Moore: Most White People Are “Not Good People” And Are Dangerous If Encountered On The Street

Filmmaker Michael Moore recently showed how polarizing our national dialogue has become over race. Moore declared that the vast majority of whites in this country “are not good people” and that others should “be afraid” of them in an interview on The Rolling Stone podcast “Useful Idiot.”

Moore’s rant itself would seem the very definition of racism. His view of the danger presented by white people appears entirely due to the fact that many voted for President Donald Trump:

“I refuse to participate in post-racial America. I refuse to say because we elected Obama that suddenly that means everything is okay, white people have changed. White people have not changed. Two-thirds of all white guys voted for Trump. That means anytime you see three white guys walking at you, down the street toward you, two of them voted for Trump. You need to move over to the other sidewalk because these are not good people that are walking toward you. You should be afraid of them.”

There are apparently a minority of white who are not raging racists who present imminent threats of physical harm. Those are whites “like him.” He noted that one of the three white people in his hypothetical group are like him and voted against Trump. He then added “We’re traitors to our race, that’s how they see us.”

Actually, most would view Moore as simply a racist as opposed to a traitor to race. Yet, Moore’s comments have not been denounced by The Rolling Stone or the media as racist. They are still part of the mainstream dialogue because they are directed at Trump supporters — much like Chuck Todd’s recent comments about Trump supporters wanting to be lied to are considered perfectly appropriate for a journalist.

Like Moore, I voted against Trump in 2016 but I find Moore’s comments deeply offensive and troubling. It is part of a view of roughly half of this country as simply borderline psychotic racists that someone has become a casual talking point in our media.

369 thoughts on “Moore: Most White People Are “Not Good People” And Are Dangerous If Encountered On The Street”

  1. 5/5

    “How so? As I understand the focus of our conversation,”

    I’m not sure what you mean. Textbook generalities don’t always work in the real world and the psychiatric/ psychologic world is filled with soft science and contradictions. What is true today is necessarily true tomorrow.

    Perhaps you can demonstrate a more direct and scientific approach for the specific cases under discussion. Calling Anonymous the Stupid what he is, Stupid, might actually help others not be so stupid. I am not saying it will. I am saying we don’t know and you don’t either so it is up to you to provide specific evidence that in the specific cases under discussion civility is better than “rudeness” where one is using the language of the original offender.
    —————————-

    “The election was very complicated.”

    Yes, everything is very complicated and that is why your generalities don’t hit the targets intended. Yes, you over-simplify the discussion at hand. We all have to remember correlation is not causation.
    ——————————–

    “Why do you say civility doesn’t work?”

    When did I ever say that? Civility doesn’t always work.

  2. 4/5

    “Am I correctly conveying your perspective?”

    No. Civility doesn’t always seem to work on this type of blog. I agree with the definition of insanity believing it to be a type of insanity ‘to repeat making the same errors over and over again’. I believe trying other methods is appropriate and am not afraid of failure or walking the path alone. I am only afraid of not trying.

    Mirroring what is said can potentially work if not for the individual but for anyone else thinking along the same path as that individual. In other words if they call you a deplorable, racist or stupid it might be worthwhile to call them racists and stupid while demonstrating that to be true.
    —————————-

    ” I see that you are trying to make an Anonymous “distinct”. However, there is no sure way to know anything about the individual or even for sure whether it is a distinct individual”

    Yes, Anonymous the Stupid is distinct from others that call themselves anonymous and they have the opportunity to change their alias to a distinct name. However, in Anonymous the Stupid’s case he is Stupid so the name fits and is generally accurately utilized. It is not my job to worry about who is being incorrectly labeled when people choose not to pick a distinct alias and defend it.
    ——————–

    I am not asking you to be the Cheshire Cat. I am asking you for real life examples where comments made on a list of this nature caused the ” risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

    ” I am not convinced” That is another way of saying you don’t know. You think it might hurt. I think it might help. That is how Donald Trump came into the picture. His so called incivility helped bring to light the corruption in our intelligence communities and the rest of government along with the lack of concern for American citizens. Without this so-called incivility we would probably have a different administration where the corruption would continue unnoticed.

    1. Allan,
      “In other words if they call you a deplorable, racist or stupid it might be worthwhile to call them racists and stupid while demonstrating that to be true.”

      What makes it worthwhile?

      Using ad hominems is a way to shut down the discussion and not deal with the issue at hand. Pointing out the logical fallacy or how what they say is racist (etc) demonstrates their major error (in accuracy and in behavior) while remaining focused on the idea.

      —————————-

      ” I see that you are trying to make an Anonymous “distinct”. However, there is no sure way to know anything about the individual or even for sure whether it is a distinct individual”

      “It is not my job to worry about who is being incorrectly labeled when people choose not to pick a distinct alias and defend it.”

      While I have already expressed my concern regarding using ad hominems on ‘anonymous’ people, I do see that potentially a distinction could be made for those who wish to be an “Anonymous” versus those who use a pseuonym.

      What are you thoughts on such a distinction? Different tactics might be necessary for a nameless, faceless anonymous versus someone like me who uses a particular pseudonym to protect my identity. I am wary though due to the potential fall-out.
      ——————–

      “I am not asking you to be the Cheshire Cat. I am asking you for real life examples where comments made on a list of this nature caused the ” risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

      I want such real life examples to be prevented. Tensions are rising and the chasm between right and left perspectives appears to be widening, too, though, I am willing to consider that the media is emphasizing the extremes for some motive of its own (or the CIAs). I do not want those internal tensions to explode into the physical world. There are already problems at the extremes with Antifa and white supremacists. If tensions and dehumanizing talk continues to get reinforced, then the potential for violence spreading from the extremes increases.

      Both the extreme right and the extreme left have sites on which comments there do risk life and limb for people in the real world.

      1. “What makes it worthwhile?”

        What makes it worthwhile to post anything in the comment section?

        “Using ad hominems is a way to shut down the discussion and not deal with the issue at hand. “

        We see plenty of initiating comments calling people and respective groups stupid, racist and deplorable. That hasn’t seemed to shut down discussion though the level of discussion is low tending in the direction of Anonymous the Stupid and YNOT.

        I agree. It would be better to have a higher level of discussion but in the sandbox one has to play by sandbox rules. You are at liberty to comment to all of those like Anonymous the Stupid and YNOT being quite proper. If you get somewhere, ask yourself why and if you don’t then tell me what makes the discussion worthwhile. Did you ever play in a sandbox when you were a child?

        “What are you thoughts on such a distinction? … I am wary though due to the potential fall-out.”

        I am not wary at all. The problem is with those that choose not to adopt a distinct persona no matter what ideas they may have. They willingly choose to hide like cowards and make it difficult for the rest.

        “I want such real life examples to be prevented.”

        This blog according to you should be producing loads of real life examples so “I am asking you for real life examples where comments made on a list of this nature caused the ” risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “ “

        You are worried that “Tensions are rising and …”

        Perhaps this is a result of overabundant avoidance of confrontation and fear of not being PC or polite. The Republicans have been terrible in the way they have responded to Democratic aggression. (I don’t like either party). Much of the conservative right preferred to stay aloof and write eloquent papers that no one reads or is only read by followers.

        “Both the extreme right and the extreme left have sites on which comments there do risk life and limb for people in the real world.”

        You are again expanding the scope of this discussion. I will repeat what I said before. ““I am not asking you to be the Cheshire Cat. I am asking you for real life examples where comments made on a list of this nature caused the ” risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

        1. Allan,
          Sorry, tournaments have delayed me.

          “This blog according to you should be producing loads of real life examples so “I am asking you for real life examples where comments made on a list of this nature caused the ” risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “ “

          No, I have not said this blog should be producing loads of real-life violence due to online conflict. That’s not how it works. It is like piling tinder and then sticks, building up fuel ready for a fire. All it needs is a spark.

          Do you see a match?

          “Allan says: January 19, 2020 at 10:01 AM
          Important to note: When figures of authority or advanced knowledge tell the public what to do many in the public follow what they say even if it is against what they would normally do or morally do. Authority figures can be dangerous and to many O’Donnell and people like him are authority figures. That can bode badly in the coming years.

          If one has never read the Milgram Experiment one should do so in order to realize how easy it is for a good people to turn bad.”

          1. “It is like piling tinder and then sticks, “

            OK, then when you were discussing the impact this comment section has on the world you were being hyperbolic. Instead of a direct impact you were talking of Lorenz’s butterfly effect and chaos theory using the theory to demonstrate this comment section has leverage. It doesn’t. I think you misapply the theory. One cannot determine what type of an effect these small seemingly insignificant things have.

            I am not sure of how you utilized the quotes at the end of the posting. Figures of authority don’t relate to the comment section or your claim that the comment section of this blog has great impact on the world outside.

            1. Allan,
              ““It is like piling tinder and then sticks, “

              OK, then when you were discussing the impact this comment section has on the world you were being hyperbolic. Instead of a direct impact you were talking of Lorenz’s butterfly effect and chaos theory using the theory to demonstrate this comment section has leverage.”

              No, it is not like Lorenz’s butterfly effect or chaos theory (despite the rising tensions potentially ending in chaos) and neither am I being hyperbolic (I wish it was).

              It is not just this comment section; the rancor builds upon itself. Multiply the attitudes of bitterness, rancor, and demeaning arrogance across platforms. Perhaps those people in New York you mentioned have ranted online and with their friends about ‘despicable’ Trump supporters. They then felt emboldened to act like bullies in real life. There are those on the right that despise people on the left, too. Suppose then it gets worse:

              “When figures of authority or advanced knowledge tell the public what to do many in the public follow what they say even if it is against what they would normally do or morally do. Authority figures can be dangerous and to many O’Donnell and people like him are authority figures. That can bode badly in the coming years. If one has never read the Milgram Experiment one should do so in order to realize how easy it is for a good people to turn bad.””

              Will people back away or will it feed their hate? This isn’t just a one-sided concern. The emotions on both sides are getting riled.

              Online, people too easily lose their individuality. Identity politics can swallow individuality, subsuming it by a group identity. Individuality helps you stand on your own two feet; it helps you have your own mind about things. Authority figures are less able to manipulate people who have their own mind about them.

              Straw men, ad hominems, all the nasty, disrespectful little ways people twist and distort people’s perspectives–snarls emotions and builds animosity. It can build and build until it “can bode badly in the coming years.” Yes, it most certainly can, especially if the heated, uncivil rhetoric persists or worsens.

              The animosity should be untangled rather than added to. There is already so much anger. Why add to and create in people’s minds more reasons to push the shock button.

              1. “and neither am I being hyperbolic (I wish it was).”

                Prairie, if you believe what you say in the quote above then provide an example of the physical harm that occurred because of the comments on this blog. That was your earlier contention.

                Remember, the discussion hinged on my comments to a few people on this blog. We weren’t talking about the rest of the blogosphere. We weren’t talking about far left sites that advocate violence or Nazi sites that do the same. We were talking about my comments that you were dissatisfied with. On the one hand you say you want to be specific yet on the other hand you continuously broaden the topic.

                Let’s deal with my comments and my comments alone.

                ” Perhaps those people in New York you mentioned have ranted online and with their friends about ‘despicable’ Trump supporters.”

                …And had perhaps they been called out online and told they were despicable they may have thought twice. They may have those they were attacking weren’t passive and might react. But that takes us away from the comments I have made that aren’t violent and merely reverse the direction in which way words flow. In other words if one calls another racist, stupid or deplorable, I don’t find it terrible to send that word back to the initial sender. You did and you provided a lot of comment to prove that point but all you did was expand the discussion to points of agreement forgetting where the disagreement lies.

                Authority figures can be dangerous and that was the point of my discussion of Milgram. However that is off topic. All of this stuff you are writing now may be so but none of it directly relates to throwing back words at the one’s that initially threw them in your direction. What is the point of these generalities when we mostly agree? The point of our disagreement is only with regard to what I have said in the comment section on this blog. Let’s get back to the discussion.

                1. Allan,
                  “provide an example of the physical harm that occurred because of the comments on this blog. That was your earlier contention.”

                  ‘harm that occurred’

                  I have never discussed this in the past tense. That has never been a contention of mine. I have been concerned about the future ramifications.

                  1. “I have been concerned about the future ramifications.”

                    I understand that. One should be concerned with ramifications of our actions whether for the present or for the future. Now I see that once again this concern is not fact based or at least fact based with regard to our limited discussion which is my return of nasty words to <1% nasty and uncivil people. Instead it involves how you feel and your comfort level. Sometimes it is good to upset the comfort level.

                    What I don’t understand is that with so much going on you rigidly concentrated so heavily on something so unimportant while not even dealing with the other half of the equation. Hoping not to spur a religious discussion it sounds more like ideas one might be taught in a religious setting. Good should remain good at all times, turn the other cheek, etc. That might sound good but isn’t always practical or the best way to handle things.

                2. Allan,
                  “”the discussion hinged on my comments to a few people on this blog.”

                  No, it did not hinge on that. I have tried to focus on the problems and very potential ramifications of online incivility. While your individual interactions play a role in the wider problems, they have not been the sole focus of the conversation.

                  I have looked back over our conversation. It started with a general statement, a straw man, on your part: “The left hates the Constitution and America.”

                  After we clarified what ‘Left’ you meant (meaning the radical end versus the center left), the conversation continued in a general manner on the issue of civil discourse in general.

                  Gradually, the discussion steered towards your characterization of a few, frustrating anonymous posters. I disagree it will be effective (though I am still not sure what your goal is).

                  Yet, while I have noted that while insults and ad hominems are problematic, I do ignore most of them. I tend to focus on unfair twisting of people’s arguments. We even agree on this point:

                  Prairie Rose: ““while problematic, are not as problematic as the unfair misconstruing of an argument or of someone’s perspective.”

                  Allan: That is a good point that I agree because such actions destroy the value of a blog of this nature.”

                  Now you say: “provide an example of the physical harm that occurred because of the comments on this blog. That was your earlier contention.

                  Remember, the discussion hinged on my comments to a few people on this blog. …We were talking about my comments that you were dissatisfied with.”

                  That was not my earlier contention at all. I am concerned about the potential that the aggregate of online civility can be sparked into physical violence.

                  Nonetheless, you seem to want to turn the conversation toward your individual actions and singular effects such actions apparently definitively have. Why? Because I have no hard data ‘implicating’ you somehow in some violent real-world event in the past that I haven’t even insinuated? That’s not how it works. It is unlikely any singular remark can be implicated as the straw that broke the camel’s back. The problem lies in how all the comments, all the vitriol builds up, affecting perceptions and emotions, until all that is needed is some kind of trigger.

                  Saying, “Ah, look, see, I cannot be tied directly to any violence” as if that is somehow going to absolve any of us of any potential responsibility if things do turn horribly badly with liberals and conservatives fighting one another more than has already happened. A little dry pine needle might cry out, ‘but the brush fire is not my fault!’ Yet it added its own tiny bit of fury to the fire.

                  You have even answered that, “No, the entire 100% are causing problems.” While I am interested in better understanding what you mean (in what way is it everyone?), I must agree already to a certain extent.

                  Nazi Germany happened with overt actors who deliberately helped the regime along, it happened with people who looked the other way, it happened with people who knew but felt helpless and did nothing, it happened with people who passively, thoughtlessly went along with it because perhaps their own lives were less miserable for whatever reason, it happened with people who preferred to blame others and say ‘they had it coming’, it happened with people who rationalized and justified the Nazis and refused to really look at how they manipulated people and undermined the humanity of ‘undesirables’, it happened with people who tried to pacify and appease them, it happened with people who tried to stand up against the regime but were too few in number or who did not hold enough power because they did not address and try to redirect the trajectory while it was fomenting.

                  It is a tragedy that can happen anywhere the ties that bind people together in a society break down. Some of those ties are forged by civility and are repaired with civility as challenges arise. Some of them by shared aspirations, shared activities, shared beliefs–all these are protected by citizenry engagement and civility when disagreements about what constitutes them arise (and civil government, to some extent–a supportive structure).

                  You asked earlier: ““The real questions being discussed on this blog revolve around the American vision, is it good or bad?”

                  I answered: That is a very important question. What is your understanding of the American vision? That basic element may need defining.”

                  We are in violent agreement regarding concern that jackboots could potentially start stomping. While you see them potentially coming from Antifa (and that has its own potential, for sure), it could come from the right, too. I have heard ugly, ugly things from people on the right who I had no idea could harbor such sentiments, from people whom I thought were reasonable.

                  “none of it directly relates to throwing back words at the one’s that initially threw them in your direction. What is the point of these generalities when we mostly agree? The point of our disagreement is only with regard to what I have said in the comment section on this blog. Let’s get back to the discussion.”

                  It most certainly relates. And it is not just about what you alone or I have said on this blog, and it is not just about ‘throwing back words’ at those who are initially rude with their own insults. There is the wider picture that we are both concerned about–the potential for jackboots.

                  While I do think steely civility will win the day, I am open to your argument that ‘throwing back words’ could be an effective strategy in limited circumstances. But I do not yet see the rationale, the long-term goal, the psychology of it that would back your tactics (especially as it relates to that 1% of seemingly recalcitrant posters).

                  1. “No, it did not hinge on that. I have tried to focus on the problems and very potential ramifications of online incivility.”

                    Prairie, the discussion began because you were unhappy that I, Allan, was in your opinion uncivil to a few others. You felt civility was in order. My response was that I totally agree with civility but sometimes it may worth it with some people (<1%) to try a different method and mirror what they say; in other words return their words back to them.

                    All the posting since then originated from those thoughts. You tried to prove me wrong but in order to do so you had to invoke religion or expand the topic to points of agreement. So far you have not provided a cogent argument as to why returning words to the very few shouldn’t be done. All you provided was your opinion.

                    "Now you say: “provide an example of the physical harm that occurred because of the comments on this blog. That was your earlier contention.
                    Remember, the discussion hinged on my comments to a few people on this blog. …We were talking about my comments that you were dissatisfied with.”

                    "That was not my earlier contention at all. I am concerned about the potential that the aggregate of online civility can be sparked into physical violence.”

                    That is where the problem starts. I agree with civility so there was no argument except for my contention that occasional incivility to the very few may have a positive effect. The discussion is over once there is agreement unless a portion of the discussion has not been resolved. In order to make your case against my appropriate incivility you had to incorporate it into general incivility which is exactly what you did.

                    I cannot be quite sure what you are trying to prove in the second half of your discussion some of which I may have agreement with and some of which I may not have such agreement. You seem frustrated that where you might be able to prove that incivility is not a good thing you can’t prove the limited specific incivility is one one way or the other. I don’t want to delve into this meandering type of thought at this time. However I will clear up one of your possible misconceptions.

                    "While you see them potentially coming from Antifa (and that has its own potential, for sure), it could come from the right, too.”

                    I see the possibility from all sides. As a clarification I don’t see the Nazi’s as a rightwing group especially since Hitler’s Nazi’s were originally loaded up with communists and its name National Socialists with its theories regarding property rights. (It differed from the fascism of Mousilini in that Mousilini had a different opinion regarding human rights.)

                    1. Allan,
                      I am sorry the prior post was poorly written. It has been a chaotic day. I appreciate your patience.

                      “I agree with civility so there was no argument except for my contention that occasional incivility to the very few may have a positive effect. The discussion is over once there is agreement unless a portion of the discussion has not been resolved. In order to make your case against my appropriate incivility you had to incorporate it into general incivility which is exactly what you did.”

                      Part of this discussion has not just been for “who is right”; it has also been for understanding.

                      How can I agree that “that occasional incivility to the very few may have a positive effect” if I am not sure how that might be the case?

                      How can there be agreement regarding “appropriate incivility” if it is unclear what could make even limited uses of incivility appropriate?

                      You have said it is because they were uncivil with you and you are returning the favor. That you are mirroring them to help them and others learn, to see how they come across. Yet, that does not really explain why doing such a thing makes it appropriate or have a positive effect.

                      “”While you see them potentially coming from Antifa (and that has its own potential, for sure), it could come from the right, too.”

                      I see the possibility from all sides. As a clarification I don’t see the Nazi’s as a rightwing group”

                      I did not mention Nazis when I said that jackboot behavior could come from the right. That is what made it all the more concerning. We agree that that possibility could come from all sides.

                      The Nazis have a strange mix of some rightwing characteristics and some leftwing ones.

                      I appreciate you taking this long time to converse with me. I hope you did not find it a waste of your time.

                    2. “Part of this discussion has not just been for “who is right” it has also been for understanding.”

                      Prairie, there is no disagreement or lack of understanding. Neither of us approves of generalized incivility so you didn’t need to continue trying to prove a case that you linked to the incivility towards the <1%.

                      "How can I agree that “that occasional incivility to the very few may have a positive effect” if I am not sure how that might be the case?”

                      You don’t have to. You can say what I said over and over again. I don’t know. The only question remaining is whether or not it is worth a try.

                      "You have said it is because they were uncivil with you and you are returning the favor. That you are mirroring them to help them and others learn, to see how they come across. Yet, that does not really explain why doing such a thing makes it appropriate or have a positive effect.”

                      I repeat. The only question is whether or not it is worth a try. It wasn’t on your dime so it had no cost to you unless you have evidence that a cost to you existed.

                      "The Nazis have a strange mix of some rightwing characteristics and some leftwing ones.”

                      I wonder what traits of the Nazi’s you consider right wing. Was it slavery and racism? That was from the Democrats. Civil rights? The civil rights legislation was pushed by Republicans. In fact before the Democrats decided to buy the loyalty of Blacks and place them on the Democratic plantation for the most part they were Republicans. Is it property rights? Government ownership of property is a left wing idea. Is it violence? Look at Antifa. Is it anti-Semitism? look at the squad and how the Democrats protect their anti-Semitism. Is it what they named themselves? National Socialism speaks for itself.

                      I beg you, tell me what you think can make Nazi’s right wing.

                      "I appreciate you taking this long time to converse with me. I hope you did not find it a waste of your time”

                      Remember, I told you I observe so you are not a waste of time. You are a good person but sometimes good people want to be so good that they can do harm.

                    3. Allan,
                      “The only question is whether or not it is worth a try. It wasn’t on your dime so it had no cost to you unless you have evidence that a cost to you existed.”

                      I do not see it as worth a try because that 1% is likely incorrigible, so what would they learn. However, perhaps they are the sort of nasty people who only respond and back off if someone can somehow achieve acting nastier than they. Unfortunately, it seems to require higher and higher doses before anything changes. The nastiness escalates, which has a way of souring the atmosphere. I find it stressful, not the little digs so much since I tend to ignore most of those, but the meanness that can end up rising up after so much back and forth vitriol. I am not a Vulcan.

                      TIA will probably say ‘blah, blah, blah’ after this post, too. But, then, despite the things I often agree with him on, he just has to be a Grinch sometimes.

                    4. “I do not see it as worth a try because that 1% is likely incorrigible, “

                      Prairie, what about the 99% that might learn from observing the 1%? I won’t bother in telling you that you don’t know that 1% is incorrigible. After all ‘they are created in God’s image’.

                      ” Unfortunately, it seems to require higher and higher doses before anything changes.”

                      You are assuming a type of tachyphylaxis is occurring. It appears you consider the stimulus to be a verbal dose that requires ever increasing quantities. Maybe time is the essential ingredient not dosage? Maybe not, but then there is always the 99% observer class.

                      ” I find it stressful”

                      The world does not revolve around you.

                    5. “the high disgust sensitivity and lack of openness makes them more conservative.”

                      What are you talking about? ‘high disgust sensitivity’? Are you referring to Antifa or is there some other hidden meaning?

                      “They did exert quite a bit of control over industry (some elements of socialism)”

                      I would say government and large industry leaders working together is fascistic but that can be part of the trail to communism or just a different branch. Paraphrasing Marx, ‘countries would move from feudalist to capitalist to socialist’.

                      Under the Nazi’s, Germany’s private system existed but it was controlled by the State and in some instances taken over (ie Jewish fashion industry where the company produced for the government and the workers were placed in forced work camps while the properties were taken over by the state.)

                      The state not the private owner decided the allocation of resources ( prices, what to produce, etc. ). Do you think this is really capitalism as you know it or is it a facade and not a reality? What did the Nazi’s think? They believed themselves to be socialists. What you have is different ideas of branding the specific names, socialist and communist, in slightly different ways. I believe Marx used the words communism and socialism interchangeably but others used them in their own way. (If you are interested check out Thomas Sowell’s book “Marxism”)

                      “Their tendency to see danger and threats in the world is also a conservative tendency, as is the high orderliness.”

                      When you are trying to make an argument of moral equivalence or something similar don’t stretch the point to where it can’t possibly survive. That tendency to reduce risk is a tendency of all human beings. The high destructive orderliness is a characteristic of the left where everyone has to think and act the same. Without trying to be insulting you have been brainwashed.

                      “It would be so much easier if Nazism could be blamed on progressives or on conservatives, but they cannot be boiled down to either one.”

                      Germany had its own take on socialism and it was that socialism that became a part of Nazism.

                      “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”

                      Solzhenitsyn should have added a bit about brainwashing.

                    6. Allan,
                      “”The Nazis have a strange mix of some rightwing characteristics and some leftwing ones.”

                      “I wonder what traits of the Nazi’s you consider right wing.

                      I beg you, tell me what you think can make Nazi’s right wing.”

                      The Nazis were particularly insidious because there were attractive elements from right and left. They put in quite a few health-related reforms, for instance, which would have been a progressive thing to do, but, the high disgust sensitivity and lack of openness makes them more conservative. Their eugenics and white supremacy stemmed from an old progressive idea from the late 1800s. There were an unfortunate number of ‘intellectuals’ who, early on, applauded Nazism (e.g., Martin Heidegger). They did exert quite a bit of control over industry (some elements of socialism), but the industrialists were not completely controlled (capitalism was mostly left in place). They also put a strong emphasis on myths and tradition, a desire to conserve the greatest parts about Germany. Their tendency to see danger and threats in the world is also a conservative tendency, as is the high orderliness.

                      It would be so much easier if Nazism could be blamed on progressives or on conservatives, but they cannot be boiled down to either one.

                      ““The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”
                      ~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

                    7. Allan,
                      Please note:
                      “if someone can somehow achieve acting nastier than they”

                      ‘Acting nastier’ rather than ‘being’ nastier. For one, it is a performance. Evil villains in movies are not so in real life. They are acting.

                    8. “if someone can somehow achieve acting nastier than they”

                      ‘Acting nastier’ rather than ‘being’ nastier. For one, it is a performance. Evil villains in movies are not so in real life. They are acting.
                      ———————–

                      These are all statements you wrote. I don’t know what you are talking about. We are talking about real life.

                    9. Allan,
                      ““I do not see it as worth a try because that 1% is likely incorrigible, “

                      “I won’t bother in telling you that you don’t know that 1% is incorrigible. After all ‘they are created in God’s image’.”

                      I agree. I get too cynical sometimes.
                      ————–
                      “Maybe time is the essential ingredient not dosage?”

                      That is a good, and optimistic, point.
                      ————–
                      ” I find it stressful”

                      “The world does not revolve around you.”

                      I know it does not revolve around me. I have 4 kids for heaven’s sake; the world most certainly does not revolve around me. You asked what the cost was to me.

                      I said, “I find it stressful … the meanness that can end up rising up after so much back and forth vitriol.”

                      Not wanting people to fight is a good thing. I’d rather be bothered by meanness than be callous or indifferent. However, I can also see that letting people get it out of their system in a small way can act as a release valve, too.

                    10. “I said, “I find it stressful … the meanness that can end up rising up after so much back and forth vitriol.”

                      It seems that you might think meanness doesn’t exist until vitriol is expressed. Of course that is ridiculous and you know it.

                    11. Allan,
                      ““the high disgust sensitivity and lack of openness makes them more conservative.”

                      What are you talking about? ‘high disgust sensitivity’?

                      Disgust sensitivity is the degree to which people are easily disgusted. Jonathan Haidt has done work on this issue:

                      “However, more contemporary accounts consider disgust to be a basic response to a wide range of stimuli that may communicate uncleanliness, contamination, and the potential for disease.”

                      http://www.psy.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/olatunoo/pdf/281.pdf

                      Nazis were very high in disgust sensitivity considering the commentary they directed at Jews and other ‘undesirables’.
                      ——————
                      “I would say government and large industry leaders working together is fascistic but that can be part of the trail to communism or just a different branch.”

                      Or corporatist.
                      ——————–
                      “(If you are interested check out Thomas Sowell’s book “Marxism”)”

                      Thank you for the book recommendation. Thomas Sowell is great!
                      ——————–
                      “Their tendency to see danger and threats in the world is also a conservative tendency, as is the high orderliness.”

                      When you are trying to make an argument of moral equivalence or something similar don’t stretch the point to where it can’t possibly survive.”

                      It isn’t my argument. A bit of the research:

                      “German perception psychologist, Erich Jaensch, proposed a theory of personality derived from generalization of someone’s perceptual “purity,” or the ability to integrate sensory phenomena into a single dynamic whole.6 His “li-type” (inwardly integrated) personality displayed integrity regarding societal goals, was conservative, group-oriented, and unambiguous in judgments, and prevailed among Nazis.”

                      “the literature points to a conservative complex involving negativity bias, threat, disgust, and avoidance. On studies of political conservatism-liberalism, those with stronger politically conservative tendencies, compared with those with more politically liberal orientations, have more psychological and physiological reactivity to negative stimuli, accompanied by a greater sense of threat, sensitivity to disgust, and tendency to avoidance.”

                      https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16030051?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&amp;
                      ——————
                      “That tendency to reduce risk is a tendency of all human beings.”

                      It manifests to different degrees. For instance, some people are extremely conservative with the stock market and some are pretty comfortable with risk.
                      ——————-
                      “The high destructive orderliness is a characteristic of the left where everyone has to think and act the same.”

                      Yes, this element of the left is morphing dangerously into destructive orderliness (though perhaps characterizing their destructive orderliness as putting people into identity groups is more apt). Other elements of orderliness, though, are not. Maintaining structures and traditional hierarchies are not a typical preference of the Left (e.g., Professor Turley would be called Jonathan rather than Professor Turley).

                      “Without trying to be insulting you have been brainwashed.”

                      I have not been brainwashed.

                      “It would be so much easier if Nazism could be blamed on progressives or on conservatives, but they cannot be boiled down to either one.”

                      “Germany had its own take on socialism and it was that socialism that became a part of Nazism.”

                      That is part of it, but not all of it. The video I linked in the [January 24, 2020 at 1:18 AM] post is short and provides a nice summary of some of the conservative-oriented elements of the Nazis.

                      “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts.”

                      Solzhenitsyn should have added a bit about brainwashing.”

                      He did in the Gulag Archipelago. There were ardent Communists who would be tossed into the gulag camps who could not let go of their attachment to Communism. They were brainwashed Communism could not possibly be the problem, that it was something else, some mistake, not Communism, that was at fault for them being imprisoned indefinitely in the gulag.

                    12. “Disgust sensitivity is the degree to which people are easily disgusted. Jonathan Haidt has done work on this issue:”

                      “However, more contemporary accounts consider disgust to be a basic response to a wide range of stimuli that may communicate uncleanliness, contamination, and the potential for disease.”
                      —–

                      This is a poor way of showing similarities between the right and the Nazi’s. In fact it is an awful way and I do not believe it holds significant water.

                      You are engaged in cross national comparisons of different cultures and believe you have found comparisons that are significant. That is a tough nut to crack but you seem to feel that you have accomplished that by the vaguest of comparisons in an attempt to prove something that doesn’t seem to have the validity you are giving it.

                      “uncleanliness, contamination, and the potential for disease”: It appears that you are judging the people in the city of San Fransisco as leftists because of the filth in the streets where disease is cropping up and those people that live elsewhere in clean homes with clean streets are conservatives whose behavior is closer to the Nazi ideology. Your reason, those with clean streets much have a higher disgust sensitivity to uncleanliness.

                      “Their tendency to see danger and threats in the world is also a conservative tendency, as is the high orderliness.”

                      One can pick and choose tidbits from the mass of slop out in the Internet and even in the major medical and psychiatric journals. I think you are going far astray. To prove a point you have to put things together.

                      I went to your 6:22 min video of Jordan Peterson and it added nothing significant to your contentions. You are conflating various statements from various people at various times discussing various things and coming up with essentially nothing even if something might actually exist.

                      If you build a bridge across a river, it has to be one continuous bridge. It can’t be built in parts which are located in different portions of the river and unlinked because those unlinked sections don’t take one across the bridge to the other side.

                      I read your entire post and left out portions especially towards the end because much of it was unlinked and didn’t seem to follow the theme of the discussion or tie things together.

                      “It would be so much easier if Nazism could be blamed on progressives or on conservatives, but they cannot be boiled down to either one.”

                      The problem you have is that Nazism was derived from German socialism. Further problems include individual property rights that were abolished. Additionally, eugenics was a progressive endeavor as was the slaughter of non Aryans. I can go on and on with significant points to demonstrate Nazism is an offspring of leftism while you can find vague comparisons to conservatives, Hindu’s and those believing in Taoism.

                      I will not repeat that I believe you are brainwashed but the arguments you are making are so tenuous that I can’t think of another reason for such a personal struggle to find links of conservatism to Nazism.

                    13. Allan,
                      “I will not repeat that I believe you are brainwashed but the arguments you are making are so tenuous that I can’t think of another reason for such a personal struggle to find links of conservatism to Nazism.”

                      I am not brainwashed. It seems you dearly want Nazism to only be a problem of the Left, which is not the case. The arguments are not tenuous; there is plenty of well-established research. The right can also descend into totalitarianism.

                      Classical liberals, who are essentially on the right at this point in time, would very likely not descend into totalitarianism. However, unfortunately, they do not fully encompass the right. There are people who are conservative, who vote Republican, who have an authoritarian personality and would, given the green light, become totalitarians. Obviously, there are those on the Left who would, too.

                      “You are engaged in cross national comparisons of different cultures and believe you have found comparisons that are significant.”

                      Not my argument; it’s other people’s research:

                      “In two large samples—one consisting of Americans and one consisting of natives of 121 countries throughout the world— we found that DS was positively associated with political conservatism.”

                      https://www.academia.edu/2662869/Disgust_Sensitivity_Political_Conservatism_and_Voting

                      Also, as the paper indicated, the German perception psychologist Erich Jaensch did his research during the 1930s and noted his observations on Nazis and other groups, so the observations have held across time, too.

                      ““uncleanliness, contamination, and the potential for disease”: It appears that you are judging the people in the city of San Fransisco”

                      It isn’t a judgement; disgust sensitivity is an observation of the intensity of people’s reactions to different stimuli.

                      These things do not carry a judgement with them; they are neither good nor bad–they are observations.

                      “those people that live elsewhere in clean homes with clean streets are conservatives whose behavior is closer to the Nazi ideology.”

                      That’s quite the leap. Also, remember that I noted that Nazis were a mix–they are not purely Leftist or purely from the Right.

                      “You are conflating various statements from various people at various times discussing various things and coming up with essentially nothing even if something might actually exist.”

                      I am not conflating anything. I am not debating you that some strong elements of Nazism arose from progressive ideas–I agree. However, that is not the totality. Nazism also includes conservative elements.

                    14. ” It seems you dearly want Nazism to only be a problem of the Left, which is not the case.”

                      That is the problem, Prairie. You are linking Nazism to the right and have failed to recognize that it is precisely that type of attitude that permitted the right to blamed for Nazi type actions which is a false accusation. That is why in my last post I responded to your rebuttal, “This is a poor way of showing similarities between the right and the Nazi’s. In fact it is an awful way and I do not believe it holds significant water.”

                      I then explained why. If you desired not to link the Nazi’s with any specific group I could understand that because they had features that differentiated them from other groups, but no, you didn’t want to do that. You wanted to cast blame and make Nazism a problem of the right. That is wrong!

                      I gave specific reasons in my prior post why I did not link Nazism with the right but could link it with the left. Firstly the right as I see it values individual property rights. That is a primary differentiator. Does the left or Nazism have that value? No. Secondly Nazism in great measure was derived from German socialism. Do you believe the right has much to do with German socialism? Which party supported slavery? The Democrats. Which party originally promoted the Civil Rights laws? Not the Democrats.

                      You need to deal with major issues instead of creating a moral equivalency. There are always features that can be leveled at any ideology but one has to be realistic and answer the major questions.

                      I don’t think you can satisfactorily demonstrate that Nazism comes from ideas of the right. I have shown you that major parts of Nazism are in common with the left.

                      As far as the descent into totalitarianism, that can happen in any ideology even if it is NOT a part of an ideology, but it appears what we have seen of socialism in our world has been accompanied by a type of dictatorship or totalitarian rule. I do not believe there is a true democracy of all people that is workable so things do get a bit confusing.

                      “The arguments are not tenuous; there is plenty of well-established research.”

                      I don’t doubt research has occurred but you are talking more about how people behave not the ideologies under discussion. I would like to hear significant conclusions where the bridge is complete and where those conclusions are significant and define an ideology. (An example would be property rights.)

                      One has to be careful about definitions. Example, the left does not believe in personal property rights. The opposite side does. Individual Republicans can be as stupid as individual Democrats just like individual Democrats can be as stupid as individual Republicans. That is why I have no alliegance to either party.

                      “Not my argument; it’s other people’s research:“

                      If you don’t want to defend the arguments of others don’t use them to promote your arguments.

                      “It isn’t a judgement; disgust sensitivity is an observation of the intensity of people’s reactions to different stimuli.”

                      That is correct but you brought that into a discussion to promote your ideas about individual ideologies. Observations are not generally proofs nor conclusions but you brought those things into the discussion as conclusions and proofs.

                      “That’s quite the leap. “

                      The leap that was made to demonstrate the fallacies in your logic. You were building incomplete bridges and ending up in the river instead of on the other side.

                      “Nazism also includes conservative elements.”

                      Nazism contains lots of things in common with other ideologies. Exercise is good whether one is a Nazi, a socialist or a libertarian. Take out the things that are in common with a lot of ideologies and then present your case. Provide specific rebuttals and provide specific argument.

                    15. Allan,
                      “” It seems you dearly want Nazism to only be a problem of the Left, which is not the case.”

                      That is the problem, Prairie. You are linking Nazism to the right and have failed to recognize that it is precisely that type of attitude that permitted the right to blamed for Nazi type actions which is a false accusation.”

                      Nazism is a problem for the left and the right.

                      However, that descriptor is typically a conversation-ending tactic when those on the left don’t want to or cannot actually engage with an issue at hand.

                      How the logical fallacy debate tactic typically goes:
                      Want the borders enforced? You must hate immigrants and because many immigrants are people of color you must also be a racist and white supremacist to boot. Therefore, those who want the borders enforced are Nazis.

                      Egad. So much is wrong with that argument. Wanting rules to be followed does not equal hate for immigrants and the rest of the accusation. Too many people on the left engage in manipulative, deceitful debate (though, those on the right can be guilty of it, too)–and the worst of it is, I’m not sure if many are even aware that that is what they are doing. On the gracious end of things, mistakes of logic happen in discussion, but sometimes it is also a bad habit.

                      In many ways, I think the right-left spectrum is unhelpful. You need both perspectives in an healthy democracy. The metric probably ought to be whether a policy, law or perspective is edging towards being totalitarian or not, which would be detrimental to free society. Since those on the right and the left can both devolve into totalitarianism, then understanding how that can happen could hopefully help prevent it and thus uphold liberty.
                      ——————–
                      “You wanted to cast blame and make Nazism a problem of the right.”

                      I am not casting blame. The Nazis would not have grown so powerful if they did not have sufficiently widespread support; that makes it a problem for a very broad swath of society.
                      ——————–
                      “You need to deal with major issues instead of creating a moral equivalency. There are always features that can be leveled at any ideology but one has to be realistic and answer the major questions.”

                      I am not in any way creating a moral equivalency. Conservatives do not equal Nazis.

                      Some of the major questions primarily associated between Nazism and conservatism are not necessarily policies. Also, just because a group of people intellectually support a certain political philosophy doesn’t mean that always happens. For example, conservatives are generally associated with a desire for smaller government, yet, they supported the Patriot Act which increased the government and its powers, particularly of surveillance.

                      Time is extremely limited for me right now, so I will continue answering as I am able.

                    16. “Nazism is a problem for the left and the right.”

                      Nazism is a problem for everyone but if one wants to link it anywhere then one has to recognize its origins. German socialism is a prominent part.

                      “Therefore, those who want …… are Nazis.”

                      Yes and the left got away with that by labelling the right as the side the Nazis reside on when it would be more correct if the Nazis were placed on the left. More accurate placement of the term is why I have engaged in this discussion.

                      “In many ways, I think the right-left spectrum is unhelpful.”

                      I agree and that is why I point to one of the very significant differentiators, property rights. Totalitarianism is not what one should think of when one points to the right (the so-called opposite of the left). Many of the points that differentiates the right from the left are expressed here frequently. Property rights has been discussed. Gun rights that protect speech rights while the left wishes to take away guns and permit only PC speech. The free market place recognizes property rights.

                      So far no nation I can think of has adopted socialism and not been totalitarian so forgetting right/left, socialism doesn’t produce a healthy democracy.

                      Totalitarians don’t want guns in anyone’s hands but their own, they don’t want free speech and since they can do as they want your property rights only exist if permitted by the dictator.

                      “The Nazis would not have grown so powerful if they did not have sufficiently widespread support; that makes it a problem for a very broad swath of society.”

                      The Nazis may not have grown so powerful if the people had freedom of speech and the guns to protect that freedom. It also wouldn’t have occurred if property rights of all were respected. Those ideas had to be forgotten for the Nazi’s to take over. Bad times help people forget those things.

                      “I am not in any way creating a moral equivalency. Conservatives do not equal Nazis.”

                      That is good but review what you wrote in your previous responses.

                      “yet, they supported the Patriot Act which increased the government”

                      Our Republic is based on compromise. It was formed not to control the people but to protect the rights of those people that resided in the 13 colonies from larger and stronger countries. Nothing is pure and our Constitution wasn’t pure. The best example of that is it permitted slavery to exist.

                      “Time is extremely limited …”

                      Time is a very valuable asset so don’t worry if you cannot respond. Children are far more important.

        2. Allan,
          ““Both the extreme right and the extreme left have sites on which comments there do risk life and limb for people in the real world.”

          You are again expanding the scope of this discussion.“

          I am not meaning to expand the discussion. I am trying to provide examples of when online activity has sparked real-world violence.

          “You are worried that “Tensions are rising and …”

          Perhaps this is a result of overabundant avoidance of confrontation and fear of not being PC or polite.”

          Perhaps so. However, being civil does not equal being PC or being polite; it also does not mean avoiding confrontation.

          “The Republicans have been terrible in the way they have responded to Democratic aggression.”

          Heh. I think you mean how ‘they have [not] responded’. 😉

          (I don’t like either party).

          I am an Independent, so I, too, am frustrated with the lot of them.

          1. “I am not meaning to expand the discussion. I am trying to provide examples of when online activity has sparked real-world violence.”

            You are expanding the discussion outside of the sandbox we were dealing with. You were trying to tie in my uncivil comments (though warranted) to violence in the real world. You can’t so you rely on expansion of the discussion until you find what you are looking for even though it doesn’t pertain.

            “Perhaps so. However, being civil does not equal being PC or being polite; it also does not mean avoiding confrontation.”

            But in an attempt to be civil people can altogether avoid confrontation and act in a PC way.

            “I am an Independent, so I, too, am frustrated with the lot of them.”

            The behavior of Democrats today is so bad to our society that I changed my voting habits. Today, even on a local level, I find it too dangerous to support Democrats that I would have previously supported. In that way I am not an independent but one that disdains the Democratic Party of today and therefore will vote to defeat them. This does not mean that I support the other party though I do support Trump.

            1. Allan,
              “You are expanding the discussion outside of the sandbox we were dealing with. You were trying to tie in my uncivil comments (though warranted) to violence in the real world. You can’t so you rely on expansion of the discussion until you find what you are looking for even though it doesn’t pertain.”

              Practically the whole mode of communication is broken. You even indicated that it is the 99%, as well as the 1%, that is causing problems. If that is the case, then, yes, it is the whole system, and this blog is part of a wider system. People interact elsewhere than just on here, be it online or in the real world. Their habits of communication are carried with them. The quality and tenor of communication in this sandbox will affect the quality and tenor of communication in the next sandbox. The low level, uncivil communication gets perpetuated and exacerbated.

              I am not trying to tie your (or anybody else’s) specific comments to any specific incidents of violence. It isn’t necessarily any one person that could provoke problems, though it could be (e.g., people can get charged with inciting a riot if that is what they’ve done). Lots of little dry pine needles, twigs, and dry leaves make great tinder.

              “Perhaps so. However, being civil does not equal being PC or being polite; it also does not mean avoiding confrontation.”

              But in an attempt to be civil people can altogether avoid confrontation and act in a PC way.”

              That is not the fault of civility; that is the fault of people. Nice isn’t civil and confrontation will happen one way or another. Deal with the dragon when it is small or it will grow into one of Smaug-like proportions with all the attendant destructiveness.

              1. “Practically the whole mode of communication is broken. You even indicated that it is the 99%, as well as the 1%”

                Prairie, your criticism of my returning words to the offenders had to do with the less than 1% not the other 99% and that was made clear several times. It has also been made clear that in general I agree with civility and I pointed that out by demonstrating my discussion with others that I disagree with but had civil discussions with.

                “People interact elsewhere than just on here”

                Your initial criticism (accepted by me without rancor) was not about everyone else rather it was about what I said not what anyone else said.

                “The quality and tenor of communication in this sandbox will affect the quality and tenor of communication in the next sandbox. “

                The discussion did not involve other sandboxes though it may and it could be beneficial. It involved my incivility in dealing with the less than 1% ie Anonymous the Stupid. You keep expanding the topic. Initially there was no thought about any other involvements and you were interested in why I acted that way to some, if I thought that improved discussions etc. It was personalized not generalized. Why do you keep generalizing and refuse to deal with the initial complaint you made?

                “Lots of little dry pine needles, twigs, and dry leaves make great tinder.”

                You are attempting again to leverage your argument but looking very narrowly with a type of tunnel vision that doesn’t permit you to look outside the box or contain your discussion to the initial premise.

                “That is not the fault of civility; that is the fault of people.”

                Again you fail to recognize that civility requires more than one person. You also fail to recognize that incivility exists whether or not I exist and some will not change their behavior until they recognize that there is some penalty attached to such behavior.

                Try to separate your arguments away from general incivility and deal with what you criticized when this discussion began.

  3. 3/3

    “I can speak privately to someone about my concerns and retain my anonymity. The blog does not work that way. “

    That demonstrates why these blog comments don’t fit into normal discourse and perhaps why attitudes might be different here than elsewhere. In a way it invalidates much of what you have brought to the table about “rudeness”.
    ————————————-

    “My initial comment was in regards to another poster being uncivil by unfairly characterizing the beliefs of conservatives, a straw man. You did the same thing in reverse. Online incivility.”

    Actually we did have this type of discussion early on and I discussed the difference between left, liberal and Democrat. At the time I remember you thanking me for straightening out the definitions I was using or something like that and then recognizing that Dennis Prager had discussed these things in a complementary way.

    When people take a position they have to understand what position they are taking. If they are mistaken it is their fault when a reply might sound a bit “rude” to them. It is not “rude” to correct what appears to be error. They have a chance to correct the record, but if they do not take that opportunity one cannot say it is “rude” if the other individual repeats his claim.

    1. Allan,
      ““I can speak privately to someone about my concerns and retain my anonymity. The blog does not work that way. “

      That demonstrates why these blog comments don’t fit into normal discourse and perhaps why attitudes might be different here than elsewhere. In a way it invalidates much of what you have brought to the table about “rudeness”.”

      I disagree. That should mean discussion and word choice should be handled even more thoughtfully and carefully. Ideas and words that are merely thought carry hardly any weight. Spoken words and ideas become ‘real’ but are not solid and heavy until they are written down. Written words, particularly on the internet where they cannot easily be destroyed, have a hardness to them, a weight that affects our thinking and perceptions more deeply. Thus, even greater caution and consideration should be taken, especially in light of the concerns regarding online anonymity and subsequent deindividuation and all the other associated problems that I have already highlighted.
      ————————————-

      “My initial comment was in regards to another poster being uncivil by unfairly characterizing the beliefs of conservatives, a straw man. You did the same thing in reverse. Online incivility.”

      Actually we did have this type of discussion early on and I discussed the difference between left, liberal and Democrat. At the time I remember you thanking me for straightening out the definitions I was using or something like that and then recognizing that Dennis Prager had discussed these things in a complementary way.”

      Yes. I only wanted to note what initiated our discussion.
      ————————–
      “It is not “rude” to correct what appears to be error.”

      We are in agreement.

      1. ” That should mean discussion and word choice should be handled even more thoughtfully and carefully. “

        Once again you are basing your ideas on how you would like people to act even when you recognize that many people are irresponsible. This is made even more complex when there is no fixed persona and a person can change what he says at will by simply changing aliases or by lying. We see plenty of both on this blog. Not only that but when they lie about what they said like Jan F. did they simply change their names leading to the succession of names Anon, bythebook, etc.

        Most people recognize this so trust in what is said is limited and therefore the effects are limited and generally disappear as the page is turned.

        1. Allan,
          “” That should mean discussion and word choice should be handled even more thoughtfully and carefully. “

          Once again you are basing your ideas on how you would like people to act even when you recognize that many people are irresponsible.”

          These words are said with concern for those who are responsible but who get caught up in the moment and choose to engage in conversation that is beneath their level and very well may be exacerbating the rancor.

          “This is made even more complex when there is no fixed persona and a person can change what he says at will by simply changing aliases or by lying. We see plenty of both on this blog. Not only that but when they lie about what they said like Jan F. did they simply change their names leading to the succession of names Anon, bythebook, etc.

          Most people recognize this so trust in what is said is limited and therefore the effects are limited and generally disappear as the page is turned.”

          It does not follow that because trust in what is said is limited, therefore the effects are limited. Why would the effects be limited?

          1. “These words are said with concern for those who are responsible but who get caught up in the moment and choose to engage in conversation that is beneath their level and very well may be exacerbating the rancor.”

            That is an excuse. In reality you are “basing your ideas on how you would like people to act even when you recognize that many people are irresponsible.” Your claims concern specific issues where you generalize to provide credence to the claims you are trying to prove.

            “Most people recognize this so trust in what is said is limited “

            That would mean that this box is not the tinder you claim in another response. But you say “It does not follow that because trust in what is said is limited, therefore the effects are limited.” If trust is limited, then the statement for the most part cancels itself out as far as the outside world is concerned.

  4. 2/5

    “Incivility is not part of one’s nature; it is a choice.”

    That leads to a very long discussion as to what “choice” really is and how to draw the line on what is or is not “choice”. A surgeon can use both hands but chooses one for one task and another for another task because it feels better that way. Sometimes the non dominant hand is used where the dominant hand would normally be used because things don’t always work out the way we want. Again, I think you are trying to explain things away.

    1. Allan – anyone who has had an oppositionally defiant student knows that incivility can be part of one’s nature.

      1. “Incivility is not part of one’s nature; it is a choice”

        Paul, those were Prairie’s words. I’ll leave it to the two of you to figure out what you both mean.

      2. Paul,
        I know it seems to be part of one’s nature, but had that child been raised with other people, it is likely they would not be ODD.

        “The etiology of ODD is multifactorial with a cumulative nature. Biologic factors associated with ODD may include nicotine use by parents, prenatal nutritional deficiencies, and developmental delay.6–9 Familial clustering suggests an underlying genetic component, but hereditary connections are variable. Psychological factors associated with ODD may include insecure attachment and unresponsive parents.6 Parental psychopathology, including maternal aggression, is associated with ODD; abuse, harsh punishment, and inconsistent discipline are common correlates.10 Newer studies confirm that parental behavior is likely causal rather than a response to the child’s symptoms.11 Additional social factors that may contribute to ODD include poverty, lack of structure, peer rejection, and community violence.6”

        American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0401/p586.html#sec-1

        “Newer studies confirm that parental behavior is likely causal rather than a response to the child’s symptoms.”

        I think the ‘familial clustering’ has less to do with genetics (and the studies indicate that is not a strong component) and more to do with families repeating and reinforcing problematic parenting and other detrimental choices/experiences (e.g., poor nutrition).

        1. Prairie Rose – although I agree that ODD and ADHD are often comorbid, I am not sure I can agree with your original premise. If they had different parents, they would have been different people. However, the authors of the article are going on a nurture not nature attack. ADHD has a genetic component, so there is no reason OOD could not have it, too.

          1. Paul,
            I did not say that the child would have different parents, but that had the child been raised with different parents (e.g., given up for adoption at birth) then the ODD would very likely not have manifested.

            The environment can adversely affect the genetics of a person, especially when chronic stress is involved.

            You are right, there are underlying potential genetic components; however, I disagree that they are the primary driving factor in the development in ODD. How terrible chronic stress can affect the developing brains of young children is pretty well established. The prefrontal cortex, and consequently executive function which is involved in planning and impulse control, is affected.

            “TTS [traumatic toxic stress] has been shown to lead to changes, especially in the more susceptible young brain, which can lead to long-term effects on both physiology and behavior (2,14,15). The genes that determine how the body responds to stress are highly subject to epigenetic modifications (16). Epigenetic changes may occur via DNA methylation and histone acetylation that modify gene expression. While some of these modifications are transient, others are programmed early in life and will remain embedded throughout the child’s lifetime with the potential to be passed on to the next generation (16). It was also shown that the three regions of the brain that are most prominently affected by TTS are laden with glucocorticoid receptors. These regions are the hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex, and the amygdala (10,11,13,14).”

            https://www.nature.com/articles/pr2015197

  5. 1/5

    ” Seems to me you are wishing to discuss something other than issues of online incivility.”

    Prairie, that is not so. The discussion involved civility both in general and in online incivility. The discussion of each has bounced back and forth. Your examples are not focused on online incivility especially since for many of your “experts” online incivility didn’t exist. Online civility gathers a lot of different things together. If you wish to limit the topic then you have to limit it to a blog that is mostly unmoderated and permits respondents to use multiple aliases where the identities can be hidden.

    The origin of this lengthy discussion I believe was based on my approach to a few individuals who were particularly “rude”. Anonymous the Stupid is the first to come to mind. You objected to my returning such “rudeness” believing civility should be the only response. I differed in that I believed some did not understand civility so I mirrored their rudeness, what they said, against them. They continuously called others deplorables, stupid, racists etc. Why can one not call them the same especially when directing those statements at them is more likely to be true?

    You tried to make your case with generalized answers that were not specific to the question. When asked why one shouldn’t be “rude” in these specific cases you answered ‘because man was made in God’s image’ (paraphrased). I questioned the absolute position you seemed to take and the nature of your proof. I stated that though I could not prove my position regarding the use of limited “rudeness” it was worth a try. Trump’s “rudeness” was brought into the discussion because that appears to have coincided with a drastic improvement in America’s future. I stressed over and over again that I believed in being civil but that there were times that it didn’t work and incivility was worth a try.

    This is an unmoderated list. Elsewhere such comments would not be permitted and all engaging in such comments would be thrown off the list permanently. However, the owner believes in free speech even on his property. That is both good and bad, but that is the environment we are dealing with so that is the environment where you have to prove your case even though it appears to fall apart elsewhere.

    I am breaking this response up to make it easier to deal with.

    1. Allan,
      “” Seems to me you are wishing to discuss something other than issues of online incivility.”

      Prairie, that is not so.”

      I noted that because it seemed you wanted to redirect the conversation towards President Trump and incivility. I suppose that’s fine, but I did want to keep the focus on the issue of acrimony and incivility online.

      “since for many of your “experts” online incivility didn’t exist.”

      I doubt that. The research paper didn’t cover it specifically; that does not mean the authors do not think ‘online incivility’ doesn’t exist.

      “Online civility gathers a lot of different things together. If you wish to limit the topic then you have to limit it to a blog that is mostly unmoderated and permits respondents to use multiple aliases where the identities can be hidden.”

      Why? Online incivility is practically endemic on the internet.

      “When asked why one shouldn’t be “rude” in these specific cases you answered ‘because man was made in God’s image’ (paraphrased). I questioned the absolute position you seemed to take and the nature of your proof.”

      That was an answer, in part, regarding my personal values. However, it does answer, as well, the concept that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. Viewing someone as having the freedom of speech, and that we will give them enough respect to allow them to speak, even defend their right to say the most reprehensible things, we are indicating that even they have some value as an individual.

      That is not to say we will not protest and argue against their position, however. Of course that is needed. If they who say reprehensible things have some value as a person, an individual with rights the same as ours, then the individual should not be demonized, rather it is the ideas, the words or the actions that should be disputed. —This respect for the individual is evident in other elements of the Bill of Rights.
      ————————
      “Trump’s “rudeness” was brought into the discussion because that appears to have coincided with a drastic improvement in America’s future.”

      I have tried to convey that his rudeness does not seem to be the causal element.

      I was up very late having to do other things, so I went to bed without finishing. Now I need to be up doing other things, too. I will try to finishing answering as time permits today.

      1. “I noted that because it seemed you wanted to redirect the conversation towards President Trump and incivility. I suppose that’s fine, but I did want to keep the focus on the issue of acrimony and incivility online.”

        Not at all Prairie. One of my contentions is that different circumstances lead to different ways of handling situations. Your evidence led to generalizations and topic expansion so I used Trump to demonstrate that in other situations unusual ways of handling things or “rudeness” seemed to work well. I have stated time after time that I believe in civility but on this particular blog things are different and I see no harm in calling Anonymous the Stupid exactly what he is, Stupid. It could even be enlightening to others.

        “The research paper didn’t cover it specifically; that does not mean the authors do not think ‘online incivility’ doesn’t exist.”

        The discussion does not involve whether or not online incivility exists, it does even though we both agree that on average it is not a good thing. However, we are not talking about averages rather we are talking about specific situations such as throwing back words that uncivil folk throw at others such as Racist, Stupid, Deplorables.

        “Why? Online incivility is practically endemic on the internet.”

        That is what the subject is about. A lack of responsibility creates some of that and when people can use the same alias or choose multiple aliases their persona has no responsibility attached. That is a circumstance that is new and different.

        “That was an answer, in part, regarding my personal values.”

        That is OK but your personal values might not be the best solution and those personal values appear to be what generates your side of the discussion.

        ” then the individual should not be demonized,”

        That is a broad sweeping statement. Hitler and Stalin should not be demonized?

        ———————
        Allan: “Trump’s “rudeness” was brought into the discussion because that appears to have coincided with a drastic improvement in America’s future.”

        Prairie: “I have tried to convey that his rudeness does not seem to be the causal element.”
        ———————
        “Rudeness” is subjective. His tweets in general were considered rude. Calling the news Fake News was considered rude. Without that he likely IMO would not have won. Twitter IMO was instrumental in his election and his “rude” behavior made the news media carry his side of the story.

        1. Allan,
          “I believed some did not understand civility so I mirrored their rudeness”

          To help them understand civility, perhaps modeling civility would be helpful.

          “Why can one not call them the same especially when directing those statements at them is more likely to be true?”

          That is a good question. I answered ‘why not’ several ways.

          *It stymies discussion because the conversation is no longer about the topic, it is is about the people and what they think of each other.
          *It can reinforce partisanship.
          *It can decrease trust, between people in general, and, in our political institutions.
          *It can decrease people’s willingness to hear other points of view.
          *it can be contagious and can be adopted by other people (and potentially get ensnared in a positive feedback loop).

          I am curious. Giving incivility a try was not a decision on a whim, or a flip of a coin. Were you aiming for ‘tactical incivility’?

          “It’s a cultural matter,” [Susan] Herbst said. “If we want to become a nation based on stability and substantive argument, we have to enforce a higher level of sophistication in political argument, toughen up at the same time and learn to live with some instability and negativity but not be blinded by it.” This, she said, “would be more consistent with what the founders had in mind when they established the nation.””

          https://annenberg.usc.edu/dr-susan-herbst-discusses-role-incivility-democracy-walt-fisher-lecture

          I have not yet read her book. What strikes me, though, is her emphasis on “enforcing a higher level of sophistication in political argument”. By enforcing, I think she means a persistent engagement in good argument, one that avoids logical fallacies just to ‘score points’. That takes patience and persistence to redirect arguments back on track.

          As a nation, that is not where we are at. Based on the little bit I have read of her, it sounds like she, too, recognizes that incivility, in too large or too frequent of doses, can spiral out of control. Perhaps I am sensitive to the potential repercussions of unchecked incivility. My parents divorced, so there was plenty of incivility, and, I have witnessed the destructiveness of incivility without any constructive mutual rebuilding in other families, too.

          1. “To help them understand civility, perhaps modeling civility would be helpful.”

            Prairie, you missed the point completely. Civility was tried and didn’t work. Do you believe that repeating a failed solution over and over again is the proper way to solve problems? Schooling and intellect might end up dictating that approach but wisdom tells another story.

            Why are people so afraid of thinking out of the box?

            “That is a good question. I answered ‘why not’ several ways.”

            That is true, but you didn’t answer “why?”. If your door key doesn’t open the door do you endlessly keep trying while listing all the reasons you shouldn’t try another way of getting in?

            “Were you aiming for ‘tactical incivility’?”

            I am not sure what you mean by the phrase ’tactical incivility’.

            I start out being civil and even intermittently test the waters for civility. If none exists I might try incivility in return frequently returning their own words such as stupid, racist, deplorable etc.

            Herbst’s generalization (again this strays from the specific discussion) is fine until it doesn’t work. If what she said was always true there would be no violence and no war. Unfortunately it is human nature to try to take advantage of situations and other people.

            “Prairie, do you believe doing the same thing that does not work over and over again is the way to solve problems? Intellect and schooling might tell you so but wisdom tells another story.”

            It strikes me that those similar to Anonymous the Stupid and his other half are far from willing or capable of such sophistication. Take a look at TDS and how it has overtaken so many in this nation. I am waiting for Medicare/ Medicaid to give TDS a coding number.

            It was very impolite for the child to say ‘Look, the King has no clothing.’

            “My parents divorced, so there was plenty of incivility, and, I have witnessed the destructiveness of incivility without any constructive mutual rebuilding in other families, too.”

            People get married for a reason and divorced for a reason. There is no reason to have incivility in divorce but that is frequently the case. I’ve had friends who were getting divorced that asked for advice and I tell them if needed to aim for divorce but to remain friends. I never take sides so if they get back together I haven’t ruined a relationship with the other half.

            1. Allan,
              “Action on your part is what would make Olly’s sharing great.”

              You asked this earlier. What ‘action’ are you wishing I’d take beyond my work to help effect positive change in my school district?
              ————————-
              ““Do you believe that repeating a failed solution over and over again is the proper way to solve problems?”

              I think civility is a long-term solution; it is not a quick fix. Also, civility is not the same as being ‘polite’. The child was not uncivil to point out that the Emperor had no clothes.

              You said neither solution seems to work. I cannot find your exact comment, but I thought you noted that incivility was also ineffective. However, I wonder if our goals are cross-wise to one another. You said somewhere that ‘whatever works’ should be how to solve a problem. Is incivility effecting the change you desire, or at least solving a problem?
              ———————
              “while listing all the reasons you shouldn’t try another way of getting in?”

              What is the best way to “get in” to people’s minds to get them to see other perspectives, to ‘get in’ so they really ‘hear’ what you’re saying rather than what they want to think you’re saying?
              ———————-
              “Were you aiming for ‘tactical incivility’?”

              I am not sure what you mean by the phrase ’tactical incivility’.”

              Susan Herbst researches tactical incivility, as in the tactical or strategic use of incivility to garner attention or to get people to act (etc).
              ——————–
              “Take a look at TDS and how it has overtaken so many in this nation. I am waiting for Medicare/ Medicaid to give TDS a coding number.”

              What is the remedy?

              On a related note, the executive branch has gotten too powerful, as Professor Turley has noted on many occasions. I think people are fearing the rise of another Hitler or Stalin.
              ——————-
              “I never take sides so if they get back together I haven’t ruined a relationship with the other half.”

              How might we not ruin a relationship with our other half, politically-speaking?

              1. ““I never take sides so if they get back together I haven’t ruined a relationship with the other half.”

                How might we not ruin a relationship with our other half, politically-speaking?” Broadly-speaking, As in, those on the Right and those on the Left.

              2. Question number one seems to be out of the blue, old and not strictly related to where the present discussion is now. I would need better context and where it comes from along with what you think I mean.
                ——

                Prairie, it appears you keep missing the point. Civility was tried and didn’t work. We have seen this long term on this blog and others. Your answer now is that it is not “a quick fix”. Another excuse but though true in some cases it may not be a fix at all. Why are you so reluctant to let others turn the tables on rude people that say stupid things and throw out insults like racist, stupid and deplorable? Maybe your reliance solely on civility is what the child was talking about when he said the emperor had no clothes. Maybe no one will listen to the truth coming from the child’s mouth because they are so afraid of change and being confrontational to those that should be confronted.

                I said in the uncommon case where civility doesn’t work one might try to do something different. I also said there was no guarantee of success no matter what one does. Are people so afraid of failure when thinking out of the box and doing something different? Is failure when thinking out of the box worse than failure when thinking within the box? I am having trouble getting these answers from you.

                Lets look at this long dialogue between the two of us. It is over something very simple. I was called names directly or indirectly. I was courteous but nothing changed. I took the same names and turned the tables calling one Anonymous the Stupid which is pretty close to the truth and a simple return of an insult. To another I called him a racist because he calls anyone on the right a racist and makes up stories to prove right wing racism. What do you find so obscene with that type of response?

                You think that is being uncivil and shouldn’t be done. I’ve told you why I do it with certain people and you can’t provide me good reasons why it shouldn’t be done except by stating why civility can be good which we both agree on. I’m not telling you how to act but you are telling me and aside from questions mostly unrelated along with evidence that is not targeted to the specific cases you continue to feel righteous telling another basically intelligent and polite individual that he shouldn’t be impolite to those that are most insulting to him. That type of attitude is insulting as well but I don’t think you see that. Don’t get me wrong I don’t take offense to that type of insult and only point it out so that you recognize that you can be guilty of the same thing you are complaining about.

                It appears that you have had some training in psychology, That might help you get to an answer but it isn’t helping you in this case because you are dealing in a textbook world instead of a real world.

                “How might we not ruin a relationship with our other half, politically-speaking?”

                You assume that you have a choice and that it is up to you not to ruin the relationship forgetting that it takes two people not just one. There are some nasty people that are nasty whatever you do so you have to accept that nastyness and if you wish highlight it to them and others. Andy Ngo was beaten up by violent people but it seems you want to know what he can do to prevent such violence and in a way blaming him. To me that is being totally unreasonable.

                1. Allan,
                  Yes, that first question is a bit from left-field in regards to the current conversation. I meant to ask you about it earlier and didn’t, so I hoped we could briefly return to it.

                  The context:
                  “Allan says: January 9, 2020 at 9:31 AM
                  “Which is why Olly is a great person to be sharing Bastiat’s works.”

                  Prairie, I hate to start a completely different subject and I certainly like what Olly brings to the table but his sharing doesn’t mean action on your part. Action on your part is what would make Olly’s sharing great.”

                  This is likely starting a completely different subject, so, if the discussion needs to wait, that is fine. It did intrigue me, though, as to what you intend by ‘action on your part’.

                  1. Action is in the eyes of the beholder. No actions on this blog IMO have any great meaning in the outside world. As I just said, this comment section is a sandbox.

                    1. Allan,
                      “As I just said, this comment section is a sandbox.”

                      Are you trying to get the poorly behaved kids to pick up their toys and go home?

                    2. Allan: “As I just said, this comment section is a sandbox.”

                      Prairie: “Are you trying to get the poorly behaved kids to pick up their toys and go home?”
                      ———————————-
                      No.

                    3. Allan,
                      Please bear with me. Are you trying to get the poorly behaved kids to stop behaving poorly?

                2. Allan,
                  “Prairie, it appears you keep missing the point.”

                  Sorry. I’m not trying to be obtuse.

                  “Civility was tried and didn’t work.”

                  I do not think it has been particularly tried. Nothing works 100% of the time. I recognize that you are trying to ascertain what the appropriate response should be for the minority of times it doesn’t seem to work. My typical response is to not feed the trolls. You disagree?

                  “Your answer now is that it is not “a quick fix”. Another excuse but though true in some cases it may not be a fix at all.”

                  I don’t see how it is ‘an excuse’. Civil conversation, is not quick, as we know. 🙂 Why might it not be a fix at all? Why would using incivility, then, be a fix?

                  1. “I do not think it has been particularly tried. “

                    That is your opinion. Tell us precisely what is an adequate trial.

                    Take note of Karen’s discussions with one individual Jan F., Anon, bythebook, etc. …all one person who has acted in the worst possible way and is abusive. Count up the number of statements since Jan F. arrived and the number of words involved where she has been mostly polite if not completely polite. When will that trial period be over? In another 5 years, 10 years? Provide a number.

                    “My typical response is to not feed the trolls. You disagree?”

                    It depends. The blog comment section was beset with problems when I came and probably long before I came. Take note how the number of anonymous responders seem to be increasing and the number of names assumed by the same individuals likewise. I look at this comment section as a sandbox.

                    “I don’t see how it is ‘an excuse’.”

                    Of course it is an excuse. Set specific parameters. Then one might say it is not an excuse.

                    1. Allan,
                      Karen is a great example of someone who engages seriously in civil discourse. She stays civil but does not allow herself to be bullied. I think she draws attention to her excellent points by not letting people ‘get her goat’.

                      Civil discourse does not have a ‘trial period’. It is a work in progress, though it may require different conversational tactics to try to engage some people. Karen is better able to advocate for positions and perspectives that will enhance the greater good of society if people on both sides of the aisle consider what she says. That will happen if she has good rapport; that rapport will be undermined or not get established at all if she does not stay civil as she has been.

                      I think this is a good article on civility, especially the concept that civility is behavior that is good for a community and helps hold a state together.

                      “The French and Latin etymologies of the word suggest, roughly, “relating to citizens.” In its earliest use, the term referred to exhibiting good behavior for the good of a community. The early Greeks thought that civility was both a private virtue and a public necessity, which functioned to hold the state together. Some writers equate civility with respect. So, civility is a behavioral code of decency or respect that is the hallmark of living as citizens in the same state.”

                      https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/publications/blt/2014/09/02_reardon/

                      You mentioned how leaders or people in authority can influence and direct others–this is for good or for ill. May our leaders look to themselves and consider their influence for the good and for the betterment of communities.

                    2. “if people on both sides of the aisle consider what she says.”

                      “If”, the biggest word in the English language. That is one of your preferred words in discourse. I don’t have a problem with its use, only its use as proof.

                      Prairie, take note how abusive Anon is and was to Karen despite her continuing pleasant engagement. Karen could write a 400 page book and hand it out to everyone. Will Anonymous the Stupid read it? No. So, though I might find her book a way to spend my time pleasantly it really has no impact on people like Anonymous the Stupid. They are intellectual ignoramuses that believe their intellectual abilities are superior. Dunning Kruger reigns in their lands.

                      “The early Greeks thought that civility was both a private virtue and a public necessity,”

                      Was Hemlock a cure for incivility?

                      “You mentioned how leaders or people in authority can influence and direct others”

                      Yes, so before the boots start pounding in the streets is the time to act. Not afterwards. To me the leftist Antifa groups are a forerunner to actual boots.

                3. Allan,
                  “Why are you so reluctant to let others turn the tables on rude people that say stupid things and throw out insults like racist, stupid and deplorable?”

                  It depends upon how the tables are turned.
                  ————————-
                  “Maybe your reliance solely on civility is what the child was talking about when he said the emperor had no clothes. Maybe no one will listen to the truth coming from the child’s mouth because they are so afraid of change”

                  I disagree that civility is the emperor who had no clothes. People have backed off from defending truth, save for a few brave souls, for far too long for fear of being called unfairly some kind of ‘-ism’, so the issue does not get discussed together. People snarl over the issues with their echo chamber, reinforcing misconceptions of other people’s positions, reinforcing stereotypes, all the while. People are afraid of change, which is why they don’t really talk with people of other perspectives, because then, heaven forbid, their axioms might get poked and they might have to change, as Jordan Peterson has pointed out.

                  1. Allan: “Why are you so reluctant to let others turn the tables on rude people that say stupid things and throw out insults like racist, stupid and deplorable?”

                    Prairie: It depends upon how the tables are turned.
                    —————–

                    Prairie, you do realize that your response was a repetition of answers you previously provided. Why don’t you answer in the specific since that is what the discussion is all about?

                    “I disagree that civility is the emperor who had no clothes”

                    I agree with you but you are looking at the statement in the wrong way. The statement made by the child is not noted by the child alone but by a lot of people who are inhibited and scared to confront the reality. Civil discourse is thus created which leads to the statement of truth to be assumed (by societal conventions) to be uncivil.

                    Peterson is great!

                4. Allan,
                  “confrontational to those that should be confronted.”

                  Civility does not mean being non-confrontational. Civilly confronting someone is challenging and sometimes time-consuming, especially if you want them to ‘hear’ you, but it can be done. I am not saying civility works 100% of the time; some people are prideful and will not listen to reason.
                  ——————-
                  “I said in the uncommon case where civility doesn’t work one might try to do something different.”

                  Which is why I asked you about strategic/tactical incivility.
                  ——————-
                  “Are people so afraid of failure when thinking out of the box and doing something different? Is failure when thinking out of the box worse than failure when thinking within the box?”

                  What constitutes failure in your eyes?

                  1. “Civility does not mean being non-confrontational”

                    It doesn’t but many people hide behind civility in order to avoid confrontation where confrontation should occur.

                    “I am not saying civility works 100% of the time”

                    That is correct and I am working with the less than 1%, not the 99%.

                    “Which is why I asked you about strategic/tactical incivility.”

                    Which is why I responded and said you would have to define the terms and provide exactly what you want to know.

                    “What constitutes failure in your eyes?”

                    Not reaching one’s goals. A goal should be set higher than one expects but not so high that it is totally unachievable.

                    1. Allan,
                      ““Civility does not mean being non-confrontational”

                      It doesn’t but many people hide behind civility in order to avoid confrontation where confrontation should occur.”

                      Then civility is not the problem. Cowardice and fear is.

                      “I am not saying civility works 100% of the time”
                      That is correct and I am working with the less than 1%, not the 99%.”

                      Those d@mn 1%’s causing problems! 😉

                      Sorry to cut short. I will continue tomorrow. It is late and I am tired.

                    2. “Then civility is not the problem. Cowardice and fear is.”

                      Maybe. It depends on place and circumstance.

                      “Those d@mn 1%’s causing problems! “

                      No, the entire 100% are causing problems. I am just dealing with the 1% where civility doesn’t seem to work at all.

                5. Allan,
                  “I am having trouble getting these answers from you.”

                  Sorry. I am not meaning to be difficult.
                  ——————-
                  “Lets look at this long dialogue between the two of us. It is over something very simple. I was called names directly or indirectly. I was courteous but nothing changed. I took the same names and turned the tables calling one Anonymous the Stupid which is pretty close to the truth and a simple return of an insult. To another I called him a racist because he calls anyone on the right a racist and makes up stories to prove right wing racism. What do you find so obscene with that type of response?”

                  I have looked back over our conversation, including what precipitated it. I did notice I made a mistake in labeling the logical fallacy I was bothered by. I perceived both you and Grung_e_Gene as misconstruing the perceptions of the Constitution and America of the Left and of the Right, respectively. I described it as an ad hominem. That is not quite right.

                  I actually ignore most of the ad hominems out there because, one, they are used so often (they are still tiresome, nonetheless), and, two, while problematic, are not as problematic as the unfair misconstruing of an argument or of someone’s perspective. That really breaks down the sorting out of the truth of the matter, and, it is a double-whammy in terms of rudeness since it attacks what people actually believe (causing undue defensiveness), and, it insults the argument itself, treating it as unworthy of serious discussion.

                  Yes, we sorted out the definitions of the terms. After that, however, the conversation morphed into discussing the problems surrounding other forms of incivility, mainly focusing on ad hominems (which, in some ways, is less of a concern than the misconstruing of other people’s perceptions–straw man, I think–or other unfair logical fallacies).
                  ———————-
                  “You think that is being uncivil and shouldn’t be done. I’ve told you why I do it with certain people and you can’t provide me good reasons why it shouldn’t be done except by stating why civility can be good which we both agree on.”

                  I have gone over why incivility shouldn’t be done. I actually suspect I haven’t adequately expressed why civility can be good. We both agree that it is good, but neither of us have said why.

                  1. “while problematic, are not as problematic as the unfair misconstruing of an argument or of someone’s perspective.”

                    That is a good point that I agree because such actions destroy the value of a blog of this nature. (I don’t know who Grung_e_Gene is)

                    “I have gone over why incivility shouldn’t be done. “

                    No. You stated many times and even in list form why civility is good and I agreed with you and your list, but you didn’t state why the incivility under discussion is bad. Some of the rational reasons for civility that you mentioned were already destroyed and not likely to return so the question is why the incivility in question is bad.

                6. Allan,
                  “I’m not telling you how to act but you are telling me”

                  I’m not telling you. I have not used an interrogative statement. I have pointed out when I thought you were being unfair and why. Wouldn’t you rather I honestly express my concerns?

                  “telling another basically intelligent and polite individual that he shouldn’t be impolite to those that are most insulting to him.”

                  Again, I’m not telling you. While I don’t think you should speak that way and I have shared why as kindly as I can, you are free to disagree with me and do as you please. However, if there are ways to improve the level of discourse on this blog (and hopefully elsewhere), isn’t that a good aim? How can we improve without considering even gentle criticism? I really like to hear what you (and others) have to say and I want your (and others’) good points to be heard above all, and sometimes it seems like the racket of incivility and deliberate use of logical fallacies in general drowns out what is good and interferes with the progression of discussion on this blog. Again, in real life, I’d have expressed my concerns in private, sharing why I thought such discourse was detrimental in both the short and the long term.

                  I am willing to hear your arguments in support of incivility. There may be elements of strategic/tactical incivility that I am over-looking. Why do you think returning insults is beneficial? What is to be gained and lost? Where does the balance fall?

                  1. “I’m not telling you. I have not used an interrogative statement. I have pointed out when I thought you were being unfair and why. Wouldn’t you rather I honestly express my concerns?”

                    But you have and that is clear no matter how you think your words were written and whether or not a question mark appeared at the end of any specific statement. I already made sure to let you know that “I don’t take offense” in order to make the point mute so you weren’t required to respond. I also told you why I brought the issue up, to expand the realm of your thoughts on this particular situation.

                    What comes to mind is the way you used the word “unfair”, “when I thought you were being unfair”. Since so many different things can be attached to what you meant by that word I will let you explain it. I suppose at times Andy Ngo was “unfair”. Shall we blame Andy or the ones that nearly killed him?

                    ” I really like to hear what you (and others) have to say “

                    Why don’t you ask some people like Anonymous the Stupid or YNOT and work your way up the chain. That might be interesting and in line with some of my own questions.

                    “I am willing to hear your arguments in support of incivility”

                    I have provided them over and over again. Try finishing the sentence: If something doesn’t work: a) keep repeating what you are doing over and over again b) try something different.

                    1. Allan,
                      “I have not used an interrogative statement.”

                      “and whether or not a question mark appeared at the end of any specific statement.”

                      Dang-it! I meant imperative.

                      It is imperative I get more sleep.

                7. Allan,
                  “How might we not ruin a relationship with our other half, politically-speaking?”

                  “you have to accept that nastyness and if you wish highlight it to them and others.”

                  Yes, such things should be pointed out, depends on how that is done.
                  ———————-
                  “Andy Ngo was beaten up by violent people but it seems you want to know what he can do to prevent such violence and in a way blaming him. To me that is being totally unreasonable.”

                  I have not blamed him.

                  It is good to try to prevent such violence. If violence comes to you, you can choose how to respond. He chose to respond non-violently and I support his decision. I also hope he sues the pants off the mayor and the police department for not only not doing their job but even violating their oaths of office.

                  1. “I have not blamed him.” [Andy Ngo]

                    I didn’t say you blamed him. I said ” in a way blaming him”. It is true that you might yell loud and clear when someone is physically attacked but there seems to be a distinct line drawn before that action takes place.You are admonishing civil people for throwing back insults and repressing their energies until the violence occurs. Two sides are necessary for civility to thrive and you seem to concentrate only on the side that is already civil.

  6. “Yes, actually, I do sometimes comment on some people’s driving–generally if life and limb is at risk.”

    Donald Trump is being “rude” but moving the nation in a positive direction.

    Prairie, what comments have I make that puts at risk life and limb?

    1. Allan,
      ““Yes, actually, I do sometimes comment on some people’s driving–generally if life and limb is at risk.”

      Donald Trump is being “rude” but moving the nation in a positive direction.

      Prairie, what comments have I make that puts at risk life and limb?”

      I do not see evidence that President Trump’s rudeness in tweets and in the media is what is moving the nation in a positive direction. I already noted that those seem to be a magician’s distraction technique. They are separate from whatever discussions and negotiations are happening behind closed doors.

      His insults and rudeness are specific and designed to initiate argument–either as a way to distract from the real work he and Congress are doing, and/or, to prompt debate about the subject nestled within the insult/rude comment (e.g., illegal immigration). He does not generally use, from what I have seen, basic ad hominems (and, granted, I am not reading tweets or poring over the news). Calling an Anonymous ‘Mindless and Stupid’ isn’t branding because of the complete anonymity.
      _________________________

      The comments you make do not imminently put at risk life and limb. For one, we are online, mostly anonymous or using pseudonyms, and scattered over the whole United States (or more), so physical threat is extremely unlikely ever.

      The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments influence attitudes. Incivility all by itself is enough of a problem, as it leads to decreased trust, diminished collaboration, and causes people to become less likely to discuss errors, problems, or to ask for help (How Rudeness Stops People From Working Together, Harvard Business Review, 1/20/17).

      The online element worsens the negative attitudes because of the anonymity. The anonymity is a component of deindividuation, or the “a state of decreased self‐evaluation, and depersonalization in which others are perceived to represent broader social groups that are salient during interaction” (“Incivility and Political Identity on the Internet: Intergroup Factors as Predictors of Incivility in Discussions of News Online”). Online communication also tends to be more impulsive and more aggressive. It, too, is capable of decreasing interpersonal trust (“Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach”; PlosOne, Nov. 1, 2016).

      This decrease in trust due to online incivility is especially problematic–whom will you lose trust in? A majority of people online are anonymous, so, could people lose trust in the faceless blur of humanity? Or worse, redirect that loss of trust into blame of “outgroup” members.

      This is very dangerous: trust is crucial to a healthy democratic republic.

      The deindividuation is dangerous, as well, because of the mob-thinking it can engender (https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/17424_Chapter_8.pdf). Mobs are mindless, in some ways, capable of inflicting terrible destruction. That deindividuation, as it takes away individual identity, it enhances people’s associations with ‘group identities’, which, unless individuals actively try to fight it, plays right into the problems of identity politics.

      “People can communicate in ways designed to consolidate their identity or seek acceptance as an ingroup member, as well as to mobilize those around them and enhance the standing of their ingroup. Consolidating identity includes communication behaviors such as conforming to group norms, expressing prototypical group opinions, and rendering oneself identifiable as a group member. Mobilizing identity includes behaviors such as “we” talk (explicitly invoking the group), statements concerning resistance against the outgroup, or outgroup denigration.” (Incivility and Political Identity on the Internet: Intergroup Factors as Predictors of Incivility in Discussions of News Online)

      ‘Denigration of the outgroup’. Denigration of people means they are being denied their humanity as individuals; they are being dehumanized.

      As the depersonalization of deindividuation consumes people, that very potentially can lead to very dark places–to further dehumanization of one’s opponents and all the attendant dark and violent thoughts and feelings as people begin to despise others, completely unnecessarily, I might add, since the amped-up online rhetoric is an excuse to not really deal with the hardness and complexities of life. Easier to make excuses (it’s those nasty _______ who are causing all the problems!) than to look at one’s own participation in the strife and to then try to cooperate to not only untangle problems but to also work to overcome them, or at least manage them as best as possible.

      What then if the online insults, rudeness, stereotyping, bitterness, and resentment bleed into physical realities as restraints on people’s behavior get eroded? Isn’t that when life and limb are put at risk?

      1. “I do not see evidence that President Trump’s rudeness in tweets and in the media is what is moving the nation in a positive direction.”

        Firstly Trump would never have been elected without tweeting. Instead you would have ‘Lyin Hillary’with movement in the reverse direction. Think about it.

        When you get Trump you get both him and his tweets, even the awful ones. I think your point of view is not much different than telling a left handed surgeon to operate using his right hand. You are telling others to adjust themselves to your behavior and telling them how to act. That in itself is frequently considered rude and another thing one should think about. Do you think tying Trumps hands permits him to be more effective or less effective?

        ” I already noted that those seem to be a magician’s distraction technique.”

        Again you are carving out portions of an individual so that you don’t have to deal with with a solution that is incomplete and likely unworkable at least in regard to the question at hand.

        “He does not generally use, from what I have seen, basic ad hominems”

        Think of pencil neck Schiff or Sleepy Creepy Joe.

        “Calling an Anonymous ‘Mindless and Stupid’ isn’t branding because of the complete anonymity.”

        Another carve out. You seem to take a position and then carve out all those things don’t fit your position.

        A name is branding and that is what Trump does good or bad. They describe the person in question just like Anonymous the Stupid describes that anonymous blogger.

        “The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

        Provide examples but remember you likely will have to carve out yet another part of your argument.

        ” Incivility all by itself is enough of a problem, as it leads to decreased trust, diminished collaboration,”

        Where is the civility when those supporting Trump are called deplorables, stupid or racists? You were absent. I won’t deal in the generalities that follow because they do not respond to the question we are dealing with. We both believe in civility and in general will agree to what was said, but that is not the question in this case where we are dealing with outliers in a very limited and specific environment.

        1. Allan,
          “When you get Trump you get both him and his tweets, even the awful ones.”
          ” Do you think tying Trumps hands permits him to be more effective or less effective?”

          We are not discussing Trump at present. We were discussing online civil discourse in Comment sections. We could certainly have a very interesting conversation about Trump and how he engages with the world at a later time.

          ————————-

          “I think your point of view is not much different than telling a left handed surgeon to operate using his right hand.”

          You are not a left-handed surgeon. Incivility is not a part of one’s nature; it is part of how a person chooses to use language to communicate.

          “That in itself is frequently considered rude and another thing one should think about.”

          I do not choose lightly to speak up. I spoke up when I thought you (and another) were particularly out-of-line by unfairly mischaracterizing how people on the right or the left view the Constitution and America. People have a responsibility to speak up when they see or hear injustice.

          If we were in the real world, I would probably also try to speak to you in private about my concerns. It is unfair to talk in public about concerns you have regarding someone’s speech or behavior. I do not have that option online, unfortunately. I try to keep my comments focused on the issue rather than unnecessarily allude to a person’s identity, as they are completely separate. Staying civil is also an attempt to keep any already heightened emotions about an issue to a minimum so they don’t cloud an already contentious topic.

          —————–

          ” I already noted that those seem to be a magician’s distraction technique.”

          Again you are carving out portions of an individual so that you don’t have to deal with with a solution that is incomplete and likely unworkable at least in regard to the question at hand.”

          “carving out portions of an individual” ???? I am not sure what you mean here. I am especially not sure what you are saying considering the sentence of mine that you quoted. I am not following you; I am sorry.

          ——————–

          “Calling an Anonymous ‘Mindless and Stupid’ isn’t branding because of the complete anonymity.”

          Another carve out. You seem to take a position and then carve out all those things don’t fit your position. A name is branding and that is what Trump does good or bad. They describe the person in question just like Anonymous the Stupid describes that anonymous blogger.”

          No. Distinctions need to be made. It cannot describe the person in question because of the anonymity. You might make a good guess it is the same person but not necessarily. Mistakes happen. The anonymity, especially in light of the tendency of people to resort to social or group identity online, means that people will try to apply those characterizations to whatever group to which they think a “Mindless and Stupid” Anonymous belongs. An Anonymous is not exactly an individual. An anonymous can become a faceless representation of a larger group.

          ———————–

          “The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

          Provide examples but remember you likely will have to carve out yet another part of your argument.”

          For clarity:
          “The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments influence attitudes.”

          Uncivil comments influence attitudes and behaviors by [citations above]:
          *decreasing trust,
          *diminishing collaboration, and
          *causing people to become less likely to discuss errors, problems, or to ask for help

          Online comments influence attitudes and behaviors by [citations above]:
          *deindividuation which decreases individual identity
          *the anonymity which decreases self-evaluation
          *the anonymity which depersonalizes interactions
          *people tending to treat others as representative of broader social groups
          *people tending to conform to in-group norms and in-group opinions
          *people too often denigrating others not in ‘their’ in-group
          *being more impulsive and aggressive
          *decreasing interpersonal trust

          History is riddled with examples of where contempt for others leads, particularly for others not in the ‘in-group’. This rising contempt for others violates the tolerant and far more accepting goal of E. pluribus unum.

          —————————

          ” Incivility all by itself is enough of a problem, as it leads to decreased trust, diminished collaboration,”

          Where is the civility when those supporting Trump are called deplorables, stupid or racists?”

          You are right, that is extremely uncivil and part of the reason Hillary lost. It most certainly decreased people’s trust that she could lead the whole nation and most certainly indicated it was unlikely there would be any collaboration with people of other perspectives (which, to an extent, is the function of Congress–to collaborate on ways to better the nation at the Federal level, while balancing the needs of citizens as individuals and as districts with the needs of states, taking into consideration disparate viewpoints such that a middle ground, a moderate pathway is forged.

          “We both believe in civility and in general will agree to what was said, but that is not the question in this case where we are dealing with outliers in a very limited and specific environment.”

          The question is whether or not to respond to incivility with persistent civility.

          1. “We are not discussing Trump at present. We were discussing online civil discourse in Comment sections.”

            Prairie, that is right, but Trump has been accused of incivility in his dialogue. Are you again trying to carve out another smaller area to aid in your attempt to prove your case in a smaller world? If we are discussing civil discourse solely in the Comment section then much if not all of what you used as evidence does not apply to such comments.

            ” Incivility is not a part of one’s nature; it is part of how a person chooses to use language to communicate.”

            That is another conclusion that you draw and carve out to meet the requirements of your argument. Which hand a surgeon uses can be thought of as a tool and so can language.

            “I do not have that option online, unfortunately. “

            Suddenly, Prairie, you are thinking of what options are available, weighing them and then choosing from them. You are not trapped into one option. There were many.

            “I try to keep my comments focused on the issue”

            Do you? You started with a much larger issue (refer to initial statements) and have continuously whittled them down. When reality strikes you ax part of the argument.

            ” I am not sure what you mean here?”

            Carving out: We started with a very generalized discussion but when your Explanations didn’t fit you carved out those things that were left unexplained.

            “. Distinctions need to be made.”

            It is the choice of the commenters as to whether or not they protect whatever identity they have on the blog. If they don’t protect their identity and use an identifiable alias they can be considered destructive and rude. Labelling them is perfectly fine and in fact constructive especially since context involves what we know about the individual.

            “Uncivil comments influence attitudes”

            I am not asking for the attitudes that might occur (that already exist on this comment section) but real life examples of comments that fulfill your criteria stated in the following comment you made: “The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

            Give examples of real life scenarios based on this comment section. I don’t think you have any. You keep forgetting that I too believe in civility.

            “Online comments influence attitudes and behaviors by [citations above]:
            *deindividuation which decreases individual identity
            *the anonymity which decreases self-evaluation….”

            Life in general influences these attitudes and behaviors. You are promoting a lot of ideas from the psychology community. I don’t have issue with them except for the generalized fashion you are using them. They do not target the basic question of our discussion so they are in the context presented mostly irrelevant.

            ——
            Allan: “Where is the civility when those supporting Trump are called deplorables, stupid or racists?”

            Prairie: “You are right, that is extremely uncivil and part of the reason Hillary lost.”
            —–
            Yet Trump was “uncivil” and he won. Using the logic you have been using you can say that all the good things we have seen to date are because of “incivility”. I don’t call it that but you seem to draw the line that fashion..

            “The question is whether or not to respond to incivility with persistent civility.”

            That is a good question and one that we do not presently have the answer for. So far neither method works. Anonymous the Stupid remains Stupid no matter who he converses with.

            1. Allan,
              ““Prairie, that is right, but Trump has been accused of incivility in his dialogue. Are you again trying to carve out another smaller area to aid in your attempt to prove your case in a smaller world? If we are discussing civil discourse solely in the Comment section then much if not all of what you used as evidence does not apply to such comments.”

              I am trying to keep us focused on the original point of discussion. I disagree that the evidence does not apply to such comment. It does, otherwise I would not have included it. Seems to me you are wishing to discuss something other than issues of online incivility.

              —————–

              ”Incivility is not a part of one’s nature; it is part of how a person chooses to use language to communicate.”

              That is another conclusion that you draw and carve out to meet the requirements of your argument. Which hand a surgeon uses can be thought of as a tool and so can language.”

              Hands are tools, but the dominance of a hand (the left-handed aspect of your argument) is not a choice. Hand dominance can be overridden, but with effort. Incivility is not part of one’s nature; it is a choice.
              ——————
              “I do not have that option online, unfortunately. “

              Suddenly, Prairie, you are thinking of what options are available, weighing them and then choosing from them. You are not trapped into one option. There were many.”

              You are using my comment out of context. I do not have a choice as to whether or not I can speak privately to someone about my concerns and retain my anonymity. The blog does not work that way. Also, I did bring this up with a poster named ‘Ken’ awhile ago and he thought it was better that our discussion was out in the open anyway. We had a very civil conversation, but I was very uncomfortable to be discussing things with him that I felt in real life would have best been discussed in private out of concern for his feelings.
              ——————
              “I try to keep my comments focused on the issue”

              Do you? You started with a much larger issue (refer to initial statements) and have continuously whittled them down. When reality strikes you ax part of the argument.”

              My initial comment was in regards to another poster being uncivil by unfairly characterizing the beliefs of conservatives, a straw man. You did the same thing in reverse. Online incivility.
              ——————
              Prairie Rose: ” I am not sure what you mean here?”

              Allan: Carving out: We started with a very generalized discussion but when your Explanations didn’t fit you carved out those things that were left unexplained.”

              Allan’s earlier response: “Again you are carving out portions of an individual so that you don’t have to deal with with a solution that is incomplete and likely unworkable at least in regard to the question at hand.”

              Exactly what question at hand? I am trying to aim at online incivility. I think you are sometimes trying to aim somewhere else.

              My explanations have focused on online incivility. There are things not yet discussed, but that is not due to me ‘carving out’. It is due to us not yet going to the myriad of other related issues that have not yet been discussed.

              Your view is that civility is an incomplete solution for online discourse, and, that it is unworkable for online discourse. Am I correctly conveying your perspective? Have I misunderstood you in any way?
              ——————–
              “. Distinctions need to be made.”

              It is the choice of the commenters as to whether or not they protect whatever identity they have on the blog. If they don’t protect their identity and use an identifiable alias they can be considered destructive and rude. Labelling them is perfectly fine and in fact constructive especially since context involves what we know about the individual.”

              Heh, nice play on the meanings of ‘distinctions’. I see that you are trying to make an Anonymous “distinct”. However, there is no sure way to know anything about the individual or even for sure whether it is a distinct individual (unless you are Professor Turley or Darren and have insider knowledge). Though ‘voice’ is sometimes apparent in people’s comments, it is not always clear, and, people can write in the style of others, so, that Anonymous could be 1 person, could be 10 people or more, all being Anonymous. Mistakes can be made.
              ——————–
              “Uncivil comments influence attitudes”

              I am not asking for the attitudes that might occur (that already exist on this comment section) but real life examples of comments that fulfill your criteria stated in the following comment you made: “The comments you make, however, could very potentially indirectly lead to the risk of life and limb in the wider world by the way such comments “

              Give examples of real life scenarios based on this comment section. I don’t think you have any. You keep forgetting that I too believe in civility.”

              I am reluctant to repeat insulting comments, as that is like the Cheshire Cat repeating all the terrible things Alice said, further enraging the Queen. It just adds to the problem. It is well-known the skewed ways people twist words like liberal, Republican, Democrat, Tea Partier or just all the other ways people invent to be rude.

              It is a systems problem, a problem in the atmosphere. What is said here or the tenor of the atmosphere here (of incivility, deindividuation, that demeaning ‘opposition’ is acceptable or maybe even ‘necessary’) can be carried over to other blogs, to water-cooler conversations, to conversation on phones or around the dinner table.

              We agree that you, too, believe in civility. I am not convinced that your reasons for engaging in incivility at all are psychologically sound/effective in the long-term, especially considering the competing goals of preserving E. pluribus unum and the ideals ensconced in our founding documents. A democratic republic needs civil debate to thrive. There are too many problems to try to manage, let alone fix than to waste time kicking sand at one another or worse.
              ———————
              “Online comments influence attitudes and behaviors by [citations above]:
              *deindividuation which decreases individual identity
              *the anonymity which decreases self-evaluation….”

              Life in general influences these attitudes and behaviors. You are promoting a lot of ideas from the psychology community. I don’t have issue with them except for the generalized fashion you are using them. They do not target the basic question of our discussion so they are in the context presented mostly irrelevant.”

              How so? As I understand the focus of our conversation, they most definitely apply. Life in general does not encourage anonymity since we live in communities–families, churches, schools, towns, etc. Our individuality is harder to obscure in real life. People-watching makes this quite apparent, and as a species we habitually people-watch.

              ——
              Allan: “Where is the civility when those supporting Trump are called deplorables, stupid or racists?”

              Prairie: “You are right, that is extremely uncivil and part of the reason Hillary lost.”

              Allan: Yet Trump was “uncivil” and he won. Using the logic you have been using you can say that all the good things we have seen to date are because of “incivility”. I don’t call it that but you seem to draw the line that fashion..”

              The election was very complicated. Boiling President Trump’s success down to ‘incivility’ over-simplifies the whole thing (makes it far less interesting, too). A few items to consider:

              *Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate who was viewed with good reason as not trustworthy and had already disgraced herself in office on several occasions (Bleach Bit (etc etc etc).

              *People have been tired of ‘business as usual’ since Obama won on ‘Hope & Change’. They didn’t get it with him for sure.

              *DNC scandal that screwed over Bernie Sanders, among other things.

              *Worries that tensions would continue to rise against Russia and Syria

              *People erroneously associate Trump’s incivility with “being real” and “telling it like it is”–it sure gave him plenty of free media coverage, though. (Camille Paglia wrote an interesting article on his speech patterns, though, to be fair.) In between the incivility, he was bringing attention to issues that have long been ignored and that people are tired of being ignored. (This fits into the desire for change–it was a change that someone running for office would actually bring up elephants in the room.)

              *He ran a more strategic campaign than Clinton did.

              *The art of persuasion.

              ———————

              “The question is whether or not to respond to incivility with persistent civility.”

              That is a good question and one that we do not presently have the answer for. So far neither method works. Anonymous the Stupid remains Stupid no matter who he converses with.”

              Why do you say civility doesn’t work? What does civility mean to you?

    2. Darren,
      WordPress ate my comment twice. It only had one link and no cuss-words. Would you be able to free it?

  7. “Civil discourse is effective enough to preferentially use it, especially when other people are trying to get you to stoop to their level.”

    Yes, Prairie, but as we have discussed it doesn’t always work so though it might be considered preferential it is not necessarily the best modality of choice. Additionally sometimes the low level of discussion is the highest some people are able to achieve.

  8. Putting aside things like morals, ethics, and decency, Moore’s comments are also just bad long-term strategy if the goal is to take power and politically “win” the culture war once and for all. An old white leftist suggesting that two-thirds of white people are KKK-adjacent, if not Kluckers themselves, does not play well long-term with non-woke white people under 40, especially those college-aged and younger, who guys like Michael Moore have spent the last 6 or 7 years telling that they are already a minority in their generation and that this is the kind of thing they need to get used to, and expect more of in degree and frequency, when white people overall are “finally” no longer a majority in 25 years or so (a questionable assumption given how racial/ethnic statistics are compiled, but again, long-term thinking isn’t a strong suit among Moore’s crowd). What good does the 2044 U.S. Presidential election demographics being in your favor do if by the 2030 mid-terms you have managed to definitively alienate nearly 60% of the electorate by declaring them irredeemable? This would be like the Soviet Union declaring to the US in 1946 that they are working on nuclear weapons which they then intend to immediately use against the US, and also that they expect to have finally developed them around 1950. At least the old left had some sense.

  9. I’m white, and I do see there is some truth to the argument about there being white people that are very dangerous, and that is because in general there are more white people in positions where they can easily do more harm and cause more death than any one person with any weapon they can possibly carry in their hands. This is not an issue how how violent they are or how likely someone will die if they are using weapons, as most whites are not anymore likely and many times less likely to harm others and themselves end up being killed. However when any group of people that gain their wealth off the efforts of other people are in power and they have little concern for the lives of the people in their own country, or in other countries those people are a real threat. This is the kind of people we have now and have had for a long time. Then we have others that are quite visibly a threat to others that prefer to enjoy getting along with others, and working with others for the benefit of all people. They are often the first to speak of dealing with terrorists, as they themselves are terrorists. It is wrong to judge any one person by the color of their skin, but as a group most any can be dangerous when they have near total control. Key thing to remember just how someone thinks and what kind of person they are is by how they view others that are different than them. If the first thing out of their mouth is they hate terrorists, they like terrorizing people, if their first words are keep your hands off my stuff or I will have to hurt you, it shows they are likely to steal things either through legal or illegal means. Bankers and others use the laws that they helped write to steal people property and get away with it. Also people that express fear they may be sodomized and have never had that happen to them are also more likely to commit rape. Reason for saying all this is because I am tired of evil winning in this world, and if everyone listens closely to what others are saying about you and other people, they come right out and tell you and others the things that they are likely to do to harm you and others and by what means. How i view the Iranian president is someone that has a doctorate degree, has written more books than many people will ever read, and is basically what people call a nerd. Our president is someone that has ran a number of companies, and for the most part never paid his bills. Also is someone that has not written much in the way of books ( I happen to even have one here he wrote, the only one that made the best sellers list) Also likes to cheat people out of things they were promised through any possible means, and that is WE THE PEOPLE who are being cheated this time just like people that were foolish enough to buy into Trump university. Also our president has more weapons and the means to use them against any country on the planet. So our president is a Pirate and a thug. taking on a nerd in another country many of them in fact. As for me I’m one of the many that failed to realize what I have wrote here soon enough to be able to help myself and my family, and have been taken advantage of by our systems and don’t know how much longer it will be till they finish me off with a number of you.

  10. “Moore declared that the vast majority of whites in this country “are not good people” and that others should “be afraid” of them in an interview on The Rolling Stone podcast “Useful Idiot.””

    The name of the show is apropos.

    Moore’s statement is racist. Unarguably so.

    1. Who should tell Moore that slavery still exists in Africa, and that European descended Americans fought and died to be at the forefront to end the global institution of slavery on their soil? Or perhaps he should acquaint himself with the Barbary pirates.

      I am sick of this ignorance of world history. The United States is not a racist country against minorities, although racism against white people is certainly growing. Studies have already proven this.

      Slavery was a global phenomenon that existed in all cultures throughout human history. Native American tribes practiced slavery, including sex slavery. The rule of the club inevitably led to slavery in all iterations of human society across the globe.

      The United States, along with Great Britain, were the vanguard of vanquishing this evil practice. Are people upset that this monumental step was not taken earlier? Millennial earlier? Do they not understand that slavery still exists, especially in Africa?

      It is so ignorant to make claims that the US is a racist country. This trope has been spread by Russian propaganda organizations, such as Dialog of Nations, with the express intent of weakening the country, along with Socialist leaning academics who hate the country. It’s ignorant, and it’s wrong, and it serves the interests of our nation’s enemies.

      Our species did not evolve to instantly attain its highest level of ethics, as such an accomplishment can only occur in a relatively safe and peaceful environment, in which individuals have strong rights. Without safety and individual rights, a society does not have the luxury to evolve to promote equal rights. It was Western civilizations that created such an environment, philosophy, and jurisprudence.

      That’s why in the Middle East, they still kill you for apostasy, homosexuality, or for women stepping out of line. None of them have strong individual rights, and therefore respecting those rights cannot occur.

    2. The part that makes what he wrote racist is that he groups all people together based on color. Also any person or small group of people of any color is a threat to others when they see themselves as better than other races based only on their color, or their religion, and other things that they use to express themselves as being better based on factors that are not related to how they treat others like them and others different than them. If they treat others fairly and for the most part equally and look out for others they are generally good people, but if they are always looking for nothing but faults they should be viewed with suspicion. Basically I’m getting at that racists come in all different forms and there are no groups that are immune from it, but at least many do try to work to be better people. As none of us are perfect, as such we are better off accepting of ourselves and others as we are as opposed to things that we can never achieve.

    1. Allan,
      Thank you for the article. I will look at it.

      While complacency may be an element, I think fear plays a bigger role.

      1. Prairie, watching people being killed with violent acts on the increase is a good reason to have fear. Not doing anything about the violence and killing is complacency.

        1. Allan,
          Not necessarily. It can be a fear response–freeze or flight. People do not know what to do that would make a complicated situation better, or, they may think they do not have the necessary strength or skills or knowledge to effect positive change so they get frozen.

          1. Freeze and fright generally are associated with immediate threats. We are talking about people that see threats distant to them and do nothing to end such threats. Trump seems to know what to do. No matter which policy Trump wishes to engage in I think it is a good thing to kill the Iranian architect for Iranian terrorism. He knows to deny terrorists funds. He knows we have to project strength not weakness.

            1. Allan,
              I wasn’t intending to make any excuses. It was an observation of how people often act–even if the threat isn’t imminent. People may want to help but don’t know how, so they freeze and do nothing. People don’t want to see reality quite often, so they will refuse to look at the terrible things in the world. That is a kind of flight.

              That is right, those responses don’t solve problems.

              Depending on the issue (e.g., is it international), people may view the problem as one for government to address, forgetting that there are international charitable organizations that might be able to help in some circumstances.

              I will grant you there is some element of complacency. Complacency is tied, somewhat, to the question of responsibility–whose? That is hard to determine sometimes when there is a competing expectation that some problems are the responsibility of the government or other leadership due to the authority we have granted them. Sometimes granting that authority is appropriate, but sometimes it is overdone as people lose focus on concepts like ‘am I my brother’s keeper’ and ‘who is my neighbor’.

              1. ——
                Allan: Good excuse Prairie, but what problems do those excuses solve?”

                Prairie: ” I wasn’t intending to make any excuses. It was an observation of how people often act–even if the threat isn’t imminent. People may want to help but don’t know how, so they freeze and do nothing. People don’t want to see reality quite often, so they will refuse to look at the terrible things in the world. That is a kind of flight. That is right, those responses don’t solve problems.”
                ———

                I think that answers the question.

  11. The author claims he “voted against Trump,” not who he voted for. I find this Freudian slip quite interesting.

  12. Listened up to the relevant point in the podcast (started at 8:15).

    Matt Taibbi has written some great pieces in the past, so this so-called interview was particularly disappointing. Taibbi not only didn’t push back against Moore’s racist mischaracterizations, he added to them! Taibbi chose to stay immersed in the leftist echo chamber and vilify Trump supporters as not just wrong but evil and dangerous (and I’m not even a Trump supporter!).

    Moore: “We’re traitors to our race. That’s how they see us, by the way.”
    Taibbi, nodding his head: “Right.”

    So much for him being an independent thinker with an ounce of curiosity about what people different from him actually think. His behavior in the podcast is part of the problem. Tolerance of prejudice, stereotyping, and logical fallacies (he even helped Moore with the straw man arguments) and a preference for maintaining the echo chamber. If Taibbi is actually concerned about the state of the country, he would do well to do some real soul-searching about what part he is playing in its deterioration.

    1. Rose, if you were to read the comments by Trump supporters on this very thread, just a little further down, you might realize Moore was pretty much in the ballpark.

      1. Seth Warner,
        “Rose, if you were to read the comments by Trump supporters on this very thread, just a little further down, you might realize Moore was pretty much in the ballpark.”

        While I grant you that there is some incivility by some Trump supporters, do not mistake a part for the whole. There are also plenty of Trump supporters who are quite civil.

        Moore prefers to stereotype people and to mischaracterize their beliefs. He has no idea what most Trump supporters believe about identity politics. Would people be pretty much in the ballpark if they viewed Moore as representative of most liberals? That would be unfair of me to treat them as though they are.

        That interview is part of the problem regarding discourse in America. It was an echo chamber, they were asserting unfair and unfounded stereotypes, they were mischaracterizing other people’s perspectives, and they were using straw men arguments instead of steel-manning them. They journalists tolerated the demonization of people and enabled it in the worst way–by participating in it and nodding along with him.

  13. Moore is living in fairy tale land. I do find it interesting….227 comments and growing on this one. Moore just baits ppl. There are many like Moore, who like baiting others, for some reason. He is liberal side, then you have conservative side from some, but its all the same shell game parlor trick.

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