General Question

comity's avatar

Do you find the hate in politics scary?

Asked by comity (2832points) November 25th, 2011

I remember the 1960s when John Kennedy and Martin Luther King were killed. It was a scary time in politics. There was a lot of hate out there, and very little tolerance towards those with different points of view. Its a scary time to me now too! There’s so much hate out there, and very little tolerance towards those with different points of view.

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61 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

I don’t find it scary so much as I find it disgusting. Any time grown men who are leaders of their country decide to send other people out to fight and die for their agenda .. it’s a sure sign that human beings aren’t as bright as some would have supposed.

cazzie's avatar

I find ‘hate’ of any kind scary, but then I’m a sensitive wee thing when it comes to things like that.

Coloma's avatar

I used to feel “hate” for hatred, now I see it as part of our ongoing evolutionary progress, or, lack thereof.

Yes, it is frightening, the global narcissism and sociopathic bent. It’s an “adapt or die” situation at this point. If humans are unable to adapt their egocentric behaviors we are going to die. lol

As a species and maybe even as a planet.

The best we can all do is comport ourselves in the manner of which we wish the world to aspire to.

cheebdragon's avatar

Only on fluther…

Hobbes's avatar

@Coloma

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Not really; it seems so normal and human to me. I find the rhetoric that we should all just get along without really examining why people have such issues with “just getting along” to be far more scary.

comity's avatar

Aetheflaed – In the 1960s people were assassinated! Do you think it could happen today? We don’t all have to “get along” with people who think differently then we do. I like to compromise and work things out, and I understand not everyone thinks like I do, but why the hate, the extreme anger?

gondwanalon's avatar

I don’t find that political hate is so scary as long as it is openly displayed. Because authorities can be alert to the haters and watch them closely. It is the unpredictable cooks out there that scare me. You never know when one of them is going to really flip out and start blowing innocent folks and politicians away.

Supacase's avatar

I find it scary in that it turns people off and discourages them from becoming involved or even paying attention enough to become informed voters.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Different vissions of the Country’s future result in a clash of wills. We seem to be getting more divided along two lines:

1. “I got mine, let’s see you get yours”

and

2. “I just want yours. Give it to me!”

Neither is wholly sane, and neither is going to work.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@comity Yeah, I know. That actually seems like an improvement from the decades and centuries previous to the 1960s in which violence was so routine we didn’t even bother to see it as a big deal. Yes, assassination could happen today, and it would be really awful for awhile, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. And there are silver linings to assassinations; if the assassination of a single person who’s death, because of their prominent status, makes people take notice of the everyday violence against “nobodies”, people who wouldn’t normally take notice of that everyday violence, then that seems like a big accomplishment, even if gained through really undesirable means.

Why the hate? Because people do things that make others hate them. Because when people are told their entire life that they’re invisible, that they don’t count as human, that they couldn’t ever possibly have agency and need to be saved from themselves, they don’t tend to react with “but hey, no biggie, I’m sure we can all play nice in the sandbox”. Because people doing things out of hate inspires more hate. Because humans aren’t really nice creatures. Because in a lot of scenarios, someone has to loose, and that’s going to really suck for whoever looses, and they’re going to now react at least a little bit like someone who lost.

Hobbes's avatar

By the way everybody, I think this is very relevant.

whitetigress's avatar

Obviously politicians fear tactics have a major impact on our society. I hate to say it, but its the damned truth, Republicans, whether they believe what they are doing is right or not, play upon the fears of its followers. It’s a fact.

flutherother's avatar

There is a lot of fear in politics which is dangerous as it fuels hatred.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes. Unfortunately it takes a strong personality to get ahead in politics, and that often manifests in strong emotions of every kind, including hate.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes, scary but it’s up to rational thinking, compromising individuals to counter the hate. When the guns come out, I think I’ll be the last to shoot back, rationalizing in those last few seconds whether I should even do it in the first place. I’ll be the rational yet bleeding and dying person on the ground. Sad.

Nullo's avatar

A little. Then I realize that it’s a result of panic as each side sees that the other one is destroying everything in their nearsighted foolishness.

TheIntern55's avatar

I saw this question on Fluther the other day and I realized that everyone in the world is so messed up right now, aliens might just come to Earth and say, “We don’t have to take over. They’re killing themselves off,”

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

i hate scary politics and i’m scared of hateful politics

Blondesjon's avatar

Hate and the political game go hand in hand. Hate is fear and fear has been wielded as a primary tool of power seekers since we crawled out of the goo.

I find it much scarier that, even after all these thousands of years of human civilization, folks are still surprised by it.

comity's avatar

Funny. I must have been living in a fools paradise because I found it scary in the 1960s and recently but not inbetween. Although I may not have agreed with all of the politicians in power over the years, there wasn’t the hate that there is now. It’s a scary time to me.

augustlan's avatar

Truthfully, yes. It worries me a great deal, because it’s not just the politicians doing the hating. Things feel like they’re getting out of hand, and I’m unsure if we’ll be able to settle down before things come to a head in violence of some kind.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I find the ignorance and intolerance that fuels the hate especially scary.

mattbrowne's avatar

The Tea Party turned the United States into an almost defunct country politically. Europe will solve its debt problem. The US won’t as long as the Tea Party exerts significant political influence.

laureth's avatar

I half-expect a hot civil war. We already have a cold one. And unless we come to a political solution, the opening skirmishes are starting to be fought – it’s just that one side is using words and symbols, and the other is using violence. If it comes to violence on both sides, I’d rather see a secession, frankly, than bloody battlefields. The sides are so partisan (and have been, more or less, since colonial days) that I don’t think we’ll agree now, if we haven’t in the last 200+ years. The only problem with people going their own way, is that we’re not so geographically isolated as we were in the 1860s. States might be nominally red or blue, but they’re really purple if you look at them close enough. I just wish my fellow citizens understood that politics is what we do to avoid a civil war, not to fight one.

Hobbes's avatar

@laureth

I think that lack of isolation might just be what saves us, however. That and the free, decentralized flow of information.

laureth's avatar

@Hobbes – We may not be geographically isolated by region (even though we are by neighborhood), but I think we are increasingly Balkanized as far as information goes. The partisan divide is at its greatest in the media, when one side thinks that the media can’t be trusted (except for their one special channel that tells them the Truth), and the other side doesn’t bother with that channel because they know it’s all lies. With the exception of sites like Fluther, I think the people also have their loyal websites that feed them only the news and ‘facts’ they want to hear. (And even here, where one might be exposed to different viewpoints, I don’t think people really mull them over in a considered way, as much as they repeat the same fights over and over. For example, I’ve had some political arguments with the same people, multiple times, and no one has given an inch.)

Decentralized information is a lot like looking up random Internet web pages. You might get good information that you can’t hear anywhere else, but it’s just as likely that you’ll get some nutjob’s conspiracy theories that are no longer vetted by anyone but the nutjob in question.

In other words, I might live next door to a guy with a gun rack and a Confederate flag on his truck, and the couple with the rainbow sticker on their Volvo, but I don’t think they talk to each other or watch the same TV.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@laureth

I largely agree. And I see the Internet as a way for extreme partisans on whatever side to avoid having to deal with partisans from any other side, what with specialized Websites, selected “friends,” etc.

comity's avatar

What scares me is the absolute hate by some for President Obama. One may agree or not agree with him on different issues, but the hate that’s out there is over the top IMHO. As a young woman, I helped out in the Kennedy campaign, a lower end volunteer stuffing envelopes, etc. We didn’t have TV coverage then like we do now, but I remember tension out there before he was assassinated. I feel that tension now, only more obvious because of TV, the internet, etc! Scary! How does that song go, “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIEGiUIhOl8&feature=related

cheebdragon's avatar

lol…..I’d be more worried about the ones who worship Obama.

comity's avatar

Oh! Do people who worship someone assassinate the one they worship? Hate and anger that’s over the top is what I’m talking about, and what is scary to me! I’m not one who worships, in fact I lean towards atheism, but even though I think differently from the one who does worship, our differences do not cause me to hate or be angry towards the person who doesn’t think like I do. Like I said, “hate and anger that’s over the top is scary to me”.

wilma's avatar

I think we saw the same disrespect and hate for GW Bush. I see a lot of it here still.
When you are not affiliated with any party you can see it better from both sides. What I see is hate and disrespect coming from both directions.
Too bad, what a waste of time and energy.

cheebdragon's avatar

When was Obama assassinated? I don’t remember seeing that on the news….I never said you worshiped Obama, I said that I would be more worried about the ones who do…..not because I think they might hurt Obama, but because people who worship things are bat shit crazy.

“God doesn’t kill people…people who believe in god kill people”
and
“There’s a reason atheist don’t fly planes into buildings”
(Bumper stickers have some of the best quotes lol)

laureth's avatar

Sitting here on the center-left as I generally do, I gotta say that I don’t see many people worshiping Obama. Not even during his election campaign did we worship him. A lot of people thought he’d be a good President; they were excited about his promises of change and the breath of fresh air he claimed he’d bring to Washington, but worship? That is a whole ‘nother level of authoritarianism that the Left generally doesn’t embrace.

See, I know the Right likes to make hay about Obama being the Left’s “messiah,” but that tells us more about the people saying that, than it does about Obama’s admirers. The Right is notably more Authoritarian than the Left, in that they (in general) respect the authority of their leaders. To claim that Lefties are that authoritarian is to see Lefties only through a self-referential lens.

If there’s a defining characteristic of the Left that is on par with the Right’s authoritarian fetish, it’s that we are usually totally disappointed in our leaders. They just never make us very happy, perhaps because we expect too much change, too much hope. And since Obama is gravitating more and more rightward, I doubt there are many on the Left who “worship” Obama.

LostInParadise's avatar

What I find most disturbing is the extent of corporate influence, particularly the way that it holds sway over a large portion of blue collar workers who are the most hurt by outsourcing and automation. These workers, many of whom have no more than a high school education, have developed an anti-intellectualism that associates education with elitism while thinking of the 1% as regular folk. They have somehow come to believe that the taxation from which they would benefit is the root cause of all of our problems. It is sad that they are acting against their own best interests while bringing down the rest of the country with them.

cazzie's avatar

The lobbyists got ‘pizza is a veg’ pushed through congress because of the tomato base, but did anyone bother to tell them that tomato is a fruit?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@cazzie

I thought it was a berry. : /

Hobbes's avatar

It’s a botanical fruit (a berry), and a culinary vegetable.

Nullo's avatar

Every time political talk starts moving in all quarters, I can’t help but marvel at how jumbled it all is. Everybody knows that everybody else is wrong, and about half of those are deranged crazies set on screwing everybody else for their own inscrutable gains.
Pray prioritize the Unified Theory of American Politics while you’re cooking up the Unified Theory of Everything, pls.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Nullo

Strange. I thought we could all at least agree on the Constitution. Wow! Was I wrong! : ((

cazzie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Like all things written, it is open to interpretation. I still reckon that the US will be broken up into Nation States in the next 50 years. There is far too much ‘red state this’ and ‘blue state that’. Perhaps, if it gets carved up, people can live under the laws they agree with and water will find its own level, as they say. ‘The Great Experiment in Democracy’ will enter a new age.

cheebdragon's avatar

….really? No worship going on during his campaign?....LMFAO…....holy shit, i haven’t laughed so hard in years….... ; )

CaptainHarley's avatar

@cheebdragon

Huh?? [ confused look ]

comity's avatar

@cheebdragon?? (confused look)

cheebdragon's avatar

“Sitting here on the center-left as I generally do, I gotta say that I don’t see many people worshiping Obama. Not even during his election campaign did we worship him. A lot of people thought he’d be a good President; they were excited about his promises of change and the breath of fresh air he claimed he’d bring to Washington, but worship? That is a whole ‘nother level of authoritarianism that the Left generally doesn’t embrace.

Sorry, but that was so fucking funny.

comity's avatar

@cheebdragon Sorry but I don’t get it! I’m probably just too old to understand the latest jabs and jibes!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Both the left AND the right are notorious for falling for the “charismatic” candidate. How many times did you hear that “Obama’s so well-spoken!” Turns out that’s ALL he could do, and he needed a teleprompter to do THAT! : )

comity's avatar

@CaptainHarley Now that I understood!! – though don’t necessarily agree ; )

YARNLADY's avatar

@CaptainHarley President Obama has the most sincere, expressive face I’ve seen. He is a consummate statesman.

cheebdragon's avatar

@CaptainHarley so baisically, being able to read is the only qualification for being president….awesome!

You know who else is charismatic…Charles Manson.

comity's avatar

@cheebdragon You sound like one of the haters that scare me. ‘Just disagree with civility’ I read that somewhere and it applies well here!

garb's avatar

@comity

You should ask yourself why should anyone have to tolerate an opposing view.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@comity

Because, like witnesses to an accident, there is seldom perfect agreement between people, and it’s way too easy to feel as though disagreement constitutes attack.

comity's avatar

Well name calling and comparing the president to Charles Manson, a cult leader and murderer, is not just an opposing view, it’s hate plain and simple. I’m a liberal, my husband a conservative and we disagree on a more intellectual level. Neither of us hate or attack or name call in opposition. That kind of rhetoric is scary to me.

laureth's avatar

I much prefer, “I believe your position is wrong, because of [this evidence]” over “Your position is wrong, and I shall now proceed to mock you, perhaps adding violence to the mix if I am so inclined.”

cazzie's avatar

…....And in this corner, with @cheebdragon, here, we have a demonstration of the hate and rhetoric that the OP was talking about.

comity's avatar

I’m ready to move on and switch channels. It’s a never ending tale, and I’d rather talk about something else at this point.

cheebdragon's avatar

Um…when did I say I hate Obama? I don’t hate him, I just think he’s a fucking tool who was willing to say anything for a few votes, but he’s a politician, it’s just what they do. I can’t hate him for that. I may have some doubts about the intelligence of his voters, but that’s a whole other issue.

BTW, Charles Manson was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, he was not physically present during any of the murders…..(sort of ironic).....but you’re right, I probably shouldn’t compare Obama to Manson, sure they are both charismatic, but the similarities end there….. Manson never needed a TelePrompTer.

cazzie's avatar

and that, ladies and gentlemen, is called a ‘meta moment’.

Nullo's avatar

One of the internet’s more amusing contributions to the art of debate is Reductio ad Hitlerum, paired with Godwin’s Law.
Lots of perfectly nice people have charisma without being a cultic murderer or a president, or indeed, anything at all.

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