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Disagree, if you like. But don't condescend. - A Sorta Fairytale
October 2013
 
 
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hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Tue, Sep. 9th, 2008 07:04 pm
Disagree, if you like. But don't condescend.

First, a quiz gacked from thewhiteowl:



Your Issue Profile: 36% Obama, 64% McCain



When it gets down to it, you tend to best match John McCain.

But he's not the perfect candidate for you, and you may not be sold on him yet.



Obama shares a good number of your views too, so you might want to give him a second look.

It all comes down to which issues matter to you the most.



If you feel so inclined, please take the quiz and either post your results in the comments, or if you post them on your LJ, post a link here (JIC I miss it on my regular flist perusals). I have a little hypothesis I'd like to test.

And now, some reading material that should be of interest to the US-politics otaku on my flist. I've excerpted some of the most relevant bits, but you really should read all of it. (You may need to register--for free, but a bit of a hassle--to read the rest.) Please consider what it has to say carefully. If you lean to the liberal side, please note that I am posting this for your benefit. And I mean that, truly, in the sense that I want you to benefit from reading it. I support McCain/Palin, but I don't think it would be a tragedy for Obama to win this election--not least because I know it would mean a lot to those of you who have suffered so much frustration with the current leadership and would like to see the reins change hands to the Democratic party.

Okay, I admit, this is probably more than half of the column. Seriously, you should just click the link and read the whole thing.

Clive Crook writes in Financial Times:

This article is not the first to note the cultural contradiction in American liberalism, but just now the point bears restating. The election may turn on it.

Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt...

It is an attitude that a good part of the US media share. The country has conservative media (Fox News, talk radio) as well as liberal media (most of the rest). Curiously, whereas the conservative media know they are conservative, much of the liberal media believe themselves to be neutral.

Their constant support for Democratic views has nothing to do with bias, in their minds, but reflects the fact that Democrats just happen to be right about everything. The result is the same: for much of the media, the fact that Republicans keep winning can only be due to the backwardness of much of the country...

The irony in 2008 is that the Democratic candidate, despite Republican claims to the contrary, is not an elitist. Barack Obama is an intellectual, but he remembers his history. He can and does connect with ordinary people. His courteous reaction to the Palin nomination was telling...

The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him. The prevailing liberal mindset is what makes the criticisms of Mr Obama’s distance from working Americans stick.

If only the Democrats could contain their sense of entitlement to govern in a rational world, and their consequent distaste for wide swathes of the US electorate, they might gain the unshakeable grip on power they feel they deserve. Winning elections would certainly be easier – and Republicans would have to address themselves more seriously to economic insecurity. But the fathomless cultural complacency of the metropolitan liberal rules this out...

They will have to develop some regard for the values that the middle of the country expresses when it votes Republican. Religion. Unembarrassed flag-waving patriotism. Freedom to succeed or fail through one’s own efforts. Refusal to be pitied, bossed around or talked down to. And all those other laughable redneck notions that made the United States what it is.


Hope that provides some good, nutritious food for thought--as opposed to the mental indigestion that often comes from reading political commentary, especially if it is critical of your own side or party.

To my friends of all political persuasions: please, please, be courteous. Think carefully about the language you use, and the attitude you take, when you address or talk about the other side.

Your friend,
Joie

P.S. On a totally unrelated note, can anyone tell me why my mood theme doesn't seem to work today?

Tags: ,
Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Current Music: Dave Mason ~ "We Just Disagree"

24CommentReply

springdove
springdove
Kristi
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)



Your Issue Profile: 72% Obama, 28% McCain



While it sounds like Obama is the choice for you, he's not a perfect match.

You and John McCain actually share some of the same views.



Whether this is news to your or not, you have some studying to do.

Obama seems like he's the right fit, but it's an important issue might sway you over to McCain.



Still digesting. Not much to say at the moment. Thank you for giving us food for thought. :)


ReplyThread
hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)

Thanks for posting your results. Although you are hurting my hypothesis. :P


ReplyThread Parent
springdove
springdove
Kristi
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)

Heh. Like many of your other commenters, I found some of the questions difficult to answer, as they didn't quite fit what I REALLY thought. There were definitely a few that made me think "I don't really like either!" or "That's too complicated an issue to solve with one of these easy-peasy solutions." That said, I'm a bit surprised that I came out so strongly Obama. I actually thought more of the answers I gave were leaning toward the conservative side than apparently were (if that makes any sense).

I did feel at times that I could tell which answer was supposed to go with which candidate, and I found it hard not to choose the more liberal/Democrat one just to be ornery. ;) I guess the main thing here is that I'm more of a socialist, which tends to be more of a Democratic thing. I'll be curious to hear your hypothesis. I hope you'll share it at some point. :)


ReplyThread Parent
attaining
attaining
Kat
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)

I have trouble that article, not because it's critical of liberals, but because it seems to assume that everyone with a liberal mindset must not be a working or middle class American who values hard work or flag waving pride. "Metropolitan." It dismisses all of the liberals who've been homeless, poor, working, or middle class and have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

As for conservative media realizing that it's conservative, I don't think that's quite accurate either. I don't believe the media is addressing its biases adequately on either side.

The article has a point that Democrat and liberal supporters should be careful in the words they choose to articulate their views, especially when their views may alienate others. Supporters' actions reflect directly back on their candidate. (This goes for fandom, too, don't you think? ;D) That this article doesn't recognize the same flaws in Republican and conservative supporters doesn't sit well with me. I like my news to be critical of its own party as well as the opposing side. I think that's the real tell of unbiased reporting.

At least, that's my impression from the clip you posted, so perhaps I'm missing the whole picture. I wasn't moved enough to register to read its entirety. Being respectful toward others should be common sense. :(

XDDDD I tried to take that quiz, but it's so cut and dry that I kept going, "I DON'T THINK EITHER IS A GOOD IDEA XD." But here's what I got:



Your Issue Profile: 68% Obama, 32% McCain



While it sounds like Obama is the choice for you, he's not a perfect match.

You and John McCain actually share some of the same views.



Whether this is news to your or not, you have some studying to do.

Obama seems like he's the right fit, but it's an important issue might sway you over to McCain.



May I ask what your hypothesis is? :O


ReplyThread
hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)

I believe the article is actually from a British publication, so it and/or the author may be subject to a different perspective and a different set of biases than what you would expect from American writers and publications. I looked at Clive Crook's archives and found plenty of columns critical of both sides.

It dismisses all of the liberals who've been homeless, poor, working, or middle class and have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

I can see what you are saying, but that's not how I took it. I perceived it as addressing a particular class of liberals, which happens to currently be the most vocal--or at least, they are the ones who more often get to hold the microphone, both in the MSM and in the blogosphere.

As for conservative media realizing that it's conservative, I don't think that's quite accurate either. I don't believe the media is addressing its biases adequately on either side.

Yes, I agree. FoxNews's claim to be "fair and balanced" is beyond laughable. But I think conservative talk radio is quite straightforward about its biases. That's probably why Crook gives the conservative side a pass on this.

I like my news to be critical of its own party as well as the opposing side. I think that's the real tell of unbiased reporting.

Yes, ITA. I may have cut the original article badly if you're getting the impression Crook is clearly aligned with conservatives--I felt there were lines in it that suggested he wasn't fully sympathetic to them. As I said, his archives do show criticism of both sides.

I tried to take that quiz, but it's so cut and dry that I kept going, "I DON'T THINK EITHER IS A GOOD IDEA XD."

True! I know it's not perfectly fair, but thanks for posting your results anyway.


ReplyThread Parent
attaining
attaining
Kat
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)

I believe the article is actually from a British publication

Ah, I see! That would make more sense. Thanks!

I perceived it as addressing a particular class of liberals, which happens to currently be the most vocal-

That may have been the intent, but for me it came across as playing into the stereotype that most liberal supporters are elitist sophisticates out of touch with reality. I don't often get that impression when I stumble through the blogosphere, but considering how LARGE the blogosphere is, it may just be where I wander!

That's probably why Crook gives the conservative side a pass on this.

Possibly!

-I felt there were lines in it that suggested he wasn't fully sympathetic to them.

The only thing I noted was his line that Obama himself is not elitist, which doesn't particularly widen the lens on which this article focuses. It's not so much that I feel he's clearly aligned with conservatives as I feel the article's point is lacking. That he focused on liberals to the exclusion of conservatives on behavior both parties share... it weakens the article. His article informed me of something that seemed obvious: Democrats don't always respect Republican views and that can make them look bad to non-Democrats. If the article examined this phenomenon in regards to both parties and suggested a cause and solution, that would've been something to ponder.

You're welcome! Let me know how your experiment turns out! X3


ReplyThread Parent
kawaiinekochi
kawaiinekochi
kawaiinekochi
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)

Hey, we got the same results, lol.


ReplyThread Parent
attaining
attaining
Kat
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)

XD Great minds?!


ReplyThread Parent
hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)

His article informed me of something that seemed obvious: Democrats don't always respect Republican views and that can make them look bad to non-Democrats.

I think there's more to it than that, but I'm having a hard time articulating it. The main reason I linked the article is because I thought he did a good job of explaining something that has often nagged at the back of my mind, and lately has been on my mind even more since the fall-out of McCain's nomination of Palin as his running mate. It's not just about being disrespectful; it's about being intellectually condescending. I really think what he's talking about is something more characteristic of liberal commentary than of conservative commentary. (Conservatives are far more likely to disrespect liberals over morals than over intellect. Which I don't like either, but I don't think it's as damaging to the conservative movement as the liberals' intellectual condescension is to liberalism.)

I've been scrolling through Crook's blog posts of the past few days, and find reports on the RNC that are about equal parts praise and criticism. He also had this in a more recent update:

I certainly intended no disrespect to grass-roots Democrats: my complaint is chiefly addressed to the party’s spokesmen–Obama is the exception–and advocates in the media. I believe they are letting the wider liberal movement down...

As for the idea that those values or cultural affinities are widely shared or even universal, this has not been my experience. Obviously I am moving in the wrong circles, but the metropolitan liberal, in my experience, regards overt religious identity as vulgar, and evangelical Christianity as an infallible marker of mental retardation. Flag-waving patriotism is seen as a joke and an embarrassment. My point about refusal to be talked down to, and so on, was not intended to imply that only Republican voters think that way. What I was trying to say is that the liberal elite seems to forget that ordinary Republican-leaning Americans are proud people who want to be treated with some respect, that they are in fact entitled to it, and that their insistence on it is a quintessentially American idea.


ReplyThread Parent
mrs_bombadil
Mrs. B.
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC)

Conservatives are far more likely to disrespect liberals over morals than over intellect. Which I don't like either, but I don't think it's as damaging to the conservative movement as the liberals' intellectual condescension is to liberalism

Shouldn't it be, though?

Maybe not, I guess, since your point is about what helps or hurts liberalism to advance its cause.

But it's just not that simple. And, I have to say that it bugs me that liberals are supposed to be more *careful* and conscientious about what they say about the other "side" and how they say it. Partly because I think that accusation -- the politics of "SEE HOW THEY HURT YOUR FEELINGS! AND HOW DARE THEY INSULT THE MORE MORAL OF US" -- is something that I think is actively played by some conservatives and that can feed into the kind of thing your lamenting as much as anything some liberals say, or how they say it, IMO.


ReplyThread Parent
mrs_bombadil
Mrs. B.
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 10:41 am (UTC)

*you're* not your


ReplyThread Parent
attaining
attaining
Kat
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)

I really think what he's talking about is something more characteristic of liberal commentary than of conservative commentary.

If you're referring strictly to liberal media (news, journals, blogs) I can understand that. I agree there are people in the liberal movement that act that way and it does reflect poorly on the party. But again, that's more of a class issue, not exclusive to liberals. However, I would agree that it's probably more damaging to liberals than conservatives.

Conservatives are far more likely to disrespect liberals over morals than over intellect. Which I don't like either, but I don't think it's as damaging to the conservative movement as the liberals' intellectual condescension is to liberalism.

TBH, I wonder if that would be the case if U.S. politics were more secular. Conservatives can be condescending toward liberals' moral fortitude, which is just as degrading. Claiming moral superiority is somehow seen as more acceptable than intellectual condescension. I find that unfortunate.

When it comes down to it, each party has members who do silly things that make their party look bad. Each party has conflicting ideas which need to exist to create a balance. Both parties contribute to something horrible and something great about this country.


ReplyThread Parent
dianora
dianora
Liralen
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)

(Conservatives are far more likely to disrespect liberals over morals than over intellect. Which I don't like either, but I don't think it's as damaging to the conservative movement as the liberals' intellectual condescension is to liberalism.)

I thought this was a really good point -- would you mind if I posted something in response in my LJ? My comment got kind of long and abstract. I think I might have done this to you before, so let me know if it's really obnoxious!


ReplyThread Parent
hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)

By all means, post away!


ReplyThread Parent
kawaiinekochi
kawaiinekochi
kawaiinekochi
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)



Your Issue Profile: 68% Obama, 32% McCain



While it sounds like Obama is the choice for you, he's not a perfect match.

You and John McCain actually share some of the same views.



Whether this is news to your or not, you have some studying to do.

Obama seems like he's the right fit, but it's an important issue might sway you over to McCain.



I didn't like the wording of the questions...it got some kind of 'overtones' to them. Like I said before, I am not 100% with my registered party.


ReplyThread
piperx
piperx
The magpie's nemesis
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)

I feel like a guinea pig. ;)



Your Issue Profile: 60% Obama, 40% McCain



Truth be told, you're not really satisfied with either of the candidates.

You could vote for either of them. You are the typical coveted swing voter.



You may want to narrow yourself down to a particular set of issues in order to pick your president.

Or start looking at third party candidates. One of them might suit you better.



That was a really hard quiz! Oftentimes, I disagreed or agreed with both options equally. I don't think this result is accurate though. I like McCain more than most of the presidential candidates of the recent past and I'm ecstatic about Obama.


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mrs_bombadil
Mrs. B.
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)

I had 72% for Obama I think.

I suspect what's happening in the poll a bit, though, is that it is creating false dichotomies and it assigns the results one way or the other (after we've forced ourselves to choose). Knowing that most opinions are more nuanced than that, it tells most respondents that maybe they could actually go either way or are more undecided than they expected.


ReplyThread Parent
piperx
piperx
The magpie's nemesis
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC)

Yes, I agree with that. I've always felt that I was more of a moderate but I suppose the issues and values that matter most to me are decidedly liberal.


ReplyThread Parent
ashavah
ashavah
JK, Action Archivist Wannabe
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)

I did it a while ago, and I believe I was 84% Obama, 16% McCain.

Thanks for sharing the article. I'm not sure how much I agree with it, but then I'm from somewhere where the proportion of conservative media is higher.


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prettyannamoon
prettyannamoon
the laughing cat
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)



Your Issue Profile: 96% Obama, 4% McCain



When it comes to the issues, you agree with Obama on almost everything.

Surprised? Probably not. You've had your eye on Obama for a while.



In fact, you're likely already a strong Obama supporter.

You know where your vote is going this November.




I've been reading up on the history of both parties, and it's amazing how the issues have changed and even completely switched sides over the years. Along with other things I've been reading, it's made me realize I'm not a Democrat - though I vote with that party for now - I'm a liberal.

Both sides are riddled with contradictions. It's just what happens when you combine a socially and economically liberal agenda on one ticket and a socially and economically conservative agenda on the other. I'd imagine many people will never be fully served by the party they vote for.

As for the elitism this article addresses, this is part of why I think Bill Clinton is pretty amazing. Though he may be really freaking wealthy now, I've been to Hope. He doesn't "lack respect for the objects of their solicitude" - he was that object. Both parties have their wealthy dynasties and their "American Dream" stories.

But I can't get too down on the "liberal elite" either - I think they're being no less patriotic than those who wave flags and sing along to Toby Keith. It may be expressed poorly sometimes, but it's still people wanting what's best for their country.


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thewhiteowl
thewhiteowl
Could use a little more cowbell
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)

I've already done it. The usual mismatch between me (social conservative, fiscal practically socialist, environmentalist) and US politics appears to make me 2/3 Obama.

ETA: have just noticed that you got it from me in the first place. About your moodtheme: a lot of Photobucket images seem to be borked as of the last day or two. Dunno why, though.



Edited at 2008-09-10 08:22 pm (UTC)


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susy_gwen
susy_gwen
Jen
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)

Here's what I got.



Your Issue Profile: 36% Obama, 64% McCain



When it gets down to it, you tend to best match John McCain.

But he's not the perfect candidate for you, and you may not be sold on him yet.



Obama shares a good number of your views too, so you might want to give him a second look.

It all comes down to which issues matter to you the most.



So, what's your hypothesis?


ReplyThread
dianora
dianora
Liralen
Wed, Sep. 10th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

Oh, BTW, here are my results. I fudged one answer so I could see the really pro-Obama result:



Your Issue Profile: 76% Obama, 24% McCain



While it sounds like Obama is the choice for you, he's not a perfect match.

You and John McCain actually share some of the same views.



Whether this is news to your or not, you have some studying to do.

Obama seems like he's the right fit, but it's an important issue might sway you over to McCain.



Was your hypothesis that the poll was biased? As soon as I saw the first comment, the whole "he's not a perfect match" and "an important issue might sway you" thing set off warning bells that it was a pro-McCain quiz. But then I read the fine print in yours and it was basically the same. :P


ReplyThread
ginnytoo
ginnytoo
ginnytoo
Fri, Sep. 12th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Political Choices

OK...I did the quiz, and for almost every question, my answer was "something else." Neither of the two choices given was what I would choose, and I hope the candidate who is elected will come up with better ideas, too. My score: Obama 52, McCain 48.


ReplyThread