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Old 07-09-2013, 11:44 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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The red gets redder, the blue gets bluer. This may not resolve in our lifetimes.

I think this piece is going to prove prescient.

It becomes clearer and clearer to me that the bay of opinion has widened on this board over the past... six or seven years or so. I feel like more and more, there are different realities shaping themselves that the red and the blue tend to follow more and more, particularly as the media continues fracturing and yellow journalism and partisan journalism become the rage.

I don't agree with everything in this piece by Sullivan, but the central question he's making is the right one: how does the hyper-polarization of our politics ever reverse itself?

It's not clear that it can, at least in my lifetime. I fear it might require a demographic upheaval of this country, from older to younger, from the less pragmatic will of the elites to the more pragmatic will of everybody else. And once that happens, which is easily going to take a generation at least, it may take another generation for the damages of gerrymandering and the unlimited funding of our elections to right itself. *I* think those are the things that need to happen in order to reverse hyperpartisanship in this country, but I'm not sure. What I am sure about, however, is that those things probably cannot happen in my lifetime.

This is obviously not an American phenomenon alone, but for our interests, that's of course where I'm focusing.

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/...d-bluer-world/

A Redder And Bluer World
Andrew Sullivan
Jul 9 2013 @ 1:20pm

We used to live on a planet defined by collectivism/communism and individualism/market capitalism. It was a crude way to describe the second half of the 20th Century, but it worked relatively well. Vast, stultified masses were toiling under the disproven theories of dead Victorians in Russia, China, and parts of South America; while the West either endured a kind of socialism (in Western Europe/India) or a more robust capitalism. We know how that struggle played out. What we didn’t know was what would replace it, when India, China and Russia – let alone South America – embraced, in varying degrees, the tangible success of the market in making people’s material lives more pleasant than at any point in post-hunter-gatherer human history.

But we know now. Market capitalism could not be restrained merely to the economic realm. It necessarily empowered individualist challenges to tradition and totalist faith – and, empowered also by the information technology revolution – these challenges could not be geographically contained any longer. And so in the increasingly fundamentalist Pakistan, one of the most popular Google search terms is “gay sex”. In Nigeria, 30 school children are burned alive for the crime of getting educated outside of religious rote indoctrination. In Tehran, ecstasy is easy to find, while in the Iranian hinterlands, young gay men are hanged in public. In Turkey, middle class secularists are in open revolt against creeping Islamization. In Israel, the once largely secular socialist country is becoming more and more dominated by religious fundamentalists who are now shaping its foreign policy in such a way as to provoke religious war rather than prevent it.

In Egypt, we have just witnessed a key precedent for civil war. The secular pragmatists and liberals – having lost to Islamists in the last election by a landslide – have engineered a counter-coup against the incompetence and fundamentalism of the Morsi government, which showed not the faintest clue of how to run a country. What is particularly striking to me is how each side now has a clearly different set of facts than the other. For the secularists, it is a given that the Muslim Brotherhood started the fracas that became yesterday’s massacre. For the Islamists, and anyone with open eyes, the overwhelming evidence is of a premeditated slaughter of unarmed citizens.

In America, violence, mercifully, is held at bay in these struggles, but the political system has effectively ground to a halt under their weight. Despite getting fewer votes than the Democrats for president, House and Senate, the Republicans are using their gerrymandered majority in the House to block even executive branch appointees from approval. They are determined to destroy universal healthcare. Rick Perry Leads "The Response" Prayer Rally In HoustonThey are launching a national campaign to shut down abortion clinics. They deny climate science. They voted against tax cuts – purely because a Democratic president proposed them.

There are relatively easy compromises to be had right now in a sane republic: short-term stimulus accompanied by long-term structural tax and entitlement reform; reform of universal healthcare to empower individuals rather than burden companies; pricing CO2 more aggressively to abate climate change; investing in infrastructure to help accelerate growth in the long run. There are good arguments to be had in all these areas – how best to tackle climate change? what share of the economy should the welfare state take as boomers age? – but the differences, compared with the crises facing many other countries, are relatively minor.

But the cultural gulf has rarely been as deep or as wide. My view on this is that our division is not really about politics or even ideology. Ideology is an often ill-fitting misnomer for something much more powerful – deep cultural alienation between the two parts of America. That alienation, in my view, is at its core the same alienation we are seeing in countries as diverse as Turkey and Egypt and Iran and Israel. It’s about the response to modernity – a choice between fear/rejection and relish/adoption. It’s between a red world and a blue world. Or rather an increasingly blue world in deadly conflict between an increasingly red one.

David Brooks reviewed Charles Taylor’s masterpiece, “The Secular Age”, today. Money quote:

Quote:
Taylor’s investigation begins with this question: “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say 1500, in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?” That is, how did we move from the all encompassing sacred cosmos, to our current world in which faith is a choice, in which some people believe, others don’t and a lot are in the middle?
The real question, however, is how societies can retain their coherence and unity when they are caught between the reassuring certainties of fundamentalism and the exhilarating disorientation of modernity. The worldviews are from such different places – and are now penetrating cultures which, before the globalization of information, were able to keep them at bay. And so a mutilated woman in Saudi Arabia can see unfathomable sexual pornography with a click of a mouse. And young, hip Tehran youth look on in disbelief as the crudest forms of religious frenzy guide an economy toward the rocks. If you go from the central cities of these countries and venture further and further into the rural heartlands, you will find not only that the blue parts of these countries are getting bluer, but that, in response, many of the red parts are getting redder. Soon, both parties create a different set of facts, as well as beliefs, about their world. Until they are barely able to communicate with each other at all.

The places where these forces are not as strong are in Western Europe and China – where traditionalist religion has either died or was killed by decades of brutalizing communist atheism. But in those countries where fundamentalism has not lost its power, and where modernity has not lost its seductive appeal, the conflict is deepening. I thought Barack Obama could somehow transcend this, and help move us forward. He has in many ways, but he is not engaging in an argument with his opponents, because in a religious and cultural war, arguments are just less potent than symbolism, resentment, identity and a divine claim to absolute truth. My fear is that these two forces are intensifying the strength of the other. Egyptians now have their own set of facts about yesterday’s massacre – but we in America have FNC and MSNBC. And the more the fundamentalist forces recoil from a multi-racial, multi-cultural, sexually free society, the more secularists are tempted to move from condescension to outright hostility. Before long, we have atheism in its most unadulterated form banishing people of faith from any role in public discourse – and vice-versa (think of climate denialism among those declaring God in control of the weather).

All of this is an epic struggle for meaning – and the possibility of meaning in any communal sense. That’s why it’s so intractable. That’s why it is tearing countries and cultures apart. That’s why reasoned debate, however vital, is so disarmed right now. Because pride, honor and identity are at stake. The ressentiment in the rural heartland is echoed by the bigotry of liberal, urban Americans when they discuss their fellow citizens in the redder, fundamentalist states.

I’m not sure there can be a political resolution to this in the short term. Obama was as good a try as any – and he has made under-appreciated pragmatic progress in reforming America, shifting our foreign policy back toward sanity, saving us from a second Great Depression or the fate of much of Europe, and even winning universal healthcare. But there comes a point at which he simply hits a brick wall, just as the Islamists did in Egypt and the Green Movement did in Iran and the secularists have in Turkey and the liberal individualists in Tel Aviv against the settlers on the West Bank.

The only way through this impasse is through religious reform, in my view. This may take more than my lifetime. But proving the ineptness of theocracy, exposing the fallacies of the fundamentalist psyche, while treasuring varieties of religious experience that include within them a toleration of the conscience of others, is surely the only way forward. It will not be easy getting to a more purple world. But if it is not possible, then we face a century of warfare and social dysfunction. The unanswered question, to my mind, is whether this dynamic has so purged religious institutions of free thinkers and writers and theologians and saints that it has sealed its own – and everyone else’s – demise. As a Christian I refuse to believe that. But as a writer and observer of the world, it becomes harder each day.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:08 PM   #2
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"The only way through this impasse is through religious reform, in my view. This may take more than my lifetime. But proving the ineptness of theocracy, exposing the fallacies of the fundamentalist psyche, while treasuring varieties of religious experience that include within them a toleration of the conscience of others, is surely the only way forward."


Yes. It is the Christian who is to blame. Who must change. Only then will we discover the utopia we've been denied for so long.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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Secession would resolve it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:35 PM   #4
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Educate leftists to no be so stupid. Problem solved!
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by InChiefsHell View Post
Educate leftists to no be so stupid. Problem solved!
Good solution. Start by banning TV and drugs and educate them in how to act responsibly so they can operate in a free country.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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I think he overstates this sort of radical religious attitude in churches. I've been to dozens in a variety of states and I basically never hear anything political from the pulpit. I think I've heard one sermon on gay marriage and it wasn't even a sermon. It was just the pastor stating the church's position that it won't conduct gay marriages.
They never talk about abortion, homosexuality, who to elect, etc. Not the ones I've been to.
This is what generally goes on at churches I've been to: The sing some songs, they read a passage from the Bible, the pastor then gives his sermon, which 8 times out of 10 is about being kind to other people and trying to develop fellowship with other people in your community. There's a collection and sometimes a communion in there. This notion by many that churches are filled with pastors foaming at the mouth with political sermons is laughable. I'm sure it happens, but I doubt its very often.
So, this attitude he seems to have (at least the way I read it) that religious types are somehow ingrained in this close minded way of thinking is just false.
I mean, there's churches now that say they'll conduct gay marriage, aren't there? Don't the Episcopals?
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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I'm figuring when Bush dies the liberals may have to look around and go WTF did we do? Until then, blame away. I'm amazed at the crap I still hear. Most important politician in the history of the Democrat party.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Good solution. Start by banning TV and drugs and educate them in how to act responsibly so they can operate in a free country.
I have a big mouth cousin who's always banging the democratic drum. Didn't know who Nancy Pelosi was when she was speaker of the house but he could tell you who won the last three seasons of American Idol, Survivor, and Amazing Race.

I'm thinking he's pretty typical. Not particularly stupid; just not really paying any attention while thinking he was.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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Good solution. Start by banning TV and drugs and educate them in how to act responsibly so they can operate in a free country.
Wouldn't banning people from TV and drugs be the opposite of a free country?
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Wouldn't banning people from TV and drugs be the opposite of a free country?
Yes, but we live under economic fascism right now. So might as well do something that will lead to that being done away with.

If not, then the parents should ban TV.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
I think he overstates this sort of radical religious attitude in churches. I've been to dozens in a variety of states and I basically never hear anything political from the pulpit. I think I've heard one sermon on gay marriage and it wasn't even a sermon. It was just the pastor stating the church's position that it won't conduct gay marriages.
They never talk about abortion, homosexuality, who to elect, etc. Not the ones I've been to.
This is what generally goes on at churches I've been to: The sing some songs, they read a passage from the Bible, the pastor then gives his sermon, which 8 times out of 10 is about being kind to other people and trying to develop fellowship with other people in your community. There's a collection and sometimes a communion in there. This notion by many that churches are filled with pastors foaming at the mouth with political sermons is laughable. I'm sure it happens, but I doubt its very often.
So, this attitude he seems to have (at least the way I read it) that religious types are somehow ingrained in this close minded way of thinking is just false.
I mean, there's churches now that say they'll conduct gay marriage, aren't there? Don't the Episcopals?

This should be underscored.

Liberals have waged a relentless campaign to paint religious believers as having the same characteristics as their predecessors in the middle ages. Dave Lane does his best to portray the Inquisition as alive and well in the backrooms of churches throughout the land. It often embarrasses me to be an atheist after reading one of his posts. Well, actually, I guess I'm embarrassed that he's an atheist as well.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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Wouldn't banning people from TV and drugs be the opposite of a free country?
She just babbles and calls you a Fascst or NAZI if you disagree (or says you used a straw man)

then she turns around and wants to ban free speech and drugs in the same breath

bitch is utterly psycho with no clue what she says one moment to the next
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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The Republicans have gerrymandered themselfs so many safe seats in the house, its going to be difficult for the Dems to retake the house. Disclaimer before being jumped on.........The Dems did this too in the past.

I understand the premise of the article. But, the demographic death spiral for the Republicans is not going to stop. It will eventually make the republicans the Whigs of the 2000's unless they reach out to non-whites in a meaniful way. Change their tone, the way they talk publicly.

More non-whites voted in the last election. More children under 5 are non-white. The majority of Americans in 2030-2035 are going to be non-whites. If the Republican party doesn't find a way to reach out to non-whites, in the long term, they are doomed.

The Dems need to realize some Republican ideas are not that bad. They just need to be reined in and the "Tea Partyness" taken out and more "Eisenhower/Reagan" put into the proposals. That there has to be limit on how much food stamps/welfare/government assistance you can receive without trying to better your station in life. Leave gun control alone. The constitution is clear.

The overall foreign policy of America is pretty much the same on both sides of the aisle these days. Look at the Romney/Obama debates. They sounded the same. May be difference in how the execute the policy but the end goal is the same.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #14
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"The only way through this impasse is through religious reform, in my view. This may take more than my lifetime. But proving the ineptness of theocracy, exposing the fallacies of the fundamentalist psyche, while treasuring varieties of religious experience that include within them a toleration of the conscience of others, is surely the only way forward."


Yes. It is the Christian who is to blame. Who must change. Only then will we discover the utopia we've been denied for so long.
I for one am sick of the right being run by the religious right. And there will be a tipping point where younger generations will grow up with more progressive social views.

I can't wait for elections to be determined by views on fiscal and economic policy. And until the right can shed this religious identity, it will be forever split and it's going to get harder and harder to win elections.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #15
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Educate leftists to no be so stupid. Problem solved!
Educate the right to not be idiotic homophobic racist corporate zombies bowing to their corporate masters.
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