Thursday, February 4, 2016

Political Polarization

Eric has posted an interesting article.

This comment resonated with me:
""We" are polarized? Good points, Mr. Black. But I think you mean to say that "those who think and feel intensely about politics" are polarized. What percent of the US population is this? I suggest that it's a small minority - though it might be a majority of those who follow MinnPost." Tate
I think that Tate has a good point in that most American's are somewhat clueless about policy and politics.  Worse yet they are so busy that they live via sound bites. Which means that the far LEFT and far RIGHT media have a HUGE impact.  And Lord knows that neither side is preaching logic, negotiation, tolerance, balance, etc.

I you doubt me check out Rush, Glenn Beck, Daily KosMother Jones, etc.  If you listen to one side for too long, you will soon swear the opposing side consists of evil self centered illogical liars who are out to destroy the world as we know it...  Which of course is silly since the vast majority of American citizens love the USA and would prefer to not DESTROY it...  Thoughts?


CNN: Conservative Media's Influence

97 comments:

John said...

Now I stole this from a previous post, however it seems appropriate to this one also.

"Jerry's and your Republican/Right-Wing nonsense gets be too riled up to post anything that will contribute to an already interesting conversation. Anon "

and here was my response...

"Oh come now. We read you Democrat / Left Wing nonsense.

What do you know about differences in perspective?" G2A

So is this Polarization?

John said...

Well Anon called me on my error...

"I don't recall saying I don't read your nonsense." Anon

I stole this story from one of the many variations on the web.

"A professor comes to learn from a wise Zen master, but it quickly becomes obvious to the Zen master that this professor is more interested in showing off his own knowledge then in learning. He interrupts the Zen master. He follows each story the Zen master tells with a story of his own instead of really listening (You know the type, the person who has to top your story about loss or success, or a failed attempt at something with one of their own instead of hearing you out and empathizing.). So the Zen master begins to pour a cup of tea. He fills the cup and keeps pouring, so that the cup is overflowing.

The professor stops him, saying the cup is overflowing, no more will fit in. The Zen master says to the professor, before you can really learn something you have to empty your cup.

The need for an empty cup, an open mind, is the basis for everything. Yet, in so many of our lives when we try to learn something new, we try to put things on top of things, never removing the true barriers or leaving behind the behaviors that don’t work for us. A common example of how we put things on top of things is bringing our past into the present moment and for that matter the future. We base our listening or actions on the past, holding people as well as ourselves to a behavior or way of being that might no longer be present. You might say to yourself things like: “I will never be able to write without making mistakes” or you might think that your boss will always treat you unfairly just because s/he has done so in the past.

I understand that we sometimes use the past to predict the future or make decisions in the present, but be careful not to use it as a way to limit yourself or corner people. I believe it’s really about emptying the cup, wiping the blackboard clean, and starting over if you want to change course and find your true meaning." CI Emptying Cup

John said...

Now my question is can one actually truly read and seek understanding from another's comments if they come with their cup full and thinking that the other person's views are non-sense?

John said...

One more excellent resource regarding truly listening.

Covey and the Talking Stick

John said...

By the way, Covey did not cover the other benefit of the talking stick in that lecture. A point he covered in his book was that people often are thinking about their answer rather than really listening to the speaker and trying to understand.

By introducing the talking stick the Listener becomes more motivated to listen carefully, otherwise they will never be able to re-state the Speakers view to the Speaker's satisfaction and the stick will not move...

Laurie said...

do you think of yourself as a person with an empty cup?

I have nothing new to add to this topic.

John said...

Oh heck no. I am an analyst and a moderate. Therefore I read all comments trying to figure out what the facts are and seeing how they can push my version of reality around.

I can see bad things about the Left's views and the Right's views.
I can see good things about the Left's views and the Right's views.
I don't see heroes or villains on either side, I just see people trying to do what they think is best.
I can read Fox News and Mother Jones, and find things I like and dislike about both of their articles.

Laurie said...

after reading your blog comments for several years I would describe you as a conservative. and I don't recall any times when you have linked mother jones articles in support of your views. and I still find your blindness to how the republican party has changed and become so radical very interesting.

John said...

By the tests I have taken, I am somewhere between Clinton and Reagan. Maybe somewhat slightly above them. (ie more libertarianish)

So I guess I am slightly Fiscal Conservative, but I don't think I will be invited to pledge any Conservative fraternities anytime soon...

Just curious. Who do you consider is a Moderate?

Laurie said...

I will agree that labeling yourself moderate on social issues is reasonable, but slightly fiscal conservative? I don't think so. I think many democrats in congress are moderate such as Peterson and Walz.

John said...

I am guessing that Peterson and I are pretty close, no wonder he keeps winning out in my parent's district. Even my far right Parent's like him and they think I am a Liberal. :-)

Walz
Peterson

jerrye92002 said...

I do not understand why we keep trying to pigeonhole ideas as either "conservative" or "liberal" or any of many such dichotomous labels. I always try to take in information, bash it against experience and reason, and arrive at the truth of the matter.

But I cannot argue that our politics have become polarized. I did an analysis of the MN legislature a while back, and found that Republicans on AVERAGE agreed with me 85% of the time, and the DFL averaged just 8%. The "worst" Republican was better than the "best" DFLer. Now the question is, Since Republicans were "right" on these issues, where should a "moderate" stand?

John said...

Now as for fiscal extremes.

In my mind the Left are people like Sanders who want to move us towards being a Social Democracy /"government reliant society" where the government controls ~50+% of the country's GDP.

And on the Right we have people like Cruz who want to reduce the role of government in many areas and make us more Capitalistic / "self reliant society", likely reducing the government control to <25% of our GDP.

Currently government controls 35% to 38% of GDP depending on how well the economy is performing, and I want to cut/keep it at 33%. So I agree that I lean a little to the right on money matters, however not very far.

So what positions do I have that make you think I am more than slightly fiscally Conservative?

John said...

Jerry,
Apparently a Moderate stands somewhere between Walz and Peterson...

jerrye92002 said...

OK, so a moderate is someone who is half right and half wrong? The opposite of right isn't left; the opposite of right is wrong.

Sean said...

Honestly, I don't see the equivalence between Mother Jones and Rush/Glenn Beck.

John said...

Jerry,
That is what makes you a good solid Conservative and Anon a good solid Liberal. Both of you think the other is wrong and spouting nonsense... :-)


Sean,
How about this guy.

My point was that I think CNN and MSN are somewhat in the middle, the others are Left or Right from there.

Laurie said...

IAWS

I also find it interesting that you see Mother Jones and Rush/Glenn Beck as equivalent. mother Jones does great reporting on climate change, for example, while rush and beck likely are climate change deniers. I am quite sure that fact checkers would not find them equivalent.

jerrye92002 said...

Maybe I should just say that truth is where you find it. Any person or publication exposing "the greatest pseudoscientific scam in history" for what it is, is telling the truth. I would not like to judge which side of the political spectrum someone is on simply because of that, and in fact I do not like to pigeonhole people that way at all. It is, unfortunately, a relatively easy way to guess how certain people will come down on certain issues, or to categorize their stance thereon.

I find a greater dichotomy between Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, actually. It has to do with credibility.

John said...

This is kind of an
interesting site
Look in the lower right.

CNN, NPR, USA Today, Wall Street Journal in the middle.
MJ, Huffington Post, Salon, etc to the far Left.
Fox News, Townhall, The Blaze to the far Right

And here they link to all of them. Cool...

Laurie said...

the all sides categorization of news source is biased.

The following news organizations should correctly be labeled as center:
- all 9 of them with a light blue L

they didn't even include most of my favorite lefty publications.

on a different note here is another way it is easy to label you as a conservative. It is based on your moral values, especially by what seems to me to be your contempt for poor people, many of which you describe as free loaders. I have looked for a brief description of of how you fit the conservative values profile, but I haven't found a great link. I started my research with this kevin drum post:

Here's How Morality Shapes the Presidential Contest

Laurie said...

Donald Trump supporters think about morality differently than other voters. Here’s how.
Moral Foundations Theory was invented to compare different human cultures. But it can also explain our political landscape.

John said...

Laurie,
You may find this interesting. I took their self score Moral Foundations Test.

[Typical Moderate Score] (My Scores)
Harm/ Care: [20.2] (19)
Fairness/ Reciprocity: [20.5] (19)
In Group / Loyalty: [16.0] (11)
Authority/ Respect: [16.5] (16)
Purity/ Sanctity: [12.6] (13)

Here is what they had to say. "Liberals generally score a bit higher than that on Harm/Care and Fairness/Reciprocity and much lower on the other three foundations. Conservatives generally show the opposite pattern.

Thank you for helping to confirm that I am pretty moderate. Have you done the test yet?

John said...

To find additional ratings just google "allsides mother jones" etc.

Now what sites did you think should be light blue?

And if you are a LL or LM, why is it so hard for you to believe that the publications that resonate with you are LL or LM?

Or that I am actual an MR? I mean that explains why my Parents think I am Liberal and you think I am Conservative... (ie I am sitting between you in the theater)

John said...

I found this interesting from your last link. Makes sense to me, I liked Bush now and Romney previously.

"One last interesting finding: Jeb Bush supporters are closest to the average American voter, despite the fact that his campaign has thus far has failed to gain any traction among Republican primary voters.

Bush's failures may have more to do with his poor debate performances than with his moral profile, but in this time of high and rising polarization, cross-partisan hostility, and anger at elites and the establishment, Bush appears to be suffering from an excess of agreeability: He has no standout moral message that connects to any particular moral foundation, even at the risk of alienating supporters of another.

Politics is in many ways like religion: Voters reward candidates who are effective preachers for a set of moral concerns. Candidates who understand this realize that electoral campaigns are not won just by articulating the most effective policy responses to the pressing issues of our time — they are not even won by appealing to self-interest.

Rather, an effective political preacher offers a clear moral vision of America. That vision includes a historical narrative about where we went wrong, and then tells us how we can set things right. It also includes strong moral arguments that connect with and validate the moral judgments of voters.

So the next time you hear someone ask, "How on Earth can anyone vote for that ... person?" tell them to think about all six foundations of morality."

jerrye92002 said...

I found that "allsides" site extremely disappointing. There are only two sides-- right and left-- not even right and wrong, which would be better. And there is the flaw. They are talking about opinion-- bias-- to which everyone should be entitled to their own, there is no "left or right" as regards the actual facts of any particular issue. The bias of the media is far more in what "facts" they reveal as news than the way in which they present them. Someone said a few days back that if the Republicans found a candidate that was perfect in every way, someone would discover he had pulled a little girls pigtails in third grade and New York Times headline would say, in 72 point type, "Candidate has long history of sexual assault."

I'm sure you can guess my rating from the site, but it's meaningless. I am against "solving" global warming for practical, factual, scientific AND MORAL reasons. Sure, had you somehow "surprised" me with the issue, my conservative bias would have made me a skeptic right off the bat, but how can you say that a well-founded /position/ on the issue is "bias"? It's like those opinion polls that ask your opinion, then give you a FACT, and then take the poll again to find big changes.

jerrye92002 said...

I have long said that the successful politician is one who can credibly connect common sense to common knowledge. That and being articulate about it are all that is needed. It doesn't matter particularly what the candidate says about issues, what matters is that people believe that HE believes it, can be trusted to follow through on it, and that what he says makes sense. For example, "everybody knows" government spends too much and wastes half of it. Any candidate can say they will fix it. A successful candidate will make you believe that, and remind you that common sense dictates spending should be cut.

jerrye92002 said...

I could have stopped at the first paragraph of the Trump supporters piece. Apparently Donald Trump is Nehemiah Scudder.

Laurie said...


Now what sites did you think should be light blue?

Here is a list of what I read frequently:

American prospect
Atlantic
Slate
Salon
Washington Monthly
Mother Jones
TNR
Mother Jones
The Nation
Yes Magazine
Huffington Post
Daily Beast
? I likely forgot some

I think most of these are light blue. is that called lean left?
I also like to read left leaning columnists in the WaPo and NYT. In those publications I also read right leaning columnnists, as I still can't find any news sources I like that lean right.

Laurie said...

This is the moral value that makes me think of you as conservative:

2) Fairness as proportionality (green bars): Proportionality is the desire for people to reap what they sow — for good deeds to be rewarded and bad deeds punished. A sample survey item asks respondents if they agree that "people who produce more should be rewarded more than those who just tried hard."

In practice, a strong desire for proportionality is highly predictive of a preference for small government and a dislike of activist government and the welfare state. (We only asked about fairness as proportionality in our survey, not fairness as equality — which is always higher on the left.)

this is the moral value that fits me best as a liberal:

1) Care (blue bars): The care foundation measures the psychological tendency to believe that morality requires caring for and protecting the vulnerable. A sample survey item asks respondents if they agree that "compassion for those who are suffering is the most crucial virtue." Individuals who score high on this foundation tend to support a more activist government with a more generous safety net.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, that's great analysis, and to me points to why this whole left-right thing is flawed. I have always cared greatly about the less fortunate, and have spent countless dollars and volunteer hours on their behalf. At the same time, I am rabidly anti-government-welfare because I believe it is the LEAST caring thing we can do. It robs the poor of incentive and hope and human dignity and the opportunity for gratitude. It robs the rest of us of the cash with which to help and of the opportunity/necessity of doing so, as well as the rewarding feeling of actually caring. Does that make me a moderate? :-)

Laurie said...

Jerry,

It makes you unrealistic that private charity can provide a safety net on the scale that is required. I am happy to pay my share of taxes, some of which contributes to the safety net. I give very little to charity. I spend what feels like a lot of money for buying books and other things for my classroom, but as a percentage of my income is probably not that much. If a politician said vote for me I will raise your taxes slightly to strengthen the safety net, she would have my vote.

John said...

Laurie,
It makes little difference what I think regarding the bias of the sites you think espouse the neutral truth. You will not sanction my opinion because you think I am biased to the Right. Also, I can not make an informed opinion because I have not spent much time on them. Therefore I was lucky to find Allsides and from the time I have spent on your preferred sites, I agree with their rankings.

The sites are probably great, however you must just be aware that they are telling the stories and doing their analysis with a biased perspective, meaning they are looking at issues and stories trying to show that it proves their preconceived opinion.

For example, my beloved Mother thinks Rush and FOX News are the most factual and reliable news source in the world... (ie both RR's on Allsides) And this make sense because she is an RR.

Does this make sense?

American prospect - Not Rated Yet
Atlantic - L
Slate - L
Salon - LL
Washington Monthly - Not Rated Yet
Mother Jones - LL
TNR - LL
The Nation - LL
Yes Magazine - LL
Huffington Post - LL
Daily Beast - C

John said...

I think I am going to save Laurie's "your contempt for poor people, many of which you describe as free loaders" for a future post. However I think Jerry hit the nail on the head. A person's Caring /concern level is one thing. And policy of how to best remedy a situation is another.

We may all be equally concerned and still think the other person's solution will make it worse, is ineffective, shows a lack of respect, dehumanizes people, etc.

John said...

Jerry,
I think you would enjoy talking to my Mother and you can exchange a little coffee from your pretty full cups. :-)

Exhibits A & B
"For example, "everybody knows" government spends too much and wastes half of it."
"There are only two sides-- right and left-- not even right and wrong, which would be better."

Now I know their is waste in government, but 50%... Not.
Usually things are not Black/White, Right/Wrong, etc except in math problems.
These statements that are made by people with a full cup who are not interested in trying to learn what they may be missing.

Laurie said...

"you think espouse the neutral truth"

I have always said I prefer reading left leaning news sources. What I think is different between left leaning and right leaning news sources is their accuracy with the facts. Climate change is a good example. I think it is very well established that climate change is a fact. Left leaning sources report on this in a way that aligns more closely with my values. Right leaning sources are factually wrong.

I read left leaning sources to interpret correct facts in a way that aligns with my values. I believe right leaning sources often get the facts wrong.

I enjoy reading opinion (that is based on correct facts.)

About all sides - their rankings are one column off in most cases. Many in their LL column should be labeled L and pretty much all in their L column should be rated C.

Laurie said...

I think you should just more acurately describe yourself as moderately conservative (strong on some aspects, moderate on others) and we can end this discussion. We haven't really discussed my philosophy which, I self identify as moderately liberal. One example is a am a Hillary rather than Bernie supporter. I am quite strong on some aspects but closer to the center on others. I find people who identify as strong liberals mostly to the left of me. This is partly due to personality rather than values. My tone is generally more moderate.

John said...

Now you do realize that my Mother would say the exact opposite.

She would say that:
- the LL's should be LLL's
- the RR's should be C's
- that the RR's are much more factually accurate

Again. That is why I like Allsides methodology. It takes some of the opinion out of it.

Now the questions are, are Mom and you ever going to be able to understand how biased your "go to" news sources are. Or will you continue to rationalize they are the "real fair and balanced truth" and sites like AllSides are wrong?

John said...

I am curious. On what Fiscal Conservative topics am I "strong on some aspects"?

This is getting interesting.

Laurie said...

about cups- your cup is no less full than mine. You are just less aware of it.

about being moderate the vast majority of people who label themselves as moderate vote for democrats. Thats how Obama won the last 2 elections; liberals + moderates = 58% Obama got ~24%( liberal) + ~37% (moderate) to receive 51% of the vote
Romney got ~38% (conservative) + ~9% (moderate) to receive to receive 47% of the vote

you are not a true moderate, at least not to the extent that you believe you are.

Laurie said...

and now I have had enough of your superiority, false equivalency, and lack of self awareness and am taking a break from the discussion.

Laurie said...

one last comment -you have said plenty of idiotic things over the years, but this is right up there with the most idiotic - that reading the Atlantic or Salon is equivalent to listening to Rush

John said...

Actually... Atlantic was only one L... However Salon has and fully deserves 2 L's.

I haven't listed to Rush for ~20 years, but I assume he still fully deserves 2 R's, if not 3.

John said...

By the way, there is nothing "Superior" about being a Moderate, a Liberal or a Conservative. All 3 groups can add quality and content to dialogue. The question is: is one capable of accepting who one is and taking that into account when reading from various sources.

And can one wrap their head around that the USA is made up of people from all 3 groups. I always find it fascinating when people think that fringe candidates are more likely to win the general election. (ie Cruz or Sanders) The logic is that some large group of fringe voters is going to overwhelm the indifferent Moderates... Which makes no sense given that the vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle. Like any normal distribution curve.

John said...

My Parent's swear that Romney lost because he was far too Moderate. Totally denying the reality that he was running against a sitting President and he had gotten caught on video saying the 47% of citizens were... <2 months before the election...

John said...

Per this Wiki source, it looks like the Moderates did break Obama's way. However 41% still went for Romney. If he had not given the Democrats that sound bite I think it would have been much closer.

Demographic Obama Romney Other % of Voters
SubGroup

Liberals 86 11 3 25
Moderates 56 41 3 40
Conservatives 17 82 1 35

Laurie said...

liberals are much more truthful or accurate in their facts:

Rush Limbaugh's file

Rachel Maddow's file

All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others.

John said...

Some other folk.
Pelosi File
Reid File
Biden File

Are there any LL radio show hosts that have a big following?

This is interesting
Politifact Bias

Personally I like FactCheck.

John said...

Some more interesting info:
UNWR Politifact Bias
U of MN politifact Bias

jerrye92002 said...

"It makes you unrealistic that private charity can provide a safety net on the scale that is required." -- Laurie

You would of course think that, and that's OK. It's not an insult but an observation from your point of view. But what if the current scale is NOT required? Remember when welfare reform first came to Wisconsin, and the rolls dropped by 20% immediately, because people would not sign up to even look for work? Remember that, at the height of the 1996 federal welfare reform, welfare rolls were down 50% and still falling,until liberal "compassion" drove them back up, higher than ever? In my own experience, I can imagine effective welfare reform driving the rolls down 80%, over time, with the remainder consisting of those truly needy (although I have always said that everybody can do SOMETHING; I know of one guy in an iron lung who made talking books for the blind) and those who have been on welfare for so long that they have no concept of how to get or hold a job. I've met some of them. These are people almost permanently "ruined" by the government welfare system. They have no concept of actually being at a certain place at a certain time, for a certain number of hours, and doing certain "work" (itself a foreign concept) in order to get a check. They never had to do so before, right?

And if we didn't pay taxes to support a massive welfare system, how much of that would go to charity? And remember, only about half of government welfare actually gets to the poor. There's a "free" 50% cut right there. It isn't that I mind paying taxes, it's that I object mightily to seeing them spent wastefully and even counter-productively.

jerrye92002 said...

""For example, "everybody knows" government spends too much and wastes half of it."
"There are only two sides-- right and left-- not even right and wrong, which would be better." Now I know their is waste in government, but 50%... Not.
Usually things are not Black/White, Right/Wrong, etc except in math problems.
These statements that are made by people with a full cup who are not interested in trying to learn what they may be missing."

And yet, people like Donald Trump can make statements like "government wastes half of what it takes in" and all you will see are heads nodding in agreement. It isn't that what "everybody knows" is factually accurate, it is what they believe is in the direction of the truth and, in politics, too often left unsaid. The appeal of common sense to "common knowledge" is clearly visible.

And somehow our discussions always loop back to education. Has it occurred to you that those with a "full cup," like your Mom, might have something to teach YOU? Sure, there are some things that are not black and white. What to do in Syria would be one of them. There may be no good choices. How much "needs" to be spent on welfare is another not having an exact numerical solution. And for many government policies, I suspect there are far more ways to screw things up than to set them right, all of which argues for giving government less to do and less to spend, so they can allot time to those decisions where they "add value."

And Sean and Laurie have been good at "teaching," here. Sean occasionally corrects what I thought I knew and Laurie often confirms what I already knew. Their opinions on how to move forward from those facts, I may sometimes disagree with.

jerrye92002 said...

"Climate change is a good example. I think it is very well established that climate change is a fact."-- Laurie

Laurie, the problem with reading left-leaning sources is that you believe Manmade client change is a fact, when it absolutely, proven by the "climate scientists" themselves, is NOT a fact, but "the most successful pseudoscientific fraud in history."

I read almost exclusively right-leaning sources, but I read between the lines and find most of them are factually based, beneath the [tolerable, from my POV] bias. What disturbs me about left-leaning publications is that, too often, there are no lines to read between. For example, how many of them are concerned that the Obama White House may have long been aware of Hillary's email criminality? How many have mentioned that the Republican presidential field includes two Hispanics, a black man, and a woman, or that one of the two Hispanics is liable to become our "first"?

Anonymous said...

One way to look at polarization is to examine the reflexive critical reaction, to otherwise non controversial remarks or actions. President Obama went to mosque the other day and said some mild things. The natural reaction to that would be just to say something approving about his comments, or maybe simply to ignore them. But Marco Rubio went out of his way to attack the president's remarks as divisive and hideous and that sort of thing. Clearly, he wasn't resonating to the substance of the remarks, he was simply looking to pick a fight. That's polarization I guess.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

That may be so, but is the effect you describe more frequent with a person like Obama who is ALWAYS, it seems, making divisive remarks intended to polarize? Might we have reasonably concluded this, based on history, almost in advance about whatever it was he had to say? And doesn't the fact that he chose to say these "mild" things in a radical mosque, at a time intended to distract from Republican news, qualify as polarizing, regardless of what he said?

Anonymous said...

"For example, how many of them are concerned that the Obama White House may have long been aware of Hillary's email criminality?"

Unless you are equally as concerned about Bush and gang's email criminality, you're a flaming hypocrite.

Anon

John said...

Anon,
Play nice. No name calling allowed here.

John said...

Based on these, I think Rubio was just following Trump's foolishness and trying to pander to a bunch of Muslim phobic Right Wingers. If people were fire bombing Churches and the President made the same speech, Rubio wouldn't have said anything.

Breibart Rubio Comments

Obama's Speech

John said...

And Lord knows the Religious Right would be in an uproar if Christians were the ones being tormented. Look at the fuss they put up when Christian Florists are forced to serve Gay customers... Imagine if a bunch of backward hicks were fire bombing Christian Florists.

NBC Muslim Hate Crimes Triple

jerrye92002 said...

"Unless you are equally as concerned about Bush and gang's email criminality..."

Sorry, anon, but moral equivalence doesn't fly with me. First of all, I know of no such Bush endeavors (and believe me, if the liberal media even thought it was true, EVERYBODY would know), and Hillary's has the FBI and national security flavors, plus currency and a presidential campaign (and possible indictment) that makes them not even in the same league. My point is that Hillary's troubles barely make the news, and Republicans are pilloried for things like a 20-year-old DWI.

The only place you have a point is that only conservatives can be hypocrites, because to be a hypocrite you must act counter to your stated moral/ethical standards. Since liberals have none....

jerrye92002 said...

John, you would be right, except that a few Muslims ARE terrorizing the country, and in the name of Islam. And the mosque Obama chose to speak at is one of the ones, by most reports, actually fomenting that sort of thing. So is the one siding with the radicals causing the polarization, or is it the mainstream reacting to it that creates division?

John said...

Well you are correct about one thing in your response. "a few Muslims"... Where as the VAST MAJORITY of Muslims are excellent American citizens.

So do you support the Japanese internment camp philosophy?

I would have thought American's would have learned from their past foolishness.

Anonymous said...

So jerry, your right-wing media sites don't give you the news about Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice using private email for classified information (this news is from the past week) and it's somehow the Liberals' fault?

Color me completely not shocked that you would pass off your ignorance so quickly.

Anon

John said...

Actually FOX News is reporting the issue, they just have a different perception regarding it. Not necessarily wrong or correct, just different.


"Clinton pointed at the debate to emerging reports that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the immediate staff of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also received classified security information on their personal email accounts.

But the dozen emails reportedly connected to those cases represent a fraction of the more than 1,600 now-classified emails found on Clinton’s server. Further, no other secretary of state set up a private, “homebrew” server as she did.

“We’re talking apples and oranges here,” the National Journal’s Ron Fournier told Fox News."

jerrye92002 said...

"So do you support the Japanese internment camp philosophy?"

Of course not. But let's recall that it was only a few "extremist Christians" dressing up in white hoods, burning crosses and killing black folks. So if a politician decided to speak at a Klan rally, would you say they were being "polarizing"? Or would it be the folks that /objected/ to such?

The social compact is not a suicide pact. Those who foment violent terrorism deserve to be watched with more caution, without prejudging a whole group. It can be done, but it takes "discrimination" of the good kind, the kind related to common sense rather than political correctness.

John said...

It is a mosque / church... Not a Klan Meeting... And I have not heard of any suicide bombings occurring in Baltimore

Should a President never attend a Southern Church because there may be a KKK member there?

Conservative Christians are such a funny lot. They want total freedom for themselves, yet they resist honoring the freedom of people from other religions and beliefs

The good news is you have a friend in the Bitter Queen. Apparently this mosque has a history of being anti-LGBT...

jerrye92002 said...

Are you telling me it is not possible that a mosque would preach hatred of Jews, Christians, Americans, gays? Would it be acceptable for a US president to speak in such a place? Klan meetings preached hatred against blacks (and if I recall, Catholics). Southern Baptists almost never put on Klan meetings. Would it be acceptable for a US President or Senate majority leader to speak at a Klan meeting?

John said...

I believe it is just as possible that someone within a Church and/or Synagogue could preach hatred against Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, etc. What is your point?

Please note the links I provided above, it looks like this mosque has under gone a great deal of scrutiny with little or no smoking guns.

President Obama spoke at a mosque, not an ISIS or KKK meeting.

jerrye92002 said...

That this mosque has "undergone scrutiny" is evidence that there was some "probable cause" for that scrutiny. Therefore, the President had no business speaking at a place "under active investigation" when he could have easily chosen one more conducive to his point that Muslims are "peaceful Americans." Of course, a guy who spent 20 years in America-hating Rev. Wright's church probably isn't sensitive to such matters and doesn't see them as inappropriate, provocative or incendiary as he ought-- pick your degree of outrage.

If you don't like analogies to the Klan or to ISIS, please tell me an appropriate analog to a mosque preaching hatred for Americans and fomenting terrorism?

jerrye92002 said...

And I point out that "polarization" does not occur until some particle pulls away from its opposite. So polarization is caused by the one pulling (or pulled) away. In this case that is Obama, the most divisive President in history.

John said...

It sounds like you are a fan of guilty until proven innocent in this case. There have been no charges even filed against the mosque in this case. There was just one person who attended it who was arrested, and a "preacher" who said some questionable things 10+ years ago before the congregation booted him..

Do you have a source that shows the mosque and/or the majority of it's attendees have been proven guilty of any wrong doing?

A good analogy would be any Church where the Pastors preaches that LGBT is something to be feared and that aggressive actions should be taken to dissuade people from participating in that lifestyle. That likely happens in many fundamentalist Churches, Synagogues and Mosques. And has certainly led to more abuse and death than the Muslim ghosts that the Conservatives are fond of chasing.

Should the President avoid all of those places?

John said...

As for pulling away, I think regarding immigration it is the Conservatives who are pulling away into a crazy place.

For centuries we have welcomed sane and crazy people here from all over the Earth. This has resulted in many good and bad things happening.

On top of that we have a whole bunch of crazy domestic folk who have guns and have repeatedly shown that they know how to use them on defenseless people.

Now we have refugees who need shelter from a war which we helped to escalate, and the gun toting Conservatives are acting like scared children. Oh no... A few crazy terrorists might slip into our country of 300+ MILLION people. How exactly will we be able to tell the difference between them and our domestic gun toting crazies?

It is so silly...

jerrye92002 said...

OK, so what body count of innocent Americans are you willing to tolerate just so we can demonstrate how tolerant we are of fanatical killers? Let's have a sense of proportion here. 20 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were young, fanatical Muslim men. Should I be worried that Granny in East Texas, though she goes to a fundamentalist church, is going to shoot up an Arby's?

Should a President have any care for the message he sends, by word and by action?

John said...

There are apparently 2.75 million Muslims in the USA, and 1.6 Billion of them in the world. Yes there are crazy ones in the mix. Just like there are crazy Christians, Jews, etc. Should we prevent everyone from coming into the USA?

NPR Mass Shootings

I don't think you need to worry about Granny, however some of these other people going to Church with her may be worth keeping an eye one.

John said...

Now this is kind of humorous for all the fearful Conservatives out there.

I think these "Christians" have forgotten the story of The Good Samaritan... Here is a Children's Ministry Link if anyone needs a refresher course.

I am sure happy I will not be facing my maker and answering that "I was scared, so I promoted rejecting refugees in their severe time of need.
Christian Today

jerrye92002 said...

I simply do not see your point. Your "humorous" article is just one more attempt to divide us by telling us our justifiable concerns over Islamic terror, or Islamic-inspired terror, if you want to show judgment, are irrational. Just look again. If instead of starting your comparison in, say, "late 2001," we back up just a couple of months, all of a sudden Islamic terrorism is far GREATER than any of those things. Does Obama think we're all stupid? (hint: yes)

Who is more polarizing, a President who refuses to call terrorist acts committed by radical Islamists proclaiming loyalty to ISIS, the self-labelled Islamic State, as radical Islamic terror, or the candidate who says we need to halt immigration from these areas until we can sort out which of them are, as ISIS loudly proclaims, radicalized terrorists out to infiltrate and do us harm?

Take a hypothetical case. Say the Dalai Lama gathers up all the Buddhist monks he can find and sets off to burn alive every Christian they can find. He promises to flood the US with these fanatics and do likewise here. Would we be justified in scrutinizing arriving Buddhists, even though the "vast majority" of Buddhists are peaceful? Would a President who spoke AGAINST such common sense and in favor of such frippery be polarizing, since he is acting against common sense?

John said...

"Would we be justified in scrutinizing arriving Buddhists, even though the "vast majority" of Buddhists are peaceful?"

I have heard of NO ONE who is against doing due diligence before these folks are allowed into the country. And Lord knows they aren't going to just show up at our border like the do in the EU. It is the silly paranoid Conservatives who are saying the extreme fear based view that "NONE of these people will be allowed in"...

Or they are saying how dare the POTUS speak at a Mosque that has had ZERO charges even brought up against it.

The Conservatives Zealots are preaching broad based prejudice to the rednecks, and the rednecks like it.

Anonymous said...

I'm amused by all the consternation from Conservatives regarding Barack Hussein Obama, yet none from them at all regarding Eduardo Rafael Cruz.

Curious.

Anon

John said...

I think there is a bad name recognition issue going on...
And given the power of name recognition I can see how it would happen...

Obsama

jerrye92002 said...

"I have heard of NO ONE who is against doing due diligence before these folks are allowed into the country."

Perhaps, like me, you do not listen to a word that Obama says? Because he has said, by news reports, exactly that, that is that we will accept all these Syrian refugees that ISIS TELLS us they have infiltrated, no questions asked. And his appearance at the mosque, if not to say so directly, certainly implies that outlook, while his FBI director tells us in no uncertain terms that they have no way to vet these people at all.

So, is it "broad based prejudice" to accept that the enemy TELLS us that a group contains dangerous individuals, that we know of no way to know who they are, and therefore wish a moratorium, at least, until we can make that determination? To me, the "prejudice" here is to assume that the whole group are innocent and peace-loving, rather that treating them as a group of individuals, mostly good, and some really bad.

Anonymous said...

"...no questions asked."

Please provide proof that this has ever been seriously proposed.

Joel

John said...

I was thinking the same thing...

jerrye92002 said...

Please provide proof that it hasn't. What does "we will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees" mean, if not exactly that?

John said...

Jerry,
Let's say we take 50,000 of the 5,000,000...

Simple math: 50,000 / 5,000,000 = 1%

That would mean we get to turn 99 for every 1 we accept...

Now that allows us to be pretty darn particular...

jerrye92002 said...

Great. Wonderful. On what BASIS will we "be particular"? The administration itself has said they have no way to do so, yet Obama insists that we must because "it's the right thing to do." Whenever he says that, you can be certain it is not.

Again, the prejudice is that all Muslims are peaceful, when the truth is that they are all individuals, some of who are deadly dangerous. So on topic, which is more polarizing-- the high and mighty prejudice or the common sense?

John said...

I think helping the down trodden, even if there is some small personal risk is what our religion and Jesus ask of us.

Giving in to fear is not the Christian choice.

jerrye92002 said...

Helping the downtrodden is important. Separating the wolf from the sheep is essential.

And you can call it "fear" or "prejudice" or "hatred" or anything you like. It does not change the fact that ISIS has directly threatened us in no uncertain terms, and our blind-to-duty President wants to welcome them in with open arms. I take offense at that.

John said...

NPR Refugees Screening Process

I hope for your sake that St Peter buys your argument... I do not.

jerrye92002 said...

St. Peter will never see these suicide bombers, they go straight to their 72 virgins. ST. Peter will only see their innocent victims. And if we could postpone that meeting, why should we argue about it at all? Unless we're trying to polarize.

John said...

I am more concerned about your soul than theirs. Turning your back on widows, children, the elderly, etc fleeing a war torn region because of fear and/or selfishness may not go over too well. :-)

jerrye92002 said...

I thank you for your concern, but I think turning my back on widows and children that we KNOW will suffer or be killed by those with a violent hatred of Americans, Christians, anybody and everybody, will tarnish it more than the tiny few widows, children, etc. that make up such a small fraction of those "fleeing a war-torn region" that Obama wants us to accept wholesale and without question. I prefer to "love my enemy" when he is over there and I am over here. Is inviting a homicidal maniac into your home an act of compassion or of supreme stupidity? Is it polarizing to suggest that there is a difference?

John said...

Now I have given you a link to the extensive checks these poor refugees need to under take yet still you write this silliness... "that Obama wants us to accept wholesale and without question"

Here is another link from Fox News that explains it once again.

With a pretty open Mexican border, it would be a silly terrorist who waited 2 years to maybe be granted asylum...

jerrye92002 said...

Very good. And that helps. However I am struck by an inconsistency: the administration, testifying before Congress, says we have no way to know who the terrorists are among the refugees, Fox News says the administration has it all under control, and Obama says he will veto any legislation requiring it to be under control. Now, erring on the side of prudent caution, what should I believe?

And whom am I going to blame for that "open Mexican border"?

John said...

Maybe you want to check your sources. Cruz Claims Found Mostly False

My guess is that the Southern border is pretty open because neither side really wants to close it. Some Conservatives like cheap labor, some Liberals like helping the needy and almost all of the politicians /citizens don't want to spend the money required to make it secure...

John said...

Here is a different and better Fact Check.

jerrye92002 said...

Well, I must say that a fact check that purports to state and source the counter-facts is better than one that simply claims something is "false" without any such evidence. And these look pretty credible. But why does the President insist he will veto any legislation which requires such checks? Is it just to poke a finger in the eye of any Republican? It seems like that is his wont.

John said...

Do I need to all the homework for you?

Obama is blocking a bill that would put in place even more checks and bureaucracy.

US News Veto Threat
Fox News Veto Threat
USN Senate Blocks Bill

jerrye92002 said...

Yes, you do. I'm still struggling with the bigger questions like, why is Obama being the most divisive President in history, having created the crisis in Syria and then insisting that we all bear the burden, however small though intolerable, of fixing it?