"I find it difficult to discuss or argue with most people on the left because their discourse is based on emotion rather than evidence of facts and history."
It's odd to keep reading this nonsense, I remember hearing Limbaugh sell this point some 20 years ago, and finding it just as absurd a claim then as it is now. Well, even more now. It just goes to show, the right does their homework better than the center right (aka Democrats), remember the formula, keep the message simple, keep it short, and keep repeating it. Worked for the Germans, and it works here, today, because you see the short talking points get regurgitated without any attempt at critical thought at all. I wish the dems would get a bit more cynical and ruthless so they could actually compete in terms of getting core messages acros, but it's just not their style, sad to say, something about being generally well educated makes using hardcore propaganda techniques just not that appealing emotionally. Or intellectually.
There's been a slew of books published by conservatives noting the ahistorical and totally irrational direction of the modern neo-con movement, John Dean's 'Conservatives without conscience' comes to mind as a particularly well researched one, but there are many others.
It's somewhat odd to find former Reaganites from his inner circle, as well, publishing books expressing extreme concern about the near fascist direction the current neo-conservative faction is taking. That term, 'fascist', is something John Dean discussed at great length, even going to the degree of properly analyzing the roots of the authoritarean personality, something that was of course of some concern to the world post WWII. He avoided the actual word, preferring to call it: the authoritarean personality, a term derived from some research done post WWII, but it's just a polite term we use to avoid calling a spade a spade.
One key takeaway from that particular book is that if you do an actual, rational, fact based analysis of the conservative position, you learn something very interesting, it's not based on anything factual, it's a primarily emotional response.
Now, I could read every book coming out from freaked out old time right wingers, but really, what happens is pretty simple, they get older, they think about stuff, and then they see just how bad the current crop is getting. And I give them a lot of credit for that, that's what an open mind looks like, whether it's on the left or right.
Anytime someone uses that magic boogy man word 'liberal' in current US political discourse, in a derogatory manner, I know that person is not thinking their own thoughts. Those are opinions based on injections of ideology into the uncritical mind.
Nothing wrong with genuine political differences based on something other than watching fox news or listening to right wing polemicists, but there's a whole lot wrong with uncritically aping views that are being generated by highly cynical corporatists whose only dream is to get rid of any and all controls over their actions, ie, deregulation.
Now, if I could meet either a cool old time conservative, who, as a conservative, would find the modern neo-cons to be extremist radicals, having nothing to do with any actual conservative view or position, great. They are around, here and there. No idea why they keep supporting the neocons though, I know a few who in the last election actually voted for Obama because Bush had messed stuff up so badly that they just couldn't allow that to continue.
Just to clarify, there is no left or liberal political faction in the United States beyond a few isolated congress people and maybe one senator. There's a sort of center right group, of whom Obama is a member, that panders blatantly to the financial sector, and other components of the corporate system, not as blatantly as the right would do, but pretty blatantly.
When the poster above noted the other 'Intelligent' countries, she's talking about empirically verifiable statements, for example, math ability, reading levels per age group. The USA is dropping lower and lower in all these. Simple examples are when you see someone noting that someone is being 'rational', when what they mean is: you agree with my biased views, derived mostly from corporate for profit media sources pandering to the corporate system. Kant would roll over in his grave at such an abuse of the term 'reason' or 'rational'.
I'd also totally respect really honest right wingers who just admit that they hate democracy, and want the right to rule things. You can't argue with honest views, you can disagree, but you can't argue.
Personally, I find it surreal to see this discussion here, I mean, we use national parks, wilderness areas, etc, all things that if hardcore rightists would have their ways, would be sold off and privatized and destroyed. Or did I miss the environtalist/nature respecting side of the neo-con platform? Maybe someone can point me to it, must be somewhere.
Or is it just that amazing thing, where the right mouths certain superficial things that trigger certain emotional responses, abortion, anti g ay, whatever, while they cynically plunder and loot our future, all the while getting people to consistently vote against their long term best interests?
I'd love to see an actual alternate party, even better, a real democratic system, parliamentary ideally, so that minority parties could be represented, make deals with other groups who need it for a majority, but as it is, what we have is a focused roughly 5% extremist right sector that the republicans cannot win without, who are more and more ruining the possibility of moderate political compromise. Just look at Romney, he had positions either agreeing with Obama, or to the left of him before he flipflopped to pander to that far right section of the population.
But I have to really laugh when I read words like 'history', or 'rational' coming from people here on the right.
The US deficit spiked under all Republican presidents, Bush helped push, via deregulation, the entire housing and high tech bubbles, and got out just as it was crashing down.
What we need to do is start dealing with material reality, not sit on web forums squawking tired cliches that we don't even know the source of. And material reality shows growth slowing globally, oil production peaking globally, about to go into decline. Capitalist economic systems do not do well in non growth scenarios, nor do they do well in resource restricted scenarios, and trying to generate growth via deficit spending is a bad plan at this particular historical juncture. Unfortunately, when both parties are essentially run by and for the economic system that is floundering, it's pretty unlikely we'll see actually 'rational' policies come from either one, but what is dead certain is that the right will push us to the brink so fast it will make your head spin. That's one reason that some people on the left, what exists of it, actually at times promoting the right, it will get us to the abyss a lot more quickly. History certainly shows that is the case.
The problems we are facing are happening all over the world, one sad sign of American's relative cluelessness is that they think these events are somehow regional, they aren't. The problems can be handled, but not if you let the very entities who are creating them and profiting from them dictate the policies both right and center right parties here advocate.
People in Europe tend to be totally amazed at how relatively uneducated and uncultured Americans are, and it really is amazing. Something about raising a few generations on tv I suspect has a lot to do with it, as well as one of the worst diets in the world, you are, remember, what you eat. I had a logic professor in college, I asked him if he'd seen a decline in his student's ability to do critical reasoning and logic, he was older, had seen the 60s/70s era, the first real tv generation, that is, come in, and he said, yes, without any question. Latest research confirms this overall trend. Not to mention the current epidemic levels of obesity in this country, caused by the bad diets, corporate food junk, and so on. And the level of legal drug addiction in this country, pharmaceuticals, particularly mood altering ones. Can't blame people for getting depressed, I mean, really, they aren't wrong.
Let's see, the current US right is: pro coal, pro deregulation, anti environment, well, really, what they are is whatever the far right think tanks funded by big commodity extraction entities, like coal companies, oil companies, and so on, tell them to be. Used to be that the right had people with actual principles in office here and there, still are a few, but they seem to be getting older now, retiring, which is a real drag.