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ETpro's avatar

Have conservatives gone mad?

Asked by ETpro (34472points) April 27th, 2010

I’m echoing a question posed by Marc Ambinder in an op-ed piece in The Atlantic. The past gatekeepers of party sanity such as William F. Buckley, George Will and the like are either dead, marginalized or forced to pander to the rabid right. The John Birch Society long shut out of GOP politics because of lunacy such as insisting that Eisenhower was a closet commie along with 90% of all government officers and congressmen and that fluoridation of the water was a communist plot to control American minds and take over the country, is now welcomed back—actually cosponsoring the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) Convention in Washington this year. McCarthyism has been pulled from the forgotten shadows and allowed to replace reasoned debate. Wildly theatric snake-oil salesmen like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh now guide Republican thought where brilliant intellectuals once ruled.

Read Ambinder’s piece if you care about this. Of course, if you love the rabid right’s resurgence, you can just dismiss the author and the magazine he writes for in a typical ad hominem attack. No need to give his ideas audience, since you will already “know” your ideology is supreme and therefore anyone who disagrees with you is obviously terminally stupid and closed minded to boot.

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83 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I have wondered about this. It certainly seems like non-thinking and fear-mongering have become the party’s mantras.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Certainly, some conservatives are expressing feelings that are based on incorrect facts and falsehoods. It seems they’re increasing in numbers and driving many other Republicans from the party.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah and it gives Americans a bad image, worldwide.

Blackberry's avatar

There are doctors dedicated to helping people with mental disorders, but I think the conservative as well as the religious conservative mind is an untapped goldmine of information that we can utilize in the fight against mental disorders.

Coloma's avatar

Here’s some chaf for the pot…stir away. ;-)

I just read an article the other day that claimed conservatives, political, religious or otherwise, scored on average 12 points lower on IQ tests than their more liberal peers.

I found that very interesting.

Anytime we get stuck in rigidity we have slammed the door shut on growth.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Coloma link? ‘Cause I’ve read this.

Blackberry's avatar

Is it a coincidence that liberalism flourished with the age of enlightenment as well? I think not…...lol

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t blame the conservatives, I blame the religious right wing. Honestly, my impression is the Republican politicians and people in the media can say all of this crazy shit of late, because they know nothing will be done with the Dems at the helm. They can be as radical and ridiculous as they want to get votes. It is all tangled up with the Evangelicals in my opinion. Northern Republican conservatives seem to still have some sanity.

Coloma's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

On my way out right now…I am not sure I can remember where I came across this, I will look at your link later.

eden2eve's avatar

One of the more unattractive attributes of the “liberal left” is a certain level of elitism. I’m not a proponent of either extreme, but find this sort of dialogue to be divisive and, frankly, ridiculous. To suggest that you can’t be intelligent and sane and still be conservative is absurd.

There are brilliant individuals on either side of the political debate. There are also crack pots on both sides of the spectrum. Neither ideology is always right, and neither speaks to the majority of the citizens of this nation.

“Some” liberals also express opinions that others find fantastic. People would be far more credible if they would recognize the weaknesses among their own ranks.

MissAusten's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir and @Coloma You are both saying the same thing: average lower IQ for conservatives. I am so tempted to post that on my facebook page, but the satisfaction wouldn’t be worth the drama. ;)

There seem to be a lot of very vocal conservatives using various tactics to influence other conservatives, make them afraid and angry, and get them all riled up too. It really annoys me. I don’t expect everyone to agree or have the same values and ideas. What bothers me is that such a large group of people are so willing to keep repeating blatant lies in order to gain support and attention, which other people just accept without checking the facts. If you disagree with policies, fine. Discuss those policies. Don’t base your opinions and feelings on things that are made up. Just because something is in a video on youtube doesn’t make it true. Whew, I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.

The level of anger and hatred I see toward Obama in particular is incomprehensible. I avoid getting involved in facebook rants about it, but one today made me laugh. Someone posted a poll asking, “Will you vote for Obama in 2012?” Her answer was “Hell NO!!!” Several others posted things agreeing, based on Obama’s plot to “take away our freedoms with his socialist ideas, and he’s a Muslim on top of it.” I really wanted to post a comment saying, “How can you be so sure you won’t vote for him when you don’t know who he’ll be running against? What if Satan himself, in all his horned glory, is the only other presidential candidate? Would you still not vote for Obama?”

BoBo1946's avatar

Repubs could be sitting themselves up for a rude awakening!

It’s all about the economy! People will vote with their “pocketbooks!” Locally, seeing more jobs in the classified everyday. Several factories have added on employees. Seeing new homes being build, etc…

With all their “hate messages” and negative stuff, and always voting no, they would be “cutting their own throat!”

People will remember all this negative crap if the economy is good when they step into that voting booth. They will remember how the Repubicans threw Obama “under the bus” before he even took office. How they questioned his patriotism! How they questioned if he was a citizen, etc…

Don’t really understand how anyone that is 98.6 and “pumping red blood, could listen and watch President Obama interact with his beautiful family and say such “mean-spirited” thing about him. It is rather mind-boggling!

MissAusten's avatar

@eden2eve I know quite a few intelligent and sane conservatives. Unfortunately, they are not the ones getting all of the attention in the media. My father in law is someone I don’t mind debating with because he uses facts and history to support his ideas. If he is wrong about something, he admits it. I have friends who are very conservative (I grew up in the midwest, after all), they are also smart and rational people.

It is extremism that makes me uncomfortable, and you’re right that it applies to liberals as well as conservatives. Right now, the extreme conservatives just seem to be most vocal.

CaptainHarley's avatar

As I have been at great pains to point out on here, the right and left are equallly guilty of allowing the extremists among them to dominate their respective parties. I really believe that we need to scrap the two major political parties and start over.

JLeslie's avatar

@eden2eve I think there a bunch of Republicans who would classify as eliteists also (I don’t like the term, but I will use it here for simplicity) or maybe I do not understand exactly what Republicans mean by eliteist? If it means educated privilaged people who have little experience with knowing what it is like to be an “average American” a whole bunch of Reubublicans fit that bill.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MissAusten We were saying the same thing – just wanted more sources is all

ETpro's avatar

@Blackberry That is so true, but Conservatives are busy rewriting history. The royalists were the conservatives of the real Tea Party days, and the Founders were the liberal, revolutionary men of the age of enlightment. But today’s tea partiers have Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and such as great bastions of conservative thought. Utter nonsense.

@eden2eve & @CaptainHarley There are still voices of reason on the right, and lunatics on the left. But to claim that they are equal in number or in control of the two parties is ridiculous. Birthers? Death panels? Creating a bank-funded account that pays for shutting down a future failed bank is a plan for endless taxpayer bailouts? Obama is a communo-fasciso-socialist? These are not serious points of debate. They are as insane as claiming space aliens have taken over the opposition party.

@MissAusten I know a number of sane, thoughtful conservatives here on Fluther. My concern is they no longer speak for their party. The birthers and the John Birchers and the fundamentalist Christians intent on provoking Armageddon so they can go up in the clouds with Jesus; this set is now pulling the strings.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@ETpro

When most reporters are liberal ( and this can be conclusively proven ), the news about the right tends to feature the idiots, while the news about the left is sugar-coated.

gorillapaws's avatar

@CaptainHarley I’ve found the opposite to be true of the media. Because most reporters tend to be liberal and they want to appear non-biased, they often slant their coverage to the right to avoid the charge of bias. On the aggregate, this has resulted in many “neutral” news networks leaning further to the right than they really ought to.

Also, it’s the job of the media to call out lies and misstatements. Just for argument’s sake, assume one party was generating 500% more lies than the other, would it be “biased” for the media to point out all of the lies of both parties even though that would result in a 5 – 1 “slant” against that one party who happens to lie a lot? or should they point out 100% of the one party and 20% of the lies of the other so they both come out with the same amount of bad press?

It is my belief that the press is engaged in this latter behavior because they’re so scared of being called biased. I’m not saying there’s a 5 – 1 ratio, but in general there is a ton more bullshit being spewed out from the right that simply isn’t picked up anymore by the media. It’s sad when it takes a comedian like Jon Stewart to point out how totally fucking ridiculous the hardcore right-wing has become.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@CaptainHarley @gorillapaws Besides, people who watch the ‘liberal biased’ shows are more informed, in general than those who watch ‘conservative biased’ news.

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley The thing is the liberals are more likely to be willing to hear both sides than the far right. The extreme left is the same as the extreme right, just as bad, but most reporters who identify Democrat are not to the extreme. Honestly, again, I think it is a religious north south thing. The networks are primarily out of NYC, or other major cities that are more likely to be liberal because their experience is so different than the middle and southern part of the country. The thing is, the trends in our country will most likely become more like our cities. Populations and diversity will continue to grow. The country is something like 35% minorities, and in the next 30 years we will probably not be able to use the term anymore, it will be that we are all just one of the many. For me, when I talk to the midsoutherners around me, mostly I feel like they have no clue what is about to happen. They seem to be holding onto an old America that simply will not exist. And, honestly it is not an “old” America to me, they lived in an America that is very odd to me, seems to follow different rules.

ETpro's avatar

@CaptainHarley You are disembling to cover for something that is patently obvious. Nearly ⅔ of current self-identified Republicans are birthers, unwilling to accept the clear evidence that the President was born in Hawaii as his birth certificate shows. The John Birch Society, still certain that fluoride turns us into communist, is now a cosponsor of the CPAC Convention. You simply cannot dismiss obvious truth as the spin of liberal media.

Liberal media itself is a right-wing lie. The media in America at one time was primarily liberal. It is now distinctly corporate. While many of the well educated who write and report for the media may have liberal sympathies, their corporate bosses do not share that view, and they set the tone for news Americans receive. If there is any bias, it is corporatist, which is a conservative value, not a liberal one.

BoBo1946's avatar

Robert Creamer: Republicans Are So Drunk on Wall Street Money They…Apr 27, 2010… They all voted against even debating a bill to hold the big Wall Street…. Obama wants to ghet financial reform done, so he can move on to…
www.huffingtonpost.com/.../republicans-are-so-drunk_b_553168.html – 4 hours ago

JFKFC's avatar

A particular group having a lesser average IQ is no proof they can’t understand a county’s founding principles.

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro The birther thing isn’t all that remarkable in its persistence: once raised, the spectre of doubt does not soon leave. Especially when there is enough evidence to sustain it. I daresay that, with McCain being born in Panama, this was going to be an issue no matter who won.

The media is still quite liberal. The outlets may be edging towards corporate; I haven’t been watching. But the journalists themselves are for the most part still very much left-of-center, and it shows. You most likely do not have the perspective to appreciate just how sinister they still are.
Journalism has a very, very low turnover rate.

@JFKFC…Except that their average IQ is still average…

ETpro's avatar

@BoBo1946 Wall Street has funded both parties heavily, but right now with regulatory reform looming, the spending spree is totally over the top. Depending on whose numbers you believe, Wall Street has put between $700,000,000 and $2.000,000,000 in the hands of Lobbyists to make sure no meaningful financial reform takes place. This seems an incomprehensible number, but the total worldwide derivatives market before the last crash was over 600 trillion dollars, and the US segment was $62 trillion of that, so $2 billion is just chump change. And I will leave you to guess based on who is fillibustering regulatory reform who the primary beneficiaries are.

The_Idler's avatar

All major parties in UK and US are best buddies of big-business and finance.
And in any situation they’re not, they are simply the same people.

It is how we work now.

tedd's avatar

The answer is simple. People fear change. The far right crazies have hijacked a once proud prominent party and have swayed the minds of the masses by using fear (be it for their own sinister purpose, or their own fear of new ideas). It’s really as simple as that.

The far right crazies once spoke of social security and medicare/medicaid as though it would bring about a fascist communist USA.

People once rioted against giving blacks civil rights.

They once protested against women gaining the right to vote.

Half of our country revolted when a man who didn’t like slavery became president.

Hundreds of years ago men were flogged and burned at the stake for suggesting that the planet wasn’t flat, and that we might revolve around the sun rather than the other way around.

All of these things have one thing in common, they were changes from the way things were. People fear change.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ETpro true…actually, don’t believe any of them anymore!

eden2eve's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir , I read the report at your link, regarding IQ scores of the two political factions. The title of the article is “Study Shows Liberals, Atheists, And Monogamous Have Higher IQ’s”.

I have a problem with these sorts of studies. The last sentence in the article exactly illustrates the reason for my skepticism:

“Females do not show an IQ difference based on exclusivity values, but Kanazawa did not expect that they would. ”

I’m assuming that this group of intelligent people can see my point of contention without my having to explain it.

ETpro's avatar

@tedd Excellent point. It is endemic within the belief system that always insists the old ways are better.

BoBo1946's avatar

loll..excuse my seniorist…Repubs could be sitting themselves up for a rude awakening! maybe setting would be more appropriate!

Coloma's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Amusing article, similar to what I read but they left out monogamy…haha

jerv's avatar

This may surprise people who know me, but I think not. Conservatives are actually fairly sane.

The Neo-cons that have usurped the party and get all of the media attention, on the other hand, are bat-shit insane.

JeffVader's avatar

From this side of the Atlantic the US does have worrying echo’s of the Weimar Republic…. with the worsening polarisation of society & the increasingly rabid behaviour of the right.

nyscof's avatar

Fluoridation opposition isn’t a conservative or liberal issue. It’s a scentific one.
Modern science indicates that ingesting fluoride is ineffective at reducing tooth decay, harmful to health and a waste of money.

for more info http://www.FluorideAction.Net

mattbrowne's avatar

No. Only some of the ultra conservatives. We need to be vigilant.

ETpro's avatar

@nyscof Modern science suggests just the opposite, as does my own experience. In my youth, I had very bad teeth, just as my mom did. Every 6-month checkup found 2 or 3 new cavities. As I grew up in the early days of fluoridation, my teeth steadily improved. For years now, most checkups are just to get a cleaning. No cavities.

Here is the real science. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

You can find “science” on the Internet to prove everything from the “fact” that everyone else on earth except you is a space alien to the “fact” that immodesty among women is what really causes earthquakes. Don’t believe something, particularly something that suggests that all the prevailing knowledgeable people are wrong, just because you find a website somewhere touting it as truth.

But the important discussion vis-a-vis the far right is not whether fluoride actually strengthens tooth enamel, but whether adding it to drinking water is actually a communist plot—a massive government conspiracy to reshape American minds into adopting communists beliefs. If that is what it is supposed to be doing, I would have to say it is a miserable failure. They have been adding it to the drinking water for 50 years and it hasn’t brought us a step closer to embracing communism. Far from it, there are fewer avowed communists in America today than there were 50 years ago. In fact, virtually all the commies today reside inside the disturbed minds of folks in the John Birch society.

The_Idler's avatar

@nyscof that website’s first paragraph contains a reference to a “fluoride fog” that killed people, presumably as support for the idea that fluoridation of water is harmful.

This is like saying we should never eat salt, because it is sodium chloride, and chlorine is poisonous and sodium explodes on contact with water.

How many people have been asphyxiated by CO₂?

Does this make you seriously afraid of carbonated beverages? (That means fizzy drinks)

MissAusten's avatar

@The_Idler As long as no one tries to expose us to dihydrogen monoxide, we’ll all be OK! ~

ETpro's avatar

@MissAusten Ah yes, that is the most insidious part of the secret conspiracy to fluoridate water. Even if we get the fluoride removed, the real poison is still there. There are documented cases of people dying every day of dihydrogen monoxide inhalation.

Ron_C's avatar

I don’t believe in the “Conservative” “Liberal” titles. A better description is regressive or progressive because you can’t stay still. Conservatives seem to believe that everything that is written by the founding fathers or their churches is immutable. That means that everything that should be thought has been thought, rules can never change, and their leaders are near to infallible. That, in my thinking is regressive because systems based on that type of thinking can only deteriorate. There seems a constant longing for “the good old days” without the understanding about the real conditions and restrictions that people faced.

To me, the only direction is forward. If we hadn’t progressed we would still have kings “appointed by god” and human sacrifices. I am becoming convinced that some of the Tea Party people would like to revert back to those “good old days”.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C Becoming convinced? I pretty much figured that’s where a fair percentage of Conservatives were before the Tea Party even existed. I think I was 10 at the time, so that would be Reagan’s first term…

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C They yearn for what they fantasize as the good old days. Move them back to those real hardships, and they would probably kill you for it. They may be reasonably intelligent people, but deep thinkers they are not. They let their emotions do the thinking for them.

mattbrowne's avatar

@The_Idler – Some ultra conservatives have declared war on science. Some of them are so ignorant they wouldn’t even grasp the simplest content taught in Chemistry 101. Let alone understand something like evolution or the complexities of climate change. All they retain are simplistic messages like humans exhale CO2 therefore global warming is a hoax.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne @Ron_C @jerv @The Idler @Etpro and @Nullo is usually there..

loll…you guys have a lot of fun debating politics. Can always count on you guys to “battle a little” after every political question. You make debate look like fun. you guys do it a gentleman way…that is a good thing!

I use to do that….but, not anymore! have concluded that politics is about (almost all) politicians always telling you what you want to hear and when they get in office, they do as they damn well please! Term limits would stop that! Also, we need a balanced budget admendment ! Politicians will never vote those into the equation!

Today, I’m an independent that leans towards the Democrats. Was a Republicans all my life until the Republicans attacked Clinton (did not vote him either time) on Whitewater, the Monica thing, etc. When the dust cleared, Bob Barr, Henry Hyde, “Newty Boy”, had more women than Clinton. And, what they did to Susan McDougal was shameful. Put the lady in prison because she would not lie. Read her book…great book!

Anyway, enough of that…you guys have fun with it…

ETpro's avatar

@BoBo1946 I do enjoy debating politics with people who can hold out for ideas and facts instead of pure opinion and name calling. I agree totally on term limits, but don’t want to let “we the people” off the hook, either. We keep voting for the fairy tale of something for nothing. On the left, that equates to ever more benefits from government, all of which will magically pay for themselves. On the right it equates to ever more tax cuts which will magically pay for themselves. Both are equally absurd, have never happened, never will happen because they are logical contradictions, but keep winning votes. We will stay awash in debt till “we the people” start facing cold hard facts instead of letting our emotions and our greed guide us. I may even be able to get an Amen form @Nullo on that thought. :-)

BoBo1946's avatar

@ditto my friend….it is a never ending cycle!

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo I have a hard time believing people would have really tried hard to count McCain out because of his birthplace.

BoBo1946's avatar

@JLeslie agreed…but, I’m no fan of John!

John McCain’s father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy who was stationed in Panama in 1936, when McCain was born. This has led to speculation as to whether McCain is a U.S. citizen and whether he can be elected president, a question that was raised during McCain’s run for the Republican nomination in 2000 as well.

Section 1, Article II of the U.S. Constitution states:

Article II: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

But McCain is a natural-born citizen, even though he was not born within this country’s borders, since his parents were citizens at the time of his birth. As a congressional act stated in 1790:

Congress: “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Another congressional act in 1795 issued a similar assurance, though it changed the language from “natural born citizen” to “citizen.”

But the State Department clarifies the issue, saying that the 1790 language is honored under section 301© of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

This is not the first time the question has been broached in a presidential election. Fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona territory before it was a state. And Mitt Romney’s father, George, ran for president in 1968, though he was born in Mexico. Like McCain, both were born to U.S. citizens and, therefore, considered to be American citizens.

However, both of those candidates were unsuccessful in their bids – and so a smidgen of uncertainty remains. If McCain wins the presidency, the constitutionality of these congressional statutes could be challenged in the courts. Members of Congress have expressed this fear and proposed a more explicit law, or even a Constitutional amendment. Neither has been adopted.

-Justin Bank

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo It is interesting to note that the buzz about McCain’s qualifications did not start on the left. It began with the extreme right, the same group that make up the birthers today. They wanted to discredit McCain in favor of some more rabid right-wing candidate during the primaries.

The left never went head-over-heels for the red herring. They mentioned it when brithers sprouted up questioning the legitmacy of Obama’s papers, but there never were the profusion of web sites, the bellowing, the demonstrations with signs decrying fraud, or the 66 failed lawsuits. Never happened. The two don’t even remotely equate.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ETpro always…...so many things they have done the last 16 years is unreal…the list is too long to mention!

JLeslie's avatar

@BoBo1946 Of course what the constitution says is very important to me. But, as with any law I think it important to understand the spirit of the law or intention that was trying to be accomplished at the time of the writing. One thing you mentioned is that a qualification for president is the person must have lived in the country a minimum of 14 years, and be a mimimum of 35 years old. Imagine someone born in one of our 50 states, but then at the age of 5 to the age of 25 lived outside of the country, finally returning and ran for president. Having lived abroad during such formative years would be very significant I think. The accident of birth on foreign soil, when a person is actually raised in America, and lived his whole life in America seems meaningless to me, especially if a parent is American as well. Logically, it is insane to question McCains patriotism, devoution, or understanding of America, and what it means to be American.

Obama, even if born outside of the country has an American mother, and so he is a citizen as well, I would argue natural born. It only takes being born to one America parent to be an American citizen. From birth he had the right to have an American passport. My nephew was born in America to green card carrying parents. Is he more American than Obama?

I really think the courts should readdress the issue, before the topic comes up again. We need to use new language pertinent to the circumstances of today. I don’t mean a big change to what the founders intended, but back then people did not vacation by flying around the world, a woman rarely would accidently go into labor in her 7th month while on vacation or visiting her husband out of the country. 200 years ago it was unlikely a pregnant woman would travel far in that condition. Why should an American child born in an odd circumstance be denied the right to become president? The world is different now.

The_Idler's avatar

I don’t understand how this can be such a massive issue, in America of all places!?

It’s not like any of your leader’s families have been there for anything more than 20 generations, almost all of them probably much less.

What does it matter about citizenship technicalities, if they’re democratically elected!?
None of them are real Americans either way!

JLeslie's avatar

@The_Idler It’s just that since it is written into the constitution it is taken very seriously. It is like our bible. I really tend to agree with you that these technicalities are meaningless. You might know that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California, and this topic has come up regarding him as well. That he can never run for president because he was not born here, and the Governor of MI was born in Canada. Some of the irony is it seems the right wing is most concerned with these technicalities, but the right wing is also gung-ho on states rights and giving more power to the states and less to the central government, yet they are ok with a foreign born citizen running a state.

Your statement about 20 generations. In America by the second, defintely the third generation people are basically “Americanized.” I don’t think anyone here really discriminates much between someone who has a family that goes back to the Mayflower or if their grandparents came here 60 years ago.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie I really think the courts should readdress the issue, before the topic comes up again. The courts have addressed it 66 times to date. In all 66 cases, they reviewed the filings and the proof the President submitted of being a US Citizen, and they dismissed the case as being totally without merit. That hasn’t stopped birthers from raising money on the false hope that if they keep doing the same failed thing again and again, eventually the outcome will be different.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ETpro it is a non-issue “in my book!” Personally , think the Constitution is clear on this issue!

The_Idler's avatar

”...on the false hope that if they keep doing the same failed thing again and again, eventually the outcome will be different.”

I wonder if there’s a correlation with piety.

gorillapaws's avatar

I just wanted to point out this quote from @Rangie from this question on organ donation.

“Next they will be requiring everybody to submit to test for cataloging all pertinent information for matching. That way they won’t waste any time finding a donor ready and waiting for the minute you die. Maybe we can call it assembly line human parts exchange. AHPE Then from that information, they could say, you must report for a bone marrow donation on such and such date as you are a match that is needed. Oh and by the way since you are here you are a match for a kidney, and you really don’t need 2, so we are taking one. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, don’t discount it.
Hey folks, you have no idea what road this can take us down.”

How are you supposed to have a rational conversation with someone who turns every government law into the equivalent of a fascist government takeover?

BoBo1946's avatar

@gorillapaws as you know, that bill is dead in the water! Rangie is an elderly lady that takes everything a little too serious. She seems like a nice person, but she says something that upset “the apple cart!”

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro You misunderstood the intent of my words. I mean I think the courts should possibly rewrite what makes someone eligible to be president. Being a Citizen should probably be enough, with a minimum of years spent living in the country. Having to be born on America soil seems absurd to me in this day and age. To spend a moment questioning McCains legitimacy is ludicrous in my mind.

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for clarifying that. THe reason I did not take that meaning is that doing so is not the perview of any court, even the US Supreme Court. Changing the Constitution’s wording can only be done by a Constitutional Amendment, which requires that the measure be first proposed, then ratified. Amendments may be proposed by a ⅔ vote of both houses of congress or by ⅔s of the state legislatures calling for a new Constitutional Convention which can then propose Amendments on a majority vote. However proposed, ratification requires that ¾s of the states approve the new change. It is not a trivial process.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro Good point. I was not thinking through that an amendment would need to be done, and it would indeed take amending the constitution I think, not just interpreting it or applying it differently. Thank you for spelling that out. I do think they should do it though. I think it likely this issue will come up again and again.

Ron_C's avatar

@BoBo1946 thanks for the compliment. I think the birther nonsense is the best the ultra-right and teabaggers can do. I know that they want to really say that they hate the idea of a guy that is part black living in the White house and not serving lunch.

I suggest that you pay close attention to politics and let your representative know what you think. It would be a shame to lose what few freedoms we have left by attrition.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Ron_C I do think there are some for which race is a factor. But for the most part I think what’s happened is that the media has turned politics into sports where the conservatives are blindly champion their side and are upset they “lost.” They are unable to see the flaws in their reasoning, the hypocrisy of their views or the fact that many of the theories their philosophy is predicated on is simply been proven wrong (e.g. voodoo economics leads to the prosperity of the little guy through trickle-down, deregulation of banks is a good thing etc.).

Ron_C's avatar

@gorillapaws you would think that after 30 years of Reagen economics that everyone would understand that wealth trickles up, not down. I have actually heard republicans say that what we need to get out of this recession is tax cuts and fewer regulations on banking. I believe that they have gone completely mad. Unfortunately there are a lot of borderline psychotics that believe this tripe. Republicans may return to power in 2012. Of course that won’t matter because the world is scheduled to end in that year.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C You forget that the math skills of the average American are pretty bad. And when I say “bad” I mean “cannot figure out that ”$7.99” each is a better deal that “2/$20”.

The more intelligent among them know that 10% of Americans pay 40% of the income tax but overlook that those 10% earn 50% of the income and absolutely cannot understand the math behind why that is fundamentally fucked up. Then they complain about how the hard-working people get overtaxed without realizing that their “tax cuts for the rich” policies mean that the group that earns 35% of the wages (where most of the successful working-class people and small business owners are) pay the other 60% of the taxes; effectively, they are taxed at 1–½ times the rate that the people with really big incomes are. (The other 15% of income goes the 47% of Americans who earn to little to have to pay taxes.) Try explaining that to most Conservatives and they will look confused for a moment and then call you a Communist.

The really intelligent amongst them become Moderates or Democrats if for no reason other than to disassociate from the clueless buffoons not that the Dems are much more rational or intelligent, mind you. Sadly, the inept bobble-heads outnumber the rational thinkers by a considerable margin, so the 2012 election looks pretty dismal to me already.

mattbrowne's avatar

@BoBo1946 – Thanks for sharing your personal story. Very interesting!

I’m one of the (few) moderate liberals who actually thinks it’s important to have conservatives in our free societies too. We need a healthy mix and plenty of debates otherwise progress isn’t possible. Pluralism is great. What we don’t need is ultra-conservative nutcases (supported by the religious right) actually showing certain signs of totalitarianism. Their motto seems to be: democracy is fine as long as we are in charge but we won’t accept it if someone else is in charge. That’s not democracy.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne yes, the religious right seems to have an agenda that contradicts their religion. People who are mean-spirited and call themselves religious is a contradiction, at best! Some of the stuff said about President Obama is shameful. Don’t see how a person can be religious and those things! Loll..they remind me of Pharisees!

I live in Mississippi and believe me, hear stuff, that would make your “socks roll up and down like window shades!”

Got to run Matt..have a good one…got to get a hair cut! Hey, the stuff you hear in a barber shop….ummm… especially in this state!

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Even if they understand that the top earners pay a much lower percentage of taxes than the rest of the population they think it is fair, they call it a “fair tax” I learned this recently. They are all for taxing only on spending not on income. They don’t see why someone should have to pay more tax than the next guy just because they earn more money, they earned it, it is their money. Totally baffles me. But, true what you said that many American suck at math, so very true.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie I get my money the same way people who earn 10 or 100 times what I make do; are they saying that I don’t earn my income? I guess all those hours I spend in the foundry are a waste.

Of course, many of the people who think it’s fair are the same ones taking it in the ass come tax time, so I guess self-preservation is not something that they are good at either.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv All I can guess, guess, is they think of it like each individual should pay a certain amount of taxes, certain amount of dollars, and why should anyone have to pay more than the otehr guy when we all use the same roads, fire department, schools, etc. If someone thinks like that then it becomes more annoying that the people actually paying less are most likely using less of the public services. In a way I can see the logic, but it is not practical, and punishes the guy making less money in terms of the percentage of his income.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie So basically they feel that those that don’t earn big bucks (basically at least half of all Americans) can just wither and die. Gotcha.

Coupled with their hostile attitudes towards other countries/cultures, I am starting to think that the Right is truly genocidal.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Well, I think they have convinced themselves that if you don’t supply the poor with things/services, they will finally get off their asses and do it themselves. Or, something like that. Their words, not mine. I do agree that some “use” the system, but overall I think the far right has no concept of how much the system really does for all of us.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Considering that I was out of work in a non-hiring environment for over a year, I have my own take on it. Those that were hiring had so many applicants that the net result was practically the same.

Personally, I’d wager that if these people had ever been in the situations that some of us are in, they would either change their tune or eat a gun. Maybe they have been laid off before and had it slightly rough for a short time, but I think it safe to say that our current economy and society isn’t like it was back in 1952.

I don’t think that the Far Right has a clue about anything. Hell, they can’t even get the Bible or the US Constitution right!

ETpro's avatar

@JLeslie & @jerv I am sure you both know this, but I’ll state it for thise who haven’t thought it trough. THe problem with tax systems where each person just pays a fixed amount for basic services is that the poor end up paying a very large part of their total income to keep society running, while billionaires pay just a fraction of a percent of what they earn. That means the billionaires keep almost everything they earn, and they use that accumulated wealth to buy up everything around them that is capable of producing wealth. A small handful of ultra-rich soon own everything. The only jobs available are with them, and everyone else either plays by their rules and works for the pittance they are willing to pay, or starves. There are a number of nations that have such systems now. All are banana republics, and if the USA sets such a tax system in place, we will soon be a banana republic too.

Reganomics already has began to gut the middle class that we worked so hard to build after the Great Depression. The wealthiset 1% of Americans own twice as much of the country today as they did when Reagan took office 29 years ago.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro And that is why I accused the last person who called me a Communist of being more of a Communist than I am.

See, pretty much every Communist society we’ve had on Earth so far has had a small minority of uber-wealthy, uber-powerful people while the great masses are poor and starving. Now, since our current system is heading that way too, and the Right supports the current system, then it’s pretty easy to see that they want what Communism has achieved.

However, that requires a bit of logic and thinking; two things that that group of people aren’t good at.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv The right is the legitimate enemy of communism. They are heading for the same oligarchy communism produces, but want to achieve it through fascism, which was an extreme right-wing ideology embracing racism and ethnic purity. Sound familiar?

The_Idler's avatar

See, pretty much every Communist society we’ve had on Earth so far has had a small minority of uber-wealthy, uber-powerful people while the great masses are poor and starving.

It is just the tendency of the ruling-classes to position themselves within society in such a manner as to allow the exploitation of the labours of the population, for their personal gain.

They just have different names, for the different systems.

Different means, same ends…

Cue: American Exceptionalist (applause)

The_Idler's avatar

The different names delineate the ‘systems’, which differ in the actual mechanics of the ruling-classes’ efforts to structure society so as to equate the survival of the ordinary man with the enrichment of themselves and the perpetuation of the status quo.

Consumerism/incentivization being the most subtle and hence the most sinister, short of straight-up mind-control, via drugs/bionics.

Though, thinking about it, God>Church>King>Lords/Clergy>Peasants feudalism is pretty sinister, though not exactly subtle… but then it’s easy to say that with hindsight.
An outsider probably wouldn’t look at consumerism and call it subtle, but when you’re brought up within it, it’s a different story… I guess that’s what makes it sinister, the brainwashing from birth.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro @The_Idler True, but try pointing out he parallels and you’ll get blasted.

The_Idler's avatar

Do mean with “Your [sic] dumb” or with a 12 gauge?

ETpro's avatar

@The_Idler These days, could be either or both.

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