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JonIrenicus
05-04-2009, 05:45 PM
We all fall somewhere along the ideological lines, at least if we have a position at all on certain issues. So I have a question for all of you, tell us where you think the side you have most in common with (i.e. liberals, conservatives, etc) have it wrong?

Before you start going off, I want to restrict this to areas where you think the other side has it more right, NOT the cases where your side is not strong enough on some issue.


Since I guess some people here consider me some arch conservative, I'll say where I think more liberally minded people have it right.


Gays in the military, gay marriage. I find the conservative arguments against these things pretty feckless.

The military arguments are the most inane, unit cohesion has been shown NOT to be an issue, the armed forces for the UK and Israel have gotten along just fine, so what argument is left? That US soldiers are more fragile and less able to cope?

Pathetic.


I also think conservatives have it wrong when they focus on small government. Some government areas are big and SHOULD be big because it is something we want done that costs alot of money.

I think a better focus would be on limited government, allowing for large expenditures on things we think beneficial for society, but arguing against spending on EVERYTHING.

school lunch, art programs, wireless service, homeless housing. Arguing against an unlimited scope of government spending would seem a far more effective case to make than arguing against the size in certain areas.

I WANT government spending large sums of money on basic research, I want it spending ZERO on homeless apartments. Not its place.

nikkibong
05-04-2009, 07:32 PM
Why the obsession with calling out one's own "side"? (A. Sullivan even gives one of his moronic awards for it.) After all, the way the ideologies/political parties are aligned here in the US seems nearly entirely arbitrary. That is to say: what unites, say, lower taxes for the rich, military expansionism, anti-aborition, or anti-gay as particularly "conservative" positions or, more to the point, "Republican" positions? They are unrelated perspectives, stitched together for political purposes. Likewise for the Dems: there is nothing that logically unites pro-choice, with pro-environment, or pro-union with pro-Wall Street.

Calling ones' "side" "wrong" is a lazy, reductive way to view things. If you're looking for something simple like that, watch the NBA playoffs!

JonIrenicus
05-04-2009, 08:23 PM
Why the obsession with calling out one's own "side"? (A. Sullivan even gives one of his moronic awards for it.) After all, the way the ideologies/political parties are aligned here in the US seems nearly entirely arbitrary. That is to say: what unites, say, lower taxes for the rich, military expansionism, anti-aborition, or anti-gay as particularly "conservative" positions or, more to the point, "Republican" positions? They are unrelated perspectives, stitched together for political purposes. Likewise for the Dems: there is nothing that logically unites pro-choice, with pro-environment, or pro-union with pro-Wall Street.

Calling ones' "side" "wrong" is a lazy, reductive way to view things. If you're looking for something simple like that, watch the NBA playoffs!


By this logic, why should anyone call themselves a republican or a democrat. What is the use for "labels!"

/gag

I ask this because people tend to align themselves with groups who hold a larger number of their views. And I wanted to know how free a spirit people are, even if they tend to agree with one groups general way of thinking more often.

If it is true that Sullivan does not like this type of question and mention of "sides" it's not surprising. He strikes me as very schizophrenic and overly sensitive.


Some people may think the group they are not aligned with have NOTHING right. That's ok. Just means they are strongly in line with a particular world view.

But this is the type of question that gives some insight into a person and where they are coming from. Like why most more liberally minded people were against the Iraq war while a guy like Christopher Hitchens, who shares many liberal views, was for it for so long.

I want to know if there is any more depth to where any of you are coming from, some caveats, or if you are straight down the line liberal/conservative.

Starwatcher162536
05-04-2009, 08:51 PM
Well, I have always considered myself an independent, but since I tend to agree with BjKeefe/AemJeff/Ebeneezer more then DenvilleSteve/Piscivorous/Bobby G., for this thread I will think of myself as a lefty.

What does my side get wrong?

For one, education. Its not as bad as it used to be, but it seems a common component of most proposed education reform is to throw more money at the problem.

rfrobison
05-04-2009, 09:01 PM
Jon:

Like you, I'm pretty far to the right on most issues. But there are two where I am distinctly out of step with most Republicans. One is gun control. I know all about the Second Amendment, but if I had it in my power I would ban handguns outright and make it MUCH harder to get firearms of other kinds.

I live in Japan, where gun crime is virtually nonexistent. It flies in the face of common sense to say that if guns were less readily available that fewer people wouldn't die as a result. You'd always have a black market in illegal weapons and it wouldn't end murders by any stretch of the imagination, but fewer violent boobs would be able to go out and blow away their wives, girlfriends, etc. after having a few too many drinks.

Another is immigration. Although opinions on the right are more split on this one, the rank and file Republicans in Congress were absolutely shameful on this issue during the last election cycle, in my opinion. I find the pandering to nativist sentiment by the "seal the borders" brigade disgusting and it's one reason why I'd never pay for a subscription to "National Review."

There is something fundamentally un-American about the Republicans' majority position on immigration. If there is one issue that would push me over to the other side, this is it.

uncle ebeneezer
05-04-2009, 09:48 PM
I can't think of any issue where I'm on the other side of the consensus of the Democratic party but there are definitely issues that I'm far more in the middle, understanding of the Republican stance, or really think the Dems put their energy into the wrong aspect of an issue or take the wrong tactic.

Race-Based Affirmative Action- I think it has largely outlived it's usefulness and only serves as a rallying point for the GOP. That said, programs of class-based affirmative action to try to ensure equal opportunities for those with less rescources, is fine by me.

Gun Bans- though I generally agree with RFrob on the general outlook, Dems have spent far too much time on the extreme end of the spectrum given the complexity of the issue and how much it resonates with much of the population.

Abortion- again, I'm not pro-life but I think the extreme positions often taken by the pro-choice side aren't a home-run for another very complex issue.

Immigration- though I definitely am not anti-immigrant, I see alot of valid points to the concerns about wage deterioration and sapping of public funds for taking care of illegal aliens. I'm torn on where the proper balance between national interests and humanitarian concerns for the immigrants should rest, but I'm not on the pole of either side.

Sorry, I know these are squishy answers but it's the best I could come up with. There's really no issue that I'm on the GOP side of the fence for. There are many issues where I sympathize with some of their arguments even if they don't convince me that their solutions are worth supporting.

AemJeff
05-04-2009, 11:32 PM
The fact is that nobody has a monopoly on the truth. Anybody who thinks that merely choosing to align their opinions with some arbitrary "side" will grant them any sort of lean toward what's true are kidding themselves. People pick their teams based on idiosyncratic and emotionally charged criteria that have no relationship to what's true. I'm more liberal than not because that's what feels right to me, and I have plenty of rationalizations about how and why my point of view ought to be viewed as approaching what's true. But, ultimately my real identification isn't with the left; rather, it's toward what I believe is rational - which isn't the same thing as what I believe is true. What is true is that I feel more strongly aligned with somebody with whom I disagree, but whom I believe comes by their ideas fairly (by my lights, of course) and rationally, than I do with somebody who clearly agrees with me, but whose process I don't respect.

cognitive madisonian
05-05-2009, 01:12 AM
The fact is that nobody has a monopoly on the truth. Anybody who thinks that merely choosing to align their opinions with some arbitrary "side" will grant them any sort of lean toward what's true are kidding themselves. People pick their teams based on idiosyncratic and emotionally charged criteria that have no relationship to what's true. I'm more liberal than not because that's what feels right to me, and I have plenty of rationalizations about how and why my point of view ought to be viewed as approaching what's true. But, ultimately my real identification isn't with the left; rather, it's toward what I believe is rational - which isn't the same thing as what I believe is true. What is true is that I feel more strongly aligned with somebody with whom I disagree, but whom I believe comes by their ideas fairly (by my lights, of course) and rationally, than I do with somebody who clearly agrees with me, but whose process I don't respect.

I think the same could be said for pretty much everyone, really.

My 'side' is the right, for sure, but within that there's quite a lot of ideological diversity. I agree with virtually nothing that paleoconservatives advocate. John McCain, Jon Kyl, and Lindsey Graham come very close to articulating an overall philosophy identical to mine. Virtually the only difference I have with them is that I am not inherently ideologically opposed to a national health care program. But I still prefer McCain's solution to Obama's.

Bobby G
05-05-2009, 02:27 AM
Obviously, I think my side is wrong on torture. Also, I think they were probably wrong on the war on Iraq. I also think they tend to underrate (or just don't care about) the dislocating consequences of capitalism on community and family cohesion.

Lyle
05-05-2009, 06:41 AM
I'm an Independent who's more sympathetic towards the right being that I'm from a "red state".

1. Social conservatives have it wrong on gay marriage and the interjecting of religion into politics and government.

2. Partisan conservatives/Republicans get it wrong when they overly bash academics, liberals and too oft wave the flag in peoples' faces (not my style)

3. Isolationist conservatives inability to understand we live in a world that has globalized and continues to do so (these guys might reassert themselves during the Obama years I think)

popcorn_karate
05-05-2009, 12:03 PM
Funny, I'm mostly leftish, but gun control is one issue that the right gets right in my opinion. largely because I have no police protection where I live.

I don't like the barely concealed racism that drives the right on immigration, but coming from a perspective based on economics, I think we could do with considerably less immigration of low skilled workers.

uncle ebeneezer
05-05-2009, 07:41 PM
I thought of another: environmentalism/science

The Left often falls into very simplified "everything organic or natural is awesome vs. everything synthetic or with chemicals is evil" which leads them to take positions that aren't very scientifically informed. I think this is symptom of intellectual laziness and the desire to keep a simple worldview rather than one that fits the complexities of reality, and I think the GOP has their fair share of issues where they basically take an intuitive idea and over-extend it beyond it's usefulness. But stuff like Autism are an example of where I think where the Left goes off the rails.

For the record I believe it is absolutely essential to push back over environmental concerns, because big business has shown that they will basically take as much as we give them. In this way it is like abortion where I don't agree with the extremist stance but I think it is unfortunately the one that has to be taken in many battles.

JonIrenicus
05-06-2009, 02:14 AM
I thought of another: environmentalism/science

The Left often falls into very simplified "everything organic or natural is awesome vs. everything synthetic or with chemicals is evil" which leads them to take positions that aren't very scientifically informed. I think this is symptom of intellectual laziness and the desire to keep a simple worldview rather than one that fits the complexities of reality, and I think the GOP has their fair share of issues where they basically take an intuitive idea and over-extend it beyond it's usefulness. But stuff like Autism are an example of where I think where the Left goes off the rails.

....

I never got the big preoccupation with the "natural" fetish either. If I had a cut finger, I would MUCH rather dip it in a vat of neosporin than dip it in a random lake.

It's absurd on it's face, a blatant example of the naturalistic fallacy, what is natural is good, what is unnatural is bad.. definitionally... NO !!!!!!!!!!

JoeK
05-06-2009, 02:33 AM
My side, conservative Republicans, is right on all the issues. Even when, in the past, I thought they were wrong, they have since been proven right. For example, I used to disagree with conservatives' position on the same sex marriage vs. the opposite marriage, but now I don't. Or, another example, when evolution denialist asked to "teach the controversy", I was a against it, but now I see I was wrong and they were right.
Today, when I find myself disagreeing with the prevalent conservative position, I make an effort to figure out why I am wrong. That's only rational, because if the future is like the past, I will be proven wrong on everything I disagree with my side.

JoeK
05-06-2009, 02:39 AM
The fact is that nobody has a monopoly on the truth. Anybody who thinks that merely choosing to align their opinions with some arbitrary "side" will grant them any sort of lean toward what's true are kidding themselves. People pick their teams based on idiosyncratic and emotionally charged criteria that have no relationship to what's true. I'm more liberal than not because that's what feels right to me, and I have plenty of rationalizations about how and why my point of view ought to be viewed as approaching what's true. But, ultimately my real identification isn't with the left; rather, it's toward what I believe is rational - which isn't the same thing as what I believe is true. What is true is that I feel more strongly aligned with somebody with whom I disagree, but whom I believe comes by their ideas fairly (by my lights, of course) and rationally, than I do with somebody who clearly agrees with me, but whose process I don't respect.

AemJeff, you are so smart, I surely would like you to talk at my daughter's kindergarten. With all the Earth Day's propaganda the kids have been fed with, how worse could you be?

bjkeefe
05-06-2009, 04:44 AM
My side, conservative Republicans, is right on all the issues. Even when, in the past, I thought they were wrong, they have since been proven right. For example, I used to disagree with conservatives' position on the same sex marriage vs. the opposite marriage, but now I don't. Or, another example, when evolution denialist asked to "teach the controversy", I was a against it, but now I see I was wrong and they were right.
Today, when I find myself disagreeing with the prevalent conservative position, I make an effort to figure out why I am wrong. That's only rational, because if the future is like the past, I will be proven wrong on everything I disagree with my side.

If Uncle Joe were still alive, he'd be weeping with joy.

AemJeff
05-06-2009, 11:42 AM
AemJeff, you are so smart, I surely would like you to talk at my daughter's kindergarten. With all the Earth Day's propaganda the kids have been fed with, how worse could you be?

Well, aw shucks, Joe. But I'll regretfully have to decline, since the restraining order is still in force.

JoeK
05-06-2009, 01:15 PM
Well, aw shucks, Joe. But I'll regretfully have to decline, since the restraining order is still in force.

Oh, I don’t know. The fragility of children’s psyche is grossly exaggerated (by liberals, of course).
I wouldn’t mind even if that bitch (http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/02/26/images/perezhilton.jpg) , Perez Hilton, came to visit.
The kids would laugh and point in ridicule their little index fingers at him and everybody would have great time.

claymisher
05-06-2009, 01:51 PM
My side, conservative Republicans, is right on all the issues. Even when, in the past, I thought they were wrong, they have since been proven right. For example, I used to disagree with conservatives' position on the same sex marriage vs. the opposite marriage, but now I don't. Or, another example, when evolution denialist asked to "teach the controversy", I was a against it, but now I see I was wrong and they were right.
Today, when I find myself disagreeing with the prevalent conservative position, I make an effort to figure out why I am wrong. That's only rational, because if the future is like the past, I will be proven wrong on everything I disagree with my side.

What do you think accounts for the ability of conservative Republicans to always formulate correct positions? How do they do it?

uncle ebeneezer
05-06-2009, 02:58 PM
God tells them.

kezboard
05-06-2009, 05:15 PM
Yeah, I totally agree. I wouldn't say that this is a left/right issue -- I think it sort of stems from a hatred of experts, which you get on both sides (Michael Savage is a homeopath, for instance) -- but it's depressing how Air America and the Huffington Post have taken to autism-related quackery.

The controversy over GMOs is another example of this sort of thing, although I don't think it's nearly as cut and dried as the autism one.

Thanks, dad!
05-06-2009, 05:36 PM
genetically modified crops, global warming are the two i can think of right now. not all libs care about GM crops but almost all who do care are on the left.....we've been eating them for decades! also, no one has any idea whether global warming is going to be a big deal or not. they can say it is but they really have no idea.

TwinSwords
05-06-2009, 06:41 PM
ROFL.

Gosh, that does simplify things.

TwinSwords
05-06-2009, 06:44 PM
So, what do you think? Was JoeK being serious? Or is that his idea of sarcasm?

Because it's hard to imagine anyone could mean that seriously, except for Joek.

I was thinking his use of "opposite marriage" was a sly give-away, a reference to the same expression used by Miss California (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=opposite%20marriage&defid=3904073).

kezboard
05-07-2009, 02:14 AM
I'm basically a liberal. I don't consider my positions on these things at all contradictory with being liberal, & plenty of liberals agree with me on these points, but enough liberals believe this stuff for it to be considered typical of liberals. So here goes.

- GMO crops. I think a lot of folks' problems with GMO crops have to do with fear of the "unnatural", which is goofy, since genetically altering crops is just doing in a lab what people have been doing in the field for millennia. I understand the problem about GMOs leading to dependence on Monsanto, but I definitely don't think that makes GMOs bad per se. In fact, they could be great for the environment. Bring them on. More GMOs.
- Nuclear power. I don't fear it. Yes, of course renewable energy should be a priority, but more nukes wouldn't be so bad either. Particularly if it means less coal.
- Smoking bans are dumb. The free market can take care of the problem of smoky restaurants. So can ventilation. Srsly, I've seen it happen. And bartenders all smoke anyway.
- This is related to the smoking bans problem, and not really a political problem but a cultural one: it seems that lots of people of the progressive persuasion think of health the same way conservatives think of sex. If you have too much sex, or if you don't exercise or smoke or are otherwise unhealthy, this makes you an immoral person. I can't even begin to say how silly I think this is.
- I am not going to stop using the word "lame" because it originally referred to people who can't walk.

popcorn_karate
05-07-2009, 03:55 PM
one of the issues with GMO that is real problem has to do with patenting genetic material.

In canada, monsanto has been growing GMO corn next to organic farmers. When the organic farmer plants his crop the next year (some of the gmo pollen inevitably pollinates some of his seed corn) he gets sued by monsanto and put out of business for using monsanto's genetics.

this is a real issue. GMO corn turning us into mutants is not.

Starwatcher162536
05-07-2009, 05:50 PM
I would also be worried about reducing genetic variability as everyone jumps onto a few strains that are the most productive.

Is the industry doing anything to prevent this?

Thanks, dad!
05-07-2009, 05:51 PM
that's not the main reason people are suspicious of it. most people aren't even aware of how militant monsanto is about that. libs are afraid because it's not "natural."

rfrobison
05-08-2009, 11:38 AM
one of the issues with GMO that is real problem has to do with patenting genetic material.

In canada, monsanto has been growing GMO corn next to organic farmers. When the organic farmer plants his crop the next year (some of the gmo pollen inevitably pollinates some of his seed corn) he gets sued by monsanto and put out of business for using monsanto's genetics.

this is a real issue. GMO corn turning us into mutants is not.

I'd need to see proof that Monsanto was going after people who had inadvertently "used" some patented variety before I'd accept that claim. I have a strong suspicion that a huge multinational has better things to do with it's time than drag Jeb Brown, the organic dairy farmer, and his cow Bessie into court in frivolous lawsuit that no judge would even hear.

AemJeff
05-08-2009, 11:47 AM
I'd need to see proof that Monsanto was going after people who had inadvertently "used" some patented variety before I'd accept that claim. I have a strong suspicion that a huge multinational has better things to do with it's time than drag Jeb Brown, the organic dairy farmer, and his cow Bessie into court in frivolous lawsuit that no judge would even hear.

Not a bad way to increase market share - taking out your smaller, less well capitalized (and consequently, less well lawyered-up) competitors by mounting suits that, at the very least, create discovery costs and distract small business owners from their primary concerns. And pro-business judges apparently willing to entertain the arguments of almost anything brought before them by slick, well financed corporate legal teams really don't seem like a fantasy to me after years of Republican appointments.

I have no clue what basis in fact PK's assertion has, but the premise doesn't seem like a fantasy to me.

bjkeefe
05-08-2009, 11:58 AM
I have no clue what basis in fact PK's assertion has, but the premise doesn't seem like a fantasy to me.

Yeah, I'm no better informed, but if we're voting from our guts, I'd say this is exactly what I would expect Monsanto to do. They're like Disney with their IP zealotry, is my impression.

Thanks, dad!
05-08-2009, 01:17 PM
i didn't believe it either until i saw a piece about it in mojo or salon or something. all i could think was: "I'm investing my money with assholes!" i guess that's why my parents frowned upon my granting the money manager permission to do so. sadly, i changed nothing but i'm pretty sure they were one of the few companies doing ok through the recession. i know it's prone to exaggeration if it's from mojo but i'll post it if i can find it.

popcorn_karate
05-08-2009, 01:24 PM
http://www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm

gotta love monsanto!

Thanks, dad!
05-08-2009, 01:37 PM
there's too many to list but wiki sums it up well:
http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#As_plaintiff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto#As_plaintiff)