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Is political debate dead?

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Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
17,466
2,672
126
I generally try to be civil and thoughtful in political discussions and I see a few others doing the same. Then their input goes largely ignored. Instead, we get 20 replies to inflammatory bullshit with more inflammatory bullshit.

I see the same thing in real life. Politicians, talking heads, and the general public are so poorly informed and so stubborn that political debate turns into a back and forth of insults and hatred instead of constructive collaboration and compromise. Everyone seems to be so stuck in the role of the particular party that they favor and they can't even begin to feel empathy for other points of view, just because their candidates don't support it. Why has this happened? Have we become so bitterly partisan that anything suggested by the other side is automatically wrong?

I, of course, expect this to turn into a finger pointing blame game where each party claims the other one does it more often.
It's been dead for many years.
 

jackstar7

Lifer
Jun 26, 2009
11,679
1,941
126
The internet, and message boards, have allowed for the full explosion of rhetorical masturbation. The vast amount of self-gratification running across this message board and thousands more where an individual espouses positions or lack of positions with no meaningful intent to debate would be staggering if it weren't for it being such an obvious result of cultural trends and personal psychology.

Individuals are evermore insular and arrogant these days and they put it on display to proclaim their rightness and confidence in the truths they will not tolerate being questioned or outright refuted.

Nuance and complexity are viewed with disdain. Binary thinking is the new fashion of thought. If it's not my way, then it's wrong and probably evil, because I'm very smart and have arrived at my positions through echo-chamber media consumption or, worse, the delusions of my 'common sense'.

It's hardly unexpected, and yet still disappointing.

Good luck.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
28,249
11,000
136
Because stick an R next to their name makes them a conservative?

The Bush administration also initiated the largest expansion of Medicare in 35 years. Since when is expanding government health care conservative?
It's not. It is just proof that the Republican Party is not 'conservative.' So why do so many self identified 'conservatives' think that the Republican party is 'conservative'?

And Dank I do not know why you are only making this about Obamacare.
I'm not making it 'only about Obamacare.' I used the ACA as a single example to point out the utter absurdity of the Republican partisan hack. They believe they care about the issues, but they DO NOT. The ACA dust up is proof positive that personal responsibility is not an important issue to Republicans. You can't say you want people to take responsibility for themselves while fighting a law that coerces them to do just that.

Lets look at something else the definition of marriage.

Conservative: A life-long relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of raising children.

Liberal: A relationship between 2 people that lasts until one of them no longer feels like being married.

Why are we even using the same word to describe 2 entirely different concepts.
Okay, let's look at your example. You are basically saying conservatives think divorce is wrong, yet they still get divorced all the time. That blows eveything you just said out of the water. Conservatives say they believe marriage should be life long but get divorced just like everyone else. They cheat just like most other people. Sounds to me like conservatives can't even live up to their own definition.

On the flip side, there are plenty of Liberals who do get married for life and don't cheat. Just because they don't expect everyone to remain in a miserable marriage means they are bad people? Whatever.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,050
6
81
Okay, let's look at your example. You are basically saying conservatives think divorce is wrong, yet they still get divorced all the time. That blows eveything you just said out of the water. Conservatives say they believe marriage should be life long but get divorced just like everyone else. They cheat just like most other people. Sounds to me like conservatives can't even live up to their own definition.

On the flip side, there are plenty of Liberals who do get married for life and don't cheat. Just because they don't expect everyone to remain in a miserable marriage means they are bad people? Whatever.
Well put, more zombie-brained talk radio bullshit smacked the f$&* down.
 

alzan

Diamond Member
May 21, 2003
3,860
2
0
And Dank I do not know why you are only making this about Obamacare.

Lets look at something else the definition of marriage.

Conservative: A life-long relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of raising children.

Liberal: A relationship between 2 people that lasts until one of them no longer feels like being married.

Why are we even using the same word to describe 2 entirely different concepts.
So man & woman relationships don't end when one of them no longer feels like bing married?

Fascinating.

I guess you don't know the definitions of conservative and liberal.
 
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a777pilot

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2011
4,261
21
81
In answer to the OP's question.....

In the wide world of Liberalism, political debate is never been alive. It has always been controlled.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
0
Okay, let's look at your example. You are basically saying conservatives think divorce is wrong, yet they still get divorced all the time. That blows eveything you just said out of the water. Conservatives say they believe marriage should be life long but get divorced just like everyone else. They cheat just like most other people. Sounds to me like conservatives can't even live up to their own definition.
Many conservatives are hypocrites. Or conversely you could argue that the culture has drifted so far to the left that even "conservatives" are not really conservative. See for example where you said that many people think Republicans are conservative as an example.
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
12,842
325
126
Many Liberals are hypocrites.
Seriously..? I stopped calling myself conservative because of conservative hypocrites.

On topic: Everything has become a power grab. Whatever position you took yesterday is thrown away for today's win, and whoever isn't in your team is your enemy.
 

Paul98

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2010
3,699
138
106
I generally try to be civil and thoughtful in political discussions and I see a few others doing the same. Then their input goes largely ignored. Instead, we get 20 replies to inflammatory bullshit with more inflammatory bullshit.

I see the same thing in real life. Politicians, talking heads, and the general public are so poorly informed and so stubborn that political debate turns into a back and forth of insults and hatred instead of constructive collaboration and compromise. Everyone seems to be so stuck in the role of the particular party that they favor and they can't even begin to feel empathy for other points of view, just because their candidates don't support it. Why has this happened? Have we become so bitterly partisan that anything suggested by the other side is automatically wrong?

I, of course, expect this to turn into a finger pointing blame game where each party claims the other one does it more often.
Agree x1000

It has gotten so bad, people will defend positions they don't actually agree with just because it's their team's position.

You no longer have people trying to solve problems, or understanding what actually needs to be done. Instead people will pick up a single word or phrase and attack that because they are on the other side. Or defend terrible things because their side supports it.

It's like they think the stupid public talking points are actual substance.
 

manimal

Lifer
Mar 30, 2007
13,560
8
0
What amazes me is how many people in this thread are having a conversation with themselves..

crap I just did it too!
 
May 16, 2000
13,526
0
0
It's at least dying. It happens when systemic interference prevents natural adjustments to the political sphere. In this case it's the two party stranglehold, and the fascist corruption in our system. People are realizing that they have no voice or representation, and it causes anger and resentment, inhibiting debate. Eventually it will lead to revolution/collapse, then a new (and better) system will be formed from the ashes and debate will return. It's been an ongoing cycle for 3000+ years.
 

sao123

Lifer
May 27, 2002
12,589
146
106
Here's an example right here, see if you can spot the strawman:


Mark it down for 1 libertarian.
pfft, I think im far closer to a fascist than a libertarian.


You are a patriotic and authoritarian Socialist.
http://www.politicaltest.net/test/result/137484/

It's not just that it's more complex than that. It's a flat out misrepresentation of what he considers the other side. This is what he thinks liberals want. What most liberals actually want is merely to raise the bar of how low we allow our poorest citizens to sink. We don't want the poorest citizens starving in the streets like dogs and in his mind, that translates into 'give them everything he has worked so hard to earn.'
Contrary to popular opinion, Actually I believe that corporations have a moral obligation to maximize wages and employment numbers of all workers for the sake of the good of a consumer drive society. I just believe that each man should work for what he has, rather than welfare handouts collected via taxation or extreme personal gain based on executive pay and capital investment.
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
28,249
11,000
136
pfft, I think im far closer to a fascist than a libertarian.

Contrary to popular opinion, Actually I believe that corporations have a moral obligation to maximize wages and employment numbers of all workers for the sake of the good of a consumer drive society. I just believe that each man should work for what he has, rather than welfare handouts collected via taxation or extreme personal gain based on executive pay and capital investment.
I can only go by your posts, and it seemed from those that you just don't want taxes at all or at least much less than what we have now (which at the federal level is currently pretty low compared to the last ~80 years btw) so to me that = libertarian.
 

Zstream

Diamond Member
Oct 24, 2005
3,396
277
136
I generally try to be civil and thoughtful in political discussions and I see a few others doing the same. Then their input goes largely ignored. Instead, we get 20 replies to inflammatory bullshit with more inflammatory bullshit.

I see the same thing in real life. Politicians, talking heads, and the general public are so poorly informed and so stubborn that political debate turns into a back and forth of insults and hatred instead of constructive collaboration and compromise. Everyone seems to be so stuck in the role of the particular party that they favor and they can't even begin to feel empathy for other points of view, just because their candidates don't support it. Why has this happened? Have we become so bitterly partisan that anything suggested by the other side is automatically wrong?

I, of course, expect this to turn into a finger pointing blame game where each party claims the other one does it more often.
See Sig and PM if you want more details.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,748
2,617
126
And Dank I do not know why you are only making this about Obamacare.

Lets look at something else the definition of marriage.

Conservative: A life-long relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of raising children.

Liberal: A relationship between 2 people that lasts until one of them no longer feels like being married.

Why are we even using the same word to describe 2 entirely different concepts.
I know plenty of conservatives that are divorced and plenty of liberals who are still with their soulmate.

Next?

Conservatives to me are "Do what i say, not what i do" people.
 

Mxylplyx

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2007
4,197
100
106
Cable News and easily accessible blogs have drawn a much less informed segment of the population into the national political debate. For instance, I read in an article yesterday after the supreme court decision that a recent poll found that 1/4 of respondents though the health care law had already been overturned, and another 1/4 weren't sure. That is almost unbelievable. There are legions of people debating the ACA right now on facebook not armed with facts, but over the top rhetoric. Hardly anyone even knows what the hell is in the ACA other than the mandate, which is ridiculous in an era where such information is easily accessible to everyone.

In short, much of America's voting base are a bunch of uninformed fvcking idiots.
 

Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
13,306
2
0
eheheh


Realistically political debate is not dead. Among educated civil people in face to face situations the likelihood of things ending up in a room full of strawmen and false equivalencies is rather unlikely.


What is likely in todays new media world is misinformation and opinion being misinterpreted to great effect by the ignorant and simple as fact....
It's true that people are far more civil in real life, though I've noticed is that that whomever takes a controversial opinion first, another who may disagree, simply to be agreeable, won't take their own stand. This is really not positive to the conversation and less likely to happen online.
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
7,164
0
0
The more extreme your political position, the more passionate you'll likely be about discussing it, and the more likely you'll be to seek forums where you can discuss it. As such, there is a self-selection bias in online political discussion that is biased toward more extreme viewpoints, particularly in the quantity of discussion. In reality, I know very few people that have such extreme positions as what you'd find on a typical politics board.

As a corollary, as political discussion trend to more extreme (and consequently, more toxic) viewpoints, it reaches a point where people that are more moderate exit the discussion altogether, and the only remaining participants are the extremists. As an example, see the comments section of any CNN news story.
This is a good answer.
 
Feb 24, 2001
14,550
4
81
People want to win. It's evolutionary. Right or wrong, facts or lies be damned, it's more important to win.

I gave up giving a shit a long time ago. I read through threads occasionally, but don't really participate. People aren't going to change their stances. It's the same thing cult members go through. No matter, what, they must win the arguement, and they'll seek out the sources that confirm what they think. When something comes along that challenges their beliefs, it's too upsetting to their psyche.

I really don't care any more. I'm out for myself, no kids, and don't care who wins or what passes. But the threads here really are impressive sometimes. How hard individuals will cling to an idea NO MATTER what the evidence or truths that come out are. And it's not just one side, but both. Their side winning is more important than anything. Absolutely zero difference between this forum and the console gaming forum and people talking about Xbox 360 and PS3.

With the abundance of news sources that people have to choose from that support their ideals, you'll never have real, developmental, debates any more.
 

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