If a conservative says something, it must be....

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iamnotaparakeet
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31 Aug 2010, 9:08 am

It seems to me that with many people, that if a politically, economically, or morally conservative person says something, that it is automatically assumed to be false. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is often treated as if they have "debunked" them by just making statements in opposition to, or even just mocking and not even trying to argue rationally, the statements of the conservative. Such passes as "critical thinking" these days. By the way, yes I know that there has been new terminology invented lately to "more accurately" describe 'conservatives' and 'liberals', but you all know what I'm talking about when I say 'conservative', such new terminology is just new jargon for delineating the same basic things.



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31 Aug 2010, 12:04 pm

Do you mean that Obama really is a Muslim?

Just kidding ;)

Your conservatives are just too alien for some of us to have any comprehension of their arguments at all.

With our Conservatives I can at least understand their point view so have a good discussion.

I can usually gain some understanding of peoples arguments even if they are left, right or religious extremists.

As far as your guys as concerned I just don't get it. I just don't know how they can think like that. I may as well be the Man from Mars.

To me Sarah Palin seems as alien as the nuttiest Iranian Ayatollah.

President Palin. Oh my. 8O


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31 Aug 2010, 12:15 pm

Not really, but rather conservatives seem to have little connection to reality, so there is no reason to believe that what they say is even likely to be true, any more than you would assume that some random combination of (more or less) grammatically coherent English words would produce a true factual statement.

I mean... conservatives are screaming about Obama's "socialism" and his "record tax hikes" while ignoring the easily verified fact that taxes are lower under Obama than they were under Reagan, and that Reagan signed in a bigger tax increase than anything Obama has even proposed, much less acted on. These people are simply divorced from reality, presumably because they were sick of its liberal bias. :roll:


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31 Aug 2010, 12:45 pm

I think the problem may lie in those radical reactionaries who have hijacked the term "conservative" since the days of Gingrich et al. They seem to regard Goldwater's positions as "far left"; they recently decried Obama's health-care proposals, which were almost word-for-word the same as those pushed by the Republican Party in '94, as "socialist". (Imagine what they would have thought of Nixon's proposal in '70, for a European-style singer-payer system!) They call for amending the Constitution to put their every momentary whim into law, even though a properly conservative worldview would call for changing such underlying factors as little and as seldom as possible. They believe taxes (the only income the government is allowed) can be reduced on the wealthiest, and spending simultaneously increased for their pet projects (especially wars of choice intended to convert other governments to our own style), and yet somehow the national budget can be balanced and the debt reduced. (There actually was one administration under which the budget was balanced, and in fact began to pile up surpluses - the Clinton administration. The Bush administration, being modern-definition "conservatives", proceeded to piss this away in the described fashion, and blame it on their opposition party - the party which had no power in the Federal government from 2000 to 2006.)

These people are not conservative, and they taint the word with their radical ideologies and cavalier disregard for reality (which, after all, has a well-known liberal bias). Their rabid rejection of the Enlightenment, the scientific method, and the ability of humans to know anything, and wholehearted embrace instead of "common sense" (which we all know to be an oxymoron) and "Revealed Truth" of one or another religious text (or rather, their interpretation of one or another such text) does lead to the out-of-hand rejection of most statements labeled "Conservative" by those of us still fond of using our brains; this is also unjust, although not an injustice of the same level as the poison these people inject into the national dialog by their redefinition of words.


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31 Aug 2010, 12:49 pm

There is plenty of unfounded rhetoric on both sides of the political fence. Neither side holds a patent on hype.

One of the difficulties that right has is that it is a coalition of schools of thought that are not always in synch, for example, libertarians and social conservatives.

Economic conservatives run a pretty wide gamut. The "gold standard" types seem blind to the deflationary pressure that a fixed money supply inherently creates. The "free market" types turn a blind eye to the free market causes of events like the 1907 panic, the S&L crisis and even the current financial crisis.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a red-blooded, market loving capitalist. But I also know that there are some things that the public sector just has to do, because otherwise they can't or won't happen.


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31 Aug 2010, 5:39 pm

iamnotaparakeet wrote:
It seems to me that with many people, that if a politically, economically, or morally conservative person says something, that it is automatically assumed to be false. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is often treated as if they have "debunked" them by just making statements in opposition to, or even just mocking and not even trying to argue rationally, the statements of the conservative. Such passes as "critical thinking" these days. By the way, yes I know that there has been new terminology invented lately to "more accurately" describe 'conservatives' and 'liberals', but you all know what I'm talking about when I say 'conservative', such new terminology is just new jargon for delineating the same basic things.


To fair, these same people automatically assume that what comes out of a liberal's mouth is socialist/communist/marxist/nazist/unamerican nutjob nonsense unworthy of any debate or consideration. The stereotyping goes both ways.


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iamnotaparakeet
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31 Aug 2010, 6:20 pm

Zara wrote:
iamnotaparakeet wrote:
It seems to me that with many people, that if a politically, economically, or morally conservative person says something, that it is automatically assumed to be false. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is often treated as if they have "debunked" them by just making statements in opposition to, or even just mocking and not even trying to argue rationally, the statements of the conservative. Such passes as "critical thinking" these days. By the way, yes I know that there has been new terminology invented lately to "more accurately" describe 'conservatives' and 'liberals', but you all know what I'm talking about when I say 'conservative', such new terminology is just new jargon for delineating the same basic things.


To fair, these same people automatically assume that what comes out of a liberal's mouth is socialist/communist/marxist/nazist/unamerican nutjob nonsense unworthy of any debate or consideration. The stereotyping goes both ways.


Perhaps so, and there may be some ad naseum historical backtracking to decide "who attacked who first", but as long as what each opponent says is dismissed off-hand, then it is basically going nowhere fast.



iamnotaparakeet
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31 Aug 2010, 6:26 pm

BigK wrote:
Your conservatives are just too alien for some of us to have any comprehension of their arguments at all .

...

As far as your guys as concerned I just don't get it. I just don't know how they can think like that. I may as well be the Man from Mars.



I think this may be the real reason, that it sounds too alien. I suppose each school of thought, starting with different axioms thus builds to widely different conclusions according to the amount of difference between the axioms employed. As such, at the conclusion level the differences being so wide from the other that they often seem to break the law of noncontradiction with respect to that which one already adheres toward.



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31 Aug 2010, 8:35 pm

I see a lot of generalized assumptions being made in this thread, very naughty of you guys. I'm getting very close myself to adding "liberal" and "conservative" to "racist" and "terrorist" in my personal list of words that no longer really mean anything, they've become generic insults these days and fairly divorced from their original meanings. I think "conservative" in particular really needs to be broken down further before it actually takes on any real meaning, there are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, religious conservatives etc, and the terms are not interchangeable. "Liberal" has it's own breakdown as well, but I don't think the differences are quite as stark as among the different flavors of conservatives.


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31 Aug 2010, 9:17 pm

Liberals will tend to discount conservative opinions, especially the more flamboyant ones, for several reasons:

  • An argument founded in Christianity—a particular take on Christianity at that—is obviously immediately lost on people who do not share those religious beliefs. An atheist obviously wouldn't want to "turn to God" (Glenn Beck; August 21, 2010) to solve their own personal or the nation's problems, for example.
  • During the Bush administration, harsh rhetoric from the Right labeled critics of the invasion and occupation of Iraq anti-American traitors, suggesting they'd be better off leaving the country.
  • Social and religious conservatives oppose gay marriage, birth control, premarital sex, and other aspects of a more liberal sexual position (no pun intended). Gay marriage is a matter of civil rights, and the rest is a matter of personal choice and individual freedom.
  • The recent controversy over illegal immigration, particularly in regards to Arizona, seems to have taken racist undertones on the Right, and again Arizona's law does not blend well with liberals' conception of freedom. The talk of repealing the 14th Amendment because of "anchor babies" has been despicable.
  • The even more recent Park51/Cordoba mosque controversy is even more offensive to many liberals who tend to see the freedom-of-religion issues here as more important than whether Sarah Palin feels it "stabs" at her "heart."
  • The Tea Party rhetoric ramped up not long after Obama's inauguration, and the Republicans quickly began stonewalling in Congress. This was a concerted effort to see President Obama fail for political gain in November 2010 (it seems to be working, sadly) even to the harm of the economy and most Americans. The extreme rhetoric that Obama is a socialist, communist, fascist, Nazi, Hitler, Stalin, whatever is unfounded and tends to deny the Right of credibility.
  • I do not think Republicans offer a better vision than Democrats on healthcare, the environment, or jobs/the economy. I reject the stance that tax cuts and cutting back on welfare spending are the cure the economy needs, and I believe cutting things like unemployment benefits in this recession would do considerable harm to people.

All in all, I reject conservatives' social planks, which I find bigoted or repressive; and I reject conservatives' economic views, which I feel would be harsh on the most vulnerable without really even helping.



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31 Aug 2010, 11:10 pm

NeantHumain wrote:
Liberals will tend to discount conservative opinions, especially the more flamboyant ones, for several reasons:

Keep in mind in my answers that follow that I'm mostly objecting to the idea that only one side has rhetoric, or that only the rhetoric of the opposing side is stupid.

Quote:
[*] An argument founded in Christianity—a particular take on Christianity at that—is obviously immediately lost on people who do not share those religious beliefs. An atheist obviously wouldn't want to "turn to God" (Glenn Beck; August 21, 2010) to solve their own personal or the nation's problems, for example.

Sure. But keep in mind that liberals do the same thing -- they assume that everyone in the world agrees with their ideas, and when someone doesn't, they work themselves into a tizzy over it. The only difference is the lack of a religious tie on the left.

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[*] During the Bush administration, harsh rhetoric from the Right labeled critics of the invasion and occupation of Iraq anti-American traitors, suggesting they'd be better off leaving the country.

And liberals have harsh rhetoric too, including the whole 'you support torture' thing.

Quote:
[*] Social and religious conservatives oppose gay marriage, birth control, premarital sex, and other aspects of a more liberal sexual position (no pun intended). Gay marriage is a matter of civil rights, and the rest is a matter of personal choice and individual freedom.

Whether gay marriage is 'about civil rights' or not is part of the controversy. I personally find that the liberal 'oh my god, if you don't agree with me then you're an evil heartless bigot' rhetoric rather nasty, and would prefer if people could attempt some sort of rational defense of the idea, rather than just getting emotional and accusing people.

Really, what you're complaining about here is that conservatives don't agree with liberals.

Quote:
[*] The recent controversy over illegal immigration, particularly in regards to Arizona, seems to have taken racist undertones on the Right, and again Arizona's law does not blend well with liberals' conception of freedom. The talk of repealing the 14th Amendment because of "anchor babies" has been despicable.

I haven't been following the Arizona thing, but did you notice that you accused the right of 'racist undertones'. You don't feel certain enough about the accusation to just come out and say it, you need to qualify it with 'seems to', and yet you don't mind using the word 'racist'.

That's something I rather despise in left-wing rhetoric, the overuse of the word 'racist', simply to smear adversaries, and avoid having to debate something on its merits.

Quote:
[*] The even more recent Park51/Cordoba mosque controversy is even more offensive to many liberals who tend to see the freedom-of-religion issues here as more important than whether Sarah Palin feels it "stabs" at her "heart."

Another thing I dislike about left-wing rhetoric -- the overuse of Sarah Palin. She isn't someone I particularly respect, but even more annoying is the liberal attempts to use her as a boogeyman.

Quote:
[*] The Tea Party rhetoric ramped up not long after Obama's inauguration, and the Republicans quickly began stonewalling in Congress. This was a concerted effort to see President Obama fail for political gain in November 2010 (it seems to be working, sadly) even to the harm of the economy and most Americans. The extreme rhetoric that Obama is a socialist, communist, fascist, Nazi, Hitler, Stalin, whatever is unfounded and tends to deny the Right of credibility.

The liberal need to see the Tea Party stuff as a conspiracy is also annoying. Some of the stuff you mention here is just one political party opposing the other -- why would that be a problem? Do you really think that democrats have never attempted to stonewall republicans?

Perhaps I have missed something, but I was under the impression that the right-wing rhetoric was that Obama was a socialist, with even the most extreme only bringing up issues with his birth certificate. I have never heard him compared to Nazis, Hitler, or Stalin, so I'm assuming this is just the left's counter-rhetoric.


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31 Aug 2010, 11:35 pm

Hm... I'm fiscally conservative and nobody has any trouble taking what I say seriously. Then again, I'm not a politician. Perhaps that's the key here... Politicians. Who really trusts them? Not me.


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31 Aug 2010, 11:43 pm

As a child and even as an early adolescent I'd get into one-sided - in person, face to face - "debates" with some real smart-asses. When I issued a series of factually and logical arguments, these people would say something stupid like "oh yeah", "doesn't matter", "you're mom", or some other matter of things that, with hindsight (and even somewhat discernable at the time) indicated that they were messing with me and not intended in engaging in serious debate. More sensible people would simply ignore these folks.

During the last Bush term I also engaged in quite a few "debates" with paleoconservative bloggers who proved really dishonorable (when it was made apparent that I was an adolescent, they asked me why I wasn't doing normal stuff like "sneaking cigarettes into the washroom"). Even when they weren't downright personal, other people told me to ignore such folks as they're clearly extremists and it'll just boil my blood (one guy asked why I intentionally debated people who'd definitely make me angry).

People like these are the mainstay of the modern ultraconservative movement in America. You can point out - time and time again - that Muslim birthrates are falling and it won't sink in. You can point out time and time again that Obama isn't a Muslim and it won't sink in. You can point out time and time again that Obama cut taxes for low-income Americans and it won't sink in. You can point out time and time again that extremely ultra-far-right domestic terrorism is on the rise and people will accuse you of fear mongering. Joe Stack can fly a plane into an IRS building and conservatives will worry about a Mosque blocks away from Ground Zero.

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01 Sep 2010, 12:12 am

Ancalagon wrote:
Keep in mind in my answers that follow that I'm mostly objecting to the idea that only one side has rhetoric, or that only the rhetoric of the opposing side is stupid.

Perhaps my perception is off, but it seems like one side is actually worse than the other in this respect. Although I have noticed TYT starting to become more and more like the idiotic screaming I would normally expect from people like Limbaugh.

Quote:
And liberals have harsh rhetoric too, including the whole 'you support torture' thing.

When someone literally supports torture as a policy position, that is not harsh rhetoric. It is a claim that the other person holds morally reprehensible stances, and it happens to be true, at least of neoconservatives (some other branches of conservatives have more moral compunction than that).

In the previous GOP administration, Bush and especially Cheney definitely did support torture. I have heard plenty of other Republicans advocating such policies of torture. It is not hyperbole or an idle accusation to say they support torture.

Quote:
Whether gay marriage is 'about civil rights' or not is part of the controversy. I personally find that the liberal 'oh my god, if you don't agree with me then you're an evil heartless bigot' rhetoric rather nasty, and would prefer if people could attempt some sort of rational defense of the idea, rather than just getting emotional and accusing people.

The legal arguments are pretty basic, and they've been enumerated several times. Ultimately, it is the anti-gay movement that has no rational defense—whatsoever—for their stance, and must resort to getting emotional and accusing people.

Quote:
I haven't been following the Arizona thing, but did you notice that you accused the right of 'racist undertones'. You don't feel certain enough about the accusation to just come out and say it, you need to qualify it with 'seems to', and yet you don't mind using the word 'racist'.

The law is based on racial profiling. There is not a chance that any cop in Arizona would ask me for my papers. They only ask if you look Mexican.

Quote:
That's something I rather despise in left-wing rhetoric, the overuse of the word 'racist', simply to smear adversaries, and avoid having to debate something on its merits.

I see a lot more complaining about this tendency than I see it actually happening. Something I rather despise in the right is that they are willing to provide cover for racists by trying to convince everyone that "racist" is just an empty insult and doesn't mean anything. There are racists left in America still, and most of them are on the right, not the left.

Quote:
Another thing I dislike about left-wing rhetoric -- the overuse of Sarah Palin. She isn't someone I particularly respect, but even more annoying is the liberal attempts to use her as a boogeyman.

When conservatives stop worshiping her, there won't be any interesting stories about her, and liberals will leave her alone.

Quote:
The liberal need to see the Tea Party stuff as a conspiracy is also annoying. Some of the stuff you mention here is just one political party opposing the other -- why would that be a problem? Do you really think that democrats have never attempted to stonewall republicans?

Never to the same extent as the massive obstructionism going on now. Under the Bush administration, the Democrats attempted to filibuster the appointment of a couple activist judges and the Republicans responded by instigating a constitutional crisis, threatening to abolish the filibuster altogether. Eventually a "compromise" was reached whereby the Democrats would drop the filibuster, but it could still in principle be used in the future—AKA under the Obama administration, where last I heard the GOP was filibustering a hundred or so Obama appointees (that was a while ago, might not be current), and also doing every possible delay and block on every single piece of legislation. You can look up the numbers on how often the filibuster was used if you don't believe me. I think you'll find that the GOP tends to abuse it massively. When they have a 51-50 majority, everything should be on an "up or down vote" to reflect the democratic will of the people, but as soon as they're in the minority all of a sudden they care about constitutional protections for the minority.

Quote:
I have never heard him compared to Nazis, Hitler, or Stalin, so I'm assuming this is just the left's counter-rhetoric.

Then you haven't been paying attention. 38% of Republicans believe that Obama is like Hitler, and Beck is basically constantly comparing him to the Nazis.


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01 Sep 2010, 5:40 am

There is a Far right Republican state senator in Louisiana who has suggested that poor people on welfare be paid to be sterilized. He claims Democrats oppose his plan only because the poor are their constituents. I have not heard a single Republican or conservative voice raised against his dehumanization of the poor.

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01 Sep 2010, 6:13 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
There is a Far right Republican state senator in Louisiana who has suggested that poor people on welfare be paid to be sterilized. He claims Democrats oppose his plan only because the poor are their constituents. I have not heard a single Republican or conservative voice raised against his dehumanization of the poor.


Are you treating a non-act as an act? Is one morally obligated to object publicly to a proposal that YOU don't happen to like?

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