Five Thousand Keywords For Redneck

Tomorrow I’m going to write a longer post on the idea of “Red Tribe” and “Blue Tribe” as discussed in an article recommended by one of our commenters here. Before I do, however, I want to pre-discuss an idea that figures very large in the essay: the idea that very few of us have any regular and significant acquaintance with people who possess a genuinely different set of beliefs from ours. Never before has our society been quite so completely segmented — not by race, color, or religious creed, but by adherence to common fundamental assumptions. If you believe that “no human is illegal” and that there should be no barriers whatsoever to immigration, chances are that you don’t have regular interactions with people who want to Build! That! Wall! and so on. If you think that owning a personal firearm is an essential part of being an American citizen, then chances are that you don’t hang out on the weekends with people who donate to anti-gun causes.

The reasons for this are many, but I’d suggest that the primary and most substantial force behind this voluntary segregation is our move from physical communities to virtual ones. And before you tell me that your life isn’t like that at all, I’ll explain further.

Take my life as an example. I’m not much of a Redditor (thank God) and I am not part of any traditional “virtual” or computer-based communities. Yet I can state with assurance that one hundred percent of my social life is based around communities of choice. I go to a skatepark and hang out with BMX riders. I go to races and hang out with racers. I play music in the company of other musicians. These are communities of choice because they are defined by the choice that creates them. I don’t see anybody at the skatepark who is there to talk politics or feed the hungry or play chess.

There are a few non-choice communities available to me. Last weekend my son and I went to a BMX race and afterwards I took him to a two-hour birthday party for one of his friends at an indoor soccer place. When I walked in, all the kids were playing in one corner and all the parents were standing there talking in another corner. I decided to drop John off and leave for the duration because the parents generally looked like low-achieving hicks who refer to the Ohio State football team as “we” (in the context of “We need to get our running game together”) and who pronounce the word “wash” as “worsh”.

I’m not proud of myself for avoiding those people, and if I hadn’t been in a reasonable amount of pain from two hours’ worth of BMX racing in a thirty-degree warehouse I might have stuck around. Had I done so, I would have had a chance to speak to people who don’t hold all of the same beliefs that I do. I’d have heard about the concerns and issues that they face, which are different from mine. I would have learned a bit about what it’s like to start a family sooner; most of my son’s classmates have parents who are a solid decade younger than I am, if not more. It would have been unpleasant and annoying, but it would have been instructive. And who knows? I might have said something to someone that changed their outlook on a particular issue, or heard something that changed my outlook.

Alas, ’twas not to be. That grouping, however, is an example of a non-choice community. It’s based around the people who happen to live in my ex-wife’s neighborhood. Once upon a time, the vast majority of everybody’s human interactions took place based on proximity, whether it was the PTA or the Lions Club or your National Guard weekend unit. It promoted a sense of real community. Now we have “communities” that are imaginary. The community of TTAC readers, the community of “Oppo” incels, the community of furries who like to put things in their asses, the community of wingless yellow-scale dragonkin. These are not real communities in the sense that you can rely on them for a helping hand.

Last year, after the South Carolina hurricane, my father put together a group of former servicemen who drove around his plantation (meaning gated subdivision) and helped people out. They spent fourteen hours a day fixing things and cleaning things and getting food for widows and whatnot. That’s a community, and it’s no coincidence that the idea was dreamed up by a pair of seventy-something Vietnam veterans. When the same thing happens to the Millennials in South Carolina forty years from now, they’ll probably all put up GoFundMe pages.

Human beings are not really satisfied by online communities and communities of choice. So they are reverting to what we had before we had communities — namely, tribes. If you listen to the Project Veritas video, you will hear people who think of themselves, consciously or otherwise, as part of a tribe. You can call it the “Blue Tribe”, the people in America who define themselves in opposition to “rednecks”. Or you can put a racial/ethnic slant on it, as some of the viewers have done. There is something hugely ironic about having a bunch of H1-Bs coming to America and setting the standards for public discourse in this country. Call it the Raj in reverse. In general, however, I think the idea of Blue Tribe and Red Tribe is more relevant than race or ethnicity. I know a couple of African-American BMX riders who are small-government conservatives and dedicated parents; I have more in common with them ideologically than I do with a German-American woman who wears a “pussyhat” and believes in 37 genders.

Another thing you will learn from the Project Veritas video: the game in Silicon Valley is rigged, permanently and implacably, against anybody to the right of Mrs. Clinton. Period, point blank. That’s not a good thing. It also should make us think long and hard about “freedom of speech” in this country. People who oppose general freedom of speech like to point out that Twitter is a private enterprise, as is Google, and that therefore traditional freedom of speech does not apply. The question becomes: When does something like Twitter cross the border into common-carrier status? When ten percent of Americans have joined? Twenty? Fifty? Ninety?

Alternately, consider this question: What happens if you shout “FIRE!” in a crowded theater and nobody hears it, because the people who run the theater have five thousand keywords for redneck? What happens on the day that the theater actually starts burning?

44 Replies to “Five Thousand Keywords For Redneck”

  1. Harry

    First of all, OUR running game was fine. Let us not have inflammatory counterfactual statements just to rile commenters up.

    Second, I had to look up what a pussyhat was. It was very different from what I expected and I think that is good.

    Mostly I want to explain and argue that my life isn’t like that, because I have many examples to show that it isn’t, as many of my friends have wildly different political, religious and ideological views than I do. In fact I get along worse with people who are more in line with my stances on those subjects. It is because while we may agree in conclusion, we often do not agree in way of thinking.

    Example, you may have a similar voting record to those who will be power worshing their ruffs this spring.

    I disagree that the barrier to the proximity groups online activity, or choice to spend energy with communities of choice. I think it is because for most adults entry into those communities of proximity is either closed or has an incredibly high price for entry in terms of personal energy. Proximity is not default acceptance. Proximity + agreement is necessary but often not sufficient.

    Modern Americans are mobile. A large number of us do not live in the communities we were born in, or were educated in, or started our career in. A larger number of Americans are not as mobile. They form the nucleus of those proximity groups. They are based on relationships from an early age, or one degree of separation (spouse or sibling) thereof.

    What about new communities that M/I homes vomited forth? I submit that the proximity groups coalesce quickly around early-ish residents and quickly crystallize into adult recreations of familiar social groupings from early enforced proximity. You know, high school cliques.

    Either way, I would bet that the result would not be your prediction from the last 2/3rds of paragraph 5, but rather a collective irritated cold shoulder and even more discussion about the merits of downfield passing for opening running lanes. No one wants to discuss their concerns, issues, and weaknesses with an outsider.

    As far as being a decade removed from all the other parents? I feel your pain. Being the youngest parent its just as isolating.

    • yamahog

      Yes and no.

      Amazon illustrates the paradox of anti-trust law in America the best. It’s illegal to use your power to raise prices for consumers, it’s not illegal to acquire the power to do so.

      Legalistically, Amazon is the opposite of who we’d want to trust bust – they’re making things better for the consumer in the here and now. They’re encouraging their competitors to ruin margins and they’re passing a non-trivial amount of the savings to the customer.

      However, they’re a majority of the e-commerce market if you exclude store pickup options which most retailers call e-commerce and one look at their valuation tells you that the investors expect that Amazon does use its power to become wildly profitable at some point in the future. To the extent that the company owners have revealed their preference for massive, abusive price increases, they are a target for anti-trust action.

      I’m not sure anti-trust is the right mechanism for Google and Twitter. I lean towards a hands off approach but also leaving them out for the wolves, if any platform does any censorship beyond the legally required stuff like taking down child porn, they shouldn’t get safe harbor protection. Let the copyright holders sue Google and Twitter for every violation they host.

  2. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Personally, I lean towards the Red tribe on most issues. I have a lot of exposure to the Blue tribe thru my travels for work however. My personal life is pretty thin on interactions outside of a few close friends. I have no kids, don’t belong to a church, don’t care for the bar scene, and am usually only home for short periods of time which leaves little time to build social relationships. A lot of my conversations/interactions are therefore in online communities, majority of which are a mixed tribe, with a common interest (old cars, motorcycles, firearms, etc). It’s a mixed bag sometimes when politics get brought up that aren’t related to the discussion. I will throw a comment in here and there, but when it starts to get too heavy I’ll usually stay out of it. If I want to have political arguments, the are 9 jillion sites where you can have them.

  3. Mental

    As one of your more redneck and simultaneously liberal acquaintances, it’s interesting.

    The reality is, Trump has been good for Twitter. My Dad joined just to follow him, and all of the news networks have almost daily updates regarding his tweets. He has attempted to direct national policy via Twitter, he is currently conducting foreign policy update via Twitter. All is just promoting their platform.

    But if they are going to structure their platform for a certain message, then they are alienating a large demographic, and that’s just bad for business. There was a time when Hooters was the only restaurant in that business. So they got lazy. The quality of service fell off, the ladies didn’t meet the standards of the early employees in both physical attributes and capability. The result? Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt. Right or wrong, there is a market for that product and if one company won’t provide it, another will.

    There was a time Sears and K-Mart were retail goliaths that dictated market forces. Now they aren’t relevant. If Twitter is truly going to block a demographic, another platform will truly provide them a voice. It’s just smart business. Demographics have needs and money, advertisers will always look for means to market specific goods and services. A social media platform that brings a focused demographic to them will always have customers.

    This video also reeks of a Micheal Moore-ambush style filmmaking. Pranay has clearly been drinking, he is not aware he is being filmed and the female reporter is flirting with him a bit. How much of that is bravado? “You should be an engineer. You’re really good at this shit.” She responds with a flirty giggle and inserts more “so like” into her conversation than one of my freshman high school students. Seriously, hit pause at 11:41, look at the subtitles. 5 “likes” in that sentence. Pranay responds by telling her how smart she is; “Are you sure you’re not a programmer?” Then he mimics her speech patterns to relate with a 1/2 dozen “likes” of his own.

    The dude is just trying to get laid.

    But the last point is exactly my point. If you ignore a market, you become irrelevant. The day the theater starts burning, there won’t be a need to yell “fire” because the theater is empty.

    Just ask Tom, over at MySpace. Don’t have an account anymore? Its OK, you can sign in with your Facebook or even…

    • Josh Howard

      This was a wonderful comment to read. As much as it excites me to know there are others out there like me(with friends who don’t completely agree on everything), I do feel like it is becoming the norm to simply exclude everyone from the circle that’s even remotely different.

      On Myspace…. there was SOME good that came from it. I connected with my wife of almost 8 years. (she was my first “friend” there outside of Tom) But, you’re right about how antiquated the circles in those spaces become once the ability to give energy goes away.

      The point about Twitter having relevance BECAUSE of Trump is a pretty interesting one. I’ve got to remind myself that what he’s doing is all part of the game.

      • carrya1911

        I think the question comes down to this:

        Can we disagree on a position without you thinking me to be *evil*?

        If I disagree with someone on, say, public assistance programs because they believe that what we need to do is write bigger checks and I believe that what we need to do is structure rewards more along the lines of personal initiative (from which flows many other benefits to the person being helped) we can have a friendly disagreement about the best strategy to achieve that end.

        I cannot have a friendly disagreement with someone who thinks that my stance on a public assistance program is motivated by hating black people.

        Having disagreements is one thing. But people have very little tolerance for being alleged a monster. I’m not going to break bread with somebody who thinks I’m a fucking nazi. Nor do I expect someone to sit down and have a reasonable discussion with me if I’m basically running around hollering that it’s time to start shoving commies out of helicopters again. (And now all I can think of is the WKRP sketch…)

        There’s your real problem.

        Is it possible for someone to disagree with my position without them being motivated by evil intentions?

        Is it possible for someone to hold a position against unchecked immigration that is not motivated by racism or xenophobia?

        Is it possible for someone to love their daughters, mothers, sisters, and wives and want them to have free and happy lives and yet not agree with the tenets of third wave feminism?

        Is it possible for someone to be kind, compassionate, and even sympathetic towards the plight of trans people without wanting to turn public restrooms into a free-for-all?

        If people cannot hold a contrary position without being intellectually or morally degenerate in one’s eyes then there is absolutely no possibility of reasonable discussion, charity, or anything approaching friendship.

        The core problem is ego. When one believes that all the light in the universe exists solely within the confines of their own skull there is no hope for comity.

  4. JustPassinThru

    This is a divide that’s been building for fifty years. Born of the wealth and prosperity postwar…but dearth of parental time…and of Doctor Spock…the Baby Boomers matured more free of their parents and parental values than any generation in Western history.

    The ideological descendants of the French Left – who had moved into the arts and universities – got their hooks in. Thus came the Counterculture.

    The Counterculture was Yin to Yang. Black to White. EVERYTHING the culture held was bad, the Counterculture glorified. Idleness, promiscuity, sloth, vagrancy, drug use…those were GLORIFIED. Police problems? A badge of honor. Attacking the successful? The vanguard.

    The Counterculture grew. To where it IS the majority culture; and the culture that promoted discipline, honor, morality (which refers to more than sexual activity) and tradition, is now mocked and denigrated. Knuckledraggers. Deplorables. Bitter Clingers.

    Half the population is with this New Morality and these New Standards; and the other half, not. I don’t want to launch a flame war back and forth here; but THIS is how we became divided so.

    And IMHO, we will become more-so. Each side despises the other – whether either side has reasons, is fodder for another screed. But there is only one real solution to this, again, IMHO – political separation.

    We can see the staying power and social beneficence of the American Counterculture.

    • Wren

      I don’t think its that simple – that’s just how the media portrays things. If you talk to real people on both sides of the divide you’ll find they don’t fit into neat little boxes.

      I lean liberal and disagree with most of the opinions I read in the comments on this site. I also hold a very different world view than JB, even though we have a lot in common.

      I keep coming back because I respect the intelligence on display, enjoy the writing and crave the experience of being exposed to viewpoints different than my own. I feel like its easy to make assumptions about the other ‘side’ and I’m not happy with that. I don’t want to make assumptions, I want to hear it from the source – from people who have deeply help beliefs that just happen to be different from my own. I do that IRL as well.

      I also see a lot of assumptions made on this site about what a democrat-leaning person would think or believe. Most are false assumptions, at least in terms of how I personally live my live and my own deeply held beliefs. So get out there and meet a ‘liberal’ person. Not a 19 yo college student on twitter or facebook or msn or whatever. Go meet a real person, your age, that happens to see things differently than you do. Have a beer and learn how to get along.

      There have been many times reading this site where I’ve learned something new and I’ve adjusted my outlook. There’s been just as many where I think JB or Bark or a commenter is barking up the wrong tree. Then I ask myself why. Most of the time it’s because we are making different assumptions about the world, seeing things from a different angle and through a different filter. So we look at the same data and come to different conclusions. Life isn’t simple, there isn’t always one ‘right’ way. I’ve learned to be OK with that.

      • JustPassinThru

        It is that simple; and I was the product of liberal parents in a liberal home. It’s all wrapped up in Groupthink and Conventional Wisdom, and the Red Pill and being introspective and analytical and honest with one’s self.

        I expect I cannot take it further without touching off a flame war, and that’s not my intention.

      • Harry

        I think it is different assumptions part that is the most bitter divide. The value of a life, the value of freedom, assigning those things relative value. That breaks down arguments of logic or utility. It is why I can disagree with someone, think they are a fool, and know that they solutions to problems they put forth as a response to those different beliefs would have not long ago been a cause to die in opposition of, but still know it came from a good place if it follows from those values.

        The inability to accept that your enemy is not evil, that’s what fucks us.

        • JustPassinThru

          “All that is necessary for Evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”

          And that’s what Groupthink, Conventional Wisdom, Politically-Correct Speech Codes and endless mediuh indoctrination, are FOR. To stop the good people from standing up to malevolence. To denigrate those who do as crackpot Bible-thumping wing-nuts and tinfoil-hat kooks.

          That, for anyone who might be tempted to listen to their views.

          So long as we have forces pushing this UNreality, that denies our own history and understanding of the Natural Rights of Man…while pushing the FAILED concepts born of the French Left…so long as they are not vanquished, they will be pushing the divide wider, and looking to destroy their opponents.

  5. Thomas KreutzerThomas Kreutzer

    I’ve looked at the source article and think that this is going to be an interesting topic. I look forward to the next article.

    To the point of the discussion here, I have been interacting with groups online since the late 1990s. When I first moved to Japan in ’99, the only real English language outlet open to me – meaning the only place where I could have real conversations with people that I could 100% understand – was through the internet. During that time, I was very active in the motorcycle groups at Yahoo. From there I migrated to, then Jalopnik, TTAC and now here. And while I may not know what a single person I’ve corresponded with really looks likes, acts like or smells like, I have always been fulfilled by these virtual interactions. Additionally, because the basic premise of our relationship is vehicles, I have been exposed to and educated by people of every political and religious stripe.

    During that same time I have lived both overseas and at home in the States and while I have always tried to be a good neighbor – the kind of guy who would snow blow his elderly neighbors’ driveways while we were in Buffalo – I haven’t been great friends with any of my neighbors (in any country we’ve lived) since I was a child. I have been entirely proximate to these people for years at a time with zero interactions.

    Now it could just be that I am a huge douche and that I am in denial about it, but my own thoughts tend to run towards the idea that people used to be friends with their neighbors because they needed one another – someone to help with the harvest, someone come help fight the fire when the barn caught on fire and someone to borrow a cup of sugar from. Today, people don’t really need one another. The fire department comes to take care of the barn, you hire people to bring in the harvest, and you get your ass in the car and run to the store when you need something. All of this is basically using money to solve problems that people used to have social networks to help with and, because I can now pay my own way, I don’t have to tolerate anyone’s bullshit anymore. Of course I am going to self-select for people I like, who wouldn’t?

  6. Rock36

    Jack you mention narcissistic injury from time to time in your writing, but I’ve often reflected on the concept of the “narcissism of small differences” and wonder how often that is also at play as we form into our own self-determine in/out groups.

    • JustPassinThru

      We are close to that, now.

      There is a reason why the-powers-that-be wish us into a “cashless society” with transactions by computer, by EFT and cards. Not to bar criminality. Not to safe costs

      For the control it gives. With a few keystrokes, you can become a non-person unable to purchase food or fuel or transportation tickets or ANYTHING. Imagine getting your credit-card stolen on a trip…it’s a nightmare, especially if the cardholder shuts it down prematurely.

      A punitive stop on e-dollars would be a thousand times worse and impossible to reconcile.

  7. -Nate

    As usual , many interesting ideas and concepts here .

    I’m often told how right wing I am, who know what the truth is .

    For one more ‘Redneck’ moniker, my ex Wife always said “Pesqueso Rojo” which means Redneck in Spanish .

    Anything that makes people think and look out side their little life boxes, is a good thing .


  8. Disinterested-Observer

    I live in a neighborhood with a whole bunch of kids. The people who live next door have kids the same age as mine. We probably see them less than once a month. The people on the other side have a son who is a good bit older than my kids but we see him a lot more but I think part of the reason for that is they moved out of the city. The people on the other side of their house have kids the same age as mine and I have not spoken to them since the first Halloween after they moved in four years ago. There are a few other families in the neighborhood that we are friendly with. Since we are not on facebook we don’t know many of the people in the community, but we have also apparently avoided a lot of drama so I would count that as a win. I don’t know what this says about us but of the three families we are closest to, one is deaf, one has a Norwegian mom, and one is Kurdish.

  9. Shrug

    I firmly agree with your main point that Red v Blue is becoming this all encompassing monster where if your team doesn’t win we will all Literally Die. It’s something that’s more or less made me give up twitter (which is, truly, a good thing to have done). Every day there is this large group of somewhat dull minded, mostly well-intentioned people that go on that horror show of a website just to get offended. They think everything is out to get them and that even the slightest scent of Red or Blue is the actual the devil manifesting itself in the flesh and that the Republic Will End if either color gets even a whiff of victory.

    To that end, I’ve distanced myself from a slot of groups and started picking up knee ones. I ideologically disagree with you and your brother on pretty much every sociopolitical issue, but I like reading what you have to say because it challenges my own views.

    As for community things, it’s taken me a while to realize it’s importance. I live in a small, poor town that doesn’t have much in the way of that, but even going to township committee meetings and volunteering for local campaigns has helped a lot in that regard, and has reinforced the idea that it’s really hard to dislike somebody because of their beliefs once you get to know them.

    The idea that they should be one’s mortal blood enemy because they voted for the guy with an R next to his name is just fucking bizarre. I think that they are wildly wrong 1/2 the time, but it doesn’t mean that they are some vampire out to suck the blood of the innocent.

  10. S2k Chris

    If you were to examine my browser history (no, not that part, I do that incognito), you’d think I was a bit to the left of Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Warren. In reality I’m far in the other direction, but I don’t need to read that viewpoint unless I’m lazily looking for a mental jackoff. I get far more out of reading (not watching or listening to, I can’t stand the shrillness) the opposing view because I like to see just where these whack- sorry, different-view-having-Americans get their ideas and why they think the way they do. Frankly in these modern times I rarely ever TALK politics with anyone because I lie having friends and socia aquanitences and I find a casual “they’re all crooks” gets a head nod and an ask if I want another beer, and yes I do please.

  11. Eric H

    Governments come and go.
    Policies change with the times.
    None of it matters all that much for people’s day-to-day lives.

    All I want from people in public positions is to seem at least as smart as I am, that way I generally don’t have to say “What a fucking idiot.” when I read about their actions.
    Clinton was the last President to pass that test.

  12. stingray65

    I live in a very blue area and work in a very blue industry, but grew up in a red area and am a small government conservative. I am not afraid of telling people that I vote Republican, support strong immigration control, minimal welfare, strong defense, gun rights, small taxes, and think free market results are almost always better than government edicts, but in my everyday interactions in my mostly blue surroundings I don’t go out of my way to talk politics for two main reasons. First, I generally enjoy talking about sports, cars, motorcycles, planes, computers, food, movies, music, and other “non-controversial” topics more than “controversial” topics such as politics and religion. Second, I have met very few “blue” people that are actually able to have any logical arguments in favor of their point of view on political topics or any legitimate points of view on “red” points of view. They rant about Trump and the evil nazi Republicans, but their arguments are almost all based on “feelings” not any references to evidence that blue public policies actually work. For example, they are all in favor of soda taxes because people are too stupid to moderate their own behavior, and/or because the taxes can be used to support “needed” social programs, but then brag with no self-awareness about how much they save by going outside the city limits to buy their own non-taxed soda. They are all in favor of banning assault rifles and handguns, but get very upset if I point out that most gun crime is committed by people who are already illegally possessing a gun and that virtually no gun crime is committed with assault rifles. When I point out the logical or economic fallacy of their arguments, they seldom have any solid rebuttal besides “not wanting to talk about this anymore” if they are polite, and calling me names if they are not. I truly believe most of the self-segregation we are seeing today with regards to controversial topics is due to the blue side’s inability to logically debate their points of view, and the red side’s desire to avoid being called names and/or getting fired/banned for having a logically and factually supportive point of view.

    • jcain

      “I truly believe most of the self-segregation we are seeing today with regards to controversial topics is due to the blue side’s inability to logically debate their points of view”

      I don’t doubt that you’ve experienced this, but as a left-leaning person I could say almost exactly same thing about some of the right-leaning people that I have an opportunity to talk politics with regularly.

      It sounds like what we’re both observing is that tribal aspect alluded to in the first part of Jack’s post. People feel that they have to hold certain opinions since the rest of their tribe holds those opinions, and haven’t really thought through why they hold them. It seems as if this phenomenon has gotten worse in the past 15 years or so, but, being pretty young, it’s more likely that I just wasn’t aware of it before. The whole thing has definitely put me off discussing politics in general.

      That said, one of the reasons I visit this site is to read opinions from conservatives where the reasoning goes beyond just “liberals = bad”. I don’t agree with a lot of the opinions on here but that doesn’t mean I want to filter them out entirely.

      • stingray65

        Most of the people that I am describing have graduate and professional degrees, many work with various “blue” causes, and most live in well above average income households, and even with all these “advantages” they still can’t provide any logical answers for their beliefs besides it “feels right”. I am also sure you have found people on the right that have difficulty explaining their “red” viewpoints, but I would bet serious money that very few come from advantaged backgrounds with fancy degrees and job titles. On the other hand, do you actually listen to the red side, or just assume they are Evangelical trailer trash who couldn’t possibly know what they were talking about? Research consistently finds that the red side is much more able to explain the viewpoints of the blue side, but that the blue side has little or no awareness or understanding of the red side besides believing they are stupid and/or evil. This is likely because the red side is bombarded with blue viewpoints in the mainstream media and popular culture, while the blue side rarely sees the red viewpoints unless they go out of their way as you claim to do.

        • Disinterested-Observer

          My friend’s dual PhD sister describing pot growing neighbors she has never spoken to: “I didn’t say anything because they are probably Trump voters.”

      • Shrug

        Seconded. I live in a pretty dark red area. It is incredibly difficult to have a conversation without people shouting racial slurs or devolving quickly into what-about-ism.

        The left can do similar, if opposite, things as well. No side is innocent of it. Recognizing that *your* side is also capable of idiocy is a pretty crucial step in trying to build a bridge between the two islands of thought.

        • stingray65

          Both sides do it is a cop out answer, because such comparisons usually equate the illogical and factually challenged comments of leftist academics, politicians, business leaders, and celebrities with the ignorant comments of a handful of “nazis” that are supposedly on the right (I say supposedly because the original Nazis were very left-leaning, and to the extent that they have any coherent views at all, many of today’s “nazis” would be classified as leaning left). I have provided many specific examples of “blue” ignorance and hostility, but I never get any specific examples about the “red” side besides “they also do it”. I once again challenge the leftist/blue side to provide some mainstream or elite right/red side examples of ignorance and hostility in their “red” viewpoints.

          • Eric H

            How about anything having to do with religion?

            Not to start a big flame war, but everything having to do with religion is bullshit.

          • stingray65

            Eric H,
            Thanks for the effort, but your example only proves your own ignorance and hostility. You may not believe in a God, creator, or heaven and hell, but Western Civilization’s rules of morality and law originate from Judeo-Christian traditions (perhaps you have heard of the 10 commandments). The church has also been highly influential in the development of education (e.g. Protestants believed everyone should learn to read because hey could then read the Bible, and most early colleges/universities started out as places to train clergy), and the arts (e.g. you may have heard of Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, Mozart got several musical commissions for the church), so it is a bit close-minded to call all these contributions to society and culture “bullshit”. Perhaps you would like to try again?

          • Eric H

            The Bible is a fine morals play, but that’s all it is. It’s all the hand and mind of Man. There’s nothing in the Bible or the Torah that wasn’t around in bits and pieces for a thousand years before.

            The nicest thing you can say bout religion is that it’s proto-science. As soon as humanity evolved it started asking questions. Why does the Sun go down over there and come up over here? Why do the seasons happen? Where did I come from? Why did my child fall ill and die? Why did the Earth shake? Where did all the animals come form? What are all those lights in the night sky? So many questions with nothing but ignorance to answer them. So much ignorance that he questions couldn’t even be framed. Eventually someone came up with the idea “Maybe there’s something much more powerful that us that controls all these things the same way I can move this rock or start a fire. I’ll call it God.” The rest is quite literally history. People haven’t changed. The need for answers today is still just as strong and people are still willing to believe anything that doesn’t rattle their world view too much.

            Religion is a beautiful lie, told to you by people you trusted.

            I believe that a more accurate view of religion is that it’s the worst scourge ever to befall mankind. The ultimate tribe delineation. The ultimate reason to hate thy neighbor. Sure, some religions have a few bright spots over the centuries, but taken as a whole it’s been a horror.
            It’s sad that most people who call themselves Christian cannot let themselves do the one core tenet that the Bible tries to teach us:
            “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

          • stingray65

            You obviously have strong feeling against religion, and as with any human invented entity, religion certainly has imperfections and has been abused for sinister ulterior motives (wars, power, control), but your own response points to why it was created. Humans want/need to understand why things exist even if they have no science to provide an explanation, and we want/need rules to live by to have a reasonably successful society, and believing in a higher power and life after death (heaven and hell, karma, reincarnation) provides the motivation to follow the rules. As Voltaire famously said: “If there was no God, it would be necessary to invent him.”

          • Mopar4wd

            If your going with Main stream views I think some of your list from the other post isn’t really main stream left it’s more the far left which if were including allows the inclusion of the far right. Most Democract voting lefties are fairly moderate.

            Certain things on your list are pretty mainstream like the first one but honestly that’s more a matter of opinion then a crazy belief. All depends on your view of the start of life.

            On number two I would say there is a fair argument that some regulation is required in order to maintain order. and the opposite view is wacky and crazy.

            Alot of the others I don’t think are as widely held as you believe.

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          “Seconded. I live in a pretty dark red area. It is incredibly difficult to have a conversation without people shouting racial slurs or devolving quickly into what-about-ism.”

          You have difficulty having a conversation without people “shouting racial slurs”? At the least that’s an exaggeration, but more likely closer to complete and utter bullshit, both the shouting part and the racial slurs part.

          Then you deliberately conflate “whataboutism” (i.e. how dare you be held accountable for your own professed values) with racism. In other words, anyone who calls you out on your own hypocrisy must be a racist.

          You illustrated Jack’s point about tribalism well.

          • Shrug

            An exaggeration, sure, but not as much as you’d think. The “n word,” among others, is heard relatively commonly around these parts. We have a history of lynchings and cross burnings too. Believe me or don’t, whatever floats your boat, but I’ve lived here for 24 years and know this area and these people much better than you do.

            I wasn’t intentionally conflating the ideas of racism and “whataboutism.” Sorry you got that impression.

    • WheeTwelve

      Mostly this. I think anyone can become emotional about things they hold strong opinions about. The moment I realize that someone’s arguments are being purely emotion-driven, or if my arguments become heavily influenced by emotion, I stop the discussion. It doesn’t matter how close or far apart our opinions are, once the emotions take over the dialog, it becomes something else, something not at all productive.

      The biggest irony to me in all this is that We the People argue and fight, yet we have the least ability to influence policy, or Make the Difference. The politicians spittle-scream at each other on TV, and then go to a fundraising dinner laughing and drinking together. Same for TV reporters. They all get handsomely compensated for the parts they play in this political drama. But those of us who can easily go to a flame war over dissenting opinions, we are the ones who foot the bill, not only financially, but emotionally as well.

      I stopped watching TV news in 1999. I abandoned social media two years ago. My life has been immensely better for it. I see my friends and co-workers get all worked up about something a politician did or did not do. Something a reporter said or wrote. Something that is never talked about again few months down the road. Why should I further lower my quality of life by getting emotionally involved with people who do not take their own public statements seriously?

      Jack likes to say that reality doesn’t care about my opinion. To that I would add that politicians and media don’t care about my opinion either. As a matter of fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who cares about my opinion. I’m ok with that. I have better things to do with my time anyway.

  13. Jason Smith

    If anyone has the time, Dave Rubin’s interview with Ken stern (Rubin report on YouTube)
    is quite interesting and talks about the segregation of communities along political lines.

  14. Rick T.

    “…who pronounce the word “wash” as “worsh.” “

    I spent considerable effort in my early professional life worshing that out of my central Indiana upbringing.

  15. Pey-droh

    “Another thing you will learn from the Project Veritas video: the game in Silicon Valley is rigged, permanently and implacably, against anybody to the right of Mrs. Clinton. Period, point blank.”


    * Peter Thiel, Founder, Paypal
    * TJ Rogers, Founder, Cypress Semiconductor
    * Scott McNealy, Co-founder of Sun Microsystems
    * Larry Ellison – Oracle
    * Craig Barrett – Intel
    * Michael Dell – Dell Computer
    * Tim Armstrong – AOL
    * Carly Fiorina – AT&T, Lucent Technologies, HP/Compaq. In the edition of October 12, 1998, of Fortune magazine, Fiorina was named “The Most Powerful Woman in American Business”
    * Brian Krzanich – Intel CEO
    * Meg Whitman – eBay, HP Meg Whitman is the fifth-wealthiest women CEO of Fortune 500 companies by 2016 Fortune 500 ranking (59).
    And there’s more in the article below

  16. VoGo

    You bemoan the concept that people have little contact with people of different perspectives, but also you ban me for exactly that reason.


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