What does the US do with the other half?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Balbus, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Thank goodness that Joe Biden got in – but why was it so close - and why are Republicans that supported what Trump was doing still winning seats?

    Half of Americans seem to want to vote for people that seemed happy with the end of US democracy and many cultishly follow an ignorant ass as if he were the greatest statesman the world had ever produced.

    What can be done to bring the other half around to their senses?
    ~Zen~, scratcho and Tishomingo like this.
  2. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood Senior Moment

    Space Force... Mars...

    I don't care if there isn't any air up there.
  3. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    Don't know if you've noticed, but America seems to want a balance. Always turning back to that...

    And you can never convince every one to believe in the same things, that's not a human trait. We are too highly individualistic for that.

    Can't say I like that - but it seems to be that way to me.
    wrat1 likes this.
  4. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    Not sure the US wants or can be balanced in any rational way as it is now

    As in i think many on the right would like to disenfrachise anyone they see as 'left wing'.

    I mean I think some people in it want to deal with real world problems in a rational way which seems balanced and some don't seem to want to deal with reality and believe in many fictional things and some quite literally think all left wingers are devil worshiping paedophiles that drink the blood of murdered children – to me that seems rather unbalanced.

    I also think that seems untenable going forward or the US is headed for even more woes in the future so i was wondering what could be done to try and turn things around?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  5. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    @Balbus first I would start DE-emphasizing the differences and celebrating what brings us together.

    I have just read a fascinating article by a former TV pundit who now says that having an immediate opinion about anyone and everything has led to a moral decline in the world.

    Of course the trolls are criticizing him. But I digress...

    I still believe a positive attitude goes a long way towards solving these divisions.
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  6. wrat1

    wrat1 Members

    Because of attitudes/judgement like the above statement , the above described person COULD be happy and healthy and yet people feel the need to assume/judge etc, this is one example of why trump got 70 million votes
  7. granite45

    granite45 Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Many years ago I came to realize that the dark ages weren’t dark because there was less sunlight; they were dark because of collective choice to reject science, logic, and yes, compassion. People like Galileo, Davinci, Darwin, Mendel among others slowly brought the world out of those times. But dogma, disdain and selfishness always threaten to reignite the dark times. Collectively we can do better and stop punishing the enlightened people for their efforts. None of the humanitarian and environmental issues we face can not be solved, but we as a species need to stop digging the hole deeper. I agree scapegoating and blaming is not part of the solution; inclusion, mutual respect and sharing can unite us
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  8. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    As an observer living in the midst of this cult, I've wondered the same thing. Many of my best friends, who are otherwise sensible people, seem to suspend critical reasoning faculties where Trump is concerned. For example, a psychiatrist in the neighborhood who is over-the top intelligent in other respects, thinks the Democrats engaged in widespread voter fraud and stole the election. Such a belief seems to me to be downright delusional. How can this be explained? Well, for one thing, she's a devout Catholic. Abortion is her #1 political issue, and she thinks Trump is the only hope of turning the country around on that. And I think that's true. If that's the main thing you're concerned about, and you can overlook all of Trump's character deficiencies and positions on other issues, voting for him makes sense. More generally, she perceives the Republican Party as pro-religious (a good thing) and the Democrats to be a bunch of godless secularists. There's some basis for this misperception, as well, although I think the Republican Party's embrace of religion, like their embrace of patriotism, is largely hypocritical showmanship. Trump is on the golf course when Biden is in church on Sunday morning. I'd guess that neither of these issues is particularly salient to you, but to many of my friends, who are Catholics or evangelical Protestants, they are paramount. Together,about 47% of the U.S. population is Catholic and Evangelical, although thanks partly to the Pope, many Catholics are still drawn to the Democrats on social justice matters.

    For my more secular minded MAGA hat wearers, guns take the place of abortions as a salient issue. They think the Democrats are out to get their guns, which may not be quite true, although Democrats want to restrict them with background checks, licensing and registration requirements, etc.

    There's also the matter of information sources. Virtually all of my MAGA hatted friends pride themselves in not watching the news much. What little they watch is right-wing: Fox or some of the newer outlets farther to the right like One America News and Newsmax.. Breitbart and InfoWars are too "out there" for my buddies, but it's certainly had an impact on the Alt Right/Alt Lite components on the right. There they are told about eyewitnesses to massive ballot stealing, use of voting machines run by Venezuelan socialists, etc.

    One of the major changes in media in recent decades has been the availability of a cafeteria of news sources to suit the tastes of a variety of ideological predilections. In the 1970s, news came from the networks constrained by the fairness doctrine. Now the networks and fairness are out the windows, and what passes for news is often propaganda. And of course we have the trolls and bots on social media. 4-chan, where Pizzagate and its successor, Q-Anon originated, and some of the disturbed individuals who have posted on this site. They seem to be motivated not by a desire to share sincere opinions and facts but by a desire to mislead--sometimes by posts so cynical and outrageous that one envisions them asking themselves "Can I get somebody to believe something this wild." Six-eyed Shaman (who I gather is no longer with us) struck me as one of those, and we still have an Australian counterpart still with us.

    Most of my friends are generally sensible people, but they use "rational ignorance" as a strategy for making their way in life. "Rational ignorance" in the social sciences refers to the strategy of intentionally remaining uninformed on a topic because the cost of acquiring the information would outweigh the estimated benefits of becoming informed. Some of my friends are quite successful in their careers because they concentrate on what's necessary to get ahead and ignore the rest, especially the complexities of politics. That doesn't prevent them from holding opinions on the issues of the day, but they're opinions they borrow from trusted sources--like Fox.

    There is also the phenomenon of groupthink at work, the tendency "of well-intentioned people in a group to make irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform or the belief that dissent is impossible." Groupthink For example, I attend a Catholic Bible study class that begins each session with prayer requests for persons who are ill or dying, embarking on some new venture, or have recently died. I often think to myself: "Do these intelligent people actually believe that these prayers are going to induce God to suspend the laws of physics, or to spare a person He would otherwise have allowed to suffer or die? And I look at them and answer"Yes". It's a remarkable phenomenon. But I'm also saying the prayers--because I'm not a Catholic, am there for the purpose of the lesson at hand, and don't want to be rude and kicked out. It would be easy for a person to conclude: "Everybody thinks this way, so there must be something wrong with me if I don't". The Asch conformity experiments in psychology showed that even simple objective facts cannot withstand the distorting pressure of group influence. The Asch Conformity Experiments and Social Pressure

    Finally, postmodernism deserves honorable mention. Postmodernism taught us that virtually all points of view, including Enlightenment rationality and science, are socially conditioned and designed to perpetuate the political or economic grip of hierarchies. Initially this point of view was associated with the left, and denounced by libertarian thinkers like Jordan Peterson as somehow related to "cultural Marxism". But I think right wingers like Steve Bannon have taken it over and given it a right-wing twist with their "alternate facts". How do we know that an elite of cannibalistic Deep Staters aren't practicing their dark Satanic rites in Pizza parlors, with cover from the media,as they steal ballots from the Donald?

    There are lots of other mechanisms we could talk about, but the basic point is that rational people can come to hold irrational beliefs that I believe are relatively impervious to rational challenge. Direct appeals to logic and evidence are futile. Unfortunately, the closest analogs I can think to the present situation in the U.S. would be McCarthyism in the 1950s, and Wiemar Germany in 1920s and 30s. The McCarthy era was characterized by a climate of fear generated by a skillful Republican demagogue, but built on real fears of a communist incursion. The Weimar analogy also involved a demagogue, but also the rise of militias anxious to engage in violence. The Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, and the Three Percenters would seem to fill that slot. In the Weimar case, the Nazi movement fed on economic dislocations caused successively by runaway inflation and unemployment. In the U.S, the dislocations haven't been so sudden, but globalization has produced boarded up factories and put once prosperous communities out of work. These are structural problems not readily solved without major changes.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  9. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    Well said! Thank you!
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  10. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    I've tried to give a few answers to that question, but to get a more complete picture, we need to turn the spotlight on ourselves. Republicans, and the Whigs before them--as defenders of a minority ruling class,--have become adept at deflection and convincing ordinary folks that they are one of them and its those ------(fill in the blanks) that are the real problem. The Mercers (Breitbart) and the Koch brothers (before the remaining Koch's epiphany) shelled out a fortune figuring out new and ingenious ways to demonize Democrats (or "Demon rats, as our own lovable Once Burned used to call them. And I fear some liberals and Democrats make it easy for them.

    One of the useful contributions of Six-eyed Shaman back in the day was to bring to our attention the latest Alt Right/Alt Lite propaganda talking points. Let me see if I can remember some of them:
    1. Dems are coastal elitists unconcerned about the plight of working class Americans; 2, Dems want big government to restrict our liberties and take away our guns; 3. Dems want to enable freeloaders at the expense of hard-working Americans.
    4. Dems favor open borders and minority advancement, threatening whites with the "Great Replacement" by blacks, browns and redskins; 5. the Dems and their allies in the "librul" media and Hollywood, control our information sources and put out propaganda; 6. Dems are Anti-God and Anti-flag; 7. Dems push ideologies which undermine traditional marriage, favor abortion, and promote gender confusion by catering to a bewildering array of alphabetical gender choices; 8. Dems want to bring "Socialism" to the U.S.; 9. Dems are controlled by postmodernist "cultural Marxists" bent on teaching our youths to hate American and making them into fragile "Snowflakes" and SWJs; 10. Dems are effete wusses controlled by anti-male castrating feminazi "me too-ers" who demonize men and masculinity; 11. Dems are champions of "political correctness"--promoting an expanding, changing array of taboo words and thoughts at odds with free speech; 12. Dems are opponents of "law and order", championing the rights of rioters and looters and undermining law enforcement; 13. The Democrat Party is controlled by corrupt Blue State urban machines that steal elections while their cities are left in squalor and crime; 14. The Dems are run by a ring of Satanist pedophile cannibals. The Did I get them all?

    Unfortunately, these misconceptions are widely held, and help to explain why the expected "Blue wave" didn't happen. What I hope to do, if and when when I get the time and energy, is to take a critical look at each of these. Feel free to join me.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  11. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    One you missed was ,to me, the dumbest of all. To wit: "the left worships pedophiles." Yup--6 actually said it.
    ~Zen~ likes this.
  12. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    That ,as I recall, was his parting shot. I don't know exactly what brought about his exit, along with that of a number of other right wingers on HF, but that one was over the top. I noticed in some of Six's most recent posts a tendency to brand any victim of right wing violence as a pedo. This, of course, echoes Q-Anon's charge of a conspiracy of pedophilic Satanist cannibalswho keep kids as sex slaves and drink their blood. Seems to me, anyone with good judgment would see this for what it was: a concoction of the cyberpunks at 4-chan or some similar group of right wing misfits wanting to see if they can get people to believe something that outrageous. In the 2016 election, we had the 4-chan Pizzagate conspiracy. This is simply a variation of that one, with additional embellishments. I sense that Six may have been a veteran or admirer of the Gamergate crew of millennial male basement dwellers who worshiped Milo Yiannopoulos and weaponized the internet in their war against Leslie Jones.

    Anyone who can believe Q can believe anything. I was shocked to see Geurillabedlam jump to Six's defense. I don't know whether or not he's still with us. He an I used to spar over religion: he being the defender of enlightened secular rationalism against my defense of the faith. What happened? I would guess that for other reasons he decided liberals were evil, and was therefore to believe the very worst about them. One problem with the pedophile theory is lack of credible evidence. Of course, there was the Jeffrey Epstein affair, but to believe that was a pervasive phenomenon would, in my opinion, require at least some additional supporting facts. I think this is an illustration of Hitler's theory of the Big Lie: say something often enough, with the help of modern media of communication, and somebody will believe it, especially if they're predisposed to. That, of course, was the theory behind most of Six's posts. To me, the familiar aroma of dead fish emanating from the pedophile story is that some of it has ancient origins. It's what Roman pagans used to say about Christians--not that they were pedophiles, but that they were cannibals who ate the flesh of humans and drank their blood in their religious services. And medieval Christians used to say Jews sacrificed Christian babies and baked their blood into Passover bread. I can see the punks at 4-chan giddy over seeing if they could get anybody this day and age to believe such crap.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  13. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    Yes we have seen it (all of the above) right here at Hip Forums.

    And yes the Big Lie if repeated often enough becomes believed... this leads to mass hysteria many times.
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  14. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    Thank you for starting this thread Balbus!

    I think this is an excellent subject and I am sorry I did not address the main issue from the start. (You have sat in my house and played with my cat.)

    But you know me...


    I am completely clueless as to how to bring peace. I have preached, I have prayed, I have lived by example, I have weeded the garden and tossed out the naysayers, the speakers of untruths and the fascists. And yet they multiply. As if there really is a Satan, it seems there is evil in this world.

    Maybe it's a character flaw of humans... I do not know. Our staff psychologist may have an answer...that is not me.
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  15. Tishomingo

    Tishomingo Members

    I thought of another that I added to the list. 13. The Democrat Party is controlled by corrupt Blue State urban machines that steal elections while their cities are left in squalor and crime. I also added yours.
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  16. wrat1

    wrat1 Members

    Just gross distortions of truth, do you really believe that Pelosi with her $24k fridge ( that cost more then most of the cars I've EVER owned) gives a fuck? I dont she is actually worse then trump at least you know trump is full of shit and out for himself, And Sanders is such an amazing hypocrite he owns 3 very nice homes the average American is struggling with one.
    And yes Ive read posts here decrying gun ownership some going even so far as to say people dont NEED to hunt for food

    what a load of horse crap
  17. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Administrator Super Moderator

    I guess you are one those who we need to account for and find peace with. Politics is ugly. Peace and harmony are beautiful things we can create without politicians.

    Yes...all politicians end up being corrupted by the donors who give them money to win their elections. It is the American way and has been for a couple of centuries now.
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  18. Flagme15

    Flagme15 Members

    Well said. I will add that while conservatives disdain government(to their own detriment), they seem to idolize politicians they agree with. While Giuliani is no longer a politician, people believe his accusations, no matter how unfounded they are.
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  19. Flagme15

    Flagme15 Members

    I’ve thought for many years that the United States is a socially conservative nation. What happened to the ideologues of the sixties? Some say they became Reagan Democrats, and never returned to their roots. Sure, there are pockets of liberalism in the big cities, but they are a minority.
    Most of the “rights” laws exist, not because of public pressure, but because of politicians acquiescing to peer pressure(not that that’s a bad thing) in return for votes.

    If the United States was truly a secular nation, religion would not have the influence that it does. Ironic in that the number of people attending church, or believing in god, has declined.
    scratcho likes this.
  20. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Trump and his lovers are just symptoms of the racist and ignorance brought to the fore during these last four years. Perhaps it's a good thing, in that most of us now know what needs to be addressed in order to truly solve the core problems of our country. His lovers need to be taught and shown just how completely they've been bamboozled. Let's hope the Biden administration will do so by not forgetting that Drumpf voters are citizens too and showing them will be to the benefit of us all.Aside from the stone blockheads that will never change, they need to realize that truth really does matter.

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