Political wars on AO

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Well, considering Powerdoc's suggestion to ban presidential topics on AO, I first decided to address the question regarding the overall effect that these topics have had on the political climate here.



That's not to mention that heated debate, no matter how irrational it may be at times, often serves to make this board more interesting.



But back to my point...



What has been the effect of political debate here, with all of the Anti-Bush and Anti-Kerry threads, and with all of the Pro-Bush and Pro-Kerry threads being attacked by Anti-Bush and Anti-Kerryites?



Has anyone changed their opinion of either of the candidates partially based on some of the opinion they have read on this board? I definitely think that yes, they have.



So does this discussion serve a purpose other than entertaining us? Yes, it does. It enlightens us. I honestly believe that we, as individuals, who read this board regularly and follow the political discussions here, are better informed than we might have been had such discussions not been allowed.



I, for one, would be sad to see the loss of such a valuable forum for political debate.



Anyone who is disgusted by the constant bickering, well, you know it's there, and if you don't like it, don't click the link!
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    I object to your use of the word the so many times in a post.



    Edit: oh, um, you were serious...
  • Reply 2 of 68
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    I think that the majority of the interesting threads here have nothing to do with anti-Bush or Kerry. They start out talking about real issues. When they start to devolve into "Bush sucks" or "Kerry's a coward", that's when they suck.



    How about at the first mention of the presidential candidates, there's a warning by a mod, the second gets the thread closed with a temp ban for the violator. It'd be a lot more work for the mods, but... That's what they get the big bucks for, right.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    I figure that even if I'm not changing anyone's mind who's arguing against me in one of these threads, that maybe at least for people who are lurking, but not in the fray, that I'm supplying a take on what's being discussed that they might not otherwise have heard.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    argentoargento Posts: 483member
    The biggest problem is that people form judgements about the poster and won't even listen to their claim. There are only a handful of times I've ever agreed with a full post but alot of times I'll agree with some of the points involved. The trouble is alot of times people do a good job responding to question, and presenting their own but then at the end they toss in some attack on kerry bush or whoever is posting. Not to mention when you read a posters name you sometimes will either automactically discount it, or consider sacred text passed down by the divine himself.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    I have lost my sense of cultural relativism partially because of these boards, but mostly because it is an intractable intellectual tool that profoundly increases the suffering of people and weakens the ability of liberals to do good.



    That and I now have a passion for showing how the numbers don't say what conservatives want them to say.



    Edit: I am thrilled that there is such a lively debate still going on in these forums even after years...
  • Reply 6 of 68
    carol acarol a Posts: 1,043member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tonton



    The fact that AO is not primarily a political board, that the level of intelligence and articulation on this board is way above average, and that it's not a "me, too" board where everybody agrees, makes it, in my opinion one of the best forums for political debate anywhere.




    I agree with what you said about the intelligence and articulation level of AO. (And you said it so well! )



    I love reading what people write here. I've avoided the political threads; but after what you just said, I guess I'll try out a few. Politics in general makes me ill. (Ugh) But I always vote, and I always educate myself before doing so. I guess it's time. (Ugh)
  • Reply 7 of 68
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    I like the discussions here although at times I might grind my teeth or break a wrist typing a retort.



    But I've yet to see anything that would keep me from buying you folks a beer if we were in a bar.



    I have learned a thing or two along the way, been proven wrong (although rarely <ahem>) and have enjoyed showing how I see things.



    I might not always be treated fairly (lots of assuming goes on..."You said this, so you must therefore believe in this, that and the other thing as well, so I hate you...die") if nothing else it makes me craft better arguments to be able to better ward off the ignorant (in the non-pejorative sense) assumptions of others.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Exactly, tonton.



    We have a few problems here that seem to disproportionately affect the rest of AO: namely, some threads created just to get a rise out of other people- threads phrased in a way that deliberately provoke other people to respond negatively. Sometimes the same people post those kinds of responses in legitimate threads-- and it ruins it for us all. My suggestion is that if you're not going to post with a goal of understanding another person or another person's viewpoint, then you should seriously scrutinize what you want to say.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnJ

    My suggestion is that if you're not going to post with a goal of understanding another person or another person's viewpoint, then you should seriously scrutinize what you want to say.



    As if.



  • Reply 10 of 68
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnJ

    Exactly, tonton.



    We have a few problems here that seem to disproportionately affect the rest of AO: namely, some threads created just to get a rise out of other people- threads phrased in a way that deliberately provoke other people to respond negatively. Sometimes the same people post those kinds of responses in legitimate threads-- and it ruins it for us all. My suggestion is that if you're not going to post with a goal of understanding another person or another person's viewpoint, then you should seriously scrutinize what you want to say.




    Wow very well said Shawn and I agree 100%



    I would add that we all should talk about ideas and stop with the "which team" are you for and "which team" do you hate.



    Ideas discussed and debated sure beats hating the "other" party.



    Sure it is ok to "hate" a party or an individual within a political structure but for sake of discussion..



    ........ AGAIN (((For sake of discussion))),,, let's talk about and debate ideas..



    Fellowship
  • Reply 11 of 68
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    Quote:

    threads phrased in a way that deliberately provoke other people to respond negatively.



    then who are the fucking 'tards who respond to it. bah.



    it's all crap. CRAP!



    edit: it's like clicking on that "I love you" attachment. you KNOW you shouldn't, but you do anyway.



    just let the threads pass you by. of course, then you have the problem of a bunch of like minded yippers chiming in every few days so the threads won't die, but that's another dumbass problem.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    I was thinking about the original post earlier and I realized that maybe not many people *change* their minds about things, but learn reasons why they believe what they believe. I view AO as a passing of information more than a changing of minds. We're all intelligent people here and we have relatively well formed opinions. I enjoy reading about what others have to say - not other AO posters but writers and critics. I take very seriously what people like SPJ and trumpt say. Though I agree with SPJ more than I agree with trmpt, I still like to read other views.



    That said, I do think that there is a serious problem of judging posts by the poster. This is something I hope we can resolve because it does nothing to enhance open-mindedness. Perhaps having a couple new usernames for posts. Kinda like the "God" poster in FC a while back. That way there's no way for us to have preconceived notions of what the thread's going to say.



    my 2¢.



    -t



    ps - I must admit that my first thought when reading a post here is "who posted this and what do I know about him" (sorry Carol and crazychester, that's just the way it goes....). It may be my tendency to try to form ideas about people but I suspect I'm not alone.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Well, when things degenerate to the "blow me" stage there isn't much of interest to be had from a thread, but short of that I find even the heated give and take pretty engaging.



    I don't expect to change anyone's mind, but I do value the experience of being obliged to marshal my arguments coherently.



    Here in the Bay Area I don't do a lot of one on one with cultural or political conservatives, to the point that it's almost irritating how many of the people I know take the received tenants of liberalism as an obvious given, akin to being "a good person", without thinking through the why and wherefores.



    Having to do that, and reading other peoples versions of doing that, has helped me clarify some of my thoughts around the general topic of what a well-governed country ought to look like.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carol A

    I agree with what you said about the intelligence and articulation level of AO. (And you said it so well! )



    I love reading what people write here. I've avoided the political threads; but after what you just said, I guess I'll try out a few. Politics in general makes me ill. (Ugh) But I always vote, and I always educate myself before doing so. I guess it's time. (Ugh)




    Read, lurk, laugh, cry...but make sure you do NOT post there. Trust me, once you start, it's a black hole.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by alcimedes

    then who are the fucking 'tards who respond to it. bah.



    it's all crap. CRAP!



    edit: it's like clicking on that "I love you" attachment. you KNOW you shouldn't, but you do anyway.



    just let the threads pass you by. of course, then you have the problem of a bunch of like minded yippers chiming in every few days so the threads won't die, but that's another dumbass problem.




    You'd think that this collection of above-average intellects would be able to avoid getting drawn in by simple trolls. And yet... we've all done it at least once
  • Reply 16 of 68
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    It'll be time to shut it down the day I hear Carol say "blow me!!!"



  • Reply 17 of 68
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    If you worry about it too much, then it becomes a problem. Otherwise it's just a good way to see who knows stuff, who doesn't, and who is having a ladies day.



    I think that Powerdoc's little locking fest was unnecessary. Big deal. All of the folks that post in these threads seem to make up fine in the ones that aren't about politics.
  • Reply 18 of 68
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Blow me.
  • Reply 19 of 68
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Fellowship

    Wow very well said Shawn and I agree 100%



    I would add that we all should talk about ideas and stop with the "which team" are you for and "which team" do you hate.



    Ideas discussed and debated sure beats hating the "other" party.



    Sure it is ok to "hate" a party or an individual within a political structure but for sake of discussion..



    ........ AGAIN (((For sake of discussion))),,, let's talk about and debate ideas..



    Fellowship




    Well said Fellowship,



    If I had a nickle for everytime someone on here gave up thinking, and discussing an idea and just started bashing the "team." I wouldn't have to work.



    There is a large group that when certain threads are started just spend 20 posts or so flaming the poster, the link for the source of the information, and just doing a sort of mindless repeating of how the "team" they perceive them to be on is evil.



    As you said, if you hate them fine, but for the sake of discussion address the topic.



    As for why I post here, it is obvious I have a few topics about which I am pretty passionate. I consider that even if people don't agree with me today, I might be planting seeds for tomorrow.



    A lot of people on here seem to either be students or young enough in their life that they haven't left the service sector grind yet. In some ways, the nature of their world makes it easy for them to disagree with me. But someday that world will change for them. They will get older, more accomplished, and be better off. When their world does change, and they find some of their old beliefs/views don't quite fit anymore, some of the ideas discussed here might be considered by them. That's good enough for me as it were.



    Nick
  • Reply 20 of 68
    billybobskybillybobsky Posts: 1,914member
    Nick, you are assuming that people here will lose their sense of their connection to other humans. You mock the service sector of which as an educator you are part of. This revelation isn't a shock really, but do you even care if your students learn anything? I am not trying to attack you, I just want to know why you consider the service sector a grind, and if it is a grind, why are you in it? Some of us, in particular me, actually see a great deal of good in a service sector job be it a physician or a teacher.
Sign In or Register to comment.