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I’m gravely concerned about the state of the Union


Quill
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14 minutes ago, J-rap said:

I could see this varying depending on where you live.  Personally, in my 50+ years, I have never seen or felt this level of simmering contempt toward one another.  And due to social media, this contempt seems far more blunt and things seem to escalate much more quickly.  

I'm not really concerned about the state of the union in the long term, but I absolutely think these times will stretch and change us.

(When I say "long term," I don't mean the forever long term;  all nations have their ebb and flow.)

 

Same. There was always violence in the US over various issues/politics. Now thanks to internet, social media, and news outlets out for ratings, it's gotten more personal.

I work with a few people who have very strong political views and they are vocal about it to the point that they have offended others.  (I have always stayed silent and let people think what they wish about my political leanings, though even then some veiled remarks were thrown my way based on people's inferences.)  I am hopeful that we will be working remotely through the election, because I think the atmosphere in the office would be  unbearable, to the point of hostility.   That I think is something new, at least in my experience. (I am 64  years old and have been working since I was 19, with a break for children/homeschooling.)

I live in a quiet place where there are political signs for both parties. I made it a policy long ago (like 40 years ago when I got my first car) not to put bumper stickers on my car or signs in my yard. I don't believe anyone's mind was ever changed by a sign in someone's yard, or reading a bumper sticker while waiting at a red light. 

 

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5 minutes ago, J-rap said:

I could see this varying depending on where you live.  Personally, in my 50+ years, I have never seen or felt this level of simmering contempt toward one another.  And due to social media, this contempt seems far more blunt and things seem to escalate much more quickly.  

I'm not really concerned about the state of the union in the long term, but I absolutely think these times will stretch and change us.

(When I say "long term," I don't mean the forever long term;  all nations have their ebb and flow.)

 

I think the contempt has always been there.  For many reasons, people are more comfortable allowing it to show through.  Social media certainly plays a hand at that.  The other reason I can't mention because they are too political.   But with regard to social media, I really think things seem worse because we are seeing it more than before with our own eyes not because it is happening significantly more.  Everyone has a camera on their phone so when things happen they get recorded and added to social media.  Previously, every single account couldn't be spread nationally the way today we can literally see it all with the sswipe of a finger.

Of course social media has also fed those people who have longed for an audience.  But I don't think those people were hiding in the shadows before.  Thier voices were just more quiet because their audience was smaller.

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So, political unrest and civil unrest come and go, it's how we change things, I don't like some of the effects but this seems to be the human nature way of sorting things out. I try to keep it in perspective.

What's been worrying me more is the political parties (or I should say, the reports that political parties) are undermining the confidence in the results of the election so that if it doesn't go their way, they can foment enough of the unrest to force the opposite result. I'm also concerned with forces tampering with our election, either with misinformation beforehand, intimidation, or outright fraud.

So, I'm worried about the country. Just because it may not come to civil "war" where there are tanks in the streets and people suiting up in uniforms and states seceding, does not mean that the country is safe from losing itself.

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54 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I've heard people talking about this since the Obama administration and I think most of them are idealists who don't tend toward practicality.  In a war you need an identifiable enemy to kill.  How will each side recognize their opponents on the battlefield?  Who will be targeted by whom?  You can't identify a Liberal or Conservative by looking at them.  On what will each fighter in this future battle sight his or her literal, physical weapon? Will these fighters in this Civil War shoot uniformed US soldiers?  Will they shoot uniformed police officers? Even now with riots popping up among protests, we can see most people aren't willing to go there. Will it depend on which party is in office at the time? And what targets will they secure to win? How will they maintain a food supply to their army?  What will they do about ammunition supplies?

And let's remember that during the last American Civil War people didn't have indoor plumbing, climate control in their homes,most knew how to grow their own food, transportation was horses fueled by eating grass growing unattended all around them most of the year. The disruptions caused by the war were far less than one these days would cause.  Today our supply lines are incredibly complex both in interconnectedness and technologies we're dependent on. Most people wouldn't be able to  feed themselves-even those with the skill set aren't able to produce the volume necessary to sustain themselves very long.  So I don't see people who are talking about civil war in any position to actually engage in one, much less have any hope of winning one. 


The greater fear should be the House Divided issue.  Because we've sunk into polarization instead of moderation, the US is a house divided and any motivated enemy of the US is taking notes on the principles of dividing an conquering, without having to actually do the conquering themselves.  Since American culture is basically adolescent in nature, it's tribalistic, undisciplined,  and reactionary.  If more individual Americans were more mature the nation would be united, disciplined, and pro-active.  Now we get to deal with the consequences of our choices as a whole. 

The bolded is what is so disturbing about the fanatical pigeon-holing of people by features or symbols visible to others. If you’re wearing a mask, you must be a Liberal. If you speak Spanish as a first language, you must be illegal. (Yes, it was intentional that I used “illegal” as a noun in the same way people who think that would.) If you have a police uniform on, you must be a racist. If you drive a pickup truck, you must be a Republican. And so on. 

I see how a certain narrative is crafted to other-ize groups of people, and that is literally, exactly what worries me about it: because if that group of people are just faceless “rioters”, one may feel it’s perfectly fine to just gun ‘em all down. 

Your last paragraph I agree with but I don’t see that as exclusive of civil war; I see it as a more-probable reason to fear civil war. 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

Also, if anyone is interested in how universities have fueled the post-truth discourse which IMO is at the heart of the polarization, the book Cynical Theories is excellent.

Seconding this. And adding The Coddling of the American Mind to the list as well. Just started reading it and it is fan-freaking-tastic.

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As for people at work ... my bosses (husband and wife) for 13 years were very active advocates for politics that were opposite to mine.  They would try to get me to join them, and I would politely refuse.  A lot of smiling and blank stares on my part.

The husband boss, who was fairly close to me as bosses go, will have it on his calendar to contact me around my birthday, which is one month before the election.  I am sure his affectionate message will include an invitation to get involved politically, LOL.  It will be met with more polite, quiet smiles.  😛

Honestly, this is one of the best things about living in the USA - that people can do all things together peacefully while still disagreeing politically.  The idea of putting up actual barriers between us sounds crazy to me.  Even if it kept some people calm for a while, people who can't get along will find something to fight about wherever you put them.  The "red country" and the "blue country" would go through the same crap internally after a short time period.  Show me history to prove me wrong.  At least, united per law, we have mature infrastructure to move forward.

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11 minutes ago, Quill said:

I’m responding to SKL and HappySmiley, who said they don’t see this. 

I, personally, did not see that in elections before 2016, though I knew people who were very committed to their candidate. We had a political sticker on our car for years and years and neither dh nor I was at all worried about the car being targeted by people who hated that candidate. 

 

Gotcha. My first experience seeing it was in 2004.  I watched college student friend burn Bush signs they had stolen from lawns on the side of the road.  I imagine I would have noticed it in previous elections had that not been my first year being able to vote and I was actually paying attention to politics.  

I also saw a fair amount of missing signs in 2008.  That year was interesting in our area because I lived in a blue county and Obama signs were disappearing all over the place.  But for more local races and house and senate seats the red candidates signs were being taken.  It didn't make sense and that is why I remember it so well. 

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I'm surprised by how many people 7 years ago told me they were afraid that Obama wouldn't peacefully leave office, he was going to take it over like a dictatorship and it would lead to a civil war.  All the people that told me that voted for someone who has now threatened to do exactly that, at least according to the bit I listened to on NPR this morning. Because if he doesn't get re-elected it will clearly be due to fraud.  Everybody loves him. 🙄

People have been talking about civil war for years but I never took it seriously because liberals who were most angry are also the least likely to have guns or fight.  But now that a President is threatening to overthrow the constitution and the military is divided on support of a Republican president, and white house staffers are discussing civil war (mentally ill or not)...  ugh.  I'm afraid too.  DH and I talked about it last night and decided we're probably in the safest place if war does break out.  But this is crazy.

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As just a general note to people's signs disappearing or being vandalized, you can put a note on the sign (stapled, taped, whatever) that points out that every time you have to replace the sign it's a $20 donation to the candidate's campaign. This should slow the sign disruption.

(Won't save other property from being vandalized, though, if that's a concern as well.)

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I just bought the Cynical Theories book- hope its good!  

 

I live in Red Country, but we don't belong to either party.  I think they are both nuts and can honestly say I have never voted FOR a candidate.  I vote for the better of two bad choices.  The last election and this one - my choices make me cry.  No one is about bringing both sides together, respecting each other.  Neither side is even reasonable!  

I don't post anything political on FB, have never had a bumper sticker or a campaign sign in my yard- and I never will!  I believe that there is a space between your job/business, and your personal views on religion and politics and that we should all respect those boundaries- from the BLM shirts worn in a business, to shirts promoting a church event!  Do not wear these things to work- no matter who you are or where you work!

Every time I teach American history (like now ) I cannot help but think of how our founding fathers would be so disappointed in us.  This isn't what they wanted!  Too many laws, too much government in our everyday lives, no respect for differing opinions.  

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

I anticipate that, no matter your political stripe, most of us can probably agree that these are troubled times. From issues both small and large, I see a very concerning trend towards distrust and contempt for Others. 

Yesterday my Nextdoor group blew up over a contractor who had knocked door-to-door looking for jobs. Someone literally called the police. Dudes! He’s looking for jobs to probably put freakin bread on the table! 

Police were shot last night in Kentucky. I am 100% in favor of justice. But shooting random officers because they are police?  Why??? 

Justice Ginsburg was a person but pundits of every stripe are talking about her seat. They were talking about her seat before her body was cold. It makes me mad and also just deeply concerned for our country in general. 

I literally fear civil war. I think it almost looks like the battles of the Second US Civil War have begun. If I dwell on it I almost lose hope completely. 

I think the social fabric of this country is unraveling. There are many reasons and many different people and groups to blame. We live in a time of dramatic income inequality. Can a democracy survive when 1% of the country owns 40% of the country's wealth? 

You ask why people shot at the police? To whom are the police accountable? We live in a democracy but yet no one seems to have control over the police? That leads to distrust. Look at the discord in the large liberal cities. Portland, OR, where I have family, is the most liberal big city in the USA but there are numerous complaints about their police force. I remember during the protests in Seattle that the mayor said the police wouldn't use tear gas and then they used tear gas. 

We have many institutions in this country, with the police being an example, that seem to exist outside of the political system. What is it they say about how a bureaucracy eventually begins to operate for its own protection? 

People act violently when they believe they have no other recourse. Many don't believe the political system works to advance their interests. 

The fights over the Supreme Court are another illustration of how broken our system is. Our courts are so important now because our elected branch of government, Congress, can't do anything. Our lives are much more shaped by decisions made by the courts than they are by laws passed by our elected representatives. This is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. The same with executive orders from the president who isn't directly elected. 

There are those who say that Citizens United was the end. If you can't control money in politics, a democracy will fail eventually. 

However, I think we need to be mindful of the reality that strife and disagreements are normal in a democracy. The rhetoric we hear today is not unusual. Look back to the 19th century and you will see similar rhetoric between the political parties. I reject the idea of "norms." Politics should be messy because it directly affects peoples' lives. 

I don't see things improving until we see less income inequality and our entire system is designed to ensure that does not happen. 

Let's also not forget the impacts of climate change. We're already seeing. COVID is a preview. Every year there are more hurricanes and the fires are worse. COVID itself could probably be partially blamed on climate change. 

A democracy where people do not believe that their interests are represented, where wealth continues to funnel up to the top where there are more and more stressors on our infrastructure due to climate change - not a good thing. 

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11 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

I think the contempt has always been there.  For many reasons, people are more comfortable allowing it to show through.  Social media certainly plays a hand at that.  The other reason I can't mention because they are too political.   But with regard to social media, I really think things seem worse because we are seeing it more than before with our own eyes not because it is happening significantly more.  Everyone has a camera on their phone so when things happen they get recorded and added to social media.  Previously, every single account couldn't be spread nationally the way today we can literally see it all with the sswipe of a finger.

Of course social media has also fed those people who have longed for an audience.  But I don't think those people were hiding in the shadows before.  Thier voices were just more quiet because their audience was smaller.

IMO, there is a more significant danger when people can, as now in the age of SM, have their views given credence by other people who feel similarly, even to a violent degree. So, if you were a lone neo-Nazi, who feels hatred for certain groups of people, but it’s super difficult to find/talk to others who feel the same, chances are good no violence will occur. But if you find a group online and you learn that there are fifty other dudes nearby who feel the same and are willing to band together publicly, it is much more likely that violence will occur. (In fact, violence occurs just by grouping together and saying hateful things; it’s not like death or maiming are the only acts of violence that count.) 

 

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15 minutes ago, Quill said:

The bolded is what is so disturbing about the fanatical pigeon-holing of people by features or symbols visible to others. If you’re wearing a mask, you must be a Liberal. If you speak Spanish as a first language, you must be illegal. (Yes, it was intentional that I used “illegal” as a noun in the same way people who think that would.) If you have a police uniform on, you must be a racist. If you drive a pickup truck, you must be a Republican. And so on. 

I see how a certain narrative is crafted to other-ize groups of people, and that is literally, exactly what worries me about it: because if that group of people are just faceless “rioters”, one may feel it’s perfectly fine to just gun ‘em all down. 

Your last paragraph I agree with but I don’t see that as exclusive of civil war; I see it as a more-probable reason to fear civil war. 

Yeah,. I saw an acquaintance on Facebook say they could tell how a person voted by the mask on their face. I started to argue then decided such a  statement wasn't worth the argument.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Who remembers All in the Family?

 

I do.  The type of talk I hear has gotten much much  worse - and is now from people who didn’t used to talk openly that way about others.  

 

And the “media” seems to have replaced journalism.  It is possible to read more deeply now, but most people do not.  And many find comfortable echo chambers in social media or elsewhere to further ramp up and harden positions. 

 

Another change I have experienced is that slurs based on ethnicity etc have been joined by or perhaps even replaced by ones based on politics.    (And I think also that it seems to be more of an open season against whites now.  And or more of a season of being for someone based on non white skin color or non male gender.) 

Or similarly I have had someone tell me that they have a friend who is _______ (political persuasion) but is really an okay person anyway, rather like once upon a time someone might have occasionally socialized with a ________ (ethnic or religious pejorative for someone of a different religion or ethnicity), but you know that particular person is okay and not like most of the ______s    (In other words, aside from one unusual friend situation they don’t normally associate with anyone outside their own political persuasion.) 

 

I used to know quite a few couples who were of different political persuasions and had civil conversations about their beliefs,  held hands going down to “wipe out each other’s vote” etc.  Now, going back to around 2000 election,  I know more than one couple who has divorced over political rancor.  

 

1 hour ago, SKL said:

My observation was that in 2016 a lot of people were afraid to publicly admit their support for a certain candidate.  That seems to be less of a factor now.

 

Still true, afaik.  I don’t know if “less” is true.    

 

It used to be especially interesting to have Government class during an election. This year at our local school it is being held second semester, and I feel relieved because I don’t think in the current times there would be especially interested and involved deep discussion so much as just stirring up animosity.  Maybe there would be ostracism of those who think differently, maybe worse. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’m seeing it now, in both conservative and liberal parts of California.  And I’m hearing that blazing contempt in both places.

 

Same for what I hear.    

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

You can watch documentaries about it, with Reiner  and O’Connor talking about how some thought it was hilarious to make fun of minorities and women. I’m sure the same type viewers if forced to watch it today would think it was a show lambasting them instead of what the actual show was about.

That is so weird.  I had no idea.

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I’m worried too. I also don’t really understand those who act like nothing happening right now is a big deal. It is. 
 

Honestly, politics has never felt so personal to me and what I see going on is disturbing. There are definitely many today who feel this country just doesn’t care about them. Both of my dc, who are part of the LGBTQ community, don’t feel like the current admin cares at all about them. My brother in law, who was literally ran out of his town by the KKK, definitely doesn’t feel like this country cares at all about him. It’s very personal for so many right now and I’ll admit it makes it difficult to just ignore. It seems that if it doesn’t affect people personally, that they just really don’t care at all.

On yard signs, we’re the only one in our entire neighborhood with a Biden sign. We had to install a Ring camera to end people taking it. It’s crazy!

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Honestly, the one thing that makes me feel uneasy is how much of the unrest in the US is being instigated from outside the US, by elements who have no love for the US.  And how many people in the US either don't know or don't want to know this reality.

Whom do you mean? Not that I’m arguing, but I’d guess everyone agrees on this. They just disagree which countries are instigating it.

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Yes quill I am seeing it in my area.  The closest to home being someone went around my immediate part of town putting up signs telling the other side to get out.  I don't feel safe expressing my opinions.   Their is definitely an us against them mentality.  The them is very clearly the other side of the state that typically votes the other party.

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Yes, I’m very worried about it. 

There’s a lovely Russian song set in 1941. I can’t translate it perfectly on the spot, but it’s about people dancing and saying things like “so what that the Germans are in Poland? Our country is strong. The war will end in a month or two.”

And you don’t want me to quote what people in the USSR felt about the country before it collapsed. No one saw it coming. They thought it was the epitome of stability.

This is all to say that I don’t find claims that our current moment is ordinary comforting. Hopefully, this is nothing special. Hopefully, there won’t be a civil war. But let me tell you that people are almost always caught off guard by apocalyptic events. 

As I’ve said on an earlier COVID thread — there is no normal. There are only the present and the future. I fervently hope the future is sweet. I dread that it’s bloody.

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As to defunding the police, one of the best answers I've read comes from a source that is (ordinarily) miles (light-years?) away from my own as a liberal (anti-socialist/anti-fascist).

So my own jaw drops that I'd ever quote AOC positively about anything, but here is one occasion where she makes absolute sense to me:

 

"What does an America with defunded police look like to you?"

Ocasio-Cortez responded, "It looks like a suburb."

"Affluent white communities already live in a world where the choose to fund youth, health, housing etc more than they fund police," Ocasio-Cortez explained.

"When a teenager or preteen does something harmful in a suburb (I say teen bc this is often where lifelong carceral cycles begin for Black and Brown communities), White communities bend over backwards to find alternatives to incarceration for their loved ones to 'protect their future,' like community service or rehab or restorative measures. Why don't we treat Black and Brown people the same way?

Bill

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1 hour ago, calbear said:

I would suggest that you watch the Netflix documentary the Social Dilemma. Here is a commentary (language warning) from Dr. Z about it. 
 

 

 

I don’t currently belong to Netflix, but found the video you linked interesting. 

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I'm actually not that troubled by polarization. People have strong opinions and sometimes they conflict. Polarization is normal. In fact, the idea that political differences don't matter is probably what is unnatural. 

That's why I reject the whole idea of "norms." We had a very peaceful political system in this country after WWII. It was unnatural, in a way. The idea that people have significant differences but get along anyway is unnatural. Underlying that is the assumption that politics don't actually matter anyway. Well politics DO matter. It's life and death, literally. Going to war = politics. Decisions about the welfare state = politics. 

 

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57 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

I just bought the Cynical Theories book- hope its good!  

I hope you find it as fascinating as I did.  I found that it clarified the current moment in a way that nothing else has, and that it has inspired me to call out rather than ignore the post-truth BS that is endemic to my own social sphere.

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3 minutes ago, EKS said:

I hope you find it as fascinating as I did.  I found that it clarified the current moment in a way that nothing else has, and that it has inspired me to call out rather than ignore the post-truth BS that is endemic to my own social sphere.

Thanks for the recommendation! 

As someone who's called out zealots on both sides of the political spectrum, I have to say, it's both much harder and more important to call out your own side. There's very little cost in railing against people you fundamentally disagree with. It's much more impactful (and also more damaging to YOU, which is the hard part) to call out people who vote the same way as you do. 

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Just now, Quill said:

The bolded is what is so disturbing about the fanatical pigeon-holing of people by features or symbols visible to others. If you’re wearing a mask, you must be a Liberal. If you speak Spanish as a first language, you must be illegal. (Yes, it was intentional that I used “illegal” as a noun in the same way people who think that would.) If you have a police uniform on, you must be a racist. If you drive a pickup truck, you must be a Republican. And so on. 

I see how a certain narrative is crafted to other-ize groups of people, and that is literally, exactly what worries me about it: because if that group of people are just faceless “rioters”, one may feel it’s perfectly fine to just gun ‘em all down. 

Your last paragraph I agree with but I don’t see that as exclusive of civil war; I see it as a more-probable reason to fear civil war. 

Plenty of elderly conservatives that I personally know IRL are masking. I don't think masks are a valid example of what you're talking about. If you don't live in a high retirement population state, you might not be seeing it. I'm talking about armed revolution with tactical weapons, not groups of people chanting with signs.  My point is there aren't going to be visible symbols of the sides in an actual war. Actual wars and culture wars are fought completely differently because they're different things.

I think it's funny how the people I hear talking about taking up arms in a civil war are overweight older men.  We live in a day in age where most 18year olds can't pass the military physical, can you imagine a bunch of older guys on a battlefield missing their blood pressure meds and insulin with their bad knees and backs? And they're not exactly the most tech savvy bunch around, so hacking government military tech isn't something that will be happening. How exactly do they plan to win? Are they the crowd willing to kill US soldiers and law-enforcement? Until you're willing to do that, you're not fighting in a war.

Most Americans can't pass up seconds, so the idea that they're going to be on board going to war on US soil and experience all the hardships that go with it is highly unlikely. Most people will realize very quickly that doing without the free flow of clean water, in tact sewage systems, food supplies, climate control, and medical treatment when a nation is at war is going to calm them down enough to keep it from happening. They're not going to walk away from their jobs and leave their loved ones.  Isn't this the same bunch who had a lot to say about the negative economic impact of the quarantine and that the risk of economic damage wasn't worth the trade off of attempting to reduce the deaths of the elderly and medically fragile?  If they thought that economic fall out was bad, then they're in for a real shock with an actual war. When society is breaks down here on US soil men are going to be very hesitant to leave their wives, children, and dependent parents to fend for themselves while the men are at war on a battlefield.  As much bluster as they spout they'll figure these things out quickly.

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm actually not that troubled by polarization. People have strong opinions and sometimes they conflict. Polarization is normal. In fact, the idea that political differences don't matter is probably what is unnatural. 

That's why I reject the whole idea of "norms." We had a very peaceful political system in this country after WWII. It was unnatural, in a way. The idea that people have significant differences but get along anyway is unnatural. Underlying that is the assumption that politics don't actually matter anyway. Well politics DO matter. It's life and death, literally. Going to war = politics. Decisions about the welfare state = politics. 

 

Since you like "polarization" (LOL), let me say that I disagree entirely.

The problem of our age is the rise of "populism," a type of political movement that rests on dividing societies in two, fomenting rage and creating divisions for the political benefit of demagogues.

Liberal democracies require a citizenry that relies on reason to guide their decision making. Honest people can (and do) reach different positions depending on where their reasoning leads them, but reasonable people can find accommodations and compromises.

Rage is the enemy of reason. And fueling rage is intrinsic to populism. Political irrationality has brought our nation to where we are at this moment.

It's a damn shame IMO. 

Bill

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

That's why I reject the whole idea of "norms."

If you don't think that norms are a thing, you haven't been paying attention.  Society is saturated with them, and indeed cannot function without them.  

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8 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Most Americans can't pass up seconds, so the idea that they're going to be on board going to war on US soil and experience all the hardships that go with it is highly unlikely.

War is a collective action issue, though. Once the war starts, people don't get a CHOICE.

I don't actually expect a war to start. But the idea that it can't possibly start because most people would rather not participate doesn't strike me as true. I think it's usually the case that most people would rather not fight and die. 

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9 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Plenty of elderly conservatives that I personally know IRL are masking. I don't think masks are a valid example of what you're talking about. If you don't live in a high retirement population state, you might not be seeing it. I'm talking about armed revolution with tactical weapons, not groups of people chanting with signs.  My point is there aren't going to be visible symbols of the sides in an actual war. Actual wars and culture wars are fought completely differently because they're different things.

I think it's funny how the people I hear talking about taking up arms in a civil war are overweight older men.  We live in a day in age where most 18year olds can't pass the military physical, can you imagine a bunch of older guys on a battlefield missing their blood pressure meds and insulin with their bad knees and backs? And they're not exactly the most tech savvy bunch around, so hacking government military tech isn't something that will be happening. How exactly do they plan to win? Are they the crowd willing to kill US soldiers and law-enforcement? Until you're willing to do that, you're not fighting in a war.

Most Americans can't pass up seconds, so the idea that they're going to be on board going to war on US soil and experience all the hardships that go with it is highly unlikely. Most people will realize very quickly that doing without the free flow of clean water, in tact sewage systems, food supplies, climate control, and medical treatment when a nation is at war is going to calm them down enough to keep it from happening. They're not going to walk away from their jobs and leave their loved ones.  Isn't this the same bunch who had a lot to say about the negative economic impact of the quarantine and that the risk of economic damage wasn't worth the trade off of attempting to reduce the deaths of the elderly and medically fragile?  If they thought that economic fall out was bad, then they're in for a real shock with an actual war. When society is breaks down here on US soil men are going to be very hesitant to leave their wives, children, and dependent parents to fend for themselves while the men are at war on a battlefield.  As much bluster as they spout they'll figure these things out quickly.

I don't understand what overweight or any weight has to do with how well one shoots.  I am not disagreeing with you about the unlikeliness of civil war.  

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Just now, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Not to mention the social pressure of those and the innate desire of most humans to conform and be part of their group is a significant part of social cohesion on a local and national level. Abandon those basic cultural norms and those instincts in people push them into smaller and more polarized tribes to find the same sense of belonging and familiarity. 

When you have the broader national identity and set of behavioral norms and expectations, in a sense it is ‘safer’ to be different on a micro level without it becoming a massive fully that cannot be bridged, because those greater things are still common among us.

Yep. Cultural standards actually make it safer to disagree. 

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@Homeschool Mom in AZ you seem to be thinking that a civil war would only be fought according to 1860’s strategies and tactics, but I don’t think that at all. There are already people getting shot based on nothing but the uniform on their bodies or the BLM shirt they are wearing. There have already been instances of armed civilians marching onto government property to make a point. 

My saying the thing about mask-wearing is not saying, « People who wear a mask are liberals. » I’m saying that is the narrative. In some cases, that narrative comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Literally the point of saying certain things (dems and reps both do this) is to paint « the enemy » as holding some extreme position. Everyone who wants abortion to be legal supposedly accepts any form/time that happens. Everyone who wants immigrants to be granted amnesty wants « open borders ». OR. Everyone who wants abortion restricted must want all abortion to be illegal everywhere. Everyone who wants immigration controlled is a-ok with babies in dog kennels. The entire point is for people to see Those Other People as faceless non-humans. And it is much easier to plot actual harm on faceless non-humans. 

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17 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Since you like "polarization" (LOL), let me say that I disagree entirely.

The problem of our age is the rise of "populism," a type of political movement that rests on dividing societies in two, fomenting rage and creating divisions for the political benefit of demagogues.

Liberal democracies require a citizenry that relies on reason to guide their decision making. Honest people can (and do) reach different positions depending on where their reasoning leads them, but reasonable people can find accommodations and compromises.

Rage is the enemy of reason. And fueling rage is intrinsic to populism. Political irrationality has brought our nation to where we are at this moment.

It's a damn shame IMO. 

Bill

 

 

 

 

QFT, since I can’t like anyone right now. 

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18 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

And this sort of thing isn’t helping, whatever the motivation or whoever tossed them. I wish we could safely and securely vote by mail but at this point I’m hoping most people who are healthy and able go to the polls, so there are less ballots hanging for weeks to cause drama, or people having to be concerned their vote never got conveyed.

This is ridiculous. We should obviously be voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic and we should do our best to make that safe and secure. That shouldn't be a political statement. 

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21 minutes ago, Quill said:

@Homeschool Mom in AZ you seem to be thinking that a civil war would only be fought according to 1860’s strategies and tactics, but I don’t think that at all. There are already people getting shot based on nothing but the uniform on their bodies or the BLM shirt they are wearing. There have already been instances of armed civilians marching onto government property to make a point. 

My saying the thing about mask-wearing is not saying, « People who wear a mask are liberals. » I’m saying that is the narrative. In some cases, that narrative comes straight from the horse’s mouth. Literally the point of saying certain things (dems and reps both do this) is to paint « the enemy » as holding some extreme position. Everyone who wants abortion to be legal supposedly accepts any form/time that happens. Everyone who wants immigrants to be granted amnesty wants « open borders ». OR. Everyone who wants abortion restricted must want all abortion to be illegal everywhere. Everyone who wants immigration controlled is a-ok with babies in dog kennels. The entire point is for people to see Those Other People as faceless non-humans. And it is much easier to plot actual harm on faceless non-humans. 

Going to war nationwide isn't the same as the planned protests or political narratives we're seeing right now. They're completely different things.  Marching onto property armed isn't same thing as being willing to engage in armed conflict that risks your own death and the deaths of your brothers/sisters in arms.  In concealed carry states everyone out in public is around armed people all the time. In high crime areas that's true too.  That's been going on for most of American history and it isn't all classified as civil war. Maybe people in states that aren't concealed carry or that don't include as much gun culture were never really aware of just how many firearms are owned by private citizens in the US.  I'm from the former Wild West. I've been very aware of it.  It's not a new.

It's not until at least one side participates in  sustained armed conflict that civil war is happening. You're equating protests  with civil war and they're not the same thing.  In actual wars people don't announce their locations. They won't be wearing police uniforms or t-shirts indicating their political views either.

Painting the opposition with a broad brush isn't new.  Social media and 24 hour news cycles are new and they've made people hyper aware of the opposition's mischaracterizations of them.  Then you have idealists who have always been prone to that form of argument using social media as a platform to play their rounds of "No True Scotsman."  Again, this is a tale as old as time.   

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

This is ridiculous. We should obviously be voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic and we should do our best to make that safe and secure. That shouldn't be a political statement. 

Except even before ballots, mail isn't getting to its intended recipient all the time. We've had so many complaints on our neighborhood board about mail that they got the message it was delivered -- and it wasn't. THIS WEEK I got several pieces of mail addressed to someone else and had to take it over to their house.  And this isn't a new problem. When I first moved to Washington (20-ish years ago now), I shipped two boxes of sentimental stuff through the postal service that never made it.  Now, when it matters that it get to the recipient, I ship insured and tracked and if possible I hand deliver.

 

We are talking about sending badges to people that are no longer in our troop and I'm hesitant to do that -- offering times for them to pick it up, etc. To avoid it getting lost.

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3 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Painting the opposition with a broad brush isn't new.  Social media and 24 hour news cycles are new and they've made people hyper aware of the opposition's mischaracterizations of them.  Then you have idealists who have always been prone to that form of argument using social media as a platform to play their rounds of "No True Scotsman."  Again, this is a tale as old as time.   

There are other things that are new, too. 

Assuming that everything is the same as it ever was was exactly how I felt back in February. "Meh, virus, the last one wasn't disruptive!" 

Turns out that wasn't common sense or prescience. It was just intellectual laziness and unwillingness to consider the possibility that something different might be happening. 

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

This is ridiculous. We should obviously be voting by mail in the middle of a pandemic and we should do our best to make that safe and secure. That shouldn't be a political statement. 

While I agree that it absolutely shouldn't be a political statement, and while I think that we absolutely should be voting by mail in a pandemic, I'm with Bagels in that at the moment I am encouraging everyone I can to vote in person.  I'm actually encouraging people to do early voting where it's available, in order to alleviate some of the crowding issues on election day, but a) votes by mail are thrown out at a far higher rate than in person votes.  This isn't a political thing; it's always been true, because things like signatures not matching up/ instructions not being followed to the letter/ etc just make it trickier.  b) The current administration is creating a narrative that voting by mail IS a political statement, and is fomenting chaos about mail in ballots.  The risks of a Constitutional crisis are incredibly high right now, and the more definitive the vote is on election night, the (slightly) less risk of that crisis occurring is decreased.  

 

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Just now, vonfirmath said:

Except even before ballots, mail isn't getting to its intended recipient all the time. We've had so many complaints on our neighborhood board about mail that they got the message it was delivered -- and it wasn't. THIS WEEK I got several pieces of mail addressed to someone else and had to take it over to their house.  And this isn't a new problem. When I first moved to Washington (20-ish years ago now), I shipped two boxes of sentimental stuff through the postal service that never made it.  Now, when it matters that it get to the recipient, I ship insured and tracked and if possible I hand deliver.

We are talking about sending badges to people that are no longer in our troop and I'm hesitant to do that -- offering times for them to pick it up, etc. To avoid it getting lost.

Right. This is where you work really hard to make sure that doesn't happen with mail-in votes, not where you decide to save costs right NOW and also spend time talking about how it's going to result in massive voter fraud. 

There are states that have had mail-in voting for a long time. It's not like this problem wasn't obvious back in March. 

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

While I agree that it absolutely shouldn't be a political statement, and while I think that we absolutely should be voting by mail in a pandemic, I'm with Bagels in that at the moment I am encouraging everyone I can to vote in person.  I'm actually encouraging people to do early voting where it's available, in order to alleviate some of the crowding issues on election day, but a) votes by mail are thrown out at a far higher rate than in person votes.  This isn't a political thing; it's always been true, because things like signatures not matching up/ instructions not being followed to the letter/ etc just make it trickier.  b) The current administration is creating a narrative that voting by mail IS a political statement, and is fomenting chaos about mail in ballots.  The risks of a Constitutional crisis are incredibly high right now, and the more definitive the vote is on election night, the (slightly) less risk of that crisis occurring is decreased.  

I don't disagree with you that people should vote in person if they in any way can, for the reasons you've described. It's just sad. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_number said:

Right. This is where you work really hard to make sure that doesn't happen with mail-in votes, not where you decide to save costs right NOW and also spend time talking about how it's going to result in massive voter fraud. 

There are states that have had mail-in voting for a long time. It's not like this problem wasn't obvious back in March. 

ANd there are people in those states who have opposed mail-in voting for a long time too.

 

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53 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

I don't understand what overweight or any weight has to do with how well one shoots.  I am not disagreeing with you about the unlikeliness of civil war.  

Anyone going into an armed conflict needs a certain amount of physical fitness to have any chance of surviving it or conquering the enemy. That's why the military has fitness standards, even during world wars.   Granted, being overweight isn't relevant to firing a gun accurately, but let's remember that being in battle is incredibly physically demanding in so very many ways.  Overweight people don't do well in physically demanding situations. They tend to need regular meds, something tough to get in war zones.  Yet I'm seeing middle aged guys with big guts going on about fighting civil war.

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