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[BLOG] Fear and Loathing
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Author Topic: [BLOG] Fear and Loathing  (Read 16577 times)
SanitysRequiem
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« on: October 13, 2008, 01:37:13 EDT »

http://www.idrewthis.org/2008/10/fear-and-loathing.html


Sometimes it's important to take a step back.

Today's blog post brought up some thoughts I had been having lately about John McCain.

I am a fervent, hardcore and well-informed supporter of Barack Obama. I know he's the better man for the job of president and will work toward making the US and the world a better place. But I keep having this twitch in the back of my head, something that keeps telling me, "What if I'm wrong? What if 25+ years in the US congress, the Abramof digging, the initial lack of support for the Bush tax cuts...what if..."

But then I realize again what my REAL mental block is. I hate President George W. Bush and his ilk, and I do not hate John McCain and what he represents.

I was only 14 when dubya stole the election, and was fairly ignorant of the goings on in the world, I followed the election and I was sad when dubya was given the office, but by the time the primaries in '04 rolled around and I could register to vote (you can register for the primaries at 17 as long as you'll be 18 by the general election) I was angry, I was incensed, I couldn't stand the thought of that chimp being in office another 4 years.

When the '08 election really started this summer, I wanted to hate John McCain, like I hate Bush. But I have to pull myself back, I hated what George Bush and the republicans did for the last 8 years. I honestly respect John McCain, if this were the more rational and honestly independent John McCain, I would have to think about it more, I would have to think about whether I favor slower diplomacy and government intervention or free market and pre-emptive international action. I would have to think about the issues. The mainstream media wants me to make an emotional decision, think about it in terms of "US" vs "THEM" who do I like as a person?

I know that's wrong, I have to use logic and what I know about history, about 1929 and Hoover's mistakes, about the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall. I have to think, not react, because fear induced gut reactions is what got Bush re-elected. 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 01:45:38 EDT by Manufacturing Dissent » Logged
Manufacturing Dissent
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 01:46:19 EDT »

Editted to include link and proper blog tags.
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"If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.

Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation."
     -Eugene Debs (1855- 1926)
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 09:50:21 EDT »

http://www.idrewthis.org/2008/10/fear-and-loathing.html


Sometimes it's important to take a step back.

Today's blog post brought up some thoughts I had been having lately about John McCain.

I am a fervent, hardcore and well-informed supporter of Barack Obama. I know he's the better man for the job of president and will work toward making the US and the world a better place. But I keep having this twitch in the back of my head, something that keeps telling me, "What if I'm wrong? What if 25+ years in the US congress, the Abramof digging, the initial lack of support for the Bush tax cuts...what if..."

But then I realize again what my REAL mental block is. I hate President George W. Bush and his ilk, and I do not hate John McCain and what he represents.

I was only 14 when dubya stole the election, and was fairly ignorant of the goings on in the world, I followed the election and I was sad when dubya was given the office, but by the time the primaries in '04 rolled around and I could register to vote (you can register for the primaries at 17 as long as you'll be 18 by the general election) I was angry, I was incensed, I couldn't stand the thought of that chimp being in office another 4 years.

When the '08 election really started this summer, I wanted to hate John McCain, like I hate Bush. But I have to pull myself back, I hated what George Bush and the republicans did for the last 8 years. I honestly respect John McCain, if this were the more rational and honestly independent John McCain, I would have to think about it more, I would have to think about whether I favor slower diplomacy and government intervention or free market and pre-emptive international action. I would have to think about the issues. The mainstream media wants me to make an emotional decision, think about it in terms of "US" vs "THEM" who do I like as a person?

I know that's wrong, I have to use logic and what I know about history, about 1929 and Hoover's mistakes, about the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall. I have to think, not react, because fear induced gut reactions is what got Bush re-elected. 

I certainly agree with you that it is important to analyze each candidate calmly and with reason; McCain is, in all fairness, not just another Bush. In other circurmstances (i.e. no blatantly dishonest campaigning, no predecessor that left things sorely in need of change, no fractured party supporting him) I might be willing to accept him as President.

That said, I don't think that supporting a political candidate should or could be a strictly logical choice. First, the election season is too short for those without the time or energy to research candidates to be properly informed. More importantly, however, many traits that are generally seen as important for a leader - honesty, integrity, trustworthiness - cannot be assessed by pure logic.

The key, I believe, is to be empathetic... to recognized that your choosing a leader for an entire nation and not just yourself. This doesn't mean people shouldn't support candidates with policies they agree with, but it does mean to be cautious not to support someone who only cares about their own agenda without respecting others.

The problem I believe (as highlighted in the blog), is that there are too many who support a candidate because he or she comforts them and feeds their ego by drawing clear cut lines for them. This discourages empathy and breeds antagonism, which in turns stalls the democratic process by creating mindless, unyeilding opposition. (Its a major reason I look so poorly upon social conservatism; it preserves ignorance not values.)
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 09:53:05 EDT »

I don't really understand the point Liberal Eagle is making.  Sure each side does not consider the other fit to govern, what of it?
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Medivh
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 19:55:50 EDT »

He's pointing out that bad/lazy journalism is rampant, and that "Iraq has WsMD" is not equivalent to "I did not have sex with that woman".

To which, I say it's about time someone with enough of an audience spoke out. This kind of lazy journalism is a major problem.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 00:16:30 EDT »

Yay Krugman, I use his textbooks!

I disagree on some of his points to a small extent, but I doth love the Kruger.  I do however, disgaree that a lot of dems don't see the world in us and them systems as well.  It's more aggressive, and I hate to say this, more fun.

We like to slay the demon, whatever side we're on, and it's easier to want someone gone when youare certain your side is in the right on everything and they are evil.  We, as a species, really like clean ordered lines.  The real world often lets us down though, and we find ourselves having to doubt things, and doubt is rarely a pleasurable emotion, so instead we give into mob mentality and wave our bone clubs above our heads and shout war cries.

The problem usually arises after winning like that.  We like to humiliate the defeated.  That was what made Clinton a very special leader, he wasn't interested in mocking and destroying the 'pubs as much as getting things done.  This is part of what makes me scared at night with Obama, I don't know how he'll handle victory, or what he really believes.

Being gracious in defeat is easy, being gracious in victory is suprisingly hard.
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"No common man could believe such a thing, you'd have to be an intellectual to fall for anything as stupid as that."-Orwell
wodan46
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 01:31:38 EDT »

The problem usually arises after winning like that.  We like to humiliate the defeated.  That was what made Clinton a very special leader, he wasn't interested in mocking and destroying the 'pubs as much as getting things done.  This is part of what makes me scared at night with Obama, I don't know how he'll handle victory, or what he really believes.
If he is MLK's followup, as pointed out in the Art thread earlier, the solution will be NOMNOMNOM.  Which is awesome.
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 02:35:23 EDT »

In my fanfic of the occasion, he takes their forelocks as trophies and then defeats a team-up between Maleficent and Ares, God of Poorly Handled War, by finding and wielding the Master Sword and mastering the Hadoken.
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 03:35:58 EDT »

In my fanfic of the occasion, he takes their forelocks as trophies and then defeats a team-up between Maleficent and Ares, God of Poorly Handled War, by finding and wielding the Master Sword and mastering the Hadoken.
Well I'm not sure anyone can add anything as truly deep and meaningful as that post, but I'll give it a shot anyway. 

I am not sure if I hate George W. Bush.  I have, hammered into my subconscious, a socially-programmed aversion to the word and concept of hate.  My programming says that hating something is bad.  Even if you feel it must be destroyed utterly, you should avoid HATE because hate leads to passionate responses and poor judgment in executing your plan for execution.  I also hesitate to call him the "wurst president evar" because the real question is how the ripples and waves of his legacy will affect the flow of history.  Reagan's legacy was a monstrous failure but he is considered a mighty success, his greatest failures were not even directly affected by his policies, but rather indirectly affected by his demeanor and "style over substance, endless fear and war rather than peace and development." 

As for McCain, I simply feel pity.  The man is a broken shell, trading his integrity, his ideals, his reputation, and his service for one shot at the blaze of glory, the seat he has coveted for so long.  He did some good things, he did try to "reach across the aisle" but when push came to shove and he lost the 2000 election he became the "reformed maverick" and began to walk the party line. 

As for Eagle's point, the left seems less likely to have rabid haters than the right, but whether or not that is true, the rabid hateful right gets FAR more screen time than the "Yellow-dog Democrats."  Name 3 hateful pundits who have suggested violence against the "them" in "us vs. them" and you will be hard pressed to add even one leftist to the list.  You might be able to dig up some obscure Micheal Moore quote, but you can dig up TONS of shit from Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, etc. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 06:40:25 EDT »

He's pointing out that bad/lazy journalism is rampant, and that "Iraq has WsMD" is not equivalent to "I did not have sex with that woman".

To which, I say it's about time someone with enough of an audience spoke out. This kind of lazy journalism is a major problem.
I understand that, but I don't understand how the exchange he quotes has anything to do with it.
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 09:18:49 EDT »

Roberts, having nothing better to reply to Krugman with, pulls out the good old "Yeah, but you do too!" for a fallacy double threat, with a side order of lazy journalism.

Ignoring for a second the tu quoque fallacy, when you compare Krugman pointed out to what Roberts is trying to make equivalent to the follies of the Republican party, it doesn't stack up. It's deceiving to list the two side by side, because they're not equivalent. Roberts lies when he tries to make them so, and suffers from lazy journalism because the Democratic party is not too far from being an easy target.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 10:13:03 EDT »

Roberts, having nothing better to reply to Krugman with, pulls out the good old "Yeah, but you do too!" for a fallacy double threat, with a side order of lazy journalism.

Ignoring for a second the tu quoque fallacy, when you compare Krugman pointed out to what Roberts is trying to make equivalent to the follies of the Republican party, it doesn't stack up. It's deceiving to list the two side by side, because they're not equivalent. Roberts lies when he tries to make them so, and suffers from lazy journalism because the Democratic party is not too far from being an easy target.
But they are not comparing the follies of the Republican party to the Democratic party.  They are pointing out how opposed factions in those parties are to governance by the other side.  And both of them are right.  There are in fact many in the Democratic party who responded this way to Bush's presidency, there still are.
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 10:50:52 EDT »

But they are not comparing the follies of the Republican party to the Democratic party.  They are pointing out how opposed factions in those parties are to governance by the other side.  And both of them are right.  There are in fact many in the Democratic party who responded this way to Bush's presidency, there still are.
Whereas the Republicans were basically in open insurrection and were able to more or less completely wreck a good half or more of Clinton's policies, Democrats have signed the Patriot Act, supported the Iraq War initially, and gone along with quite a few of Bush's policies, even though Bush policies are far more to the Right than Clinton's were to the Left.

In short, there is quite obviously no equivalence.  Accusing a candidate for murder with no real evidence supporting such and accusing a candidate for murder after they start a war on false grounds that results in the bloody death of half to a full million civilians are NOT the same thing, and even then influential mainstream Democrats aren't willing to be that accusatory, whereas influential mainstream Republicans were quite happy to do so.
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 14:15:36 EDT »

I think part of why the democrats come across as less spiteful is because, well, there are an awful lot of democrats who do double-time as absolute cowards.

I would also hesitate to overlap non-violence with a lack of hatred, violence is not neccessarily an act of hatred, and exists to a large part on a totally different axis from it.  There are quite a lot of people on the left who would never enact physical violence, this makes them pascifists not saints.  There are similarly many Nietzschians who are okay with physical violence, and enacts upon each other in friendship and with a degree of glee.  Most skilled fighters greatly appreciate thier opponents.

The question is how many democrats would willingly sue someone into oblivion, as that seems to be the non-violent version of punching someone in the lip.  It's much more cowardly in my opinion, and the cowardice of the democratic party physically and spiritually is something I would have a hard time squaring with.
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2008, 15:18:59 EDT »

Or it's just a belief in law and order. 

But that's just crazy talk. 
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