Author Topic: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate  (Read 10140 times)

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2018, 15:51:51 »
This is all off-topic, some of it unnecessary, but I lost tolerance for sloppy usages of "authoritarianism" and "fascism" long ago.  Ignore what follows if you have no interest definitions.

>definition of fascism

It's bilge.

From the Wikipedia article:

"In his 1998 paper "The Five Stages of Fascism," he suggests that fascism cannot be defined solely by its ideology, since fascism is a complex political phenomenon rather than a relatively coherent body of doctrine"

Bearing that in mind, consider stage 2 of his 5 stages:

"Rooting, where a fascist movement, aided by political deadlock and polarization, becomes a player on the national stage"

How does he know it's a fascist movement, if fascism can not be defined by ideology or doctrine?  Because he just knows it when he sees it?

He is also at odds with the guy who invented it (Mussolini).  Latter-day academics don't get to redefine it.  I get that latter-day political scientists mostly lean left, and that the left has been trying very hard to scrub its excesses and bad associations for a century or more, but it was always clear (to most of the earlier generations of scholars who lived through the period and its aftermath) that the "fascism is on the right" meme was a corruption of Stalin's attempt to move fascism out of communism's zone in what amounted to a turf war over the extreme left in the 1930s.

Those 5 stages are just a common-or-garden description that could apply to the ascension of many parties.

1. Intellectual exploration, where disillusionment with popular democracy manifests itself in discussions of [whatever]
2. Rooting, where [the party], aided by political deadlock and polarization, becomes a player on the national stage
3. Arrival to power, where [politicians] seeking to control rising [any] opposition invite the movement to share power
4. Exercise of power, where the movement and its charismatic leader control the state in balance with state institutions such as the police and traditional elites such as the clergy and business magnates.
5. Radicalization or entropy

As for these points:

- Political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline / humiliation / victimhood? [Not a distinguishing feature.  Think of all the political and religious movements concerned with family/community; the notion of humiliation expressed by, say, Chinese leftists; the sense of victimhood expressed by all the leaders of crappy little dictatorships who require an external boogeyman to divert attention from their domestic incompetence and tyranny.]

- Compensatory cult? [Not a distinguishing feature.  Consider all the "Great Leader" images and iconography and statuary and leader-worship of the firmly left-identified movements of the past century.]

- Mass-based party of committed nationalist militants? [Not a distinguishing feature.  Shared with pretty much every extreme left-wing movement, irrespective of whether they paid lip service to the International.  The Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, Cubans, Venezuelans, etc, etc all had/have their enforcers out to purify the nation.]

- Collaborates uneasily but effectively with traditional elites? [Not a distinguishing feature, and not particularly accurate.  Some of the movements accused of being fascist in various countries around the world are decidedly not collaborating with the elites; many political movements not accused of being fascist collaborate "uneasily but effectively" on the path to power.]

- Abandons democratic liberties? [Not a distinguishing feature; describes virtually every totalitarian regime.]

- Redemptive violence? Internal cleansing? External expansion? [Not a distinguishing feature: repression of the kulaks, the gulag, the Great Leap Forward, Cambodian genocide, political imprisonments and executions under Communist and other totalitarian regimes, occupation of Tibet.]

Basically, that is just a shopping list of features of totalitarian regimes, most of which arise on the left.  It doesn't distinguish fascism.  The key distinction between communism and fascism is ownership: under communism, the state (notionally, at least) owns everything and controls everything; under fascism (corporatism), the state controls through established bodies the important parts of the economy while they remain in (notionally, at least) private hands.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline beirnini

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #51 on: July 09, 2018, 04:44:51 »
My first link to start this thread shows a "long-standing partisan gap over views of compromise [that] has disappeared", so when I say "long since" I merely refer to the this "long-standing" difference.

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And since these particular white voters were just about the last group to start doing it (2016) compared to all the other identity/grievance factions, I suppose that you might be able to claim that compromise has died in the white-conscious sub-faction of the conservative electorate.

Your point about some guy recently discovering there is a bigger white-conscious sub-faction of the conservative electorate is undoubtedly true, because that guy is definitely me. The writer of the article however seams to have studied this for far longer and at a far greater depth than most. I don't get where or how you figure he's "angry". If I were to guess I would say that's a bit of projection. If anything the writer comes across as genuinely worried.

Beyond that I can't see how you can conclude that any particular set of "white voters were just about the last group to vote along cultural lines" with any of the data I've presented. None of the data I've presented suggests any dynamism in the motivations of the conservative voter that I can see. Of course you're more than welcome to make that case with this or any other data you might wish to provide.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2018, 06:29:33 »
its the politicians that don't compromise because if you have the power they wont.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2018, 20:42:13 »
"This description is used to support the contention that compromise in the conservative electorate has long since died"

In that statement, "compromise in the conservative electorate" (one thing, not two things or a measure of the relative distance between them) is what has "long since died".  (Break it down: compromise...has...died.)  But the shift among white-conscious voters is novel (2016) according to its accusers.  It is neither "long since", nor has it anything to do with a gap (there is no "gap" between a single item and itself).

"I made this [piece] because I am sick of the bullshit excuses for voting for Trump as well as the attempts to obfuscate what happened in 2016." 

That tone conveys anger, not worry.

"So we can see that compromise has died in the American independent and left-leaning voters, but why has never really existed in "conservatives"?"

I can't make sense out of the second clause.  Was it supposed to be "compromise has never really existed among conservatives", or something else?

There's a methodological problem with the Pew survey, shared with many surveys, that hinges on questions and who answers them honestly.

I have a thought experiment that goes something like this: suppose conservatives tend to hold a larger share of the people whose education never went past high school; progressives tend to hold a larger share of those who went beyond high school.  The latter, by experience and necessity, will tend to be better test takers.

Ask a potentially embarrassing question like "Are insults fair game?"  Who is more likely to know the politically correct answer; who is more likely to write to pass the test rather than to admit - even to themselves - having outmoded wrong thoughts?  [In case it's not clear: I believe the lower-educated people are more likely to shoot straight and give an honest answer about their opinions.]

Based on what Democrats and progressives in general are saying is acceptable behaviour toward anyone involved with Trump's administration or even supporting Trump, I don't believe that the number of Democrats who admit to "wrong thoughts" [in surveys] about partisanship and civility is anywhere near as high as [in reality].  And based on how things were during the Bush administration, I don't think it was the case then, either (it's not a recent shift).  People who cheer for F-bombs and c*ck-holster comments are not high-minded.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 20:45:42 by Brad Sallows »
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2018, 10:44:37 »
[In case it's not clear: I believe the lower-educated people are more likely to shoot straight and give an honest answer about their opinions.]
This relates, somewhat, to my recurring hobby-horse of opinions versus informed  opinions.  Much like your displeasure with sloppy usages of "authoritarianism" and "fascism," I have heartache with people who assume that "educated" and "intelligent" are synonyms;  many educated people are dumber than dirt, while many very smart people don't have a school paper to frame.

Offline beirnini

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2018, 12:10:46 »
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IBut the shift among white-conscious voters is novel (2016) according to its accusers.
Again, according to who? What "accuser" data or survey or study are you referencing that suggests this novelty? Because I'm failing to see where in the article I provide this is suggested. I'm missing it (or if you have data of your own) please point it out.
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"I made this [piece] because I am sick of the bullshit excuses for voting for Trump as well as the attempts to obfuscate what happened in 2016."

That tone conveys anger, not worry.
I suppose it comes down to whether one sympathizes or not with the writer.  Anyone who is similarly concerned with the prospect of "those who don't learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them" then that quote is definitely frustrated concern. But if one finds Trump's election not at all concerning then I can see how that quote comes across as anger. <shrug>
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Was it supposed to be "compromise has never really existed among conservatives?
More like, "why has compromise historically been relatively lower in value among conservatives compared to left-leaners and independents". But since I titled the thread "Compromise Has Died" I thought I should keep it consistent. It's a distinction without much of a difference, at least as far compromise itself is concerned.

Regarding your thought experiment I would need at least one clear example (preferably taken directly from at least one of the studies I've provided but really anything similarly peer-reviewed will do) to see your point: "Political Correctness" and "outmoded" are both far too loaded and too vague to rest any convincing claims on.

Beyond that rigorous polls are anonymous, designed to avoid gaming and extract genuine responses from participants of all demographic backgrounds. If lower-educated participants are as honest and straight as you claim then all the better, although I object to your implication about higher-educated participants. Regardless nobody wants to spend the considerable time and energy on a study and realize after peer-review that all one's data is garbage because of such an oversight.

Accordingly I have my doubts that peer-reviewed studies in general suffer from the kind of general weakness in polling you describe, but any studies or data that demonstrates that this is a genuinely recurring problem is welcome.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2018, 23:22:03 »
>I have heartache with people who assume that "educated" and "intelligent" are synonyms;  many educated people are dumber than dirt, while many very smart people don't have a school paper to frame.

Correct; but - and maybe it's a subtle difference - my point is how a person is likely to answer based on their accumulated expertise taking tests.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2018, 00:15:30 »
"why has compromise historically been relatively lower in value among conservatives compared to left-leaners and independents"

That's qualitatively different than "compromise has never really existed".  A conservative could easily value the abstract idea of "compromise" less than a non-conservative, simply by having a longer list of principles he excludes from compromise.  It doesn't mean he won't compromise to reach a deal on anything else.

Example: on the related issues of amnesty (for illegal aliens) and border control, conservatives and progressives have complementary preferences.  Conservatives have repeatedly expressed willingness to concede amnesty for improved border control.  Progressives are the ones unwilling to compromise (improved border controls for amnesty).

Example: the US First Amendment is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  With respect to that statement, conservatives are uncompromising.  In their view, there is nothing worth trading any of it away.

This just brings me back to my first post in this thread.  Compromise isn't dead; it just appears that way because the people seeking change want it rapidly and want large returns on small concessions.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline beirnini

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2018, 11:05:13 »
Yes, conservatives could have a longer list of principles then independents and left-leaners. They could also have a shorter list. We don't have anything but opinions to support either position. What we do have is a presumably rigorous poll/polls and analysis indicating the relative value of compromise between all three groups. If number of principles is a potentially confounding variable I would expect that it's accounted for in the appropriate manner.

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Compromise isn't dead; it just appears that way because the people seeking change want it rapidly and want large returns on small concessions.
Seeking substantial change through small concessions is the definition of uncompromising. As indicated by Pew all identifiable groups of the electorate now value compromise equally poorly, which is to say they're all equally uncompromising, which is to say they're all essentially "seeking change, want it rapidly and want large returns on small concessions." Semantics aside, how can one conclude anything other than that compromise has all but "died in the electorate"?

The question I've tried to raise is that while the sudden and dramatic change in independents and left-leaners is readily explainable the consistency in conservatives is not. Sorry to say but I've yet to be dissuaded by anything more persuasive then what I've submitted for consideration.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2018, 14:37:08 »
>The question I've tried to raise is that while the sudden and dramatic change in independents and left-leaners is readily explainable the consistency in conservatives is not.

But it is.  In the US, the constitution and structure of government (how it is chosen, how it functions) favours the conservative position - or, more accurately, conservatives are those who favour the constitution etc (which is why they are deemed conservative).  And they hold a positional advantage: many of the provisions they favour are unambiguously stated (uncompromising) (eg. Bill of Rights), and the structure of government is designed to thwart significant change without broad support.  They already have most of what they want, and they continue to have it by simply refusing to compromise - to trade any of it away.

Conversely, some of the things progressives wish to achieve are unconstitutional, and require amendments.

We should expect progressives to favour "compromise" as an abstract value more than conservatives.  Nevertheless, I observe that once progressives think they have secured a position they desire, they become rigidly uncompromising and start applying matching terminology: the debate is over, the science is settled, the issue is settled, etc.
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That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Compromise Has Died in the US Electorate
« Reply #60 on: November 14, 2018, 19:09:11 »
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-made-amends-with-pete-davidson-on-snl-but-thats-only-the-beginning/2018/11/13/e7314fb0-e77e-11e8-b8dc-66cca409c180_story.html?fbclid=IwAR02D5eKf96lZ78QK5vMady6gAYg0roueV8h0Ixz5g354UPZgMVMi2RW158&utm_term=.829228f5fe5c

Figured this was the best place to put this.  Shared with the usual Copyright provisions.  Dan Crenshaw for President...and Prime Minister.

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Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, is a Republican representative-elect from Texas.

The past couple of weeks have been unusual for me, to say the least. After a year of hard campaigning for Congress in Texas and gradually entering the public sphere, I was hit by a sudden, blinding spotlight. But I have no complaints — it wasn’t as bad as some other challenges I’ve faced, like a sudden, blinding IED explosion. (See what I did there? “Saturday Night Live” has created a comedic monster.)

On the Nov. 3 show, SNL’s Pete Davidson mocked my appearance — “he lost his eye in war . . . or whatever,” Davidson said, referring to the eye patch I wear. His line about my looking like a “hit man in a porno movie” was significantly less infuriating, albeit a little strange. I woke up on the Sunday morning after the show to hundreds of texts about what Davidson had said. A lot of America wasn’t happy. People thought some lines still shouldn’t be crossed.

I agreed. But I also could not help but note that this was another chapter in a phenomenon that has taken complete control of the national discourse: outrage culture. It seems like every not-so-carefully-worded public misstep must be punished to the fullest extent, replete with soapbox lectures and demands for apologies. Anyone who doesn’t show the expected level of outrage will be labeled a coward or an apologist for bad behavior. I get the feeling that regular, hard-working, generally unoffended Americans sigh with exhaustion — daily. 

Was I really outraged by SNL? Really offended? Or did I just think the comment about losing my eye was offensive? There is a difference, after all. I have been literally shot at before, and I wasn’t outraged. Why start now?

So I didn’t demand an apology and I didn’t call for anyone to be fired. That doesn’t mean the “war . . . or whatever” line was acceptable, but I didn’t have to fan the flames of outrage, either. When SNL reached out with an apology and an offer to be on the show, I wasn’t fully sold on the idea. It was going to be Veterans Day weekend, after all, and I had events with veterans planned. I asked if another weekend might work. No, they said, precisely because it was Veterans Day, it would be the right time to send the right message. They assured me that we could use the opportunity to send a message of unity, forgiveness and appreciation for veterans. And to make fun of Pete Davidson, of course.

And that’s what we did. I was happy with how it worked out. But now what? Does it suddenly mean that the left and right will get along and live in utopian harmony? Maybe Saturday’s show made a tiny step in that direction, but I’m not naive. As a country, we still have a lot of work to do. We need to agree on some basic rules for civil discourse.

There are many ideas that we will never agree on. The left and the right have different ways of approaching governance, based on contrasting philosophies. But many of the ultimate goals — economic prosperity, better health care and education, etc. — are the same. We just don’t share the same vision of how to achieve them.

How, then, do we live together in this world of differing ideas? For starters, let’s agree that the ideas are fair game. If you think my idea is awful, you should say as much. But there is a difference between attacking an idea and attacking the person behind that idea. Labeling someone as an “-ist” who believes in an “-ism” because of the person’s policy preference is just a shortcut to playground-style name-calling, cloaked in political terminology. It’s also generally a good indication that the attacker doesn’t have a solid argument and needs a way to end debate before it has even begun.

Similarly, people too often attack not just an idea but also the supposed intent behind an idea. That raises the emotional level of the debate and might seem like it strengthens the attacker’s side, but it’s a terrible way to make a point. Assuming the worst about your opponents’ intentions has the effect of demonizing their ideas, removing the need for sound counter-reasoning and fact-based argument. That’s not a good environment for the exchange of ideas.

When all else fails, try asking for forgiveness, or granting it. On Saturday, Pete Davidson and SNL made amends. I had some fun. Everyone generally agreed that a veteran’s wounds aren’t fair game for comedy. Maybe now we should all try to work toward restoring civility to public debate.

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"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr