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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatPurely Politics(Moderators: bhcordova, RedHotMama, BFW) Understanding isn't the problem ...
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Baron von Bone
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« on: Nov 23, 2016, 05:52AM »

On Rural America: Understanding Isn’t The Problem
 
I haven't formed any definite opinion on this one as yet, other than that for me I need to resist forming an opinion. The piece resonates with me, at least generally (a lot of it doesn't), and I've internalized the distrust of such emotions (subtle as they may be). I'll be very interested in what sober minds in here have to say about it.
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2016, 07:30AM »

I agree with him about the problems with rural America.  I see them everyday with family and friends.  I disagree with him about the response the Democrats should make.  All-in-all, a well thought out and well written article.
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2016, 07:37AM »

Very interesting article.  Nice interpretation of "Flyover America", if a bit extreme.  You asked for opinions from "sober minds" and I think you are going to have problems finding any from outside "Coastal America" as he puts it.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2016, 07:51PM »

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What I understand is rural, Christian, white America is entrenched in fundamentalist belief systems, don’t trust people outside their tribe, have been force fed a diet of misinformation and lies for decades, are unwilling to understand their own situations, truly believe whites are superior to all races.  No amount of understanding is going to change these things or what they believe.  No amount of niceties is going to get them to be introspective.  No economic policy put forth by someone outside their tribe is going to be listened to no matter how beneficial it would be for them.  I understand rural, Christian, white America all too well.  I understand their fears are based on myths and lies.  I understand they feel left behind by a world they don’t understand and don’t really care to.  I understand they are willing to vote against their own interest if they can be convinced it will make sure minorities are harmed more.  I understand their Christian beliefs and morals are truly only extended to fellow white Christians.  I understand them.  I understand they are the problem with progress and will always be because their belief systems are constructed against it.  The problem isn’t a lack of understanding by “coastal elites” of rural, Christian, white America.  The problem is a lack of understanding why rural, Christian, white America believes, votes, behaves the ways it does by rural, Christian, white America.

This whole article was RIDICULOUSLY one-sided. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Rural America himself, you would have to be quite imaginative to find this in 99% of people in small-town America. Or maybe I'm just dense.

-The Educated Conservative
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 23, 2016, 08:07PM »

Yep.  You are just dense
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Billy Cordova, MBA
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 23, 2016, 08:22PM »

This whole article was RIDICULOUSLY one-sided. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Rural America himself, you would have to be quite imaginative to find this in 99% of people in small-town America. Or maybe I'm just dense.

-The Educated Conservative

I will agree that the article is one-sided.  But it does seem to explain the posts I've seen from our most strongly Conservative posters here: Jakeway, Dickerson, Norsworthy, and Badger.  I understand that Norsworthy and Jakeway don't live in "flyover country" -- they have the distinct disadvantage of being Conservatives in a relatively Liberal part of the country which probably galls them deeply.

I would entertain an explanation of exactly why the article writer has his head up his a**.  And not just "I know a Conservative and he's a nice guy" type of argument.  Give me a clear analysis of why you think he's all wet.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 23, 2016, 08:26PM »

He's not all wet.  He explains it almost exactly right.
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 23, 2016, 08:38PM »

He's not all wet.  He explains it almost exactly right.

Baron wanted to hear from the Conservative side about this article.  I'm really interested in what somebody like Dusty thinks of it.  We can't hear from Norsworthy or Dr. Ronkny since they are barred from this board (although if they send me a letter I'll post it here).  Again, I don't accept "It's bunk" without some kind of explanation comparable to the analysis from the article.  Just rejecting it out of hand supports the writer's supposition.
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 23, 2016, 09:25PM »

The fact that you admit it's one sided, should put a red flag up for you to see, yet that doesn't even caution you one bit. Why is that?

That entire article is nothing more than a fabrication of someone's imagination. There is no truth there. It's just another attempt to stir up hate. The fact that anyone would spend the time of day reading it is ridiculous.

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« Reply #9 on: Nov 23, 2016, 10:14PM »

So being one sided your way is fine but being one sided not your way means it's not worth reading?  I think that's the guy's postulate.  Are you trying to prove him right?

I said it was one sided, but it also explained a lot of posts from the Conservatives.  Please prove me wrong.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 24, 2016, 05:52AM »

I can't believe that anyone would take that article serious.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 24, 2016, 06:07AM »

OK, finally had time to read it. Just based on the excerpt Largobone posted the guy hits the nail square on the head. I have lived more than half my life in those flyover states, and I have seen exactly what that paragraph describes with my own eyes and experience. It is absolutely true. The fact than any self-respecting evangelical could vote for Trump after the campaign he ran is further proof of the truth in the article. I think he might be a bit over the top in his attribution of all racism to religion, but it is definitely a factor. The most telling paragraph in the whole article was this one.......

"When a three-thousand-year-old book that was written by uneducated, pre-scientific people, subject to translation innumerable times, edited with political and economic pressures from Popes and kings, is given higher intellectual authority than facts arrived at from a rigorous, self-critical, constantly re-evaluating system that can and does correct mistakes, no amount of understanding, no amount of respect, no amount of evidence is going to change their minds, assuage their fears."
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 24, 2016, 08:13AM »

The fact that anyone would spend the time of day reading it is ridiculous.

Then you are either ridiculous by your own account (because you read it), or you have not read it - either way how can we take your opinion about it seriously?

Dusty, do you even bother to check the logical validity of your statements?
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 24, 2016, 08:32AM »

Then you are either ridiculous by your own account (because you read it), or you have not read it - either way how can we take your opinion about it seriously?

Dusty, do you even bother to check the logical validity of your statements?

I don't expect you to take anything I say as serious. Since you take that article as serious reading material, there's not much I could say anyway.

I hope that you and your family have a great Thanksgiving Day today!
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 24, 2016, 08:36AM »

I hope that you and your family have a great Thanksgiving Day today!

Our Thanksgiving was last month, but thanks for the sentiment.  To your and yours, have a great weekend!
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Baron von Bone
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 24, 2016, 09:14AM »

Baron wanted to hear from the Conservative side about this article.  I'm really interested in what somebody like Dusty thinks of it.

Thanks for that ...
 
How about we keep the focus on the products of sober minds with functional integrity that actually understand the nature of fact--i.e. that don't mistake dogma for fact.
 
Sober, functional minds will produce discourse of value. Minds that don't understand the difference between dogma and fact are only going to hijack the discourse of value with tediously predictable nonsense ... mainly because too many are unable to refrain from going after the low hanging fruit, even if it's rotten.
 
Let's do better than that, at least sometimes. Eh?
 
 --
 
It's been moving along just fine ... carry on.
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 24, 2016, 11:56AM »

This whole article was RIDICULOUSLY one-sided. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Rural America himself, you would have to be quite imaginative to find this in 99% of people in small-town America. Or maybe I'm just dense.
 
-The Educated Conservative
Depends upon how you're using 99% there, although one of the key points is also the whole self-awareness schtick--the idea that for the target of the criticism, most or all of that flies under their horribly miscalibrated radar (i.e. "they're" not so good at the self-awareness). But I think what you're on about may distill down to who "they" are exactly--what share of the Trump voting population.
 
I'd say the article is focused on the majority who voted for Trump as measured by volume--as in noise. In the US we have to always keep in mind that even a margin of 5% is considered pretty significant in our elections and our basic sociopolitical divisions, so if we keep that in mind and then recognize we're talking about a Bell curve kind of thing covering most of roughly half of the population (so maybe a quarter of the population at most are in his sights, and the low curve edge of that quarter probably aren't in too deep).
 
But I'm keenly aware that the basic sentiments Forsetti is talking about are quite alive and well here in the Deep Red. It was quite a culture shock for me when I first got out here from CA in the late '80s. I'm not sure if my radar's become miscalibrated somewhat as well over the years, but I think Forsetti is dead on for a significant chunk of the Deep Red population, even if not as big a chunk as he seems to be targeting (I immigrated as a Southern Baptist from a suburb of San Francisco, and after spending some time with about a dozen different Baptist congregations I never got clear of these same basic sentiments, and they were also quite evident in the local free-ranging populace as well--i.e. not just at conservative churches). I'm also not sure he is targeting as big of a chunk as most readers will see (myself included). Focused criticism is often mistakenly perceived as intended for a larger population in a kind of strange mechanism of over-defensiveness by mistaken association.
 
There's definitely truth in what Forsetti's pointing out, but he's targeting a population, not individuals, and when some idea or behavior or linguistic quirk is indicative or even definitive of a given population it doesn't offer a remotely reliable characterization of individuals within that population. So speaking of an entire region of a country is inherently a scatter gun approach, like with stats. And I can't stress enough how evenly divided we are right now in the US, culturally, socially and politically. Even where the voting was decisively red or blue there was rarely huge disparity. That's a key factor in how we end up with candidates who loose the popular vote but win the electorate.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 24, 2016, 12:44PM »

I have read the article and thought about it with my sober mind.

Rural America does include a lot of non-whites doesn't it? Blacks in the south east and Latinos in the south west. Blacks and Latinos also have sub-groups of people with fundamentalist Christian beliefs.

The author often presumes to speak the minds of millions of other people. I find that arrogant and it makes me wary of how accurately he describes typical views of white, Christian rural-dwelling Americans. I haven't met many such people so I wouldn't know. However, assuming he has made a fair portrayal, there are several good points in the article. A few examples:

Immigrants are not responsible for companies moving their plants overseas. Well, yes... because the workers and the jobs are moving in opposite directions.
Gay people getting married is not a threat to their freedom... ... any more than someone else's heterosexual marriage affects your freedom.
They complain about globalization but line up like everyone else to get the latest Apple product.
They complain about “the little man being run out of business” then turn around and shop at big box stores.

However there are some poor points.

They complain about coastal liberals, but the taxes from California and New York are what covers their [various] subsidies... This is a non sequitur.
Blacks protesting the killing of their unarmed friends and family are [not] a threat. Unless the protests are violent, which several have been, and on quite a large scale.

The author is also critical of supply-side economics but fails to acknowledge that immigration and "Hispanics doing the cheap labor" are an aspect of the policies. They lower barriers to production by increasing labour supply and therefore lowering labour cost.

My greatest criticism is the implication that a large number of people have the "wrong" opinions and beliefs, and that this one group should not be allowed to make or express common cause in (what they think is) their own interest. Obviously, I'm thinking of the 1st Amendment. The tone is again arrogant and supercilious and sneering. Perhaps the author is correct, and his superior beliefs are the right ones. However, people are entitled especially in the USA to hold whatever views they want. This is not a problem, as the author asserts. It is a great triumph, and a treasure that should be defended jealously. It is the very same freedom that the author is enjoying by writing his article, so he is arguing against himself.
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 24, 2016, 01:08PM »

>>They complain about coastal liberals, but the taxes from California and New York are what covers their [various] subsidies... This is a non sequitur.

I think you don't understand the context of this remark.

We have statistics of how many dollars of Federal spending are returned to states compared to how many dollars of Federal Tax money is collected.  Ideally, each State should get one dollar back for each dollar they send to the Government in taxes.

States in the Northeast and West Coasts get back much less than one dollar for each dollar sent as taxes (I think it's about $0.70).
States in the "flyover" area get much more than one dollar for each dollar contributed (I think it's about $1.25).

So the subsidies provided to the area the writer is evaluating are in part subsidized by the Liberal areas of the Northeast and West.

I agree with your analysis of the tone; it is most definitely condescending toward the people he's describing.  But this type of tone is rampant in American political speech.  Just listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck describe Liberals some time.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 24, 2016, 01:11PM »

I have read the article and thought about it with my sober mind.
Heh ... much appreciated.
 
My greatest criticism is the implication that a large number of people have the "wrong" opinions and beliefs, and that this one group should not be allowed to make or express common cause in (what they think is) their own interest.
Thewhowhatnow?
 
The tone is again arrogant and supercilious  and sneering. Perhaps the author is correct, and his superior beliefs are the right ones. However, people are entitled especially in the USA to hold whatever views they want. This is not a problem, as the author asserts. It is a great triumph, and a treasure that should be defended jealously. It is the very same freedom that the author is enjoying by writing his article, so he is arguing against himself.
I'd say the rest of your criticism of Forsetti's points is entirely valid (though I might take issue with a point or two), but your "greatest criticism" there is a straw man. You seem to be confusing criticism of what Forsetti is arguing are self-defeating and meritless beliefs with suggesting people somehow shouldn't be allowed to have certain beliefs, however that would work. Ironically Forsetti is actually in part making very much the same criticism of popular Southern beliefs you are of his comments.
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