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#31 Old 02-08-2011, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by julz View Post

People having a different political opinion than you and people who have delusions are apples and oranges.

Political views are often dependent on some beliefs about facts; they are not always (or even often, IMO) pure matters of value.

ETA: and also, someone holding an opinion makes that opinion reasonable no more than someone holding a belief about some fact makes that belief reasonable.

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#32 Old 02-08-2011, 07:33 PM
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Post fail. I'll try this again.

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Evaluating a moderate/reserved voice on the left (compared to other people on the left) similarly to an extreme voice on the right (compared to other people on the right) is only possible, if your feelings about the voice on the left are emphasized due to your partisan political views.

When I have listened to her, the general impression is that she far left. You may not view it that way because you agree with her.

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I'm not sure I agree with that journalist/entertainer distinction.

That's your perogative.




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Isn't that the guy whose main role seems to have been to be one of the few lefties on Fox News?

I would say so.


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Can you name an example of some reasonable person on the left that hasn't been a Fox News mainstay?

If by "mainstay", you mean guests that are there to represent the left or right:

Since I do not keep up with Fox News mainstays, I could not give you examples from the right or left.

If you mean the opinion shows, then I would say no. Fox is a right leaning news outlet.
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#33 Old 02-08-2011, 07:58 PM
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When I have listened to her, the general impression is that she far left.

What are you comparing her to, i.e. who would you say is on the left but not on the far side of it like Rachel Maddow is?

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You may not view it that way because you agree with her.

If I look at (my impression of) her from my own political perspective as a non-American, she seems like a centrist, maybe more socially liberal than some conservatives in my country. If I look at her views in order to try to put them in the context of the American idea of left vs. right, it seems to me that she's on the left, a liberal. Perhaps many of her views are the same as Dennis Kucinich's, but from what I've seen of her show, she isn't using it to be a mouthpiece for social democracy.

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If by "mainstay", you mean guests that are there to represent the left or right:

Since I do not keep up with Fox News mainstays, I could not give you examples from the right or left.

If you mean the opinion shows, then I would say no. Fox is a right leaning news outlet.

What I meant was simply to ask you to name some public figure who
a) is on the left (according to your standards at least)
b) you respect and find reasonable
c) you know primarily from some other context than Fox News

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#34 Old 02-08-2011, 08:35 PM
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They are both entertainers; not jounalists. They both hold very stong politcal views. They both get paid for rallying their "side". That is what I meant. That is the two sides of the same coin.

That would be like saying that a politician like the George Wallace of the 1950's and 60's and JFK were two sides of the same coin. Tactics (rhetoric playing on racist fears in Wallace's case, rhetoric playing on conspiracy focused paranoias in Beck's case) do matter. If you equate Wallace with all of the other politicians of the time, you do them a great disservice, and it's simply not accurate. The same with your equating Beck and Maddow - you bring everyone on the right down also.
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#35 Old 02-08-2011, 09:04 PM
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I don't know who George Will is.

It's hard for me to imagine someone who is up on U.S. politics who doesn't know who George Will is.

What are your sources of information about political issues?

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#36 Old 02-08-2011, 09:06 PM
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the article i linked to says his ratings are dropping. do they cling to him anyway?

cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#37 Old 02-08-2011, 11:03 PM
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the article i linked to says his ratings are dropping. do they cling to him anyway?

Well, it is Fox News. Either they'll cling to him, or they'll try to get someone to outcrazy him. My money's on outcrazy.

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#38 Old 02-09-2011, 02:37 AM
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Either they'll cling to him, or they'll try to get someone to outcrazy him. My money's on outcrazy.

Maybe they'll hire a commentator for that purpose who isn't afraid of going where no one else is willing to go; someone who's no stranger to extreme antics and has a deep well of craziness from which to give to the world.
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#39 Old 02-09-2011, 03:16 AM
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Looks like even though Beck's rating's have dropped from 2.8 million viewers in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2011, his numbers are still way, way, way higher than anyone on MSNBC or CNN, a little lower than O'Reilly but higher than Sean Hannity who's also on FOX.

So no, looks like his job is secure if the criteria is ratings alone.
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#40 Old 02-09-2011, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

What are you comparing her to, i.e. who would you say is on the left but not on the far side of it like Rachel Maddow is?

TV personalities or politcians?

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If I look at (my impression of) her from my own political perspective as a non-American, she seems like a centrist, maybe more socially liberal than some conservatives in my country. If I look at her views in order to try to put them in the context of the American idea of left vs. right, it seems to me that she's on the left, a liberal.

Since I am American, it makes sense that I would view her from the American model. Quite honestly, there have been times that I agree with her. But more often have been turned off by snarkiness.


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What I meant was simply to ask you to name some public figure who
a) is on the left (according to your standards at least)
b) you respect and find reasonable
c) you know primarily from some other context than Fox News

As I said earlier, I used to enjoy watching Alan Combs. I know you asked for someone other than Fox, but I don't watch any of them any more. Regardless of whether Combs is a moderate democrat or far left or a shill for Fox News or whatever, he had an agreeable personality and I would listen to him for that reason. I quit watching the show when he started to change.

I don't really know of any politicians or TV personalities that I respect much at all. At least I do not seek them out and consider myself a follower. There are a couple of politicians that I like more than others, but not considered left (or right, for that matter).
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#41 Old 02-09-2011, 06:44 AM
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That would be like saying that a politician like the George Wallace of the 1950's and 60's and JFK were two sides of the same coin. Tactics (rhetoric playing on racist fears in Wallace's case, rhetoric playing on conspiracy focused paranoias in Beck's case) do matter. If you equate Wallace with all of the other politicians of the time, you do them a great disservice, and it's simply not accurate. The same with your equating Beck and Maddow - you bring everyone on the right down also.

They are both on the divisive coin, in my opinion. They may use different tactics, but they serve the same purpose.

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It's hard for me to imagine someone who is up on U.S. politics who doesn't know who George Will is.

There a lots of people I do not know.

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What are your sources of information about political issues?

My brain usually. My political beliefs are closely connected to my moral compass. I do not seek out sources of information. On occassion, I will come across someone to whom I enjoy listening or reading.

When I first read your post, it seemed like you were implying that I must not know much because I don't know him. Did I read it wrong?
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#42 Old 02-09-2011, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by julz View Post

TV personalities or politcians?

Can be either. Just some public figure who you consider left but not "far left" like Rachel Maddow.

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Since I am American, it makes sense that I would view her from the American model.

But even within the American context, your characterization of her would seem to me more fitting for Noam Chomsky or even Michael Moore. But that's just me.

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They are both on the divisive coin, in my opinion. They may use different tactics, but they serve the same purpose.

Mlp asked you earlier about how Maddow has demonized conservatives, accused them of destroying America or whatever. I think that is relevant to your comment about divisiveness.

If one person says the boogeymen are out to get you in the middle of the night, and the other person criticizes people for bad policy choices, it doesn't seem to me like those people have the same purpose. Rather, it would seem like the one person's purpose is exploiting fear and paranoia for money and fame, and the other person's purpose is to criticize things from a particular political perspective.

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#43 Old 02-09-2011, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post

Looks like even though Beck's rating's have dropped from 2.8 million viewers in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2011, his numbers are still way, way, way higher than anyone on MSNBC or CNN, a little lower than O'Reilly but higher than Sean Hannity who's also on FOX.

So no, looks like his job is secure if the criteria is ratings alone.

Considering who it is that seems to pay him the most attention, I suspect even if Fox does drop him, MSNBC would pick him up in a heartbeat. I looks like a significant portion of his viewership fits their demographic.
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#44 Old 02-09-2011, 03:28 PM
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My brain usually. My political beliefs are closely connected to my moral compass. I do not seek out sources of information. On occassion, I will come across someone to whom I enjoy listening or reading.

When I first read your post, it seemed like you were implying that I must not know much because I don't know him. Did I read it wrong?

I value educated opinions. I think a lot of political issues are too complicated to form a good opinion based on a feeling or principle of what's right or wrong, without being educated about the issue. Like with healthcare, MANY people say things like "I shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's healthcare!" as a way to oppose current health insurance reform or single payer insurance, and they do this from a certain principle that they hold about the way the world should work. HOWEVER, they seem to also not be informed or believe (despite the evidence) that they're already paying an exorbitant amount for others' healthcare in the form of emergency room visits, and that their principle is far more violated by the current system or the system they say they support. If one looks at all the ramifications of some policy one might feel that the better interest is served differently than the initial reaction based on a principle. How many times have you read a news story and had a reaction, then looked more closely into the issue and the arguments for or against something and come to a different thought. Some things are pretty black and white, but many political issues, especially involving economics, are more complicated and require some knowledge rather than just a principle.

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#45 Old 02-09-2011, 03:43 PM
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I also think people who are considered "low information voters" are most swayed by last minute, often misleading ad campaigns - in fact, that's whom those ads are made for - and appeals to some principle that doesn't pan out in reality.

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#46 Old 02-10-2011, 05:53 AM
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I value educated opinions. I think a lot of political issues are too complicated to form a good opinion based on a feeling or principle of what's right or wrong, without being educated about the issue. Like with healthcare, MANY people say things like "I shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's healthcare!" as a way to oppose current health insurance reform or single payer insurance, and they do this from a certain principle that they hold about the way the world should work. HOWEVER, they seem to also not be informed or believe (despite the evidence) that they're already paying an exorbitant amount for others' healthcare in the form of emergency room visits, and that their principle is far more violated by the current system or the system they say they support. If one looks at all the ramifications of some policy one might feel that the better interest is served differently than the initial reaction based on a principle. How many times have you read a news story and had a reaction, then looked more closely into the issue and the arguments for or against something and come to a different thought. Some things are pretty black and white, but many political issues, especially involving economics, are more complicated and require some knowledge rather than just a principle.


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I also think people who are considered "low information voters" are most swayed by last minute, often misleading ad campaigns - in fact, that's whom those ads are made for - and appeals to some principle that doesn't pan out in reality.

I am considerably older than most VBers. Anymore, I rarely have knee jerk opinions or reactions. It has been my experience that most people on the forefront of giving political opinion serve to divide. I find them unpleasant to listen to or read. On occasion, I come across someone who seems reasonable. Then I pay attention. They are few and far between since most of the people we reward in media behave badly. It is so common place that we don't even notice it.

Quite honestly, I am perfectly able to reason through issues without seeking out the opinion of others.
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#47 Old 02-10-2011, 06:16 AM
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Can be either. Just some public figure who you consider left but not "far left" like Rachel Maddow.

As I said earlier, I used to like Alan Combs. He is still alright when not on Fox News (He has a radio show).

Why is this important to you?

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But even within the American context, your characterization of her would seem to me more fitting for Noam Chomsky or even Michael Moore. But that's just me.

Yeah, Micheal Moore is pretty annoying.

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Mlp asked you earlier about how Maddow has demonized conservatives, accused them of destroying America or whatever. I think that is relevant to your comment about divisiveness.

See post #14, paragraph 1.

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If one person says the boogeymen are out to get you in the middle of the night, and the other person criticizes people for bad policy choices, it doesn't seem to me like those people have the same purpose. Rather, it would seem like the one person's purpose is exploiting fear and paranoia for money and fame, and the other person's purpose is to criticize things from a particular political perspective.

This is the last time I am going to say this. If you ask about again, I will not respond. I did not say they behaved the same. I said it would be funny if they were on back to back because they are so different. Then, I said that they are the same side of the same coin. They are both opinion editorial TV personalities, they are on different sides of the issues, they use divisve language.

I watched part of Maddow's show last night because of our conversation here. When talked an reported on Egypt, she seemed perfectly reasonable. When she talked about republicans and anit-abortion legislation, a subject for which she has very strong opinions, snarkity-snark-snark came out. I find it divisive and don't like it. It turns me off in the same way that Beck does.

I have recorded a couple of her shows to watch at some point in the future. I'll let you know if after watching it, I feel that she is a moderate, temperate voice of reason that you all feel she is.
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#48 Old 02-10-2011, 07:57 AM
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Why is this important to you?

It would help to establish in more concrete terms what you mean by "left" and "far left".

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This is the last time I am going to say this. If you ask about again, I will not respond. I did not say they behaved the same. I said it would be funny if they were on back to back because they are so different. Then, I said that they are the same side of the same coin. They are both opinion editorial TV personalities, they are on different sides of the issues, they use divisve language.

You said "They may use different tactics, but they serve the same purpose." I commented that I see the purposes as clearly different. I do not see a problem here.

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#49 Old 02-10-2011, 08:08 AM
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I am considerably older than most VBers. Anymore, I rarely have knee jerk opinions or reactions.


I'm older than you (since that seems to be some sort of qualifier for the value of one's thought processes), and I think that age has little to do with the quality of one's mind or ability to reason or extent of one's knee jerk reactions. In fact, I think that people change very little with age in these regards. That, at least, has been my experience in observing myself and others in the five and a half decades I've spent on the planet. We tend to become somewhat more distilled versions of ourselves as we age, but that's about it.
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#50 Old 02-10-2011, 11:56 AM
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Is it just me or does he seem even more kooky than usual?
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#51 Old 02-11-2011, 11:19 AM
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You said "They may use different tactics, but they serve the same purpose." I commented that I see the purposes as clearly different. I do not see a problem here.

What about the outcome?

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I'm older than you (since that seems to be some sort of qualifier for the value of one's thought processes), and I think that age has little to do with the quality of one's mind or ability to reason or extent of one's knee jerk reactions.

For some people, yes. But for me, with age has come wisdom and temperance. I bet the same is for you. Are your choices better and your temperment different than when you were 20?

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#52 Old 02-11-2011, 11:21 AM
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What about the outcome?

The outcome: death threats on the one hand; people cranky about that goddamn liberal commentator on the other.

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#53 Old 02-11-2011, 11:32 AM
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For some people, yes. But for me, with age has come wisdom and temperance. I bet the same is for you. Are your choices better and your temperment different than when you were 20?

I was somewhat more conservative in my personal choices when I was 20 than I am now. Age has taught me that opportunities don't necessarily repeat themselves, and that death comes unexpectedly. Temperament wise, I've gotten less patient with cruelty and willful ignorance, having seen too much of it. Otherwise, I am pretty much who I was at twenty.

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The outcome: death threats on the one hand; people cranky about that goddamn liberal commentator on the other.



To follow up on my earlier comparison to politicians of the civil rights era: Wallace and those like him resulted in black students being spit upon and worse violence being perpetrated on others; those on the other side, while no less *divisive* by Julz's definition, resulted in official desegregation.
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#54 Old 02-11-2011, 11:46 AM
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"and you want to call me crazy? Go to hell."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_821802.html

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#55 Old 02-12-2011, 09:15 AM
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The outcome: death threats on the one hand; people cranky about that goddamn liberal commentator on the other.

If you want to see her as some sort of benefactor, I am not going to try to change your mind. I doubt I could anyway.

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I was somewhat more conservative in my personal choices when I was 20 than I am now. Age has taught me that opportunities don't necessarily repeat themselves, and that death comes unexpectedly. Temperament wise, I've gotten less patient with cruelty and willful ignorance, having seen too much of it. Otherwise, I am pretty much who I was at twenty.

My mistake. I have changed quite a bit since 20 years old.

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To follow up on my earlier comparison to politicians of the civil rights era: Wallace and those like him resulted in black students being spit upon and worse violence being perpetrated on others; those on the other side, while no less *divisive* by Julz's definition, resulted in official desegregation.

George Wallace is an excellent example of a divisive politician. On the other side of the racial issue, was Martin Luther King. I suppose you could find a speech that uses divisive language, but I have never heard it. His arguments all seemed to use uniting language. Just because two people are on different sides of the same issue does not make both divisive.

Regardless of how you slice and dice, Maddow and Beck are considered "talent"; entertainers. Beck a theatrical wingnut and Maddow a snarkmeister. She has no intention of appealing to those who do not agree with her.

On a side note, why did you chose Wallace? A democrat?
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#56 Old 02-12-2011, 09:23 AM
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If you want to see her as some sort of benefactor, I am not going to try to change your mind. I doubt I could anyway.

There's a difference between not seeing her as a "benefactor" on the one hand, and thinking that she can be compared to a death threat -inspiring, "go to hell" -uttering, conspirator nutcase. And not just in terms of tactics, but effects and purpose as well.

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Regardless of how you slice and dice, Maddow and Beck are considered "talent"; entertainers. Beck a theatrical wingnut and Maddow a snarkmeister. She has no intention of appealing to those who do not agree with her.

There's a clip from Maddow's program that was featured a couple of times on the Daily Show, where Maddow had some homophobe on and yet cordially thanked him for the interview. That seems like an absence of snarkiness that I doubt very many people on this board could aspire to.

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#57 Old 02-12-2011, 09:32 AM
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My mistake. I have changed quite a bit since 20 years old.

You are pretty unusual then; IME, from observing people I have known since I was a child, basic personality traits and how people react to different external factors remain very much the same. Even people who do a 180 in matters of politics/religion/whatever bring the same kinds of thought processes and emotional reactions to their *new* sets of principles.



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George Wallace is an excellent example of a divisive politician. On the other side of the racial issue, was Martin Luther King. I suppose you could find a speech that uses divisive language, but I have never heard it. His arguments all seemed to use uniting language. Just because two people are on different sides of the same issue does not make both divisive.

Regardless of how you slice and dice, Maddow and Beck are considered "talent"; entertainers. Beck a theatrical wingnut and Maddow a snarkmeister. She has no intention of appealing to those who do not agree with her.

On a side note, why did you chose Wallace? A democrat?

I was talking about politicians on both sides, not a politician on one side and someone like MLK on the other. If you want to use a well known name, take RFK or LBJ. Both of them would, by your definition, have been divisive - they furthered the cause of desegragation and civil rights in the face of great popular and political opposition. So, by your definition, they are as much part of the same coin with Wallace as Beck and Maddow.

As for choosing Wallace, why does that surprise you? The southern Democrats were among the most well known and vocal of the segregationists/anti civil rights politicians and people, a fact that Nixon (and Republicans subsequent to Nixon) took advantage of in building the *new* Republican power base. I'm sure you're aware of the *Southern Strategy.*
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#58 Old 02-12-2011, 10:35 AM
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You are pretty unusual then; IME, from observing people I have known since I was a child, basic personality traits and how people react to different external factors remain very much the same. Even people who do a 180 in matters of politics/religion/whatever bring the same kinds of thought processes and emotional reactions to their *new* sets of principles.

My core beliefs are still in line with my youth. My religious and political views are different. The way I handle myself is totally different. I used to let emotion rule to a much greater extent and react in a knee-jerk fashion.


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I was talking about politicians on both sides, not a politician on one side and someone like MLK on the other. If you want to use a well known name, take RFK or LBJ. Both of them would, by your definition, have been divisive - they furthered the cause of desegragation and civil rights in the face of great popular and political opposition. So, by your definition, they are as much part of the same coin with Wallace as Beck and Maddow.

Could be.

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As for choosing Wallace, why does that surprise you? The southern Democrats were among the most well known and vocal of the segregationists/anti civil rights politicians and people, a fact that Nixon (and Republicans subsequent to Nixon) took advantage of in building the *new* Republican power base. I'm sure you're aware of the *Southern Strategy.*

It is just that, on more than one occasion, I have read posts on this forum where it is a stronly held belief that republicans have the exclusive rich history of racism. Not by you that I can recall, but others.

I am aware of the Southern Strategy. It was rather successful.

And on another side note...I am not a republican as you suggested in another thread. (I'm not irritated or anything, I just thought I would set the record straight). I don't fit any political party, but hold some of the values of several.
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#59 Old 02-12-2011, 11:02 AM
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It is just that, on more than one occasion, I have read posts on this forum where it is a stronly held belief that republicans have the exclusive rich history of racism. Not by you that I can recall, but others.

A number of people aren't very knowledgeable about history, even recent history. I'm old enough to remember the schisms in the Democratic party between the many of the southerners and the rest of the party.

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Originally Posted by julz View Post

I am aware of the Southern Strategy. It was rather successful.

Sad, isn't it, how fear is, and continues to be, such an effective tool? Just like negative campaign ads - people say they despise them, yet they are the most consistently effective type of ad. We humans don't progress much.

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Originally Posted by julz View Post

And on another side note...I am not a republican as you suggested in another thread. (I'm not irritated or anything, I just thought I would set the record straight). I don't fit any political party, but hold some of the values of several.

My apolgies - you just reminded me of many of the thoughtful Republicans with whom I have had interesting discussions over the years.
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#60 Old 02-12-2011, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

There's a clip from Maddow's program that was featured a couple of times on the Daily Show, where Maddow had some homophobe on and yet cordially thanked him for the interview. That seems like an absence of snarkiness that I doubt very many people on this board could aspire to.

I admire her self control, and her maturity.

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Originally Posted by julz View Post

And on another side note...I am not a republican as you suggested in another thread. (I'm not irritated or anything, I just thought I would set the record straight). I don't fit any political party, but hold some of the values of several.

A follow up question to this, if you don't mind - do you ever vote for a Democratic candidate for national office? I don't consider myself a Democrat, but I effectively function as one when it comes to elections for federal office. I have never voted for a Republican for President or for the U.S. Congress. (Local elections are a different matter, since I often have known candidates personally and make my decisions accordingly.) I would most probably have voted for Colin Powell, had he thrown his hat into the ring against Clinton, and I might well have voted for McCain at one point. (Thank god that didn't happen; I have since realized the extent to which he is not the principled person he lead so many into believing him to be.)
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