a reply to: CriticalStinker
Spin. The answer is spin.
Most voters agree presidents and our government have made mistakes taking us back ✔
Most voters agree certain things need to be done and soon ✔
Most voters agree we could be better ✔
Every one of those questions is spinnable. Made mistakes? Sure! But what mistakes? Certain things need to be done? Of course! But what things? Better?
Surely everyone wants us to be better! But what does that mean?
I'm going to take one hotbutton issue and use it for example only to show what I mean... please, no one try to turn this into a partisan debate on
this example issue... the OP has done a great job of presenting a civil thread!
Have politicians made mistakes dealing with abortion? Of course they have! But while one person may think that it was a mistake to allow any
abortions, someone else might think it was a mistake to ever restrict them at all. What needs to be done? One person may say get rid of all abortion
clinics, while someone else might say amend the constitution to make every abortion legal and acceptable for any reason and at any time. Can we do
better? Of course, but better might mean making abortion illegal in every case for one person, while another thinks better is making sure no one can
even speak out against an abortion.
All the while, most people may (and I think they do) want as few abortions as possible without making them ridiculously hard to get. They'll answer
the same way.
My point is, those answers may be universal, but they do not indicate a middle ground. They are too vague.
At the same time, we have a media which plays both sides against the middle. Look at voter ID laws for another example. Let's say someone proposes
something like we have in Alabama: ID is required, but at the same time anyone can get a state ID at no cost if they can't afford one. CNN will likely
scream that any voter ID requirement is an affront to our democracy because it disenfranchises the poor (ignoring the part about IDs being free). Fox
will proclaim this a wonderful move to preserve democracy because it will prevent illegal aliens from voting.
Both are right, and both are wrong. It actually depends on the law itself and the details in it. Is the ability to get a free ID heavily restricted?
How easy is it for an illegal alien to get an ID? Those details matter, but they are usually buried so deep in the legaleeze as to be unnoticeable by
most people. So most people will get their opinion from whichever network they watch, and both networks are heavily skewed.
In the end, most politicians don't care about the country, the people who elected them, or anything else except getting re-elected. That's a cruel
fact of life. Their best chance to get re-elected is to stay in good with their party so they can blanket their district with ads and get endorsements
from popular members of their party come election time. So they follow the party line, get their payback at campaign time, get re-elected, and repeat
the process. Tick off the constituency? No problem... the media will cover for me.
Now add in the fact that both parties have been moving to their extremes over the last few years. I can remember a time when AOC could talk about cow
farts and she would have been laughed at. But today, some people are looking at other laws which have been passed that have been, in their opinion,
ridiculous... and they panic. If that law made it, could this law make it? In short, we have lost all confidence in our politicians to make reasonable
decisions. We expect them to tow the party line, so we look at which party will hurt us least and go with that. That reinforces the tendency of
politicians to tow the party line, and the whole thing spirals in on itself.
Our politicians and media know this. They also know that reasonable people who talk will figure out they are being played. So these politicians and
pundits cover their tracks by making words bad things... say the wrong word? You must be a racist, or a homophobe, or a xenophobe, or a sexist, or a
whatever-phobe. Do that enough, ingraine it into the very fabric of society, and people will stop talking, at least about anything that can remotely
be considered controversial. If they don't talk, they can't figure out they are being used.
No, there is no middle ground any more. Even those of us who want to see a middle ground are coming to accept that such a utopia can never exist again
in the USA. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream is dead; political correctness killed it. All we can do now is try to follow whichever political side
seems to serve us the best without regard for others, because those others are doing the same thing. We wind the rubber band tight, so tight it cannot
help but eventually snap.
Great thread OP. S&F for you.