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All political parties are out of touch...

by grimgraphix / July 4, 2011 4:24 PM PDT
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It's pretty vague
by TONI H / July 4, 2011 7:47 PM PDT

I read the article and it's easy to say that 77% occupy common ground on social policy and 69% on economic issues, when the reader has NO IDEA what those policies and issues ARE. I would have to see the actual policies and issued asked about before I could come to any conclusions as to the real results.

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I tend to agree. I would like to see the questions
by Diana Forum moderator / July 4, 2011 11:32 PM PDT
In reply to: It's pretty vague

and the raw data.


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"the reader has NO IDEA what those policies and issues ARE"
by Mike_Hanks / July 5, 2011 11:26 AM PDT
In reply to: It's pretty vague

Welcome to the world of Moderates !!!!!!!!!!

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Selecting random people from "red" and "blue" states?
by Steven Haninger / July 4, 2011 8:41 PM PDT

I have to wonder what sort of dunderhead would consider this sort of poll to be of any value. All this means that that the number of persons who vote for one of the two major parties is fairly evenly divided. It doesn't take into account that a very large percentage of people are not party committed. But these people are left with the same ballot choices as those who strongly align with one party or another. Let's do this a different way. Let's stand up every registered voter and paint the tops of their heads red or blue if the identify with the Republican or Democrat party. The rest will be painted gray. Then let's get a satellite photo of the entire population and photoshop out all but people's heads. What color do you think the US would show? Well, I'd say something of a wedgewood purple. Wink

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dunderhead, eh?
by JP Bill / July 4, 2011 8:58 PM PDT

Long time since I've heard/used that word.

Brings back old memories of a Sergeant screaming at recruits on the parade square.

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Excerpts from the article
by grimgraphix / July 5, 2011 12:29 AM PDT

As I read it, researchers look for differences, find differences, and people assume this is what defines the political spectrum. Studies are defined by what makes us different, not what makes us similar. Politicians and the press capitalize upon and exagerate these differences to serve their own agendas. People then run with the idea that the people they disagree with are more different than they are the same because, after all, it is human nature to form social groups that each of us consider superior or somehow more correct than the next group. Politicians and the press capitalize upon these perceived differences because it helps those interests succede in their interests.


Conventional wisdom suggests that ordinary Americans are deeply divided. Red-state citizens (states carried by Republicans at the presidential level) are ''ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying road-kill-eating tobacco-juice-dribbling gun-fondling reli- gious fanatic rednecks,'' while their blue-state counterparts are ''godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing Communist latte-sucking tofu-chomping holistic-wacko neurotic vegan weenie perverts'' (Barry 2004). According to such wisdom, most liberal, blue-state coast dwellers and conservative, red-state heartland Americans look at each other as if they were from ''separate planets,'' to quote Bush reelection chair Matthew Dowd (Fiorina, Abrams, and Pope 2005, p. 6).

Despite their different substantive conclusions, most scholars in this debate employ the same basic empirical strategy: They use a difference-of-means test to determine whether the two groups are polarized. If the mean opinion in red states is statistically distinguishable from the mean opinion in blue states, then they are polarized. In this article, we show that this approach often leads researchers astray, indicating that there is polarization when in fact red- and blue-state residents are more similar than different.

Our results have important implications for future discussion of opinion po- larization. It may be correct to talk about a polarization of choices available to the electorate, but it is misleading to discuss a polarization of beliefs in the presence of so much ideological overlap between the two camps. This preference hetero- geneity also has important electoral consequences. While many factors contrib- ute to any particular election, it helps explain how seeming anomalies like Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, former California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, or former Kansas Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius can win election (and reelection) in states where their party lags behind at the presidential level.

Excerpts are taken from a 248 + page article.

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I've read this excerpt and
by TONI H / July 5, 2011 9:52 PM PDT

conclude that the ONLY differences are between the very far left and the very far right...everybody else in between have only a few differences and many similarities. Most of those particular differences are going to fall into the 'nanny state/entitlements' area, I believe. Those in between all have a heart and want to help others....but not at the cost of watching our entire country fall into decline because of entitlements....we actually believe in working to make yourself not only successful (everyone has a different idea of success), but also so you can have pride in yourself, your family, your community, your country.

Those on the very far left are firmly committed to 'government is the answer to everything and the people are too stupid and helpless to know what's good for themselves'. They have to twist history to suit their purpose, they have to promise 'hope and change' in order to get into positions of power and then pull the rug out from under everyone right of their far left line (and only THEY know where they have drawn that line), they are convinced that talking to terrorists and to leaders of countries that have sworn to kill us is a position of compassion and that those leaders will come to understand and like us better all the while not realizing that we are actually being seen as weak and ripe and ready for the picking because we have now downgraded our exceptionalism to being apologetic to them. They believe that our branches of government and the Constitution are no longer needed and that they have the power to make it all irrelevant by cutting their way around it all piece by piece until all checks and balances are eliminated and all the power of this country is now in the hands of one 'department'.

Those on the very far right believe that the government, on the Federal level, at least should stay completely out of the people's lives and only be there to defend our country on a security level. For the most part, I agree with that with exceptions...I don't believe we should be the watchdog and defender of the world. We don't belong in the middle of civil wars in other countries. We don't belong as part of the UN. We don't belong in global climate crap. We don't belong on the short side of the fuel stick when we have our own resources that are untapped.

There are certain instances when the Federal Government should have laws that are consistent across the States so that we don't have individual States all making up the same laws but with different variances that would confuse people as they cross State borders. What is legal in one, should be legal in another....what is illegal in one, should be illegal in another. But for the most parts, States should be the only ones 'aking care'of the people within that State and that doesn't mean entitlements. It means representing the people's wishes and needs via the voting method. No Federal Government knows what each State's requirements and needs are better than the State itself.

I believe we became our own country for a reason and it was because we didn't need other countries to dictate to us their own set of beliefs and rules. We have a unique country, and I want it kept that way.

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We have a unique country, and I want it kept that way.
by JP Bill / July 5, 2011 11:24 PM PDT

I'm doing a chant while posting this.

You should be an island to yourself, a refuge to yourself, not dependent
on any other but taking refuge in the truth and none other than the
truth. And how do you become an island and a refuge to yourself?

In this way. You see and contemplate your body as composed of all the
forces of the universe. Ardently and mindfully you steer your body-self
by restraining your discontent with the world about you. In the same
way, observe and contemplate your feelings and use that same ardent
restraint and self-possession against enslavement by greed or desire. By
seeing attachment to your body and feelings as blocking the truth, you
dwell in self-possession and ardent liberation from those ties.

This is how you live as an island to yourself and a refuge to yourself.
Whoever dwells in this contemplation, islanded by the truth and taking
refuge in the truth--that one will come out of the darkness and into the

-Digha Nikaya

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My island is the United State of America
by TONI H / July 5, 2011 11:47 PM PDT

and my truths are the Constitution, the original, not the 'living breathing document' that far left progressive liberals are determined to turn it into believing that it needs to change 'with the progressive times'. The only part of your chant that I agree with is >>You should be an island to yourself, a refuge to yourself, not dependent on any other<< That includes other countries AND our own government with regard to the insidious belief that our government is there to make all decisions for us because we are too stupid to do it ourselves.

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we are too stupid to do it ourselves.
by JP Bill / July 6, 2011 12:07 AM PDT

There are about 10/15 regular posters in SE.

1/2 disagree with the other half.

And you expect a country to run without a government?

Perhaps this would work for you

If you really believe that the US (or any country) can survive in the world today...NO Contact with the outside world....North Korea comes to mind.

That's how the West brings countries to their knees,,,Cuts them off, isolates them, and you think that's the way for America to survive?

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All parties?
by C1ay / July 5, 2011 12:08 PM PDT

The article only appeared to address liberals and conservatives. I didn't see anything on the Libertarian party, the Green party, the Constitution party, etc. Is there more to the article somewhere else that you didn't link to or is the topic header is just your personal spin?

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248 pages and a money fee to look at the whole thing.
by grimgraphix / July 5, 2011 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: All parties?

Let me know when you pay for the subscription and get through reading the whole article... OR... you can take the Cliff Notes version that I linked to at face value.

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by C1ay / July 5, 2011 2:35 PM PDT

The author of the article you linked too called it, "Voters In Red And Blue States Virtually The Same On Issues". It was you that changed it to "All political parties are out of touch". I don't need to spend a dime, your reading comprehension is right there in black and white.

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All parties ARE out of touch.
by grimgraphix / July 5, 2011 5:38 PM PDT
In reply to: FWIW

They don't represent the people of this nation, they represent partisan moralities, theologies, methodologies, and ideologies. All those abstract concepts take a back seat when people can't pay their bills, and don't have enough money to buy food and medicine. However, in an effort to turn out the vote... politicians play up the small differences until people loose sight of their shared concerns. Recognizing common interests fosters cooperation. Politicians and mass media play up differences.

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Spin it all you want...
by C1ay / July 6, 2011 2:47 AM PDT

YOU changed the authors 'Red and Blue' into 'All'.

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re: YOU changed the authors 'Red and Blue' into 'All'.
by grimgraphix / July 6, 2011 1:21 PM PDT

When did I ever deny that I was giving my own interpretation?

I'm not spinning anything. If giving a personal opinion is "spinning" the story, then anyone who gives any opinion is spinning too. Should I state that you are spinning next time you make a post expressing a personal opinion?

So far, all you have addressed in this thread is what I did and did not do. Do you have anything to say about the actual subject of the article I brought to the forum's attention?

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Not really...
by C1ay / July 6, 2011 4:20 PM PDT

"Do you have anything to say about the actual subject of the article I brought to the forum's attention?"

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