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Is the left doomed?

Timothy Chen Allen
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I'm a looney-left liberal, I admit it. I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I gave money for clean water. I even manned the phones at PiRG for a while. (I was also a Marine Corps communications officer for five years, but I was drunk at the time). Here's my question: is the left doomed?
1) Are we *too* nice?
One of the problems of being on the looney left is that we're all a bunch of self-questioning hand-wringers-- we try to see things from all sides, we give credence to all arguments at least long enough to consider them before discarding them (admit it: at some point in your life you've said, "Well, Rush Limbaugh *does* have a point there..."), and we don't want to offend anyone, anywhere, ever.
Folks on the right wing tend to be very direct. Stereotypically they dismiss other's arguments out of hand because the person is unqualified or known to have an axe to grind. They don't question themselves about things, they *know* that they are right. And they don't seem to have qualms about offending anyone.
2) Are we at odds with our own?
Another problem with the left is that if you get two leftists together, it is probable that they will get in a shouting contest over something. Two right wingers will get together and it's a love-fest. They'll be backslapping and handshaking and high-fiving and shouting out, "You're damn right! Rush is *right*!"
Us leftists tend to be all over the map as far as issues go. A big issue for me, for instance, is (please don't hurt me) gun control. On the other hand, though it pains me to think about whales getting killed, I don't lose sleep over it either. This would make me a horrible enemy for some leftists.
3) Are we, well, flaky?
Probably one of the things that makes people not take the left very seriously is that some of our loudest proponents are bead-wearing incense burners. We get in front of the cameras and weep publically (great integrity, bad press). We say things that don't make good sound bites ("well, um, considering all sides of the issue", followed by a list of all sides of the issue) and when they do, they are easily misconstrued or downright wrong (e.g. Gore's "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" *wince*).
So is the left doomed? Does the right *need* the left for things to run correctly (admittedly another issue)? Thanks in advance. -tim


Timothy Chen Allen
Learn Spanish in Washington, DC
HS Thomas
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Hi Tim. I really laughed long and hard on the American Beagle quip.
Well, there are so many issues to consider, that the tendency is to be left on some and right on others. I suppose the sum total makes you out as either left or right and whom you vote for.
I take it left is group-driven and right is more individual-driven , right? Blair's socialism veers more to the right(he is more blue than us blues,you hear in the press often).
Americans take many more issues on board, we wouldn't know how to measure them against British values of left and right.I personally found the Ayn Rand philosophies rather frightening and wouldn't know where to place it.(first discovered on this thread).
Tension -Precursor to change
Peter Drucker - Managing for the future:
Paradoxically, the United States has become the most "socialist' country around, while still being the most 'capitalist' one."

posted by Tim Allen:
Probably one of the things that makes people not take the left very seriously is that some of our loudest proponents are bead-wearing incense burners. We get in front of the cameras and weep publically (great integrity, bad press).

Probably a hang-over from the 60s. John Lennon was quite good at it.
The Brit-pop bands and Britney Spears could take their cue I suppose...
:roll: but then they'd be whinging for the right(you couldn't find more self-obsessed individuals).
regards
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Anonymous
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I am also a leftist one thing I found amazing abt the leftist they always try to bring revolution from the coffee house where they generally meet.
Al Newman
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Hiyah, Tim. I'm a righty (though not a fan of any talk radio host, much less Rusty).
Originally posted by Tim Allen:
I'm a looney-left liberal, I admit it. I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I gave money for clean water. I even manned the phones at PiRG for a while. (I was also a Marine Corps communications officer for five years, but I was drunk at the time). Here's my question: is the left doomed?

No. The right was pretty much in the shape you folks are now circa 1960 or so. It took a long, hard process to define what the right was for and what the message should be. Some of it doesn't bear examining too closely. But that is called politics.
Originally posted by Tim Allen:
1) Are we *too* nice?
One of the problems of being on the looney left is that we're all a bunch of self-questioning hand-wringers-- we try to see things from all sides, we give credence to all arguments at least long enough to consider them before discarding them (admit it: at some point in your life you've said, "Well, Rush Limbaugh *does* have a point there..."), and we don't want to offend anyone, anywhere, ever.

No, you are not *too* nice. I'm not sure whether I'm in any position to judge whether you are too nasty. That is a tactical and strategic decision for the Democrats to make. But the campaign Gore ran in 2000 was not a nice one (neither was Bush's, though it was a little nicer) and then things got really foul after election day.
I would suggest that the left doesn't listen very well. You have to start with the people's real problems, then use your principals to implement real solutions. Right now it seems to me that you listen to the problems, then try to bang the problem into a form which you can 'solve' using one of your favored policies. Not that the right is too much better, but at least tax cuts DO result in more economic growth, which helps everything to some degree.
Right now I see affordable housing as a huge problem, and am willing to vote for either party in order to get it. But the Democrats go on and on about 'sprawl', while all their other ideas seem extremely impractical. Why not public housing for workers as in FDR's day? Practical cleanup and reuse of brownland sights, supported properly by public transport? This stuff ain't brain surgery, guy!
Originally posted by Tim Allen:
Folks on the right wing tend to be very direct. Stereotypically they dismiss other's arguments out of hand because the person is unqualified or known to have an axe to grind. They don't question themselves about things, they *know* that they are right. And they don't seem to have qualms about offending anyone.

People on the left tend to dismiss the values and concerns of people on the right (and centre) with contempt. Except (perhaps) at election time. The left believes it is smarter than anyone else and has a natural right to rule. And they aren't as subtle about it as they would like to believe.
You ain't going to rule anytime soon, but if people believed you would act more responsibly you would have more votes and more power. Calling George Bush an illegitimate moron is not regarded as responsibility.
Originally posted by Tim Allen:
2) Are we at odds with our own?
Another problem with the left is that if you get two leftists together, it is probable that they will get in a shouting contest over something. Two right wingers will get together and it's a love-fest. They'll be backslapping and handshaking and high-fiving and shouting out, "You're damn right! Rush is *right*!"

This is amusing, and shows how much you know about right-wingers. Thsi is subculture behaviour at best. Most righties would never dream of doing anything like this. Yes, Rusty is relatively correct on some things. So is Howie Dean, believe it or not.
And righties are all over the map as well. How much agreement would you expect between a dipped in the blood evangelical from the south and a California libertarian? Neither of them have much trust in democrats but they're no bosom buddies either.
Originally posted by Tim Allen:
3) Are we, well, flaky?
Probably one of the things that makes people not take the left very seriously is that some of our loudest proponents are bead-wearing incense burners. We get in front of the cameras and weep publically (great integrity, bad press). We say things that don't make good sound bites ("well, um, considering all sides of the issue", followed by a list of all sides of the issue) and when they do, they are easily misconstrued or downright wrong (e.g. Gore's "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" *wince*).
So is the left doomed? Does the right *need* the left for things to run correctly (admittedly another issue)? Thanks in advance. -tim


The left is utterly essential for the functioning of democracy everywhere. Unfortunately the political left is not doing it's proper job right now.
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]

SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Paul Stevens
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Number 1 is wrong on multiple points. You may be the only one on the left who has ever said Rush might be right. The left disregards the rights arguements just as much as the right does the left.
Too nice. Look at the hatred for (Bush, Rush, Ashcroft ...) and tell me the left is too nice.
Jason Menard
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The left promotes class warfare and racial discord as tools to be used for political means. That doesn't seem too nice to me.
Rebecca Hopper
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Why is it that anytime someone points out how the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor (whatever happened to noblesse oblige?), we are accused of promoting "class warfare?" It is just a way of scaring the general public.


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Al Newman
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Originally posted by Rebecca Hopper:
Why is it that anytime someone points out how the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor (whatever happened to noblesse oblige?), we are accused of promoting "class warfare?" It is just a way of scaring the general public.

I don't know, Rebecca. Because it sticks, and it hurts? Perhaps because it was once true, whether or not it remains so? Politics isn't fair, as anyone who has been a Republican for 20 years knows.
Why is it that every time someone points out that the university admission system in the US is not friendly to the children of caucasian and asian blue-collar workers, we are accused of 'racism'? It's just a way of scaring racial minorities, keep them voting in the 'correct' manner.
I mentioned above that the left is not doing it's proper job right now. What I meant is that it's not representing workers. All workers, not those of any one hue or color.
The road to recovery (imo) is for the left to focus on broad-theme issues which help every worker. Affordable housing, not "affordable housing for (some group(s))". Fair university admissions for everyone rather than affirmative action (at best a patch job for the current system). Helping workers meet their problems rather than welfare (though welfare at some level is necessary). But no long-term welfare for the able (able being broadly-defined).
Things like that.
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Rebecca Hopper:
Why is it that anytime someone points out how the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor (whatever happened to noblesse oblige?), we are accused of promoting "class warfare?" It is just a way of scaring the general public.

Are you saying that the left's use of class warfare is a means of scaring the general public? I would agree, except that it is also used to gain votes.
Please excuse me if the statement itself isn't self-evident, but would you mind explaining exactly how "the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor"? I would also appreciate it if you would elaborate on exactly who are the "poor" and who are the "wealthy"?
John Smith
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Please excuse me if the statement itself isn't self-evident, but would you mind explaining exactly how "the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor"?
Don't you know? Have not you heard it before? Those fat and greedy corporate pigs think of nothing but to suck blood out of the poor workers who are trying to make a living on the minimum wage. This is not fair! Everyone is equal! Therefore, if you have two cows, one must be taken away from you and given to a proletarian without a cow. Now that is what we the left call the perfect society.
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One of Google ads in this forum:


Capitalism, Socialism.
And Democracy Only $16.00. (or order used).



I am gonna order a democracy for Iraq - it's really cheap. And used are probably even cheaper
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

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Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Please excuse me if the statement itself isn't self-evident, but would you mind explaining exactly how "the wealthy are taking advantage of the poor"?

http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/beattherightinthree.htm
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Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/beattherightinthree.htm
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Ernest Friedman-Hill

Notice how the above left-wing extremist evokes class warfare to serve his political ends.
My favorite quote of his (he manages to promote both classism and sexism in this one):
The ugly truth is that cheap-labor conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. lords have a harder time kicking them around. Once you understand this about the cheap-labor conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labor conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits the guy � or more often the woman � who works for an hourly wage.

This ignores the fact that at least as many in this country identify with conservative issues as they do liberal issues. Therefore the vast percentage of what he derisively calls "cheap-labor conservatives" are in fact working class people, and a fair percentage of the evil wealthy people weren't born into wealth but started from nothing to work their way up. The whole point of "less government" is one of personal responsibility and a belief that the system is in place such that almost anybody, given hard work, can make something of themselves.
He supports very little of what he says as well as definitively stating what it is that those who don't support his political views believe (e.g. "Cheap-labor believers in �freedom� think it�s the government�s business if you smoke a joint or sleep with somebody of your own gender") without qualification or support. He also has no problem trying to flaunt his assumed intellectual superiority. This guy is way out of touch with reality, in a very Michael Moore-ish kind of way. And oh yeah, he's not too "nice" either.
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Richard Hawkes
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The left sounds shrill and whiny, the right, condescending and self-righteous. Lefty arguments are treated the same way a woman might be treated if she complained about workmen whistling at her - :roll: "Oh 'ere we go, another one!". Righty arguments are met with reactions normally reserved for pantomime villains and serial killers - "Boo, hiss!!/Evil bastards!!"
The main problem I have with some lefties is they sound like conspiracy nuts. Personally I believe unchecked capitalism is ultimately only good for capitalism (not humanity), however I don't think there's a shadowy underworld of corporate minutemen controlling the fortunes of the planet in some secret bunker, at least not until the OSP was created (and since renamed)
Anyway the left ain't dead, its just resting too many people support leftist ideals for it to die. That said, the Democrats are about as "left" as my right arm.
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
The left promotes class warfare and racial discord as tools to be used for political means.
... or highlighting existing socio-economic inequalities based on class/gender/race and trying to address them through legislation. Many labour reforms (improved safety/better working environment/paid leave) might never have seen the light of day without so-called class-warfare.
Richard Hawkes
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Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:
Calling George Bush an illegitimate moron is not regarded as responsibility.
Well you know how people are ... if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck...
Timothy Chen Allen
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:

The main problem I have with some lefties is they sound like conspiracy nuts. Personally I believe unchecked capitalism is ultimately only good for capitalism (not humanity), however I don't think there's a shadowy underworld of corporate minutemen controlling the fortunes of the planet in some secret bunker, at least not until the OSP was created (and since renamed)

Well put. I like a good conspiracy theory as well as the next guy (there was a great one put forth in one of my favorite movies, "Zoolander"). But I don't want to base my life around it.
Here's my "conspiracy theory" on business: The purpose of a business is to maximize return on investment for its shareholders, by whatever means necessary. If it can be done legally, that's better because you'll get away with it longer, but if not, take what illegal actions are necessary and then pump money into political influence to change the laws in your favor. Don't get caught, that costs money. No secret societies, no Knights of the Templars, just good ole money and lots of it. Because if you don't do it, some other guy will, and the shareholders will pull out their money and give it to someone else who will.
This explains why sometimes my boss's actions don't seem ethical from my standpoint-- if he can get away with not paying me for work done on the weekend, for example, this brings down costs, and maximizes return to the investor. If the job market were better, this strategy might not work, because I would quit and he would have to hire someone else, which would cost money and not maximize return. But since the economy is in the toilet, he can get away with this for a while. Happy shareholders.

Anyway the left ain't dead, its just resting too many people support leftist ideals for it to die. That said, the Democrats are about as "left" as my right arm.
[ September 01, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]

Yeah, one thing I've noticed living in Spain for four years is that the US really doesn't have a left (or at least one that can get elected) by European standards. I was surprised to find that communists are not considered to be the "red threat" over here. It's definitely a more extreme idea than other parties here (we have the Partido Popular on the right, El Partido Socialista on the left-ish and El Partido Comunista on the left left), but people who are communists here don't make any bones about it. They're just "rojitos". There are also a greater number of viable parties here. Part of that might be because they have only had a democracy (this time around) for 25 years or so.
Anyway I don't get to vote (I'm a fer'ner). But I definitely will vote in the US elections.
I always like your posts, Richard.
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
The left sounds shrill and whiny, the right, condescending and self-righteous. Lefty arguments are treated the same way a woman might be treated if she complained about workmen whistling at her - :roll: "Oh 'ere we go, another one!". Righty arguments are met with reactions normally reserved for pantomime villains and serial killers - "Boo, hiss!!/Evil bastards!!"
The main problem I have with some lefties is they sound like conspiracy nuts. Personally I believe unchecked capitalism is ultimately only good for capitalism (not humanity), however I don't think there's a shadowy underworld of corporate minutemen controlling the fortunes of the planet in some secret bunker, at least not until the OSP was created (and since renamed)
Anyway the left ain't dead, its just resting too many people support leftist ideals for it to die. That said, the Democrats are about as "left" as my right arm.

Good points, Richard - except that not long ago you could have turned it right around and switched the parties. Personally I think the left tends to show a "condescending and self-righteous" undertone even during "shrill and whiny" phases. You don't agree with me/us because you lack the ability to think.
Hmmmm. I think the DNC ought to put in a mass order for a million copies of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. If Tim's funk is a general problem a million copies of Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking might help.
The likes of Rush Limbaugh are simply smug, at least now they are. As for conspiracy theories, let's not forget the earnest efforts of Jerry Falwell during the Clinton years. Not to mention the 'UN Black helicopter' crowd.
Al Newman
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Why have none of the lefties around here addressed the issue I raised - that the Democrats don't try to represent working people any longer? Cuts too close to home, or perhaps you don't wish to think about that one.
The Democratic Party cut bait with the ethnic workers in 1972 and that link (which was once the core strength of the left in the US) has never been completely resumed. Why? Why not?
[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: Alfred Neumann ]
Thomas Paul
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I think the original poster identified some serious problems within the left. The biggest problem is that they can't agree on what the biggest problem is! Affordable housing is a good issue to look at. One of the reason that home building costs are high is because of the high cost of lumber. Why is lumber expensive? Because the left has made it difficult and expensive to cut trees down. Almost all US government owned harvestable forests (42% of all harvestable forests available in the US) has been removed from production because of the left. Is it more important to provide cheap housing or is it more important to maintain our forests in a pristine state? You can't have both but the left wants both because it contains two completely different constituent groups with two completely different agendas.


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Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:
[qb]Calling George Bush an illegitimate moron is not regarded as responsibility.
Well you know how people are ... if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck... [/QB]

So much for the claim that the left is "nice". The fact is that most of the vicious campaigning over the last 20 years has come from the left. The left actually invented the modern era of the vicious campaign with LBJ's anti-Goldwater ad that implied that Goldwater would get us into a nuclear war.
Paul Stevens
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You missed other reasons Thomas. Land restrictions. With less land available for development in some areas it drives the cost up.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
You missed other reasons Thomas. Land restrictions. With less land available for development in some areas it drives the cost up.

Damn right on that one. With interest rates low, with there being plenty of jobs that are attracting people to this region, plus with there only being limited land available for further development, housing in my area is outrageously expensive. Hell, new townhomes in my immediate area are starting right around $300,000. For a townhome! And I'm not talking about a luxury townhome or anything fancy either. No, those are running around $500,000. A few years ago spending $300k would get you a nice little new house even in the desirable area I currently live in (halfway between Baltimore and DC, close to tons of employment and shopping, easy access to all major highways, etc...), but that's no longer the case. Man I hope the housing market takes a nosedive, but I'm not counting on it.
Paul Stevens
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I don't think you want to know what 300,000 will get you here in Kokomo.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
I don't think you want to know what 300,000 will get you here in Kokomo.

After you said that I went and looked some up. All I can say is, damn. Too bad I'm in Howard County, MD instead of Howard County, IN. I should have realized something was up when I saw prices for houses being advertised that are around the cost of a downpayment for a house here.
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
You missed other reasons Thomas. Land restrictions. With less land available for development in some areas it drives the cost up.

This is the big one IMO. Several causes, methinks. Restrictive zoning (you cannot build multi-unit buildings in a neighborhood zoned for single-family housing, you can't build on greenfield sites, and you can't build on brownfield sites until they have been certified clean or incurr prohibitive cleanup costs. In cities like Portland, Oregon and London, UK there is a "greenbelt" around the city in which new development is largely prohibited.
Who benefits? Those who own their own home, particularly if it has been for a long time. In some places the severely limited supply has forced prices to 300% or more of anything that makes sense. Politicians in London are not yet taking a systemic view of the problem but merely trying to solve it for public employees or other favored groups. Everyone else faces entry prices of about $300,000 for a two bedroom apartment or small townhouse. Single family? Fuggedaboutit! $1,000,000 and up!
Rents are high but not as bad as buying prices might lead you to believe, simply because interest rates are dead rock bottom right now. That is all that is supporting this market. Even then I think landlords are losing money on operations in speculation of making a big kill on price rise. But who is going to buy when the entry-level house in London goes to �300,000 ($500,000+)!
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
You missed other reasons Thomas. Land restrictions. With less land available for development in some areas it drives the cost up.

Good point. But to get back on topic, that is generally a left wing issue. The left claims to be pro-poor and then punishes the poor with environmental laws that make it virtually impossible to open a factory near a city! The reason is that the left is poorly defined and has no single group of issues that they have reasoned out as being their key issues. One group of the left wants to preserve the land and prevent development and another wants to build affordable housing.
Mapraputa Is
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But have you noticed how balanced Google ads in this thread are? It's
"Conservative book club" vs. "Liberal, Progressive news"
What is "liberal news" by the way? Do we have different news now, some for liberals and some for conservatives? :roll:
My apologies for hijacking this thread.
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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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But have you noticed how balanced Google ads in this thread are? It's
"Conservative book club" vs. "Liberal, Progressive news"

So does this tell us that conservatives read books and liberals read newspapers?
What is "liberal news" by the way? Do we have different news now, some for liberals and some for conservatives? :roll:
CNN vs FoxNews?
Mapraputa Is
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Hey Tom, can I wear your signature?
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Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The left actually invented the modern era of the vicious campaign with LBJ's anti-Goldwater ad that implied that Goldwater would get us into a nuclear war.

Hey! Let's be fair about this. Smear campaigns have been all the rage for over a hundred years, Tom. During the 1884 campaign, Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland admitted to having a child out of wedlock, prompting the Republican slogan: "Ma ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!"
And of course, mudslinging happened prior to that, but that one just stuck in my mind, especially since Cleveland won. In a wonderful case of "same thing, different day", Cleveland also won the popular vote in 1888, but lost the election. However, he came back to regain the White House in 1892, thus succeeding at something nobody has ever managed to do before or since: be elected to two non-successive terms as President.
Joe
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

Hey! Let's be fair about this. Smear campaigns have been all the rage for over a hundred years, Tom.
That is why I said "modern era". When the Republicans were running against FDR no one made an issue of his handicap. From the post World War I period until the 60's most campaigns were amazingly clean (at least at the presidential level).
[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
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Tom: So does this tell us that conservatives read books and liberals read newspapers?
I means that conservatives read books for conservatives, and liberals read all other books.
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Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
From the post World War I period until the 60's most campaigns were amazingly clean (at least at the presidential level).

Hee hee! Not to poke too much fun, Tom, but if you think about it, what you're saying is that out of 220-odd years of campaigns, some 20 years were clean.
Joe
Richard Hawkes
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What does "UN black helicopter" brigade refer to? I tried a quick search but I could only see it used as a euphemism for conspiracy nuts. Just curious as to the origin...
Al Newman
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
What does "UN black helicopter" brigade refer to? I tried a quick search but I could only see it used as a euphemism for conspiracy nuts. Just curious as to the origin...

They were (and are) conspiracy nuts. These people believed that the UN was doing something mysterious in the US with camoflaged helicopters. Really dumb.
Thomas Paul
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Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

Hee hee! Not to poke too much fun, Tom, but if you think about it, what you're saying is that out of 220-odd years of campaigns, some 20 years were clean.
Joe

Actually about 40 years.
Timothy Chen Allen
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Joined: Mar 16, 2003
Posts: 161
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
...however I don't think there's a shadowy underworld of corporate minutemen controlling the fortunes of the planet in some secret bunker, at least not until the OSP was created (and since renamed)

Richard, what's the OSP?
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Something O Secret Police , I expect ...
Obsidian Order Secret Police from Star Trek.
But that would be OOSP.
regards
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

Hey! Let's be fair about this. Smear campaigns have been all the rage for over a hundred years, Tom. During the 1884 campaign, Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland admitted to having a child out of wedlock, prompting the Republican slogan: "Ma ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!"
And of course, mudslinging happened prior to that, but that one just stuck in my mind, especially since Cleveland won. In a wonderful case of "same thing, different day", Cleveland also won the popular vote in 1888, but lost the election. However, he came back to regain the White House in 1892, thus succeeding at something nobody has ever managed to do before or since: be elected to two non-successive terms as President.
Joe

Grover Cleveland was an interesting man who has been largely neglected by historians. There exists considerable doubt whether Cleveland was actually the father of the illegitimate child. Apparently Cleveland was one of a number of gentlemen who kept company with the mother, but Cleveland was the only unmarried man among them. To avoid grave scandal he took credit.....
As for the slogan "Ma ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!", only the first stanza was republican. The latter part was added by the Democrats after Cleveland won.
BTW, Cleveland *lost* the 1888 election with an overall majority of soemthing like 54-46. A quirk of the electoral college. And without a public word of complaint, much less a lawsuit filed. One could wish that Al Gore had studied the precedents before the 2000 election. Because Cleveland was FAR worse done by than Gore was in 2000.....
 
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