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How the Left Learned to Hate Like the Right

By MICHELLE GOLDBERG

APRIL 29, 2017

 

MARIETTA, GA. — Shortly before President Trump’s swearing-in, I spoke to Steve Cohen, a liberal congressman from Tennessee, about his decision to skip the ceremony. Mr. Cohen said his horror of Mr. Trump almost made him understand how Tea Partyers might have felt under President Barack Obama. “I want my country back!” he said, echoing the right’s rallying cry.

 

One hundred days into his administration, President Trump has few legislative achievements to his name. But he has forced liberals to experience the near-apocalyptic revulsion that conservatives have often felt toward Democratic presidents. In doing so, he has unwittingly created a new movement in American politics, as Democrats channel the sort of all-encompassing outrage that has long fueled grass-roots conservatism.

 

For decades, Democrats have envied the Republicans’ passionate, locally attuned base. It turns out that what Democrats were missing was a sense of existential emergency. Mr. Trump has provided it.

 

MORE:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/opinion/sunday/how-the-left-learned-to-hate-like-the-right.html


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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The right's version of this was not only less extreme but it had a certain je ne sais quoi about it. I think what's lacking with the far left today is a sense of self. After 2008, the Tea Party was almost as mad at the Republican Party as it was Obama. Angry Democrats today seem to only hate Trump.

 

The Tea Party tried to change the Republican Party - most of the supporters were Ron Paul supporters, and they wanted to get Paul-like candidates elected to office in place of establishment candidates. I haven't gotten any inkling that that sort of thing is happening on the left. There would be a parallel here if the left were trying to get Bernie-like candidates to challenge establishment politicians, but they aren't. They'll field the same candidates in 2018 that they did in 2016, and probably end up with someone like Chelsea Clinton running for president in 2020. And when they lose again, and again, they'll continue to be mad at Trump and continue to think he's the problem.

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^You must've been drunk for most of 2009 and 2010..... "less extreme"?  You've got to be kidding me.

 

Certainly there is a different approach.  I don't expect the Left, in response, to prop up political idiots like Sarah Palin, Todd Aiken, Christine O'Donnell, and the crème de la crème of them all, The Donald.  That tactic just doesn't work on the Left.  The Right could very well nominate Ted Nudgent if he ran for office.  That won't happen on the other side of the aisle. But it doesn't mean that the noise you hear is fake.  The GOP has learned this lesson many times and will learn it again very soon.   

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The "less extreme" is wildly subjective. As a moderate I think I have been able to objectively look at both (perhaps not though).

 

The extreme right denies science supported by overwhelming, empirical scientific evidence. They cannot stand the expansion of government - which, ironically, should pit them against Donald Trump.

 

The extreme right cannot stop with faux-outrage. Every critique of anything not correlated to a straight, white, male will be spun as sexists, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic - though part of the time that critique is very much warranted.

 

Both extremes are prone to obstructionism - the left will never agree to balance our budget because it will inevitably cut "necessary" social programs and the like and, to be blunt, the right were obstructionists because the man in the Oval Office was named Barack Obama.

 

Susanne Collins, Joe Manchin, John McCain, Claire McCaskille, Ben Sasse and the like have all received tongue-lashings from these extremes simply for not being an extremist... being cast off as RINOs on the right and "not progressive" on the left.

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I will say the biggest change I noticed was speaking with liberal friends. Where they used to be happy and willing to engage in civil conversation and disagreement, now even the slightest disagreement with the liberal doctrine has them call you a racist, misogynist, or bigot who is not worthy of engaging in conversation with them. I definitely have seen a downgrade in civil discourse from the left lately.

 

I do feel there is a Trump Derangement going on within some liberal circles which is similar to what some of the extremes in the tea party were in 2010. I will say that with the Tea Party, they were more buffoons and caricatures where I sense much more of a threat to get violent from the left this time. 

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I will say the biggest change I noticed was speaking with liberal friends. Where they used to be happy and willing to engage in civil conversation and disagreement, now even the slightest disagreement with the liberal doctrine has them call you a racist, misogynist, or bigot who is not worthy of engaging in conversation with them. I definitely have seen a downgrade in civil discourse from the left lately.

 

I do feel there is a Trump Derangement going on within some liberal circles which is similar to what some of the extremes in the tea party were in 2010. I will say that with the Tea Party, they were more buffoons and caricatures where I sense much more of a threat to get violent from the left this time. 

 

And if you disagreed with the Tea Party, you were an anti-American fascist socialist freedom-hating libtard who wants to snatch the God-given guns right out of the hands of REAL Americans.  BEENNNNNNNNGHHAAAAAAAAZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I will say the biggest change I noticed was speaking with liberal friends. Where they used to be happy and willing to engage in civil conversation and disagreement, now even the slightest disagreement with the liberal doctrine has them call you a racist, misogynist, or bigot who is not worthy of engaging in conversation with them. I definitely have seen a downgrade in civil discourse from the left lately.

 

I do feel there is a Trump Derangement going on within some liberal circles which is similar to what some of the extremes in the tea party were in 2010. I will say that with the Tea Party, they were more buffoons and caricatures where I sense much more of a threat to get violent from the left this time. 

 

 

And if you disagreed with the Tea Party, you were an anti-American fascist socialist freedom-hating libtard who wants to snatch the God-given guns right out of the hands of REAL Americans.  BEENNNNNNNNGHHAAAAAAAAZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

easy there, Snowflake

 

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Don't get me wrong, there were a number of Tea Partiers who were shut down to other ideas that did not reinforce their own. Liberals were justified in poking fun at them and mocking them. The problem is now that Liberals and progressives are no longer open to discussion and debate either and it is becoming an all or nothing proposition from them too.

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I have warned several of my more extreme Left wing friends to not become what they hated so much out of virtually the entire right side of the political aisle when Obama was in office.  That's a fair point to make.

 

However, I think you are misinterpreting the vast majority of the frustration.  Liberals have finally taken a stand.  They are now FINALLY refusing to allow the goal posts to be re-positioned.  The all or nothing propositions you see are what used to be middle ground.  But people like Limbaugh, Hannity, etc have convinced far too much of this country that the middle ground we used to find falls into that filthy, obnoxious word...... 'compromise' (gasp!).  This all or nothing way of thinking is coming from the Right, not the Left, and was on full display for 8 years, wherein the GOP refused to approve of anything they were not fully and wholly on board with.     

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The Left lost tons of brand equity in the '80s and early '90s by being too screechy and whiny. Really, the Left's brand equity was fine until a few months ago despite losing the Presidency because of their uninspiring candidate that had too many problems. Trump has even more problems but makes up for it by giving Nugent clones massive wood. Throwing out all the decorum the Left built by spewing out every allegation in the book is really dumb. The jokes and jabs write themselves with Trump just like a lot of other Republicans... its SOOOO easy to make fun of this blowhard on his own that there zero need to yell "RACIST!"

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Don't get me wrong, there were a number of Tea Partiers who were shut down to other ideas that did not reinforce their own. Liberals were justified in poking fun at them and mocking them. The problem is now that Liberals and progressives are no longer open to discussion and debate either and it is becoming an all or nothing proposition from them too.

 

The ultimate paradigm of current liberal angst...

 

Liberal: Science is fact.

 

Person: Okay. So aren't there two genders?

 

Liberal: BIGOT!!!!

 

Obviously, not all progressives are like that. But, I believe that sort of reasoning and unwillingness to engage with people that may not otherwise understand prevalent LGBT issues isolates those people. If you are terrified of asking a question because you will be labeled by some "ism", you are less likely to engage with people.

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^ it sounds like you have no understanding of gender and sex from a scientific stand point.  You should start there.

 

Your response highlights why my example was perfect....

 

I, personally, want everyone to be happy in their own skin. I know there is a difference between gender and sex, that gender may be fluid, etc. and I only learned that through engagement.

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So your example was wrong and somehow I'm the jerk.  Got it.

 

The example was an anecdote to the average person. Hence the "person" caption, instead of "me"

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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It was still wrong and the whole exchange you created is a strawman.

 

We can agree to disagree. My entire point is how extremely difficult it is for uneducated people to engage anyone from the left on this topic without an angry response. I am sure MANY people have no interest in engaging anyone, but there are a lot of centrists that would love to know more about it and be able to ask questions without being castigated.

 

Didn't mean any offense to anyone, I was just trying to illustrate a point that I think far often goes unnoticed.

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

 

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

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Your conversation doesn't actually exist.  It is a strawman.  When I have these types of discussions with people, I try to correct the accuracy of statements first.  When that doesn't work, there is no point in debating a person that doesn't believe facts.

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

 

This is true.  However, Trump and Carson were the only candidates to support anti-Vax during the campaign.

 

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Your conversation doesn't actually exist.  It is a strawman.  When I have these types of discussions with people, I try to correct the accuracy of statements first.  When that doesn't work, there is no point in debating a person that doesn't believe facts.

 

Okay

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Objectively, there’s no comparison between the conservative demonization of Mr. Obama and the progressive case against Mr. Trump. People on the right saw Mr. Obama as a Kenyan-born secret Muslim with a hidden agenda to hobble American power and a health care reform plan to establish “death panels.” None of that is true.

 

 

The premise of this article is to compare idiots on the right vs. fact-based criticism from the left.

 

Are normal people on both sides of the political spectrum even capable of having a rational discussion any more?

 

 

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

 

I'm not sure that's the case.  Trickle Down Economics has been largely been debunked, but is a bellwether of the Right despite how many studies show it doesn't work.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

This is true.  However, Trump and Carson were the only candidates to support anti-Vax during the campaign.

I guess that's true.  I anecdotally tend to hear most anti-vaxer rehetoric from people I know to be liberal, but it's true that our president is in that category as well.  Goes to show just how much of a looney Trump is when his arguments on almost any topic can so easily be debunked.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

 

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

 

Examples?  I'm not sure what you mean by 'data-based fact in Economics'.  I think there may be some examples of liberals placing something at a higher value than bottom line economic benefit.  But that doesn't result in denying a fact.  For instance, we could kill every single terrorist in Iraq and Syria tomorrow if we wanted to.  But we choose not to.  Not because we don't want them all dead.  We choose not to because of the collateral damage which would result.

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Don't get me wrong, there were a number of Tea Partiers who were shut down to other ideas that did not reinforce their own. Liberals were justified in poking fun at them and mocking them. The problem is now that Liberals and progressives are no longer open to discussion and debate either and it is becoming an all or nothing proposition from them too.

 

The ultimate paradigm of current liberal angst...

 

Liberal: Science is fact.

 

Person: Okay. So aren't there two genders?

 

Liberal: BIGOT!!!!

 

Obviously, not all progressives are like that. But, I believe that sort of reasoning and unwillingness to engage with people that may not otherwise understand prevalent LGBT issues isolates those people. If you are terrified of asking a question because you will be labeled by some "ism", you are less likely to engage with people.

Don't get me wrong, there were a number of Tea Partiers who were shut down to other ideas that did not reinforce their own. Liberals were justified in poking fun at them and mocking them. The problem is now that Liberals and progressives are no longer open to discussion and debate either and it is becoming an all or nothing proposition from them too.

 

The ultimate paradigm of current liberal angst...

 

Liberal: Science is fact.

 

Person: Okay. So aren't there two genders?

 

Liberal: BIGOT!!!!

 

Obviously, not all progressives are like that. But, I believe that sort of reasoning and unwillingness to engage with people that may not otherwise understand prevalent LGBT issues isolates those people. If you are terrified of asking a question because you will be labeled by some "ism", you are less likely to engage with people.

 

The science is fact is a perfect example.  It is true that there is a section of conservatives who just don't have a clue on science. However, there are a number of liberals who embrace the science sound bites and are the exact same. The problem is that science is ever evolving and through continuous questioning you get to refine answers and analysis on a regular basis. It almost is the same as the science deniers because they are too quick to attach themselves to a scientific study that supports their narrative, they are too afraid of reasonable questions toward those theories because it may lead to their narrative having to be re-evaluated down the line. 

 

Just like we need to trust in science, we also need to keep asking questions and questioning it because it will yield to better results. The point is, we need to quit politicizing science on both ends of the spectrum.

 

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

 

I'm not sure that's the case.  Trickle Down Economics has been largely been debunked, but is a bellwether of the Right despite how many studies show it doesn't work.

 

That was the crux of the "cuts both ways" comment

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

 

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

 

Examples?  I'm not sure what you mean by 'data-based fact in Economics'.  I think there may be some examples of liberals placing something at a higher value than bottom line economic benefit.  But that doesn't result in denying a fact.  For instance, we could kill every single terrorist in Iraq and Syria tomorrow if we wanted to.  But we choose not to.  Not because we don't want them all dead.  We choose not to because of the collateral damage which would result.

 

You are absolutely right. This was more a comment to the Sanders camp's wealth redistribution plans, i.e. paying for things on margin and at the cost of business growth.

 

Bernie Sanders is probably my favorite politician right now, because I know he's genuine. His economic policies are idealistic and unworkable in the US. His style of wealth redistribution has stagnated some post-Cold-War Eastern European countries.

 

I wish he would look to Ireland's example. They launched a massive deregulation in business. However, they collected revenue taxes and allocated them to funding public education and infrastructure. In my opinion, it is a very nice way to approach a pro-business model for wealth redistribution, I just do not know how we would scale it to the United States.

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It really should be noted that a higher percentage of liberals are anti-vaxers and anti-GMOs.  Particularly in the case of vaccine safety, there's tremendous scientific evidence for the benefit of vaccines.  That being said, pretty much every other anti-science/research based topic that I can think of are bellwethers of the Right Wing.  Am I missing any science based topic that liberals tend to stray away from?

Science, no. But I do think there is some data-based fact in Economics that liberals struggle with. Though, that certainly cuts both ways.

 

I'm not sure that's the case.  Trickle Down Economics has been largely been debunked, but is a bellwether of the Right despite how many studies show it doesn't work.

 

That was the crux of the "cuts both ways" comment

 

Out of curiosity, what widely debunked economic theories do liberals tend to support?


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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The science is fact is a perfect example.  It is true that there is a section of conservatives who just don't have a clue on science. However, there are a number of liberals who embrace the science sound bites and are the exact same. The problem is that science is ever evolving and through continuous questioning you get to refine answers and analysis on a regular basis. It almost is the same as the science deniers because they are too quick to attach themselves to a scientific study that supports their narrative, they are too afraid of reasonable questions toward those theories because it may lead to their narrative having to be re-evaluated down the line. 

 

Just like we need to trust in science, we also need to keep asking questions and questioning it because it will yield to better results. The point is, we need to quit politicizing science on both ends of the spectrum.

 

The problem with liberal extremists when it comes to science is the exact opposite of right wing extremists. While right-wingers can occasionally be justifiably critiqued for questioning scientific evidence, an equal or even greater number of left-wingers claim that theories are "facts" and that all debate is over - particularly when it comes to social/soft sciences - fields that are completely dominated by theory and subjectivity.

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^ I won't disagree with that.  Take, for instance, the debate over whether Trump is psychologically unfit for office due to mental instabilities and weaknesses.  Many liberals claim that the diagnosis is fact and conservatives claim it is all B.S.  We should be able to agree upon a middle ground and respect each other's opinions.

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The problem is people like Sarah Palin and Maxine Walters say extreme asinine things and they are rewarded with more air time which in a perverse way gives them credibility and reinforces a crazy view. The more extreme you act, the more it helps your personal brand or political brand so you see more people on both sides of the aisle act like buffoons instead of try and solve problems. It is why you have clowns like Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis act out because the goal is not really standing up for principle but more about developing a political brand for future higher office, or lobbying or a high position at a think tank.

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I think the fact that you are lumping Maxine Waters (not Walters) with Sarah Palin kind of gets at the crux of present day Liberal frustrations.... which may be boiling over into what you would consider "extremism".  It's a good example of the false equivalencies Liberals constantly are forced to counter and that tactic precludes the substantive discussion which should be happening.  There are reasons to criticize Walters but to equate her 'asinine-ness' with Palins is.... well...... asinine.  Cruz and Davis are also very, very different types of politicians who can't be compared.... other than the fact they are from Texas and enjoy a good filibuster. 

 

Back to the more general topic, when discussing 'Liberal extremism', you have to at least try to comprehend how big the 'political tent' is on the Left..... especially now that it has gotten much bigger with Trump in office.

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I think the fact that you are lumping Maxine Waters (not Walters) with Sarah Palin kind of gets at the crux of present day Liberal frustrations.... which may be boiling over into what you would consider "extremism".  It's a good example of the false equivalencies Liberals constantly are forced to counter and that tactic precludes the substantive discussion which should be happening.  There are reasons to criticize Walters but to equate her 'asinine-ness' with Palins is.... well...... asinine.  Cruz and Davis are also very, very different types of politicians who can't be compared.... other than the fact they are from Texas and enjoy a good filibuster. 

 

Back to the more general topic, when discussing 'Liberal extremism', you have to at least try to comprehend how big the 'political tent' is on the Left..... especially now that it has gotten much bigger with Trump in office.

wow, you're right about this! Maxine Waters takes "asinine-ness" to a whole different level that Palin could never dream of!

 

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