‘I don’t think the common person is getting it’

Today’s jaw-dropping must-read is by Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times,Donors arrive at Hamptons fundraisers with advice for Mitt Romney.”

The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman’s estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman’s property — the Creeks — checked off names under tight security.

… A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

Reminds me of something James used to say:

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

  • aunursa

    Deird @ 10:03 PM: Apples and oranges.

    A country in Western Europe holds an election for prime minister.  American commentators do not refer to the more conservative candidate as the “mainstream liberal” candidate running against the “far left” candidate.  Based on his agenda he might be considered a mainstream liberal if he were running in the United States, but he’s not running for office in the United States.

    You can complain all you want about the fact that the American political spectrum is not like Western Europe.  But the fact is that the United States is not Western Europe.  The United States is not Egypt. The United States is not India.  Each country has its own problems, its own political parties, and its own political spectrum.  That you wish the U.S. to be more liberal doesn’t change the fact that Barack Obama is a candidate for president in the United States, and in the United States he is not a moderate conservative. When Obama runs for Prime Minister of Italy, then it will make sense to place him on a different political spectrum.

  • aunursa

    Did I mention #$%*&%# Discus?!?

  • Lori

    I’m not going to bother getting into detail about what’s wrong with your links because we’ve gone over this before and it doesn’t change anything. Your willful double standards, misrepresentation of issues and use of less than credible sources  goes a long way toward proving my point that you’re a liar.

    This quote from one of your links pretty much sums it up:

    In their letter to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader
    Eric Cantor wrote, “While it is important that we continue to debate
    and discuss our different approaches to job creation … we should not
    approach this as an all-or-nothing situation.” 

    Coming from Boehner and Cantor this is just ridiculous. If there was a Disingenuous Hall of Fame this would be in on the first ballot.

  • Lori

     

    I just don’t see the same level of ire that Cruise deserves and receives
    leveled against Kirstey Alley, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Anne
    Archer, Nancy Cartwright, or Greta Van Susteren.  

    What the hell is your point? Are you trying to say that we’re not allowed to be upset about people who are actually, actively trying to ruin the country unless we share your exact level of ire at Scientology? Are you saying that we’re somehow obligated to be as irritated by people who are open, but fairly low-key about their beliefs as we are about the guy who went on national TV and made a big point of declaring psychiatry to be evil, including criticizing people whose lives were saved by psychiatric drugs? Because if that’s what you’re trying to say you’re an idiot.

    Greta Van Susteren is a Right wing hack and her Fox News show is, like all Fox News shows, part of what’s wrong with this country. However, the problem with her show isn’t related in any specific way to Scientology. The problem is that she’s a Right wing hack. She’s no worse than the rest of Fox’s stable of hacks who aren’t  Scientologists.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say about the rest of the people on your list. What, exactly, has Anne Archer done to you?

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    I wasn’t trying to imply anything that wasn’t already fully evident to the rest of the community as part of your actual, demonstrated behavior.

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    People here can get angry and hostile. That’s permitted within reason. Heavy condescension and your dancing game are a different level, one that refuses even basic forthrightness. At least respect the people you’re arguing with enough to actually make your arguments and not condescend; they’ve extended the same courtesy to you.

  • Tonio

     How US politicians would be categorized in Europe, and vice versa, is of interest to me on an intellectual level, but the categorization itself doesn’t affect my own stances. What really matters to me is doing away with the concept of privilege, and on issues such as health care, the European nations offer various examples on how care should be treated as a right and not as a privilege. My own stances aren’t about labels and how different nations use these – in my view, Obama hasn’t done enough to fight privilege and the people opposing him tend to deem privilege as a good thing. 

    I’m defining “privilege” here as unequal treatment based on economic status or personal characteristics, or the defense of such treatment. This doesn’t mean opposition to wealth itself, but balancing the power that often comes with wealth.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If you can’t see how your question is loaded in the same manner as “Have you stopped beating your wife?,” I can’t help you.

    If, on the other hand, your wife regularly goes about with makeup concealing a black eye, then it is entirely reasonable to ask you if you’ve stopped beating her.

  • Albanaeon

     First, David Brooks as a source?  Really?  Just really?

    Second.  You may want to look at what they actually did and not what they say.  See politicians have a habit of trying to paint their actions in the best like, or even in this day and age, lie outright.

    So when you look at what they’ve actually done, like filibustering nearly everything (http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/11/chart-day-republicans-and-filibuster), or nearly threatening the meltdown of the country of the Debt Ceiling vote (really, a vote on whether to spend the money we said we would became the most embarrassing episode of government ever even after Monica, and Katrina, and Mission Accomplished), or nearly shutting down government over Planned Parenthood, or declaring Religious Liberty=forcing everyone to do it like the Catholics, and (since you forgot) declaring that the mission of the newly elected Congress was to make Obama a one term president.

    These aren’t the actions of compromise or governance, this is scorched earth, if we can’t have it then none will actions of pure partisan hacks.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hit up your Disqus Profile:

    http://disqus.com/dashboard/#account

    Look for the time setting that lets you set dates and times to Relative or Absolute. If it’s already on Absolute, set it to Relative, Save, reset it to Absolute, Save.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also, generally, folks?

    I boosted the signal for Fred’s donation post but also for the Democrats.

    Obviously noncitizens can’t contribute directly, but I thought I’d do my part by raising awareness of one way to donate.

    EDIT: One thing to note, people? I realize posts near the bottom of the previous page have a tendency to get ignored but please read my previous post if you want to adjust your time display settings to get the exact date and time someone posted instead of “X minutes/days/weeks ago”.

  • SisterCoyote

    Yeah, that’s the caveat I considered adding – if you do more work and take on more responsibilities, getting more pay makes sense. But I think there’s a limit to that, and our society has gone way, way past it. (Not in tiny retail jobs like mine, where although the manager drives me up the wall sometimes, we remain friends, and I can certainly acknowledge he often does more than me, and both of us are struggling to get by – but in large corporations, where executives are paid truly absurd amounts of money for what appears to be not monumental amounts of work. More than a few hundred dollars an hour just seems ridiculous for pretty much any skill.)

  • aunursa

    I’m not saying anything even close to the things that you guessed I was saying.  And  while Scientology is evil, it’s not a big deal to me.  Someone else introduced Scientology into the discussion, and it’s distracting from the main discussion, so I’ll just leave it at that. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Between the Hollywood millionaires who occasionally spout off nonsense
    about Scientology being AWESOME and the old money billionaires who
    occasionally spout off nonsense about how we should all just accept our
    place under our betters, I know which one I can ignore with less
    irritation.

    Considering that such actors usually get a fair chunk of derision anyway, they are definitely a lot more ignorable than out of touch gazillionaires who can say with a straight face that the little people are just too stupid to figure out for themselves how they want to vote.

    And to think Republicans project onto “thuh egghead librulls” the idea that we’re all elitist latte-sipping jerkwads who think average people are too stupid!

    News flash:

    It’s not that we think they’re “stupid”, it’s that we think they’ve been purposely given the wrong kind of information by the likes of Fox News (and even other mainstream media outlets when the goal is media exposure rather than factual accuracy).

  • aunursa

    Shay Guy @ 8:46: How you measure “heavy condescension” escapes me.  I find that I am much less condescending toward others than others are toward me.  A small percentage of my comments could be considered condescending by a reasonable person.  I find that there are posters who find it difficult to respond to my comments without personally attacking me as ignorant, stupid, evil, etc.  I have a high tolerance level for insults, but I never claimed to be perfect.  So I reject your conclusion that “they’ve extended the same courtesy to you.”

    I don’t understand what you mean by “dancing game” or how I’m being less than honest and straightforward.  Oftentimes I don’t give my personal opinion, but others infer it from my quotes and comments.  Is that what you mean by “forthrightness”?  Or is it that I don’t give a straight answer to a direct (and not loaded) question 100% of the time?  Or something else?

  • aunursa

    Tonio @ 8:48: Your opinions are duly noted.

  • aunursa

    EllieMurasaki @ 9:03: Correct.  It’s still a loaded question.

    If you have previously beaten your wife, and someone asks you, “Have you stopped beating your wife?”, the assumption is correct — but it’s still a loaded question.  A question is loaded based on the assumption, regardless of whether or not the assumption is correct.

    If I am asked a loaded question and I hold the assumption, I may answer the question (and I may or may not point out the assumption.)  If I am asked a loaded question and I don’t hold the assumption, I’ll point out that the question is loaded and a loaded question is a logical fallacy.  The question is pointless without first proving the validity of the assumption.  And since it’s not my responsibility to prove someone else’s assumptions, I have no further use for the loaded question.

  • aunursa

    it’s that we think they’ve been purposely given the wrong kind of information by the likes of Fox News (and even other mainstream media outlets when the goal is media exposure rather than factual accuracy).

    You’re certainly welcome to complain about wrong kind of information broadcast by Fox News and other media.  You’re certainly welcome to refuse to read, watch, or listen to any news source that routinely lies to you, provides you with the wrong kind of information, or offers stories that you don’t want to hear.  Both liberals and conservatives have established media watchdog groups that read every column and watch every minute in order to pont out when a media outless fails to dot a “i”, cross a “t”, or displays even a hint of bias against their side or for the opposition.

  • Tonio

     That’s the answer – I don’t have a Disqus account and have been posting as a guest.

  • guest

    :) I didn’t say I made any more money than my staff, I’m just billed out at a higher rate.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Now imagine I call the second of those philosophies “extreme right wing”. Is that really a coherent position?

    It’s an ‘extremely right wing’ position for that country (or at least that country’s main body politic – there are probably some libertarians hiding in the wings, being blissfully ignored by the populace at large).  So you could say Obama is ‘far left’ for an American politican (you’d still be wrong… there are significantly more extreme positions) with him still being left wing to the world at large.  Just as you might by the lightest-haired person in the room somewhere in China, and the darkest-haired person in the room in say, Sweden.

    The issue is one of equivocation, with equating ‘left wing in America’ with ‘left wing worldwide’…

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    A country in Western Europe holds an election for prime minister.  American commentators do not refer to the more conservative candidate as the “mainstream liberal” candidate running against the “far left” candidate.  Based on his agenda he might be considered a mainstream liberal if he were running in the United States, but he’s not running for office in the United States.

    You can complain all you want about the fact that the American political spectrum is not like Western Europe.  But the fact is that the United States is not Western Europe.  The United States is not Egypt. The United States is not India.  Each country has its own problems, its own political parties, and its own political spectrum.  That you wish the U.S. to be more liberal doesn’t change the fact that Barack Obama is a candidate for president in the United States, and in the United States he is not a moderate conservative. When Obama runs for Prime Minister of Italy, then it will make sense to place him on a different political spectrum.

    No, the point is that the words extreme and , which you like to use when referring to Democrats, carry strong connotations of unreasonable. It is not unreasonable to hold a position at one end of a very skewed spectrum.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    How US politicians would be categorized in Europe, and vice versa,

    You know this, but I’d like to reiterate that it’s not the US vs Europe. The US is unusually right wing in the context of international community of stable, advanced democracies. Includes Canada (not Europe) and we here in Australasia, as far from Europe as you can get.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Addendum: The Dems would get a LOT of traction if they were willing to underscore that they endorse a 1960s style tax system with a zero rate threshold akin to the reforms introduced in the 1970s. To put that in perspective, the first $10,000 would be 0%, and anybody making up to $40,000 a year would be paying 15%, and then gradually rising to 70% on incomes well in excess of a million dollars.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    I have considered making my father’s forwarding address the columbarium, but that would be unkind to the people who run it. 

  • arcseconds

    OK, this business about relative political spectra.

    Yes, different countries and different time periods have different spectra.  So describing Obama as ‘left’ in the context of the USA isn’t exactly wrong.

    However, it certainly does create the impression that he’s ‘objectively left’ when everyone (including the media) says he’s left without qualification.    This perhaps wouldn’t matter if everyone kept in mind the relativity involved here, but they don’t — look at how people describe Obama as ‘extreme left’ and even ‘socialist’.   People generally aren’t all that well-informed about even politics in their own country, let alone anywhere else, so it’d be very surprising if they were really aware of what saying ‘Obama is Left’ is really saying about him, especially as they get no help about this from the media or general political discourse.

    Furthermore, this manner of speech creates the impression that there’s an envelope of reasonability, defined by the left and the right parties of your country, and beyond those boundaries there are the crazy extremists.   Futhermore, furthermore, it creates the impression that this envelope stays static over time.

    (from that point, it’s easy to describe your opponent as an ‘extremist’, because he’s only one step removed from extremists pretty much by definition.  That’s great – no-one who listens to you will now listen to him any more. )

    Plus, of course, there’s the inherent problems with trying to shoe-horn a myriad of possible and real positions into ‘left’ and ‘right’.

    This kills any really meaningful discourse because everyone ends up being completely blinkered to the possibilities, and blind to change over time.   That’s great for the entrenched interests, as the possibility of changing society so that they’re not entrenched anymore can’t even be stated in a way that can be understood.

    I recommend people who want to have an intelligent discussion about political views consult politicalcompass.org.   They try to extend the spectrum metaphor to two dimensions, which isn’t all that great either really but at least it’s an improvement.  They also advocate for an objective positioning, for roughly the reasons I’ve already stated.

    I’m not really sure that objective positioning is really a coherent idea (plus they don’t really tell us how they’re measuring people), but it should be possible to at least include recent history in our political discourse.  Really, ‘Obama is to the right of Nixon’ should be a commonplace.

  • Tonio

    I woul think that truly objective positioning would be based on political philosophies, except that we need some idea of what the contrasting philosophies are. One of my college professors suggested that liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it, but I don’t know if that captures the real difference.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I woul think that truly objective positioning would be based on political philosophies, except that we need some idea of what the contrasting philosophies are. One of my college professors suggested that liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it, but I don’t know if that captures the real difference.

    No, it doesn’t. Plus the American use of the word “liberal” confuses things.If you’re talking about economics, I like left and right. The essential difference is the degree to which government is involved in the economy. If you’re talking about social issues, progressive and conservative are more useful.Importantly, economic and social issues are not the same thing, although if you’re poor they’re intricately linked. I know heaps of right wing progressives and a few left wing conservatives.

  • EllieMurasaki

    liberals tend to be optimistic about human nature and conservatives tend to be pessimistic about it

    False. Conservatives are optimistic enough about human nature to think employers will do right by their employees and everyone will give enough to private charity to make sure no need goes unmet. Liberals compare that belief to the facts and laugh their asses off.

  • aunursa

    No, the point is that the words extreme and extremist, which you like to use when referring to Democrats, carry strong connotations of unreasonable. It is not unreasonable to hold a position at one end of a very skewed spectrum.

    Semantics.  I looked up the definition of extremist, and it indicates “outside the norm.”  I wasn’t aware that it necessarily implied unreasonable, a connotation that I did not intend to include. 

    And I don’t use “extremist” in reference to Democrats in general, but to specific politicians … and in particular, to certain policies and agendas.  And  I don’t reserve “extremist” exclusively for the left side of the spectrum.  There are certainly Republicans to whose agendas I would apply the label. 

  • aunursa

    I took the politicalcompass.org test.  I didn’t like most of the questions.  So many of them were poorly worded, and any answer I would give would be a distortion of my true opinion.  There were several questions to which I was thinking, “It’s so much more complicated.”

    So I don’t put much value in the chart showing the alleged positions of various political leaders on the political compass.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Semantics.  I looked up the definition of extremist, and it indicates “outside the norm.”

    Extremist:
    “someone who has beliefs which most people think are unreasonable and unacceptable

    chiefly derogatory a person who holds extreme political or religious views.”

    “a person who favours or resorts to immoderate, uncompromising, or
    fanatical
    methods or behaviour, esp in being politically radical”

    “of, relating to, or characterized by immoderate or excessive actions, opinions, etc.”

    Those were googled in less than a minute. (I typed in “extremist dictionary” and let Google do its thing.)

  • Lori

     

    Conservatives are optimistic enough about human nature to think
    employers will do right by their employees and everyone will give enough
    to private charity to make sure no need goes unmet. 

    AFAICT most of them don’t actually believe this. They know perfectly well that it won’t really happen. They just don’t want to pay taxes and they like the idea of expanding church power so they talk a lot about “responsibility” while knowing full well that most people aren’t going to live up that “responsibility”.

    I don’t think you can really characterize either Liberals or Conservatives as optimistic or pessimistic about human nature. I think they’re both, they’re just optimistic and pessimistic about different things.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Conservatives, on balance, hold that most humans are worthless, undeserving scum, who should be trusted to take care of themselves with no outside help and no regulations impinging on their decisions.

    Contrariwise, Liberals tend to believe that humans are all fundamentally worthwhile and deserving, and can not be trusted to act correctly without the law constraining them to stay on the straight and narrow.

    (No, not really.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That’s some l33t dictionary checking skillz you have there, Deird.

    Aunursa, does your dictionary also tell you that “semantics” means “your argument is thus dismissed”? Choosing the word “extremist” over the phrase “to the far left of American politics” is a meaningful difference.

    I can not recall ever hearing someone call a person, position or group extremist in a way that was not derogatory. You say you weren’t aware of the connotation of unreasonableness..okay, but you are now, so I guess you won’t be calling anything extremist from now on unless you specifically want people to infer that you think it is unreasonable.

     I can’t recall you ever describing a Republican or right winger as extremist on this blog, but maybe you have, and it doesn’t matter either way. I made no claim as to whether you applied the label to both sides of politics.

  • arcseconds

     I’m not really endorsing the test, I’m more recommending the site as reading material.

    And I’m not wholeheartedly endorsing it, but most
    of what they say strikes me as moving in the right direction.

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough on that.

    Also, they don’t determine the position of politicians by having them take the
    test, but by analysing what they do, which has the potential to be far
    more accurate (and they claim it is in fact
    more accurate
    ).    They won’t publish how they do this, though, which is annoying.

    Interestingly, they also state that when politicans have taken the test, they tend to respond according to the prevailing electoral mood,  which is different to how they actually act.

    Obviously a ‘compass’ (it’s not really a compass, because a compass is just a direction, it’s really a cartesian plane (not even polar coordinates!)) is still a massive simplification.  

    As an example, there are a number of people around who believe pretty strongly in the free market in general, so want low taxes and that sort of thing, but are strongly in favour of government intervention on environmental matters (because they realise the necessity of internalizing the externalities).    Clearly the compass is absolutely unable to reflect this, and a determination of the ‘leftness’ of their position would at best reflect the average of their general economic liberalism with their environmental interventionism (and how would you weight such an average?)

    However, I will offer a limited defense of the test.   Given it’s a crude model, and given that they want a test they can give to practically anyone, of course it’s not going to be big on the sophistication and subtlety of your position.   It’s got no way of reflecting that in the outcome, and designing a test that takes that into account would be difficult and probably pointless – kind of getting into the ‘measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe’  territory.

    They actually deal with this in the FAQ.  You’re supposed to answer pretty intuitively and reflexively.  If you really can’t decide, just pick one, but you’ll probably have some kind of tendency, and that’s what it’s recording.    It’s akin to a personality test such as Myers-Briggs: a pretty rough-and-ready shoehorning of you into some ready-made boxes, but (hopefully) based on tendencies you really do have, as displayed in your answers to the little test they give you.

    Also, most people I’ve ever talked with about this do in fact largely agree with their position on the compass (give or take – they really ought to put an error region on it!).    So there’s ancedotal evidence that it works about as well as can be expected.   Do you disagree about where it puts you on the compass? If so, I’ll mark you down in the small category of ‘test failures’.   It’d be interesting to know where it put you, and where you think you ought to be, and why.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Conservatives, on balance, hold that most humans are worthless,
    undeserving scum, who should be trusted to take care of themselves with
    no outside help and no regulations impinging on their decisions.

    How amusing that in practice, the second half of the sentence should actually read, ‘and so laws are passed which reinforce hierarchical ‘daddy knows best’ lines of authority replicated fractally throughout society from the nuclear family all the way to the government itself. President knows best, and will thus enforce all these strict laws. God knows best, so we’ll support churches we deem appropriate with tax dollars, too.’

  • Tonio

     Perhaps my own stance is confusing me, because I don’t see much of a practical distinction between economic and social issues. I tend to look at issues as whether there’s a power imbalance, whether this amounts to an injustice in that instance for people on the low end of the imbalance, and whether government can correct the balance without causing injustice elsewhere. For me, that justifies government regulation of business to protect consumers and employees but doesn’t justify government banning same-sex marriage. I don’t pretend that all my stances on issues are absolutely consistent with this philosophy.

    I don’t know how one would define a “left-wing conservative.” If it’s support of government regulation of business but opposition to same-sex marriage, I don’t know of a political philosophy that would be consistent with both. At least the Log Cabin Republicans and others who appear to be right-wing progressives seem more consistent with opposing government power in general. A big reason I’m  not a libertarian is because that view seems to define one’s metaphorical freedom to swing one’s fist as not ending where another’s metaphorical nose begins.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If it helps, even the NDP here in BC is a bit more right-wing compared to our Ontarian cousins. When the NDP has been in power here, there’s still been a fair bit of acceptance of ‘law and order’ responses to crime, as well as a tendency to allow user fees and other regressive taxes to play a role in the tax system.

    So you can get what you might call “small s” socialists who don’t mind government intervention in the economy, but also aren’t keen on what might be termed ‘wacky huggy-feely policies’.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I take pains to draw the distinction because, as I’ve described here many times, I have a lot of exposure to people who are social progressives but economically right wing. They are, to a man and woman, people who have a lot of economic privilege themselves so have a blindspot when it comes to the need for governments to play a strong role in providing for the financial wellbeing of the poor.

    I’d say all of the so-described moderate Liberals in Australia fit this mold. Malcolm Turnbull is a great example of a right wing social progressive.

    don’t know how one would define a “left-wing conservative.”

    The classic example (largely outside the US where so many have fucked up ideas about economics, present company excepted) is conservative Catholicism. I know a great many politically active Catholics who are socially conservative (e.g. on gay rights, divorce, abortion) but incredibly strong on labour rights, environmentalism, financial support for the poor, rights-based services for the aged and people with disabilities, and abolitionists on capital punishment.

  • Tonio

    The blind spots that you and Neutrino describe could be driven by self-interest. If the modern Liberals in Australia seek to protect their economic status, the folks in British Columbia could be fearful of their possessions. Not that anyone else is immune to the influence of self-interest, I’m simply looking at exceptions to philosophies that seem obvious.

    In my limited experience with conservative Catholicism, those socially conservative stances have the effect, if implemented, of putting the genders into a hierarchy with men at the top. One can question whether that’s the point of such stances, but either way, it’s saddening that a religion that believes strongly in social justice in all those other areas you named appears to reject it just as strongly where gender identity is concerned.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The blind spots that you and Neutrino describe could be driven by self-interest.

    Sure. I wonder if there’s also something to the differences in the heterogeneity of people we tend to interact with on the social vs class level.

    By which I mean–evidence shows, in Australia at least, that by and large people tend to associate with people of similar class to themselves. However, I think we probably have less racial segregation than in, for example, the US. The cities in particular are very multicultural, and it would be very unusual to have a school or workforce of decent size that was culturally homogenous. (I can dig up the actual stats later if anyone’s interested). So your average upper middle class progressive Liberal (who tends to be a city dweller) is likely to have a racially diverse peer group; and of course diversity of sexualities goes across all social classes.

    Thinking of the socially progressive Liberals I know personally, they are well acquainted with the realities of inequalities due to race, gender and sexuality from the experience of their friends, family, peers and themselves. But poverty in the developing world is something they don’t have usually first or second hand experience of.

    I’m thinking aloud at this point and should really go to bed, so…forgive all the glaring holes in my doesn’t-really-count-as-an-argument :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    folks in British Columbia could be fearful of their possessions.

    It is true that there’s been a spate of home invasions in Vancouver in the last few years, heavily amped up by the media and not helped by the fact that even in the 1990s, the Vancouver PD was criticized for poor response times to robbery alerts.

  • aunursa

    It identified me as close to center slightly in the libertarian, right  quadrant.  Based on where the test positions various American politians, I don’t know what the terms libertarian, authoritarian, left, and right mean in the context of the chart.  (I know what those terms mean in the course of politics in general, but the placement of various leaders on the chart indicates something different.)  Certain issues that would identify authoritarian versus libertarian tendencies were not asked.  (For example, some of the questions asked about an issue in which the mainstream liberal would display a libertarian tendency, but issues in which the mainstream conservative would display a libertarian tendency were not addressed.)  So again, I don’t put much value into it.

    But I appreciate the link. 

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    I have a lot of exposure to people who are social progressives but economically right wing. They are, to a man and woman, people who have a lot of economic privilege themselves so have a blindspot when it comes to the need for governments to play a strong role in providing for the financial wellbeing of the poor.

    *raises hand* Yep, that’d be me. Getting more financially left-wing by the day, and probably going to vote for the Greens this time around, but, yeah, my most natural ally in parliament would be Malcolm Turnbull.

    As you say, we tend to have a very non-segregated racial mix over here (with some exceptions – I’ve rarely encountered any Indigenous People), but little cross-economic mixing. Which means that I’ve started learning about the lives of poor Westerners fairly late in life – mostly from this blog.

  • Tricksterson

    Optmism is, from what I’ve heard a much more American conservative trait than it is an English, much less European conservative trait.

  • Tricksterson

    Re: the political compass I found it amusing that A:  They put bama and Romney just about side by side and B: Pretty much diametrically opposite from where the right envisions him and where the left would like him to be.

  • arcseconds

    What Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart describes as ‘conservative Catholicism’ is also the view endorsed by the Vatican, as far as I understand the matter.

    As a practical example of how this works in practice, consider the ‘corporatist’ (that’s the term used in the literature (well, it’s the one I remember, the terminology IIRC isn’t consistent)  not my term, and yes it is confusing) systems of places like France and Germany.  Not so much now, as they’ve tended to become more socially progressive over time (and of late have been drifting economically rightward), but when they were originally set up.

    The corporatist system involves large government involvement in the economy, but in support of a socially conservative blueprint.   The idea is essentially that the building blocks of society are nuclear families (and not individuals) and the family is integrated into society by the father (of course they’re hetero, married couples with kids in this picture), and the mother stays at home and raises the kids.

    So you have a system of social insurance, underpinned by the government, with income protection in the case of sickness and unemployment, coupled with generous child welfare (Germany is particularly famous for this).    It’s all designed to keep people comfortable and shield them from risk, but it’s also designed to keep them where they are.

  • arcseconds

    I’m really having difficulties understanding the nature of your complaint.

    It sounds like you just don’t like the test.  But no-one likes the test: everyone thinks the answers are simplistic and don’t reflect their world-view and want it to ask questions that will categorize people in the way they think the test should be categorizing.   But it has to be simplistic, and it can’t help but irritate some people with what is not asked.  A test that pleases you will annoy someone else in the way the questions have been slanted.

    It’s clear from the FAQ they get a lot of complaints about it.  But it’s interesting to note that everyone thinks the test is biased against them.   If it’s biased against everyone  it’s actually non-biased (it’s just that no-one likes taking it) so that suggests they’re doing something right.

    (I didn’t like taking it either, FWIW.   Although I thought it was biased towards me if anything…)

    The question to ask about the test is the question to ask about any measurement tool: does it work?

    So I’d be more interested in whether you think it categorized you wrongly.

    But you’d have to understand what the directions mean to do that.   They do explain it on the site, so you could try reading.

    I’m sure there are people that the test can’t really cope with, and you may be one of them.   Green freemarketeers would be an example of something that’s easy to describe but can’t be represented in a perspicacious way on the compass.  Note that the fact that such people exist doesn’t automatically prove that the compass is worthless — it’s only necessary for it to cope with most people in a way that’s roughly correct within the framework they lay out.

    (Basically, it’s not all about you)


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