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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

AllAfrica.com opinion piece on the difference between Bush and Kerry: none.

In my advanced state of media-related cynicism, I'm enjoying the bipartisan postmortem and spin control on the debate, especially this fellow here, who maintains somewhat frantically that Bush was sandbagging Kerry.

It should probably terrify me that, immersed in the news as I am (my day job essentially involves a Man Who Fell To Earth</a>like barrage of media), that the most 'liberal' media I can locate is Capitol Hill Blue, who are notable chiefly for hating everybody equally. Which seems fair to me.

I really want to know where this alleged left-wing media can be found, because I'd personally find it comforting...

Some years ago, around the time of the Bush/Gore election, I had the opportunity to have a long and remarkably civil conversation with a pretty staunch neoconservative at the local dog park. And what struck me about what I learned that day was how idealistic he was, how concerned about all the same things I was concerned about--personal freedom, personal safety, his family's well-being, what his dog was getting into over in the corner. (He had a five-pound Chihuahua that he'd rescued from the side of the road. The dog had had multiple injuries including broken bones when found; apparently somebody stomped on him. That little dog worshipped my fascist friend. I'm sure said fascist friend was equally bemused by the adoration my rescue Great Dane showed for a commie pinko like myself....)

In particular, I remember one point of debate being women's rights and equal pay for equal work--and my neocon friend was strongly opposed to women working outside the home. Very Goddess of the House, with a strong feeling that women should be protected and treasured (and he was, I will say, extremely respectful toward me). He seemed a little disconcerted by my point that not all women want to be protected, and that not all men can be trusted to be quite so noble.

In any case, I walked away feeling like quite the cynic, compared with this gentleman's idealism. And I also walked away rather terrified, because I realized that my basic terror of the neocons--that these are people who want to take my rights as a human being away!--is exactly the same feeling he has about me.

But what he considers his basic rights (to drive a Winnebago, for example, and to raise his children in a world where they're no exposed to immoral perverted commie pinkos like me) are directly opposed to what I consider my basic rights (to say whatever the hell I want, and love whomever the hell I want, without governmental interference).

So what do you do?

Well, respect the other guy, I guess, and fight like a dog to make sure he doesn't get his way. Because compromise isn't possible. This is the basic liberal mistake; we assume that the other guy wants what we want, which is to be left alone to do our own thing and not have anybody infringing on his rights.

And he does.

But the rights he doesn't want infringed on are diametrically opposed to the rights we don't want infringed on. And he understands that. We can't have the rights that are important to us if he gets the rights that are important to him. Period. It's a macrocosm of the abortion debate, and it's a situation where my lace-curtain Yankee "suit yourself" attitude just doesn't work.

So, you know, fiftyish white dude with the Chihuahua; I respect you, and I respect your opinions, and I kind of liked talking to you, and I gotta say, you take really good care of your dog and I'm grateful for his sake that you saved him...

...but I'll fight you in the streets and the gutters and the back rooms and the media and the voting booths, because I don't trust your paternalistic condescending male self with my independent feminist ass.

So you see, this means war.

They know that. It's about time we figured it out, too.

Comments

Well, that's depressing. And I'm very much afraid that you're right.
Agreed. I'm not so much depressed as deeply worried about the implications.
Given the evidence I suggest you decide who's views are the right ones with a quick dog fight...

JmC
Its not the size of the dog in the fight
Amen.

I'm a moderate post-feminist bitch, which means that anyone who tells me "you can't, you're a girl" will first be laughed at, and then kicked hard with whatever shoes I happen to be wearing, be they dainty high heeled pumps or steel-toed lumberjack boots. And the first person to tell me that I have any kind of destiny to procreate and nourish is going to pass directly to the kicking.

Personally, I think men ought to be protected and cosseted, the poor dears. They have such fragile egos, best not to let them see anything that might disturb them. /only partial sarcasm

Personally, I think men ought to be protected and cosseted, the poor dears. They have such fragile egos, best not to let them see anything that might disturb them. /only partial sarcasm

Funny. When women were fighting for the vote in Canada, one (Nellie McClung) staged a play in which it was the men coming, hat in hand, to beg women for the right to vote. I've only heard snippets, but it's quite hilarious.

As a Canadian (moderate "live and let live" souls that most of us are) I must admit to cringing when I hear "it's a war" and "we must win", because the only thing I see down that path is "lose-lose", where everyone's humanity is diminished. But I don't know what the solution is.
One of my managers at the retail job is fairly conservative. I respect him a lot as a manager. He's fair to the employees, he sticks up for us, and if you show and and say you're having a bad night, he'll be asking every half hour if you're doing okay and if you want to go home. I'd trust him at my side in a zombie attack any day (my basic measure of decency).

That said, we disagree on a lot of social issues. And there's no point in discussing them, because we won't persuade each other. We're coming from such different backgrounds. I'm female, divorced, atheist, liberal, generally progressive, pro-choice, and all that pinko-commie stuff. He's Christian, conservative, pro-life, republican, all that right-wing stuff.

One of us will be very unhappy come November.

As much as I like him, I sure hope it's him.

I'll buy States Rights in theory...

...but in practice, the issue with saying "that way there's a place for everyone" is that it places the onus of finding the "right place" on an individual who may or may not have means to seek it out. Not to mention the community/family ties one might have to a place.

Alas, a strong federal government doesn't help, either--it's working with too broad a brush.

Of the two, the stronger states are certainly the more appetizing... but it seems like that's inviting civil war.

I wonder if there's a third model? Perhaps multi-state regional governments (divided to balance population numbers and present a variety of acceptable living conditions) founded on the most divisive issues? Just spitballing; probably a thousand things wrong with the idea...
Australian (but UK-based) journalist John Pilger had a cover story in the New Statesman a while ago that basically claimed that Bush and Kerry were both American imperialists -- that it didn't really matter which one was elected.

And yes, it's true. *sigh* But I'll go for Kerry over Bush.

Btw, my husband, who is British (and why I live in the UK) thinks the rest of the world should be able to vote in the US elections since, for better or worse, they affect everyone else so much.
Well, respect the other guy, I guess, and fight like a dog to make sure he doesn't get his way.

*standing ovation*

This is the basic liberal mistake;

*sigh* Maybe it's my misguided idealism that we should be afraid of. Because I've been fearing since Scalia called it a culture war that you're right, and this is a war, and they're winning it because they're the only ones who know they're fighting it.

But I also think it shouldn't be like that, dammit, and if only we could explain properly then they'd understand... which is nonsense, of course, and condescending nonsense at that. Just because they don't agree doesn't mean they don't understand.

But I want it to be true, so badly. Because I don't want war. And I don't want to hurt them. But neither do I like being saddled with a defensive war, because our different philosophies mean that we're not going to attack the real parallel rights, the ones to think and say and do these things themselves.

And I really don't understand how someone could grow up under this Constitution and come away with the belief that the American Way is that their right not to be offended by what I do trumps my right to do it.

It's not so much what they want to do to us that bugs me, so long as they don't succeed. It's that they really believe that is what democracy and freedom means, and *we're* the ones attacking it. I get bone deep scared when words start to mean their opposites.

I don't agree that compromise isn't possible, though. I believe compromise is inevitable, because most of the country isn't us OR them, not on every issue at least. They've got some of each, and some don't know, and some don't care, and some where their gut pulls them in one way or another depending on how you phrase the question.

Which isn't to say we don't have to fight in the voting booths and on the editorial pages. I'm all for it. It's just to say that what I think we're fighting for is not a win without compromise, it's a compromise that's moving (in jumps and lapses, fits and starts) in the right direction.
I don't agree that compromise isn't possible, though.

It seems to me that when democracy works ideally, what happens is like a tug of war, to hypersimplify. I yank as hard as I can on my end of the rope, and Chihuahua-guy yanks like a motherfucker on his end, and the knot in the middle wiggles back and forth and never gets too close to either line.

I'm just feeling like the knot is pretty close to his side of the trench these days.
I really want to know where this alleged left-wing media can be found, because I'd personally find it comforting...

Well, according to my father, you can start at Fox News and just keep changing the dial from there. ::headdesk::

Of course, his only real interest is whether he gets to keep his guns and go to church. Those other pesky freedoms, like speech, aren't so important. ::headdeskheaddeskheaddesk::
Of course, his only real interest is whether he gets to keep his guns and go to church. Those other pesky freedoms, like speech, aren't so important.

Bingo.

On the other hand, here's the thing: this guy's probably as correct that it's immoral to perform an abortion as I am that it's immoral to force a woman to bear a child she does not want.

Or to put it another way, I'm correct when I say driving a Hummer is immoral, and my vegan friend over in the corner is ideologically correct when he tells me that eating animals is immoral. Hell, I *know* eating animals is immoral.

And I still sit here with a ham sandwich on my plate. It's a Hummer on a smaller scale.

I wish I could convince myself that I got points for being aware of my own hypocrisy.
Thank you! I get so frustrated with people (specific people) who assume everyone with different opinions is an idiot.

On another note, what is your job, anyway, if you don't mind my asking?
I'm a media summarist. *g*

I'm the person whose job it is to sift through the massive, overwhelming wall of news coverage and produce a thumbnail executive report on it for people who think they're too busy to watch it.
Wonderful job cutting to the core of matter and why the "liberals" have been loosing lately.

May I link to it?
*g* It's on the web, ain't it?

Yes, please link away.

About the liberal media

Caveat - I'm a liberal, tree-hugging, feminist, etc etc. But I have seen the liberal media, and it comforted me greatly. THe day after the debate, NPR had its reporters do stories from both camps. The guy who has been traveling with Bush on the campaign trail said things like, "With prepared notes, Bush began his reply to Kerry's attacks last night," and "instead of to a hushed audiotorium, he said them in front of hand-picked, cheering fans..." There was a touch of snark in there, and I had to admit I enjoyed it.

Re: About the liberal media

I'm an inveterate NPR listener myself, and I think it's a case in point--compare the 'liberal' slant of NPR (or CBS *cough*) to the slant of Fox news and WB news, say...

...the 'liberal' guys are a hell of a lot nicer.
Well said, all of it.

If one good thing has come out of the last four ridiculous years of G.W. Bush, it's that more and more people who lean left are finally starting to realize that they have to stand up for themselves and fight, instead of always trying to be compromisers about everything and getting their heads handed to them.
So you see, this means war.

They know that. It's about time we figured it out, too.


Sing it!

I've been saying it for years, and being attacked by both sides as a shrill hyper-PC embarrassment.

Have you been reading Orcinus' take on neofascism recently?
Have you been reading Orcinus' take on neofascism recently?

Um. No? *g*

Finding Liberal Media

Start with http://dem.conventionbloggers.com, which is a digest of blogs accredited to the Democratic National Convention. Some of those blogs refer to The Other Side as "wrong-wingers," and then get really impolite.

On who's winning

In the 1950s (when I was growing up), the advice columns in magazines for teenage girls said firmly that girls should not give up their virginities before marriage. Today, they're likely to say that it's a matter of personal choice. There's been a change which no amount of classroom time devoted to The Old Values is going to counteract. As for laws -- we all know what good writing Prohibition in to the Constitution did. (Helped the economy in some areas of Canada, and in the vestigial French possession of St. Pierre and Miquelon; greatly increased the percentage of American Jews who bought kosher wine for use on the Sabbath....)

Conversely, we know how well Constitutional guarantees against racial discrimination worked, till the political climate in the US changed enough so that they were actually enforced.

And in a time when there's an openly-gay conservative Republican Congressman from Arizona (Jim Kolbe) who's apparently accepted by his party, I don't think any law is going to hold back acceptance of gays.