the language, imagery, and attitudes were far rougher than anything you see today.

I think that political discourse in the United States, at least on the national level, was very much subdued during latter half of the XXth century, since from 1941 the United States was continually at war, and during the Cold War, there was a lot of importance attached to avoiding impairing the President's implied authority.
stoneunhinged
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Critter, I think I failed to make myself clear. Poltics itself has always been nasty, of course. What I feel to be different is the nastiness toward one's neighbors. My uncle is so far away from my father politically that you wouldn't think they could sit in the same room together. But I don't think it ever occured to them (both in their eight decade of life) that political differences should mean that one can't sit in the same room together.

That's the change. Can we sit at the bar and discuss politics without getting into a fist-fight? My intuition tells me (remember, I'm feeling feminine tonight) that the situation is more volotile--among neighbors--than at anytime since the Civil War.
critter
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Plus with the internet and higher literacy rates, more of us are exposed to other people's nasty little opinions than in the 1800's.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
critter
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 13:34, stoneunhinged wrote:
Critter, I think I failed to make myself clear. Poltics itself has always been nasty, of course. What I feel to be different is the nastiness toward one's neighbors. My uncle is so far away from my father politically that you wouldn't think they could sit in the same room together. But I don't think it ever occured to them (both in their eight decade of life) that political differences should mean that one can't sit in the same room together.

That's the change. Can we sit at the bar and discuss politics without getting into a fist-fight? My intuition tells me (remember, I'm feeling feminine tonight) that the situation is more volotile--among neighbors--than at anytime since the Civil War.


Hmm... I don't know. I only have my own experience.
One of my good friends for a while was uber right-wing and I listened politely to his Rush Limbaugh talk. While doing shots. Politics had nothing to do with why we don't talk anymore.
I've got friends with a wide array of political views. And I like it.
As for neighbors, I've never asked mine about their politics Smile
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 13:31, Woland wrote:
If you review the political rhetoric commonly used, in print, in the first half of the XIXth century, you will find that the language, imagery, and attitudes were far rougher than anything you see today.


Yes, it was. I agree (because I have already reviewed the material).

But I think I clarified what I was really getting at: how do you feel about your neighbors?
tommy
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From “The roaring 20s” to “Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll” to “The too Big to Jail” to where we may be the gutter but can still look up to the stars. And when we look at these stars that are looked up to today, what do we see, but the most degenerate bunch society ever created. God Bless them.
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ClintonMagus
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One thing that I think causes this is the general loss of respect for individuals in general. I also believe it has a lot to do with the part of the country in which you live. In my area of the country, I have very good friends whose political views lie from one end of the spectrum to the other, and none of them would ever get in a fight (figuratively or literally) over their political positions. There may be some good-natured bantering from time to time, but after all is said and done, best friends are still best friends. (College football, however, is another matter entirely. Smile) We still eat together, play golf together, attend church together, and cry for one another when we're hurting.

Contrast this with my cousin who lives in another area of the country. His political views differ from most of those around him. He is a quiet guy and will do anything for anyone, but his wife said that there is downright animosity toward them from acquaintances whose views are opposite of his after they found out he supported the "other guy" in an election. This sort of behavior is just nuts (in my opinion, of course...)

Unfortunately, this fervor causes some to misread or misinterpret even the most benign comments, with the ability to turn almost any discussion into a shouting match.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Woland
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Hi Stone,

Sorry I missed the original point you were raising. But I haven't noticed the phenomenon you describe. Most of the neighbors I know are fairly polite, if distant, even though they may disagree.
critter
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Even though it's unrelated, that article is still a fun read.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
rockwall
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It's not just politics:

Rotten-Tomatoes-suspends-comments-on-Dark-Knight

"The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether," said Atchity. "It just got to be too much hate based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn't even seen."
George Ledo
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 14:34, rockwall wrote:
It's not just politics:

Yeah. Look at sports. Who would have ever thought people at a baseball game would get into a fight? Road rage? So-called reality shows?

I have to wonder if we're somehow being conditioned to think it's okay to get angry or to take everything personally.

What would Darwin think? Smile
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Salguod Nairb
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1) The internet. It allows anyone to voice their opinion as fact without the need of doing research. Now you can find a link which will support your position regardless of it's merit.

2)24 hour News coverage, though coverage isn't an accurate term as now they create the news. Build your position with sound bites taken out of context and some unflattering photography you will get the masses fighting for the opportunity to regurgitate your message with true conviction.

3)Entitlement. A belief that you are entitled to a certain lifestyle simply because you are an American, but I'm digressing. I've been living outside the States since 2003.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
Al Angello
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Jeff
We have hate AM radio, we have a hate cable TV channel, and most of the people who post on "not very magical still" are over flowing with even more hate, and they have driven all the lovers away. I'm about to be attacked by all those who hate so much that they have no time to talk about the elephant in the room (thank God for facebook). I think that it is plain for you to see that all the lovers, all of your old friends, all the people who you used to have belly laughs with are long gone. We don't tell jokes here any more here because humor gets in the way of hate.
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MagicSanta
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If you people in their belief you are pretty correct. Most of the real angry people. Don't have a clue what they are talking about and I flat out refuse to argue with misinformed on eitherside.

I, myself, am very liberal in some areas and conservative in others. I am a Republican who tends to vote Democrat or just pass that office if everyone running is useless. The quickest way to lose my vote is to threaten individual freedoms OR rant about the need of individual freedoms. If all you do is rant about guns I don't trust you, but I think people have the right to have one and I also shouldn't be yelled at because I don't like guns. My neighbor always has a weapon and he knows I don't and we get along fine. I support freedom of religion and freedom from religion only no ones ever ignored my no tresspassing sign, opened my gate, and walked to my door to tell me they don't go to a church...at that point uninvited visitor will hear whatever I decide to say until they leave...

As for the ads I know all the evil but not a thing about what anyone believes themselves. I am voting for Danny Doyle as a write in.
Al Angello
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It ain't about one political opinion against the other. What we have here is a few people with the opinion of hating those who disagree with them, and the direct results is a mass exodus of people who don't hate. Jeff your observations are right on you are witnessing a race to the bottom.

Jeff
Some of the biggest haters here have already denied your assumption.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Dreadnought
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 15:36, MagicSanta wrote:
My neighbor always has a weapon and he knows I don't and we get along fine.


Ummm...well, okay.

Peace and Godspeed.
Peace

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Scott

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LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2012-07-18 15:28, Al Angello wrote:
Jeff
We have hate AM radio, we have a hate cable TV channel, and most of the people who post on "not very magical still" are over flowing with even more hate, and they have driven all the lovers away. I'm about to be attacked by all those who hate so much that they have no time to talk about the elephant in the room (thank God for facebook). I think that it is plain for you to see that all the lovers, all of your old friends, all the people who you used to have belly laughs with are long gone. We don't tell jokes here any more here because humor gets in the way of hate.


Which elephant?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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