Blogs » Politcs Plus » A failure to communicate



I am not that naive, I know discussing politics in an open forum will often lead to cyber hostility but since we have so many issues before us, I thought an opposing position would be welcomed and not be another step for articles of war. It seems that I was wrong again because, although I don't have an automatic faith in government's capacity of fixing all of our problems, I was placed in that position by my detractors, in a," either you are with me or against me" fashion. It seems since I voted for President Obama, and remain a supporter,and the fact that I often see glimmers of hope, in climbing out of our economic doldrums, I was labeled a Socialist, Marxist, and a blind loyalist. I'm not without blame because I retaliated with labels of my own and several afternoons were wasted with " and your, another one" responses.

It's no secret that were in a volatile ideological age where hyperbole, lies, unsubstantiated material are usually taken for a fact but I think an issue oriented discussion would be more beneficiary. I thought, we had some excellent discussions on healthcare, before the bill’s passage; even though we had a few who tried to derail the discussion. Nurses and other medical professionals weighed in but after while it just became another left/ right issue thread. I can't even imagine having a rational discussion about a new energy policy, illegal immigration, taxes, entitlements, defense spending or any future budgetary ideas.

The constant labeling is the main source of the bickering because many don't know the definitions of the labels they're placing on their opponents. i.e. A questioner might ask "do you believe in smaller government and less taxes," as if his opponent (a liberal in his/hers mind) will automatically give a “no" answer. That question is too vague because everyone wants smaller government but it doesn't answer what programs need to be cut and how much revenue, hardships, or gain their ideas will bring. The same can be said for taxes, seems we have a shortage of revenue right now, what group will you target for tax cuts? Do you believe as Senator Kyl when he says "tax cuts do not have to be offset?" Economics' is about raw data, not boilerplate questions and responses. Next to labeling, comes accusing an opponent without basis. I was accused of being for "voter intimidation" because I did not get overly upset when Fox News tried to sensationalize a case because it involved our Atty. General, race, and it would help their ratings. I just take it for granted that everyone is a patriot and we all deplore, all types of voter irregularities. We are certainly not under any obligation to prove our beliefs.

President Obama is hated by many posters in this forum for various reasons and that is putting it mildly. I wonder if any thought was given to calling Presidents' Kennedy and Clinton,"BOY?" They were young presidents. The hatred goes back to the campaign season and many reasons were given for the hatred such as lapel pins, place of birth, Muslim middle name, acquaintances like Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, and anything else Drudge, Fox News and hate radio could come up with. Granted president Obama did not help his cause by siding with the Harvard professor, or mocking people on the right ,for clinging to their guns and religion in times of despire but he won the election in an Electoral College landslide and 53% of the popular vote. After Obama was elected president the vitriol escalated because, now he was going to be very instrumental in governing. How dare him! He had the audacity to want to speak to our schoolchildren, take his wife to New York on the taxpayers' dime, show some respect to a few foreign leaders as some of his predecessors had done, and worst of all, he is now the commander in chief. I saw a poll recently (I know) that 55% think this president is a socialist. That's ludicrous! That one poll does show how effective Fox News, right wing blogs and hate radio have been in spreading their message. It seems like the recipients of that message do not have the basic concept of history and civics. The Obama Administration is continuing the Bush bailouts and put General Motors in receivership until they get their fiscal house in order. I sincerely believe TARP kept us from going into a depression, and most of those funds were paid off with interest, so I don't see how anyone can call any of those moves socialist. I will concede that Social Security, Medicare, and Veterans Care, do have a socialist component to it but the Republican Party has never taken steps to repeal those programs. Presidents Obama financial team of Larry summers, Paul Volcker, Timothy Geithner and fed chairman Bernanke were never suspected of being socialists, 15 to 30 years ago. Legislation and policy decisions are not made in a vacuum. We still need 218 votes in the house and 60 votes in the senate before a piece of legislation makes it to the president's desk for his signature. In this age of uncertainty it is perfectly natural to dislike the president and his polices, because you would be more comfortable if your guy was in charge but most of this hatred is because of sour grapes and a lot of ignorance when it comes to governing, applying labels, and history.

I will continue to post left of center opinions and if my detractors want to call me a liberal, progressive or whatnot , I certainly won't run away from those labels, but don't try to tell me what I am supposed to believe, or try to belittle me, by taking my words out of context. I've had some enjoyable discussions with posters calling themselves conservative republicans (still do) but it seems we always mysteriously knew when we were getting close to crossing that line. I still get emails (attached smiley faces) with messages like “I see you're still going at it..".... I’m old school, please, if you have a contradicting view, state it in your own words, and if you wish to cut and paste, just leave a sentence or two and provide the link. I don't know about anyone else, but I would like to know how much my opponent understands the subject they are cutting and pasting. I don't like to read long drawn out cut and paste material. I have a long comment history so I can easily be called a liar or a hypocrite by changing my position for political expediency.