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Friend's Politics
Old 04-11-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
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Friend's Politics

Is it just me? I don't want to hear about friend's politics anymore. They forward things that appear to me to be mostly lies, with a little truth here and there. If I send a link to factcheck.org, or snopes.com, they become defensive. Even nasty.

It has slowed a little since the HCR debate is over, but I'm sure there is more coming.

How do you handle it?

I have former good friends that I don't want to be around now. They probably feel the same.......
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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I never open them...just opt for 'delete'.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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If it's e-mail I tend to ignore them. If it's on a place like Facebook where one of my "friends" keeps posting partisan political garbage that start flame wars, I block them from posting on my wall.

I don't understand why people foam at the mouth about divisive politics to a wide audience of people they supposedly love and/or respect when the chances are that you will alienate half of them (and I'm not talking about a message board environment). I don't understand that obsession.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #4
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I never open them...just opt for 'delete'.
Me too. One of my fellow church members occasionally gives me mailings from groups he supports. Since he's politically much more conservative than I am, these end up in the recycle bin.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
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I never open them...just opt for 'delete'.
+1
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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(snip) I don't understand why people foam at the mouth about divisive politics to a wide audience of people they supposedly love and/or respect when the chances are that you will alienate half of them (and I'm not talking about a message board environment). I don't understand that obsession.
I don't understand how so many people—and I mean both left and right wing—have gotten so angry and polarized over politics. However much you may disagree with or dislike them, GW Bush wasn't a second Hitler, and Barak Obama isn't the Antichrist. ISTM there is also a big element of fear in all this. There seem to be a significant (and increasing?) number of people who seriously think the excrement is shortly going to collide with the rotating ventilation enhancer. Where did that come from? Why are so many people so scared?
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:46 PM   #7
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Why are so many people so scared?
I think the housing price bubble burst and the financial meltdown made a lot of people consider some possibilities that they'd comfortably ignored before. It sure got my attention.

That's where the fear came from. I think other stuff is causing the anger--on both sides.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:01 PM   #8
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Why are so many people so scared?
There is an entire broadcast industry devoted to "scaring" us for their own ratings. Similarly, politicians have found it to be in their own self interest to have us all scared of the "other".

I think if we all sat down and talked to each other, openly and honestly, we would find that we are more alike than different.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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I just delete such e-mail, but actually get very few.

I do have one good friend back in Louisiana that I've known for almost 20 years who is a little to the right of Atilla the Hun but we understand each other really well and after he'd forwarded to me a couple of offensive e-mails I asked him to remove me from his distribution list which he immediately did.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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I get emails forwarded from liberal friends and I usuallly find them interesting. These friends are not trying to annoy me; in most cases they have no idea what my politics are, or if I even have political opinions.

My type of conservative is not around much any more; I am more Edmund Burke or Benjamin Disraeli than Sarah P or the tea party.

It seems to me that both modern conservatives and liberals are sadly lacking in wit.

Ha
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:23 PM   #11
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I get emails forwarded from liberal friends and I usuallly find them interesting. These friends are not trying to annoy me; in most cases they have no idea what my politics are, or if I even have political opinions.

My type of conservative is not around much any more; I am more Edmund Burke or Benjamin Disraeli than Sarah P or the tea party.

It seems to me that both modern conservatives and liberals are sadly lacking in wit.

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #12
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If I send a link to factcheck.org, or snopes.com, they become defensive. Even nasty.
I'm not a psychoanalyst but I play one on discussion boards.

There are people that:
- can discuss objectively - meaning as an idea being discussed is outside of them - the idea is separate from who they are
- the idea is part of who they are - to disagree with the idea is to reject them
- the idea is part of their social fabric - they want to belong to a group - similar to teenage cliques
- democracy has been taken to an extreme - all votes are equal therefor all political opinions are equal, regardless as to the knowledge or facts upon which the opinion is based
- feelings are more important (and is all they have) than thinking

What is interesting is the thought process of people - what they choose to pay attention to and the inferences they make from that information. How we think leads us to what we think - if we do think.

There was a great article in Newsweek or Time titled "The Death of Shame" that helps to explain the situation. The title is used a lot. It is from the 70s or 80s and I can not find it on the net. It starts out by stating that what is a shameful acts in a society is not important - that can vary. The important part is that an individual learns - is taught - by society what is shameful. The teaching aspect is important. The USA has stopped teaching. The individual is rudderless. It goes on from there and is relevant to your question and what is happening now.

What you describe is not new. The internet makes it easier for the people you describe to express themselves.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:28 PM   #13
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I get emails forwarded from liberal friends and I usuallly find them interesting.

As a far right conservative I also enjoy getting emails from liberal friends.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:31 PM   #14
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As a far right conservative I also enjoy getting emails from liberal friends.
Can I forward the ones I get to you?
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:07 PM   #15
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I consider myself a centrist (conservative on some issues, liberal on others), and I can't remember ever receiving (sending) a political email from (to) either friends or family.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:13 PM   #16
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But the entire premise is often built on a lie. How can you rationally discuss whether Obama is the antichrist, or GWB is a Nazi?

Sorry, bit I lose all respect for people who send some of these "facts".

One of the first things I learned about investing was "There is more than one road to Dublin." I'm certain that applies to many things in life.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:59 PM   #17
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The exclusively political emails aren't a big deal to me. I probably spend less than a minute a week deleting them.

What bothers me is when friends from various groups and acquaintances from areas of my life where politics shouldn't exist blend politics into otherwise normal communications.

Example: College buddies from undergrad school (class of '69 - wooohooo!) including political commentary in newsletter submissions. Or hobby buddies connecting negative trends in the hobby to vague cause and effect relationships with political administrations. Etc.

Some of 'em just can't let it go. Their political convictions always have to be expressed and usually in inappropriate places. It seems very much like religious evangelism. It comes at me from both the left and the right.......a problem with being a middle ground independent.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:48 AM   #18
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I think the housing price bubble burst and the financial meltdown made a lot of people consider some possibilities that they'd comfortably ignored before. It sure got my attention.

That's where the fear came from. I think other stuff is causing the anger--on both sides.
No, I think this has been going on since before the meltdown, and I think the fear is contributing to the anger. A wise man once wrote "Hatred...is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate." (italics in original).
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There is an entire broadcast industry devoted to "scaring" us for their own ratings.
Yes, but why is scaring people good for ratings? Who enjoys being afraid? I don't think this is "fun fear', like ghost stories or horror movies, where the fear is fun because it isn't real. Many people seem to be genuinely afraid.
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Similarly, politicians have found it to be in their own self interest to have us all scared of the "other".(snip)
It's obvious that fear can be a powerful tool for manipulating people. I wonder if some of this fear is the aftereffects of the 9-11 attacks. It's even easier to create fear when there are scary people around and you can't tell yourself "it's only a movie".
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:29 AM   #19
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Opinions and derrieres...everybody has both. In some cases, well separated. But in other cases, co-located. Fact of life.

I have learned that there are 3 polarizing topics one should avoid at the dinner table, social events and now email: politics, religion, and sex. I'm good with the first two, still w*rking on the third one.

In all seriousness, it is very good if people are expressing their own opinions based on facts and some sort of thought process. However, the mindless parroting (verbally or by forwarding emails) tells me that, by and large, people aren't really thinking, just mimicing the latest soundbite.

My audio filter is set to narrowband, my delete key stands at the ready. Except for the third topic of course.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:13 AM   #20
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Agreed... Often Friends and Family have done little more than listen to a sound bite on a campaign or PAC advertisement. Since many people get their news from sources that lean in toward their party politics... they usually swallow it hook line and sinker.

Pure unbridled rhetoric and hyperbole works on many people.

The latest Health Care bill could be a case study.

My favorite situation to cite is a school teacher friend who is retired and an almost an extremist on big govt, taxes, etc. Claims govt funded health care is an abomination of capitalist principles and leading us to communism.

Of course, she worked in the public school system and ER'd with her generous pension and very nice health benefits. For some reason she doesn't see her the contradiction in terms of how her salary, pension, and health care were/are funded.

IMO - for most average american, the no big govt mantra stops when it comes to the benefits they receive.
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