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#270041 - 04/17/14 04:20 PM The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
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The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think
Quote:
The new American center has a socially progressive streak, supporting gay marriage (64 percent), the right to an abortion for any reason within the first trimester (63 percent), and legalized marijuana (52 percent). Women, workers and the marginal would also benefit if the center had its way, supporting paid sick leave (62 percent); paid maternity leave (70 percent); tax-subsidized childcare to help women return to work (57 percent); and a federal minimum wage hike to no less than $10 per hour (67 percent).

But the center leans rightward on the environment, capital punishment, and diversity programs. Majorities support offshore drilling (81 percent) and the death penalty (64 percent), and the end of affirmative action in hiring and education (57 percent). Most people in the center believe respect for minority rights has gone overboard, in general, harming the majority in the process (63 percent). And just one in four support immigration reforms that would provide a path to citizenship for those who came here illegally.
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A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

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#270077 - 04/19/14 09:43 AM Re: The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think [Re: NW Ponderer]
rporter314 Offline
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Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 4813
Loc: Highlands, Tx
let me throw this out there

i don't think the conclusion is an accurate assessment of popular political thought. There is an implicit assumption that division is based on some arithmetic fraction. I much rather think division is based on significant contention between disparate beliefs.

Here is an example of what I mean. Absolutely no one on America believes the government should be fiscally irresponsible, or to put it another way, everyone is in agreement i.e. there is no contention. But, the divisiveness is only seen when we deal with implementation of different policies to address fiscal irresponsibility.

Here is an example based on speculative polling. 81% believe we should drill in the Gulf. What of the question were framed as would you support drilling in the gulf if you knew they drillers were leaking oil?

Here is another. Almost everyone believes (at least they say they do)in universal health care and yet it is in the implementation we find deep divisiveness.

Implementation, I believe is the key to understanding divisiveness.
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#270079 - 04/19/14 11:02 AM Re: The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think [Re: NW Ponderer]
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
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I completely agree. I threw the information out here for discussion, and I think there is far more common ground than it would appear in the media. Let's face it, stories require conflict, as do political parties. Without conflict, there is no sale. Media and politics are all about "the sale" - the facts are a distant afterthought. As a result, everything is distorted, and "camps" are created.

I truly believe that most Americans believe in "common sense" and, when given the opportunity, will make relatively wise decisions - take gay marriage, for example. When, however, was the last time that rationality and consideration (in any sense of the word) were in great supply during any such debate? Instead, we are treated with wild allegations, stuffed with fabrications so wild that Goebbels would preen, and expected to behave in particular ways. The scripts have already been written.
_________________________
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

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#270080 - 04/19/14 01:06 PM Re: The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think [Re: NW Ponderer]
california rick Offline
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Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 36014
Loc: Bay Area, California
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
I completely agree. I threw the information out here for discussion, and I think there is far more common ground than it would appear in the media.

Perhaps its the sites I'm going to (RR, Greta, Politico, Alternet, Mother Jones, Media Matters, Gawker, Jezebel), but I disagree. I see a huge partition in how America needs to operate.

I truly don't feel that America can move forward until the current group of conservative old white Dinosaurs die off.
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#270081 - 04/19/14 02:03 PM Re: The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think [Re: california rick]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 20592
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
My dos centavos:

To me the problem is that most people are poorly informed about civic issues and are willing to let others form opinions and policies. In part this may be due to the fact that most people have daily burdens that take all their time, energy and attention leaving them with a sort of "I don't get caught up in that stuff" approach.

In that sense, there is not as much a divide as would appear from the energy put in by those who care intensely about issues. Those who care tend to try to sway the opinions of those who do not care, the latter often going along with the person trying to persuade them simply to get through the moment.

My take is apathy, inattention and passivity are bigger problems than the divisions we hear about. I wonder if we are too united on some of the wrong things -- as Easter approaches the purported teachings of Jesus might bear examination.
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#270090 - 04/19/14 07:13 PM Re: The New American Center: Why our nation isn't as divided as we think [Re: NW Ponderer]
Ardy Offline
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Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 11578
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
I mostly agree with the various perspectives posted on this thread. Even those that seem to contradict other expressed views. Reality is complex and IMO generalizations capture only a sub set of the complexity. Each generalization having its truth but only in a limited way.

Fundamentally we are just a type of animal. As with every other animal we have our own collection of strengths and weaknesses that are broadly common to our species. Many of our characteristics can be more neutrally observed in our near animal relatives. That is a large subject that is off topic

Because we are clever we tend to assume we are more rational than we really are IMO. The scientific method has produced amazing accomplishments. But it is essentially useless to address the social an political challenges that we face

We likely evolved in situations similar to other primates. But now we live in increasingly enormous structures that are increasingly. Global in scale. This has come to pass in an evolutionarily tiny time frame. IMO we simply do not have the capability to comprehend and deal with the problems that we face.

As animals we tend to want to exist in groups. More primaries human groups would be much smaller and organized with some sort of leader. An alpha make. Tribal chief. What ever.

But with extremely large groups it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain any coherent and stable leadership. The problem is exacerbated by the impact of mass media. And the expedient manipulation of that media. And so large groups of people sort of stampede off in response to one promoted enthusiasm or anther.

We mostly do not agree to be lead by anyone. Nor to allow anyone to lead. There is no decision that cannot be endlessly litigated in the court of mass media.

Few of the questions at issue are simple. And so each issue is reduced to cleverly structured sound bytes. For example the defense of marriage act. Or the patriot act. Or the government takeover of medicine. Or the death tax. Or right to life.

On some level there is not such a great divide among us. But we human animals are easily influenced in one direction or another by those who find advantage in dividing us.
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