American Left and Right

Jeremiah

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I believe our news networks focus too much on the extremes of the Left and Right and ignore the common Americans that actually vote for the President. Everyone said Trump cannot win. Someone voted for Trump and he won. I will predict Trump will get votes in the next election also. Personally, I hope he wins and fires some more people.

What does the common American want? Comfortable middle ground. They want to be safe in their homes and neighborhoods. They want a decent job at a decent wage. They want reasonable gun laws. Trump promised these things and is doing his best to deliver. Just look at his speech at the NRA leadership conference. He requested the US withdraw from UN arms trade treaty. This gained Trump additional support of those clinging to God and Guns.


Until the media take a serious look at the common Americans, our political elitists will be in for some more surprises.

By the way, does anyone remember the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 which sparked the revolutionary war? Seven hundred British troops marched out of Boston to confiscate arms, ammunition, and army food rations. They failed and retreated because a bunch of common citizens shot back.
 

daddyconnor

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There is a reason political discussions are banned in so many private clubs. The conventional wisdom about polite conversation: no politics, no sex and no religion - is pretty spot on. Most people don't fall into these right or left conventions. One thing that is common, virtually everyone votes in their own personal self interests.
 

Drifter

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Until the media take a serious look at the common Americans, our political elitists will be in for some more surprises.
If we average in the common characteristics of Americans today, the "Common American" is caramel colored, and, because of the wide range of cultural backgrounds, holds on to conflicting spiritual, sexual, philosophical, and scientific beliefs with religious fervor. The Common American has both a left side and a right side, and is a member of a minority. (America used to have minorities. Now America is minorities).
What does the common American want? Comfortable middle ground. They want to be safe in their homes and neighborhoods. They want a decent job at a decent wage. They want reasonable gun laws.
Nearly every single American citizen will agree with this. Where they will disagree is in the definitions of "common", "comfortable", "middle", "safe", "decent", and "reasonable". Labels like "common American" and "political elitists" are no better than "left wing", "right wing", "liberal", or "conservative" in that they attempt to gloss over these differences. It is precisely these differences that need to be discussed in a civil, open, and non-stereotypical way. Labels interfere with that.
 

Drifter

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There is a reason political discussions are banned in so many private clubs. The conventional wisdom about polite conversation: no politics, no sex and no religion - is pretty spot on. Most people don't fall into these right or left conventions. One thing that is common, virtually everyone votes in their own personal self interests.
Yes, you should avoid these kinds of discussions at your country club or family picnic. But we need to be able to honestly discuss these things on a national level in order to deal with the problems we are facing.

As for "virtually everyone votes in their own personal self interests": many people actually do vote for what they believe will help the country. For example, some people will vote to have their taxes increased if it would serve a moral purpose like increased school funding or paying down the national debt so future generations aren't stuck with our bills. Granted, things that make the nation stronger will also benefit individuals, but I believe most people try to balance their personal desires with their sense of moral obligations when it comes to voting.
 

Jeremiah

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If we average in the common characteristics of Americans today, the "Common American" is caramel colored, ... (America used to have minorities. Now America is minorities).

Nearly every single American citizen will agree with this. Where they will disagree is in the definitions of "common", "comfortable", "middle", "safe", "decent", and "reasonable". Labels like "common American" and "political elitists" are no better than "left wing", "right wing", "liberal", or "conservative" in that they attempt to gloss over these differences. It is precisely these differences that need to be discussed in a civil, open, and non-stereotypical way. Labels interfere with that.
I feel like you missed my point. There is a significant group of Americans sharing common ground that is being ignored by both party leaders and the news media. These common Americans are often called “swing voters” because they could care less which party rules and vote for what they hope to be the best outcome.

Trump is upsetting both Republicans and Democrats by speaking to the common goals shared by common Americans. Trump is hammering the economy, the border security, and the military readiness. This is how Trump got himself elected and this is how Trump will likely get a second term.

We have discussed the Left and Right extensively on this forum. I have gotten bored of it all. Reading through topics here one starts to wonder how Trump got elected in the first place and how he has stayed in office this long. Very simple: Trump keeps playing Trump cards and keeps his supporters highly motivated. We did not elect another politician to maintain the status quo. No, we elected a bull and stuck him in a china shop just to watch him break things and fire people. Still waiting for Trump to clean house in the FBI and DoJ.

I may be glossing over the differences within America. I am good with that.
 

daddyconnor

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Yes, you should avoid these kinds of discussions at your country club or family picnic. But we need to be able to honestly discuss these things on a national level in order to deal with the problems we are facing.

As for "virtually everyone votes in their own personal self interests": many people actually do vote for what they believe will help the country. For example, some people will vote to have their taxes increased if it would serve a moral purpose like increased school funding or paying down the national debt so future generations aren't stuck with our bills. Granted, things that make the nation stronger will also benefit individuals, but I believe most people try to balance their personal desires with their sense of moral obligations when it comes to voting.
So... in all openness and without offense intended... discussing politics on this forum isn't going to change a thing. We don't need a forum to discuss the left and right politics. There is far too much armchair and Facebook activism. That behavior very rarely accomplishes anything substantial. Oooh look I reblogged or reposted something and added a French flag background for France! I'm helping! (Not).

You know what is needed far before a forum? An unbiased source of complete information. We don't have that here in the USA. Give us facts and context and let us decide how we feel about something.

Because right now, disinformation is occurring across ALL the political spectrum.

That's why I opt out and really don't care anymore. In all my years I have yet to meet anyone who changed their minds about their political views from debating them with others. So yeah it is very pointless.
 
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TeddyBearCowboy

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Since this is the mature forum, and we are all entitled to our own opinions as long as we aren't being overly negative or unaccepting of others, I'm going to go ahead and throw in my own opinion on this.

Right or Left? I think the meaning of each of these is becoming more obscure. Our current situation in this country is seeing extremism that I have never seen before in my lifetime.

It used to be that "the right" was considered conservatives and "the left" more liberals. Historically, the Republican party considered themselves on the right and conservatives, and Democrats more liberals on the left. But good grief!!! Our current Republican administration and presidency has moved well past conservative values and democracy and more towards a dictatorship than in any time that I know of in the history of the United States.

There has been disagreements over how the government should be run for the 243 years it has been in existence. Should it be more liberal, should it be more conservative? Should we have more government control or less? This has gone back and forth since the Declaration of Independence was even being considered.

But because of the foresight of the initial leaders of this country, they set up the government with multiple sharing of powers. With no one portion of government to have more control or power over the others and each portion of government to be accountable to the other. The executive branch (the president), the legislative branch (congress), and the judicial branch (judges). Each were given unique responsibilities to make sure that no one branch could just run things on their own. And if one branch tried to usurp to much authority, the other branches could keep them in check. So, regardless of the trend of society or who was elected into the positions, whether the Wigs, the Republicans, the Democrats, or whoever, there was a means to make certain that we didn't become a country that was led by a monarchy or kingdom rather than a republic and democracy was the rule.

But my goodness, lately I am growing more and more concerned that we are not about being right or left. Rather, the circumstances that have been happening in the past two years and escalating in the most current months, leads me to believe that one branch, the executive branch, is leaning so far past right or left. It seems that he is saying to hell with the constitution and balance of powers, I am the CEO of this country and I am going to do whatever I want. Be damned if I am going to be accountable to the other branches of government.

During the recent months I have heard over and over that the executive branch is not complying with the "Democrats" demands for information. Whether it be the Mueller report, subpoenas for tax returns, or subpoenas to hear testimony from other executive branch officials. This is on everything from granting security clearances for relatives of the president that he has "appointed" into positions (not elected mind you, or even gone through a equal employment opportunity hiring process --but simply given these positions based not on merit, but on relation) when normal operating procedures would not have cleared them because of conflicts of interest, to subpeonas for testimony regarding potential obstruction of justice. In these cases where evidence exists that this may have occurred, but the executive power has prohibited employees of the executive branch from responding to congressional request for testimony.

My concern here is that despite the fact that the House of Representatives is led by Democrats, it is still the House of Representatives and part of the legislative branch. They were elected as equally as the President in the executive branch. So it is not "the Democrats" that are concerned about the potential abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and possible collusion with a foreign country, but it is Congress. Whether you are republican, democrat, or any other party, you have to be concerned about the fact that one branch of government, in this case one man, is thumbing his nose at the other branches and moving forward in actions without regard to the other branches of government. Maybe it is that the
democrats are just trying to reach out to find something on the President. But still, it is Congress and it is in their constitutional power to do so. And if there is nothing to hide, then, why not just release the information requested?

Take for instance the recent trade war with China. What the HELL? Was there any consultation with Congress about this? How about even consultation with the Senate, which is still led by the same party as the President. From what I can tell, one man, one LONE man, is taking actions that have dramatic and perhaps devastating effects upon an entire country, without regard from the voice of the people, which are represented in Congress. I am a real life cowboy, and guess what, this hits home as American agriculture is a huge loser in this one man's trade war.

And how about the situation with Iran? Only Congress is given authority to declare war, not the President. So why is the executive branch reaching so far out as to send naval and air forces into a situation without true consultation with Congress? Yes, the President is the Commander in Chief, but he cannot alone declare or start a war. Only Congress can do that. So why is he sending such forces into a very unstable and potentially explosive situation without consultation with Congress.

To me, it appears that the leader of the executive branch, with his years of experience in being a business CEO, has no clue or respect for the balance of powers of this country. Rather, he is blatently moving forward based on his business experience as a CEO, thinking he is the only power in control. This is not right! It doesn't matter if you are right or left or anywhere in-between.

The American constitution and by-laws were created to ensure that all of us as citizens, right or left, should have an equal opportunity to be heard and part of the political process of running the country. Our founding leaders did not intend for any one man to have total control and not be accountable to other branches of government. The Declaration of Independence was created with this in mind. That the PEOPLE, not a king or a monarchy, or a CEO, should have control of our destiny as a country and nation.

Right or left doesn't matter in the current situation here. What matters is that we do not become a dictatorship and that all sides, left and right are heard, recognized, and part of the process of being a nation run by the people, not a king or dictator.

--Wow, that was a bit of a rant. But I truly am concerned where we are headed with all of the things going on here. Never in my life have I ever seen such a conflict between the branches and constitutional balance of powers. I pray that we can work this out and that despite the differences between us as Americans that we don't find ourselves following the path of Germany and others who allowed one leader to take them into a path of self-destruction.

Just a few late night rants from an otherwise soft and cuddly teddy bear cowboy...
 

Drifter

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You know what is needed far before a forum? An unbiased source of complete information. We don't have that here in the USA. Give us facts and context and let us decide how we feel about something.
Bingo!!!

Hopefully you and I aren't the only two people in the country that realize this. One of the things we absolutely need in order to rationally address our problems is a source of reliable information. There are other things, of course, but this is a good place to start. The question is: Given today's political climate, how do we turn this pipe dream into reality? It will cost millions to establish a platform for providing reliable information, but that's not the biggest problem.

The main obstacle to overcome is the question most people will have: How could we possibly agree on what source is "reliable" when we don't agree on anything else?

The answer is we must first agree there is so much bad information out there that good information is hard to find. We must also recognize that every one of us is biased to assume information that supports our personal beliefs is good, and information that opposes our beliefs is bad. In other words, with rare exception, none of us are qualified to distinguish between good and bad information, at least not on a continuous basis. It's obvious we will have to rely on information experts, ones having the academic and experiential credentials, to vet the information presented to us on whatever platform we create.

Other points:
Realistically, we will never have "complete" information. We will be shooting for the most reliable information we can gather in a reasonable amount of time. "Reasonable" will be determined by the specific issue. For example, we should not wait 10 years to make a decision on whether or not we should do something about climate change.

Equal time for opposing viewpoints is political nonsense and should not be a factor in presenting reliable, unbiased information. The time allotted to presenting seemingly contradictory points would be based on how long it takes to cover the factual evidence.
 

Drifter

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I feel like you missed my point. There is a significant group of Americans sharing common ground that is being ignored by both party leaders and the news media.
There are hundreds of groups of Americans sharing common ground that feel they aren't being adequately represented. What makes you think your particular group is more important?
 

Drifter

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Since this is the mature forum, and we are all entitled to our own opinions as long as we aren't being overly negative or unaccepting of others, I'm going to go ahead and throw in my own opinion on this.
I appreciate that, and find little to disagree with in your post.
The American constitution and by-laws were created to ensure that all of us as citizens, right or left, should have an equal opportunity to be heard and part of the political process of running the country.
If you remove "right or left" I am in 100% agreement (Except that I also see being part of the political process as being an obligation as much as an opportunity). It's not that I see your statement as false for including those distinctions, but the point of this thread is that, politically, right and left are mainly just imaginary distinctions. We all understand what the left and right stereotypes are supposed to represent, but imaginary distinctions become a problem when they distract people from reality. This is especially true with political discussions intended to provide a basis for some decision; i.e. who to vote for, who to indite, or who should pay more taxes.
 
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Jeremiah

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There are hundreds of groups of Americans sharing common ground that feel they aren't being adequately represented. What makes you think your particular group is more important?
My group voted for Trump and got what we wanted: a representative eager to make America great again.
 

dogboy

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My group voted for Trump and got what we wanted: a representative eager to make America great again.
Even if it's at the cost of having a democratic society? Trump has either made the country more racist or they've simply crawled out from under their rock, hiding there while Obama was president. Trump has created a trade war with China that has not been resolved but only made worse. His wall is a waste of taxpayer money as most immigrants come into this country through the legal border checks. He has been played a fool by little Kim Jong Un and by Putin, making the United States a laughing stock. He's alienated us from our strongest allies, NATO and the EU. He's done nothing to stem Russian aggression in the Ukraine or other nations that once were satellite countries to the old Soviet Union. He's failed in unseating the ruler of Venezuela. He has no long range world plans especially where the Middle East is concerned. I've seen nothing that he personally has done to make America great or greater than it was three years ago.
 

daddyconnor

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Anybody changed their minds through all these debating positions? Raise you hands? No one?
 

mommasboy76

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I find that the description in the initial post represents the 5% of the most extreme ends of the left right spectrum. I think most Americans are in the middle.
I have voted libertarian party for the last four elections. Conservative financially ( Gary Johnson wanted to roll back military spending to 2003 levels), socially liberal ( pro gay rights, pro choice, pro gun rights( with state regulation) equal voice and uninhibited free speech.
 

TeddyBearCowboy

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Anybody changed their minds through all these debating positions? Raise you hands? No one?
Sometimes it isn't about trying to change other people's minds. Rather, it is bringing up a topic for discussion, and allowing each side to be able to share their viewpoints. Ultimately, it is very difficult to get someone to see things differently on items such as politics and religion. But at the same time, there are points made and understood that perhaps can benefit us all. Even if the items are of such that we disagree with.

I learn a lot from others I don't agree with. Sometimes it is strengthening my own point of view, but other times I learn from even those whom I disagree with. It is all part of being open minded. If you close your mind and no matter what you say it is a square (because you want it to be square and that is what your parents or background or friends think or whatever), when there is so much evidence it is round, then certainly, even the most round or oval of objects is going to be a square to you.

But if you listen to others with an open mind, allowing you to process what is presented, then sometimes, actually, yes, you may end up realizing what you thought was square is actually round.

For instance, I consider myself a conservative and I am even registered to vote for the party that is normally considered as such and with whom most think is on the right (not left). But guess what? As I see the evidence before me that what I thought was square is actually round, I cannot in good faith say that I believe that the current "right" is actually conservative at all.

I watch CNN and I watch Fox News. I read the Wall Street Journal as well as the New York Times. I try to balance the things I learn from more than just one side and I believe I am a much more informed person because of it.

Having healthy debate is okay and a good thing, if there are open ears and eyes to see what the other side is trying to say.
 
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SorcerorElf

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There's a lot of good points in this thread. I think, honestly, that for a lot of the ideas presented thusfar to be successful, the current panic culture that the US is in will have to be addressed first. The extremism in the first place may very well have been caused by that.
 

PCPilot

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This is a great article for you to read (might be paywalled, try incognito if it is)


This discussion becomes a lot easier to understand if you view the split not as left/right, but rural/urban. It's not a perfect match either, but closer.

The challenge for rural/conservative parties is that the vast majority of economic and population growth is in urban areas, as discussed here by the Brookings Institution:


Here's an interesting (and ominous) quote: The less-than-500 counties that Hillary Clinton carried nationwide encompassed a massive 64 percent of America’s economic activity as measured by total output in 2015. By contrast, the more-than-2,600 counties that Donald Trump won generated just 36 percent of the country’s output—just a little more than one-third of the nation’s economic activity.
 

Drifter

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Anybody changed their minds through all these debating positions? Raise you hands? No one?
I can't change your mind, huh? You still "opt out and really don't care anymore"? I know the feeling. Honestly! I discussed this very option with my ex a week ago. As an old man with relatively little time left, why should I care? I don't know why. I just do.
 
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