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Extremeskins

The State of the Conservative Voice in the Forum and the Nation


Jumbo

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Over the years here, I have become used to reading posters in threads, or via PM's and e-mails, with strong right or left political leanings remark on how the "other side dominates the board" or words to that effect---typically at the same time. :ols:

Most of the time it is obvious to me that it's like many other "opinions" I read from many of the more "fervent" politicos in here---more just the noises in their own head :D as opposed to detached objective and accurate observation or valid data-gathering processed via competent critical thinking.

I have even had grad students in various psych classes, including statistics & research, follow the tailgate at times during the last 5 years. Someday I may share more. :evilg:.

This all touches on psychological traits (perception/beliefs/ego development/cognitive and communication habits etc) common among many aficionados of politics as an "activity."

So....

....recently I received a PM from a well-known and generally well-thought-of regular who was bothered by (among other things) the way the left was slamming the right on this board and perceived current imbalance favoring the lefty direction. I actually do find there is a more prominent left-side (and libertarian) presence at this time, and I can see a lot of good reasons why that may be so right now. :ols:

But one thing I note as an independent, and I've been stating it for awhile now, is that it is hard to find many (maybe a couple?) popular public "faces" of the GOP, or conservatism, in the media or among their candidates and elected officials of higher office, that doesn't seem to be firmly fixed somewhere on a scale going from "highly and rigidly partisan at all costs" to "flat-out bat-**** crazy" and/or "totally full of ****."

I don't think I have ever seen it this bad. And I do blame a lot of what I regard as a truly serious deterioration of the intelligent conservative presence in our political landscape (and, frankly, just as evident among the conservative posters as a group) to the absolute dumbing-down (to put it mildly) dynamic as championed by Fox News and right-side talk radio. :(

I remember a "lefty loony" atmosphere being dominant when Gore was running, with all the "fixed election" and hanging chads and Bush = Hitler nonsense. Then it was that side (both on the board and in the media) that was stealing the stupid-spotlight. But I actually think that somehow, even when they should be sitting prettier than they have in a long time, the conservatives are presenting in a decidedly worse light than the liberals were back in their Nutty Times. But that's a more subjective view. :pfft:

And yes, the left is full of flaw as I also often note--particularly when it comes to competence in management/leadership and design/execution of effective policy. But I'm not doing a "one side bad, other side good" deal. Never have, doubt I ever will. I am saying one side seems way more out there and struggling for sanity and credibility. And given how big the "advertised" fail has been for the dems the last couple years, it's very interesting (and very disturbing) to me.

So...while many of us can likely predict who will say what in response to all this (more or less)...go for it. ;)

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Holy crap we libertarians are being lumped in with the left instead if the right-that's new :ols:

Comprehension rulz, amigo. :) .

It was stated only in terms of an increased presence. The last year has seen more volume in both posts and posters of that leaning, as well as more "commitment" (or level of interest if you will) among many who do post. :)

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Holy crap we libertarians are being lumped in with the left instead if the right-that's new :ols:
lol I thought the same thing. Not sure that's a marriage either spouse will be happy with.

<edit> I see Jumbo's reply, and I kind of expected that's what was meant. But the wording was such that ACW's interpretation is not out of the question.

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Well Deacon, apparently you missed the posts we've been making in the stadium about enforcing the "spam" rule (#3) more vigorously. :evilg:

And I have to say I find the level of risk-taking for a noob tempting. :D

---------- Post added November-8th-2011 at 05:41 PM ----------

Jesus. I hope it's not going to continue in this vein. :)

I'm sure eventually some of the smart posters will appear. :ols:

Here Jimbo: I actually do find there is a more prominent left-side (and libertarian) presence at this time

I underlined the key qualifiers for those in need and myopically focused. :pfft:

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Holy crap we libertarians are being lumped in with the left instead if the right-that's new :ols:

Used to always be that way, back when "libertarian" meant "wants to legalize drugs and prostitution" to 95% of people.

Instead of meaning "wants to legalize pollution, and eliminate education", like it does, to many folks, now.

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But, as to Jumpo's point. (At least, what I think it is).

No, I'm not aware of any big forces on The Right who appear actually rational.

I can come up with theories. Somebody, while back, was suggesting that perhaps the Right is suffering from too much success. That things that used to define people like Reagan, like welfare reform and a simpler, flatter tax code, have now become mainstream. Forcing them to move further Right, just because.

I also, though, think that a big part of it is the way he Riht has reacted to the fact that, frankly, the things they've been trying have made things worse, by announcing that obviously this means that There Are Those Among Us Who Lack Faith. Now days, it's tough to be a Republican if you disagree with The Party on ANYTHING.

I mean, it's almost to the point where if you actually say that The Birthers are nuts, you get kicked out of the party.

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The tailgate has it's own ebb and flow.

It has been steadily tacking to the left for the last few years, but ti will come about in time. And as that median political point moves left, it makes any and everyone on the right farther from the perceived middle.

Add to that, we rarely debate actual issues anymore. It's limitted almost exclusively to how one side or the other or in most cases both, treat an issue. Which exarcebates the perceptions.

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Thanks for helping get it on track, Larry. Those seem like logical parts of whatever forces may be influencing the negative direction. I know I singles out talk-radio and Fox, but they wouldn't be successful if the mentality didn't lean towards that type of product. And it's curious how weak the lefty version (like MSNBC & "liberal radio") is in comparison.

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The "right" has moved from being "conservative" to being for as much change (just different) as the "left". In most cases, the desired changes have less evidence in supporting that they will be affective than those on the left IMO.

I think health care is a good example of this. To me, a "conservative" approach to healthcare costs is figuring out why component costs are going up, and then try and fix those problems.

Drug costs are going up? Okay, why? Are Pharma profits going up? (yes!). What can we do to limit Pharma profits? (several things, but the easiest thing to do would be to change the relevant patent laws).

What is the suggestion the "right" has come up with? Work on changing what has been SOP in the US since post-WWII and decoupling employment from health insurance.

To me the far left suggestion of going to a nationalized healthcare system is less drastic. At least they can point to Canada.

(I TRIED to address the topic, but I'm not sure that I did (and I'm pretty sure that I have now guaranteed that this will turn into a debate on healthcare).)

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That's how I've seen it, Kilmer (ebb & flow wise). It's almost like global climate change in terms of varying trends within trends, sometimes back-n-forth within a larger overall consistency that also will change, too, in time. But right now things do seem, nationally and in here, to be notably tilted in several ways (some of which I described colorfully).

---------- Post added November-8th-2011 at 06:08 PM ----------

You addressed the topic in excellent fashion and gave a specific example. Peter. While I left several large dynamics open for examination, I didn't think it was that hard or that broad for most folk here and figured the title was a solid clue, but I may have miscalculated. :)

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I agree, but would also add that the candidates are merely a reflection of the constituency.

The people asked for non compromising ideologues, and that's what they got. No magic formula here.

Agree here, too. Sounding like the curmudgeon, I have been stating for awhile that we have exactly the level of governance we merit. And that's very sad to me.

---------- Post added November-8th-2011 at 06:18 PM ----------

But let me take the other main aspect of the topic an stick it out there further: I think the deterioration I specified on the right has been apparent in that group's posting in the forum. IOW, I think the level of content has deteriorated in the last year, including from many regular right-side posters (no naming names, please). Anyone else think such a thing? If so, is it connected to what appears to be happening nationally? (may want to re-read the OP). Is there a dumbing-down, or a growing extremism in increased rigidity and partisanship at play? Polarization?

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A couple of points as it relates to the OP (...I think).

The left has certainly taken over this board. I've only been on here for a few years but I remember having discussions with conservative posters on this board who no longer post here for one reason or another. Several good back-and-forth conversations came out of this. I've also witnessed posters that seemed to be conservative when I joined become more liberal. There's no doubt that the left leaning posters outnumber the right leaning ones. I don't really see that changing any time soon either (see the following point).

Point number 2. The right isn't doing anything inspirational and they seem to be attempting to attract unintelligent people who prefer emotional arguments. They prefer their constituents to be concerned with subjective things like morals and values. Words that they made up and turned into talking points to make their opinions appear justifiable by things like feelings. I asked in the "Who should be president thread"... why does the Republican Party insist on trotting candidates that sound like idiots? Two thirds of the front runners don't convince me that they know any more about politics than I do. It's really sad, the whole state of the Republican Party right now.

It just seems like it doesn't take any intelligent thought to support the republicans right now.

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...hoping someone eventually will actually address the topic... :)

...sips white russian...Okay.

True insight and intellectual courage tend to arrange themselves near the center, independently(I will not use the terms "Left" and "Right"), but only within the prevailing zeitgeist of the nation. Call it the Fox->Colbert/Stewart effect. As the nation is swayed, then saturated, then flooded by overt misrepresentation and repetition, the upward side of the bell curve adjusts forward and the watchful and serious become louder and ->funnier and smarter.

Some now behind the wave, misinformed and uncomfortable, struggle with the challenge and shrink. While many others move forward and re-establish a credible foundation for debate. And entertainment!

The vast majority would benefit from strong leadership.

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I dont see it as the right taking the threads down the rabbit hole with any more regularity as the left. Im certainly guilty of destroying threads from time to time. In past years, that would happen just for the amusement, but more recently Ive reacted to the lunacy from some of our left sided viewers. And most of the time, just a reaction to their claims that the right wing, or whomever they are deeming to be representing that position has done XXXX.

Id love to see that research. Because my ownn guess is that my participation in such threads initiated AFTER a post from someone on the left.

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Truly didn't see the post in the stadium. Given the topic, i thought the gif would be funny for a first reply. I was beat...

In an attempt to respond to the OP seriously, which I had planed to do, a couple things I noticed is that this board is more left leaning. But that is probably due to the fact that Jumbo bans a lot of the right wingers for breaking rules, trolling, etc and some of them make Sean Hannity look like Fredrich Engles. At least from what i've seen.

The big "anti-intellectual" movement that has the right in its grips right now seemed to have started when America first met Sarah Palin. If it was around before that, it certainly wasn't as noticeable. Fox did everything to defend her, and it started by bashing "liberal elitist" and talk about real americans and "real America." No offense, but real America seemed to be synonymous with going to church an having an income of under 20k per year.

I think the right needs a comepetent conservative leader to emerge and not let Hannity and Rush be the voice of the right. But how does one go about standing up the rush's, Beck's, and Limbaugh's without backlash from the mouth breathers who follow? No politician will ever tell them they are hurting the party in the eyes of the fencesitters who really want to vote for another option, because that might cost them votes.

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There is certainly a increased polarization within conservatives as a group,it has always been a fractured alliance,but the unifying themes have lost their pull and voice.

I'd say more,but I've had enough couch time

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I think health care is a good example of this. To me, a "conservative" approach to healthcare costs is figuring out why component costs are going up, and then try and fix those problems.

Drug costs are going up? Okay, why? Are Pharma profits going up? (yes!). What can we do to limit Pharma profits? (several things, but the easiest thing to do would be to change the relevant patent laws).

What is the suggestion the "right" has come up with? Work on changing what has been SOP in the US since post-WWII and decoupling employment from health insurance.

To me the far left suggestion of going to a nationalized healthcare system is less drastic. At least they can point to Canada.

(I TRIED to address the topic, but I'm not sure that I did (and I'm pretty sure that I have now guaranteed that this will turn into a debate on healthcare).)

Erm... health insurance being tied to employment is a big reason that health care costs have increased so much. Defending something just because it's been SOP for a while seems to be completely missing the point. Is there a better idea out there or not? Should have Obama have abandoned his health care plan? After all, it's going to change things that had been the way they were for a long time.

Anyway, I'll just keep remaining convinced that, slowly but surely, as the generational shift in this country marches forever onward, the right will, at an agonizing pace, become more and more libertarian. Many young conservatives don't care very much about gay marriage, and certainly don't care as much about the War on Drugs. Hell, they laugh at cheesy anti-marijuana ads. And just judging from my personal experience, I think the war in Iraq is going to stick with a lot of young conservatives for a long time. There's a reason that so many of Ron Paul's supporters are young people.

I'm going to enjoy the transition.

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Good post Deacon...

If I could add. One problem I see with the right is that one must garner the support of Rush, Beck and Hannity in order to be recognized as a real republican. One must be a "real republican" in order to gain any positive attention by the media members that support the base. If you aren't with Rush, etc then you are just RINO.

I don't see anything like that on the left. Nobody looks to Bill Maher or Jon Stewart or any lefty whack job for approval.

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Springfield, I think you're another one has sees what I'm observing and thinking and has made some of the same speculations as explanation. I also wonder about this: the left has been here in relatively consistent and stable form whether the right was dominating the board at a given time or not, and whether the natial scene was GOP-direvn or Dem-driven (generalizing broadly, I know).

Going back to when Air Force Cane and Sarge literally started over a dozen new threads a day in the tailgate, and averaged 65-70% of all new threads started in the tailgate for many motnhs between the two of them, and when Nelms (the ultimate psyhco) was running around, still the left remained. The regs did not leave. But it seems a number of right side poster aren't comfy unless they're either a majority or at least NOT a notable minority. I get this from PM's and e-mails, not only careful;y reading the forum almost every day for years. Some started other right-favoring sites of their own, some leave and post elsewhere where they are more dominant as a group and return from time to time. But as a group, there again sssems a difference. Does that side "need" numbers to feel secure, or actually does have less tolerance when opposing views are more prolific? I am not triyng to bait at all, as I think everyone knows. I am being serious and curious because I am fairly sure what I describe are factual occurrences, but wonder as to underlying causes.

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On this board, at this time, we have several liberal posters that can articulate their points very, very well. I've seen some excellent arguments from liberal posters here, citing facts with complete laymen terminology to back it up. It's probably hard for a conservative poster to overcome something like that when arguing their points. I've been both amazed and informed time and time again by several of the liberal posters on this board.

Another problem with liberal arguments against conservative arguments are the style of argument you'll normally run into. Generally speaking, liberals like to argue with facts ignoring any morality when discussing things to do with government. Conservatives like to argue what is moral. One side is clearly objective and the other subjective. It's a lot easier to argue morality when you have a number of like minded people to reinforce your point.

Get a genuinely intelligent liberal and a moral conservative into an argument an you'll have one frustrated conservative.

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