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Can the Right compromise?

Politics-American Conservatives Liberals Compromise

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#1 Hambil

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 02:36 AM

I am an admitted liberal, and I believe that it is up to each individual to reach a conclusion about what is the right course of action in any given circumstance. I try to look at each issue and reach a logical conclusion. If new facts turn up, I will change my mind. This seemingly common sense approach to life, somehow gets me labeled as a flip-flopper.

Over the last couple decades, it seems like the Right has been drawing harder and harder lines in the sand. It feels like the extremists are in control of the Republican party. They make a decision, sometimes based on varying levels of honest evaluation of the facts, and sometimes based on their denomination's interpretation of a moral code dictated to them by the bible. And they never move from that position.

For example, I have yet to hear someone on the Right say "There are no weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq."

Now, the issue I mentioned just above, plus my calling out of religion, are among many things that could easily derail this thread. But, I am told this is a place for reasoned political debate, so I hope they don't. I hope they only get discussed in the context of the original questions, which is: Can the Right compromise?

Edited by Hambil, 01 August 2004 - 02:37 AM.


#2 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 02:42 AM

While I tend to be socially liberal, and politically conservative, I can only speak for myself and conservatives that I know.

I do, and those that I know do. I see some politicians that are labeled 'Right' doing so, but I think that both ends of the spectrum have hardened so that maybe either can not. And I really believe that something on both sides has to give, or they are both going to lose a huge chunk of the middle, if they haven't already  ( out of sheer disgust if nothing else )
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#3 Orpheus

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:01 AM

I've always described myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal as well. Living where I do, I've usually been considered an arch-conservative.

If you ask me, the labels "left" and "right", which never fit very well to begin with, have been really feeling the strecth in the past 10-15 years. As the aphorism goes, in the space of 20 years, a man can go from conservative to liberal -or vice versa- without ever once changing on of his own views. "Right" meant something very different in 1980 than it does now. Sure, there are a few core values -- but many of those really don't have anything to do with left and right as all. They're simply stances that have been taken and are held fast precisely because they aren't susceptible to the left-right slipsliding of the parties as they amneuver around a constantly changing center.

I think a large part of the problem is who *we* identify as "really representative" of the right and left. There are no standards, so we either see a self-affirming judgement or a crafted political image with key extremes emphasized. Why should my stance on foreign policy and abortion be related?

I pretty much expect to see new parties arise, as they have periodically in the past. However, I  think those new parties will have the names "Democrat" and "Republican" , just as they have in the last two major switcheroos. The Party Hierarchy has too much control, and would rather relinquish their values than their power.

I have always been curious how those switcheroos work, so it'll be interesting to watch. I expect it'll also be excruciating.

#4 Hambil

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:13 AM

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I have always been curious how those switcheroos work
I'd forgotten about that. Wasn't the last one around WWII, and had to do with the equal rights movement?

You also bring up a good point, about the center. I think part of the problem, and why I'm so sensitive it right now, is that this election is so polarized. I know I've never felt so strong about a presidential election before.

#5 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:24 AM

And a huge part of me has never felt less about a presidential election. It's just a weary heavy feeling of "I want it over"

Right now politics could take a long walk off a short pier and I'd do nothing but applaud.
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#6 Hambil

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:33 AM

Shalamar, on Aug 1 2004, 08:22 AM, said:

And a huge part of me has never felt less about a presidential election. It's just a weary heavy feeling of "I want it over"

Right now politics could take a long walk off a short pier and I'd do nothing but applaud.
But... but... aren't you a moderator of the politics forum?

#7 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 04:22 AM

As a die-hard political cynic I note that the words "liberal" and "conservative," "Republican" and "Democrat," and "left" and "right" are nearly always interchangeable when making a rhetorical argument.

#8 Ilphi

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 04:56 AM

Quote

Hambil said:
But... but... aren't you a moderator of the politics forum?

While I wouldn't presume to speak for Shalamar I think that she was drawing a distinction between politics and political thought, theory, history, concepts and ideas. The later allows a vibrant discussion on Platonic concepts like Justice, Truth and Morality; the former tends to involve mud-slinging, back-scratching, in-fighting and other such compounds.
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#9 Delvo

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 09:39 AM

Lord Ravensburg, on Aug 1 2004, 03:20 AM, said:

As a die-hard political cynic I note that the words "liberal" and "conservative," "Republican" and "Democrat," and "left" and "right" are nearly always interchangeable when making a rhetorical argument.
That's what I was thinking when I saw the title of this thread. To act like the right is the extremists who "draw lines in the sand" and never cross them, and the left is all about compromise and trying to keep everybody happy, is just another standard lefty attack on the eeeevil baaad right for not quite always doing whatever the left demands. The facts just don't support it; in fact, there's somewhat of a trend in the opposite direction, toward lefty stubbornness and pushiness and righty spinelessness.

And the original post contains a good example:

Hambil @ Aug 1 2004, on 01:34 AM, said:

For example, I have yet to hear someone on the Right say "There are no weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq."
The evidence says the opposite. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence and the facts. But the definition of compromise by the right here, that the right isn't meeting, would be for the right to go along with the left in ignoring facts and evidence that the left doesn't like... while the definition of the left having a hard line in the sand that they refuse to budge on is apparently somehow not met by their stolid refusal to budge on a claim that the evidence proves false. It takes some serious mental acrobatics to take a situation in which the right has no reason to change their claims because they were correct and the left religiously clings to theirs no matter how much evidence counterindicates them, and call it an example of how the left can compromise when it's called for and those jerks on the right can't. That's like a pot calling the fresh snow black.

Edited by Delvo, 01 August 2004 - 09:59 AM.


#10 G1223

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 09:49 AM

Ok Yes the right has compromised. Where did the abortion laws come from if not from a compromise. With both sides working to expand there sides views. Everyone has issues they compromise on. Not issues of survival but other issues they can find points to except different points of view.

Now I agree with Delvo that statements like the right is unwilling to compromise on anything is the usual attack from the left. That appears to be willing to compromise with the devil and think it's comming out ahead in the deal.
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#11 eryn

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:24 AM

Hambil, on Aug 1 2004, 02:31 AM, said:

Shalamar, on Aug 1 2004, 08:22 AM, said:

And a huge part of me has never felt less about a presidential election. It's just a weary heavy feeling of "I want it over"

Right now politics could take a long walk off a short pier and I'd do nothing but applaud.
But... but... aren't you a moderator of the politics forum?
This isn't just a politics forum, it's also history and current events. :)

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#12 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 10:38 AM

Thank you Ilphi, you said it perfectly for me!

and yes Mystic is very correct this is not solely a forum for politics, and not everything has politics at it's basis, not even mostly.

However with the US elections drawing ever closer it often seems hard for people to remember this, and that is very understandable.

and I will agree with Delvo and G - sometimes it feels that if  'the left' doesn't get exactly what they want then it is 'the right' that is evil and thoughtless, uncareing bullies....

Like I said in my first post I'm socially rather liberal, but I don't uniformly think that every idea and position the 'the left' has is a good or sound one.  It also often feels to me that 'the left' will unite in attacking 'the right' far more often than 'the right' unites in attacking 'the left' - that may not be statistically, factually true, but it feels that way to me.
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#13 Hambil

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 11:05 AM

Quote

To act like the right is the extremists who "draw lines in the sand" and never cross them, and the left is all about compromise and trying to keep everybody happy, is just another standard lefty attack on the eeeevil baaad right for not quite always doing whatever the left demands.
Yes, the left has it's share of uncompromising idiots. But, because the right is heavily influenced by religion, taking abosulte viewpoints and refusing compromise is part on the very principles their platform is built on. "God is all knowning, God cannot be wrong, so if you disagree with what I see as God will, then you are wrong."
Community is about compromise. What is right has to be defined with consideration for the community, not in a black box. Person A wants to paint something red. Person B wanted to paint something blue. They discuss it. Person B decides that although he still believes blue is the right color, Person A is important to him, and he cares more about that then the color choice, so he agrees to red.

Quote

Hambil @ Aug 1 2004, on 01:34 AM, said:

For example, I have yet to hear someone on the Right say "There are no weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq."
The evidence says the opposite. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence and the facts.
Amazing.

Edited by Hambil, 01 August 2004 - 11:07 AM.


#14 Chakotay

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:05 PM

Let's face it, when two political parties start to compete for  votes, they have to take fixed (and usually opposing) positions on things. This is so the  electorate can make a choice.

However, once in power, compromises between electoral promises and the ability to deliver rapidly appear.  Any one can compromise. Even the Right, when that's the only choice available :D
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#15 Cardie

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:19 PM

I think the reason that no one who has come directly out of Congress has been a successful candidate for president in over 40 years is precisely because the legislative process only works through the give-and-take of compromise.  For parties that now define themselves through extreme and entrenched positions, any candidate's legislative record is going to automatically look craven or flip-floppy.  

Similarly if the WMD question has to be phrased as a simple binary "WMDs/no WMDs" then each side can claim that the other is out of touch with reality.  When the left talks WMDs, it means stockpiles of them weaponized, ready to go and in the hands of the military at the time we invaded.  When the right talks WMDs, they mean traces that they were once there, have been locked up in sealed concrete bunkers or are otherwise there but out of the reach of swift deployment, or the possibility that they were moved out of Iraq before we invaded.  On the face of the evidence, both of these expanded meanings of WMD are true.

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#16 Anna

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:46 PM

Hambil, on Aug 1 2004, 10:03 AM, said:

Yes, the left has it's share of uncompromising idiots. But, because the right is heavily influenced by religion, taking abosulte viewpoints and refusing compromise is part on the very principles their platform is built on. "God is all knowning, God cannot be wrong, so if you disagree with what I see as God will, then you are wrong."
I believe this to be no more true than to say that the left is "heavily influenced" by the labor unions and environmentalists and therefore hate big business and refuse to compromise. Such statements on either side (usually TOWARD the other side) serve no purpose in understanding either point of view. And it suggests that anyone who identifies with either left or right shall now be painted with that big ol' brush. I'm not buying it. Americans are far too individualistic for this to be true. IMO.

From where I sit, in the middle leaning toward the right, neither party nor idealogy is serving the majority of Americans. I see both parties as involved in a power struggle, and they don't care how big the frag pattern is, or how many innocent bystanders they take out. And then they'll wonder why there's no one voting... Well, you've both scared the living daylights out of the average American!

These "the left is..."/"the right is..." arguments just leave me just as torqued off as the political parties.

But that's just me.

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Edited by Anna, 01 August 2004 - 12:48 PM.

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#17 DWF

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:52 PM

^^It's not just you, the overgeneralizations, are one reason, I've more or less stayed out of the political threads. :yin-yang:
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#18 Hambil

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:55 PM

Quote

I believe this to be no more true than to say that the left is "heavily influenced" by the labor unions and environmentalists and therefore hate big business and refuse to compromise.
I agree, and I don't like those influences. But those influences don't have at their core an All Knowing and All Powerful God.

Look - I'm not saying "Right Bad" and "Left Good". There are things the left beleives in that I oppose very strongly. However, I honestly believe the right as a general rule, and specifically the religious right, to be less flexible. And I believe there are rational and logical arguements for that case, as well as documented evidence - such as an attempt to draft a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

#19 Anna

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:05 PM

Hambil, on Aug 1 2004, 11:53 AM, said:

Quote

I believe this to be no more true than to say that the left is "heavily influenced" by the labor unions and environmentalists and therefore hate big business and refuse to compromise.
I agree, and I don't like those influences. But those influences don't have at their core an All Knowing and All Powerful God.
I could say that those influences do have at their core an all-knowing belief that there are things that are evil. Such as big business. And should be stopped at all costs. So what? Where does this get us? More importantly, to me, where does it stop?

What I'm trying to say is that anything you can say, cites or whatever, about the right, someone can find something equally judgemental in the left. It's a no-win situation. In fact, in my opinion it's an "all-lose" situation. Until both sides turn off the fire-breathing antics, the American public are not being served.

But, again, that's just me.

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#20 G1223

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:05 PM

Just like some of the gay rights activists want gay Marriage rather than civil unions.

Some abortion rights activist what the right to terminate up to the moment of birth.

Some folks want ALL drugs legalized.

Some folks want free health care without having to pay for it.

Not everyone on even the religous right want to push their veiw totally into this world of ours. They want to at least have a say in what happens to them and theirs just like some tree hugger wants all logging stopped everywhere others want a clear accounting of what is harvested and what is replnted and protected.
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