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Odds and Ends
19 10, 8:20pm
"That question is stupid by it's design. Rhetorical tactic, not an actual point. "
No, the actual point is very clear - what you originally wrote was simply wrong:
"Everything is offensive to somebody"
And now I've shown that with a simple example.
The only "rhetorical tactic" here was you over-simplifying the question like you did, as I said from the beginning.
"Also, as bad as fox news has been, throwing them out just increased the distance between the average Democrat and Republican. So yes, it added to it."
Except as I wrote - they where never actually thrown out.
"And the reason I mentioned Newt Gingrich was to point out that, yes the Republicans started this shit, but once you start reading about what he did, you learn that it pushed the parties further away from each other and when partisanship increased so did the population, the parties are moving in seprate direction, that's what polarisation means...."
What you seem to miss or ignore is that political polarization in a two-party system can be achieved in different ways.
Either BOTH parties can move away from each other at the same speed, or BOTH can move away from each other but at different speeds, or just ONE of them can more away from the other while that stands still, or ONE can move away faster then the other moves towards the first - thus still resulting in a growing polarization.
Also, while this is only talking about POLITICAL PARTIES, popular opinion will also be shifting over time. And that shift can both be the cause or the effect of the shift in political parties stance.
Looking at the link you posted from the Pew Research Center for instance (excellent source by the way - highly credible), we can see that public opinion in the US have become markedly more positive towards both homosexuality and immigrants over time.
This is true for people defining themselves both as liberal and conservatives, and shows that the American public over all is becoming more liberal - at least on these issues.
At the same time this public shift is not expressed by the Republican party itself, so we can clearly see that in those questions that party isn't only on the wrong side of public opinion - it's even on the wrong side of their own voters shifting opinion.
In fact, the Republican party is now headed towards war within itself as Steve Bannon is openly supporting even more extreme primary challengers to incumbent Republican senators - most recently shown by Ray Moore's win in Alabama the other week.
Moore is openly anti-gay and so extreme that his nomination is now putting the Alabama senate seat in play for the general election. Deep read Alabama might actually elect a Democrat, because the extreme fringe of the Republican party nominated a candidate so extreme he can't actually win even there.
We'll have to wait and see, but right now the race is break even - better then the Democrats have polled in Alabama in decades:
Moving back to talking about the political parties shifting stance it's a well known fact that the Republican party since the civil rights movement of the 1960's have been moving to the right on social issues.
Nixon started the outreach to southern racist voters, disillusioned by the Democrats embrace of civil right's for African-Americans, with dog whistle policies described as "the southern strategy" and Ronald Reagan later built on that.
With that also came the shift towards a states-rights perspective that's - coupled with white supremacy views - been the prominent political perspective of the American south since the civil war.
The southern states have for over a hundred years viewed themselves as under siege from the federal government as has tried to defend their "right" to racial segregation on the basis of these claimed states rights.
In fact the rights afforded to ALL citizens of the US of course trumps any states ideas about racial segregation - or abortion right or any other personal issue - and the conservatives claiming "states rights" have never ever been intellectually consistent on the issue.
The argument is just an excuse to claim that their states policies should trump all other states and all federal legislation they disagree with.
This has been apparent since before the civil war as the southern states - while arguing "states rights" - claimed the right to continue slavery in their states, while also claiming that the northern states, where slavery was illegal, should be forced to return run-away slaves who had fled from the south to their southern "owners".
So having their cake and eating it too - that has ALWAYS been the position of the people arguing for "states rights".
As we see yet again today with the current US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who's always been a staunch supporter of "states rights".
(It's his old senate seat in Alabama that might be going to a Democrat in December if Moore looses the special election, by the way)
But now, as Attorney General, Sessions is arguing that in the question of the so called "sanctuary cities" or "sanctuary states" - areas where the local government don't wish to harshly enforce US immigration law - the states have NO rights and should be forced to obey all orders from the federal government.
So as always - the "states rights" advocates as just full of shit and using that argument to further their own personal policy objectives when it suits them - and then conveniently forgetting about those rights when it doesn't suit them.
There are any numbers or examples for this double standard on the right - and interestingly you can also see this expressed in the public polling you linked to.
If you look at the first two graphs, relating to opinions on government regulation on business and whether government spending is wasteful, you see two almost identical curves among republican sympathizers.
Now correlate these curves to what party held the presidency and you see that republican voters views on these issues depends in large part on if their party hold the presidency or not.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are the high point in the curve, G W Bush between them is the low point - and now both curves seem to be dropping again as republican voters trust in government increases as Trump takes office.
Note that the curve of liberal voters don't show the same clear pattern. Their opinion of government doesn't seem to be as closely tied to which political party holds the presidency.
Which could indicate two different explanations:
Either that Democratically leaning voters are more generally trusting of the national institutions and expects the government to do it's best for the nation and it's people regardless of who holds the office.
Or they're not subjected to the same level of propaganda from their political party telling them the sky is falling and the nation deciding into utter chaos and ruin as soon as they loose the presidency.
Or a combination of both.
Personally I'd say it's pretty clear that the level of propaganda and misinformation directed at the voters from the Republican party is not in any was comparable to anything the Democrats does - and consequently I believe that's a major part of the explanation for why the curves look like they do.
Republican voters don't just prefer their party, like Democratic voters prefer theirs - they're active fearful about what the other party will do in office and this fear is stoked by pure lies from the Republican party - like with the "death panels" stuff in the Obamacare debate.
Much more could be said about this issue, but I'm perfectly confident in saying that the major reason for the polarization in US politics are the Republican party actively moving further and further to the right over the decades - and filling their voters with outright lies about the Democrats to keep them voting Republican out of fear.
You might disagree, but that's my reading of the situation.
"I never claimed the republicans innocent of anything, but you seem to think in very basic black an white terms about politics. It's more or less "The Republicans don't want to do things on the federal level" to which there's only one anwser: "No fucking shit". The platform of the republican party(well at least the libertarian wing of the party) is more or less to cut as much on the federal level as possible and throw it to the state level, and cut the federal debt, that's why the republican party was in flames with Trump by the end of the election, he doesn't follow that mantra. The Neocons seem to have fallen out of favor and now it's mostly libertarians and evangelicals(mostly evengelicals) that hold power in the party. You're well versed on the democratic front, but you don't even seem to know what a republican is. The debate is not as much "left/right" as much as "federal/state""
The Republican party's platform has almost nothing to do with how they actually govern when in office. They're completely exploded the deficit by giant tax cuts for the rich while in office, and spent trillions on unfunded wars. So they're clearly not fiscally conservative in practice at all.
The so called "states right" argument I've already dealt with - that's just another bullshit talking point from them.
They use it to try to block anything they dislike while not in power on the federal level, and then when they're in office federally they conveniently forget all about it and uses the federal government power to push through as much of their policy agenda as they possibly can - completely ignoring what ever the states think about it.
The libertarian wing of the Republican party is absolutely not as strong as you think.
A lot of people are calling themselves libertarians online these days, since the conservative, neoconservative, evangelical and Tea Party brands have lost much of their appeal to younger voters - who are the ones you'll most often find online.
Nationally though, the Republican party's voting base is much older then the Democratic one and they don't tend to keep up as much with these new labels - and thus calling yourself a libertarian isn't a vote-winning strategy for Republican politicians in most of America.
It just confuses Republican voters - the majority of whom does not view themselves as libertarian, but conservative, anyway.
In the general US population, libertarians are in fact far stronger then in positions of power within the Republican party. Especially on a national level in Congress.
Which might mean the Republican party will eventually BECOME more controlled by libertarians views - but that's actually not the case today.
My favorite part of that text is that while somewhere between 17 and 23 percent of the US electorate for the past 13 years have viewed themselves as libertarian, 23% of those doesn't actually know what the word means.
"Yeah sure I'm a libertarian!
What it means?
Uhm, sorry - I have no idea...
But I know I am one!"
"So, from all this it still looks to me like you haven't done proper research on the US political climate, just a few google searches without knowing ether the party platforms within the parties nor how the federal system of the USA works. That's the problem with google debating, you might be overlooking the bare basics of the debate."
And for me it looks like you read some online posts from people calling themselves libertarian (while possibly not actually knowing what the word means) and draw your conclusions from that.
"That I understand, but I was trying to point out that the divide between the Dems and Reps are not really north/south, it's urban/rural. The bigger population outside of major cities, the more the state leans republican."
That's generally true of course and I have no problem with that.
But I still don't think it's unfair to say that Texas is generally considered a conservative state - which is what I did, and what you initially complained about.