General Question

kevbo's avatar

Want to understand the Republican mind?

Asked by kevbo (25667points) September 12th, 2008

… or the Democrat mind for that matter. This is a really great article that might help us all get along a little better.

Here’s a quiz you can take to tell you a little bit more about what you already know:

I had thought today to ask what it all boils down to in terms of really changing a mind with respect to politics, since so much of our talk seems to bounce off the opposition like the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac, but I think this answers my question.

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75 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

I’ll understand women before I understand that. I struggle to find the soul of the GOP. Perhaps I need to use tweezers and an electron microscope.

kevbo's avatar

@Astro, did you read the article?

JackAdams's avatar

I can give a little bit of insight into the Republican “Mind” (or lack of same), based on the experiences of a very close friend who ran as a Republican candidate, in 1986.

The GOP has the attitude that the USA should be nation comprised of Caucasians who are Chrisitans only, and that the only people allowed to be in power/authority, are the wealthy.

Minorities and females should “know their place,” and kow-tow to the will of the elite.

No, I’m not joking an ounce. That’s what many of them think/believe, and explains why so many wealthy folks are “GOPpers,” and why the party attracts many KKK members, such as that infamous phlegm-wad and douchebag, David Duke.

Now, just how do I know this?

Well, as I mentioned, my very good friend was a GOP candidate in 1986, and shortly after his papers were filed (and the ink on them had not yet dried), he was approached by local party officials, who presented him with a document, and asked him to sign it.

The document they handed him to sign, was a statement saying that he was a born-again Christian, and that he was formally acknowledging that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

Because he had never been a Christian (and wasn’t about to ever become one), he tore the document up and threw the pieces of paper on the ground in front of him.

From that moment onward, he received no monetary support, whatsoever from the party, and they barely acknowledged his candidacy.

In the state of Texas, the party platform is published and available for anyone to access, at

Here are a couple of excerpts from that state platform:

“We understand that the Ten Commandments are the basis of our basic freedoms and the cornerstone of our Western legal tradition. We therefore oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols.”
(The term “other religious symbols” can be signs of Satan, or Wiccan pentagrams.)

“We believe, as do the vast majority of Texans, that pornography is repulsive, addictive and contributes to deviant criminal behavior. It exploits men, women, and children and degrades society as a whole. We call upon our governmental bodies to enforce existing laws regarding all forms of pornography. We must have more stringent legislation to prohibit access to and generation of pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually–oriented businesses. We demand that Congress exercise its constitutional authority to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sexually-oriented businesses including pornography. We believe that licensing through a state regulatory commission is a legitimate means of accountability to ensure that operators of sexually oriented businesses comply with the strictest possible regulations and to ensure that operators do not allow their establishments to be used as places of crime and illegal sexual activity or solicitation.”
(Fact: Survey after survey done in Texas and elsewhere in the USA, indicates that the majority of the people of our nation do not agree with the above stand.)

Go to the link for the Texas Party Platform and read every word of that document, and you’ll understand, as do I, what they are really trying to do to our great nation.

They are not good for Americans, nor anyone else.

augustlan's avatar

Great article, Kev. Very insightful. Dare I hope that someone high up the chain in the Democratic party reads what this man writes?

kevbo's avatar

@Jack, Those are all great points, and your anecdote really brings it home. I think just about everything you said jives with the article I referenced.

I find it interesting that with respect to porn, the platform starts out seemingly wishing to ban it from the four corners of the globe, but then does a kick flip and just as emphatically calls it a state’s rights issue.

@aug, unfortunately, I imagine both sides already know this and use it to play the ends against the middle. We get pied pipered into believing that our fellow citizen is the enemy while supporting a system that probably mostly benefits the elite on both sides.

tinyfaery's avatar

“The ingroup/loyalty foundation supports virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice that can lead to dangerous nationalism, but in moderate doses a sense that “we are all one” is a recipe for high social capital and civic well-being. A recent study by Robert Putnam (titled E Pluribus Unum) found that ethnic diversity increases anomie and social isolation by decreasing people’s sense of belonging to a shared community. Democrats should think carefully, therefore, about why they celebrate diversity. If the purpose of diversity programs is to fight racism and discrimination (worthy goals based on fairness concerns), then these goals might be better served by encouraging assimilation and a sense of shared identity.”

Boy am I glad I am not part of this community. Assimilation? I guess Jack is correct. we all must be rich, male WASPs to have access to the American dream.

cheebdragon's avatar

Is this the new theme on fluther?

susanc's avatar

Yes, and why not. Is something else more important?

JackAdams's avatar

Kindly keep in mind, that The Collective doesn’t exist to make fun of people. We are here to educate others, while also having some fun, learning.

Stating irrefutable facts about an organization with evil intent, is not flaming, nor denigrating.

It is informing.

cheebdragon's avatar

NO, I’m sure this will really show those republicans who’s boss~

janbb's avatar

Did anyone see the Bill Moyers program on PBS last night? It was about “shock jock” talk radio hosts and the inflamatory things they say. I was amazed to hear the hateful and narrowminded and violent remarks they spew. Now of course, these are not the only Republicans there are, and one can’t totally equate the two, but they do seem more influential on the right than the left.

After that segment, there was a discussion of the role journalists (remember them?) should play in investigating and reporting the truth – specifically at this point, in regards to Sarah Palin and her ability to serve as VP.

I really feel in despair about my country because the election has become all about the culture wars again. With such different views and values, I find it hard to imagine how we can unite as a country to solve problems. (Or even decide what they are; while I think terrorism is a big problem and needs addressing intelligently, I do believe that global warming exists and that it is a bigger threat.)

From my viewpoint, Obama is really trying to keep the conversation focused on issues but the Republican attack machine just keeps beating on. But obviously, there’s a whole other group of people who are just crazy about the idea of Sarah being a heartbeat a way from leading us.

@keybo – Haven’t read your articles yet, I just got up. Will read them now.

janbb's avatar

Now I read the article – it’s very insightful. I feel that Obama has tried to do some of the reaching across and finding common ground, i.e., the parts in his acceptance speech where he said things like we may not all agree on gun control but surely we can all agree that we don’t want ak47s in the hands of violent criminals.

i’m so disgusted by the lack of depth in the coverage of the election that I don’t think we can really see who the candidates are.

If you can see that Bill Moyers program, it’s really worth watching. The segment about shock jocks focused on the case of a man who wnet into a Unitarian church in Knoxville in July and starting shooting people because they were liberals.

Thanks for posting this article, Keybo. I think if we can’t even talk to the other side and hear each other, it’s really sad.

Response moderated
allengreen's avatar

Cheeb——here is something else since the above topic does not hold your interest—I’m here to please, you know

robmandu's avatar

Wow, @allen… but, then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you’d post such a misogynistic article. Anything to flame on the opponents of Obama, eh? Obviously, that’s not your viewpoint… you’re just helping educate and open minds, right?

If “Sarah Palin” had been replaced with “Hillary Clinton” throughout the article, then I’m sure we’d see a dozen posts similar to this about how evil those neo-cons are.

Look, there’s a hundred different areas of policy that we can debate. There are topics that reasonable people can disagree on with a common goal to improve this country and our society.

But the claptrap in that article is exactly what we need less of… from either side.

kevbo's avatar

why do people keep calling me keybo? (not just you @jan)

@rob, I agree with you about the article, although I probably would have read it more favorably a week or two ago when it was still a tomato throwing extravaganza.

And, would you be kind enough to articulate the non-evil nature of the neocons? I’d like to hear. Seriously, if you or @cheeb or anyone else could explain the appeal from your point of view, I’m all ears.

And I’d ask that lefties please withhold your venom from replies to this sub-question. I think we all know well how the left feels.

janbb's avatar

@ kevbo – Sorry. Poor eyesight! Still you’ll always be keybo in my mind.

robmandu's avatar

All I’m trying to do is point out that huge sweeping generalizations like “All <insert_label_here> hate women, minorities, and would step on kittens if they thought they were gay” don’t contribute meaningfully to any debate. Such generalizations are false in nearly any context, unless you’re talking about an organization called The League of Melanin and Female Feline Homosexuality Intolerance.

And then to dismiss the viewpoint of another large group of people you disagree with because you postulate they’ve got some kind of Barbie fetish… is well, stupid and childish.

I dislike McCain’s stance on many issues. I worry about Obama’s stance on many issues. But you won’t catch me making up crackpot theories to belittle their proponents just because they support them. And I’d like to think that at a site like Fluther, where we’re supposed to discuss Real Answers, that we’d be less than tolerant of such junk being brought in.

Let’s talk about what Obama’s done to help inner-city kids. Let’s talk about why many conservatives were worried about McCain prior to bringing in Palin. Palin wants to shoot at wolves from helicopters. Biden can’t remember if he went to college on scholarship or if he graduated at the top or bottom of his class. All of ‘em want to fix the economy. Let’s focus on the issues and the candidates.

JackAdams's avatar

I agree that candidates and issues should be intelligently discussed, and that such should be done without attacking other posters by making false accusations against them and calling them names, such as “mysogynistic,” when some of us in here, on occasion, play the role of “Devils’ Advocate,” not to try to enflame or anger, but to simply facilitate frank discussion, with the introduction of yet another viewpoint.

And, if someone doesn’t like it when another Flutherer posts factual information then “those offended” are certainly at liberty to post thier own factual dissertations, in refutation.

AstroChuck's avatar

This is pretty interesting.

AstroChuck's avatar

Link is fixed now. Easy to screw these things up on an iPhone.

JackAdams's avatar

The article is titled, “Brains of Liberals, Conservatives May Work Differently.”

I see a technical flaw, right there.

The author of the article assumes that the brains of conservatives, actually “work.”

Zaku's avatar

The 2006 STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM document is interesting. I was a bit surprised how blatantly Christian and anti-abortion it is.

I was favorably surprised that it says the party calls for the end of the national state of emergency and revision of the Patriot Act etc. to restore civil rights. I also quite approve of several things such as:

“Electronic Privacy – We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications except in cases directly involving national security. This includes any government mandate of trap door encryption standards. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any government effort to implement a national ID program, including federalization of driver’s licenses.
Internet Taxation – We oppose any taxation of the internet or internet services.”

The Environmental policy section (almost invariably my priority, when there’s a difference between candidates) is upsetting to me, though, particularly:

“Environment, Property Ownership, and Natural Resources – We affirm ownership of property is the cornerstone of individual freedom. We reaffirm the belief in the fundamental constitutional concept of an individual’s right to own and use property without governmental interference. Further:
1. We believe that the right to own and use property is the source of the nation’s wealth, jobs, and individual economic security. We affirm that property rights and the free enterprise system form the foundation of our nation’s collective wealth. In turn, it is our collective wealth that supports a strong environmental ethic. Economic security is the foundation for secure, healthy families and the future of our children.
3. We believe in building our tax base through local conservation of our natural resources.
13. We oppose the vast acquisition of Texas land by government agencies solely for the purpose of protecting endangered species.
17. We oppose the Endangered Species Act.
19. We urge government management of public lands and resources be conducted based upon policies that prioritize human need over other considerations.”

Also upsetting to me:

“Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties – We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength as a nation. We pledge to exert our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.”

JackAdams's avatar

Here is another factual example of the Republican Mind, and this can be found at:

Lose your house, lose your vote
By Eartha Jane Melzer 9/10/08 6:42 AM

Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African-American voters

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

GOP ties to state’s largest foreclosure law firm

The Macomb GOP’s plans are another indication of how John McCain’s campaign stands to benefit from the burgeoning number of foreclosures in the state. McCain’s regional headquarters are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, has raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.

The Macomb County party’s plans to challenge voters who have defaulted on their house payments is likely to disproportionately affect African-Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters. More than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans — the most likely kind of loan to go into default — were made to African-Americans in Michigan, according to a report issued last year by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

Challenges to would-be voters

Statewide, the Republican Party is gearing up for a comprehensive voter challenge campaign, according to Denise Graves, party chair for Republicans in Genessee County, which encompasses Flint. The party is creating a spreadsheet of election challenger volunteers and expects to coordinate a training with the regional McCain campaign, Graves said in an interview with Michigan Messenger.

Whether the Republicans will challenge voters with foreclosed homes elsewhere in the state is not known.

Kelly Harrigan, deputy director of the GOP’s voter programs, confirmed that she is coordinating the group’s “election integrity” program. Harrigan said the effort includes putting in place a legal team, as well as training election challengers. She said the challenges to voters were procedural rather than personal. She referred inquiries about the vote challenge program to communications director Bill Nowling, who promised information but did not return calls.

Party chairman Carabelli said that the Republican Party is training election challengers to “make sure that [voters] are who they say who they are.”

When asked for further details on how Republicans are compiling challenge lists, he said, “I would rather not tell you all the things we are doing.”

Vote suppression: Not an isolated effort

Carabelli is not the only Republican Party official to suggest the targeting of foreclosed voters. In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues.
Hebert, the voting-rights lawyer, sees a connection between Priesse’s remarks and Carabelli’s plans.

“At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said. “Nobody is contending that these people are not legally registered to vote.

“When you are comprehensively challenging people to vote,” Hebert went on, “your goals are two-fold: One is you are trying to knock people out from casting ballots; the other is to create a slowdown that will discourage others,” who see a long line and realize they can’t afford to stay and wait.

Challenging all voters registered to foreclosed homes could disrupt some polling places, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to the real estate Web site RealtyTrac, one in every 176 households in Wayne County, metropolitan Detroit, received a foreclosure filing during the month of July. In Macomb County, the figure was one household in every 285, meaning that 1,834 homeowners received the bad news in just one month. The Macomb County foreclosure rate puts it in the top three percent of all U.S. counties in the number of distressed homeowners.

Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent and Genessee counties were — in that order — the counties with the most homeowners facing foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac. As of July, there were more than 62,000 foreclosure filings in the entire state.

Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County in suburban Detroit, acknowledged that challenges such as those described by Carabelli are allowed by law but said they have the potential to create long lines and disrupt the voting process. With 890,000 potential voters closely divided between Democratic and Republican, Oakland County is a key swing county of this swing state.

According to voter challenge directives handed down by Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, voter challenges need only be “based on information obtained through a reliable source or means.”

“But poll workers are not allowed to ask the reason” for the challenges, Rozell said. In other words, Republican vote challengers are free to use foreclosure lists as a basis for disqualifying otherwise eligible voters.

David Lagstein, head organizer with the Michigan Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), described the plans of the Macomb GOP as “crazy.”

“You would think they would think, ‘This is going to look too heartless,” said Lagstein, whose group has registered 200,000 new voters statewide this year and also runs a foreclosure avoidance program. “The Republican-led state Senate has not moved on the anti-predatory lending bill for over a year and yet [Republicans] have time to prey on those who have fallen victim to foreclosure to suppress the vote.”

Zaku's avatar

That’s a very interesting article, Kevbo. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

robmandu's avatar

Back on topic re: Kevbo’s suggested reading…


Why must a person’s choice to vote one way or the other be reduced to deeply seated psychological conditions?

My grandmother wants to vote democrat because she thinks the Dems are for the little guy, the worker, and the unions. She likes the message that they’ll get tax breaks from Obama. She doesn’t really mind if rich fat cats must pay more.

My buddy wants to vote republican because he thinks that their plans for economic stimulus will have longer term gains for everyone… even though he’s very concerned that the current administration has strayed way off of the economic conservative path, bringing in more & more federal debt in direct opposition to the Republican platform.

My neighbors want to vote for the constitution party (or some such) because they’re convinced that 9/11 was completely staged. And they want to see a return to core Constitution principals. And they want all vestiges of current government swept away in reform. They’d vote Ron Paul if they could.

Each of those folks have examined evidence for themselves. Any of us here might disagree with them on any given matter, but my point is that they’ve intellectually examined the issues important to them and made their decision accordingly.

An intellectual case can be examined, argued, and even respected if not agreed with.

Emotional decisions (you know, “Just do what feels right to you”) cannot be examined logically. That’s the point of Kevbo’s article.

The author’s message is that people who vote republican are knee-jerk emotionalists who can’t be reasoned with. Democrats are enlightened, intelligent, and of best intentions. Republicans are neanderthals.

Again, and for the last time, I make the call for us to discuss issues. It’s tempting to find these kinds of articles and hold them up for review because it can be fun to make jabs at our opponents. But when the opponents are a large, faceless group… not people you know and work with, then it’s just stereotyping of the worst sort. And I’m tired of it.

janbb's avatar

I’m not sure I want to wade in to this one at all but…

@robmandu – I didn’t take that away – “jabs at our opponents” – from the article at all. I thought it was a very thoughtful attempt from an avowed liberal to understand the appeal of the Republican positions to many and look at ways for the Democrats to build bridges to them.

Zaku's avatar

@robmandu – You wrote, “The author’s message is that people who vote republican are knee-jerk emotionalists who can’t be reasoned with. Democrats are enlightened, intelligent, and of best intentions. Republicans are neanderthals.” But that’s not the author’s message – that’s a paraphrase of his premise about Democrats and psychologist’s typical views of Republicans. The author’s message is more an janbb says, and comes from a different view which actually views Republican morality and thinking as broader than Democrat morality and thinking.

robmandu's avatar

@janbb & @zaku… tell you what… I’ll take a break, re-read the article again more carefully and see if I can get there.

Finding it tough to get past the tone set in the intro paragraph:

People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

kevbo's avatar

@rob, this is really interesting, because I see significant examples of the opposite of what you are saying.

1. I think the article does the opposite of making jabs and fun of opponents. Instead it suggests that there are sincere differences and explains them in such a way to promote understanding.

2. I would say that “knee jerk emotionalist” applies equally if not more aptly to democrats. “Do what feels right” is a lefty mantra if there ever was one.

3. The article, to me, suggests that Democrats are somewhat short-sighted or incomplete in their thinking as opposed to Republicans, who balance Democrat concerns for harm/care and fairness/reciprocity against added concerns for ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect and purity/sanctity.

Just based on my background with advertising, I’d disagree with you on the question of emotions/psychology vs. fact/intellect. I think we do make decisions first based on emotions or at least “triggers.”

robmandu's avatar

@kevbo, I know people do that. They do it a lot. But in a reasoned debate of issues, I’d like to think that we could at least try to understand the rationale from another person’s perspective before descending directly into: You were raised a religious nut, so you must be <insert negative term> if you won’t vote for <candidate representing opposite>.

JackAdams's avatar

Someone wrote the following: “I make the call for us to discuss issues.” A good point, indeed.

The issue of this thread, was determined by the question, which was, “Want to understand the Republican mind?”

Yes, I do. So, with that end in mind, I post things of a factual nature that illustrate precisely how the “Republican mind” functions, without resorting to name-calling or vicious attacks on other members of The Collective, because I made a specific, Word-Of-Honor promise to Andrew regarding that, and keep it, I will.

augustlan's avatar

@Jack: “The article is titled, “Brains of Liberals, Conservatives May Work Differently.”
I see a technical flaw, right there. The author of the article assumes that the brains of conservatives, actually “work.”

Your response, above, seems a little like an attack, don’t you think?

JackAdams's avatar

Was it an “attack” on a specifically-named person? Who?

augustlan's avatar

I am (obviously if you’ve read my previous posts) a democrat, but I can completely sympathize with what Rob is saying here. We do tend to attribute a certain level of “stupidity” to those whose views we don’t understand. It’s a pretty obnoxious habit, one that I am guilty of as well. We should be debating the actual issues, but that is not the point of the article, or this thread. @Rob: I do think the article has a liberal slant to it, but that doesn’t negate the value of the research. I found it very enlightening, and it’s helping me to understand my husband’s views. This is the person I love most, the smartest man I know, one who agrees with me on almost all of the social issues, and is a Republican. I have a new way of seeing why he is, now.

kevbo's avatar

@augustian, I’m going to piggyback on your comment with one of my own that I’ve been holding back for some time now with many “right-minded” Flutherers.

I find it wholly disappointing that so many fail to articulate their views and prefer to abbreviate their comments or hold back on what they really think.

If you really think you’re right or even just espouse a point of view because that’s what you like, what should it matter what other people think? Why would you not want to present a “correct” argument (even if it induces criticism)? I think 90% of people here will accept or engage a well reasoned or well intentioned argument even if they disagree with it, but that’s often not what I see. Instead, I see avoidance or quips that deride the premise and/or skirt around the facts that are presented.

Unless I’m way off base, I would challenge our right leaning folks to do a better job of speaking up and speaking clearly. Hell, do it for the fun of stirring up the hornet’s nest, but please throw up some meat to chew on. Am I off base here?

poofandmook's avatar

Not a bit, Kev. Not a bit.

nikipedia's avatar

@robmandu: You know I agree with almost every word you say, but I think here you are finding an attack where none exists. Even in the line you quoted:

Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.

the author uses the term “long-winded”. Think about that language choice. If he was really trying to say “democrats are sooooo smart and right about everything” he could have called these appeals to reason “comprehensive” or “profound” or similar. Instead he chooses to describe them with a patently negative term.

I think the author intentionally sets an abrasive tone up front in order to point out how judgmental and condescending democrats—his audience—tend to be. He’s holding up a mirror to this group by parodying it slightly. I think maybe the confusion is that he’s not mocking the liberal position strongly enough for that to be clear.

The introduction aside, I think the point of the article as a whole is that “democrats value X” and “republicans value Y”. I don’t think the author really takes a stance on whether X > Y. I think that you may be assuming that X > Y, therefore the author’s pointing out that republicans value Y comes off as an insult.

If that makes any sense.

Oh, and @kevbo: much thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed reading it.

Zaku's avatar

@niki – Yep. In fact, the author suggests the situation is Dems value X, and Repubs value X and Y, where Y is something interesting and valuable.

charliecompany34's avatar

in a nutshell, democrats are for the common good, or “everybody.” democrats are minorities and majorities, free-thinking and a bit radical. they come in all colors and range in all types of incomes, high, middle and low. they believe in “something” or some higher Spirit and i’ll leave it at that.

republicans, on the other hand, may also be the abovementioned. but let’s look back in history:

1. kennedy: he was for everybody and democrat. they took him out for being so fair and radical or liberal rather. bay of pigs diverted.
2. nixon: resigned. republican. something about a hotel in DC.
3. carter: peanut farmer, now philanthropist and ambassador for all things good. a democrat
4. reagan: we spent a lot of money we ain’t have and lived above our means. what happened? republican.
5. bush 1: desert storm. war and fatalities—republican. cubs could have won.
6. clinton: ok, so he couldn’t control his emotions, but everybody still loved him
7. bush 2: baseball executive turned president. funky economy, war in the wrong country, fatalities of war, 911, etc. cubs really trying.
8. obama is a white sox fan, but, hey the cubs could win this time.
9. cub fans would be happy with obama as president anyway. even if he is a white sox fan.
10. teddy roosevelt was the same as sarah palin when you do the math, but it just wasn’t the year 2008.

times are a’changing sports fans. i dont see “color” or lack of international experience when i look at the tickets. but i do see a democratic hopeful that will lead with his heart and do things republicans are too traditional to do.

the more we are “traditional,” the more we don’t change.

cheebdragon's avatar

It doesn’t fucking matter if I list the reasons why I’m a republican, because no matter what I say, it’s going to be wrong to someone with different views. I have stated some of my opinions and issues with Obama in the past, and every single time it ended up turning into an attack on me…....sorry but I’m not going to set myself up for another attack, just because you don’t understand why people vote republican.

JackAdams's avatar

This website may or may not be “90% Democrat;” that’s a non-issue.

For the record, I am not a Democrat, have never been one, and will never be one. I am currently an Independent, and shall remain one for the rest of my natural days, So Help Me, Gawd. Amen.

What matters, is whether The Collective is tolerant of, and respectful toward, those who may have a viewpoint or philosophy, with whom they do not completely agree.

I am always willing to engage in spirited debate with those who may not embrace the values and priorities I have, because sometimes, the very act of discussing something causes me to re-think my own positions, and that can sometimes result in me changing my mind about something.

In short, an intelligent discussion with someone, sans emotion, can result in my own self-improvement, and something that makes me a better person, is something I definitely welcome.

Response moderated
autumn43's avatar

@susanc – I was going to say that I think intelligent conversations about politics can be had without emotion – unless someone attacks you personally! How does that help make your point susanc? I was reading along, finding this quite interesting and then it stopped short.

Bri_L's avatar

@ susanc – sorry, I find your input to be a bit ironic. “full of shit” and you say jack should wash his mouth out with soap? That is a pretty personal and generic attack. But you didn’t call him a whore so I suppose thats ok.

jlm11f's avatar

[mod says:] It is possible to have an intelligent, thought-provoking conversation on Fluther without snide remarks and personal attacks, isn’t it? Because lately, I am not sure what’s going on. I have been following this thread because I found it rather interesting (thank you kevbo, and thanks for the link to the morality test too…have been playing around with that). But I can see it’s slowly denigrating to a “party war” like most political threads. Please keep to the Q at hand and try to phrase your opinions/comments in a tactful/respectful way to other members. Also, let’s back off on the conservative bashing (i point to that specifically just because there’s been a lot of that on Fluther in the past few weeks).

No comments have been removed thus far, but future ones will be. Thank you.

chaosrob's avatar

Of note, Fox News’ Bill O’Rielly also claims to be “independent.” Make of that what you will.

allengreen's avatar

@susanc—I see your point, but JA is just like that, it could be a generational thing.

Most Repubs are undereducated/informed idealogues and there is no way to get them to reason, since reason is against their principles.

I cannot discuss this without emotion either. Imagine you are in high school and your best girlfriend gets kidnaped and gang raped by the football team for 8 years—8 years later the football team come to your home and releases the girlfriend to your custody…

Will you embrace the football team, will they be your friends, will you be able to address them without emotion?

Bush and Co and his voter’s have Gang Raped America and the Constitition and our Financial system. Yet those of us that are pissed off about it are somehow portrayed as being over the top for pointing that out.

poofandmook's avatar

waits to see how long it’ll take for allengreen’s response to be deleted

jlm11f's avatar

edit – i lied. one response has been removed.

tanfouk's avatar

Today on National Public Radio I caught part of an interview with a new book ” The Wrecking Crew,” but I didn’t catch the author’s name. The central thesis seems to be that Republicans want only a shell of a government, so that all goods and services have to be delivered by the private sector. This explains why Republican administrations during the past 50 years run up deficits and appoint idiots to head government agencies. Gradually the public stops expecting anything from the government, and when a Democratic administration takes power it’s impossible to deliver health care or whatever because of the massive national debt.
I don’t believe the Republicans are any more religious than the Democrats. They’ve made this cynical alliance with the “devout” for votes. Their daughters aren’t going to have any ‘oops’ babies, there will be a quickie field trip to some country where abortions are legal.

JackAdams's avatar

Are you referring to The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, by Thomas Frank?

SuperMouse's avatar

Last semester I took a class called Human Relations. On the first day of class the professor explained that there were bound to be some issues that would arise from the varying opinions of those in the class. He made a point of saying that the most important part isn’t the disagreement, but the way people disagree. He was very fond of saying people need to be able to “disagree without being disagreeable.” I think that attitude must be applied to threads such as these. There is really no need for name calling, as it does nothing but lower the level of discourse. Likewise, I don’t see much of a need for gang rape analogies. I still don’t think you’re a troll Allen, just a passionate man with a colorful way of making a point.

I for one found the original article very interesting, but when paired with Jack’s posts regarding the Republican mindset and their plans and policies, I am only slightly closer to understanding the appeal of the Republican party. It seems to me that what the right offers is black and white, without the shades of gray the left seems to drag into everything. There is something appealing about being about to view right and wrong so clearly, when reality is much murkier.

JackAdams's avatar

True Story: More than 20 years ago, there was a Republican Convention in a Western state, and the state Republican Party Platform was being composed, with one of the issues on the agenda being to outright outlaw all forms of pornography in that state, and to publicly condemn and ridicule those who found pornography “enjoyable.”

Their stated goal was to shut down every “Adult” bookstore in that state.

A lone Republican candidate in the upcoming elections stood up, and after being recognized by the state chairman, addressed the crowd by saying some words, similar to these:

“I don’t wish to see ‘Adult’ bookstores closed down and pornography outlawed, simply because I want to KNOW who is selling it, and from WHERE it is being sold. I also want the folks selling it, to pay taxes on it, and I also do not want it being driven underground, to the point that it will end up being sold from the trunks of cars, in school parking lots. We need to keep it out in the open, where we can observe it, tax it, regulate it and control it. Now, I have this plan that…”

At that point, everyone began to boo him and shout him down, to the point where he sadly walked off the stage, not being given the opportunity to have his rightful say, even though that was a right he had personally accorded to the others, who were allowed to speak in support of the party platform on pornography.

And here are the exact words of the Chairman of that state’s Republican Party, when he called for a vote on the resolution regarding the Party Platform on Pornography:

“OK, all of you nice people who are in favor of the resolution, signify by saying ‘Aye’!”

After those voices were heard, he said, “OK, all you dirty old men who oppose the measure before us, signify by saying ‘Nay’!”

The one lone Republican (and his wife) stood up and proudly said, “Nay!” Naturally, they were booed and some folks at that convention threw empty paper cups at them, and called them some very unkind names.

In the history of Politics in this country, only ONE President, a Republican, was forced to resign from the office, and left in disgrace.

Another Republican, Robert William Packwood, was forced to resign his US Senate seat from Oregon, after it was revealed how he had sexually abused, assaulted and harassed several women.

And US Rep. Mark Foley of Florida, resigned from his Congressional seat, after it was revealed, rather explicitly by the Associated Press (and other prominent news organizations) that he had sexually propositioned underage Congressional pages with online chatroom messages that had been saved and published.

The Republican Mind is just as evil and just as corrupt as any other political group “mind” in the USA. None of them are free of scandal, and it sometimes turns out that the ones who seem to rail the loudest at the sexual antics of others, are the ones who have the greatest number of skeletons, rattling around inside their own closets.

allengreen's avatar

Jack, that was a masterpiece—it is what I dig about you man.

Supermouse—I respect your distaste of my analogy, my intention was to shock, and to stimulate thought and questions, and to draw attention to the current financial mutulation our once great nation is now going through.
I fear our children will judge us harshly for squandering America’s wealth, prosperity, and standing in the world.

JackAdams's avatar

I am honored by your words, allengreen

You’ve been added to my will. (You get the house in Paris.)

janbb's avatar

@ jack – That was an interesting story, compellingly written.

As a librarian, I would appreciate it if you cite your sources for facts such as these. It makes the point verifiable and thus more valid.


JackAdams's avatar

When I have them to cite, and can do so without revealing my true identity, I will certainly do that, janbb.

allengreen's avatar

JA: are you a member of the press corp?

JackAdams's avatar

I was, from 1965–85, but am no longer.

allengreen's avatar


JackAdams's avatar

Yes, I am.


stratman37's avatar

and humble too! : )

JackAdams's avatar

Well, that goes without saying.

So do not say it.

chaosrob's avatar

@JackAdams Unsubstantiated anecdote featuring a logically specious conclusion loosely based on a tiny set of data. What’s the technical definition of “bloviation” again?

stratman37's avatar

chaos: cool avatar, do you know where Hal got his name?

chaosrob's avatar

@stratman Thanks! Two stories went around at the time. One said it was a contraction of “Heuristic ALgorithmic.” The other made note of the fact that the letters HAL are only one letter removed from famed computing firm IBM. Take your pick.

jvgr's avatar

Republican Mind…

The author of 3d culture has a major flaw in his thinking and it is in the summary at the very top:

”...the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats “just don’t get it,” this is the “it” to which they refer.

What the Republicans don’t get about what they think the Democrats don’t get is:

“Binding groups together”: As demonstrated by their actions, the groups Republicans bind together are the wealthy and the large corporations. This clearly drives a dividing wall in society.

“Supporting essential institutions”: Democrats aren’t in disagreement with this, it’s who decides which institutions are essential? The Republicans just prefer the wrong ones.

“Living in a sanctified and noble way”: Again, Democrats aren’t simply against this, it’s that there is clearly a difference in what constitutes sanctity and noble. Not everyone believes the bible is a factual document or that using taxpayer dollars solely for the purpose of supporting big business including those that are malicious and inept is noble.

Trustinglife's avatar

@jvgr, I am a Democrat and am basically on the same page as you.

What I loved about this question, though, is the focus on understanding – not criticism. I think we have all seen and heard more than our share of criticism. While again, I don’t disagree with you… To me, what was so refreshing here was to try to understand the logic behind the choice to vote Republican – which so many of our countrymen do.

In that spirit of understanding, I wonder what a Republican’s response would be to your criticism. My guess is that the bailout and other actions in support of big corporations aren’t necessarily the goal of “true” Republicans. (This is distinct from neo-cons.) I wouldn’t call the bailout anything near conservative.

Again, I want to understand. If this question is getting revived, I say great. I could always use more understanding of Republicans. (Propaganda, no. Criticism, no thanks either.)

jvgr's avatar

@Trustinglife: For me, conservative writers like George Will and David Brook are a good source of conversative philosophy. They aren’t old guys, but they are intelligent and thoughtful. Unfortunately, the rising anti-intellectual element in the convservative fold is dumping on them right and left.

A rising star in conversative writing is Michelle Malkin and she is here:

jvgr's avatar


This particular page has a list of republican commentators who have, more or less, dumped McCain; Will and Brooks included. The names are links and you can back-track to get at source material.

The nationalreviewonline is a conservative magazine/website that has been around for a while.

Judi's avatar

Loved the clip thanks!

Trustinglife's avatar

Wow, that was really inspiring. Thanks!

I’m not a conservative, but the principles do hold integrity for me. To see these men (they were all men on the video, weren’t they?) standing up for their principles – I respect conversatives more. Quoting from jvgr’s great link above, check this out:

“Ed Rollins ran Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1984, so he knows a thing or two about landslides — and he’s predicting one for Barack Obama. At this point, he says the only question left to answer is whether John McCain will take the Republican Party down with him.”

jvgr's avatar

@Trustinglife: “I’m not a conservative, but the principles do hold integrity for me”

Me neither, but I enjoy discussing differeing points of view based on principles related to issues. I tried to get discussions going on many conservative blogs. Most wouldn’t allow me to post simply because I raised a question about a McCain policy and tried to discuss it as a policy.

This year, it seems, the vocal voices on the right are focused too much on specific non-issues of character, association, and sheer inflammatory vitriol.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time on the primary causes of our financial dilemma. Its absolutely clear that we got here by the unwitting, accumulative help of, the wrong deregulation, political pressure, and Wall Street greed and stupidity. All parties (left and right) are “guilty”. Yet the right still seems driven to pin it on the democrats.

The ACORN issue is ridiculous. Yes there was/is voter fraud. One blogger pointed me to the Nevada ACORN group. I read affadavits, newspaper accounts and checked with reporters for additional information. All I learned was that ACORN NV:

-Had clear performance guidelines; minimum quantity and no fraudulent documents
-Reviewed employee work and identified know bogus documents + employees and set them aside
-After 1 warning substandard employees were terminated
-In Nov 2007, sent a batch of bogus documents to election authorities who did nothing but lose the documents and contacted ACORN in July 2008 asking for a 2nd copy.

The right seems to want to overlook McCain’s association with ACORN in 2004.

Voter fraud is wrong, but trying to keep alive the notion that Obama is responsible is stupid, as there is no evidence at all to suggest otherwise.

Bri_L's avatar

In my area, milwaukee, the only time ACORN’s name came up was when 2 of it’s members turned in ballots they collected for voter fraud.

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