Honest Politics
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Honest Politics

For about a year I have been railing on politicians, their constituents and the media for being so divisive and argumentative. I looked back to a kinder time when you really wanted your candidate to win, but felt that their opponent was also a good person.

Today, the GOP looks at Obama like the Anti Christ and the Democrats look at every Republicans as the Spawn of Satan. Why?

It’s like the old saying, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Do the political parties take divisive stands to draw in their believers or do politicians take their stands because that’s what their followers want to hear and what is the role of the media?

In other words, are the politicians, the media or you and I creating this lousy environment that’s having the negative impact on our country? Do you have opinion?

To be honest I had my own preconceived thoughts about this and honestly wanted to blame the media for this mess…..and it is a mess. I do believe that news channels like MSNBC and CNN clearly favor a liberal agenda.

They do gloss over the failings of this administration and simply overlook key parts of important issues that favor the democrats. Everybody sees and hears it. If you don’t you’re not watching or hearing it. It’s there plain as day.

Same thing for Fox News. They present a more conservative viewpoint. It is also plain as day. They present the “opposition” in the best possible light.

Published papers, on line journals and weekly magazines typically lean either right or left. Not much in the middle. That makes it tough for the independents.

Remember when Newsweek put Michelle Bachman on the cover with “crazy eyes”? It was the end for her. It was intentional and it worked. The media is biased on both sides.

Probably the most divisive in the media is Rush Limbaugh. Even a diehard conservative cannot deny that name calling is a big part of his show….and it is a show.

He has a right to his political viewpoints it’s just that his delivery is incendiary. Politics aside I think the name calling and nauseating self love is off putting….but that’s my opinion.

So I decided that I would experiment. You can try this yourself and I would love to hear your results. I wonder if you will come to the same conclusion.

I Googled both conservative and liberal media. I looked at topical stories being run on several sites. I scanned through active comment threads and joined in taking opposing viewpoints.

Generally you have to register to comment and to be believable, I used screen names that would certainly gain attention of others that were commenting. For the liberal media I signed in as payasyougo and for the conservative media I joined their conversations as coexist2. Perfect!

To be honest there was a little edge in my opinions, but I really wanted to gauge reaction to a well written, well stated opposing point of view. I went on three to four sites of both strong liberal and conservative readership.

First of all I was surprised about content in each of sites. Many liberal sites had articles running about the liberal movement to recall Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. There several articles and payasyougo jumped in and gave an opposing point of view.

When I commented, I took a firm but modest opinion different than the article and the vast majority of the posters. I stated a point of view, backed it up with some basic facts and waited for a response or two.

Now on to the conservative sites. Oddly enough the conservative sites had very little about the recall campaign. That surprised me.

I wanted to keep the topics similar so when Government Accountability Board (GAB) in Wisconsin was forced to make the recall petitions public the liberals were furious. I enlisted my alter ego coexist2 on the conservative sites.

I took the opinion that the recall petitions should be kept private and that release of the petitions put people at risk either physically (abuse victims), professionally and publically. Just like my conservative payasyougo did, I took a stance and gave good solid reasons for it.

Never in my life did I expect the responses to both of comments to turn out the way they did. I admit that I had preconceived notions of what to expect….and I was wrong.

I honestly expected the liberals to be friendlier, more inclusive, and more tolerant. I thought they would be the opposite of old Rushbag.

I thought the gun toting bible thumping right would attack me like some sort of commie sympathizer. I mean, isn’t that what any independent would think? Wouldn’t they act like what each side present themselves to be?

And I am going to say once again if you are an independent and want to try this yourself, I’ll bet you will come to the same conclusion. Make sure to pick a couple of sites, be a little opinionated, but have your facts straight. Comment a couple of times on each site and wait for your returns.

Here is what happened to me. I swear this is the truth. I also swear that I am totally shocked at the outcome.

My comments on the liberal sites as payasyougo came fast a furious. Because comments are screened for cursing, I had lots of these *%#@%#& and F’s and A’s followed by blanks (underscores). Lots.

None of my opinions were commented on. It was like I never had a point of view nor was I entitled one. I was just called name after name after name. I was accused of spewing hatred and being anything but human.

I was told I was brainwashed and “stoopid”. It was “you people say this and you people do that”. Really.

Never once did I cuss, say anything hateful, hurtful or call anybody a name. Not once.

When I defended Walker as a duly elected official that kept his promises, balanced the budget, saved us jobs and lowered our taxes unlike neighboring Illinois, all hell broke loose. I was asked if Rush Limbaugh used my skull as a bedpan. Lovely.

It was unrelenting. I was called a blanking idiot, “f”ing 1%er, and oh so much more. It went on for two days (you sign in to comment and get alerted when someone responds to you). It was kind of creepy that people wrote stuff like that.

What was all so very crazy is that some of the responders accused me of being a lunatic inflaming hatred and divisiveness. I never once said a single hateful thing. Opinionated, yes. Hateful, no.

When coexist2 went on the conservative sites and got pushy about the recall petitions I received explanations of state laws, precedents and was lectured like a grade schooler. I was call naïve at the worst.

I went back and interjected that this was just another attack on the middle class like so many of Walker’s polices. I detailed how his policies have hurt the teachers and blue collar union workers.

Again, I had responses on what the law really did and how many it affected and what it cost each of the union workers involved. I was also lectured on how this actually made things fairer for everybody just like Obama preaches. (This was their attempt to win me over).

Not once was anybody hateful or spiteful. It was the complete opposite of what happened on the liberal sites. Preachy….yes. Condescending….yes. Vile….no. I was stunned.

I really chose not believe the results. I blamed it on the subject matter and thought I should try it again.

So I picked a volatile topic for the righties. I tried to find a Pro-life article and argue pro abortion as a women’s right. Well, that brought out those Bible thumpers in big numbers!

But once again, I talked to, lectured, and preached at….but never called a name….well, almost. I was yelled at for not believing in the sanctity of life. I was called a heathen. People were outraged....but not threatening.

I was even told that people could go to hell for an abortion (they called it murder). I was told that according to “Christian beliefs” I could end up in hell just for being pro abortion.

Sure, these people were passionate just like liberals. They believed their position was 100% right. They certainly were not going to compromise.

And there was certain arrogance of their tone. It was a “holier than thou” attitude but I don’t feel it was religious based. I felt like they looked at me as a poor uniformed lieberal.

They just seemed to feel that coexist2 just didn’t get it. I was a little too simple to understand reality. But for the most part they stuck to the issue and while passionate, they were not hateful.

I hesitated writing this because I felt it would present a point of view that is not necessarily mine. But if I didn’t, I would be defeating the purpose of my little experiment.

So after this I can say what came first, the chicken or the egg. It’s the egg.

Seriously, I believe this points out that it isn’t the media that is creating this mess. They simply report what their customers want to hear and that means ratings which translate advertising dollars.

They are catering to the source….and that means it’s not the politicians either. It’s you and I. We created the monster.

And as much as I hate to admit it or take sides, there is a difference in how the left and the right dealt with opposing points of view. While not scientific, I believe there is something to it.

I have to say, I was really disappointed with the left. They are the inclusive group, wanting to give everything to everybody.

I thought some would try to win me over. Nope, it was slash and burn. It was both hateful and vile. If the sites weren’t moderated I know it would have been a lot worse.

In spite of the offensive Rush being their spokesperson, they didn’t act or respond like him. I have to say that elsewhere on the internet I did see offensive comments about the president and he was referred to as Odumbo.

Not nice. But there is no question; the worst of the worst was on the left. I’m still shocked....and saddened.

I was truly expecting the self righteous right wingers to come at me….but they didn’t. Perhaps it’s because the reddest of the rednecks don’t know about the internet….or can’t type. I dunno.

Perhaps it was the comments, topics, the sites or just the day. But it is what really happened.

I also wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t write what happened. And if something isn’t honest, it’s not worth reading.

Street Talk

L M, As long as the governments stick with the old military and law enforcement system, we will be needing to pay more taxes, permanent divisive government leaders trying to outdo each other and the American people will be left with nothing. This is why I wrote these two articles Part 1 and II, to educate all of us and our leaders in the government. Let me know what you think. Daniel

  about 8 years ago

Well Kenny, we should remember that the far right fire bombed abortion clinics and people died. There are crazies on both sides...i just thoughtit would show up with my little experiment. Regarding your comment on beating Obama, it is hard to beat an incumbent period. Especially one as tech savvy as Barak. That's the difference. The other thing is that the far right wants somebody like Santorum and that would scare away the middle....just my opinion.

  about 8 years ago

That tells me we're more professional and we should be running the country. My worry is that we don't have anyone strong enough to beat President Obama...it will be interesting. KH

  about 8 years ago

Kenny, Whichever party get's to use the contents of my article part 1 & II, wins. Let me know if you think I am right on this. Daniel

  about 8 years ago
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