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cosmicrat
Peace, freedom, equality, tolerance, and justice for all
05.12.2017 (202 days ago)
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WHY DO I BOTHER?
by cosmicrat ·
5-December-2017, 7:02 am

I don't give up easily, even when things seem to have gotten worse than I ever imagined they would. I haven't given up on my country, despite the Trumpian nightmare in which the honor and decency of our national leadership has taken a long sharp dive from better than average to less than nothing.
I don't believe the loss is permanent. Recovering won't be easy, but we've done it before. It's a big country, with several million more good, intelligent people than those who are otherwise.

I am becoming much less certain about the future of Schmoozezone. At one time there seemed to be a reasonably wide variety of viewpoints and interest in intelligent discussion. But lately it seems as if I'm trying to discuss social equality with the likes of David Duke or Steve Bannon, or religious freedom amidst the Spanish Inquisition.

Increasingly, there seems to be no common ground here at all. There is an alternate reality that does not correspond with the world outside. There seems to be an impenetratable wall against both rationality and empathy.

Perhaps I should just abandon this tiny portion of the universe, if no good can come of staying.

~~cosmicrat Dec 5 2017

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  •  viccles2004: 
     

    I hope you don't give up I just got here! I have to admit I didn't vote for Trump and I didn't vote for Clinton. I detest both of them. I think more and more politicians run for office not to be the change needed, to lead us into being a great nation, or to become a great leader. I think they run for money. And I think that is the main reason Donald Trump ran for presidency because he has been and will always be a business man. If we could see the amount of money from special interest groups changing hands it would make us livid. I don't think Hiliary is any better and let's face it, the election was hers to lose and she did. I personally think it's because she never could connect with the middle class. She always concentrated on winning votes from immigrants and women, which she already had in some respects. What is a country to do when our only two choices were rotten? Pick the lesser of two evils? Which is more evil? I don't know, I just know that we continue to go down a dark path of more and more separation. Who's to blame? Politicians who get away with murder? The media who sensationalizes everything without giving the consumer just the facts and letting them decide? A dumbed down America who obsesses about reality shows and tv stars? Or just plain apathy on the part of everyone?

     
     136 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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    •  cosmicrat: 
       

      Thanks for commenting.  The question in my blog title was asked not so much because of what seems to be a site-local disagreement about who should have won the election, but about a side-effect of the way it was won, which was through a manipulation of various prejudices, making scapegoats of certain types of people for voters to blame, hate, and look down on.

      The effect doesn't end when the election is won.  Some go deeper into the biases they embraced, and unexpectedly start arguing ethno-nationalist ideas.  I have been wondering if I have any values in common with people I had once thought were decent and rational.

      Part of the problem was the flood of what were called alternate facts.  It has devalued truth for some, which is a difficult problem.

      I'll return to this later.

       
       135 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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      •  cosmicrat: 
         

        I grew up in the 1960's, when the Civil Rights Movement was not yet history, but current events.  I have always felt that racism is wrong, and that the determined effort to change laws and attitudes that discriminated, segregated, and committed inhuman acts toward blacks and other minorities was extremely worthwhile.  Gradually over the years I have seen a great improvement, with racist attitudes becoming a shrinking minority.  By no means has racism been eliminated in our society, however, nor has the harm to minorities.

        My major study has been history, ongoing long after college.  I am aware of the hundreds of years of slavery, and the post-emancipation oppression of black citizens.  It takes a long time to change a culture, especially when there is determined resistance to change.

        Still, until relatively recently, I had the impression that most intelligent and educated people embraced racial tolerance as one of the basic values of America and most Western democracies.  I have found the resurgence of bigotry, racial, ethnic, and religious, very disappointing, and alarming as well.

        I WILL bother to oppose it, as frustrating as it may be to debate with those who reject the value of tolerance, or pretend discrimination doesn't exist.

         
         135 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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        •  viccles2004: 
           

          I think a big part of that resurgence of bigotry,racial, ethnic,and religious discrimination is a product of the aging of the "me" generation and the values/lack of values they have passed onto the next generation. It continues to be a society all about me. There is a lack of respect for others, a lack of reflection of one's self and a lack of compassion for others.

           
           134 days ago 
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  •  cosmicrat: 
     

    This is a quote I'm sharing because I think it explains the concept of white privilege especially well.

    "Being a white, cis, straight male in this country gives you the easiest path. That’s NOT to say that there are no white, cishet men who suffer, or that no homeless people are white, cishet men, or that white, cishet men don’t also sometimes have problems. But, overall, if you are a white, cishet male, people are more likely to take you seriously, to offer you the job, accept you to the school, overlook bad behavior, give you the loan or grant, listen to you in meetings, value your opinion, and not harass you in the street or in a store or while driving. THAT is white privilege. White privilege is the assumption that being a white, cishet male is the norm. The voices of white men are always louder than the voices of POC and LGBTQIA folk, louder than women. And, jumping on the privilege train, the voices of white women are louder than the voices of WOC. Which is why I’m speaking up now.
    The problem we’re seeing these days is that these white, cishet men see POC, women, LGBTQIA folk, etc., asking for EQUAL treatment and think that they are being asked to GIVE UP their own freedoms, privileges, etc. In a way, they are. They’re being asked to treat everyone the same, instead of riding their privilege to the top of the pack. They’re being asked to recognize that others don’t have the same opportunities and benefits that they do and to work to correct that. They’re being asked to recognize their own bad behavior and stop fucking doing it.
    And they don’t like that. They want to keep their superiority. Which translates into even more racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and so on from these white, cishet men who see leveling the playing field as oppression against them.

    The discussion lasted for over 60 comments, and I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere even before I started, but I persisted until the original poster begged us all to stop. The discussion was civilized if not fruitful. I tend to get into these things assuming the person I’m debating with isn’t going to change his mind, but maybe someone else is listening and will consider my words, which is why I bother at all.

    But all of this got me thinking in broader terms, about how important diversity in media is. Part of white privilege is knowing that everywhere we turn (in this country), we’ll see ourselves. We don’t have to get used to being different, or get comfortable with the “other,” or learn to live like the majority so we can blend in and get farther. We are the majority. So, not only is diversity in entertainment and literature important so that minorities and marginalized people can see themselves reflected in that media, but also to get the rest of us used to seeing people other than ourselves on the screen, in books, on stage, in music, etc."

     
     190 days ago 
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  •  cosmicrat: 
     

    To begin with, I would appreciate your not using made-up terminology as part of your derogatory tone toward whatever you disagree with.  There is no organization I have heard of that labels itself "alt-left." 

    The term "alt-right" was coined by some who wanted to loosely associate their own organizations in the realm of white nationalism, an "alternative" to the economic or fundamentalist religious focus of the traditional right wing.  It doesn't mean that some in the two branches of conservatism don't overlap, but that each has a different focus.

    Referring to "the left" doesn't define a specific ideology.  There is quite a wide range in both degree and style of "leftness", with a general desire to improve the well-being of the vast majority of human beings in common.

    The term "regressive left" is an oxymoron.  The left is progressive.  It seeks progress, whether gradual or immediate, economic or social.  You may not LIKE progress, or a particular kind of it, but that doesn't redefine it.  A regressive is a conservative who wants to undo or destroy progress, to go back to a past system or society.

    As I mentioned, I don't expect everyone to agree on everything.  Since that won't happen, to have a relatively peaceful and harmonious society, tolerance is the key, and in communicating, the words used matter.  Insults are counterproductive, whether overt or subtle.

     
     199 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 
     

    @CosmicRat

    I don't think you really know what is going on out there.  Therefore, I am going to post this short video; please watch these SJW college students acting like fools.  This is the mentality that the regressive left has been fostering over the last decade or so.

     
     199 days ago 
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  •  SecretCorners: 
     

    I just noticed you mentioned Social Equality.  Are you referring to the alt-left idea of equality of outcomes?  We have equal opportunity and that is what is important.  What people do with that equal opportunity is up to them.

    I suggest reading Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron"

     
     200 days ago 
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WHY DO I BOTHER?