T Nation

A Question For the Yanks...

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
I agree with the points about the internet magnifying people’s aggression toward unlike viewpoints.

However, it seems to me that American politics have gotten progressively more contentious over the last 10-15 years.

I readily admit that this opinion may just be the result of my getting older and having more politically related experiences.[/quote]

I don’t think politics are any more contentious now than they were previously –

we tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses, but if you look back at the type of slurs tossed around by the newspapers and the politicians at the founding, I would think you might even decide things are less vitriolic now. At least no one has been beaten with a cane on the floor of the Senate in over 100 years…

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
I agree with the points about the internet magnifying people’s aggression toward unlike viewpoints.

However, it seems to me that American politics have gotten progressively more contentious over the last 10-15 years.

I readily admit that this opinion may just be the result of my getting older and having more politically related experiences.

I don’t think politics are any more contentious now than they were previously –

we tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses, but if you look back at the type of slurs tossed around by the newspapers and the politicians at the founding, I would think you might even decide things are less vitriolic now. At least no one has been beaten with a cane on the floor of the Senate in over 100 years…[/quote]

It only seems worse because of instant communication.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
I agree with the points about the internet magnifying people’s aggression toward unlike viewpoints.

However, it seems to me that American politics have gotten progressively more contentious over the last 10-15 years.

I readily admit that this opinion may just be the result of my getting older and having more politically related experiences.

I don’t think politics are any more contentious now than they were previously –

we tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses, but if you look back at the type of slurs tossed around by the newspapers and the politicians at the founding, I would think you might even decide things are less vitriolic now. At least no one has been beaten with a cane on the floor of the Senate in over 100 years…[/quote]

Of course, Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner with a cane as a result of a familial conflict as opposed to a political conflict. Apparently, Sumner made a derogatory comment about Mr. Brooks’ cousin, Senator Andrew Butler. Granted, Senator Sumner’s insulting remarks were politically motivated (plus he mocked Butler’s physical handicap). It’s also interesting to note that Brooks was about 5’6, and Sumner was about 6’5, but I digress…

I am sure that politics has always been volatile among politicians. I also would hesitate to claim that politics are more contentious now than at any other time in the history of the United States. However, I believe that political discussion among regular Americans has become more contentious recently than they have been at any other time in my lifetime (since 1978).

[quote]

toddjacobs13 wrote:
I agree with the points about the internet magnifying people’s aggression toward unlike viewpoints.

However, it seems to me that American politics have gotten progressively more contentious over the last 10-15 years.

I readily admit that this opinion may just be the result of my getting older and having more politically related experiences.

BostonBarrister wrote:
I don’t think politics are any more contentious now than they were previously –

we tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses, but if you look back at the type of slurs tossed around by the newspapers and the politicians at the founding, I would think you might even decide things are less vitriolic now. At least no one has been beaten with a cane on the floor of the Senate in over 100 years…

toddjacobs13 wrote:
Of course, Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner with a cane as a result of a familial conflict as opposed to a political conflict. Apparently, Sumner made a derogatory comment about Mr. Brooks’ cousin, Senator Andrew Butler. Granted, Senator Sumner’s insulting remarks were politically motivated (plus he mocked Butler’s physical handicap). It’s also interesting to note that Brooks was about 5’6, and Sumner was about 6’5, but I digress…

I am sure that politics has always been volatile among politicians. I also would hesitate to claim that politics are more contentious now than at any other time in the history of the United States. However, I believe that political discussion among regular Americans has become more contentious recently than they have been at any other time in my lifetime (since 1978).[/quote]

I dunno. That whole Red Scare thing was a pretty confrontational time for domestic politics. I’m also pretty sure the Civil War occasioned many harsh words among ordinary folks.

As I said, I think we’re looking at it through rose-colored glasses – and the level of conflict among ordinary people in verbal conversations in the past isn’t too well documented, but I don’t really believe we’ve become more contentious as a culture. Maybe more informed though…

Then again, maybe we’ve just funneled the passion that used to be put into religious disagreements into political disagreements.

[quote]toddjacobs13 wrote:
BostonBarrister wrote:
toddjacobs13 wrote:
I agree with the points about the internet magnifying people’s aggression toward unlike viewpoints.

However, it seems to me that American politics have gotten progressively more contentious over the last 10-15 years.

I readily admit that this opinion may just be the result of my getting older and having more politically related experiences.

I don’t think politics are any more contentious now than they were previously –

we tend to see the past through rose-colored glasses, but if you look back at the type of slurs tossed around by the newspapers and the politicians at the founding, I would think you might even decide things are less vitriolic now. At least no one has been beaten with a cane on the floor of the Senate in over 100 years…

Of course, Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner with a cane as a result of a familial conflict as opposed to a political conflict. Apparently, Sumner made a derogatory comment about Mr. Brooks’ cousin, Senator Andrew Butler. Granted, Senator Sumner’s insulting remarks were politically motivated (plus he mocked Butler’s physical handicap). It’s also interesting to note that Brooks was about 5’6, and Sumner was about 6’5, but I digress…

I am sure that politics has always been volatile among politicians. I also would hesitate to claim that politics are more contentious now than at any other time in the history of the United States. However, I believe that political discussion among regular Americans has become more contentious recently than they have been at any other time in my lifetime (since 1978).[/quote]

A very valid point actually. The proliferation of the media means that politics is on tv/radio/print press 24hrs a day and if something is in the public eye that much then obviously it follows that discussion of it will increase acordingly.

That’s why I’m all for 24hr naked lady channels.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

toddjacobs13 wrote:
I dunno. That whole Red Scare thing was a pretty confrontational time for domestic politics. I’m also pretty sure the Civil War occasioned many harsh words among ordinary folks.

As I said, I think we’re looking at it through rose-colored glasses – and the level of conflict among ordinary people in verbal conversations in the past isn’t too well documented, but I don’t really believe we’ve become more contentious as a culture. Maybe more informed though…

Then again, maybe we’ve just funneled the passion that used to be put into religious disagreements into political disagreements.
[/quote]

Okay, like I said, I am not stating that political discussion is more contentious now than any time in American history. I qualified my statement to incorporate only my lifetime. So the Civil War comment is inappropriate given that. Of course, it would be tough to argue that any period in American history was more contentious than the Civil War.

Potentially, the Red Scare comment is inappropriate as well, considering the most contentious Red Scare debates occurred before I was born (1978). Perhaps I am misunderstanding, and you are referring to debates of the late 70’s and early 80’s. If so, I accept your criticism as valid.

I am merely stating my beliefs. I believe that political discussion is more contentious now than any time in the last 27 years. I acknowledge that I may be wrong in this thinking. However, I do not remember the words liberal, democrat, conservative, and republican being used as epithets prior to the last few years.

Don’t blame it on the media, don’t blame it on culture, the blame is entirely the persons fault of confusing and their emotions as critical thought.

[quote]metalsluggx wrote:
Don’t blame it on the media, don’t blame it on culture, the blame is entirely the persons fault of confusing and their emotions as critical thought.[/quote]

Don’t blame it on the sunshine. Don’t blame it on the moonlight. Don’t blame it on the good times.

Just blame it on the boogie.

[quote]1-packlondoner wrote:
metalsluggx wrote:
Don’t blame it on the media, don’t blame it on culture, the blame is entirely the persons fault of confusing and their emotions as critical thought.

Don’t blame it on the sunshine. Don’t blame it on the moonlight. Don’t blame it on the good times.

Just blame it on the boogie. [/quote]

Cha’mone mother fucker

America has probably never been more divided in its history with the exception of the Civil War. You sue to be able to tell where a person stood on important issues by finding out if the was A Democrat or A Republican. Now you just can?t tell. Now they are either liberal or conservative. I fall more on the ultra conservative side so there is not a good fit in either party. I would probably vote Libertarian if I thought they might have a chance to win.

Me Solomon Grundy

[quote]1-packlondoner wrote:

That’s why I’m all for 24hr naked lady channels.
[/quote]

Try nakednews.com

[quote]Solomon Grundy wrote:
1-packlondoner wrote:

That’s why I’m all for 24hr naked lady channels.

Try nakednews.com[/quote]

loving your work…

I have often wondered why people failed to communicate just because they disagree. I agree with Thunderbolt, I think a lot of people?s mouths or fingers attempt to write checks their ass could not cash. That aside I do believe in history there were serious disagreements, duels to the death. The only difference is now you and I have a forum to disagree on.

I think the problem comes from the fact that the majority of the American public is uneducated on the topics being debated. They may catch a glimpse of what the topic is and then spin the rest of the story in their heads. Let’s face it, when there was a study done on the streets of several major cities in the United States very few people could name all of the Supreme Court justices, knew who their representatives were, or could even tell us who the VP of the United States was.

The overwhelming portion of uneducated people regarding politics is astounding. I think that is the heart of all the fighting since uninformed debates turn into “I’m right, you’re wrong just because!”

[quote]Solomon Grundy wrote:
America has probably never been more divided in its history with the exception of the Civil War. [/quote]

I disagree. Historically, this country has, at fairly regular intervals, gone through periods of extreme political divide. The seeds of that divide were present from the very beginning and the level of vitriol, slander, character assassination, etc. is no worse now than it was, for example, durring the election of 1800. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”