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Old September 2nd, 2017, 04:06 AM   #1
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Liberals and Conservatives Must Stand Together Against the Extremes

On a forum where 'libtard' and 'fascist Nazi' are two familiar epithets aimed at the other side, this may be a little rose-colored glasses moment for me. But I thought this was an excellent article.

Liberals and Conservatives Must Stand Together Against the Extremes

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11, 2017.


Charlottesville. Berkeley. Houston. Three dots that lead to something urgent about our politics.

Let’s connect them.

Wanna-be Nazis parading by torchlight through Charlottesville was a radical moment. Masked leftists marauding through Berkeley was another radical moment. Radical politics are the most dangerous kind, whether they arise from the right or the left. Around the world, the past 100 years have been an orgy of wars, genocides, famines and purges — the bloody fruits of various radical ideologies. Americans ought to be on guard.

Houston, battered, sodden, unbowed, stands for the opposite. Radicals emphasize and inflame political differences, which they find everywhere because for radicals everything’s political: what you wear, what you eat, what you enjoy. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia murdered people for wearing eyeglasses. The Islamic State radicals of Raqqa lopped off the head of a teenager caught listening to Western music.

In Houston, politics ended at the water’s edge. Within hours of the first raindrops, the highways of Trump Country filled with pickup trucks towing boats. This flat-bottomed flotilla rescued people by the thousands, black, brown and white, regardless of voting history, religious preference or passport status.

This affirmation of shared human dignity is the serum that largely inoculated Americans against the deadly lure of radicalism. But while this spirit is strong in times of disaster, it is sagging on the political front. Liberals and conservatives must come together to revive it.

Say what? Liberals and conservatives together?

You see, Charlottesville and Berkeley are rampaging reminders that the political spectrum is much broader than we Americans are used to acknowledging. The spectrum runs far beyond Republicans and Democrats, from fascism to communism and from tyranny to anarchy. Conservatives and liberals are actually shoulder to shoulder at the center of this range.

We can wage intense debates across the liberal-conservative divide precisely because we share common assumptions and principles. Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, one a true conservative, the other a true liberal, vied for the presidency in 1984 while sharing the conviction that individuals are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That speech and conscience are free. That government is fettered by the rule of law and accountable to the people.

They argued over the best means to achieve these shared ideals. And because those were less radical times, it was easy to accentuate their differences while taking the ideals for granted.

Thomas Jefferson put this heritage succinctly in the wake of the bitterly polarized election of 1800 . Party does not come first. As Americans, he declared in the terms of his times, “we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

Today’s parties are accustomed to placating their radical elements with gestures and dog-whistles. But converging forces — including niche media, social networks and partisan gerrymandering — have tipped power from the center to the extremes, where radicals will no longer be placated.

These forces gave us perhaps the most radical presidential election in American history last year. The ostensibly conservative Republican Party was taken over by a man who stands against core conservative values such as prudence, order, tradition and free markets. Meanwhile, the ostensibly liberal Democratic Party was nearly hijacked by a socialist.

The fascists who invaded Charlottesville and the anarchists rioting in Berkeley may appropriate some language of liberty and rights. But in their radicalism there’s no room for the spirit of Houston. There is only division.

Principled liberals and conservatives need to wake up to this peril. The solid center that has defined American politics for generations is under assault by empowered radicals on both sides. The old game of stirring big battles over small differences only serves to drive more people to the extremes. While the parties continue to demonize each other in hopes of winning the next election, they are feeding beasts that could devour them both.

The center still holds in many of our local and state governments. Some centrists remain in both parties of Congress, while others inside the White House maneuver to tame the Oval Office radical. But on the whole, we see only politics as usual from party leaders, the same old wedge issues, empty slogans and personal attacks. As if the storm is sure to pass.

We need leaders who can read the clouds of Charlottesville and Berkeley for the genuine menace they pose. Who, in the spirit of Houston, can shelve their differences, climb into their boats, and begin collecting all the stranded Americans they can find. Our pragmatic, can-do, solution-seeking people, regardless of party, are marooned in the radical flood.

There’s no time to waste. The water is rising.


By David Von Drehle Columnist September 1 at 8:21 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...inionsA&wpmm=1
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Old September 2nd, 2017, 05:36 AM   #2
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One element that fascinates as well as baffles me is that there are Evangelical Christians on both sides of the spectrum. The phenomenon escapes me, except to presume that many who call themselves Christian (at both extremes) don't really believe what they profess. They're carrying the torches, so to speak, of their own cultural traditions, the true message of Christ regarding faith and compassion be damned.

In my own church I guess I'm what you would call a "closet democrat." I hold to my faith, but share political views with many on the left, particularly when it comes to inclusiveness and human kindness and personal dignity over rigid ideology. But tradition is hard to let go. When one is raised in a tradition of hate, and one associates strictly with other who share the same mindset, it becomes a social trap that is extremely difficult to escape.
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Old September 2nd, 2017, 08:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Asimov View Post
One element that fascinates as well as baffles me is that there are Evangelical Christians on both sides of the spectrum. The phenomenon escapes me, except to presume that many who call themselves Christian (at both extremes) don't really believe what they profess. They're carrying the torches, so to speak, of their own cultural traditions, the true message of Christ regarding faith and compassion be damned.

In my own church I guess I'm what you would call a "closet democrat." I hold to my faith, but share political views with many on the left, particularly when it comes to inclusiveness and human kindness and personal dignity over rigid ideology. But tradition is hard to let go. When one is raised in a tradition of hate, and one associates strictly with other who share the same mindset, it becomes a social trap that is extremely difficult to escape.
And yet I am hard pressed to see any evangelicals advocating liberals/Democrats. Where do you see this evangelical left wing movement?
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Old September 2nd, 2017, 09:59 AM   #4
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One element that fascinates as well as baffles me is that there are Evangelical Christians on both sides of the spectrum. The phenomenon escapes me, except to presume that many who call themselves Christian (at both extremes) don't really believe what they profess. They're carrying the torches, so to speak, of their own cultural traditions, the true message of Christ regarding faith and compassion be damned.

In my own church I guess I'm what you would call a "closet democrat." I hold to my faith, but share political views with many on the left, particularly when it comes to inclusiveness and human kindness and personal dignity over rigid ideology. But tradition is hard to let go. When one is raised in a tradition of hate, and one associates strictly with other who share the same mindset, it becomes a social trap that is extremely difficult to escape.

At least in my part of the country, you'll be hard pressed to find an evangelical that isn't also a hard core conservative. It baffles me too. They'll sit there and "praise Jesus" then turn around and say the most God awful things about the rest of the world. If you ain't white, bible thumping and gun toting, you're definitely the enemy. Some of them are not far removed from the Westboro mindset. They absolutely believe they know God's mind and have no trouble speaking for him !! But don't you dare remind them of what Jesus actually said !!!

I spent most of my life as a pretty solid conservative, but in the old school way. I liked the old republican party, the one that tried to keep a bit of a lid on spending, was pro business but not opposed to regulation, but also passed the civil rights act and any number of other bits of legislation aimed at minorities.

But as old Barry Goldwater said, the Republicans got in bed with the evangelicals and they've taken over the party. I didn't leave the GOP, it left me. It took a hard right turn. As they've taken that turn they've become increasingly unwilling to compromise. Again as Goldwater said, they believe they are doing God's work and simply don't feel the need to compromise. It's become all or nothing. Even among the less religious it seems they've adopted an absolute party first attitude. I'm actually glad to see the moderates trying to pull the party back to the mainstream before it completely crashes and burns.

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Old September 2nd, 2017, 07:17 PM   #5
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And yet I am hard pressed to see any evangelicals advocating liberals/Democrats. Where do you see this evangelical left wing movement?
Obama attended an evangelical church in Chicago. Many Black churches in America are evangelical, and most come from the left. In the teaching profession, many of my evangelical colleagues are on the left, as is the NEA.
We're there, we're just not as loud and obnoxious as those one the right. When you say nice accepting things about other people, it doesn't buy air time with the Press.

When the Right was trying so desperately to pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota to prohibit gay marriage, there were at least 10 evangelical churches that rolled out in mass to protest, and many circulated petitions among their congregations to keep this proposal off the ballot. In the end, the gay marriage ban failed largely because of public opposition by evangelicals. In my own (former) church one of the unofficial leaders announced a special meeting to help push the amendment through. I turned to my wife and said quietly, "I'm not okay with this." She agreed, and we never went back. We fit in much better in the evangelical church we are attending now.
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Old September 2nd, 2017, 10:22 PM   #6
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Some people live a sheltered life never having been there or done that.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tristanrobin View Post
On a forum where 'libtard' and 'fascist Nazi' are two familiar epithets aimed at the other side, this may be a little rose-colored glasses moment for me. But I thought this was an excellent article.

Liberals and Conservatives Must Stand Together Against the Extremes

White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 11, 2017.


Charlottesville. Berkeley. Houston. Three dots that lead to something urgent about our politics.

Let’s connect them.

Wanna-be Nazis parading by torchlight through Charlottesville was a radical moment. Masked leftists marauding through Berkeley was another radical moment. Radical politics are the most dangerous kind, whether they arise from the right or the left. Around the world, the past 100 years have been an orgy of wars, genocides, famines and purges — the bloody fruits of various radical ideologies. Americans ought to be on guard.

Houston, battered, sodden, unbowed, stands for the opposite. Radicals emphasize and inflame political differences, which they find everywhere because for radicals everything’s political: what you wear, what you eat, what you enjoy. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia murdered people for wearing eyeglasses. The Islamic State radicals of Raqqa lopped off the head of a teenager caught listening to Western music.

In Houston, politics ended at the water’s edge. Within hours of the first raindrops, the highways of Trump Country filled with pickup trucks towing boats. This flat-bottomed flotilla rescued people by the thousands, black, brown and white, regardless of voting history, religious preference or passport status.

~snip~

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...inionsA&wpmm=1
Thanks for posting this Tris. I cleaned up the thread, took out some of the trash.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting this Tris. I cleaned up the thread, took out some of the trash.
Didn't realize I was being trashy?
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:32 PM   #9
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People on this board, conservatives if you will, have no trouble standing against the KKK (the tiny few that there are) or so-called white supremacists. Now, OTOH, we have every conservative in America tarred by posters like Camelot, and other posters saying antifa has the right idea. Plus others defending antifa in various ways.

Indeed, when President Trump excoriated the violence on all sides, we saw the left here, and across the blogosphere, attack him for being truthful. That was just more defending antifa by other means.
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Old September 3rd, 2017, 12:36 PM   #10
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Obama attended an evangelical church in Chicago. Many Black churches in America are evangelical, and most come from the left. In the teaching profession, many of my evangelical colleagues are on the left, as is the NEA.
We're there, we're just not as loud and obnoxious as those one the right. When you say nice accepting things about other people, it doesn't buy air time with the Press.

When the Right was trying so desperately to pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota to prohibit gay marriage, there were at least 10 evangelical churches that rolled out in mass to protest, and many circulated petitions among their congregations to keep this proposal off the ballot. In the end, the gay marriage ban failed largely because of public opposition by evangelicals. In my own (former) church one of the unofficial leaders announced a special meeting to help push the amendment through. I turned to my wife and said quietly, "I'm not okay with this." She agreed, and we never went back. We fit in much better in the evangelical church we are attending now.
For a decade in the past, the wife and I tried to find a church that we felt comfortable in. The problem I found were many, but the biggest turn offs for her and i was politics and being closed minded. We experienced politics from both spectrums throughout our search and found it unsatisfying and unacceptable.

If they weren't mocking and ridiculing the right, then they were damning the left as hellbound degenerates. Many considered non members to be living In Sin if they weren't a part of their particular church. The original message of the Bible has been lost in a sea of hypocrisy!

Needless to say, we've given up for the time being and worship privately without the corruption of outside influences, including the corruption politics that seem to influence many a church in this country.
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