Have your political views been changed by anything you've seen posted on RJ?

  • BCSwimmer

    Posts: 209

    Mar 12, 2011 7:08 AM GMT
    This is an honest question...

    It seems to me that the majority of posts in the RJ Politics forum are left/right arguments between perhaps a half dozen people.

    I am curious has anyone on RJ ever read any position or argument on these forums where it had an actual impact on your existing views?

    I suspect not, in which case are those 6 or so guys just wasting their time posting and responding to an endless right/left dichotomy discussion?
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    Mar 12, 2011 7:44 AM GMT
    No. I generally find posts from the left to be either based on false assumptions or using only selected facts that support their position, while ignoring other, often more relevant facts. Generally, but not in all cases, I find their points based on emotion and slogans, and not logic. I often find they use personal attacks to try and refute valid points inconsistent with their view. I have no respect for those who participate in threads or otherwise support a very few among their ranks who are clearly mentally unbalanced and make nonsensical and often hateful posts.

    On the other hand, some intelligent, fact-based, logical posts by those who support more limited government spending, etc. have reinforced my beliefs.
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    Mar 12, 2011 2:33 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    Funny, that's exactly how I'd describe the posts and thoughts of the rightists. Based entirely on emotion (fear, hatred) and greed. No facts, just nonsense gleaned from right-wing media and websites. a complete lack of logic, and a number (not all) of the rightists are clearly mentally unbalanced. Slogans? The province of the rightists who know their 'arguments' are nonsense. Personal attacks? Liberal 'hens', anyone?


    +1
    Death panels??
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Mar 12, 2011 2:49 PM GMT
    I'd like to think I have learned a thing or two along the way. I wouldn't say anything here has changed my overall opinion on most things, but listening to other perspectives is enlightening at the very least. You have to be open-minded to other views, as well as willing to accept the fact that everybody has their own opinion and are entitled to it. Those who are closed off to other viewpoints from either side generally end up only half informed and are not really living in "The Real World".
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 12, 2011 2:50 PM GMT
    LOL ......

    Areyou kidding?

    But it's so much fun poking a stick at the tea bagger cage icon_cool.gif
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:21 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI'd like to think I have learned a thing or two along the way. I wouldn't say anything here has changed my overall opinion on most things, but listening to other perspectives is enlightening at the very least. You have to be open-minded to other views, as well as willing to accept the fact that everybody has their own opinion and are entitled to it. Those who are closed off to other viewpoints from either side generally end up only half informed and are not really living in "The Real World".


    Very well stated and that's how I feel. What I have noticed is that most of the guys who lean left are extremists, whereas the ones who lean right are more moderate.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:25 PM GMT
    Cognitive dissonance. That is all.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    Draper said
    CuriousJockAZ saidI'd like to think I have learned a thing or two along the way. I wouldn't say anything here has changed my overall opinion on most things, but listening to other perspectives is enlightening at the very least. You have to be open-minded to other views, as well as willing to accept the fact that everybody has their own opinion and are entitled to it. Those who are closed off to other viewpoints from either side generally end up only half informed and are not really living in "The Real World".


    Very well stated and that's how I feel. What I have noticed is that most of the guys who lean left are extremists, whereas the ones who lean right are more moderate.


    I've changed my views on gay marriage versus civil unions over time on the basis of rights. In part because of what I've read here. (My preference is for civil unions for all but since that ain't happening any time soon... )

    In some cases, my positions on a few issues have been "soft" but I've read what has been said by some here, done some research and come back with a more substantive position. So not sure if that qualifies as a change.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    No, my views have stayed the same. Though I have observed some oddities as far as views go, but that has helped to make my beliefs in my personal political views stronger.
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    Mar 12, 2011 6:34 PM GMT
    I haven't changed my politics based on what others posted but I have changed my mind on one or two issues based on others' opinions here.

    I actually like the fact that people speak their minds, and I acknowledge when people I don't necesarrily agree with bring up valid and strong points.

    Personally my politics is economically conservative and socially liberal, and it has been that way since.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Mar 12, 2011 7:05 PM GMT
    Okay, I just saw myself as one of "the six" here....

    I have always been a pants-on-fire liberal from way back and what concerns me most would be issues that affect us as gay men and issues regarding inequality among more mature individuals and those in traditional "protected" classes.

    What a lot of you do not know about me is I am more of a moderate in some aspects. Take business issues for example. I spent the majority of my career in finance and banking and the hair on the back of my neck flares up when I hear the word "greed" associated with bankers. Sure, there are some out there, however, the institutions as a whole do a wonderful job serving the public with their money needs and what a lot of people do not know is how these institutions give back to charities and the needy in their communities. I'm a firm believer in budget matters, but don't take away from those that need it to give to someone that doesn't. The exception would be Big Oil who needs to be regulated and taxed heavily--and made to give back much more to the public to better their image. There's the greed if you ask me.

    Finally, there are some guys here that might not agree with my viewpoint, but we are friends nevertheless. CuriousJockAZ and I are polar opposites many times in political thought, but if the chips were down, I would have his back and support him like no other.

    So if I get a little mouthy and testy at times, it's because I feel a different opinion should be placed on the table. I believe in truth (just like my hero, former Central Florida Congressman Alan Grayson). I might say my peace, but I'm willing to find common ground if the right wingers will allow it!!

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    Mar 12, 2011 7:06 PM GMT
    Nope I still think politics in general is a complete and utter waste of time & money.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Mar 12, 2011 7:09 PM GMT
    BCSwimmer saidThis is an honest question...

    It seems to me that the majority of posts in the RJ Politics forum are left/right arguments between perhaps a half dozen people.

    I am curious has anyone on RJ ever read any position or argument on these forums where it had an actual impact on your existing views?

    I suspect not, in which case are those 6 or so guys just wasting their time posting and responding to an endless right/left dichotomy discussion?


    Ironically I'm a centrist...on another website where I visit the forums, I have historically been bashed by the political left. On this one, I tend to find myself more at odds with posters on the political right, and as a result, Ii tend to find myself engaged in altercations with them which don't always reflect positive behaviour on my part.

    But in answer to your question, I haven't really found my view point changed by something I read on RJ.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Mar 12, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    Nope. Just reinforced.

    While I do read all comments with an open mind and seriously consider what is being stated, time and time again I am reminded just how short-term, unfocused, and irrelevant declarations coming from the right are. The comments coming from the right have also opened my eyes to their double standard and false piety (particularly through passive-aggression).
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    Mar 12, 2011 8:25 PM GMT
    pbsny saidCognitive dissonance. That is all.


    This.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Mar 12, 2011 8:36 PM GMT
    BCSwimmer saidThis is an honest question...

    I am curious has anyone on RJ ever read any position or argument on these forums where it had an actual impact on your existing views?


    To answer the OP's question ... absolutely not.

    The political arguments on here are usually pale retellings of opinions from other political sites. There's nothing new or insightful. The only people telling a poster he's a 'genius' are other posters with exactly the same viewpoints (self-serving much?).

    That, plus the animosity that the political threads engender make me view the political threads as a huge negative to the value of this site.

    My point is that I don't come to a fitness site to get political opinions anymore than I go to cnn.com to find a suitable 12 week workout program. And I've been on this site long enough to remember when it was a fitness site and not a political forum.

    The members on here who take themselves seriously as some sort of political pundit are fooling no one but themselves. I would guess the majority of members view the meanness and the name-calling and the animosity and the over-inflated egos that are present in nearly every political thread as nothing more than theater of the absurd.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 12, 2011 8:42 PM GMT
    Absolutely not. Most of those who are republican leaning (with one "curious" exception) can't see "the trees for the Forest".... I found
    them to take their political positions way too personally, aren't very friendly
    to most of those who are progressive leaning and express their views in ways that incite antagonistic responses.

    Example: Describing the democratic senators in Wisconsin as "scum".
    Really not appropriate. Each side did what they did in order to make a point,
    primarily to their constituents.

    Sure I'm a democrat.. progressive on social issues and much more conservative on fiscal issues. Have never had a problem expressing my views without making it personal. I have good friends who are self proscribed "republicans", "independents" and "no label"
    and we discuss things without making it overly heated I often learn things that I haven't considered prior. They are conveyed without attitude or without sarcasm. That doesn't happen here, so I just ignore most of whats said.

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    Mar 12, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidNo. I generally find posts from the left to be either based on false assumptions or using only selected facts that support their position, while ignoring other, often more relevant facts. Generally, but not in all cases, I find their points based on emotion and slogans, and not logic. I often find they use personal attacks to try and refute valid points inconsistent with their view. I have no respect for those who participate in threads or otherwise support a very few among their ranks who are clearly mentally unbalanced and make nonsensical and often hateful posts.

    On the other hand, some intelligent, fact-based, logical posts by those who support more limited government spending, etc. have reinforced my beliefs.

    Just to add so I don't come across as completely closed minded - I read and listen to viewpoints by intelligent people across the political spectrum expressed in the media. I also have RJ friends who lean left, some strongly, and we on occasion have discussions via email. From both these sources I will carefully consider their points, and sometimes adjust my viewpoint on a particular issue. I don't ever recall seeing anything posted in a thread from the left that I considered in the same league, however.
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    Mar 12, 2011 9:04 PM GMT
    Not really. As mentioned before, many of the political threads are formulaic. Thought these were funny:
    FacebookArgument1.jpg


    FacebookArgumentMid.jpg
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Mar 12, 2011 10:00 PM GMT
    lol, that was a good one dsmith.

    That pretty much sums up the "News & Politics" sub-forum. At times I wish it would disappear because of the unpleasantness it creates. But before it, all the political threads were in the "Gay News & Events" sub-forum, where they didn't belong.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 12, 2011 10:06 PM GMT
    socalfitness
    socalfitness said I don't ever recall seeing anything posted in a thread from the left that I considered in the same league, however.


    Case in point. We all have our opinions and ideas. I enjoy expressing mine to an audience thats receptive. I try and be flexible... but not when there is attitude attached.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14342

    Mar 12, 2011 10:15 PM GMT
    My political views have shifted a little bit towards the center from left. I have realized that it is not always business that is the bad guy. There are many times that government is also the bad guy and cannot be trusted. I am not an extremist. I will always be a moderate and an independent.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2011 10:20 PM GMT
    Yes, to a degree.

    This is not to be mistaken for my having had my mind changed on a particular issue altogether, or that someone made such a convincing argument I renounced my previous beliefs.

    However, I have had my mind changed - or altered - in ways that some people have made me think about certain issues in different ways, through different perspectives; which has often resulted in me becoming more informed on the subject, although often finding myself to disagree with those people even more. But that is "change" all the same.

    There are some individuals with whom I have come to learn a lot (ObsceneWish shared many book recommendations with me a while back, and I have since come to learn a lot from many of those books/authors).

    I have also learned a great deal in terms of how best to present information or arguments, how mentally debilitating the left/right paradigm is (for those on the left AND right), and how utterly ignorant or outright INSANE some people are in their beliefs. I am sure the same could be said for me, but I always flash on a moment in the forums where I remember Red Vespa or whatever his name is now, saying that a "solution" to the Afghan war would be to nuke Afghanistan... and I remember having had my hope in humanity sink a little by reading that comment as a somehow "legitimate" perspective. Reading that "changed" my perspective in realizing that there are some people who are possibly beyond redemption of mind; and so - perhaps sadly - I care less and less about reaching older generations with different ideas and tend to focus more on younger generations and the youth, who might not perhaps be as rigid in their beliefs or psychopathic in their indoctrinated "morals". I have also learned a great deal about the "generational gap" in the acceptance of new ideas or the application of labels, in terms of older generations and individuals - who are in their own right VERY intelligent people - being utterly (or at least seemingly) incapable of advancing their own notions and ideas. It is as if they have made up their minds long ago, set in stone, and there is no room for change. That is even evident from the responses in this forum, which immediately took a turn for the ugly with the first post expressing how his ideas have not changed because he willingly remains stoic in his own intellectual capacities. I still have hope for many individuals to eventually change or at least accept new ideas, and I think that some of them will as the world changes itself. That, I think, crosses generations... it's just harder to get to that point.

    In this sense, I have learned a great deal from RJ forums, and I think it has played a fairly significant role in advancing and altering my own personal political ideas and beliefs. In some respects, it has literally opened my mind to new ideas and information, and in other respects it has made me more stubborn in certain beliefs, or even unforgiving about certain issues and ideas.

    All in all, my answer is... Yes.
  • MattTCU

    Posts: 34

    Mar 12, 2011 10:22 PM GMT
    I normally just laugh at the ignorance... If I read the political posts at all.
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    Mar 12, 2011 10:31 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidNo. I generally find posts from the left to be either based on false assumptions or using only selected facts that support their position, while ignoring other, often more relevant facts. Generally, but not in all cases, I find their points based on emotion and slogans, and not logic. I often find they use personal attacks to try and refute valid points inconsistent with their view. I have no respect for those who participate in threads or otherwise support a very few among their ranks who are clearly mentally unbalanced and make nonsensical and often hateful posts.

    On the other hand, some intelligent, fact-based, logical posts by those who support more limited government spending, etc. have reinforced my beliefs.



    And I generally find....the Rightie's proven fibbing and proven blatant misinformation and proven disinformation to be almost comical, if it wasn't for the fact that they do so much harm to the uneducated who believe their...................LIES.

    It's just sad, that they know they are doing it. Something deep inside them so selfloathing about being gay.


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