Author Topic: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion  (Read 762 times)

jordanread

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Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:42:55 AM »
I have some ideas for this, but I'm going to wait and see how this evolves. This thread is being created as a sister thread to Small Daily Acts of Political Resistance. The thread I linked to is all about specific actions people are taking, ideas on what to take, but not the why. This is a good thing. But damn if some things get said that would be an awesome conversation. In order to keep that thread on track, this will be the spot for discussing those actions, the ethics, morality, and viewpoints behind them, or anything else that people want to ask. Now, political discussions on the internet...well, you know. That being said, this forum is arguably one of the best places on the internet, so I'm relatively certain this will wind up being an exception to the rule. But just in case, here are some guidelines I use, and they allow discussions to move forward pretty well.

  • Comments are based on the viewpoint of the author.
  • Disagreement as to underlying beliefs are disagreements on the underlying beliefs, not a statement about your character.
  • Unless specifically stated, nothing said here is personal.
  • Ensure that your comments specify it's the action or opinion you are critiquing, not the person.
  • AFAIK, we are all human here. Start at that common ground and things get productive.
  • There is an entire history, and an entire thought process behind decisions that people make. We don't know what that is. If you are asked to explain your core beliefs, it's only for understanding, not to make you change them specifically.
  • Instead of attacking people, ask questions to figure out where they are coming from. It's probably not malicious.

Let's see how this goes. This will be a good discussion all!
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CanuckExpat

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 09:10:35 AM »
Thanks Jordan, I'm posting to follow.

If it helps any, I'll copy and paste some rules/guidelines from a similar space that I thought stays relatively civil (though they have the advantage of being able to be heavily moderated). I'm not the boss of anything, but I think the following are useful to keep in mind, tell me if you disagree:

* Try to stay dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues
* Aim for a neutral space where those of differing opinions can come together and rationally lay out their respective arguments. Neutral in the sense that no political opinion is favored - only facts and logic. Your comments will be judged not by its perspective, but by its style, rationale, and informational content.
* Be courteous. Avoid demeaning language, sarcasm, rudeness or hostility towards others
* Source your facts. If you're claiming something to be true, you need to back it up. There is no "common knowledge" exception, and anecdotal evidence is frowned upon
* Put thought into it. Explain the reasoning behind what you're saying. Argue your position with logic and evidence.
* Address the arguments, not the person. The subject of your sentence should be "the evidence" or "this source" or some other noun directly related to the topic of conversation, not the person. "You" statements are suspect.


If this post disappears, it means I got tired of it showing up in my unread replies, and it may have devolved into more political fighting than I care for. I'm retired and don't need my blood riled up :)
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jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 09:19:24 AM »
Thanks Jordan, I'm posting to follow.

If it helps any, I'll copy and paste some rules/guidelines from a similar space that I thought stays relatively civil (though they have the advantage of being able to be heavily moderated). I'm not the boss of anything, but I think the following are useful to keep in mind, tell me if you disagree:

* Try to stay dedicated to evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues
* Aim for a neutral space where those of differing opinions can come together and rationally lay out their respective arguments. Neutral in the sense that no political opinion is favored - only facts and logic. Your comments will be judged not by its perspective, but by its style, rationale, and informational content.
* Be courteous. Avoid demeaning language, sarcasm, rudeness or hostility towards others
* Source your facts. If you're claiming something to be true, you need to back it up. There is no "common knowledge" exception, and anecdotal evidence is frowned upon
* Put thought into it. Explain the reasoning behind what you're saying. Argue your position with logic and evidence.
* Address the arguments, not the person. The subject of your sentence should be "the evidence" or "this source" or some other noun directly related to the topic of conversation, not the person. "You" statements are suspect.


If this post disappears, it means I got tired of it showing up in my unread replies, and it may have devolved into more political fighting than I care for. I'm retired and don't need my blood riled up :)

It won't disappear now!! Yeah, they're pretty good rules. I'll have to remember the sarcasm one. I'm bad at that. Greenback beat me to it, so a good chunk of the current conversation is about the ethics of reaching outside of your own area in another thread. It's going relatively well so far, so I'm just going to leave this here for the next bit that comes up.
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jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 10:32:56 PM »
So after another discussion that ended extremely unsatisfactorily, I now feel like we need to make sure we have a solid foundation on which to begin discussion. I don't have a specific issue in mind, but regardless, I think that starting at the beginning will be useful. I will answer the questions tomorrow, when at a keyboard, but I'm pretty sure I can post the questions without screwing up from a phone.

When it comes to politics, how do you describe yourself? Republican, Democrat, libertarian, anarchist, etc. Why do you choose this particular label (if applicable)? What metrics and guidelines do you use to vote? What country are you in? What role do you think the government should have? Federal, state, Providence, etc. Describe your perspective on the current political situation in general, and for your country in particular. Is this a good thing, bad thing, or something more nuanced? Do you feel that there is opposition to this? What do you do to address this?

I'll probably wind up requesting additional information and clarification. Remember that this is not a judgement at this point, just a desire to understand where you are coming from.
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marty998

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 03:12:34 AM »
- Centre Right. I used to be centre left, but I am noticing that I am shifting my views as I age.
- Vote based on whoever is the least worst option
- Australia
- Our system works well enough, but there's quite a bit of overlap between Federal and State when it comes to Health and Education.
- Our country is not as polarised, or rabid as the US. However, we are slowly and unwittingly marching down that path, because the major parties are no longer reflective of the communities they serve.
- This is a bad thing. With more minor and special interest ("1 issue") parties in parliament, tough but necessary decisions and reforms cannot be undertaken by a government that runs on the thin majorities, or exists only with the support of minor parties.

I used to favour a free for all - more diverse voices the better. However as I age, I understand the problems with that approach. We now have too many disparate interests represented in our Senate, all with competing priorities.

The result is that reforms just don't happen.

Elected governments need to be able to implement their agendas, whether good or bad. Forcing severe compromises on every single bill is a sure fire way for a country to slowly stagnate.

We are permitted to vote often enough (every 2-3 years) that the country can't go balls up without the people voting the bastards out in time. Unfortunately, this control fails to operate when both major parties have substantially similar agendas.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2017, 07:43:01 PM »
I think political labels and allegiances are disappointing shortcuts to critical thinking. I'm in favor of many left, right, libertarian, and moderate viewpoints; I suspect that none of the supporters of those ideologies seem equipped to think rationally on a majority of topics since such "thinking" so often descends into tribalism and "virtue signalling". For president, I voted for Ralph Nader a couple times and most recently voted for Evan McMulllin. I'm pessimistic that our political process can grow substantially more enlightened any time soon.

LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:28:45 PM »
When it comes to politics, how do you describe yourself? Republican, Democrat, libertarian, anarchist, etc. Why do you choose this particular label (if applicable)?

I have a very hard time describing myself because there's no "tribe" that thinks like I do.  I've been called a libertarian and I think that's technically accurate as far as it goes, but I tend to disagree with many other people who are also called libertarians on some definitive issues like fiat currency.



It's also accurate to say I have a lot of classical (stress on classical) liberal values, like actual original 1770s era liberal values, not what's called "liberal" now which is anything but liberal.

As I've studied and read and learned, I've begun to classify myself as a Goldwater Republican.  They need to bring that man back from the dead and run him again.  I think that's a pretty good description of me: seek simplicity, compactness and elegance in government, don't try to engineer people's lifestyles or beliefs with public policy, and be fiscally conservative are three core ideas I have.

What metrics and guidelines do you use to vote?

I don't have a hard set of rules because everything is relative and I don't like most candidates for most offices, but a good way to try to suss them out is I go down the Bill of Rights and see what are the impacts of this candidate's stances on each right delineated there.  It's not usually the end of my thought process but it's a start.

What country are you in?

Texas.



What role do you think the government should have? Federal, state, Providence, etc.

Federal is easy, the original list is pretty good:

Quote from: Article I section 8
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The problem is, it needs to be that, and ONLY that, or as  close to only that as possible.

State and local government are pretty flexible (I believe no state is beholden to another except insofar as they all have to respect the federal government, use the same money, etc.) but should also strive to be minimalist and highly defined and very restrictive.  The Texas Constitution of 1876, with a cleanup, would be a good model (for example the legislature can only meet for a limited time every other year).

Describe your perspective on the current political situation in general, and for your country in particular.

Fucked, but nobody understands why it's fucked.  "herp derp deeerrrr Donald Trump Deeeerrrp", completely ignoring the fact that he is the symptom and not the problem.  And when he does do something right it gets spun like it's a bad thing.

Meanwhile the government writ large is pretty much this and has been for decades:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2ViNJFZC8

Is this a good thing, bad thing, or something more nuanced?

Well of course it's nuanced.  I don't see anything good happening in my lifetime, but I hold out hope for the future:
Quote
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
     and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
     work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
     deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
     as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the
     morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at
     work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
     fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

People have come through much worse after all.

Do you feel that there is opposition to this?

Opposition to the status quo you mean?   Yes and no.  The establishment is fighting Trump as hard as it can.

But that's an anomaly.  They won't let someone who is outside their system win again.  It's all just pageantry.  You have to understand American politics is all identity politics, it's all show.

In a weird way, I'm sort of glad Trump won, and not because I particularly like Trump, but because his winning at least showed America isn't as complacent to the establishment as I thought it was, that we're still in this thing.  Our spirit's not dead, it's just buried.

What do you do to address this?

Not as much as I used to.  I campaigned for Ron Paul years ago, realizing if we didn't get a small government advocate in office at that point in history, we were doomed to a long line of government bloating administrations doling out bread and circuses.

We got beat so hard, it's like we might as well have not bothered.  Valuable life lesson there.

I contribute a little to some organizations which support specific rights and occasionally bother officials with a letter here or there, but it all goes into the memory hole for the most part.

It is what it is, outside of my locus of control.  I can't stop the trends, they started long before I was even born.

I'll probably wind up requesting additional information and clarification. Remember that this is not a judgement at this point, just a desire to understand where you are coming from.

Good luck with your experiment, but it's really pointless to try to actually engage anyone at this point.  If you aren't a Marxist Atheist extreme left wing post modernist with a terrible haircut you're like literally a Nazi.  I wish I was being facetious, but that's where we are.

jordanread

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 11:27:29 AM »
First, I've been having a lot of trouble answering my own question. I'm used to discussing things in a conversation, and I have answers to questions, but no good way to go between them all without a context that almost always comes up in intelligent discussions like this.

Second, LalsConstant, that was amazing. Thank you. It actually got me thinking a bit more, and I realized some things as far as the reasons I do things that I didn't quite think about in this context.

Third, I'm working on my actual answer right now. I actually ran through the political compass survey again based strictly on ideals, and then again based on the current climate, which I think is where I was having issues adjusting my answers.

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LalsConstant

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Re: Small Daily Acts of Political Discussion
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2017, 01:31:39 PM »
Well I am glad to have helped.  This is a noble experiment eve if I am pessimistic that useful discussions can be had in the current climate.