Maybe this is just a phase, but it feels like we're going to a place from which we won't return.
From my perspective, you routinely practice “the truth is offensive, mind your manners” style censorship: I don’t believe there’s any way I could have raised Democratic support of racist or sexist policies that wouldn’t have had you show up to censor that under the guise of decorum.
So, please make a suggestion for a better way to discuss it, or admit you’re censoring for ideological reasons — that the truth is inherently offensive.
Again, from my perspective, the reason that comments like this generate such a strong response, including censorship from you, is because people can’t reply to them factually: my comment is factually correct, and the distress from that leads to the non-responsive comments and you censoring it to keep the peace. (The distress because of cognitive dissonance from having supported a party that acted that way.)
Censorship in support of groupthink is unhealthy.
Is it censorship to ban accounts that post that way? Sure, if you like. But it's censorship of aggressive polemic, a.k.a. flamewar—not of ideologies or views.
I'm not sure that you'll believe this, but we don't care what your ideology is or your views are, or even read the comments closely enough to know what they are. We have to look at tens of thousands of comments. No human can read this kind of thing closely all day.
If you're genuinely asking about a way to discuss these topics that wouldn't be considered ideological battle, here's what I suggest. First, review the site guidelines, take them to heart, and rigorously edit out of your comments anything that is not in their spirit. Especially: "Comments should get more civil and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive." Second, give up the idea of winning arguments or defeating enemies, and instead cultivate an attitude of good conversation between equals who respect each other, none of whom knows the whole truth. Third, be more respectful the more strongly you disagree. You can do that by editing out pejoratives and provocations, finding things you do agree on, and remaining neutral inside yourself while writing.
If you do even half of that, you'll find that moderators on HN don't show up to scold you, even though you're expressing substantively the same views as above. But don't underestimate the work it will take to get there. The enemy-smiting style is addictive and takes practice to abandon. I know because I had to do it myself.
I mean, democrats are still white, by large majorities..so they "hate themselves"?
Such simplistic analysis of something so complicated seems.. trivialization to the point of no meaning. This just appears to be trolling for effect's sake..or venting. I know HN's guidelines suggest not attributing motive..but this appears to be such a rancorous post..
Well, it seems weird, but yeah - haven't you yet encountered the spectacle of a white man who seems to be apologising for being male and white? Or at least suffering from some sort of vague, formless guilt from which he can never atone about his 'privilege'?
Seeing people who have been convinced to hate themselves because of how they were born, is a distressing and puzzling experience. I hope it doesn't become something I see too frequently.
Nor was I alleging what you seem to think — I was alleging that the Democrats through those alliances carried out systematically bigoted policies, not merely advocated for them. There doesn’t seem to be a modern right wing equivalent to those acts of systematic bigotry from leftists, but I suspect that leftists frequently talk about right wing bigotry as a cover for their own.
By having a popular myth of right wing racism or sexism, they provide social cover for their intentional bigotry.
However, whatever talk there might be on the right wing, the intentionally sexist or racist policies actually passed into legislation seem to be left wing.
I still keep in touch with many of them on Facebook, and the amount of absolute insanity coming from them is staggering and depressing.
I've seen a significant number of posts like yours, all with the same gist, but they always make me smile; by describing yourself as a "liberal" as something akin to "left of center", i.e opposite of a "conservative", such people actually often really are liberals (in the political philosophy sense) themselves, the exact position that the left has been critiquing since the turn of the 19th century and what continued to be fashionable until about 1970.
The left has never been on the side of property rights, the system of rights in general (which they decry as bourgeois rights), the current form of the state, the existence of capital, income inequality, neoliberalism etc. and the appearance of the Left in the US as "liberal" as manifested in the Democratic Party for instance is in stark contrast to some leftist parties in Europe to whom "liberal" always meant center or center-right.
So you were always a liberal, and you still are, just not in the sense you thought.
I'm confused here - what rights do you view free speech as being privileged over?
 Easterbrook's judgement in American Booksellers Association v. Hudnut (1985)
The only way the US manages to function (in contrast to Germany or Canada for instance) is by codifying similar rules outside of the constitution. For instance, restrictions on child porn, assault letters, threats, copyright etc.
I mentioned Rae Langton in my last comment; she claims to have found a way to challenge liberals on their own ground - pornography literally silences women by convincing people that their cries of resistance are actually encouragement. If speech is to be anything more than sounds and scrawls, it relies on meaning being reliably communicated. If women cannot convey their meaning in society at large then there are grounds to say women are being silenced. Suddenly there is a weighing act between the free speech of pornographers and the free speech of women. Caroline West defends this rather well.
Your views on speech align you closely with millions of far-right American social conservatives who also dismiss the primacy of free expression. People like David Barton, who will say openly that the constitution did not intend to protect the speech of non-christians. People who would love nothing more than for the state to censor pornography, vulgarity, profanity, blasphemy, and flag-desecration.
And that's just the start. You're also in good company with the stricter sorts of muslims -- and there are many around the world -- who believe the death penalty is an acceptable punishment for blasphemy against Mohammed. Even mundane portrayals of the Prophet are labelled anti-muslim hate speech, meant to silence muslim voices, and accordingly met with demands for censorship.
You'll enjoy similar agreement from the Russian state, which purchases conservative capital by outlawing any speech that looks or sounds gay, and the Chinese state which only allows speech that doesn't pose a threat to harmony or the revolution.
I suspect you have little in common with these people in any other way. So why would you want to fight this particular battle along side them?
Groups with wildly different goals can share similar viewpoints, that does not make them allies. The reasoning behind their platforms are not identical, and the desired outcome is unlikely to be identical, even though there is similarity in some aspects of their positions.
Let's say there's Group A:
- Advocates for abortion rights
- Ethically and medically opposed to carnivorous diets
- Requires wearing of a fez and monocle when out in public at all times
- Advocates against abortion
- Opposed to carnivorous diets because eating the souls animals may increase the chance of spontaneous combustion
- Condemns the fez as an abomination against all mankind; doesn't know what a monocle is, still considering boycott for symmetry's sake
What if a member of as yet defined Group C tries to persuade a member of Group A to abandon as aspect of their platform by saying, "I suspect you have little in common with those Antifez jerks in any other way. So why would you want to fight this particular battle along side them?"
That seems like an unnecessarily combative stance to take. Comparing Catherine MacKinnon to Islamic extremists or to unreasonably homophobic Russians is for sure hyperbolic.
@claudiawerner argues, albeit obliquely, that speech that makes certain particular groups feel unsafe should not be protected. She might have somewhat different ideas about what constitutes safety compared to Tony Perkins or Yelena Mizulina. But they'll all argue, convincingly and articulately, that the notion of a fundamental human right to freedom of expression is an error. In general, history has shown that the consequences of such people gaining power over societies is tragic beyond words.
So, yeah, I agree that that comparing them based on their choice of clothing or diet would be a bit of a red herring. Good point, I guess.
In thinking about this though I realized something. Almost like clockwork there is a shifting of the zeitgeist of the nation on 20 year intervals:
- Roaring 20s
- Warring 40s
- Social movement 60s
- Huge growth 80s
- Identity politics 2000s
- ?? 2020s
You can't explain these shifts in era by a new generation alone, as would be implied by the 20 year intervals. It has to be in large part substantial chunks of the existing population also shifting their views. I'm not sure if this is a product of people changing, perhaps as they age, or maybe it's some organic factor of political competition that results in the parties changing. Again, going back to the top - I guess it doesn't really matter. It's the exact same effect and result in either case.
The point being is that I think this is 'normal', but we're the first generation to get to share and experience this sort of shift, and in such a public way, due to the internet.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_St...
My suspicion is that they consider the right these days the calm voice of reason – not in spite of the racism, the misogyny, homophobia, or hatred of the poor, but because of these things, because maybe their sympathies simply lie with maintaining the comfortable order that they are used to, not with any of the ideals that they actually claim/ed to uphold.
1. Don't allow yourself to slide easily or prematurely into contempt. We do it too often these days.
2. Disagree better. You can disagree, but make your case and engage in the responses. Rhetoric has a place but it's being overused.
After all, it’s human nature to (often) entrench when faced with facts that challenge ones beliefs! And that dynamic is particularly acute when someone has chosen to believe the less-plausible-thing, the mark of conspiracy.
"Oh my goodness, how can anyone be so stupid that they don't agree with my (somewhat statistically fringe) position, they must be a troll!"
I'm all for a winding-down of this process, because eventually it could escalate all the way up to violence, but like nuclear disarmament, you first. Or at least some plausible commitment to de-escalation that can be observed to actually happen over a period of time, as a signal of good faith for the next round of talks.
I think this is partially why people like AOC or Ilhan Omar have suddenly achieved success; they know that, regardless of what they do or say, they will never get anything less than total disrespect from Republicans and a large segment of the media; so they're free to ignore that contempt. This comes across in the other direction as contempt, when really it's just a refusal to be intimidated.
Contempt is also being manufactured by a variety of media sources from foreign intelligence agencies to all-American fraudsters like Alex Jones.
I would also caution against concluding that one side "ramped contempt up to 11". As a foreigner observing the US elections from afar, I saw a lot of contempt in both directions, but especially towards conservatives in the USA who were being routinely described as if they were mindless cattle, good for nothing at all beyond slowly dwindling industrial production. Compared coldly to the rest of the world, Trump's policies (some trade protectionism and enforcement of immigration laws) are nothing special or unusual, not in contemporary times nor historically. But somehow this position became held with utmost contempt and was routinely described as the most hateful forms of racism. You can see that as well with Brexit in which the majority of the voting population has been routinely described as racist.
There's no word for this kind of rhetoric other than contempt - it's literally what the article describes, in which the complexities and motives of millions of people are considered in trivial moralistic terms of "you hate, i love".
Although I might agree that AOC's and Omar's success is predicated on Trump being in the White House -- in current climate Democrats pretty much have to circle wagons around even someone as vile as them.
By the way, doesn't, say, Al Sharpton predate Alex Jones?
It’s possible to assume goodwill and sincerity in the limited case of a site like this, but in the general case it’s literaly impossible. Brandolini’s Law ensures that this is effectively a form of asymmetric conflict, and the well-meaning person is doomed from the start. It’s like dealing with a forum troll, who dedicates the whole of their waking life to their “business” while the mods and other users actually have lives and limited energy to spare.
I don’t have a solution beyond using and refining heuristics, but at some point you have to accept that you can’t afford to treat everyone and every viewpoint fairly. At some point, dealing with dishonest, foolish, and potentially harmful ideologies breeds contempt, and when you can’t just log off to avoid it, that contempt will take root. Some people, some ideas are contemptible, and the rational response isn’t tolerance and acceptance.
I think my personal answer is to accept the world and life as it is, not just as I wish it could be. On some level life is a competition, and ideas are a competition. Choosing not to play the game is far from a winning move.
Even that's changing steadily, albeit slightly more slowly/subtly. The slower pace is likely due to the superior moderation here, combined with the astuteness of the HN crowd. But, that latter point also makes HN a prized target for propagandists and trolls.
And, if you look closely, you'll see them, including here on this thread.
But, the rest of your comment is spot-on: the sociopathic troll feasts on good-will and contemptible views should be met with contempt. In fact, however, this is their strategy: purposely earn contempt then claim to be the victim when that contempt is paid. For instance, they trigger vulnerable people, then attack them further when they try to defend themsleves. The trolls justify these attacks by claiming they are the actual victims.
It's almost like a kind of echo chamber for the media and famous people imo - I don't know if thats nessacarily a bad thing entirely, so long as people are aware on some level of that. There just aren't the opinions of suburban moms on twitter. There aren't plumbers on twitter. Cleaners.
Opinions might not matter, but it does bother me quite a lot when you see companies not caring on their support phone lines, on their facebook. There's almost no way to usefully get through to these copanies, but then one journalist idly tweets that they're having a problem with something suddenly you seem to see a dev team drop what they're doing and fix the problem. It's concerning that such behaviour benefits those who need it least.
Surburban moms are also nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, programmers, etc etc, and all of these groups are active on Twitter.
But if you want a community of mums who are there as mums you could look at #netmums and #mumsnet. Here's one example: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23netmums&src=typd
> There aren't plumbers on twitter.
There are plumbers on Twitter. Twitter doens't do a good job of surfacing different communities, especially for new users. When you join the site Twitter makes stupid suggestions for celebs, and makes no attempt to find out what you're actually interested in. But you can ignore those selections and find, and follow, people who you're interested in.
This is a good point. People on low incomes are excluded from digital life, and we should probably work out ways to help them access tech.
> There's almost no way to usefully get through to these copanies, but then one journalist idly tweets that they're having a problem with something suddenly you seem to see a dev team drop what they're doing and fix the problem.
So, this isn't quite what you've mentioned, but using Twitter is sometimes a useful way to get customer support. "This happened, what do you suggest, @CompanyName?" will usually get you the right number to call.
Twitter just doesn't work if people don't care what you say - you have to already be a celebrity, with an opinion that 'matters' to people.
" Twitter doesn't do a good job of surfacing different communities"
Yes, but what I am getting at here is that they are communities in the sense of several important people in the field who all know each other
and thats it.
There simply aren't many 'average' people using twitter regularly, at least in the sense of writing thoughts and/or having conversations.
"using Twitter is sometimes a useful way to get customer support. "
Yes, thats what I was saying. I think it should not be this way - at least, the actual dedicated customer support of the company should be at least as effective as tweeting at them.
I agree that discovery is hard for Twitter, but these communities are there.
I use Twitter to talk to people.involved in suicide prevention, safety of MH services, and quality improvement of MH services. It's given me easy access to a bunch of people.
I'd prefer a different platform because Twitter has problems with hostility on top of user unfriendliness, but people are there.
So, I am not disputing the principle that good faith is required; on the contrary, I am lamenting its demise and the weaponization of good faith against its practitioners.
So, the issue is that while hoping it is sufficient to act in good faith, others are able to profit wildly from their own bad faith. In effect, your good faith empowers them. And, while the current situation unfolded over years, we cannot ignore the recent rapid acceleration and its meaning.
We have come to a place where bad faith is normalized and even celebrated. Not sure what the way back is.
Suspending judgement is an interesting and valuable intellectual exercise, and trying to see other perspectives makes us better people. We have to accept however, that a time comes when just like any other approach, such measures not only fail, but full catastrophically. Just like an ardent pacifist, or an equally ardent militant, lack of adaptability is doom. Sometimes you have to sit down and talk, and sometimes you have to fight to the death.
The trick, and no one has yet figured out a formula for this, is to know when to adapt and how much. Anyone who tries to tell you that the only way to deal with a Nazi is a bullet, or conversely, love, is wrong. It’s advice that sounds good, but it’s totally useless. When to to talk, when to listen, and when to reach for a sidearm is the real question and more often than not people don’t even acknowledge that; it’s too nuanced, too open to interpretation, and too messy.
The thing is, it’s messy regardless of whether or not we choose to approach conflict (intellectual or otherwise) programmatically rather than dynamically.
The difference is people in real life are not the ones who make the decisions.
The world would be a far simpler and better place.
But I think it could go further and question why things get polarized into 2 sides. Our modern society is way more complicated and contains way more nuance than what a binary system can offer.
I don't know what the answer is but I feel that political parties as a shortcut for evaluating individual policy goals is tremendously reductionist, and increasingly harmful to society.
It's not that great for the masses, but it's wonderful for the elite. If you can persuade the vast majority to pick a side, then you don't have to worry about engineering public opinion to your own benefit on each and every issue. All you need to do is control both the red and blue teams. Then you can regularly shit on the proles and retain their support, simply by blaming the "other side" for their misfortune.
Think about how 'great' an achievement that is in terms of population control. You, as a player in the entrenched powers, have managed to get people to not only participate in 'your' democracy, but to actively vote for people they don't even want in office, and to actively attack people that vote for third parties. For instance already see the (rather orchestrated) massively negative reaction against Starbucks' Howard Schultz announcing his intentions of running for the presidency as an independent. How dare you run for president unless you declare yourself one of these two parties that fewer people than ever actually identify as, and that are ever more out of touch with the population! How dare you!
You end up having to view the conflict through an ideological lens, but claiming there is some enlightened non-ideological view and the "real problem" is contemptuousness is mega disingenuous.
It doesn't address, for example, the fact that the two political factions in America now accept different versions of reality. You cannot square that circle with "better disagreement". You cannot paper over a disagreement on the nature of fundamental facts with simplistic calls for a better discourse.
To offer the most salient example: the question of whether or not the President of the country, with the help of his party and a major media outlet, is conspiring with a foreign dictatorship to undermine the democratic integrity of the country.
One demographic believes the above to be true. The other either does not believe it to be true, or alternatively does not believe it to matter even if true.
This is not some issue that can be simply bridged with "better disagreement". I'm sorry, that's just something you don't get to do.
To offer another example: whether the former President of the united states was indeed an illegitimate candidate due to not being a natural born citizen.
One side believes this to be true, the other does not.
This disconnect on reality exists across the spectrum, and the lines are harshly drawn.
If Americans cannot acknowledge that this schism in their country is arising out of a fundamental and deep disconnect on facts and reality that is widening on a day by day basis, not some mere "communication issue", they will never truly be able to understand and address it.
The difference is that some of my conservative friends think it’s ok - or even funny - to have a swindly buffoon as president, and my democrat friends find this appalling.
The New York Times on the other hand is making mad bank promoting a big culture war, so make of that what you will.
> None of my conservative friends believe that nonsense about Obama, and none of my democrat friends believe that Trump is a Russian spy.
> The difference is that some of my conservative friends think it’s ok to have a swindly buffoon as president, and none of my democrat friends agree with that.
This suggests that in your mind, the "sides" you are seeing here are "conservative" vs. "democrat", which I find very interesting. One gets a party label, the other does not.
Secondly, to address your main point:
I don't understand why you feel that it's relevant what the "conservatives you know" believe. The political party that represents that demographic certainly strongly pushes those beliefs, does it not? Did the current President and party behind him not accuse the former one of being born in Kenya? Did they not and do they not still promote the belief that the issue of climate change is a "chinese conspiracy" (or alternatively, some ploy by the liberals and scientific establishment)? Did they prosecute a war on the "belief" that Iraq had WMDs (an action which cost your country several thousand soldiers' lives, and a few trillion dollars)?
Whatever your conservative friends may believe (let's leave aside the fact that you are making an argument via anecdote - your friends may or may not be representative of the demographic as a whole).. the party that represents them certainly pushes these understandings, and pushes them relentlessly, and justifies policy on the basis of those understandings.
I find your response to be similar to the article in question: generalized, abstracted, "stepping above".
Unfortunately, in this circumstance.. the details matter.
By contrast democratic ideology is becoming increasingly authoritarian in that there's extremely little tolerance for views outside the party line. You'll generally find something like 85%+ support for the party line on most any 'hot' issue. By contrast, you'll find much more diversity in 'republican' views. For instance 'gun control' is supposed to be a black and white division, yet you find 31%  of republicans support stronger gun laws and only 13% would support less strict. By contrast, and as usual, you find a whopping 87% of democrats supporting stricter gun control and what measures as less than statistical noise (3%) in support of less strict gun control.
So there isn't really any such thing as a 'republican.' I think 'conservative' also does not necessarily apply ubiquitously, but it's somewhat reasonable. By contrast there is very much a thing as a 'democrat' and the vast majority of people that vote for that party are indeed 'democrats'.
 - https://thinkprogress.org/pro-choice-america-majority-d89630...
 - https://news.gallup.com/poll/243797/six-americans-support-st...
The Republicans elected a prominent birther so this should not be especially surprising. To look at it a little more precisely, depending on which polls you prefer, somewhere around half of them are, in your words, "dumb enough to actually believe that Obama is Kenyan:"
This isn't an unusual state of affairs. Historically, western civilization has faced similar problems with, eg, Catholics vs Protestants (which was substantially worse than anything we have now). The US specifically isn't yet even as bad as it was in the Civil War. The C v. P issue deserves special consideration - religious freedom isn't a principle in the west because it is warm and fuzzy. There were a lot of deaths.
The threat is always that one side gets so delusional they do away with the institutions and systems that moderate the disagreement. Things like equal voting and standing before the law, judicial precedent, free speech, personal freedom, etc, etc. That risk is not concentrated in either wing of politics.
We're already seeing the collapse of many customary norms in Congress, for example.
Does my brother really, truly believe that the earth is 6,000 years old? Really?
One of my besties just revealed that she's an anti-vaxxor. Um, okay. Honestly, I can't even look at her the same way.
I now favor the theory of belief as attire. Every day is Halloween and people dress up aspirationally. Because reasons.
Whatever my brother (and others) now claim to believe, I've no idea how to relate, so I've given up trying to have meaningful, sincere conversations about anything substantial.
To keep things civil and pleasant, it's all just chitchat. With familiar strangers.
There’s a lot of interesting work that sprung out of these ideas, for example can hinge commitments be true/false or just ‘are’, if they can be true/false is it possible to give evidence to prove that?
High level (hopeful) overview i read a while back on the topic https://chris-ranalli.weebly.com/uploads/7/4/6/4/7464753/wit...
You can't square the circle, but you can have a better discourse that recognises the fact. Abortion has been an issue like this for years - one side believes it is murder, the other believes it is fundamental to women's rights. But in the main, debate has been civil and about the issue rather than the people. That might be changing, of course - but it demonstrates that you can have a better discourse.
It is a trick. People are being deliberately played. Power depends on myths. And people believing them.
> "but the article completely fails to examine the causes of said polarization"
Actually the article does exactly that:
> The sources of motive attribution asymmetry are easy to identify: divisive politicians, screaming heads on television, hateful columnists, angry campus activists and seemingly everything on the contempt machines of social media. This “outrage industrial complex” works by catering to just one ideological side, creating a species of addiction by feeding our desire to believe that we are completely right and that the other side is made up of knaves and fools. It strokes our own biases while affirming our worst assumptions about those who disagree with us.
I would add to the above the tech-fueled echo chambers, fake news, and clickbait journalism. As far as actual substantive differences between the 2 political parties, I don't think anything has changed dramatically in the past century.
Feel free to be as ideological and radical as you want. I believe in Medicare for all and UBI. But there is such a thing as healthy disagreements and healthy debates, and never does that include contempt. If you think that anyone who voted for the other party is worthy of contempt, you're part of the problem.
Hopefully no one finds this offensive. Also the problem is far from being an isolated US phenomenon. I see it everywhere across the EU (Brexit being just the tip of the iceberg here).
edit: suddenly @discard0000's comment is no longer dead.
I bet you that if journalism suddenly provided a comfortable and safe living, that within 5 years the entire attitude of the country would change just because the attitude of the cultural influencers would turn to contentness and they would spread that contentness.
I think the problem is that the media is dying, but they've found that in the mean time provoking and agitating for a 'culture war' is sending profits skyrocketing. So you don't need to change the media, but you need to change people that eat this nonsense up. Unfortunately, that's probably impossible.
 - https://www.rosshartshorn.net/stuffrossthinksabout/nyt_opini...
That said, I come not to bury Arthur Cooke but to praise him, for while his arguments clearly have not survived condensation into an NYT op-ed, they're at least thought-provoking in longer-form media, and I can recommend as an alternative to this dumb article his lengthy podcast interview with Ezra Klein on many of the same topics:
I'm also unsure why his arguments have not survived. The op-ed appeared cogent and internally consistent to me. If you wish to argue his writing is superficial, unhelpful, ahistoric etc, why not do so directly instead of just asserting that these things are so.
I also made a direct argument as to the ahistoricity of the piece.
I don't think this is especially important --- my original comment stands on its own --- but I'm a nerd and can't resist clarifying and defending my arguments.
Plus, you get the extra magic of this same schism happening in the West generally.
I'd say there's a lot more to this than US domestic politics.
This is the problem I see and likely the problem the author sees even if he's veiling it. The left wing specifically keeps disregarding other peoples views wholesale on a reputational basis. When I make posts online left-wingers regularly dig into my post history to find a reason to discredit me while right wingers don't even bother looking. If I'm making a right-wing point just like the author I go to pains to obscufate the fact I'm making a conservative argument. Otherwise making the argument is pointless because your intended audience, those with left wing views, won't read it.
I don't mean to make a completely partisan shitting on the left post. I have voted left wing in every election I've been a part of. I blame the uptick in politically motivated violence on the right. I believe "scientific racism" is increasingly becoming mainstreamed on the right through "red pills" as an explanation for say why inequity in employment/crime stats exists and is fair.
However holy shit merely talking to the right these days can cause a whole bunch of people to hold you in contempt. It ultimately will and has backfired because it's entrenching intellectual blindness which is bad for the left and bad for society.
On the left side of the political spectrum, It's not a single phenomena though, I think you can break it down into two camps on the left:
1. older-school globalist liberals. Probably older, supported the Clintons, ect. These people seem to have traditionally looked down on the right as backward, uneducated "basket of deplorables" or whatever. Plays into the ivory tower liberal stereotype.
2. New-school farther left. Probably younger, fans of AOC et al. They'd also be likely to look down their noses, but in more of a moral superiority perspective.
I think the condescension of #1 goes back decades and has already borne its fruit in (at least to a degree) the political situation we find ourselves in today. I worry that group # 2 hasn't learned those lessons and is proving that they'll just repeat the same mistakes. Unless they self-destruct arguing about Israel, which totally mystifies me.
That said... so much of what comes out of the right is complete and utter bullshit. From the massive propaganda machine that is fox, to infowars, to tiny hyper-racist subreddits — there's a lot of noise to separate from the signal that might be a valid, reasonable conservative argument.
With that in mind, sometimes I wonder if we don't need a bit more contempt.
Maybe if the type of outright hate speech the mainstream right seems to support was not acceptable, that would open the floor for some actual conversation.
To summarize: I wish that democrats and the left weren't been so quick to dismiss legitimate concerns from everyone outside of NYC and SF (hyperbolic, I know). But it's right wing (and especially religiously-motivated) politics that have completely skewered our politics and media.
Saying "fuck that and fuck you" to anyone who supports that system is a reasonable reaction, in my opinion.
But where does that leave us? I don't know.
Why is saying "men can't be women" considered hate speech, and "fuck you" is not. One conveys unreasoned aggression, while the other is a clumsy attempt to state objective truth.
The Axiom of Choice is a political thing now? I'd have thought it generally has strong support among both sides of the political spectrum; in spite of their vocal presence online, constructivists are still a relatively small minority of the mathematical community.
I haven't looked closely, but it seems like the preponderance of such violence has been coming from the left these days (ignoring people with obvious mental health problems). Charlottesville is the obvious exception, but clearly overbalanced by the guy that attempted to assassinate a bunch of Congressmen at that ball game.
Are there lots of examples I'm missing?
Also, the bombs sent to a number of democrats, funders of democrats, and Trump critics:
That said, individual events aren't particularly helpful, the media might be omitting major events (or more likely, a lot of smaller ones). So you can refer to this study by the Cato Instititute:
After Islamic Terrorism (9/11 unsurprisingly had a pretty big impact), you have right wing nationalists being the biggest contributors to murders by an order of magnitude.
The Cato study is interesting, but unfortunately covers a period of decades. I was referring to the last couple of years or so, which unfortunately this does not break out.
Mr Bowers, prior to murdering his victims wrote on social media:
"A man with that name had posted anti-Semitic statements on social media before the shooting, expressing anger that a nonprofit Jewish organization in the neighborhood has helped refugees settle in the United States. In what appeared to be his final social media post hours before the attack, the man wrote: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”"
When you justify your actions due to a belief that jews are replacing "your people" you're a right wing nationalist. I am not surprised that ideologies that back this proposition attract crazy people who then commit murder.
I recall that the media did not label the Knoxville UU Church Shooter a right-wing terrorist in spite of the fact that he wrote an actual political manifesto prior to the shooting which reads - and I mean this literally - like a dumb guy quoting Ann Coulter:
For the massacre, the killer actually hated Trump.
For the bombing, consider this: people who want to actually hurt their targets, rather than running a false-flag operation, tend to succeed.
That doesn't disprove that he was right wing.
>For the bombing, consider this: people who want to actually hurt their targets, rather than running a false-flag operation, tend to succeed.
The examples you're missing are the mass murders of Jewish people in a synagogue, or people in a church, or people at a concert, or the shooting of a gun into a crowd of protestors, or the driving of a car into a crowd of protestors, or the disproportionate amounts of domestic violence perpetrated by people on the right.
Somehow none of these seem to count because reasons, but the right are fundamentally dishonest when they discount this violence.
??? Reality begs to differ...
Violence is common. Mental illness is common. Some people happen to have both, but there's few of them where the violence is caused by the mental illness.
When looking at things that predict violence we see that substance misuse is a better predictor. Previous exposure to violence (as a perpetrator or victim or witness) is a better predictor. Either of these combined with untreated SMI where the patient is not in contact with services is a stronger predictor. But SMI itself is only a weak predictor of violence.
You can read the NCISH (National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by Mental Health Patients) data for a research based look at the data.
EG, from the summary on page 6
> most patients had a history of alcohol or drug misuse; homicide in the absence of comorbid substance misuse is unusual
> around half of patients were not receiving care as intended, either through loss of contact or non-adherence with drug treatment
> patients are also at high risk of being victims of homicide
And for a more researchy source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/183929
> In patients with schizophrenia, 1054 (13.2%) had at least 1 violent offense compared with 4276 (5.3%) of general population controls (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8-2.2). The risk was mostly confined to patients with substance abuse comorbidity (of whom 27.6% committed an offense), yielding an increased risk of violent crime among such patients (adjusted OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 3.9-5.0), whereas the risk increase was small in schizophrenia patients without substance abuse comorbidity (8.5% of whom had at least 1 violent offense; adjusted OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4; P<.001 for interaction). The risk increase among those with substance abuse comorbidity was significantly less pronounced when unaffected siblings were used as controls (28.3% of those with schizophrenia had a violent offense compared with 17.9% of their unaffected siblings; adjusted OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.4; P<.001 for interaction), suggesting significant familial (genetic or early environmental) confounding of the association between schizophrenia and violence.
And here's police collaborating with the violence-causers:
Yeah, I've been following the Portland thing a bit. To my eyes, it seems a bit like frenemy sport between PP (kind of full of themselves) and antifa (wannabe fascists without the martial skills).
If this is the extreme of right-wing violence in the US at present, well, wake me if something interesting happens.
Seems pretty minor compared to that prof that tried to murder someone with a bike lock (for example): https://www.foxnews.com/us/felony-charges-filed-against-alle...
And don't miss antifa hating on senior citizens: https://www.foxnews.com/us/portland-antifa-protesters-caught...
With that in mind, anything that Portland police says about antifa in those protests is basically untrustworthy by default.
There's plenty of details about this story by now, all of them easily verifiable, and practically none in favor of the police.
Jordan Peterson remains cool, even with interviewers that treat him badly.
Dave Rubin says repeatedly he's willing to talk to people, and that people refuse him and don't invite him.
Tim Pool keeps his cool in the midst of online and real-world dust-ups.
Tarl Warwick is also calm cool and collected. He'll talk to anyone.
Any leftist who wants to engage others productively can look to Pool as a good example.
Jimmy Dore is on the left (according to himself at least), and he's civil.
My impression is that most anyone on the spectrum will talk to anyone else, except for Resisters, who seem to have a visceral dislike for Trump that clouds their reason; and the far left, who object more or less to the entire western way of life, or capitalism, or something that would require a large amount of dismantling. It takes a lot of dissatisfaction to want to start from scratch, and these persons seem to be the most badly behaved. So my guess is they feel most of the contempt and also are the ones who receive the most contempt -- because of their abusive behavior. In fact, if the far left has any lasting principle at all it would appear to be that contempt is a wonderful club to use against anyone who isn't responding properly to their dogma.
I had no idea about Jordan Peterson until his name popped up in the pronoun controversy. Being sick of all the bickering in this space I never watched it until I stumbled over some old lectures of him on addiction last week. Some of the best content I've ever come across to understand human psychology. His dissection of Pinocchio¹ is absolutely top. I can't say that I agree on everything he says (e.g. his view on abortion gets me riled up like nothing else), but nor do I have to. Whatever his views outside his work in psychology have little bearing on his work and should be judged independently. If society nails everyone to the cross that we disagree in 1/20 topics then there won't be any people left. Peterson actively reaches out to right wingers in order to help them and include them in the conversation. I think this is the way to go - the alternative can only lead to violent outcomes.
Joe Rogan is fairly neutral but has a lot of interesting guests from both sides on.
I'm always fascinated by the fact that some people believe this.
I remember a decade ago, in a heated time during an actual war, Sarah Palin would go on and on about "real Americans," a group which she made clear does not include me. Just one memorable example of the rhetoric she used toward those outside her tribe. She was a huge hit and hugely influential in her party.
Clinton let fly once with a comment exhibiting the same level of contempt that prominent Republicans use all the time and she suddenly became exactly half the problem.
>"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They're racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks – they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.
But the "other" basket – the other basket – and I know because I look at this crowd I see friends from all over America here: I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas and — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that "other" basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures; and they're just desperate for change."
So, what you have is people self-identifying into the abhorrent, contemptible "basket" she explicitly describes (versus the one that is "honorable" and even sympathetic), then crying foul. It really is a remarkable thing.
Now, she was overly broad with her statement "half" and --though she likely used that word to convey "two groups" vs literally 50% -- she admitted as much herself. But, the core of what she was saying is objectively true and observable: a substantial share of Trump's support was made up, in significant portions, of each of these groups.
So, to the question of "contempt", is it acceptable to have contempt for contemptible views? Because what she described in that first basket was certainly contemptible.
And that sums up the modern Right: troll, own the libs, and generally act in ways that are purposely and overtly provocative and comtemptible. Then, cry foul and victimization when you are called on it.
From Trump, to his sons, to the basket of deplorables that just spoke at CPAC, these people are first and foremost, purposeful trolls who seek contempt as a motivating force. Then, people like Brooks from AEI come along with facile, disingenuous articles and lament the contempt coming from "both sides".
Wendy Brown, Philip Mirowski and Nancy Maclean  have gone into immense detail on how these organizations are created and operated behind the scenes to fund and spread self serving ideology and propaganda.
They have huge problem with collectives of workers but see no problems with organizing themselves into 'groups' to not only lobby Congress, but sponsor university economics departments and hire thousands of people to push these self serving views in the press for decades on end. This itself compromises this project for untenable self serving hypocrisy. Its for individuals who buy into these narratives to question if organizing to promote and further their interests for decades is good for the wealthiest why is is not good for workers?
There are thousands of people whose job it is to come up with decontextualized words like 'wealth creators', 'job creators' to create a halo narratives for corporate interests and undermine society, citizenship, the social good, the environment that make 'wealth creation' even possible. So all those take a backseat to 'wealth creator' interests. Since you can't create wealth without society these two cannot be separated but since there are no civil, citizen or worker groups and structures to counter these anti-social narratives you don't get balance but a one sided self interested perspective.
In the AEI world the only thing that matters is people like Kochs business and personal interests and making sure government is not 'impinging on their freedom'. And to achieve this they propagate a fundamental anti-human narrative and create an environment where ordinary people and workers are held in contempt for even expecting living wages and conditions and their access to basic achievements of western democracy like education, health care and living conditions is consistently hollowed out to promote privatization and become 'entitlements'. And we are left with a decontextualized unstable individualized view of the world that exists in a collective but is forcefully detached into a context less existence.
 Wendy Brown - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eowEmcS75JM
 Nancy Maclean - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqQ_dIjr3uU
This is what people dislike about the modern left, when it makes the assumption that the intentions of its political opponents are bad just because they disagree on methodology. There are conservatives who genuinely want to build a just, equitable society where everyone can flourish, and believe that strong welfare problems go against this by making people dependent on handouts. There are conservatives who genuinely believe the best way to achieve a flourishing, happy society is by following the tenants of some religion. There are conservatives who believe a just, fair society is one in which people are rewarded in accordance to how others value their work (how much other people are willing to pay them). Two people can want the same outcome but widely differ in belief about the best way to achieve it; assuming that your counterparty has bad intentions just because they disagree on the best way to achieve something or have a different definition of a word like "fair" does not lead to healthy discourse.
>This is what people dislike about the modern left, when it makes the assumption that the intentions of its political opponents are bad just because they disagree on methodology.
The writing of the person you're responding to is so egregiously bad that it makes me want to kick a puppy, but your argument is really off base here. The rather Randian, post-eighties conservatism that's prominent today is antithetical to a recognition of "our need to depend on one another." As Thatcher said:
They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first.
That's not a disagreement about methodology, that's a fundamental difference in outlook, not to mention intentions. It is not helping anything to say "hey, we all want the same thing amirite?"
But those who would say the only acceptable plan is basically everyone lifting themselves up by bootstraps do not respect or acknowledge the truth of our fundamental vulnerability and dependence on one-another on this earth.
Most people say something like "I believe in the greater good." Which I suppose could be warped into whatever you just described.
My answer has been "To help people help themselves and to help those who can't."
TLDR: You should probably meet some lefties, in person, before you claim to speak for them. Try meeting some righties too.
In fact, that power center is now a cult of personality.
So, seriously, why are we acting like there is any real debate as to the old ideological differences?
Folks like Ben Shapiro wobble a bit in this regard from time to time, but tends to make arguments based on principle and not merely on leadership, and it's safe to say he's got a pretty loud bullhorn right now as well.
I was kinda hoping you'd mention someone new. Or at least someone who had something new to say.
I like Tyler Cowen. He really challenges my own views.
I also highly value Tim Pool's and Jonathan Haidt's criticisms of the left. Alas, they're also from the left.
I actually don't know anyone (contemporary) from the right criticizing the right, along the same lines as Pool and Haidt do for the left.
For instance, I have no idea, beyond denial, what the (contemporary) right's views are towards climate change, globalization, criminal justice reform, inequity, the end of work (AI & robots), food security, poverty, shareholder rights, privacy, forced arbitration, late stage capitalism, nuclear proliferation, mitigating environmental damage (eg Butte MT, Hanford). Etc.
FWIW, I scanned NRO, to assess its current incarnation. Charitably, it's still stuck in the horse race mindset, reactionary. Uncharitably, it's TLDR is: Rich good, liberals bad.
It's almost as if the right has run out of things to say.
Which I find very sad. I fundamentally consider myself a conservative. Raised Republican and in the church, defender of rights, law & order, etc. And it's been a very long time since any one on the right spoke for me. While GWB was probably sincere with his "compassionate conservative" rhetoric, sadly, he had little company.
My point exactly. You must be in a very lonely place.
It is said that Trump enjoys 80%+ approval among Republicans. This is primarily driven by a few policy issues and appointments, even though nearly everything he represents is the antithesis of what Republicans have long claimed to represent.
With all of the moralizing and lecturing from the Right over the years, it turns out the vast majority were bought pretty cheaply.
Where are the principles of conservativism being rigorously championed, debated, and defended?
When have conservative principles superceded the whims of one man and the cult of personality that now dominates the course of an entire party?
4-6 years ago, Ronald Reagan was the gold standard for conservatives. It was perfunctory to mention his name while running for office. When was the last time you heard him invoked?
If it's really conservative principles you care about, then you're not doing yourself any favors by pretending conservatism hasn't been completely co-opted and derailed for other decidedly less-vaunted purposes. In fact, many of these purposes run roughshod over what conservatives claim to hold dear.
That movement was killed, and many of its supposed adherents are complicit.
The sources I cited do still champion it, and seek to discuss it, openly and without malice, with those who are willing to return that courtesy. But from what I can tell, /your/ ears are closed to this feedback. I ask you to open your ears a bit, because right now, you're hearing only exactly what you want people to have said, not what they are actually saying. Not everyone is a mouthpiece for Trump and populism.
But compassion/empathy for the vulnerable/weak is not the only virtue. There is often a trade-off between compassion and other virtues (e.g. competence, discipline, protection of one's interests), and it's not always the case that choosing compassion is right pragmatically or in principle.
Compassion can also be pathological, and have harmful effects, if excessive or applied unintelligently. That's where the smothering mother motif comes from in stories and myths. Sometimes you need to hold people to account, to deter irresponsibility, for the greater good of society and even the individual who is being denied compassion. Too much compassion can and will be exploited by the unprincipled. Compassion above all else is not a sound principle around which to organize society.
Embrace dictators - check; remember Obama rushing to Saudi Arabia?
Attack our norms and institutions - check; Dems are talking about killing the filibuster in the Senate for good right now, and of course they were the first to start the process of dismantling it back when they removed it for non-SC judicial appointments under Obama.
Engage in voter suppression - Maryland is one of the worst gerrymandered states in the Union, and it wasn't done by Republicans. Democrats controlling the state are fighting against the courts (which slapped their scheme down) right now, in a lawsuit filed by Republicans.
Bots and trolls - I dunno about bots, but there's no shortage of left-wing trolls.
The usual answer to all this is, "but it's all for a good cause!", or sometimes, "but we're doing less of it than they do!".
The first one can be valid, depending on one's perspective, but then it would be hypocritical to attack the other side for doing all the same things. If your problem is their goals rather than their methods, then just say so: "they're bad because they want to suppress the minority voters, and we want to suppress racists and bigots".
The second one is broadly true (i.e. left vs right as a whole, as opposed to comparing distinct subcultures in either), but it's not an excuse - it just sets up a lesser/greater evil dichotomy. If those things are valid reasons for contempt -- and I'm not saying they aren't, by the way - then both sides deserve it, just in different proportions.
Whatever the reason, such facile rants are now the go-to technique--an entreaty to engage in a tit-for-tat, ignoring context and degree, thus normalizing awful behavior.
But I won't do it. I think you are well-aware of the difference in degree and of who is clearly and presently wielding power in a manner that runs roughshod over our norms, values and institutions.
My point isn't that "both sides are equally bad" or some such - I don't believe that. It's clear that Republicans, by now, are engaging in all of these practices to a far greater extent.
My point is that you didn't make any distinction about the degree at all. You just said that these are all the things that those people did, and that's what makes them contemptible. I merely showed you what happens when that bar is applied consistently - Republicans end up looking really bad, but Dems still end up looking somewhat bad. If you don't like that result - and reject the notion that your team engaging in those same things on a smaller scale is still bad, just less bad, but enough to feel contempt over - then consider that perhaps your bar isn't where you articulated it to be.
Okay true, different proportions. It's roughly 1000 to 1 that Trump is messing with institutional norms over liberals.
Also, at this point, "liberals" and "left" aren't synonyms. I'm a liberal myself, and I'm quite used to hearing that used as a slur coming from the right, but lately that has been increasingly coming from further left. It was always common sentiment for socialists (the real ones - I don't mean people like Obama, Sanders, or AOC) - but now it's also becoming more common among progressives, who appear to be arguing that some of those norms are constraining their ability to advance social progress. And there's a lot more of them, which is why you no longer have to deliberately go seek that stuff to find it anymore.
I have already mentioned filibuster, but now we're also seriously talking about e.g. Supreme Court packing. That concerns me, because one party deliberately going after those norms is bad enough, but if both become convinced that it's in their best interest, it becomes an arms race. Worse yet is that it creates perverse motivations - the more you dismantle those norms for the sake of being able to implement your agenda, the more you fear the other side taking over (because they would have that much more power to implement their agenda). If the other side can take over democratically, this means that you're motivated to be undemocratic. Republicans have had that problem on the federal level for a while, and I don't think that their penchant for voter suppression is a coincidence. But Democrats also have that problem on state level in many states, and on the federal level in the Senate. If they succumb to the temptation to solve it in the same way, there won't be anybody with a vested interest to consistently enforce those institutional norms, and they will erode that much faster.