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  #61  
Old 01 June 2018, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
[ . . . ]

I definitely think it can wind up moving a person toward your position, because exploring their beliefs can sometimes (not always by any stretch) lead a person to see their own inconsistencies or weak points. But having that as a goal can probably undermine the process.

Even when it doesn't cause a person to reevaluate their beliefs, though, I think I've gained something. Even if I walk away knowing that that person is exactly as much as, or even more of an asshat than they sounded like. Maybe I walk away knowing I never want to talk to them again, or that they sound dangerous, and I can warn others about them.

And if the conversation is public, sometimes getting someone to elaborate on their beliefs and where they might come from, or where they might lead, can make other people realize they don't agree with that person after all, or don't want to be associated with them.

I might also walk away knowing what motivates that person, which is really useful information for lots of reasons that don't involve giving ground on my own positions.

And yes, sometimes I might walk away thinking about something from a different perspective, or with a different understanding. But I'm not afraid of that happening, and it would be a bad reason to avoid listening.

And if I've done a good job of listening, maybe the other person goes away feeling heard and understood, which can also benefit me and my side. And maybe on that occasion or another they reciprocate and ask me about what I think -- but that is not my goal going in.
I'd like to agree with all of that, and to add: because someone shows no signs of changing their position at the time of the conversation doesn't mean that having had that conversation will have no effect on their position over time.

Having to articulate one's position, if the position is actually weak, can be an unnerving thing to do; and it's a common human reaction to double down on it at the time, rather than stopping and saying 'wait a minute, maybe that's not a clear and sensible thing to be saying, after all'. But sometimes people go away and think about it in the back of their heads; and then a week or a month or a decade later they've changed their minds.

One reason I liked discussing things with conservatives on this board was that it made me articulate my own positions. That very rarely led me to change them, and if it did lead me to change them was I think as likely to make me change them further left as further right; but having to put a gut reaction of 'oh hell no' into 'and here's why' is IMO very good for me.

Doing it on the board is, for me at least, a lot easier than trying to do it with a relative at the dinner table, though. -- but I think that's only partly because the stakes seem a little lower. I think a lot of it is also that, the way my mind works, I want to think over what the other person said, and what my reaction was, and how to phrase that reaction; and then to write it down and re-consider it before putting it out there. Trying to do that in a live in-person conversation mostly results in people having moved on three hours ago to talk about something else, by which point it sounds foolish to try to make them come back to the earlier issue; or else in my coming out with something that doesn't actually say what I meant it to.

[hits preview, and thinks about it . . . ]

[ETA: crocoduck_hunter, I'm not deliberately ignoring your question about what conservatives are opposing Trump. I've read a batch of people, but I'm bad at names, and I'm not always sure whether a particular columnist, say, qualifies as "conservative". It would take me a while to come up with a list. But I will also say that there are people who oppose who aren't public figures; but who show up at the polls -- or, in some cases, don't. Without knowing them personally and also talking with them on the subject, how is anyone on this board going to know who they are?]

Last edited by thorny locust; 01 June 2018 at 11:20 PM.
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  #62  
Old 01 June 2018, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
It's nice that there are a few op-ed writers who oppose Trump but none of them are serious movers and shakers in the Republican Party. There still aren't any serious attempts to reign him in or censure him in any meaningful way.
OK, then I share the confusion that Sue expressed above. You're jumping back and forth between using "conservatives" to mean ordinary conservatives, and using the word to mean conservatives in power who can really stand up to Trump.
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  #63  
Old 01 June 2018, 11:28 PM
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I am one of the conservatives that has been on this board for quite a long time. I have found this board has always leaned to the left, but when I started here some 15 years ago I was able to have civil conversations about various political topics and although we may not have agreed we were able to carry on a "polite" conversation.

I certainly feel that the board has become very hostile towards those on the conservative spectrum, and why I tend not to post very often. Note, that it is usually not specifically aimed at me, but that "conservatives" get lumped into a group together and then are fair game for whatever generalizing, stereotyping, name calling that people see fit. Conservatives is a broad category that includes many people of a vastly wide range of political opinions and beliefs but it has seem that here it has become the norm and accepted to stereotype conservatives which I find disappointing coming from a group that typically tends to disapprove of such behavior.

So most of the time I might start a thread thinking I would like to make a point or two, but have become disgusted enough by the time I get through the bulk of the replies that I don't bother.

I have several groups that I belong to where I can have civil conversations about politics with people on the the opposite spectrum as me, sadly in it's current state, this board does not seem to be one of them.
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  #64  
Old 01 June 2018, 11:53 PM
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Dark Blue, I have valued your voice here, and wish you would keep trying (though of course only you can decide whether to do so.)
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  #65  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
OK, then I share the confusion that Sue expressed above. You're jumping back and forth between using "conservatives" to mean ordinary conservatives, and using the word to mean conservatives in power who can really stand up to Trump.
I'm not sure where you're getting that. I didn't even use the word in the post you quoted.
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  #66  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:23 AM
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Very well. You asked who on the right is opposing Trump. I pointed to people on the right who are opposing Trump. Then you pointed out that they aren't movers and shakers in the Republican Party. Which is true, but not relevant to the question I was answering. I'll concede that you used "the right" and "Republican Party", not conservative.
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  #67  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:31 AM
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It's really hard for me to believe that this board has become more insensitive to conservative views. I've pointed this out before on this subject but there used to be three concurrent threads asking point blank something like Why the heck are you not an Atheist. (No exaggeration! Sometimes there were more.) If anything, people were way more critical of conservatism during the Bush 2 admin. "PCM" was a term regularly used and few batted so much as an eyelash. I just can't fathom why the more recent rather tame comments are supposed to be driving conservatives away.

The whole board has become way way less argumentative as well. Yes, we did have members with more extreme views then: conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc. but there's only a couple of extreme liberals here now (yes, probably including me) and there used to be dozens. I'm willing to be shown otherwise but it seems like very selective memory to say this board has become even a bit more hostile to, well, anyone actually. (ETA Maybe after all those arguments the more extreme views on all sides stopped arguing. I like to think they just lost a lot of arguments but maybe they felt in those pre-Obama board days they felt that they couldn't get a word in edgewise. But not only conservatives and definitely not more now than then.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 02 June 2018 at 12:38 AM.
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  #68  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:42 AM
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I'm not a conservative so maybe it's not for me to say. But it might just have to do with numbers. That is, if the board is 30% conservative and 70% liberal or whatever, then dealing with snark mixed in with debate from the other side might not be so bad. But a lone conservative on a thread facing a few decent counterpoints and a few posts about how terrible conservatives are could find it more annoying than anything, and decide it's not worth discussing politics. Which then changes the political ratio even more.

(By the way, what did PCM stand for? It was Pseudo-something Moron, right? But was the C for conservative? That doesn't seem right. Yeah, I know, there's some rule that you're supposed to figure out the lingo on your own and not ask questions, but I think we've all figured out there's no moderation going on, so I thought I'd ask.)
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  #69  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:54 AM
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There was some disagreement about that, of course. (No one agreed on almost anything except most urban legends.) My recollection is that most people understood it to mean Persecuted Christian Majority but I may have remembered a minority opinion.

We argued about everything! But there were really good arguments. I learned so much here. (Still do.)
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  #70  
Old 02 June 2018, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very well. You asked who on the right is opposing Trump. I pointed to people on the right who are opposing Trump. Then you pointed out that they aren't movers and shakers in the Republican Party. Which is true, but not relevant to the question I was answering.
Okay, that's true.

There are Republicans that are speaking out against Trump. My issuen't really that they don't exist, it's that as near as I can tell, they are very, very much the exception in the party rather than the rule.
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  #71  
Old 02 June 2018, 01:32 AM
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ganzfeld, are you conflating "religious" with "conservative"?

There are atheist conservatives and religious liberals.

-- I also think the C in PCM was for Christian.

ETA: crocoduck_hunter, not all conservatives are members of the Republican party, either.
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  #72  
Old 02 June 2018, 01:45 AM
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In the past we had some great discussion which remained fairly civil even when they got heated. The boards self policed to some extent, but there were active moderators who stepped in promptly when needed. For years now the standards for discussion have been thrown in the toilet, and I've seen treatment of some posters in the last few years that would not have been tolerated for anybody.

I really don't understand the attitude I see with people in the extremes. Nobody is born with their views. If you've come to superior opinions that others haven't arrived at yet, why would you use it to treat less 'enlightened' people like crap?

*ETA: I'm fairly certain that PCM was Pseudo-Christian Moron
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  #73  
Old 02 June 2018, 01:46 AM
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I'm a practicing Christian (my grandfather was a pastor for over 50 years; I'm a church musician and a lay worship leader who preaches on alternate Saturdays at our service of word & prayer), and I will admit to liking the "PCM" (for "Pseudo-Christian Moron") designation - it was mainly used to call out blatant hypocrisy by those who loudly professed their Christian beliefs while acting in ways which directly contradicted Jesus' teachings as found in scripture. Over time, the term lent itself to abuse as shorthand for "member of the religious right with whom I disagree," and seemed to fall out of favor then.

ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I've seen treatment of some posters in the last few years that would not have been tolerated for anybody.
I agree.
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  #74  
Old 02 June 2018, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Okay, that's true.

There are Republicans that are speaking out against Trump. My issuen't really that they don't exist, it's that as near as I can tell, they are very, very much the exception in the party rather than the rule.
I should probably apologize for tooting my own horn, but I said this on the previous page and it remains my response to the whole “Not all Conservatives!” argument.

Quote:
The “Not All Conservatives!” argument that keeps coming up in this thread, feels like specious reasoning. I am reminded of the #NotAllMen dodge that rose up in response to #YesAllWomen tag.

Thing is, the women who started the original tag, weren’t saying that each and every guy is a perpetrator of violence or harassment towards women. They were merely pointing out that all women had been victimized either directly or indirectly by sexism. Those who felt a need to leap into the fray with #NotAllMen should really ask themselves that if the shoe doesn’t fit, why are they so offended by this tag? If they, personally, have never wronged women and they don’t have any sexist attitudes towards them, then they should be saddened by the stories they’re hearing, angered by what some of their fellow men have done, but not personally offended.

The plain and simple truth is that enough women have been the victims of sexism and the vast majority of the perpetrators are, like it or not, are men.

My response is something similar: Maybe not each and every individual Conservative supports Trump’s rancid bigotry and his fascist attitudes, but the problem is that enough of them do. Enough of them support these toxic beliefs and right now, they are dictating the GOP platform as well as national policy and said policy is harming vast swaths of people and will harm many more if they are not stopped. If Conservatives are as horrified by the actions of Trump and of those in their party, if they know that none of the accusations of bigotry do not apply to them, then they would recognize that these accusations do not apply to them and focus on stopping the bigots who are hijacking their party and using it to enact such horrible offenses.
I stand by what I’ve said. Maybe not each individual Conservative supports Trump’s rancid bigotry, but the problem is enough of them do and they are currently in the position to cause very real harm to a lot of people.
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  #75  
Old 02 June 2018, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
If Conservatives are as horrified by the actions of Trump and of those in their party, if they know that none of the accusations of bigotry do not apply to them, then they would recognize that these accusations do not apply to them and focus on stopping the bigots who are hijacking their party and using it to enact such horrible offenses.
I guess you can just say that for any group that is stereotyped then

Quote:
The whole board has become way way less argumentative as well.
I'm sure, since pretty much anyone in disagreement politically doesn't post anymore. There isn't as much to argue about.

In deed there has always been descent, but in the more recent future it has become much more acceptable to be pretty mean about. I know people have strong feelings and emotions are powerful, but it feels a lot less civil that it was in the past.
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  #76  
Old 02 June 2018, 03:06 AM
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The Tea Party was an influential part of the Republican Party that was primarily focused on attacking President Obama on the utterly false notion that he wasn't legitimately American, based on his skin color. Numerous Republicans were successfully elected to office based on this.

Edit: Got a phone call, accidentally hit send too early. Anyway, the Republican Party does not have a stereotype for being bigoted. It has a reputation for being bigoted due to how regularly bigoted ideas and legislation comes from its members.

Last edited by crocoduck_hunter; 02 June 2018 at 03:19 AM.
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  #77  
Old 02 June 2018, 03:12 AM
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The phrase YesAllWomen does not, in fact, say YesAllMen. That's why responding to it with NotAllMen isn't appropriate.


Conservatives objecting to statements that reference all conservatives, everybody on the Right, etc. are not doing the same thing.
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  #78  
Old 02 June 2018, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
I should probably apologize for tooting my own horn, but I said this on the previous page and it remains my response to the whole “Not all Conservatives!” argument.
Did anybody make that sort of argument? You might mean I did, but if you reread the thread I think you'll see I just responded to a question about right-wing thinkers who oppose Trump by pointing to some right-wing thinkers who oppose Trump. Or maybe you didn't mean me, but then I'm curious why you brought this argument up at all.
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  #79  
Old 02 June 2018, 03:34 AM
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She quoted me when she first brought it up, but I never made any argument like that either.
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  #80  
Old 02 June 2018, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
The whole board has become way way less argumentative as well. Yes, we did have members with more extreme views then: conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc. but there's only a couple of extreme liberals here now (yes, probably including me) and there used to be dozens. I'm willing to be shown otherwise but it seems like very selective memory to say this board has become even a bit more hostile to, well, anyone actually. (ETA Maybe after all those arguments the more extreme views on all sides stopped arguing. I like to think they just lost a lot of arguments but maybe they felt in those pre-Obama board days they felt that they couldn't get a word in edgewise. But not only conservatives and definitely not more now than then.)
If I had to sum it up, I’d say there seems to be less "what do you believe and why?" and more "you [or some talking head/columnist] said you [they] agree with X, therefore you [they] would clearly endorse Y and Z as well."

I hate to see people claiming to know what someone else believes/endorses based on fallacious reasoning and have it go unchallenged, but I get so tired of wading in that I find it’s best to just walk away. I mean, it’d be awesome if an actual conservative (or whoever) that endorses X would show up to explain that Y and Z don’t necessarily follow from X, but, well, here we are.

I’ve got an extended analogy about a munchkin being hanged for murder when all they’re really guilty of manslaughter and oh how terrible that is, but it’s a bit far out there so I’ll leave it. The point is, I really hate having to advocate on behalf of people I don’t agree with just because everyone else seems to want to assume the worst about them. It’s frustrating and there are other places to go and have these conversations where, as others have noted, liberals and conservatives really do talk and I can just let the conservatives attempt to defend themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Blue View Post
I'm sure, since pretty much anyone in disagreement politically doesn't post anymore. There isn't as much to argue about.
That’s pretty much my take on things too.

Last edited by ASL; 02 June 2018 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Syntax, sentence structure
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