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Solutions to Today’s Polarized Politics?

Discussion in 'The Swarm Lounge' started by MWBATL, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. MWBATL

    MWBATL Helluva Engineer

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    Many threads and fonts acknowledge that there is currently a wide partisan divide in our country.....wider than most of us have seen in our lifetimes. It often seems now that we no longer share the same values.

    Rather than blame one side or the other, what constructive changes could be made to minimize the current conflict?
     
  2. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Most polls I’ve seen show a 40% approval for Socialism. That’s the antithesis of our founding principles. We basically have 1 large group of people who were born in the wrong country. You can’t have both a market-based America and a Socialist America at the same time. There isn’t a middle ground.

    Furthermore, our news media takes sides and takes cues from politicians. I highly recommend turning in your party affiliation and dumping it. Then dump cable news. The two of those groups work in concert to try and get everyone to hate everyone else.
     
  3. Lotta Juice

    Lotta Juice Helluva Engineer

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    I think this is a perfect example of why it's so polarized, people claiming almost half of the country were "born in the wrong country". It only took one post :banghead:
     
  4. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Until we’re honest and admit that 40% of our country want us changed into something we’re not supposed to be, we won’t be able to understand the magnitude of our differences.
     
  5. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    You make a good point - nobody is born a socialist. I probably could have stated it better. But the point is people want pajama boy socialism. They want the Scandinavian bunch-of-stuff-for-free, but they don’t want to pay out of the nose like they do over there. But either way, that’s not America.
     
    awbuzz likes this.
  6. Lotta Juice

    Lotta Juice Helluva Engineer

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    That's a loaded statement, "something we're not supposed to be". Who decides that...you? Or do people get to vote on what we're "supposed" to be.

    And no, you don't have to paint 40% of the country as not belonging here to understand differences in political views
     
  7. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    The Constitution decides it. We’re not polarized because I pointed this out. If you’re a Republican or a Democrat and believe in our founding principles, you’re in the right country. If you prefer socialism, you’re in the wrong country. IIWII. Exactly why these statements confound you is why there’s the problem, and that’s my point.
     
  8. Lotta Juice

    Lotta Juice Helluva Engineer

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    I'm not confounded by any of your statements just disagree with your premise and characterization of the positions. You're treating socialism as if it's a binary issue and there is no middle ground which I very strongly disagree with. K-12 education is provided by the government and some people are pushing to make it more like K-16. And that makes them socialists who don't belong in the country? What about the K-12 education currently? That's totally fine and not socialist but adding 4 years means they are against the Constitution? Sounds hyperbolic. And that is what feeds the partisanship IMO. Similarly on the other side where some on the left will claim that all Republicans are racist/fascist for x, y, z reasons.

    Disagreements about the size, scope, and role of government have existed since before the Constitution and will continue on in perpetuity. Just because someone disagrees with you on the role of government doesn't mean they are in the wrong country, it means they are a part of this one and are exercising their rights to speech and sharing of ideas and debate.
     
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  9. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    I couldn't agree more with what you're saying. But none of that defines socialism. Do you want higher taxes? Do you want more and larger safety nets? Do you want more regulations on companies? None of that is unAmerican. None of that is socialism.
     
  10. Lotta Juice

    Lotta Juice Helluva Engineer

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    That's fair to clarify the definition of socialism. I'm not familiar with those polls showing 40% approval for socialism. If they are indicating 40% of people approve of universal healthcare and college I could believe that but it wouldn't be socialism as you said. If it's 40% of people approve of pure socialism through all industry I find that hard to believe.
     
  11. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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  12. Lotta Juice

    Lotta Juice Helluva Engineer

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    And from the Gallup article:

    "Previous Gallup research shows that Americans' definition of socialism has changed over the years, with nearly one in four now associating the concept with social equality and 17% associating it with the more classical definition of having some degree of government control over the means of production."

    I'm not sure the people being polled are using the same definition as each other or you are using. May be a good reason to support tuition free college to get them all on the same page ;)
     
    bwelbo likes this.
  13. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    :D That is a good point, there is always the chance that some percentage of Americans are just complete idiots. Lord knows there are a lot of people who call themselves Conservatives who wouldn't know a Conservative policy if it landed on top of their head.

    That (changing definitions) is part of what I was noodling about earlier. If you include 25%+ sales (VAT) taxes, wealth taxes, and income taxes in the Scandanavian countries, they're paying more than two-thirds of their income in taxes. People over here don't want that - they want the rich people to pay for everything. That's not socialism either. That's the reasoning behind my snarky definition called pajama boy socialism. "I want a bunch of stuff that someone else has to pay for." Over in the Scandanavian countries, they're all-in together where people are paying their fair share.
     
  14. MWBATL

    MWBATL Helluva Engineer

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    So, here is another thought......

    So much of this climate has been enflamed by politicians of both parties who are in very safe districts. If we re-drew House lines to be more equally divided among Americans of all types, rather than isolating conservatives into some safe districts and liberal into others, would the fact that politicians would then have to answer to a more diverse electorate force more of them into neutral territory, at least as far as their rhetoric is concerned?
     
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  15. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Our courts have decided that equally shaped districts are unfair, and yet at the same time they've decided that constructing strangely shaped districts to then give more representation to certain types of people is also unfair. LOL.
     
  16. MWBATL

    MWBATL Helluva Engineer

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    The courts have certainly done us no favors in this regard. I am talking about a basic re-design.......how to get from there to there I will worry about later. I think most everything in the Constitution is pretty solid, but the tribalism of districting that both parties have learned to do is really making things much, much worse, imho.

    Maybe we should go for many more members in the House? Maybe by making the districts smaller we would get netter representation? In the UK they have about 1/6 our population but their Parliament has well over 500 members, so each district is MUCH smaller. Germany and France likewise have much smaller districts and larger parliaments than our House.

    We need to find a better way......or a way to tone down the rhetoric. Just say "No" isn't working. On either side.

    Perhaps removing the protection against libel in political speech??
     
    HurricaneJacket likes this.
  17. TampaBuzz

    TampaBuzz Helluva Engineer

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    Your point of view is interesting. As a counterpoint, I would suggest that another 40% of our country seems to want an authoritarian country where one person makes all the rules and decisions and everyone else is supposed to bow to his/her supreme wisdom. But that is not how our country is supposed to work either. Are those folks in the wrong country also?

    To answer the original question....maybe find a bunch of politicians that are not interested in power, but that are interesting in doing the right thing for the country and will not accept pay from lobbyists and other special interests. How about require that every politician from our President on down be required to speak respectfully to and of folks that disagree with particular policies? It is OK to disagree if we are actually willing to find a middle ground and not worry about who gets the credit. How about get rid of Citizens United that allows for a few very wealthy entities to abuse of social media and leads to the corruption of our news sources. How about eliminate all political commentary that pretends to be "news" but is often twisted beyond recognition to support a particular point of view.
     
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  18. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb Helluva Engineer

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    ...and Term Limits.
     
  19. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Yes, whoever thinks that way is also in the wrong country.

    And by the way, when I say this, it is not meant to be a nativist "Get out of my country" perspective. We have never lived outside the south but my son is a Cincinnati Bengals fan (he likes the colors and mascot). I have told him before he was born in the wrong state. :D I don't know if that makes any sense, but its meant to be more of a figure of speech.
     
  20. MWBATL

    MWBATL Helluva Engineer

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    I must admit that this one has always baffled me. The NY Times is a corporation. Citizens United is a corporation. So, if Citizens United began publishing a weekly journal somewhere it would suddenly be acceptable for it to join the sacred group of "press corporations"? I fail to see the difference. Why is it acceptable for George Soros and Move On.Org to try to influence elections but not conservative groups? My biggest concern is that there is no practical difference today between a News Corp and Other Corp....so why bother distinguishing between them?
     

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