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Political Talk
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
'busa
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Is American politics ruled by paranoia?

Bush Derangement Syndrome, Obama Derangement Syndrom, "Rome is burning", conspiracy theories, end of times prophecies at each election... Are Americans just crazy when it comes to politics?
"American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years, we have seen angry minds at work, mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated, in the Goldwater movement, how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But, behind this, I believe, there is a style of mind that is far from new, and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style, simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind." - Richard Hofstadter (1964)
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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It's always been a battle between civility and emotion. One speaks loudly through action. The other simply speaks loudly.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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Maybe it's because politicians seem to no longer have the best interest of the hardworking diligent people in mind. Politicians are bent on seeing to it that those that elected them are taken care of while others suffer. Not to mention nothing seems to get done anymore despite the promises and pledges we hear. Get out of here with that ridiculousness 'Busa.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Maybe it's because politicians seem to no longer have the best interest of the hardworking diligent people in mind. Politicians are bent on seeing to it that those that elected them are taken care of while others suffer. Not to mention nothing seems to get done anymore despite the promises and pledges we hear. Get out of here with that ridiculousness 'Busa.
No longer?
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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I wouldn't say ruled by paranoia, but it's true that there's been a gradual shift away from bipartisanship towards mud-slinging over the last few decades. Like everything else, nothing is/was ever ideal, everything is shade of gray. Things have just shifted to a different shade over time. Politics is definitely an uglier game than it used to be..
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say ruled by paranoia, but it's true that there's been a gradual shift away from bipartisanship towards mud-slinging over the last few decades. Like everything else, nothing is/was ever ideal, everything is shade of gray. Things have just shifted to a different shade over time. Politics is definitely an uglier game than it used to be..
It's been a transition from respectfully disagreeing to outright loathing in many instances.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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I'd liken this to the city manager-mayor relationship that the cities have had for decades.

The American public and the politicians themselves see a largely self sustaining system that actually works pretty well, all things considered. Politics is literally a sideshow for people who choose to whip themselves into a frenzy over insignificant issues. So you can have a mayor who is at the top of the "org chart", but it's really the city manager running the show and making sure the municipal government is doing what it's supposed to do. So you can have a mayor who's an insane partisan. But he can't do any real damage because he only cares about ridiculous side issues that his electorate cares about.

The latest bout of Congressional dysfunction, the fiscal cliff negotiations, is a perfect example. The two parties can't reach a deal. So what happens? The US Treasury goes into contingency mode while the elected officials, who are beholden to politics, posture as much as possible before finally coming together at the last possible minute to make sure the government keeps functioning. American politics has devolved into just winning elections. The politicians don't have to govern. The President and his permanent bureaucracy do.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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I'm going to share that quote on that loony fright-wing Liberty and Freedom Foundation group page.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #9
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It's been a transition from respectfully disagreeing to outright loathing in many instances.
Sure, unfortunately that's true..
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Paranoia sells.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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I'm going to share that quote on that loony fright-wing Liberty and Freedom Foundation group page.
Post responses, so I don't have to go there.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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Post responses, so I don't have to go there.
Nobody is even touching it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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It's been a transition from respectfully disagreeing to outright loathing in many instances.
Biden should read this post
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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Republicans are afraid of gays, brown people, taxes, unions, teachers, strong, intelligent women, extramarital sex, birth control, gun control, black people, Democrats, Islam, atheists, agnostics, social programs for the poor, and Canadians.




Democrats are afraid of republicans.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:24 PM   #15
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It is much easier to set up an "us vs them" mentality when stoking the fires of paranoia. It isn't ruled by paranoia but more by the illusion one should be paranoid of "the other side".

However, the paranoia is fueled by the "savior" belief. That there is one person that is going to come in and magically fix what is bleeped up and that they are going to do it in 20 minutes after they are elected. That is what people want to believe. A single answer and a quick fix. And they will keep voting in whoever they think is going to give it to them, no matter how many times it has failed. "Well...that was only because it wasn't fill_in_the_blank doing it. this person will actually fix things."

The best example in this last election was Ron Paul. As we saw even in this forum, by his supporters, he was deified as "the great salvation for america" and anybody who didn't support RP was brainwashed by the media.

That is the a classic example of politics being ruled by paranoia. It is not that different from the "red scares" in the 50's or the "hippie scares" in the late 60's. (And if you don't think lots of americans were scared of hippies taking over the country, look at Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover.)

Is American politics ruled by paranoia? Yes. But, it has been for decades.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:04 AM   #16
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Biden should read this post
Biden didn't come to mind when I made that comment. Then again, I don't pay much attention to what he says. What came to mind was Obama and Romney. They clearly despised each other. There was not a single ounce of respect for the other.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #17
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It is much easier to set up an "us vs them" mentality when stoking the fires of paranoia. It isn't ruled by paranoia but more by the illusion one should be paranoid of "the other side".

However, the paranoia is fueled by the "savior" belief. That there is one person that is going to come in and magically fix what is bleeped up and that they are going to do it in 20 minutes after they are elected. That is what people want to believe. A single answer and a quick fix. And they will keep voting in whoever they think is going to give it to them, no matter how many times it has failed. "Well...that was only because it wasn't fill_in_the_blank doing it. this person will actually fix things."

The best example in this last election was Ron Paul. As we saw even in this forum, by his supporters, he was deified as "the great salvation for america" and anybody who didn't support RP was brainwashed by the media.

That is the a classic example of politics being ruled by paranoia. It is not that different from the "red scares" in the 50's or the "hippie scares" in the late 60's. (And if you don't think lots of americans were scared of hippies taking over the country, look at Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover.)

Is American politics ruled by paranoia? Yes. But, it has been for decades.
Hence the quote from 1964...
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 AM   #18
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Hence the quote from 1964...
Lol
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:20 AM   #19
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #20
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Hence the quote from 1964...
Quite so. Nothing new under the sun.
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