Looking Forward: The coming stupidity

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So are you arguing in favor of a connection between ignorance and conservatism? A little while ago you seemed to object to that as elitist.

    Of course informed people tend to be more "liberal", in modern day America. That is because "conservative" has been identified - deliberately, in some cases, via media efforts furthering political agenda - with pig ignorant and embarrassingly juvenile delusions that must be protected from encounter with reality to survive.
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  3. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    I'm not disagreeing with the numbers I'm disagreeing with the reason for them and the ramifications for them.
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  5. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Your interpretation of what I said would suggest a connection between liberalism and lack of reading comprehension.
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  7. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    How so? what you posted in no way proves your hypothesis and may actually help disprove it with more information. Your posting numbers without regards to why. Why is important don't ignore it.
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    The numbers are so slanted that they should really speak for themselves. It is only the typical arrogance of the left allows for your self serving interpretation of the data. Reminds me of an old joke regarding people with different viewpoints:

    Two ministers, one Catholic and one Protestant, were arguing about theology. Finally, the Catholic said to the Protestest, "Let's stop this endless bickering. It's getting us nowhere. Let's just agree to disagree. You go and teach God's word your way, and I'll teach it his way.'​

    It is this very arrogance that causes the Left to lose at the ballot box so often and, when lucky enough to actually win, to over reach so badly as to turn one of the most popular presidents in history into one of the least popular* in the course of just one year. Well done.

    *Mr. Obama now has the highest disapproval rating in Gallup’s history for a president entering his second year in office. According to a new Washington Post–ABC News poll, among independents, only 49 percent approve — the lowest of any of his recent predecessors at this point in their presidencies. (Obama has lost a stunning 18 points among independents in just a year’s time.) http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/218526
  9. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    I'm not quite arrogant enough (Oh shit, that would make me leftist) to comment on politics I don't understand but I did read all the posts and Tiassa, despite his reputation for rambling was much more succinct and clear in his communication than the rest of you (left or right) put together.
    Even the supposedly intelligent folk, no, not you Madant or even Baron Max (Baron Max!) hold a candle to Tiassa on the literacy front.
    That's all, Carry on.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So if someone points out that Obama's occasional constrained and diffident attempts to maybe, a little, govern in the interests of a few people who don't actually own a bank or an oil refinery

    are not exactly Roosevelt standards of "overreaching", in any direction,

    and to suggest that they are is kind of - how to put this - not fully informed vis a vis reality;

    or points out that what Obama has actually done is not in the public discussion, but rather largely fictional accounts and imaginary events attributed to him dominate the airwaves and major news sources

    so that the discussion revolves around attempted refutations of claims that are - again, how do we put this - not notable for their consistency, clarity, or alignment with ordinary observation, reason, and dictionary definitions;

    or suggests that after allowing oneself to be suckered by panderers and obvious con artists several times in a row, one has accrued some blame as well as responsibility for resisting the next attempt,

    that is arrogance?

    How is anyone supposed to discuss what happened in the US that got W not only elected but re-elected, without disrespecting the shitheads responsible for that disaster?

    As far as the "respect us or we will vote for total asshats and trash the place while parroting juvenilia" threat - been there. Let's try the other way: quit voting for asshats and parroting garbage, and informed elites will respect you.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Say what you feel

    I think you're just saying what feels good, regardless of whether or not it has any real relationship to reality. The critical fault of the Obama presidency so far is that he's tried to be everyone's president. The right wing has shown no interest in working with him. Had he focused on reeling in the Blue Dogs, and simply written off Republicans, he would be in a much better position. But, in trying to satisfy everyone, he satisfies very few, if any at all.

    When you speak of arrogance, it's kind of funny, because his critical fault so far has been to not be an arrogant asshole like George W. Bush.
  12. John99 Banned Banned


    Writing good means your smart? no, no, no, it just means you good at masking your stupidity.
  13. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    Not really numbers them selves or I should say i set of numbers cannot show why.
    the interpertation isn't self serving. lets go with another set of skewed numbers ceo's are the fact that almost all of them right wing and republican mean they refuse to allow lefties as ceo's no their are other reasons.

    ??? Untrue they lose because people are stupid and believe right wing/republican lies. You have heard of the poll when they removed party label's from ideas support rose for the democratic ones. and again you ignore why. find something that shows why and I'll start believing if you just keep posting polls that can be interperted more than one way I'll ignore you as a partison hack.

    the only thing arrogant I can see here is your view that the left most game the system to win.
  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Tiassa is one of the best writers on this site. Even though, as you noted, he does tend to ramble a bit. However, being a good writer doesn't mean you're correct in what you're saying, it just means you present yourself very well.
    From what I've heard, many in the Obama administration seem to share your view. And that's fine. From here things can go one of two ways (IMO). Either the Dems will learn their lesson and tack to the right so that the public is not so pissed off; or they can double down on their previous policies, continue to piss people off, and be destroyed in this years election. Either way, we should see an end to Obama's hard push to the left soon. And thank God for that.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Something about reality

    For future reference, just so I can calculate how properly to adjust the argument, what planet are you on?
  16. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    The same planet that is so worked over Obama, Pelosi, and Reid that Massachusettes is about to elect a Republican to the Senate in a state that hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate in decades. The same planet that has seen Obama's popularity plumet farther than any other president's popularity at this point in his presidency.

    Like it or not, America is a center Right country. Obama won because the country was tired of Bush and a smooth talking Democrat who presented him self as "post partisan" seemed like a great change to make at the time. As a bonus, people got to vote for the first black president, which made them feel good. Now, one year later, they have a serious case of buyer's remorse.

    Clinton was actually a pretty decent president after the Republican takeover of congress. We need checks and balances. Hopefully in addition to taking Massachusetts today, the Republicans will take at least one house in November (better yet, both). Then the Republicans and Obama would be forced to steer a centrist course as each balances out the extremes of the other.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    How soon we forget the vicious hatred of years gone by, the joy of the mob.

    He was subjected to the same ful scale frothmouthed vitriolic, unethical, dishonest, destructive and damaging assault on his governance - all of it, any of it, throughout, by any means available - taht Obama will be facing for as long as he holds the White House.

    Clinton still had a cushion - the US hadn't crashed yet, the army was mostly at home, things like FEMA worked still. He had a huge debt from Reagan and Bush, but there were still enough semi-moderate Republicans to allow him to do something about that.

    Obama has no cushion.
    America is a left libertarian country, mostly. Obama is a right authoritarian politician - not a fringe right whacko like the creationists and Randites and survivalists and racists and closet cases and corporate shills that people the Republican rank and file, but a centrist interested in compromise and pragmatic dealings. He cut the insurance companies and corporate interests in on the health care deal, for example - no lefty would make that mistake, and he's paying for it now. Dog took his arm.
  18. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    So your solution is to have Obama and the dems tack to the right ignore the wishes of the people for a universal medicare for all program and that this will some how how make them more popular?
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Try reality sometimes; yes, it's a nasty taste, but it will build character

    The buyer's remorse is about the idea of post-partisanship; a reciprocal relationship is impossible when one side is willing to compromise and the other stubbornly opposes everything.

    Still, though, if the United States are center-right, such a fact would only testify to the costs of human irrationality. When presented with a choice between an intellectual, complex problem to the one, and an emotional, knee-jerk response to the other, the question is how many people will choose one or the other. The nation's rightist tendencies reflect it's irrationality; this is why arguments like "gay agenda", "socialism", and "elitist" win votes regardless of how far removed from reality such arguments are.

    For instance, your characterization of Obama's "hard push to the left" is absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes it seems that anything other than the perpetuation of injustice is too far to the left for you to stomach.
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I think people are pissed because Obama is more centrist (corporatist) than many people assumed. I think most people want universal health coverage like in Europe, and they are frustrated because the best interests of our people seem to be trumped by corporate interests.
  21. countezero Registered Senior Member

    To return to the substance of the column, I think the responses Brooks' identify have more to do with results than he is willing to admit.

    By that I mean, people continually are being misled and mismanaged by the governing class -- regardless whether it is educated or not. It was the governing class and its experts at fault for the recession, the subsequent bank bailouts, the massive mismanagement of federal and state funds (see California) and the inane policies that continue to alienate people. In response, people have just decided to stop listening to them, based on their poor record of performance, and adopt positions opposite whatever said class has adopted. It's not logical, it's very knee-jerk and it's not a solution. But I can understand why it's happening.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Except that the people "the people" have stopped listening to are not the ones who screwed up. The people have not stopped listening to Fox News featuring Karl Rove, for example, or Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, or the likes of Scott Brown, or Sarah Palin, or the dozen or so Registered Official TV Pundits with their corporate endorsed permanent camps in the most valuable journalistic real estate on the planet, independent of insight or accuracy or even sanity.

    The rejection is not of the governing class in general, but of one steadily more marginalized faction of it, in favor of exactly the faction that made the mess and screwed the pooch. This cannot be mere mischance.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Where do we go, now? Where do we go?

    There is definitely something to that. However, I think part of that particular problem still comes back in certain ways to education. I still wonder what ever happened to the idea of a well-rounded education. One of the challenges facing our society in general is that while Americans can be very, very smart, that intelligence is often overspecialized.

    It is easy enough to recall the computer scientist who can design an application worth a billion dollars in the marketplace, but who can't order a pizza without help. But that sort of extreme conflict only describes the problem in acute relief; for most people it's much more mundane.

    People often rely on suggestions and theories that sound good; my father makes a reasonable example. He truly believed all that noble capitalism stuff that marked the Reagan years, and was repeatedly shocked during the nineties. For years he genuinely resented my presumptions about capitalism and corporations. And then one day his business partners screwed him over in order to consolidate the company under the family name, putting the personable but hapless younger brother in an executive position. And over the subsequent years, as he nursed his wounds, he started seeing that behavior all around him. The biggest blow, I think, was to his ego; he wrestled with the idea that this sort of conduct wasn't a sudden or new aberration. He previously clung to theory despite the details constantly defying him. He voted for years based upon those theories. And when the cooked books started wrecking people's pensions, he finally came to terms with reality.

    In business and politics, even here at our own Sciforums, it's an easy process to see. Various theories and claims make attractive suggestions, but the details confound people to a certain degree. I'm very accustomed to hearing people say, "That's just too complicated," or, "If it takes that much effort to explain ...."

    In consideration of the wreck that is our governing class, there is some burden that belongs to the people. We might consider that it is not so much the educated class that people resent, but what a given segment of the educated class believes. For instance, given a choice between listening to a social studies professor and an MBA, many people will choose the MBA, because the subject or argument will have to do with making money, and that's a fairly simple concept to understand, especially insofar as wealth has a certain emotional appeal. If the complex argument doesn't carry a snappy emotional appeal, it confuses or puts off many people.

    Consider in this context the gay fray. On one side is a simple argument about morality, derived from the Bible. On the other side is a complex argument involving the Constitution, history, psychology, sociology, and even anthropology. Given that the political argument asks a majority of people to give up a certain legal and philosophical superiority they have long enjoyed, the snappy, empowering argument against equality is going to be very popular.

    Or the bailout. CitiGroup announced something like a $7 billion loss for the fourth quarter. Some would criticize this as suggestive that the bailout has failed, but the early note on that loss is that the majority of it comes from paying back federal funds granted in the bailout. Not that bad loans are not a significant portion, but where is the argument about the economy today? It hangs out among the simpletons. Hell, sometimes it seems the only difference between sound fiscal policy and evil socialism is the party designation after the politician's name. While economists are saying that the bailout worked, except it was too small, the opposition screams about the failure of socialism. The latter is an easier argument to comprehend regardless of its inaccuracy. The real facts are more complex than most people want to deal with.

    I know very few people, for instance, who actually read the Voter's Guide that comes around each season. Likewise, I know very few Christians who, despite having read the Bible, actually know what's in it, or how its parts work together. This isn't necessarily because people are stupid; they're overspecialized. Life demands other priorities. In the 1980s, experts pled with parents to spend at least a half-hour a day of "quality time" with their kids. In my daughter's lifetime, I encountered an article in which that period had been cut to fifteen minutes. For the majority of Americans caught up in that microdrama, it wasn't that they were out playing or coking or whoring, but that they were working.

    One of the reasons some of the homeless are so enlightening to talk to is that they have the time to think. What counts as too complex these days seems to be a lot simpler than it was twenty years ago.

    It's not that I disagree with your outlook, but rather that I think that, in certain ways, it embodies the problem. Educated, governing, and business classes: yes, there is overlap, but they are not always the same. Still, though, people lump them all together, and take it out on the most obvious and traditional target: government. We have low expectations of government; we get what we expect.

    Yet outrage at business isn't yet mainstream. Sure, some have tried to make it so, but public anger at business is often aimed instead at government. The health care debacle right now? We wouldn't be having this debate if the insurance companies behaved according to the basic principles of capitalism my father used to preach. Instead, the private sector has pushed society to a decisive point, and it's somehow the government's fault.

    In a way, it's kind of like a cheating husband, caught red-handed, addressing his wife: "Well, if you weren't such a bitch!"

    That only works so far. Any closer, rational examination would probably show that infidelity has long been in the making. But that's too complicated for many, if not most.

    And, likewise with your point. I, too, can understand why it's happening. But that doesn't help the situation until we figure out what to do about it. And, in the end, whether Democrat or Republican, left or right, Christian or atheist or Jew or Muslim, or whatever divide we might establish, the fundamental difference is more often than not one of education, or, at least, information.

    Brooks' prospect, that the coming decade will be significantly shaped by the low end of our political intellect, is a bit disheartening, to say the least.

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