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In the spectrum of political/social thought I believe that the folks on the extreme of both ends have seriously flawed positions. They do seem to have some characteristics in common though. Both groups see reality through a narrow prism. Some examples that come to mind.

They both:

1-Are deeply mired in confirmation bias.

2-Are intolerant of opposing opinions.

3-Have all or nothing, take no prisoners attitudes on hot button topics.

4-Have little or no sense of humor.

5-Desire to suppress opposition thought both overtly and passively.

I thought it would be interesting to try to self-assess my personal positions. I know this exercise is entirely subjective, but here goes.

If we imagine the political/social spectrum plotted as a bell curve I would place myself on the right hand side about 30 percent down from the apex.

I would find it fascinating to see how others might self-assess. Anyone care to do this?

dumasarok 6 Feb 18
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13 comments

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1

I do not know if there is a solution but I find both sides calling the other one names that seem to fit the one doing the talking. I find it strange the GOP activists now claim that all these Dems are going down and going to prison. They want you to send them money to get this all rolling. That sounds like Trump and friends in all of this "Trump Won" nonsense. How do you fix stupid? Both sides have it now.

I'm a Progressive that was once a Republican. Listening at times to Dan Bongino on talk radio, I caught him talking of diaper wearing and Dems who wear diapers and have "poopy drawers." I knew right away why he was never elected to office. Then he makes some bad remarks on Canada, Trudeau, and how some people think truck drivers are "Nazis or Fascists." I thought they were simply people involved in commerce and getting the goods delivered to us. Then these people (who are not racist in any way) harp about BLM and all their "crimes" and tell you Antifa is a group equally as bad. To my knowledge Antifa is not what the right is saying it is.

Just recently someone again asked me how are we going to pay for all this infrastucture and and healthcare for all that so many are wanting. The answer is very simple. Taxation and a few adjustments seems to work fine in other countries. America is not moving forward in a positive way and we will never be the same again. Any way you look at it this is all about money.

0

The solution is somewhere in the middle. I have often said it is tyranny that is the enemy. It is bigotry that is the enemy. But human nature tends to focus on personal affronts & ignores the larger scope. It takes some evolving to " make good trouble" when slurs are rampantly used in inappropriate venues such as a place of employment. To protest the usage tho it may not be directed at one's particular group. & one must make this trouble before the forces of silence permit the imposition of a 4th Reich. The moment the "bigot" sees that no Judaics are around, out come the slurs. Since gay folks have only recently come out in western nations, slurs against them were/are tolerated. If I protest, then I must be one of them or a lover of THEM. It matters not what the bigot thinks to me. What matters to me is how cowed people are if the offence is not theirs . The bigot can not do that around me without my checking them. Man, those bosses couldn't wait to get rid of me. I grew up near Chicago which boasts the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw. Then with the Irish controlling city Hall under Daley, & Italian & now Hispanic immigration, Catholicism weights heavy on the culture. But I will tell you I have never encountered as much bigotry & hatred as among those eastern Euros such as Poland, & Ukraine & German. Chicago & its sister city to the north Milwaukee, are 2 of the most segregated cities in the USA racially. Scialism is not in itself extreme as it is checked by capitalism. One will have people living in the streets without socialism to provide shelter. And so it is as the forces of capitalism are winning currently with President You-Know-Who's SCOTUS appointments, tax laws benefiting the 1%, the unraveling of FDR's & LBJ's progress for the masses beginning with Raygun. He destroyed the only union that voted for him. & now the rank & file seem to vote for their own demise. What a foolish animal the sheep is......or the lemming.

1

What DharmaBum said ( as I can no longer reply directly for some reason).

0

Depends on the subject. Since we have the largest and most diverse population ever it is folly thinking we can all get along with fewer government controls. The way we are heading will mean more control as the only way to avert a major calamity which is where we are heading. I consider myself 1/3 of the way down and left of the top. For some areas I take, what some might consider an extreme view, and that is placing our natural life support system ahead of our so called personal rights.

It’s interesting how our values move back and forth from being labeled “conservative” or “liberal” depending on the time and place. For example, to champion the rights of the individual over the rights of society as a whole may be viewed as a liberal value in 18th century Europe, Nazi Germany or even in present day China where the regime behaves more like a fascist dictatorship. But in America today, those who are asserting their rights as individuals might just as easily identify as conservatives.

8

Below is my result on a political orientation test I took a ways back, whatever it ends up meaning. If there were a viable socialist party in this country, I would no doubt be a member of it--making me one variety of the "extremists" being disparaged by some folks here, I guess. That said, since there isn't a viable socialist party here, I am a registered Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders in both the 2016 and 2020 primaries but ended up voting for Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020. And since I in no way equate Biden and tЯump, I guess folks like @UrsiMajor can "work with me." 😏 So although I suppose I'm an "extremist" of sorts, I: 1) am capable of compromise, 2) am not (totally) intolerant of other opinions, 3) have no desire to suppress opposition, and 4) like to think I have a sense of humor.

You're cool.

@UrsiMajor Indeed. A rare bird!

1

Politically, with respect to the size and scope of government, I would put myself at about 90 percentile where 100 percentile would be those who believe in the smallest, least powerful government possible.

Socially, with respect to gay rights, legalization of marijuana, abortion rights, etc. I would put myself close to 50 percentile.

BD66 Level 8 Feb 18, 2022
6

I see a problem that doesn't get talked about. With the exception of the far extremes the entire spectrum has shifted to the RIGHT. The name for this is NEOLIBERALISM which may be confusing because it's far from the left, it's among other thing a power shift to corporations. Google for more info.

MizJ Level 8 Feb 18, 2022

Well said. Todays moderate is far to the right

@Canndue The entire spectrum has shifted. This si not just true in North America, it's nearly worldwide, even in the Nordic countries..

@Canndue As proof here is the US Republican platform for 1960. Apologies for the length, if one takes the time to read it there will be shocked as to how "left" it appears. [presidency.ucsb.edu]

@MizJ think of the decade that followed…wow

@Canndue Now I think you are starting to see. Ronald Raygun and Thatcher really pushed that shift into high gear.

@MizJ agreed

I think you are correct.

0

Nailed it! Your observations are spot on and the reason why a number of skeptics and unbelievers use the model of a horseshoe for the political spectrum, as opposed to a straight line. The two political extremes are, as you’ve noted, more alike in their modalities than those of us in the vast middle.

6

Being a moderate Independent, I have little use for extremes, in either direction.

Both the far left and right are woefully NOT rooted in reality. They make it impossible to reach compromise.

I do admit that I engage in a certain amount of confirmational bias. However, it's usually always in cases where I know the facts support my conclusions.

In the case of abortion, I have ZERO interest in the positions of those who think they should have ANY say in the reproductive health of any woman.
That is non-negotiable with me.
It doesn't matter to me what any opposing viewpoints are.

I believe that we all are subject to some degree of confirmation bias. Some more so than others. I don’t believe that any of us are100% objective and completely free of logical fallacies.

What is important is that we understand what it is and how it can work to distort our view of reality. Only then can we consciously strive to recognize it and avoid falling prey to it.

@dumasarok "logical fallacies" is an oxymoron.

@KKGator Actually it's not but that's a whole different discussion. Cheers!

1

How to self assess? I tried an on line test one time....I was in the middle, slightly liberal. Goal posts are changing all of the time. I consider myself basically conservative....10 years ago I was. Now I'm probably highly liberal without much changing inside of me as much as what is changing around me.

So honestly, I don't much care anymore. As Popeye sez, "I yam what I yam."

My new position is SHOW ME, don't tell me. Until then, it's all a huge yawn from me....and big show from them

twill Level 7 Feb 18, 2022

See what I wrote above, it explains the shift you noted.

@MizJ TY

@MizJ I think you're right

@twill Did you look at the link? Truly amazing seeing the changes

@MizJ no. I just read the definition of Neo Liberalism

0

I recently read a study/ opinion piece that confirms your analysis. The thinking/ mentality are the same on both sides. They just settle at different extremes.

twill Level 7 Feb 18, 2022
4

I've had some knock-down-drag out battles with both the far-left and far-right.

I can work with the far-left who voted for Bernie in the primaries, and automatically switched to Hillary for the general election. I can't work with the far-left who think Biden is no different from Trump. There is no hope for them.

And anyone who thinks Putin and/or Trump would make good American Presidents, there is obviously no hope for.

It's best not to waste time arguing with these people. Nobody is going to change their opinion. It's tiring to hear people thinking that we can change the minds of anti-vaxers or Trump supporters. We can't.

Just quietly send a small donation to Act Blue and call it a day.

7

You are not wrong in your assessments. And this is most likely why those claiming to be "independent voters" out number those voters claiming to be in either US political party. If there were a united independent party, they would easily be the largest political party in the nation. This, plus the fact that independent voters are locked out of most party primaries goes far in explaining the political extremism we are experiencing at the voting booth today.

There needs to be more parties, as an independent, I’m only ever faced with the lesser of two evils choice

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