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Left v. Right on HT

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  • Left v. Right on HT

    Rather than risk further derailing Matapule’s fine thread regarding specific HT’ers we wish were posting more often, I found the other conversation there thought-provoking enough to start a thread on it with my own observations.

    On more than one occasion, I have seen posters complain that they are “driven away” by the “lefties & liberals” that overwhelm their more conservative counterparts on HT. Are there more left-leaning posters than right-leaning on HT? Perhaps; it certainly seems that way to my own perception. But that’s my point here: it’s about perception.

    Just as the more left-leaning posters run the gamut from strongly liberal/progressive to just slightly left-of-center, there are many HT’ers who tend to fall more often to the right side of the spectrum to one degree or another. Amongst the ones who come to mind right away (and I know I am missing several others) are Mel, TimKona, Bobinator, Nobunaga, Walkoff Balk, Konaguy, Scrivener, CraigWatanabe, Sansei, NachoDaddy, Escondido100 and BJD392. There’s no dearth of conservative opinion expressed here.

    Are there MORE liberals than conservatives? Again, without doing a scientific survey, we can only reflect upon what we perceive to be the case. Individual perception will vary greatly. You can easily interpret a multitude of possible “reasons” for such an imbalance (if it truly exists); here are a few (keep in mind none of these are backed with any factual information – they are just interpretations I toss out for discussion):

    > The majority of HT’ers are current or former residents of the State of Hawai`i – a state that has had a long track record of Democratic dominance in politics, so maybe more citizens in the state identify themselves with the left.

    > Maybe those who identify themselves as “left” are more likely to be computer-savvy, or more likely to participate in online discussion boards, or are more interested in open discussion of topics in general.

    > Maybe there ARE more liberals in America than conservatives, or maybe they are just better at debate, or at backing up their arguments with facts.

    I’ve seen conservative posters on HT who, in one breath, complain about the power of “the liberal media,” while with the next breath, proclaim the overwhelming dominance of conservative talk radio and Fox News. Am I the only one who sees the conflict in those two statements? Again – individual perception is the key here.

    And lastly – to those who whine about being “driven away” by people who disagree with your viewpoints, I say pull up your big boy pants and deal with it. If you are unable to back your statements with factual information when challenged (rather than linking to screeds from partisan internet websites), then don’t make those statements in the first place. And if you do, expect them to be challenged, and for those with opposing viewpoints to want to engage you in further debate. But if you come onto the playground and punch a kid hard on the arm, you won’t earn any respect for running away in tears when his friends come to ask what you did that for.


    "When you take away everyone who professes to be 'right,' you will find me standing with those who are 'left.'"

  • #2
    Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Thank you for starting this thread, Leo, interesting talking points. Let me add one more point, and that is - "the issue involved." Most people will be conservative on some issues and liberal on others. I know I am.

    I think that politics and religion have become such devisive issues is unfortunate. The problem seems to me that people of every ideaology
    are using perceptions rather than facts to justify their convictions. It would be nice if the world were a bit more tolerant. But there I go again sounding like a "liberal."
    Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

    People who form FIRM opinions with so little knowledge only pretend to be open-minded. They select their facts like food from a buffet. David R. Dow

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Left v. Right on HT

      I am a conservative Republican (I can't help it; I'm from Texas). I don't consider myself to be far-right, though- a Teabagger or whatever. I'll be very honest- I never cared enough to keep up. I don't watch the news (mainly because my husband still travels and it's always about people being killed, raped, or kidnapped). The only area of concern I'm really interested in is laws about drug users, prison time vs. rehab and things that pertain to my soon-to-be major and hopefully career. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but my own little flittering opinion doesn't mean squat to the people who make the decisions. Hey, at least I'm being honest.

      Can't think of anything creative this time

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Left v. Right on HT

        Originally posted by surlygirly View Post
        The only area of concern I'm really interested in is laws about drug users, prison time vs. rehab and things that pertain to my soon-to-be major and hopefully career. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but my own little flittering opinion doesn't mean squat to the people who make the decisions.
        Well, that makes sense to me - we can't all be concerned about everything, it would drive us mad! You've decided to put your focus on some critical areas, and for good reason. And you seem to know the difference between opinion and fact, and that will serve you well. Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Left v. Right on HT

          hmmmm..... interesting.........

          I am ambidextrous.

          I find it interesting because - although I have never actually said it - I do feel somewhat driven away. Here's my whaa - whaa for the day. Several times I tried to get a conversation going about education. I tried approaching it in a nice, polite way. I tried being a bit more aggressive - hoping to get a few riled up and maybe get the conversation going. All to no avail.

          I'll bet I could say anything and no one would question it, refute it, agree or disagree. Ha - I'm not even on anyone's list of missed posters

          Anyhoo, luckily, I am confident enough in real life that I really don't sit up at night and worry about it So I will continue to read the comedy threads and occasionally post some nonsensical fluff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Left v. Right on HT

            Originally posted by Leo Lakio View Post
            If you are unable to back your statements with factual information when challenged (rather than linking to screeds from partisan internet websites), then don’t make those statements in the first place. And if you do, expect them to be challenged, and for those with opposing viewpoints to want to engage you in further debate.
            We seemed to have run into this problem already. We all know what the biased websites are, the ones that contain more opinion than fact. However, every "source" will be scrutinized anyway, even non-partisan, non-biased, raw-data number-crunched statistics.

            The occasion that actually made me roll my eyes the most are the accusations that downplay people's posts and belittle them to "mere opinions" regardless of the amount of facts, years of research, personal credentials, or whatever to back them up. It sounds like, "Oh, despite your many years of first-hand knowledge and decades of experience, that's just your opinion, and it means nothing to me." That's more like a cop-out than a challenged debate. At least we'll agree that there is a passion on an issue that we support or oppose.

            As for everyone's wealth of knowledge, if it's not Fox, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, or any other "perceived to be biased" news channel, where do you get your TV news? Saying an online newspaper doesn't help much either, because we'd rather read a big-name (but unfortunately biased) newspaper with AP input than some podunk newspaper with a paragraph-long article. There's a give and take there. But to say you don't watch or read leads me to believe either the sources are hearsay, the non-participant really doesn't know what's going on, or you've got to be some genius with an implanted chip in your brain who is all-knowing and all powerful (but would rather complain about stuff than fix it) .

            Also, being a conservative doesn't necessarily mean we all agree with our stereotyped categories. I watch Fox as an alternative viewpoint, and even then I don't agree with things they say. (Of course, when other TV stations are showing some fat guy's chocolate bakery when national breaking news is going on, you tend to distrust that station's priority when it comes to news :cough: CNN.) I don't pay attention to the Tea Party; I have my own ideas and if some of them match up, then ok, fine. I could care less about Sarah Palin. But whatever label the opposing side wants to consider us, we have an equally degrading label for you. I'd prefer it be more of a discussion on issues, and not some lame name-calling spat.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Left v. Right on HT

              Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
              I find it interesting because - although I have never actually said it - I do feel somewhat driven away. Here's my whaa - whaa for the day. Several times I tried to get a conversation going about education. I tried approaching it in a nice, polite way. I tried being a bit more aggressive - hoping to get a few riled up and maybe get the conversation going. All to no avail.
              Sorry - guess that wasn't a topic that riled me up at the time. But I enjoy your posts related to the "acoustic" side of things, since we share an interest in sound technology.
              Originally posted by bjd392 View Post
              But whatever label the opposing side wants to consider us, we have an equally degrading label for you. I'd prefer it be more of a discussion on issues, and not some lame name-calling spat.
              Very good point. Many threads slip down that path quickly, and THAT probably drives people away more than anything else.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Left v. Right on HT

                You know, back in 2006, we had a thread about the "Political Compass Test." People took the tests and posted their coordinates, suggesting that we could get a nice broad idea of where the various members of HawaiiThreads fell on the political spectrum.

                Maybe we should take the test and post our scores again? The few of us that took it last time can see if we've shifted, but meanwhile, we could make a nice basic chart to visualize the political landscape here.

                I'm happy to go first. Tonight, racing through the survey, I got:

                Economic Left/Right: -3.00
                Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.90

                Interestingly, I didn't post my numbers in 2006, though I did mention my score from 2003 (when the compass came up on HawaiiStories):

                Economic Left/Right -3.75
                Social Authoritarian/Libertarian -4.15

                I'm shifting toward center. I don't know how I feel about that!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Left v. Right on HT

                  Re: Political Compass

                  I've probably taken that test over a dozen times. Each time, I was probably one tick mark right of exactly dead center. I always said it's because I believe in a couple "extreme" issues on both sides, and they cancel each other out mathematically.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Left v. Right on HT

                    I just took that test and apparently I'm a right wing liberaterian but pretty much a centrist.
                    Attached Files
                    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Left v. Right on HT

                      Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
                      [...]Ha - I'm not even on anyone's list of missed posters [...]
                      Methinks that's because you post to HT enough to avoid anyone's lists. I've always considered you one of the cool posters here. Really...
                      Originally posted by bjd392 View Post
                      [...]I have my own ideas and if some of them match up, then ok, fine. [...]
                      Bingo! That sums up my self-imposed, Independent Republicrat label!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Left v. Right on HT

                        Interesting. We could do a scatter graph.
                        But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
                        GrouchyTeacher.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Left v. Right on HT

                          I just took the test and came out pretty much where I thought I would - right in the middle of the green square - pretty much a left leaning libertarian. Since I consider myself to be a left leaning, progressive Democrat - I can live with my results.
                          "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
                          – Sydney J. Harris

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Left v. Right on HT

                            Originally posted by acousticlady View Post
                            Several times I tried to get a conversation going about education. I tried approaching it in a nice, polite way. I tried being a bit more aggressive - hoping to get a few riled up and maybe get the conversation going. All to no avail.
                            Well, I went back and researched, I don't know how I missed it. I'm riled up! The thread is now resurrected!

                            I'm not even on anyone's list of missed posters
                            I fnd that you have been consistently posting over the last year. Please keep it up. However, two people that I neglected to mention who are conspicuous by their absence are Glen Miyashiro and Nords.

                            Originally posted by pzarquon View Post
                            Maybe we should take the test and post our scores again?!
                            Thanks for the link PZ. I took the test for the first time and no I'm not going to post my scores. It would serve no useful purpose for me to do so. However, I am a bit surprised by my scores. If HT ohana knew what my scores were, it might ruin my reputation, not to mention I might look bad in the eyes of other matapules!

                            Originally posted by scrivener View Post
                            Interesting. We could do a scatter graph.
                            Leave it to Scriv to come up with a good idea! Is it possible to do an anonymous scatter graph? Wainna mina, Scriv gimme kine idea.
                            Last edited by matapule; October 29, 2010, 06:46 AM. Reason: as always - spelling - and I still didn't get them all
                            Peace, Love, and Local Grindz

                            People who form FIRM opinions with so little knowledge only pretend to be open-minded. They select their facts like food from a buffet. David R. Dow

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Left v. Right on HT

                              I'm thinking if I'm close in to the middle that's about as liberal as one can get, sharing all four quadrants without leaning too heavily on either side but still showing some bias.
                              Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

                              Comment

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