PDA

View Full Version : science, values, and stupidity ...



TomF
11-05-2004, 05:02 PM
Republicans on the board have legitimately bridled at implications that they're stupid, uneducated, "po' country boys" who need to be told how to think by their betters among the Democratic elites. Of course you're not stupid - we've ample evidence of that from the knowledge you've displayed throughout all the various forums at WoodenBoat.

But what to do. OTHER people who voted for Bush were far more likely to:
- believe in "creationism" rather than any of the strands of scientific scientific thought about the world's origins.
- believe that climate change theories are based on phony or inconclusive science.

Maybe those folks aren't stupid, but stupidity is a short step away from willful ignorance.

And then there's the "values" debate. I couldnt' agree more wholeheartedly that morality and ethics should be at the heart of ALL activity, political and personal. For me, this is based on a strong Christian faith - of a variety that validates science as a gift from God.

But.

Modern western society - led by American consumer and popular culture - is as hedonistic as hell. Dems and Repubs both benefit from it and participate in it ... it's just that the Republicans have better PR men.

- Why are there higher teen pregnancy rates in "red" states than in "blue" ones? Are only Democratic teens sexually active there?

- Do only Dems patronize the various branches of the sex and pornography trades?

- No Republicans romp through Spring Break or Mardi Gras celebrations in "red" states like Texas, Florida, Louisiana etc.?

- No Republicans make money from the sexualization of modern pop culture (Spears, Aguiliera etc.), or watch late-night Cable TV?

- How about the inexhaustible supply of variously sleazy people on Jerry Springer etc. - they're all Dems too?

What the Democrats DIDN'T do, is re-frame the "values" issue, by forcing all Americans to acknowledge that there ain't no squeaky-clean party. And making values and ethics a central part of how they described their policy program.

For instance: why is sexual morality more politically significant than morality expressed in fiscal management, or diplomatic relations, or equitable tax policy, or housing policy, or environmental policy, or any of a number of fields of actual Government activity?

Like the science issue, the framing of the values issue seems to me to be a place of Republican willful ignorance, verging on stupidity. But it's been brilliantly successful marketing.

So, if folks on the Right don't enjoy feeling like educated elites are telling them how to think ... then promote a bit of reality-based critical thinking among the groups that tipped the balance over to Bush.

For what it's worth, I simply HATE feeling superior or more intellectually honest than the Right. And would adore having less cause to feel that way.

Tom.

George.
11-05-2004, 05:13 PM
Come on, mate. When they say "values," they mean the ones everyone else should live by... haven't you read The Scarlet Letter ?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-05-2004, 05:22 PM
For what it's worth, I simply HATE feeling superior or more intellectually honest than the Right. And would adore having less cause to feel that way.

Well, it's just a cross us lefties will have to bear. tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif

Larry P.
11-05-2004, 05:23 PM
Well let's see last time I checked New Brunswick was not a red or a blue state so bugger off. tongue.gif

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-05-2004, 05:26 PM
New Brunswick?? :confused: I'm in Ontario.

Oh I get it... you're a republican :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

brad9798
11-05-2004, 07:13 PM
If it wasn't for your 36 Connie, I'd really dislike you PMJ! :rolleyes:

Larry P.
11-05-2004, 07:23 PM
PMJ I wasn't addressing you Tom F is from new brunswick

WindHawk
11-05-2004, 07:37 PM
It's pretty obvious that we're talking past each other. To a liberal, moral imperatives are concerned with social morality, while to a conservative, it is the responsibilities of the individual that are paramount.

In my opinion, when we humans are confronted with a difficult problem, we should instinctively move towards the middle; towards compromise. Of course, that does not deny anyone the right to say: THIS IS JUST WRONG, but it should at least allow any two individuals to hold a conversation without resorting to violence or insult. I think you may find reference to that in the definition of the word civil.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-06-2004, 01:32 PM
and why is that Brad? Because my politics are different? I'm generally more polite than you are on this forum....

BrianW
11-06-2004, 04:19 PM
Wow, two Canadians still complaing about the results of a US election. You guys ever going to get over it?

I think 'values' is an Democrat excuse for losing. They still haven't got it thru their heads that Americans voted on all the issues. It's beyond their belief that everyone doesn't agree with them, therefore we get a thread like this, where a Canadian insults our intelligence.

Liberals have the 'if you don't agree with me, your wrong and stupid' mentality. Keep it up, and you'll lose in 2008 too.

I see no reason to reach out to the liberal left. Why reach out to the losers, that makes no sense. Why should the majority change their minds, when they are the majority! It's time for the minority to realize their position, and accept it for what it is, the position of the minority losers.

Elco's
11-06-2004, 04:23 PM
As PRESIDENT ELECT Bush said, it is the responsibility of the left to unite with us as one.

The last time I checked...that did not include Canada. Perhaps it is time to ignore them on ALL issues.

Bruce G
11-06-2004, 05:16 PM
You know, maybe the left is just too narrow minded to actually think that they are the one's who are not that bright. Who are the fools~ the group that states the majority want this and want that; however, when the majority vote against that same said agenda the majority is labeled the fools by the group that 'knows' so much :rolleyes:

The election is over and so should the name calling. Time to come together as one nation and work toward the common good for all. Do not be hypocrits and state that you are tolerant when all you do is show intolerance for those who do not think the same way as you.

BrianW
11-06-2004, 06:39 PM
It's hard to be a gracious winner, when the losers act like twits...

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-06-2004, 08:20 PM
Wow, two Canadians still complaing about the results of a US election It's true that I don't like your present administration, but I don't really care that much. I have decided to become more politically involved (again) particularly in lobbying the federal government about not joining the missile defense plan that Bush is proposing. Our two countries have a big trade business, but we should be encouraging our governments to distance ourselves from the USA. It's (in my opinion) in our best interests. I speak of this distance in terms of political distance. I still have lots of American friends. ;)

alteran
11-06-2004, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> It's true that I don't like your present administration, but I don't really care that much. I have decided to become more politically involved (again) particularly in lobbying the federal government about not joining the missile defense plan that Bush is proposing. </font>[/QUOTE]If that is the case why spend all this time here on the WBF talking down the Bush administration to US citizens? Seems your time would be better spent lobbying up there.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-06-2004, 08:59 PM
I do spend some time here, but I spend a lot of time other places too Al.... ;)

alteran
11-06-2004, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
I do spend some time here, but I spend a lot of time other places too Al.... ;) ??????????????????????????????????????????????
Are your metric days longer than 24 hours?

BrianW
11-06-2004, 10:35 PM
Good luck Peter!

Please keep us informed, as I sure I'll never know the results otherwise. ;)

Really, sorry to lash out at you earlier, it's just some folks are very bad at losing, and will blame everyone and everything in attempt to save face.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
11-07-2004, 12:34 AM
On the contrary, I feel President Bush won fair and square, and that the majority of Americans feel he is leading the country in the right direction. That's democracy.

Garrett Lowell
11-07-2004, 10:49 AM
TomF,
I believe you are going about this the wrong way.
Instead of attacking and questioning certain issues, why not ask yourself this: What can the DNC do, as a whole, to reach out to the people across the aisle, instead of looking down on them as wilfully ignorant, bordering on stupid? There are some issues which are basically stamped in steel. I don't know why, and I voted for Bush, which means you certainly don't know why. Fine. Move past those issues, and find some common ground. Remember this, and it is verifiable fact: Bush won the majority of caucasian women, couples with children, people over 30, voters who make more than $50k, high school and college grads, and the regular churchgoers. Hardly in the same mold as Islamic Fundamentalists, in which the DNC seems to regard the folks who voted for Bush.
Looking at the R/D voting map (I refuse to color it now), the Dems look just like the NHL: Regional, and heading in the same general direction.
Stop alienating people because of their faith and values, which just happen to be the foundation of this country. Try embracing these people because of their faith and values, and search for a common ground among the issues important to them. I have no doubt that many of these same issues are important to Dems, as well, but that it's 'passe' or impolite to actually discuss. (I arrived at this conclusion after attending a Kerry/Edwards party at my next-door-neighbor's house, and I could get no takers when I brought up subjects and issues along these lines, even though most of the people there were, basically, just like me)
After you try this, you will find no need to feel superior or more intellectually honest. To keep feeling so is only to deny that you really don't know why the Dems lost, nor what to do about it, and so you take the easy way out.
Good luck.

[ 11-07-2004, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: Garrett Lowell ]

Meerkat
11-07-2004, 08:47 PM
TomF; Well said. You can generally tell when you've said something accurate about the right that they don't like: they go into rabid dog attack mode.

Speaking of "morality", why is it that the majority of porno shops and strip clubs are in bible belt states and the old south? If they've been there all this time, there must be a market for their product...

George Jung
11-07-2004, 10:46 PM
Meerkat
.
Member # 4667

posted 11-07-2004 08:47 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TomF; Well said. You can generally tell when you've said something accurate about the right that they don't like: they go into rabid dog attack mode. :quote.

Careful there, Meer, that one cuts both ways. And judging by the vitriol, "something accurate" has been said ..."about the left".
Glad to see you're feeling better, and judging by the sheer volume, and intensity, of your posts, looks like you had a turbo installed as well.

[QUOTE] Speaking of "morality", why is it that the majority of porno shops and strip clubs are in bible belt states and the old south? If they've been there all this time, there must be a market for their product... And Meer.... I just has to know.... how is it you know this? tongue.gif

BrianW
11-08-2004, 12:04 AM
Meerkat,

Did ya look that tidbit up on the internet? smile.gif

Really now, what do you expect the conservatives to do now? They won in every sense of the word. Should they drop everything they stand for, and which 51% of America voted for, in order to appease the losing liberal side?

I'd really like to know, as this senseless anger and spitefulness is doing nothing productive.

Garrett Lowell
11-08-2004, 06:29 AM
This is where he probably picked this up:

http://www.alternet.org/story/20191

TomF
11-08-2004, 09:14 AM
Was away for the weekend - couldn't keep up on the thread.

No, there's no point quibbling about the election results - they were very clear. Frankly, if Kerry had managed to squeak out an electoral college victory while losing the popular vote by millions, that would have been a travesty of democracy, and a governance nightmare.

No, my trouble is that the drafters of the US constitution based their ideas about democracy on the Enlightenment concept of Reason, as expressed politically by the philosopher Montesqieu. Hence the separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and all your admirable checks-and-balances etc. Bloody marvelous principles.

Montesqieu was terribly worried, though, by gross democracy - what he called the "tyranny of the majority." As your drafters knew, democracy isn't only about majority rule - it's not a simple "market". Democracy is self-rule by participatory community, and it requires a well informed, critically-thinking electorate. You can't make a reasoned decision without acknowledging the facts, however you feel about those facts. There's the rub for me.

The following link discusses a survey done just after the election, describing a variety of non-factual beliefs of Bush voters (e.g. 70% believed in strong links between Al Quaeda and Saddam Hussein). This University of Maryland study reinforces many of the concerns I raised in the first post - Bush voters making decisions based on things which were simply not so.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/08/opinion/08herbert.html?th

Garrett, I think your suggested approach to building understanding across liberal/conservative lines is probably one of the only ways forwards. And I thank you for taking the time to make such a thoughtful post.

For the folks who don't like a Canadian discussing US electoral behaviour ... sorry. The US' global reach means that your "domestic" issues aren't domestic. Ask an Israeli, Iraqi, Canadian beef farmer, or North Korean if your government's policies have only "domestic" effect.

There are some vastly intelligent, very well-informed, strongly conservative folks out there. I tend to agree with them on facts, and disagree on what to do about them. That diversity is healthy, and as it should be.

I just wish that your election had been decided by THOSE conservatives, rather than folks who were largely un-informed or mis-informed. Among other things, an uninformed electorate isn't in a position to hold their government accountable for making unreasonable decisions.

Tom Fetter.