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Partisanship Kills!

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posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 05:13 AM
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As I sit to write this, I am in the ATS chat room watching several members, all former compatriots and friends, warring it out over the shootings which happened yesterday in Arizona.

Those on the left screaming that this shooting reeks of the Tea Party - citing Palins now infamous "Hit List" and discussing the uncountable times that conservatives, on these boards, have called for violent revolution, the killing of politicians, and an overthrow of our constitutionally elected government.

Those on the right are countering with the same statements, reversed.

Such is, and has been ATS for a very long time now. Just as our nation, and our world, for that matter, a community divided, drastically, by dogma and doctrine.

To get away from this very uncomfortable chat argument, I decided to open another tab to read the news and was dumbstruck by what I found...

Tucson rampage casts light on toxic political tone




It's been a year or more of raw politics, with anger spilling over on both sides and gun-related metaphors coming loosely from the lips of some candidates and activists. Giffords, a figurative target of the right, on Saturday became the actual target of a gunman who shot her through the head and killed at least five others. She was critically wounded...

...But in Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik suggested "all this vitriol" in recent political discourse might be connected to Saturday's shootings. "This may be free speech," he told reporters, "but it's not without consequences."...

"Anger and hate fuel reactions," said Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, whose Arizona district also includes parts of Tucson. He said he was not assessing blame, and Saturday's shootings might be the work of "a single nut." But he said the nation must assess the fallout of "an atmosphere where the political discourse is about hate, anger and bitterness ."

Source (oddly the link is entitled "political threat analysis" though the article is not

This article cut me straight to the bone. I, as much as anyone, am guilty of engaging in heated partisan bickering. In fact I may well be one of the worst offenders of this transgression. So this thread is not my shot at finger pointing... Well maybe it is, but I am well including myself in the group to be labeled "guilty". It is one thing to realize that the Emperor has no clothes. It is an entirely different thing to realize that, even as you point, you realize that you, also, are naked.

That is exactly how I feel right now. I am ashamed of some of the rhetoric I have engaged in, engendered, and promoted. I truly felt as though I were fighting the good fight, when I found myself in heated thread wars... I felt like it was my place to offset the opposition by nearly any means necessary. I have a very, very sharp mind and an even sharper whit and I used these tools as weapons in debate.

There is speculation that this shooter might have been an ATS member. I am left to wonder... Did this kid take any of my words to heart? Ask yourself the same thing. It's not a very pleasant feeling, I can assure you, if you are one of us who post in the political forums. It is downright chilling.

And now I find myself reading an article that almost seems to suggest that maybe freedom of speech is too free?!? In the same moment that I find myself appalled by this thought - I also realize that I have helped to create the environment where such a statement can be made in good conscience. I have been part of the problem and it sickens me to understand this. I strive to be a noble person, for the most part. Beneath my warped sense of humor I am a human being with a big, big heart and I always at least try to do the right thing. I try to follow my conscience as best I can.

Right now I honestly feel as though I have failed.

Left, right. Blue, red. Conservative, liberal... all these labels are ringing empty to me. More empty than ever before. The illusion of the two party system is shattered for me presently. I am left seeing only absolutes for the moment - ultimate truths. Things like life or death. Unity or division. Right or wrong. The petty differences between political bent just feels so hollow and false to me.

I plan to post this and then to go directly to bed. I am spent, emotionally and physically today. In all truth I don't think that this single event has burdened me... this is more of a cumulative effect of months upon months of feeding into these paradigms. And, frankly, I am not mentally prepared, right now, to deal with what I think will follow this OP. I just don't think I can face a post saying that people need to die because this is a revolution. I can't bear to watch as left and right point their fingers at each other.

Maybe I hope that just one or two people read this and see what I see... that one or two people stop thinking in terms of "us" and "them", and settle into realizing that there is, ultimately, only "we the people".

~Heff




posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 05:35 AM
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Note that right now too there is a room created in chat - A Haven in the Storm. Room topic is: Peace of Mind. Note that I'm alone in there. This is what we all forget. You don't have to participate in any of this. You don't have to choose sides. You don't have to do anything you don't actively choose to do and doing nothing is also an active choice. I choose to walk away from this stuff. I'm not judging anybody. I do the best with my life that I can and would very much like to think that everybody else does the same.

However, when people sit in judgment of others, think they know better, think they do better, think they are better, they cast aspersions on the character of another; do they really think they are helping anyone? Or are they just really just spreading more of the same? They create fear and backlash where there could be compassion and understanding, and maybe even leave a smile in their wake.

But that's not what we're doing and that's not where we're going. All that is just fear. Fear perpetuating fear, creating an endless spiral of fear. Why would we do that to ourselves? Why would we do that to others who are not involved in our experience? It's fine to let people know how you feel and where you stand on things, but that doesn't mean any One is right. We're all right. We're all doing the best we can.

When we take it upon ourselves to affect others, we must take responsibility for our own thoughts first because those thoughts result in actions, one way or another.. We must somehow believe that our experience is universal. Who believes that? Judges, politicians, even teachers, certainly scientists seem to. But how is that possible? Do you know anyone who walks the same path you do? Can even your own mother know your path? That's a tough call to make.

This is a good time for people to look at what's coming up in the very near future. Make sure that you are espousing only what you want to see happen. If you're fighting, know that that will be your world. Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you're making a space for people to feel good, that too will be your world. If you want to see it, then you need to be it.

So be it.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
Right now I honestly feel as though I have failed.


You have not failed. You've just taken a huge and positive step OUT of the 'game'. I believe congratulations are in order.




Left, right. Blue, red. Conservative, liberal... all these labels are ringing empty to me. More empty than ever before. The illusion of the two party system is shattered for me presently. I am left seeing only absolutes for the moment - ultimate truths. Things like life or death. Unity or division. Right or wrong. The petty differences between political bent just feels so hollow and false to me.


A very promising position.
These labels ARE empty. They are symbols and tools of division. They mean nothing. Politics is a game. A national sport, like Football. We either PARTICIPATE by choosing a team and getting engrossed and supporting our team at all costs... Adding and repeating the rhetoric, hatred and lies sold to us by the organizers of the game...

OR we watch with the as much objectivity we can muster, commenting on POLICY, not politics - ISSUES, not people and IDEALS, not parties... That's the only way to be involved, while not adding to the rhetoric of either false "side". That's my opinion, anyway.



In all truth I don't think that this single event has burdened me... this is more of a cumulative effect of months upon months of feeding into these paradigms.


That's how it works on everyone. People don't realize that the water is getting warmer and warmer until it gets so hot, it's damaging. Best to jump out than to give in to the rhetoric.



Maybe I hope that just one or two people read this and see what I see... that one or two people stop thinking in terms of "us" and "them", and settle into realizing that there is, ultimately, only "we the people".


One person here.
Your post has pushed me a little more into the light.
Thank you.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 08:06 AM
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We live in an environment where rights are on the chopping block by opportunistic, vulture-like politicos who will froth at the mouth at the idea of blood running in the streets. People who's sole existence is to find out how to blame the other guy for it.

Damn that reality might say this guy had no more of a political agenda than my cat. Damn the fact that this dude was totally nuts, and if the vultures in the media had any sense of decency, would have waited until the bodies were cold to start blaming the Tea Party, a movement that has been peaceful, and still is. It's like repeating it made it true! As though splashing about SarahPac's graphics would make it anymore a legitimate attribution in a situation where it is clear this person was not even coherent.

I witnessed member after member scramble through every word this 22 year old insane kid had written down to try to pluck out anything that would scream "Sarah Palin was here", and when nothing could be found repetition made it true.

I'm a Tea Party member, I'm a gun owner, the only thing I like about Palin is that her butt looks great in business casual skirts...

We have a poisonous political discourse for sure. But a poisonous political environment is not what caused this, mental instability caused this. Again MENTAL INSTABILITY CAUSED THIS. One cannot reason that something that was caused by OBVIOUS INSANITY could be ascribed to any one politician or political ideas. If that's true you are in a sad state getting your political opinions from the crazy ramblers downtown...

Heff, I've expressed to you what I think about this. And while I was pissed to see people jump on her would be carcass to suck off any crumb of political relevance, I never, once, thought to blame anyone but the shooter. Neither did you.

Sean Hannity didn't do this and isn't to blame any more than Ed Schultz.

There is just this sick kid, and the grumblings of those who have no respect for the dead and dying.

End you're guilt here Heff, you're a thinking man. You know what's true.
edit on 9-1-2011 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 08:11 AM
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Partisanship doesn't kill.

Nutjobs with guns do.

Partisanship just relegates the blame to outside parties for personal gain.

2 cents.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by beezzer
 


I have to agree with this comment.

A wack job attacks people and MANY, use it to attack their politicial or ideological enemies.

What is soooooo surprising about that?

This is CLASSIC Cloward Piven strategy.

I would like people to point me to a right leaning site, that used this incident to blame the leftists call for Revolution over the past month.

Everywhere I looked yesterday, I saw one pattern and one pattern only. The call for a roundup of Tea Partiers because they were the cause of this, this was the worst comment type. With NO PROOF whatsoever the leftists in MEDIA blamed this on every political enemy they have.

Obama can be blamed for it, just as much as Palin, if the same rhetoric can be called into question. Enemies ring a bell? Attack ring a bell?

But is this mentioned on the MSM? Noooo.

Sorry, the Left put it out there for EVERYONE to see yesterday. The MSM put it out there FOR EVERYONE to see yesterday.

You can attempt to say the attacls were on both sides, but I will just go by what I saw in the main thread yesterday. Every ideology was putting it out there and I am glad to say the ones that attempt to use lies and vilification, as their weapons, did not DISAPPOINT.

Yeah, I am not Politically Correct, but I do not use the type of lies and deception to foment my position. Not going to say the same for those on opposing ideologies.

I would say that yesterday, the attack that the left permeated throughout the media and throughout the internet, exposed them again for the HYPOCRITES and LIARS they are.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by saltheart foamfollower
 


The partisan left used this sick attack as a weapon themselves. What it did, however, was expose them for the amoral, baseless people that they are.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I totally agree with everything you said.........I was one of those people in that chatroom engaged with some people that normally I would never dream of really getting "really" heated with.....

And I was.........and i couldnt not for the life of me believe what I was hearing ......

Im done with the partisan B.S


My first thought when I heard that he might have lurked on our boards was the same thing "What if something I said or did contributed to this persons view point enough to push them over the edge"

Atleast now maybe some can see just how partisan things really are, and what the real intent is behind it....I know I have

S and F



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:05 AM
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So and what was the reason reagan got shot? And Ted Kennedy? You think American politics are heated? What about the royal rumble the Italian parlament used to stage in their parliament?



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Hey Heff,

Thanks for the timely and pro human post. I feel for the victims in this shooting. As an ex card-carrying commie I can say we should all remember our humanitarianism and argue as brothers and sisters on ATS.

Face facts right or left we are all going to be screwed by false leaders. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s comments have gone global as I saw him on BBC news this morning. It is a sign of political immaturity that this murder did what he did. Killing a solitary insignificant politician achieves little killing a little girl is monstrous.

I do not call this civilization.

I hope to point out your complete lack of political understanding at a later date (lol)

Best wishes

T



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I love your conscience; it is refreshing and a credit to your good heart.

But the fact remains that political debate is fine and people should argue their causes, but the fact exists that it is the right wing that has gone too far.

Bringing guns to a speech where the president spoke seems fashionable and cute to them—an American tough guy.

They are the ones using gun metaphors all over the place and saying things like “2nd amendment solutions”

Calling people un-American all over the place, therefore it is no doubt THAT THEY ARE IN THE WRONG AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE AN APOLOGY FROM THE RIGHT WING FANATICS!
THAT IS THE TRUTH!

Peace



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by inforeal
 


The RIGHT WING DIDN'T DO THIS.

A crazy kid, who's thoughts are indiscernible, committed this crime.
You completely missed the point of Heff's post.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by saltheart foamfollower
reply to post by beezzer
 




Everywhere I looked yesterday, I saw one pattern and one pattern only. The call for a roundup of Tea Partiers because they were the cause of this, this was the worst comment type. With NO PROOF whatsoever the leftists in MEDIA blamed this on every political enemy they have.


Well the true leftists ( all 200 of them) would actually disagree with a roundup of the TPs because straight after they are rounded up the left would be shut down in the interest of state security, fairness etc. The 10% of the population that run the globe would still win.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


This guy was a pot-smoking liberal hippie.

Partisanship kills? Nah.....Smoking pot kills.......there you go.



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:14 PM
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Im extremely disheartened that this very honest and open thread.......with very very valid observations, has yet to go past page one......

yet every other palin bashing or lib bashing /blaming thread........has pages in the double digits...

What does that say about the state of ATS.....



posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 04:47 PM
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Thank you all for replying.

I do realize that these kinds of posts tend to be highly indicative of a pissy mood, or burnout in general. I was aware of this fact when I authored the OP. And I cannot say, honestly, that there wasn't a bit of burnout involved in it. In fact I cannot say, with any certainty, that this burnout is not still wearing at me. It's a very gray, ugly day here, in Atlanta - as snow is expected to begin falling soon. Not the best environment to get introspective in. But I will attempt to do so anyway.

For a few posters who got what I was saying... Thank you.

The issue that I had such a difficult time articulating last night was not so much that an adversarial system is a bad thing. It's not. Discourse is healthy. Unopposed political parties would be dictatorships. So having opposition is a necessary and good part of any legitimate government.

What I take issue with, and find appalling, is the rhetoric and the hyperbole that we have come to resort to. Not just us, but the media. We fuel these nut jobs with our words. When we post hyperbolic and ridiculous threads we add to this problem.

Let's face it, the TSA might touch you. And posting a thread saying "The TSA Might Touch You" is fine. But when you post a thread that screams "ZOMG RON PAUL PROVES THAT THE TSA IS THE END OF LIBERTY. YOUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE MOLESTED FOR SURE!!!!!!!!!!", or when some politico on TV does the same... We create an environment where the impressionable buy into this. They drink the Kool Aid. And, then, when they do this, sometimes people end up dying for no better reason than a crazy person bought into the hype.

I hope I am making sense here.

By exaggerating truths, for ratings, or for stars and flags, we might feel good about ourselves. We might feel validated. We might even feel our lies and obfuscations to be justified. But, in the long run, all we are really doing is adding to the very insanity that most of us are here hoping to find a way to repair.

This is the aspect of discourse that I feel guilty about. And the one that I am, from this point forward, going to strive to avoid engaging in.

~Heff




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