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Avoiding Those Partisan ‘Others’

Uploaded: Jun 28, 2018
As we celebrate this year’s Fourth of July, I keep on thinking about Americans today and about the terrible partisan divide we have in this country, a divide that can be felt in our nation and even our local communities.

We need to become more united, less divided. Yet until we begin to create some dialogue and understanding with those who differ politically from us, we will not be able to heal the wounds that are scarring our nation.

As New York Times columnist David Brooks recently wrote, we no longer identify each other by our religion, ethnic background, or even our wealth. The one descriptor is our personal politics, as we ask each other, “Are you a Republican or a Democrat?” That’s all that counts right now, and once we learn that he is “the other,” we no longer talk with him, and avoid longtime “other” friends.

This is not healthy or good for us or for this country.

Let me say at the outset that I have never supported Trump. His lies, his lack of any in-depth knowledge on numerous issues upsets me, as does his cruel immigration policy and his fragile, egotistical needs. But I do acknowledge that his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was a decent start on repairing relations with that country, that our economy is good, and unemployment is wonderfully low.

There was an interesting article in the Sunday, June 24 issue of the NYT, “As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig in Deeper.” A number of thoughtful people were interviewed as to why they supported Trump, and most said they certainly didn’t like him as a man, his lying was problematical and he does “some real stupid things.” But, each complained about Trump’s opponents – saying the criticism from some Democrats is overblown, they are after him all the time, and they will not acknowledge anything positive that Trump has done. The result, one woman summed up, “It makes me angry at them, which causes me to want to defend him to them more.”

According to the Times article, Republican voters repeatedly described an instinctive, protective response to the president, and their support has grown in recent months: Mr. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is now about 90 percent.

Are we Democrats part of the problem? Is our anger at Trump resulting in Republicans saying they now need to defend Trump? Are Democrats building up support for Trump?

I am sure the blanket criticism of Trump his supporters talk about is true. I asked a number of my Democratic friends here to name some positive things Trump has done. Nearly everyone answered, “I can’t think of a single thing,” even when I pressed them

If we are going to survive as a united country, what we should be doing this Fourth of July is trying to talk to our partisan “others,” and find ways to agree at least a little bit, and see what we can share. Republicans who don’t like Trump’s character can maybe agree with Democrats about that, which can open the door to a discussion. Perhaps Democrats can agree with Republicans that the economy and the low unemployment numbers are really good for the country. We cans start to understand each other’s reasoning and realize maybe the other is not a bad person.

I am not trying to get Trump reelected, but I am trying to get Americans reunited.
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Comments

 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm

I like Trump's character. He is so theatrical and unique.
Diana, thanks for your attempt at reaching out but your article would come across better sans the judgemental disparagement of our president.

--An enthusiastic Trump supporter


 +   12 people like this
Posted by @Resident, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 4:52 pm

"I like Trump's character. He is so theatrical and unique."

Try: unqualified, reckless, ignorant, bigoted, compromised, and above all else, stupid.

"Diana, thanks for your attempt at reaching out but your article would come across better sans the judgemental disparagement of our president."

And she shouldn't be allowed to "disparage" -45 because it offends you? I seem to remember you didn't seem to have a particularly high regard for President Obama. But I guess that was then, and this is now...eh?


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Dan, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Wow. Admitting that Trump may not be the second coming of Satan is quite brave around here. To me the biggest problem is people attaching too much importance to government and allowing it to play too large of a role in controlling their lives. What happened to the limited government concept that was at the foundation of this country? Other than April 15th tax day when we see explicitly how much money is confiscated from our hard earned income, or when we see the obscene national debt already spent on things we don't individually support, we shouldn't really need to get all wound up about the daily minor government controversies. Ideally none of this should impact how we choose to live our own life today or tomorrow. News used to be a source of useful information, now its mostly just masquerading opinion pieces and better to turn it off and get on with life.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:23 pm

...except I was a huge Obama supporter when he ran.
Try again.

--just another deplorable


 +   7 people like this
Posted by History Buff, a resident of another community,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Related article:

You can't fight injustice with decorum
Web Link


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

Diana: This piece does you credit, but I think it doesn't take into account the nature of the problem and underestimates the difficulty of solving it. What we're seeing are the effects of a long and deliberate effort to weaken political consensus. It's essential to understand the context and motivations for that, so if I may, I'll recommend two books.

The first is Jane Mayer's "Dark Money". It's a tedious read at times, detailed and dry, but it's relentlessly objective and the best source I've found to explain both the players and the scope of the game.

The second is Nancy MacLean's "Democracy in Chains". While Mayer's book primarily follows the money, MacLean's primarily follows the ideas; if you want to understand *why* things are happening as they are, and what the consequences are likely to be, it's extremely valuable. It's weaker than Mayer's book because MacLean too often gets personal in ways that I think are unjustified, so be aware you'll have to make some effort to work around that.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm

The issue is simple. You can be intelligent. You can be honest. You can be a Republican. But you cannot be all three.

To wit: Respected bedrock conservative thinkers David Brooks, Max Boot, and George Will have publicly dumped and denounced the modern Republican Party. It thus seems to me this is not a classic D/R dichotomy anymore. It is Americans vs Trump & Minions.

Here is the outcome of decades of calculated Republican construction of a reliably exploitable voting bloc made of an underclass easily aroused by delicately stoking its native bigotry at election time. Captured by the genuine coarseness of Donald Trump, the mob has consumed its maker and threatens the nation.

The resulting divide is stark and fundamental. Decent people cannot bridge it. They must overwhelm it at the polls. Or else.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Having read the blog article and the comments, I tend to agree with Diana in that it is now impossible to have a discussion in this country without name calling or insulting the intelligence of someone with whom you disagree.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Veritas, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 8:16 pm

[Portion removed.]

I kinda like Gorsuch, the other 50-75 lifetime lower court judges, the attempts at diplomacy with North Korea, the economy, the low joblessness, the high stock market, etc etc etc. Looking forward to seeing who will replace Justice Kennedy, and lots more winning.

And lots more whining from the sore losers.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 8:25 pm

If Diana is a registered voter which apparently she is, she is allowed to express her opinions about elected officials in a blog posting.

People are free to agree or disagree with some or all of her points. People are also free to stop reading media sites that host these types of bloggers.

If you want to read Trump-positive commentary, I'm sure there's a site out there for you, but it is not Embarcadero Media's responsibility to be that site.

Remember: no one can please everyone all the time. Not God, not your mom, not your kids, not even yourself.

The universe wasn't created with you at the center.

Sorry about that.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Diana - to your question asking for positive things President Trump has done, please remember that even before the meeting with North Korea's leader, American prisoners were freed. That was a condition of the meeting. Later, Korean veteran's remains were released, for proper burial in the United States.

Those qualify as great things, and among other successes and campaign promises that were fulfilled by him, with record speed.

Lots of people here support President Trump's Administration. "Resident" is not alone.

I'm glad you wrote this article. It's a start for respectful, adult dialog.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by On Balance, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 28, 2018 at 11:44 pm

Trump could do anything at all and he would have a lock on a segment of voters. Republicans have turned their ideology into a kind of religion that their voters seem to worship even above their actual religions.

(I mean, show me a single verse in the Bible about lesbians much less condemning lesbians. It's just not there. Would love to see someone ask those wedding cake decorators in court to point to something specifically, and discuss it with a theological who actually knows the Bible. Then let's spend an afternoon talking about all the condemnation of greed and hypocrisy in the Bible. Jesus loved everyone but did not take kindly to religious hypocrites. In fact, Jesus never condemned gays ever but did say don't get divorced. I wonder if those cake bakers ask whether anyone is divorced before serving them? I think the recent spat over Sarah Sanders being refused to eat is hilarious " really, why didn't someone just spend a few minutes looking in the Bible to give her one of many solid religious belief reasons? During the year of Jubilee, the Bible says you're not supposed to profit from selling food to the poor. If people discriminate against others because of beliefs that aren't in the Bible but don't discriminate based on things that are, can they really say they are trying to exercise their religious freedom? Republicans do not care about being exposed for their hypocrisy. Learn when the Bible says about that, and help them.)

Trump could behave as if he's President of our nation rather than just those voters. He really will not lose his base, and he might find he is persuasive outside of that base. It's a shame he seems to feel his base care so little about him that he has to constantly pander to just them. But let's face it. They vote. Any citizen who doesn't like Trump but didn't bother to have Obama's back in the first midterms, or reporter who glosses over the vulnerabilities in our absentee ballot system, is no less culpable for the state of things they disagree over than anyone else. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:28 am

Allen Akin - "Dark Money" and "Democracy In Chains" are very important books to read for historical perspective, yet to see the practices and realities of what that subject matter is all about in the present day, if you have not, take a look at Thomas Frank's "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule".


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Allen Akin, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:35 am

Allen Akin is a registered user.

@CrescentParkAnon: Haven't read it yet; just raised it to next on my list. Thanks!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 11:50 am

This "divide" always seems to be framed as this being an issue of style or
opinion like picking a color to paint a room - as if these are issues that are
not life and death for some and just a small percent more income for others.
Looked at that way it is mystifying why there is any problem at all for the 1%
and the 1%-hopefuls or dependents of the 1%.

The country has changed and the people who live here are being squeezed
out by the financial realities of corporations and the corporate people taking
over, and giving virtually nothing back and in fact raiding the public space
and tearing down vital protections. The analogy has lately been that the
United States is now just another Globalist place to do business and the
Americans who live here are analogous to the Native Americans.

Was there a partisan divide there? Of course not, calling a racial genocide
a partisan divide is absurd, but what keeps us from seeing we have what
is basically a genocide of class and connectedness is that the "Indians" in
this case are harder to classify just by race now. Some economic victims are
white, and some of the economic victors are non-white - so now we are
post racial, and we call what is going on fair, equal-opportunity genocide.

This fact of there are non-white people in the corporatocracy,
much more than before, and there is even global competition for jobs and
real estate in our own hometown that pressurized and even drives lots of
people out, is also a dynamic that is used dishonestly in the form of dog-
whistling to whites to tweak some kind of racial threat - an it has worked
so well as to turn potential Bernie Sanders supporters towards Trump.

To add to all of this chaos the media which is all corporate owned and
consolidated throughout the country is just another propaganda arm telling
us stories that have more to do with herding us than informing or enlightening
us.

There are not two honest sides anymore with honest disagreements. Since
Reagan and then Newt Gingrich the Republican side has become increasingly
anti-government, seeking the break people's faith and interest in government,
not in trying to work with the Democrats to compromise between people
and money ... they want everything to be about money. And in fact it mostly
is now as even the Democratic party has been bound and manipulated by
corporate donations and media. There is no "in the public interest" any more
by design, and thus there is shrinking democracy to the point that technicalities
are calling the elections, and the popular vote is even denigrated.

Now it is a question of how far the Republicans are willing to push this. Now
there is another Supreme Court nomination coming up with a seat that is
undemocratically appointed and yet supposed to in some way represent
all Americans. This fracture in the government that is the partisanship in
the Supreme Court is the most dangerous thing to occur in modern
history. President Obama when he was supposed to have a chance to
appoint a Supreme Court Justice selected Merrick Garland, someone
suggested a few years earlier by Republicans, and yet that was not partisan
enough. Republicans demand fair treatment when they cannot get their
way but when they can get their way, the force it. Treating that with
civility is suicide.

The point is that this is not an honest disagreement or even a half-half
disagreement, this is the Republicans unilaterally imposing the will of
their donors, and the rift is between those who are completely under
the thumbs of the financial elite, and those who still have a bit of spine
left until they are booted from government by torrents of stolen money.

Being opposed to Trump I would also like to comment on the things he has
done, or manipulated to claim credit for himself is how I would put it.

On the issue of North Korea he provoked the situation in order to provoke
a sound byte and PR moment. Claiming credit for nothing is what Trump
seems to do best. Setting the issue up so that anyone questioning his
accomplishments in North Korea is somehow going to jinx the situation
is clever, but it is nonsense. North Korea is not going to give up its
nuclear weapons. And Trump pulling out of the Iran Nuclear treaty just
made that much less likely anyway.

As being on the opposing side of Trump, when he first declared his run,
I thought it was good to bring up immigration. I think most people on
all sides of the immigration issue have big legitimate concerns for how
many people this country can take in. Here there is a divide, a real issue
an opportunity for discussion and compromise, but that is not what we
get. Trump has used this as a way to inflame this issue and the Democrats
have been dumb enough to get sucked into it like they always do and allow
the right-wing media to make it look like Democrats care more for foreign
criminals that hard-working tax-paying Americans. And most Americans
resent paying taxes because they are burdenede with over-paying due to
the tax-cut to the rich and corporations.

There has been no characteristic change in the trajectory of the economy
since the ramp up due to Obama, yet Trump claims credit for that and FOX
News backs him up. There will be no huge trickle-down effect and most
economists say that looking at the numbers thus far there is not a single
bit of job investments from corporations in hiring from the 1.5 trillion tax cut.

The divide is unchanged because it is the divide between the Cop and
the Robber, the Cowboy and the Indian, the Slave-owner and the Slave,
that is why the optics on every one of these issues glorifies the corruptions
of the old South.

American was built so that the powerful would be checked by the people,
because the powerful have never done the right thing unless they were forced
to. Our ability to redress wrongs, our government, and our vote has been
hobbled so that it will not work, whether by ridiculous re-districting, or
dishonest schemes of removing people with foreign or minority sounding
names from the voter roles claiming that somewhere in another state
there is someone voting that has a name that sounds much like a name
in the local voter roles and concluding they are voting twice. Not one of
these supposed double voters have ever been found or charged.

There is no honest disagreement, there is just greed assuming self-
righteousness by wrapping itself in the flag and thumping on the Bible
while it shouts with a megaphone of money drowning out the 99%..


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 12:29 pm

"It's a shame he seems to feel his base care so little about him that he has to constantly pander to just them."

Trump's not *pandering* to his base. He is only being himself. He's not smart enough to pretend anything else. His base loves what he is, and they cheer him at rallies. Loudly. Being a deep-case narcissist, Trump basks in that. So, lots of rallies, lots of cheers.


"But let's face it. They vote."

Yup. Fortunately, they're a minority. American patriots can and must outvote them.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 1:06 pm

"On Balance" asked for a single Bible verse that condemns lesbian behavior.

One is found in the 1st chapter of Paul's letter to Romans, under a heading, "God's Wrath Against Sinful Humanity".

This addresses male homosexual behavior as well. Beginning with verses 26-27, it reads: "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

That ought to answer your question, On Balance. Though a Bible perspective is off the topic of national dialog and the healing of divisions.

I am still glad that Diane is encouraging dialog with her blog, in order to have a nation that can speak, without vitriol and judgment. Only God judges/condemns.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DianaDiamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm

DianaDiamond is a registered user.

Does anyone want to suggest what each of us can do to lessen the partisan divide and get along better with each other, as I was proposing. It would be wonderful to see some new ideas.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

For me, the key piece of information was that "the partisan divide", "incivility", "post-truth culture", and so on, are marketing tools that were developed and are actively supported by a bunch of smart, well-funded people for a particular purpose. Check out the books for the supporting evidence.

There may be nothing that individuals can do to counteract that kind of pressure. My personal approach is to use facts as tools for persuasion, but experience shows that's not powerful enough to make a difference on a large scale.

I suspect that only large organizations have access to the skills and the resources to make a dent in this problem. I'm still looking for the right one to support.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm

"American prisoners were freed"

Obama had 10 prisoners released from North Korea. And without sacrificing the majesty of the greatest office on Earth for a photo op and zero verifiable promises (NK has already re-started their plutonium production.)

re: Trump's 3 prisoners: NK "reported to have freed three detained Americans... The US president appeared to take credit for the trio's imminent release, which he claimed his predecessor Barack Obama's administration had “long been asking for... to no avail".

However, two of the three prisoners were only jailed after Mr Trump's inauguration last year and amid an escalating feud between the Republican and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un."



**So there lies the crux of the matter.**



Our author wants one side to get along with the other "side" that supports and LIES about a president* that has been documented lying 3,000 times while in office.

"President Trump lied more than 3,000 times in 466 days
Updated 2:42 PM ET, Wed May 9, 2018" Web Link

Wants us to honor a president* who has settled his fraud cases for millions, who has used bankruptcy to not pay honest hard-working Americans, who was elected with Russia's help (not an opinion, but fact from our intelligence agencies,) and who's poor judgement has led him to choose for his team convicted felons (actual guilty pleas) and indicted co-conspirators. All while telling us he could read Kim Jung's character within a minute.

Trump can read Kim within a minute, yet this president* couldn't figure out his campaign manager was working for Putin (Manafort to Deripaska: "How do we use to get whole?") and his National Security Adviser was guilty/dirty as hell (General Flynn pled guilty to multiple charges, Trump was warned by the FBI before Trump appointed Flynn.)

To what end do we yuk it up with Americans who support and lie about such a mess? Civility?

Would you be "civil" to a friend who lied to YOU 3,000 times?

Would you be civil to said friend who worked with our biggest enemy for personal gain?

I respect and honor those who are honest, patriotic and of good will, regardless of color, intelligence, geography, etc.. I *love* talking with a good Republican! I used to joke that I could converse for 20 minutes with any conservative and we'll leave with a list of issues upon which we had mutual consent (immigration, civil liberties, worker protections, healthcare, etc..) But these liars, and now clearly unpatriotic sort? Nah. (yes, I said it. If you support Putin over Western Democracies, that is a very short step to the line of being un-American.)

Civility dDoesn't apply here, to what appears to be a quarter of our country. Please advise.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Diana, to answer your question. I would suggest reading Jordan Peterson's book, 12 Rules for Life, an antidote to chaos, as well as any of his online lectures. His interview by Cathy Newman on UK channel 4, watched about 10M times is a good way to start understanding his calm manner in dealing with those who don't listen to what is actually being said. Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Peterson?

This guy?

"Not long after the Soviet Union fell, and most of the world breathed a sigh of relief, Peterson began purchasing this propaganda for a song online. Paintings lionizing the Soviet revolutionary spirit completely filled every single wall, the ceilings, even the bathrooms. The paintings were not there because Jordan had any totalitarian sympathies, but because he wanted to remind himself of something he knew he and everyone would rather forget: that over a hundred million people were murdered in the name of utopia."

He's a shrink, and doesn't see that as something he would lambaste in a patient?

Seriously, papering your walls with Stalinist art to remember Stalin was brutal. Good heavens - what does have to do to remember his wife's birthday? Billboards out on the highway?

I agree we should know of Peterson, but please consider the aforementioned books before getting to the trivial, designed to hook and make a fortune off of millenial males.

Rule 11: Do Not Bother Children When They are Skateboarding.


'nuff said.




 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Diana, please shut down this thread. It's going nowhere fast.
What is the point when "Civil American" can just come on here and spread toxicity. This is why Trump keeps winning, because of that type of behavior.

Escape the Bay Area bubble and the air is so fresh and clean without the anti-Trump toxicity. Trump is a major catalyst in American life. No other politician has been able to achieve such disruption and awakening and emboldening of the average "deplorable" individual. This is a good thing. The people must not be cowed by so-called experts and their stacks of opinionated literature.

I think Hillary Clinton perfectly represented the majority of people in Palo Alto and the Bay Area -- ***condescending***, virtue-signaling limousine liberals. No wonder there were so many Hillary stickers and signs on display.

I am so done here.

TRUMP 2020

***KEEP AMERICA GREAT!***


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Diana Diamond, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Diana Diamond is a registered user.

This site has been closed.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 4:44 pm

"spread toxicity"

All truth. One notes you neither deny the facts or post any substantiated facts in your call to end discussion.

The question stands: if you support a proven liar, and lie about the liar in his defense, can you be 'civil'? Do you chose to hang with someone who has been proven to tell lie after lie? I doubt it.

All factual, a simple google search proves it. I'll be happy to do it for you. But you have to lose your virtual signaling phrases, as in: "virtue-signaling limousine liberals"

But if facts are now 'toxic', then you may want to reconsider your sources.

'nuff said. Have a good day.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by @(So-called) Resident, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:03 pm

"Trump is a major catalyst in American life. No other politician has been able to achieve such disruption and awakening and emboldening of the average "deplorable" individual. This is a good thing. The people must not be cowed by so-called experts and their stacks of opinionated literature."

Translation: Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up already. And I hate being educated, because it gets in the way of my prejudices.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:40 pm

"Does anyone want to suggest what each of us can do to lessen the partisan divide and get along better with each other, as I was proposing."

You must face the facts. This is not a simple partisan divide. It has not been since Johnson's civil rights legislation begat the white backlash that begat Nixon's Southern Strategy that begat the modern Republican Party from the rearguards of the Dixiecrats. The divide is a rematch of the Civil War, and its outcome will be either a pleuralistic liberal democracy or a bankrupt racist police state like the former South Africa.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 5:49 pm

No one has all the facts.
It is intellectually dishonest to act as if you do.
Certainly, repeating what you hear from Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon doesn't make you factual.
This is the common defense for the Left, yelling out "but... but... facts!" as they get steamrolled by DJT.

What have you even accomplished with all your so-called facts. Idle academics, the lot of you.

Why do I keep coming here? I am learning nothing from this place.

#WALKAWAY


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 6:09 pm

This is where it becomes so clear! @resident bemoans "No one has all the facts."

Wrong. The facts exist. If one lies about them, obfuscates, misrepresents or ignores them, it's not worth engaging because one has proved her intellectual dishonesty.

In your case, facts were presented about Trump lies, Trump's criminal cohorts, Putin, Trump's frauds, etc... Instead of accepting them as true and moving forward to productive discussion, or proving them false, you whine about "idle academics, the lot of you."

It must feel so awful to literally have nothing but name calling. I pity your position.

Alas, it comes back to:

The question stands: if you support a proven liar, and lie about the liar in his defense, can you be 'civil'? Do you chose to hang with someone who has been proven to tell lie after lie? I doubt it.

Have a great week. We can all celebrate American greatness, something that was here long before a silly red hat. We *can* agree on that, amiright?

Right?

Hello?







 +   8 people like this
Posted by @(So-called) Resident, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm

"What have you even accomplished with all your so-called facts. Idle academics, the lot of you."

Flunked out of college, did you? Sure sounds like it.

"Why do I keep coming here? I am learning nothing from this place."

Learning is such a hard process for some...


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Gerald, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 29, 2018 at 8:25 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 7:35 am

Please re-read the passage from Peterson's own book and my comment more closely this time.

I did NOT judge Peterson's lack of taste in art. My comment was on his stated rational for plastering Stalin-era art on his walls.

To wit: "but because he wanted to remind himself of something he knew"

And the billboard to remind him of his wife's birthday? Did I find that in some "gutter press"?


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Civil American, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 7:41 am

One notes @resident will not address the issue at hand...

The question stands: if one supports a proven liar, and lies about the liar in his defense, has one earned civility?

Do you chose to hang with someone who has been proven to tell lie after lie? I doubt it.

It's rather a Personal & Civic Responsibility issue. Where does your author stand on those?


Where do YOU stand?



 +   15 people like this
Posted by Lies and the lying liars, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 1:13 pm

I can't reason with liars.

Dishonesty is not a valid debate tool.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Todd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 3:38 pm

After a white nationalist protester (good people on both sides, remember) murdered someone with his car, party members, rather than rebuke the President, passed a round of laws idemnifying drivers who run over protesters, many of which were originally drafted after someone "fearing for their life" ran over a half dozen people at a BLM rally.

This is today's Republican party, don't be too surprised when you don't have much in common...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Diana, I think exposure to good conflict resolution skills will greatly help our community to speak respectfully, and candidly, while resisting the urge to mislabel and condemn others with whom we passionately disagree.

It's vitriolic rhetoric that we encounter in anonymous blogs and even among people we know. It is destructive, alienating and stopping discussion.

Your attempt to have open and healthy dialog with those with whom you may disagree is refreshing and appreciated. Life is too short, for hostility and to abandon the goal of getting along, as adults.

Perhaps instead of closing this blog, you could ask the authors of a book entitled "Conflict: the unexpected gift" to review our posts here, and offer suggestions to us all on better ways for us to communicate.

All four authors are from the Bay Area. I went to a presentation at Keplers, when this book was first released.

Former PA Councilwoman Hillary Freeman was one of the contributors and two others are often in our local news - Elisabeth Seaman and Jack Hamilton. How about contacting them? All of us on this blog will benefit from their expertise. Your sincere and pertinent question could be best answered, by them.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 8:19 pm

Civil American

If you have as you say read Peterson's book and come to the conclusion about him from your reading, I will apologize. I must confess, having read the book and appreciated his insight on many subjects, that although I remember his mentioning his art collection I did forget the exact details of why as I thought it was much less in importance than many of his other points.

You come across quite angry which always puts my guard up. I disagree with you about the importance of the ideas that Peterson describes, but you are entitled to your thoughts as I am to mine. He has sold a lot of books, and his lectures and interviews are viewed by a large following of those who want to hear more.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 9:59 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Perhaps civility could return if Democrat supporters would stop beating Trump supporters in San Jose, blowing up Republican field offices in North Carolina, censoring free speech at Berkeley, shooting Republican congressmen in Washington D.C., kicking government officials out of restaurants in Virginia and blocking tourists from Disneyland in Anaheim.

Then again if Liberal policies would stop off-shoring millions of high wage jobs to China, India and Mexico, suppressing real wages for 20 years through open borders, releasing career criminals back into the populace, practicing reverse racism against people of yellow and white colors throughout the education system and corporate hiring practices and destroying the financial future of our kids with unfunded public sector pension liabilities and continual budget deficits we might be able to put aside our differences for a while.

Hypocrisy and denial shield and protect the Liberal sense of superiority at the expense of losing touch with reality. The insincere olive branch is as contemptuous as ever.

Once the ignorant deplorables realize that a lower standard of living is actually good for them everything will be back to normal. It is a matter of manners and intelligence rather than economics and rule of law.

If it helps, maybe the Democrat party could change its mascot from Donkey to Ostrich. Unfortunately the hammer and sickle is already taken.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

For those who cannot remember their political party history, the following is a little primer on the Democrat support for discrimination:

1. SCOTUS majority for the Dread Scott case
2. Pro-slavery, started the Civil War and assassinated Lincoln
3. Opposed Reconstruction and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments
4. Founded the KKK
5. Passed the Jim Crow laws
6. Sent Japanese citizens to the internment camps
7. Approved the only nuclear weapons ever used
8. Opposed the Civil Rights Act

Bonus: Democrat presidents also sat fecklessly by and allowed genocides to happen in Armenia, Nazi Germany, Rwanda and Syria.

If you are looking for "Facts", how about them apples?


 +   32 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm

"Once the ignorant deplorables realize that a lower standard of living is actually good for them everything will be back to normal."

Apparently they do realize that a lower standard of living is actually good for them, because they vote Republican again and again.


"... the following is a little primer on the Democrat support for discrimination:..."

You left out Truman's order racially integrating the armed forces. Boy, was Strom Thurmond (remember him?) hopping mad over that. Left the party, he did.

And the times they keep a-changin'. First the Repubs called themselves the Party of Lincoln. Then they changed to the Party of Reagan after Lincoln became a huge embarrassment to their Southern Strategy. Now they're the Party of Trump, in loving memory of the 1986 Reagan Amnesty of those "illegal" brown immigrants whose women and children are now such grave threats to American national security.

Stay tuned.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 30, 2018 at 11:30 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jul 1, 2018 at 12:15 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 1, 2018 at 5:33 am

@Civil American

Apparently, Diana doesn't know how to close a thread so I will entertain you a while longer.

Since the theme of this thread is to build bridges ahead of 4th of July -- to remind us that as Americans who live in this country we are all essentially in the same boat -- I will make the attempt.

First of all, there is never an excuse to not act civil, except when threatened by violence. The entire point is that we can agree to disagree without acting like someone with a differing opinion is inferior or deplorable because they lack a college degree or are Republican, and therefore unworthy of civil discussion and instead should be harassed, attacked, bullied, and beaten.
This is a cornerstone of American society.

Your argument really fell apart for me when you went into the Putin collusion theory and stated it as irrevocable fact. That makes me feel like I shouldn't waste time & energy talking to you.

No one has all the facts. If you do a Google search and read some article, or read something in a book that was published a decade ago, is there any hard scientific evidence that what you read is indeed, factual?
If you open up an article on Wikipedia, do you believe everything written is indeed, factual?

Some people seem to need to take a class in college to learn how to think critically. As a natural-born skeptic, I think critically about everything.

We all know that Trump overexaggerates and uses white lies as a weapon to endlessly distract the mainstream media while he cuts taxes, deregulates, and does anything he can to encourage more productivity and business in American life while appointing non-activist judges and striving to prevent war with N. Korea and Russia.

His approach is far more neutral than it is self-righteous and that is what we need.

Deep down, Trump is a Builder and he understand the concept of efficiency. He is also quite the entertainer and the most successful troll in history -- and you folks get trolled endlessly.

This makes the difference between people who *get* his utterly unconventional and theatrical communication style, and people who take his words out of context and hyperventilate over "lies" while purposely or naively ignoring that his statements are often dripping with sarcasm and irony. CNN are experts at doing this, and I suspect many of you get your information from CNN on a daily basis. (FOX news isn't any better -- they suck up to Trump now after being totally against him during the primaries, remember Megyn Kelly?)

I have attended 2 Trump rallies and when you see him in person and hear a speech from start to finish, you definitely get a sense of his very ironic and down-to-earth approach. It seems that Trump has an allergy to being boring, and I share that trait with him.
Sometimes, he doesn't much to say -- he doesn't like to beat around the bush and would rather entertain -- so he repeats colorful and wild talking points as a theatrical smokescreen -- and I forgive him for this, since actions speak louder than words.

God knows, the standard "expert" politician -- many who start out as lawyers -- have it the other way around, they are so elaborate with their language that they forget to follow through with effective action.
***All talk, no action***
Examples are Obama, Paul Ryan, Gingrich, Pelosi, Romney, and Clinton, all the Establishment puppets who we are completely tired of hearing. Their lawyerspeak has reached the stage where it's completely outdated. Trump has shattered it.

Obviously, people who are easily-offended will prefer the latter over the former.
Forgive me for being not so easily-offended.

A modern form of discrimination is to slander people who choose not to get college degrees, and call them "uneducated". With the advent of the internet, the term "education" (if all it means is having a degree) has lost meaning. Nowadays it is a scam perpetrated on young people who go deeply into debt and then they wonder why they're stuck working in Starbucks with their degree in Dance Therapy.
I chose to keep my hard-earned savings instead of blowing it all on an overpriced college degree.
College should be attended with a clear goal in mind. Going to college just because you're afraid an employer won't hire you unless you have a 4-year degree is falling for the scam, because even if you do get hired, you won't get a return on investment for all the money and time you spent on school. Just look at your standard veterinarian doctor.

It's easy for old folks in Palo Alto to tout their degrees which were far cheaper and more valuable when they went to school several decades ago.

To be honest we truly are in a post-truth society because conflicting information moves at lightning speed and it's difficult to verify anything. Therefore, the facts begin to bend towards propaganda, the facts are not static anymore like they used to be. One person's truth is another person's lie and neither can keep up with the speed of technology. This is an eerie stage of evolution as technology is really taking over our minds.

My answer to all of this is to engage in productive activity over wasteful, savage protests. That is the engine that fuels capitalism -- it is being productive with your time. With all due respect to everyone, I will finally

#WalkAway


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Tired, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 1, 2018 at 8:11 am

Once again blame the Democrats.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

Resident of Midtown - Thank you for some of the most common sense I have read lately. Like you, I feel I have been educated much more since leaving formal education than I received there. I feel that today there is the opportunity for us all to watch podcasts by university professors from some of the best universities in the world, to easily see facts and opinions from many sources, and to be able to discuss issues with people from all over the world and get a global perspective on nearly everything.

Critical or deep thinking, respect and civility are the most important things we should be aiming towards when we debate an issue of any kind. Sadly they seem to be becoming rare.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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