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Dems and Reps, Differences Both Good and Bad, and Our Divided Culture

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An interesting video.  Haidt discusses the documented differences--statistically-speaking, between Republicans and Democrats in America.  He says he was previously a Dem, but is now centrist.  He goes into how anyone can have the tendency to be blind to opposing arguments and evidence, and the validity of left and right core beliefs, and why the public discourse is so poisoned.

Let me know if you watch all 47 minutes, tell me what you think!

:)

 

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 4:28 AM
Replies (11-14):
Clairwil
by Gold Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 6:49 AM
Quoting Meadowchik:
Quoting Clairwil:

Fifteen Differences Between Democrats And Republicans

 Those seem a bit shallow compared to Heidt's observations, but thanks for the linkage:)

Not the OP.   The research in the replies following the OP.


Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM
1 mom liked this

 I see Heidt among the collection of articles you cited, excerpt:

"If Democrats want to understand what makes people vote Republican, they must first understand the full spectrum of American moral concerns. They should then consider whether they can use more of that spectrum themselves. The Democrats would lose their souls if they ever abandoned their commitment to social justice, but social justice is about getting fair relationships among the parts of the nation. This often divisive struggle among the parts must be balanced by a clear and oft-repeated commitment to guarding the precious coherence of the whole. America lacks the long history, small size, ethnic homogeneity, and soccer mania that holds many other nations together, so our flag, our founding fathers, our military, and our common language take on a moral importance that many liberals find hard to fathom.

Unity is not the great need of the hour, it is the eternal struggle of our immigrant nation. The three Durkheimian foundations of ingroup, authority, and purity are powerful tools in that struggle. Until Democrats understand this point, they will be vulnerable to the seductive but false belief that Americans vote for Republicans primarily because they have been duped into doing so."

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Meadowchik:
Quoting Clairwil:

Fifteen Differences Between Democrats And Republicans

 Those seem a bit shallow compared to Heidt's observations, but thanks for the linkage:)

Not the OP.   The research in the replies following the OP.

 

 

rccmom
by Gold Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:36 PM

 

I thought the concept of sacrilize interesting also. I feel that some people equate their political beliefs with religious beliefs, and so the political concept become sacrosanct. I like the fact that the gentleman brought out though that we need both parties to come to any type of "truth," so to speak. Also, that competition and cooperation are 2 sides of the same coin. We need competition of ideas, but when it is necessary, we need the ability for the 2 sides to cooperate to run the country.

I agree that people cluster, but I have read reports about how isolated we are anymore as people. We don't have face to face personal communications as much anymore. He brought out the need for personal communication, not faceless communication that often takes place. I think this replacement of real relationships with technological relationships is causing harm in more areas than just our political spectrum. So, we have less real meaningful social connections, and the connections we do have tend to simply be reinforcing our political ideology.

You know, he did talk about the baby boomers serving together. I've read in Israel where everyone serves in the military that it serves as a bonding experience. It forces different types of people together, and forces them to get along. Some even end up taking orders from persons they completely disagree with in politics. I know it is an extreme idea, but if we had a universal draft in this country, it could possibly serve the same purpose. When I was in the AF I knew a guy completely prejudiced against blacks. He was forced to work with some, and in his entire life he had never been forced into such a situation before. He told me a few years later that it had had a profound impact on his life and he found himself much less prejudiced.

I would love to find some way that would bring diverse people together, when they are young, just out of high school, and put them in situations where they have to work together.

 

Quoting Meadowchik:

 

Quoting rccmom:

I watched all 47 minutes, in bits and pieces, but all of it. It was very interesting and I agree with a lot of what he said. I found it enlightening about Conservatives and the concept of Karma. That explains a lot. I agree that Democrats do a lousy job on articulating their position on capitalism. 

I really liked the new word "sacrilize," among other things.  We shouldn't build up anyone or anything ina way that prevents us from seeing facts, and therefore addressing problems appropriately.  An analogy would be like if religious fundies refused breast cancer surgery because that would require someone to see their "sacrilized" breasts (!) or environmental fundies let a town get eaten up by kudzoo so as not to interfere with the "sacrilized" plant's ecology(!)

Mostly, I really like what he said about demonizing the other side,

Yes, and I liked how he explained it.  Demonizing is the opposite of "sacrilizing." He says that groups, including countries tend to unify easily around a common enemy, a common cause against "evil," so in that way there can be merit in such behavior.  The problem is if it goes too far, and this is slippery indeed.  One thing I observed is that probably people on both the right and left believe that the other side is truly advancing evil in some way, and so they feel perfectly justified in declaring "war," at least with words and political tactics.  Abortion is a prime example, here's a couple specific cases of it: one could easily perceive the "evil" of forcing a rape victim to continue a pregnancy, one could also easily see "evil" in using elective abortion as late-stage birth control. 

Yet, we might agree that war must be resisted and prevented if at all possible, hopefully we--I mean you and I, specifically-- can agree that there should still be rules in opposing political discourse.  My hope is that self-imposed rules of individuals can build trust and common ground between them, and they can then serve as ambassadors between differing groups. 

That's the ideal, anyway, but then again, as Haidt points out there are still others serving as ambassadors but for the interest of an elect few and not for principles.  (BTW it should be pointed out that that can happen in any type of society, capitalist, communist, or anywhere in between, whether it be through chronyism, fringe benefits, or private corporations.)

and how we have been grouped into clusters that only reinforce what an iindividual already believes.

Indeed, even technology contributes to this.  

I think that is a real, and serious problem. He mentioned that we need personal interaction with people we trust, and that have different opinions. In that way, we can start to understand other positions.

People cluster, and when they do, they often create similarities beyond the ones that brought them together.  So, IMO, it is an age-old problem and will continue to be one for ages to come.  Hopefully, though, the "best ideas" will continue to act in a competitive manner and attract people, so perhaps the process will be more like a continual "honing" rather than a complete re-hashing without end.

 


 

Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM

 

Quoting rccmom:

 

I thought the concept of sacrilize interesting also. I feel that some people equate their political beliefs with religious beliefs, and so the political concept become sacrosanct. I like the fact that the gentleman brought out though that we need both parties to come to any type of "truth," so to speak. Also, that competition and cooperation are 2 sides of the same coin. We need competition of ideas, but when it is necessary, we need the ability for the 2 sides to cooperate to run the country.

I agree that people cluster, but I have read reports about how isolated we are anymore as people. We don't have face to face personal communications as much anymore. He brought out the need for personal communication, not faceless communication that often takes place. I think this replacement of real relationships with technological relationships is causing harm in more areas than just our political spectrum. So, we have less real meaningful social connections, and the connections we do have tend to simply be reinforcing our political ideology.

You know, he did talk about the baby boomers serving together. I've read in Israel where everyone serves in the military that it serves as a bonding experience. It forces different types of people together, and forces them to get along. Some even end up taking orders from persons they completely disagree with in politics. I know it is an extreme idea, but if we had a universal draft in this country, it could possibly serve the same purpose. When I was in the AF I knew a guy completely prejudiced against blacks. He was forced to work with some, and in his entire life he had never been forced into such a situation before. He told me a few years later that it had had a profound impact on his life and he found himself much less prejudiced.

I would love to find some way that would bring diverse people together, when they are young, just out of high school, and put them in situations where they have to work together.

 

Good news!  That's actually a natural product of people living in a plural istic society with free exchange of ideas.  Remember that Heidt was referring to  tendencies of the people really engaged in politics, not everyone.  Now, we already know people who are engaged in politics who are doing the good interacting that you hope for, so in that group there is hope, and general population, growth generally means movement, and mingling.

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