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      12-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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On American divide, futility of this forum and Putin's interest - an observation

Oh screw it, it's not an observation, its an essay. So settle back, because there is no adequate TLDR summary at the end.


I've often wondered whether the representation we have on here is statistically significant enough to extrapolate to American society as a whole. I'm starting to believe it might be. Taking into account the fact that when I read other sources, particularly news, and read comments below where they have them, I seem to be seeing a similar sort of trend.

That trend is division.

Division and a further entrenchment of sides. Take this politics subforum for example. On one side, we have Real Dodger, Minn, Hooligan, Sumbmwguy, Dagmus, and a few others I can't remember primarily taking a hard Anti-Trump stance and on the other side we have pretty much everyone else who participates in this subforum taking the opposite view. Now I would say there are some who are in the middle, who will criticize trump for some things, but praise him for other things, but they are few, and for the most part, everyone has a side and most are fairly vocally on one side or the other.

Do you honestly believe that any of you will change the other's mind? Which is my point to the futility of this forum...though entertaining and I don't wish to see it closed.

On the surface, one could argue this isn't overly different from any other presidents...except I would say that I've never seen things get so heated before. Where people are so vocal about "their" side. Where people take personal affront, and therefore go on verbal attacks whether sly or not against other members on the opposing side. And it isn't just the one side doing it.

I've never seen the middle ground so eroded before, where there seem to be so few left. Initially, I was amused. Now, I'm less so, but I am curious - can you see the forest or just the trees?

I say this, because anyone wishing to destabilize American influence in the world...say Putin...could not hope for better than to sow discord and division within America. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Extrapolate that to America. And you are doing this yourselves. There is no outside influence here. It's each of you.

Why? Let's take Real Dodger and Anglo as an example. Pretty much polar opposite sides. To one, Trump is basically a devil, to the other, he is practically a deity who can do no wrong. I appeal to your reason here - can you not see that when you criticize Trump (and at times rightfully so IMO), you are driving Anglo further away and solidifying his opinion that everyone is out to get Trump? And vice versa, when Anglo continues to praise and laud Trump for everything, I fear you are too inclined to go further negative in an effort to try to strike balance. And that you would be therefore less inclined to consider the truthfulness (as to whether it is or not) of a story if it comes from say Fox. And Anglo is unwilling to consider any of your sources because he has become so entrenched. This is not a personal attack on either of you, I appreciate certain qualities of each of you, though different.

To an extent, I think most on this forum follow a similar pattern, you are less and less likely to consider the other side and instead support those whom you agree with.

Why do you think Rome fell? Likely a number of factors, obviously you needed an actual invasion by the goths/barbarians, but I think that was ultimately successful due to the prior division within due to economic and political troubles, as well as the split into east and west empires that had festered for some time. I'm not suggesting you are in for an imminent fall, that would be a stretch, especially given the US dollar's influence as currency of choice...but I am saying this division is a step in the wrong direction and could ultimately be the beginning that leads to a future fall. Certainly I believe it was the first step in the fall of Rome. And then who steps into the vacuum? Probably China would be my guess, I don't see Russia as likely having the resources necessary to fill it either now or then.

But if these forums are representative of what is truly going on in America, where you are infighting against yourselves, then I can only surmise that Putin is indeed, to use Real Dodger's favourite meme, "chuckling sovietly".

You guys need to see the forest and work together instead of alienating each other. You have in the past, and I doubt that American spirit is dead, but I fear it will die if you continue to only alienate each other. Both sides need to meet in the middle. I say this because I think the American influence on the world is largely for the good, and I'd like to see it continue.



TLDR - You like soundbites and this wasn't one of them, so you didn't read it.

Lups GrussGott MKSixer are the only ones that will probably read this in its entirety without glossing over.
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      12-12-2019, 01:11 PM   #2
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To an extent, I think most on this forum follow a similar pattern, you are less and less likely to consider the other side and instead support those whom you agree with.
1) I think this statement in your diatribe is accurate to nearly all civilizations regardless of time period and is of no indication that the current era is any different than the past.

2) Most Americans - by a large majority - don't watch the news, care about politics much, and are generally somewhat down the center as it comes to political views. The fringe isn't really any larger now than it was 50 years ago - it is just more readily available to see due to the abundance of media outlet availability these days. Politicians know that these vocal minorities are propped up by the media, so they tend to pander to them since it will give them more airtime.

3) Why wasn't I included on your list of folks who would read it in full? Are you too good for me now, Joe?
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      12-12-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Joekerr View Post
Lups GrussGott MKSixer are the only ones that will probably read this in its entirety without glossing over.


Well said. I feel like we are living in alternate universes. The problem here is that it has become an us vs them thing. Anyone that doesn't agree with you is your enemy and it's ok to ridicule and bully. Civility is gone. I don't post my opinions too often in this forum because I'm tired of being called a moron. I think one member actually called me a f*cking idiot. Can't imagine what I did to deserve that. I treat everyone with respect.

I personally switch back and forth between different news outlets and listen to both sides and try to form my own opinions but with all the BS out there, it's hard.

EDIT - Adding it's a sad state of affairs. I don't see it getting better.
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      12-12-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post

3) Why wasn't I included on your list of folks who would read it in full? Are you too good for me now, Joe?
Don't feel bad....This is what I get for actually missing him.
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      12-12-2019, 01:35 PM   #5
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I've said often that I've voted for all Republican Presidents except for Trump. I feel like I am seeing the forest for the trees in regards to Trump and Trump Republicans. As Graham recently said, "Trump's time will come and go." He was referencing something else, but I don't think Trump Republicans realize this nor the long term damage supporting such a person will do to their party in the long run. Not to mention US institutions, economy etc.

I try to remain civil, but I'm human and have bad days. For the most part I think succeed in remaining so, but I'm definitely not perfect.

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      12-12-2019, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joekerr View Post
Division and a further entrenchment of sides. Take this politics subforum for example. On one side, we have Real Dodger, Minn, Hooligan, Sumbmwguy, Dagmus, and a few others I can't remember primarily taking a hard Anti-Trump stance and on the other side we have pretty much everyone else who participates in this subforum taking the opposite view. Now I would say there are some who are in the middle, who will criticize trump for some things, but praise him for other things, but they are few, and for the most part, everyone has a side and most are fairly vocally on one side or the other.

Do you honestly believe that any of you will change the other's mind? Which is my point to the futility of this forum...though entertaining and I don't wish to see it closed.


Why? Let's take Real Dodger and Anglo as an example. Pretty much polar opposite sides. To one, Trump is basically a devil, to the other, he is practically a deity who can do no wrong. I appeal to your reason here - can you not see that when you criticize Trump (and at times rightfully so IMO), you are driving Anglo further away and solidifying his opinion that everyone is out to get Trump? And vice versa, when Anglo continues to praise and laud Trump for everything, I fear you are too inclined to go further negative in an effort to try to strike balance. And that you would be therefore less inclined to consider the truthfulness (as to whether it is or not) of a story if it comes from say Fox. And Anglo is unwilling to consider any of your sources because he has become so entrenched. This is not a personal attack on either of you, I appreciate certain qualities of each of you, though different.

To an extent, I think most on this forum follow a similar pattern, you are less and less likely to consider the other side and instead support those whom you agree with.

Why do you think Rome fell?

But if these forums are representative of what is truly going on in America, where you are infighting against yourselves, then I can only surmise that Putin is indeed, to use Real Dodger's favourite meme, "chuckling sovietly".

You guys need to see the forest and work together instead of alienating each other. You have in the past, and I doubt that American spirit is dead, but I fear it will die if you continue to only alienate each other. Both sides need to meet in the middle. I say this because I think the American influence on the world is largely for the good, and I'd like to see it continue.



TLDR - You like soundbites and this wasn't one of them, so you didn't read it.

Lups GrussGott MKSixer are the only ones that will probably read this in its entirety without glossing over.
Thank you for mentioning me so much. You'll notice that only 1 or 2 of your anti-Trump people support democrats. The rest seem to be independents, or, like me, are 'human scum'. I will say this for myself. I listen to what Trump says. I read many of his tweets.I wasn't anti Trump till after he debated HRC, and I cleared the deck after he was elected and kept an open mind.

I became, obviously, very disappointed.
But I am an open minded individual. When the whistleblower issue arose, I posted in this forum that I would "await developments".

FYI Don't compare me to Anglo. Unlike him, I regularly analyze where I am and question what I support. You've undoubtedly noticed that in the "Trump hit or miss " thread I have expressed support for many Trump decisions.
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      12-12-2019, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyx6go View Post


Well said. I feel like we are living in alternate universes. The problem here is that it has become an us vs them thing. Anyone that doesn't agree with you is your enemy and it's ok to ridicule and bully. Civility is gone. I don't post my opinions too often in this forum because I'm tired of being called a moron. I think one member actually called me a f*cking idiot. Can't imagine what I did to deserve that. I treat everyone with respect.

I personally switch back and forth between different news outlets and listen to both sides and try to form my own opinions but with all the BS out there, it's hard.

EDIT - Adding it's a sad state of affairs. I don't see it getting better.
Who called you an idiot? I don't recall any of your posts that were particularly uncivil.

A certain gun enthusiast did threaten to shoot me.
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      12-12-2019, 02:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Captain Blood View Post
Who called you an idiot?

A certain gun enthusiast did threaten to shoot me.
Would rather not call him out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Blood View Post
I don't recall any of your posts that were uncivil.
FTFY
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      12-12-2019, 02:10 PM   #9
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Would rather not call him out.


FTFY
So not LUPS?
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      12-12-2019, 02:44 PM   #10
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I don't blame Trump for the problems that got him elected, the underlying anger that seethed amongst the blue collar and middle class as more and more of their jobs were taken, their sons being sent to unjust wars, the government intruding into their daily lives. The election of Trump was a backlash, and I get it.

However, what I do blame Trump for is the degradation of civility in our discourse and our conversations. Trump made it okay to bully. To call people names. To mock those who disagree with you. To make bigoted comments. And ultimately, to lie with utter abandon. Sure politicians exaggerate and lie to some degree, but the extent to which Trump does it, with the support and -- in many cases -- the encouragement of his base is unprecedented in modern politics.

Mainstream media has always been biased, but now, it's gotten to the point where both sides are engaging in straight-up lies. Why? Because if the other side is going to get their way by lying, surely it must be okay for me to lie as well. Utterly shameful.

Which is why I don't even bother engaging in debate on this forum anymore; if I have something to say, I just say it and move on. People don't want to debate or engage in discourse; they just want to say they are right and then throw out some links as if it demonstrates proof. Many don't bother to read their links anymore, even after they've been called out. No one issues retractions after they've been proven wrong. What makes debate interesting is nuance, i.e. the gray area. And rarely does anyone want to acknowledge the gray area.

So ultimately, that's the problem with this sub-forum now: a lack of civility and a lack of nuance.
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      12-12-2019, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
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1) I think this statement in your diatribe is accurate to nearly all civilizations regardless of time period and is of no indication that the current era is any different than the past.
There is the old statement that I'm sure you've heard - history tends to repeat itself. Also, that little adage, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. My "diatribe" as you say, though we would disagree on that term as I do not mean it to be bitter or an attack, is urging you to consider where you are in relation to history.

I'm not suggesting that this sentiment has never been the case before, I'm suggesting that I haven't noticed this sentiment to the same degree before. It seems more rampant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
2) Most Americans - by a large majority - don't watch the news, care about politics much, and are generally somewhat down the center as it comes to political views. The fringe isn't really any larger now than it was 50 years ago - it is just more readily available to see due to the abundance of media outlet availability these days. Politicians know that these vocal minorities are propped up by the media, so they tend to pander to them since it will give them more airtime.
I've heard this argument before - that it is due to abundance of social media that we see these fringe views and that really everyone is down the centre. I truly hope that's the case, but let me present a counterpoint to the argument.

Maybe, the abundance of social media is having a converting effect on the large majority. It has got to the point that it is somewhat hard to avoid its influence...or at least hearing it is what I mean to say. You pretty much have to actively avoid a lot of things in your life in order to not be subject to listening to what someone on facebook, twitter, the TV's in the waiting rooms, the radio, online ads, etc is saying. And I would argue that I don't think the majority of Americans are taking active measures to avoid this. And so indirectly, they are hearing it, they are seeing these fringe views, and they are being influenced in one way or another by them. Either they agree with it, or they disagree with it. But they are forming an opinion. And that opinion gets stronger the more resistance they encounter from sources they believe they should discredit.

Maybe its a pipe dream to think that the majority is still centre. Certainly a lot of people lied to the pollsters when Trump was elected didn't they? Hillary was supposed to win by a landslide. And I truly don't believe the data was ignored or manipulated to such an extent that they ignored the people who said they were voting for Trump...I think people decided Trump was a better option, but kept quiet about it because they didn't think others felt the same way.

Now, I think those barriers to keeping their mouths shut are down a bit, and you are seeing more and more people become vocal about how they feel. Without regard for others. So that is why I don't necessarily believe this is just the fringe view being widely publicized. I think there are less people in the centre than there were before Trump. Significantly less. I have no data to prove that - that is just my opinion based on observing comments here and in other online sources.

I actually hope I'm wrong though.

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3) Why wasn't I included on your list of folks who would read it in full? Are you too good for me now, Joe?
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Don't feel bad....This is what I get for actually missing him.
Humble apologies to you both - didn't think L was participating in politics forum anymore so wouldn't see the post, and A, you came to mind, I meant to type your name, but I see I forgot.

I have probably forgotten others as well, my apologies to you as well, I hope more read that post in its entirety than I expect!
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      12-12-2019, 02:50 PM   #12
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Who called you an idiot? I don't recall any of your posts that were particularly uncivil.

A certain gun enthusiast did threaten to shoot me.
You probably remember not long ago I was threatened to be sued for libel and the member was going to destroy my life.
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      12-12-2019, 02:52 PM   #13
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I read your post, and I appreciate what you said. Thank you.
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      12-12-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joekerr View Post
There is the old statement that I'm sure you've heard - history tends to repeat itself. Also, that little adage, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. My "diatribe" as you say, though we would disagree on that term as I do not mean it to be bitter or an attack, is urging you to consider where you are in relation to history.

I'm not suggesting that this sentiment has never been the case before, I'm suggesting that I haven't noticed this sentiment to the same degree before. It seems more rampant.



I've heard this argument before - that it is due to abundance of social media that we see these fringe views and that really everyone is down the centre. I truly hope that's the case, but let me present a counterpoint to the argument.

Maybe, the abundance of social media is having a converting effect on the large majority. It has got to the point that it is somewhat hard to avoid its influence...or at least hearing it is what I mean to say. You pretty much have to actively avoid a lot of things in your life in order to not be subject to listening to what someone on facebook, twitter, the TV's in the waiting rooms, the radio, online ads, etc is saying. And I would argue that I don't think the majority of Americans are taking active measures to avoid this. And so indirectly, they are hearing it, they are seeing these fringe views, and they are being influenced in one way or another by them. Either they agree with it, or they disagree with it. But they are forming an opinion. And that opinion gets stronger the more resistance they encounter from sources they believe they should discredit.

Maybe its a pipe dream to think that the majority is still centre. Certainly a lot of people lied to the pollsters when Trump was elected didn't they? Hillary was supposed to win by a landslide. And I truly don't believe the data was ignored or manipulated to such an extent that they ignored the people who said they were voting for Trump...I think people decided Trump was a better option, but kept quiet about it because they didn't think others felt the same way.

Now, I think those barriers to keeping their mouths shut are down a bit, and you are seeing more and more people become vocal about how they feel. Without regard for others. So that is why I don't necessarily believe this is just the fringe view being widely publicized. I think there are less people in the centre than there were before Trump. Significantly less. I have no data to prove that - that is just my opinion based on observing comments here and in other online sources.

I actually hope I'm wrong though.





Humble apologies to you both - didn't think L was participating in politics forum anymore so wouldn't see the post, and A, you came to mind, I meant to type your name, but I see I forgot.

I have probably forgotten others as well, my apologies to you as well, I hope more read that post in its entirety than I expect!
Don't forget the entertainment industry also jumped on the political bandwagon and some are still doing it nowadays. Entertainment industry can spread words out quick to those who are not used to political news and views.
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      12-12-2019, 02:58 PM   #15
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You probably remember not long ago I was threatened to be sued for libel and the member was going to destroy my life.
WOW! Really? I missed that one.
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      12-12-2019, 02:59 PM   #16
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Why do you think Rome fell? Likely a number of factors, obviously you needed an actual invasion by the goths/barbarians, but I think that was ultimately successful due to the prior division within due to economic and political troubles,.
I think the main reason Rome fell was for 2 reasons:
1. They couldn't produce soldiers in numbers needed, so had to rely on non-Romans. And they didn't fight like Romans.

2. I think they were overwhelmed by their own bureaucracy, taxation, and they had leadership problems. Have you ever read the histories of the Caesars? Fascinating.
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      12-12-2019, 03:01 PM   #17
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Humble apologies to you both - didn't think L was participating in politics forum anymore so wouldn't see the post!
Isn't she the prime minister of Finland now, and also minister of milk bags? No time for us......
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      12-12-2019, 03:01 PM   #18
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Thank you for mentioning me so much. You'll notice that only 1 or 2 of your anti-Trump people support democrats. The rest seem to be independents, or, like me, are 'human scum'. I will say this for myself. I listen to what Trump says. I read many of his tweets.I wasn't anti Trump till after he debated HRC, and I cleared the deck after he was elected and kept an open mind.

I became, obviously, very disappointed.
But I am an open minded individual. When the whistleblower issue arose, I posted in this forum that I would "await developments".

FYI Don't compare me to Anglo. Unlike him, I regularly analyze where I am and question what I support. You've undoubtedly noticed that in the "Trump hit or miss " thread I have expressed support for many Trump decisions.
You are welcome, I knew you'd be delighted at so many honourable mentions!

I never compared you to Anglo, I was using you both to contrast. I think it is clear that you and he are dissimilar. And I have noticed some support for Trump in that thread as you mentioned, but my point was this - that I fear sometimes in order to try to strike balance, you focus or post more on the negative side to counter the adulation you see from the other side for a man you dislike.

Would you say that you have never refused to consider the truthfulness of a story based on it coming from a source you don't believe in / dislike?

I am not attacking you here - I hope you know that. I am not actually attacking anyone, but I am hoping to convey what I seem to be observing - that this infighting is causing division, and that is the best thing that anyone who dislikes Americans could hope for.
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      12-12-2019, 03:03 PM   #19
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Isn't she the prime minister of Finland now, and also minister of milk bags? No time for us......
He means me, not Lups.
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      12-12-2019, 03:04 PM   #20
Captain Blood
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Originally Posted by cmyx6go View Post
He means me, not Lups.
You're not the Prime Minister?
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      12-12-2019, 03:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Captain Blood View Post
Isn't she the prime minister of Finland now, and also minister of milk bags? No time for us......
No. By L and by A, I was referring to the first letter of each of CmyX6go and Run Silent's first names, respectively.

I believe Lups has commenced operations to remove her kid from the library and to that end is interviewing skilled hostage negotiators who can argue with what appeared to me, pretty sound logic from a 12 year old. At least better than she can. Thus spake the super secret off topic thread anyways that you and I sometimes participate in.
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he's Canadian. By international law we all must worship him and all other products of the country.
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      12-12-2019, 03:09 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by minn19 View Post
You probably remember not long ago I was threatened to be sued for libel and the member was going to destroy my life.
Yeah, that was pretty interesting! He was fun. Little unstable though.
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he's Canadian. By international law we all must worship him and all other products of the country.
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