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Thread: Left v. Right on HT

  1. #1

    Default 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. #2
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    Default 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."
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    Default 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


  4. #4

    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote 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.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote 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.
    Quote 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.

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    Red face 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!

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    Default 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.

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    I just took that test and apparently I'm a right wing liberaterian but pretty much a centrist.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote 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...
    Quote 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!

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Interesting. We could do a scatter graph.
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    Default 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.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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!

    Quote 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 29th, 2010 at 06:46 AM. Reason: as always - spelling - and I still didn't get them all
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    Default 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.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.....

    I thought I was the RepubliCRAT. At the very least, I coined the term.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by timkona View Post
    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.....

    I thought I was the RepubliCRAT. At the very least, I coined the term.
    Okay, you be the Republicrat, Tutu be the Demican. It's all good.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by timkona View Post
    Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.....

    I thought I was the RepubliCRAT. At the very least, I coined the term.
    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    Okay, you be the Republicrat, Tutu be the Demican. It's all good.
    True story...
    My dad, a diehard Eisenhower fan, did not align with either party. While registering for the 1952 primary he refused to register with either party, stating he wasn't partial to either one. In order to vote he had to register as one or the other. So, he chose republican based solely on, to him, the word having a less harsh sound than the word democrat! He was telling the story to my mom and me during dinner. The solution seemed very easy to an 8 year old...register as a republicrat! My dad agreed that it was a great idea and said he'd see what he could do! I remember that 1952 discussion like it was yesterday as it ended up defining how I vote. Can't remember, tho', when I redefined the term to include independent.

    So, all that said, I won't relinquish my place as first in line for using the term but I will share it with you, timkona!!!

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    So, all that said, I won't relinquish my place as first in line for using the term but I will share it with you, timkona!!!
    Okay, Tim, YOU are the Dominican! I hope you can speak Spanish!
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by bjd392 View Post
    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) .
    No, I don't watch the news as a reliable source of information. I get my info mainly from my college classes, textbooks, and other like sources. I realize some of these could be biased as well, but put like that- what source is not biased to some degree?

    Can't think of anything creative this time


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    Exclamation Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    True story...
    My dad, a diehard Eisenhower fan, did not align with either party. While registering for the 1952 primary he refused to register with either party, stating he wasn't partial to either one. In order to vote he had to register as one or the other.
    That's what bugs me about the "two-party system," we get programmed into thinking there are only two parties - a nefarious scheme foisted upon us by the trilateral commission and the other world-domination group (whose name I forget). (Purposely!)

    I believe that most of our history in the USA saw more than two parties at one time, and that the Republicans and Democrats were actually part of a single party! (Read it and weep!)

    Are we being snowed? Of course. It's LONG overdue time to expand the number of parties so our views can be adequately addressed. The strongest, and growing, 'third' party is the Libertarians - why? Because we perceive our rights are being eroded by Democratic parentalism.

    I don't register with my party, I register as the opposition party so I can vote in their primaries. By selecting the least-viable candidate, I try to block their plans. It does no good, but it feels good.

    I feel I am neither left nor right, but what do I know? I just believe in Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Time for another Revolution... we missed our chance with Good King George W., but it is coming. Pray it is peaceful, for I fear it won't be, especially if the UN trashes our second amendment like they plan.

    I like Freedom, and I want to keep it. - Or at least get it back - we have lost too much.
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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    That's what bugs me about the "two-party system," we get programmed into thinking there are only two parties
    Matapule and uaifi were at a dinner party last night with neighbors. Original home locations were Chicago, Phoenix, Calgary, and SoCal. The conversation turned to politics and it readily became apparent that, although not planned that way, it was a decidedly Democrat orientation. There was a lot of forth and back about the pros and cons of the Obama Administration. When they returned back to their casa, uaifii said to matapule, " Tonight, for the first time, I realized I am not a Democrat. The Democrats are entirely too conservative for me." Well, matapule knows that uaifi is not a Communist, she is way to independent to be a Commie. And she is not a Libertarian, she considers them just another name for Baggers. So what's left? Matapule is registered in the Green Party. It's good to be Green (and time for a new avatar).

    Because we perceive our rights are being eroded by Democratic parentalism.
    So the Republicans are now the face of the Libertarian Party? You could have fooled me (not).

    especially if the UN trashes our second amendment like they plan.
    BS. You are being influenced by the "liar, liar, pants on fire" network

    I like Freedom, and I want to keep it. - Or at least get it back - we have lost too much.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by matapule View Post
    The Bagger Anthem!
    Yet Kaonohi is clearly no TeaBagger (based on his posted opinions over time), and I don't know that the ideals of the Libertarian Party will work for him either. I suspect he's like so many of us - fed up not only with the two-party structure, but not pleased with any of the current alternative organized parties.

    At your dinner, I would have been curious to hear the former Calgarian's take on how a parliamentary system would work in the U.S. I've long thought that such a structure would permit more voices to be represented in legislative discussions, from a wider value range. People with opposing perspectives on one set of issues sometimes find themselves more open to compromise on others.

    Yet the Canadian system has shown major, major flaws in recent years as well. Despite the perception of civility regarding our northern neighbors, their politicians can be as cutting and insulting as our own, and the party presently in power (the Canadian equivalent to the GOP) is as manipulative as any American one. Even with a Parliament, they basically have only two strong national parties, with names even more obvious regarding their places on the spectrum (Liberal and Conservative parties); the other parties that ever make any inroads include the NDP (more like the American Green Party, even though there is a Green Party in Canada) and the Bloc Québécois (one of their tenets is the separation of the province of Québéc, to be a nation outside of Canada).

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    [...]
    I like Freedom, and I want to keep it. - Or at least get it back - we have lost too much.
    A slightly off-topic anecdote...
    I never, ever felt I would like living in a multi-unit building (condo or townhouse). Then, about 20 years ago, it made sense to be able to lock one door and walk away for extended visits to the mainland without having to worry about exterior upkeep and multiple entry points for potential pilferers. The multiple-unit way of life comes with a large set of rules (both house rules and by-laws) that many residents (owners & tenants) grumble about and consider a loss of freedom. I know what it's like to live in a townhouse project that had no association of apartment owners (AOAO), therefore no rules. OMG! Condo living is a mini-government (board of directors enforced) that's within a C&C government that's within a state government that's within a federal government. We need to have rules/laws because we're human beings with all of our warts and quirks.

    That anecdote leads me to curious but serious questions with respectful intentions, for you, Kaonohi...
    What freedoms have we lost that are important to you?
    What freedoms have we lost that you feel are important to our society as a whole?
    When did we lose these freedoms?
    What current freedoms do you feel are in jeopardy?

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    Default Re: Left v. Right on HT

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    I know what it's like to live in a townhouse project that had no association of apartment
    We like condo living with an HOA for the same reasons you do. It is not perfect, but better than the alternatives. No rules/no regulations = anarchy. Mexico has way fewer societal rules than the US. But personal gun ownership is no permite. So if you are caught with a gun, you are going to jail, no ifs, ands, or buts. The "no rules" society in Mexico is interesting. Stop signs and traffic signals are optional! Its up to you if you want to stop. I wonder if Kaonohi would like living here? Guns don't kill people here.......cars do! One of the highest auto accident rates in the world. But that's one example of what "no rules" gets for a society.

    BTW, good questions for Kaonohi. I eargerly await his answers.
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