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bonnieruth's picture

This is as thoughtful an analysis as I have seen of what is wrong with American voters, whom I increasingly see as not so much stupid as character-flawed.  They have a willful ignorance that they are proud of, and it goes deep in our culture, maybe rooted in the Protestant Reformation and the doctrine that we didn't need Church authority to reveal God to us - "just plain folks" could do it fine for themselves, thank you.  Definitely it is anti-intellectual.  But on top of that, we are jingoistic to what I would call a point of extreme narcissism.  These are my own comments, not all contained in the article.  Please everyone read the article, and if you agree, pass it on to someone not already in the choir.


p://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/09/12-1 

Gretchen's picture

(post #50876, reply #23 of 57)

I listen to the BBC news a lot in the middle of the night, and it is really interesting to hear what some of their views are. Right now they have a bus touring the state of Arizona talking with small groups of diverse people (bikers, cocktail hour types, etc) about their views of the election. Pretty creative, and the discussions are very civil, thoughtful, and divided right down the middle!!

Gretchen

Gretchen
ashleyd's picture

(post #50876, reply #24 of 57)

Of course no one outside your country should tell you how to vote, but that doesn't mean that you should be unaware of the impact your actions have upon the wider community, and how their actions and attitudes can affect you. While I understand taking pride in your roots, family, community, country I'm not quite sure what you mean by being "just plain folk". Does that mean you have some desire to join an Amish or Mennonite community - doesn't get plainer than that? Do you not want you or your kin to take advantage of a college education? Do you want to drive around in a battered old pick-up because a new car would be just "too showy". Or does it mean you want to remain ignorant of anything in the world that does not affect you immediately and directly?


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #28 of 57)

where, oh where did I call YOU 'character flawed'?  Red-neck really is a good way to describe you...take as much pride in that as you would.

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #34 of 57)

You read my post where I ask you to show me where I called you 'character-flawed', and you seem to have chosen to ignore it.  Since you made the accusation and told me I insulted you PUBLICLY, I would appreciate, atleast, your pointing out to me where I made this insulting accusation.


Just to set the record straight...because you seem to be manipulating this conversation pretty underhandedly.


(btw, Claire, NOW my blood pressure's rising)



There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley


Edited 9/16/2008 12:45 am by evelyn

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
AnnL's picture

(post #50876, reply #35 of 57)

Deep breaths, girl friend, deep, cleansing breaths.  :-)

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #36 of 57)

Good morning, girl friend. :-)  Want to come over for a slice of tomato pie and a burger?


There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
AnnL's picture

(post #50876, reply #37 of 57)

Ooooh, I wish I could! 

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

soupereasy's picture

(post #50876, reply #49 of 57)

Was it you that posted the recipe for tomato pie with potato crust? I printed it out and made it last night. A real keeper!
Made briami for dinner tonight, though I did add some blanched baby carrots to the mix.
If you are the source of the tomato pie, have you tried the potato crust with other fillings?

evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #52 of 57)

I made it yesterday, too!  Hadn't made it in years.  I haven't tried it with other fillings but was thinking yesterday how nice it would be with zucchini, or maybe a spinach filling.  The potato crust is a lovely idea and I am going to be working on it. :-)

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Syrah's picture

(post #50876, reply #38 of 57)

So not worth it.

I believe in champagne...

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained." -Marie Curie

Gretchen's picture

(post #50876, reply #39 of 57)

It was the same with me Evelyn. He accused me of saying things over and over, and then said he had better things to do than find them.

Gretchen

Gretchen
evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #40 of 57)

terrible...more of those half-lies and stretchings of truths already widely-circulating with your upcoming elections.  He really is something!

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
bonnieruth's picture

(post #50876, reply #41 of 57)

Another column that touches on the same subject is David Brooks'Why Experience Matters in today's New York Times.  Rather than try to post the whole link, I am quoting some excerpts here:


"Conservatism was once a frankly elitist movement.  Conservatives stood against radical egalitarianism and the destruction of rigorous standards.  They stood up for classical education, hard-earned knowledge, experience and prudence.  Wisdom was acquqired through immersion in the best that has been thought and said.


"But, especially in America, there has always been a separate, populist, strain.  For those in this school, book knowledge is suspect but practical knowledge is respected.  The city is corrupting and the universities are kindergartens for overeducated fools.


"The elitists favor sophistication, but the common-sense folk favor simplicity.  The elitists favor deliberation, but the populists favor instinct.


"This populist tendency produced the term-limits movement based on the belief that time in government destroys character but contact with grass-roots America gives one grounding in real life.  And now it has produced Sarah Palin."


(Some paragraphs left out here.)


"And there's a serious argument here.  In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that the nation's founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest offices in the land.  They did not believe in a separate class of profesional executives.  They wanted rough and rooted people like Palin.


"I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn't just lived through the last eight years.  For if the Bush administration was anything, it was the anti-establishment attitude put into executive practice.


"And the problem with this attitude is that, especially in his first term, it made Bush inept at governance.  It turns out that governance, the creation and execution of policy, is hard.  It requires acquired skills.  Most of all, it requires prudence...."


"...How is prudence acquired?  Through experience.  The prudent leader possesses a repertoire of events, through personal involvement or the study of history, and can apply those models to current circumstances to judge what is important and what is not, who can be persuaded and who can't, what has worked and what hasn't...."


"...Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders.  It is average people with the  wisdom to select the best prepared...."


"Sarah Palin...has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness."


P.S. to Napie:  Napie, no one here has used the word character-flawed to describe a segment of American voters except me.  So stop blaming it on anyone else. 


 


 


 

Gretchen's picture

(post #50876, reply #42 of 57)

It is posted in another thread.

Gretchen

Gretchen
kathymcmo's picture

(post #50876, reply #44 of 57)

I do realize it was posted elsewhere but I read this last night and enjoyed reading parts of it again today.


Brooks writes so well, and it's interesting to watch how his statements on Palin have moved from very positive and failry enthusiastic about the boldness of the pick, to lukewarm on the merits of the pick, and now to explicitly state that she is unprepared to lead the nation at this time in our history.


I wish that all the political pundits and posters here too, for that matter, could match Brooks for his tone and rationality of argument. Would really improve political discourse.

Heather's picture

(post #50876, reply #45 of 57)

I just heard that Palin's negative numbers are going up--since Saturday there has been a 6 point rise in the number of people who regard her unfavorably.

All the lies may finally be coming back to bite her.

kathymcmo's picture

(post #50876, reply #48 of 57)

From your lips ...


Are you back from visiting your nephew or have you not gone yet?

Heather's picture

(post #50876, reply #51 of 57)

We're not leaving until Saturday. Madly trying to get ready here!

Gretchen's picture

(post #50876, reply #46 of 57)

The precise reason I love David Brooks is because he is a recognized and respected Republican (perhaps conservative) voice, who CAN see the dalliances of both sides.

Gretchen

Gretchen
kathymcmo's picture

(post #50876, reply #47 of 57)

That's why I like him too, he's fair and has careful reasoning, to both sides. And he is someone who passionately believes that ideas do matter.

Napie's picture

(post #50876, reply #50 of 57)

I just returned from a business trip and re-read the thread and realized that I did respond to the wrong poster.


 


Evelyn I am profoundly sorry to have castigated you for the insulting remark made by bonnieruth.  And I do believe being called “character flawed” is a real insult.


 


Brooks is a great writer and his commentary is always welcome reading.  I do agree in principle with his comments.  But remember, he stated the same things about Obama’s lack of real experience.  

evelyn's picture

(post #50876, reply #53 of 57)

apology accepted, Napie, but man are you ever GOOD at the insult part yourself.

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Napie's picture

(post #50876, reply #54 of 57)

I take pride in it, thanks.

AJ12754's picture

(post #50876, reply #56 of 57)

And that's because.....??


never mind -- read your epiphany post -- looks like taking pride in insults is a thing of the past for you.



Cave obdurationem cordis


Edited 9/18/2008 8:17 am ET by aj12754

Cave obdurationem cordis

AJ12754's picture

(post #50876, reply #55 of 57)

Maybe so...but I'm betting Brooks isn't going to be pulling the lever for McCain this fall.

Cave obdurationem cordis

Cave obdurationem cordis

Gretchen's picture

(post #50876, reply #57 of 57)

No, I don't think he will, but he has said on many occasions on the News Hour that this is the Dems year.

Gretchen

Gretchen
AJ12754's picture

(post #50876, reply #43 of 57)

Welcome to Napie-speak.


Easy to learn but still not worth your time.


Cave obdurationem cordis

Cave obdurationem cordis