It is very difficult to conduct an adult conversation on politics or social controversies, even on this site, where I had hoped for better things. I am feeling more and more despondent about this. Does anybody else feel overwhelmed by a plague of true believers in one cause or another who are incapable of debating its merits in a fair-minded way?
I have never been as worried, sickened, disgusted, and discouraged as I am since Trump was elected. Every day brings a new low. I know so many people who voted for him, who I have always thought of as thinking, educated, and had some common sense, but, I can't believe that they are caught up by a maniac leading a cult that only exists to get him adoration and power. I am not saying republican vs democrat. Trump is neither. He is a Trumpist who sucks up to anyone who will give him the required toadying and worship him. That is his only agenda. He is an empty shell and has no moral compass. I have never had any of this worry and loathing for any other Republican, even though I disagree with their agenda. They seemed to have had some moral compass, some intelligence, and wanted to serve the United States. So, I will never make nice or respect Trump. He doesn't deserve it or has not earned it. He has earned disgust, and that is what he will get from me. If we don't stand up against this evil, our country will fall. It doesn't matter what political party you are aligned with. He is dangerous.
Honestly, I get a lot of out good, honest debate. I live in a sea of red with gun toting, Christian cowboys and ranchers. Some of them are some of the best people I know...and we have had some amazing talks and debates. I still respect them, they respect me...but you can't have that when you start out by saying "those prople" or "libtards" or "Trumpanzees." If you have no respect for people going into a debate, it isn't going to go well...
When I signed on to this site, I was hoping to find a place where I could discuss a variety of ideas in a civil manner with open minded non-believers. What I found was a place where everyone has their own agendas and are so dug-in to their own opinions, that they are not interested in listening and discussing other points of view in a decent, respectful manner. If we refuse to have open discussions with people of differing views, we will never be able to save our democracy. We need an open forum where people feel comfortable expressing their views without fear of being viciously attacked. We don't have to agree with each other, we just have to be willing to listen. That is what democracy is all about people! This country has become so polarized that civil discussions are no longer possible.
There is no grey area with me. If you are a Trump supporter, then you are also a supporter of sexual assault and sexual deviance. Since the Bus crap that he spewed, I've been disgusted by him and anyone that associates themselves with him. If you support Trump, then you, by association and support of him, support the bigotry, sexual deviancy, hypocrisy, misogyny, narcissism, homophobia, incompetence, lying, filth, idiocy, racism that he belies. There is no middle ground. If you like Trump, then you are also all of these things by association. Shame on anyone that's "OK" with this douchebag or anyone he has working for him (including the Russians.)
So, yeah...I don't have "civil discourse" with sexual deviants or anyone that aligns themselves with it. It's not political either...it's HUMAN. If you support Trump, then you're a maggot just like him. And yeah, I know this comment will probably offend Trump supporters and I'm A-OK with that. Stop supporting a bug that's lower than a maggot, and I'll stop hating your alliance with said creature.
It seems that logic has fallen to the wayside against emotion. Not to demerit the value of either one, yet to place either above the other is a sure fire way to incite dissent.
Take for instance our lack of belief. Some are fueled by the logical deduction that none of the theological explanations make any sense. Others are fueled by the emotional realization that they've been, basically, lied to their entire life.
The logical view of this takes into account the emotional factor of deceit. The emotional side takes into account the logical reasoning of justifying that they have indeed been lied to.
Debate can seem shallow at its worst at times, yet I equate that to the "debate" between Ham and Nye. Not all debates are fairly balanced, and often times they're quite predictable.
Not all people are able to be "fair debaters", and to me that's par for the course in this wild game of life.
I freely admit that I loathe Trump and nothing you have to say is going to sway me on that. However, I'd be interested in knowing why otherwise decent people continue to support this man. Some of it I can figure out. They didn't feel heard. They felt looked down upon by a bunch of snooty liberals. Trump came to where they lived and told them what they wanted to hear. Add to that an intense dislike of Hillary. But how can they CONTINUE to support him? I guess Trump was right when he said, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters."
I'm a political activist, and I talk politics a lot.i don't think its possible for me to enter into a conversation with people who aren't on my side.They are wired differently and they like Trump because he is authoritarian. I don't care for how Trump has taken apart many of Obama's policies.i don't care for his lying, incompetent people around him.and chaos everywhere. Even his moving to the embassy to Jerusalem backfired. Trump has Palestinian blood on his hands for moving and getting people to escalate anger there was wrong.
Sorry you feel this way. I'm a British communist so thought I might encounter hostility on this mainly American populated site. Not so - I read some very interesting, humane and considerate pieces here and frequently laced with some very witty remarks. One of the problems with attempting to discuss social or political matters is that immature people will make it personal and turn the 'discussion' into a war of words using inflammatory language and dragging 'facts' out of thin air to 'score' some 'victory'. Usually, I can suss out this type pretty quickly and leave them to rant alone in their own little corner. Don't be disheartened - maybe you haven't met the right ones on here yet.
In my travels I have engaged with many people and always try to start off at a person-person level on topics of mutual interest and consequently have met people where there is two-way respect, despite our differences of opinions or beliefs. Not always easy because many people are just natural opinionated bigots and best thing to do with those is simply quietly move on. At one stage I even engaged in on-line conversations in an ultra right wing group, very dangerous territory if you are a big mouth. Yet at times I actually managed to calm the waters by listening, analysing and putting things in terms they related to. Not something I would recommend for the faint hearted but it was a mildly rewarding experience.
Ive met good and bad people on any and all sites including this one. u just got to block out the ones that just insult and name call or point it out to them nicely and then let it go. some people will never be able to read a screen and not put the most negative and hate filled context to the words they read. it is like they want to be offended and argue instead of actually debate the issues. i still talk to them too but after about 10 insults i point it all out and i attack back. a person can only take so much and remain polite.
I personally do not feel that I am well informed on political and social issues to have the conversations that you are referring too and I am at the age now that I really do not give that much thought to it. I am a bleeding heart liberal politically and socially. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I'm not as concerned about it as you seem to be, though I see the issue. This site came into existence at a time when the US is polarised and tribalised badly. That's reflected on the site, with a high proportion of US members, though the profile here is progressive leaning, generally. There are heated exchanges here, and it appals me if some people, including women, feel threatened in some way. But there are also interesting threads and discussions, and agreement to disagree. I think it would unrealistic to expect the site to be any different, given the group diversity. Any dynamic group interaction usually involves fringe opinion. None of us have to engage in a thread if the subject is off putting. No one has to continue in a post or thread if it spirals into unpleasantness. Sometimes I get despondent about the issues within the non religious here, like between agnostics and atheists, wearying, as I am, of seeing the same (what I think are lame) criticisms by agnostics, for example. But it is what it is, and I don't know any other site where I could make a cyber connection with so many like minded (dare I say it) souls. You and I are both Australian, in the same city. Being an atheist in this country is an isolated experience for most. I'm thankful for the contact here, whatever the rough patches. That's my two cents worth.
Hellbent, I feel you! I have turned away frompolital debates and am now completely immersed in doing things to change what I don't like. I went to vote on the school budget yesterday. The two volunteers welcoming me were prominent people in our community. They were not aware that their whole way of doing business would have to change now that no migrants are coming to pick the apples and that China is buying their soybeans from other places.
See, educating citizens about the real, local impact of decisions made in haste and for no real reason except political ones is not popular. So, as much as I like to debate, i will not participate beyond this post.
I have Right Wing tendencies and have great difficulty when debating with people with Left Wing tendencies. They seem to resort to childish name calling and refuse to listen/read the evidence I give them which back up my claims, or influence me. They don’t back up their claims with data/evidence. It is very like dealing with believers when debating god.
The almost instant reversion to name-calling, third grade tactics and pissing contests is disheartening. I find that often a simple question asked from ignorance draws the most venomous responses instead of an explanation of why the responder finds the question offensive.
Quite often a responder will interject a political remark (it seems to me) just because they think it is cute or clever, but it has no relevance to the thread. Is it a ploy to get attention? Trolling? After all there is a category for that for those who wish to talk about politics. Why not keep it there?
Or I may be wrong, that's always a possibility for people being people.
(I posted this in response, below, but thought I'd share here too.)
Maybe I've been lucky, but I've not seen that much animosity. I'm sorry for those who have.
(Lol, and yes, I'm opinionated, - not quite mainstream liberal in everything - I really do want to know why those who disagree with me feel the way they do. Occasionally I learn sumtin' lol.
I did read a few comments that the Interloper suggested, was pleasantly surprised, ty for sharing.
I strongly suspect many of the liberal/conservative spectrum lose their objectivity at times..
Let's all go to our neutral corners, take a deep breath, and try it again, considering this. If we want to convince others of our viewpoint, we need to understand theirs, inasmuch as possible.
Most thinking people have at least some valid points.
I never expect to be able to have a rational discussion about politics with people of different political ideologies (even here) so I don't even try anymore. With my expectations so low, I don't feel overwhelmed. If I come across someone who wants to discuss and not argue, great, let's have a coffee and chat.
I think it can be difficult because people sometimes get a little heated and then a side issue arises and the original conversation goes off track. But if you have the patience to trawl through the replies you will often find that there are people further down the thread trying to have a sensible conversation with you. Keep trying!
I can debate with anyone with an opposing view a lot of the time we discuss we include our own egos and beliefs subconsciously or consciously and this is something that causes communication breakdown. Listening to respond is better method of discussion than waiting to respond
I get the feeling that the current zeitgeist has centered around a very us vs. them model. And some of it is that a lot of groups who have been legitimately marginalized by 'the system' are finally reaching population numbers and social infrastructure capabilities be able to start speaking with a collective voice that can be heard on a large enough platform. I do not use air quotes for 'the system' to deride that ideology, but to establish that I am using it as a collective term for the system-level paradigms that are viewed as needing to change. For me to attempt to define or extrapolate further than this would derail the conversation entirely and would not be done as properly as I would like. To some extent, the parenting trends intended to replace the somewhat toxic and psychologically problematic parenting styles of the past seemed to overcompensate in the other direction, and there does seem to be a much higher 'snowflake' factor post 1990s. I think a lot of people got too caught up in 'I'm special' to remember that 'so is everyone else.' Some of it is the 'privelige population' sees this attempt at change as an attack, as some means of trying to lay them low. And the rhetoric is part of the issue. No one likes to hear themselves demonized, and attempts to understand may be interpreted poorly, or may actually be inadvertently inappropriate. Discourse has become a nuclear minefield, because people are speaking from the place of their passions, and the more in-depth and abstract and intricate the discourse, the less passion and pathos have a real place. Some people would state that 'arguing in a vacuum is pointless' but I believe that it is beneficial to the process to engage in debating the merits and issues of something with as few variables as possible, and then applying variables in layers to gain a better understanding of the interplay between those layers and variables. One of the chief problems with our government as a whole in the US, in my mind, is that it's a machine, with roots in the potential efficiency of bureaucracy, that's been running consistently for a long time, and any repairs or maintenance of that machine must be done without the machine ever actually stopping completely. But that is the cost of relative stability, I suppose. I also am not a fan of party politics, but those have been heavily polarized for longer than I've been alive. In the end, this would historically classify as a time of unrest, I suppose, and people are taking their opportunities (or sometimes making them) to fight back, to engage in battles with microcosms of the They.