"Polarization"

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by OUBubba, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    I received this PM back in December. I've never noticed any posts from this poster during my stints posting here. I requested permission to share an anonymous version. Maybe you guys should lighten up a little, loosen up the circle, and stop being unfriendly to people with whom you disagree as we are all Americans and want what's best for our country:
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    Perhaps you live in Oklahoma, and have more experience than I with over the top conservatism, but I could not keep posting on this site as you do. Once, this was a great site for political conversation, but it has become a fever swamp circle jerk, and even relatively benign and interesting/intelligent posters such as [edit] seem to live in a right wing bubble. I have mostly given up because reasoned discussion is mostly gone. Many former interesting posters with opinions, moderate to liberal, such as [edit] have given up. Too bad. In the real world I am considered a moderate Democrat. Here, I am a pinko Marxist un-American.... you get the idea.
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    Edit: I just started ignoring people and my life got better. I took a break as I was spending too much time here. I just saw something that Seattle posted that referenced calling his son names.

    As a Sooner on a Longhorn board I signed up for any crappy treatment I might get so it's no big deal.

    PS: Save Tom!
     
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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  2. nashhorn

    nashhorn 2,500+ Posts

    Thanks OU. I still find many interesting and varied posts on here but I agree there is some unnecessary biting commentary. On a whole your posts tend to grate on me but not always and I do not believe I have directed any offensive language toward you (or anyone else) but honestly who knows what will be deemed offensive today. Sorta like saying ‘sexual preference‘, I Never wouda thunk it! :idk:
     
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  3. LHABSOB

    LHABSOB 500+ Posts

    Damn Bubba- I didn't give you permission to post that PM! :lmao:

    I get the sentiment and can relate in some ways. But I also seem to be most comfortable being looked as left-leaning with my moderate views whether that be at my church, in my business or on HF. I find that if you treat others with respect and dignity that they will often return the favor.
     
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  4. Horn2RunAgain

    Horn2RunAgain 500+ Posts

    Let me check with my supervisor in Moscow on how I should reply to such a post.... BRB
     
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  5. Horn6721

    Horn6721 Half of seeming clever is keeping your mouth shut.

    Bubba
    You make some points. No one should call anyone's kids names.
    I did not see that.
    Shame on them.
     
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  6. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I like a good mix of folks, as long as people aren't being a-holes towards each other, the more viewpoints, the better.
     
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  7. Chop

    Chop 2,500+ Posts

    I'll help you out OU Bubba with a new thread called "Post Right-Wing Craziness Here". That will at least give the other side (and moderates/pragmatists) a place to make fun of extremists of a different stripe.

    Done!
     
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  8. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    A few points on this, Barry.

    First, and I'm being totally serious, you are a good guy and a real asset here. Nobody gets his balls busted harder or more often than you do, and even if your politics aligned perfectly with the most conservative people here, you'd still take a huge amount of flack just because you went to OU and don't apologize for it. Despite all that, you never get pissed off, never act like your feelings were hurt, and are pretty much friendly to everybody here. You talk some **** in good humor, but you generally treat everybody with kindness. I don't think I have ever seen a better sport in my life, and nobody here would ever want you to feel unwelcome.

    Second, you and whoever wrote this message (and I can guess a few people who could have written it to you because I've gotten messages like this myself but it doesn't really matter) are correct. This board does have a circle jerk element that sometimes repels thoughtful discussion. There is also a tendency on this board to dismiss people who don't spout the conservative line as hard Left. People shouldn't do that. Even if someone is coming from the hard Left (and some have), they shouldn't be disrespected. They should have their arguments debunked with logic and evidence. If your position is so strong, this shouldn't be hard to do. If they aren't making an argument, but are just showing up to talk ****, blow them off. Don't sour the board by engaging them.

    Third, if a moderate or liberal does show up and wants to discuss things on the merits, they should engage those who are willing to engage them, because plenty of people here will. I will. Monahorns will. Others will. And they should ignore those who smack talk them. As conservatives should ignore a leftist who shows up and talks ****, moderates and liberals should ignore a conservative who talks **** or acts like a jackass.

    I will also say this though. The "I'm actually a moderate, not a big liberal" characterization of oneself doesn't carry any weight or give one credibility as a free or nuanced thinker or fair dealer if you only attack conservatives or conservatism. A true moderate should be able to take a conservative position from time to time or say something positive about a conservative and not just when that conservative does something liberal. For example, praising Mitt Romney when he votes to convict Trump but not praising anything conservative he ever does isn't moderate. That's basically the same thing Rachel Maddow does. From time to time, say something positive about somebody actually doing something conservative or take the conservative position on something. Even if you don't endorse it fully, concur with it where you can and disagree where you can't. It's not hard. I'm not even a moderate, but I've said nice things about Barack Obama before and defended actions he took and criticized actions Republicans took. Likewise, if you don't fully endorse something a Democrat does, distinguish yourself from it. Specify where you agree and where you disagree. In short, if you're not on a team, then don't act like you're on a team.
     
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  9. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 10,000+ Posts

    Since I popped my head up yesterday I'll first say that OUBubba's passage didn't come from me but I certainly agree with the sentiment. I'm certain I'll soon abandon the board again so don't take any lack of response as some sort of sign that I've run away but rather a recognition my own personal satisfaction from learning from other viewpoints on the West Mall has waned in favor of more thoughtful discussions elsewhere.

    As a frequent poster on West Mall who migrated here in 1999 from the old Austin 360 boards, my observation is that this place has always had an edge. Still, it was a place that controversial topics could be discussed with respect and included some depth. Gone are the majority of posters that were willing to delve into deep evidence based discussions. Unfortunately, that depth has all but disappeared and been replaced by pithy memes and 1-liners. Others may be able to tune those out for the rare moment that someone offers depth or nuance that offers some sort of enlightenment but I do not fall into that camp. The sheer volume of time it takes to sift through the garbage for that morsel of information is overwhelming. Instead, everyone ends up feeding the egos of the meme posters by cheering them on or trying to demonstrate how shallow or baseless they are, either way it encourages shallow conversations rather than any meaty topics. Now "fake news" exclamations are offered as evidence to any information that doesn't support ones own view. Maybe it's a sign of how shallow we've all become in this polarized political culture?

    Before anyone thinks I'm only pointing the finger at others, I'm not. My contributions of memes perpetuated the mud slinging. Earlier attempts to demonstrate the fallacy of the conservative memes likely came across as arrogant to an audience that simply enjoyed mocking the other side, whether the meme had a foundation in truth or not. Bitterness towards the opposite viewpoint has set in, me included. That's not a healthy environment for anyone interested in understanding, debating and learning from those differing viewpoints. Rather the West Mall has become the inverse of /r/politics where opposing perspectives are voted down and mocked simply because they are different than the crowd.

    In the end, the culture of this board has changed, a reflection of our polarization at large. Most on this board only want confirmation of their bias, like their Facebook feeds and media consumption habits. That's the shift that OUBubba's friend is pointing out. Based on what I've seen, even the more moderate conservative voices have shifted far to the right. I'm certain the same could be said of liberals as we all ran to our political corners. There are simply fewer and fewer of us around.
     
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  10. HornHuskerDad

    HornHuskerDad 5,000+ Posts

    Civility in discussions is always a good thing. Name-calling does not fall within the definition of civility. Everyone is entitled to his opinion; if someone wants to state his opinion on Hornfans in the expectation of a discussion of ideas, go for it - but expect that others on the board will likely have a different opinion. That difference of opinions would lead to a good discussion - as long as everyone is civil in that discussion.
    OUBubba, we welcome you on this board. Just wish you would get rid of that horrible avatar! :)
     
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  11. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    I paid good money, (Oklahoma money!) to have the right to use that avatar.
     
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  12. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    Thanks for the kind words. I will say that I’ve learned a lot with regard to how to behave online (Facebook, Twitter, etc) based upon living a quiet, mostly uneventful life as a sooner on a longhorn board. I’d much rather discuss real world events and happenings with a varied group than talk about who should be the slot receiver in the 31 formation.

    some of you mother scratchers should try it on a rival board.

    Also, the first name you pick sticks with you. Obviously, I’m not a bubba. Not sure why I typed that in the first place. My sooner boards handle is Serenity Now. More nuanced with a dated hat tip to a Seinfeld favorite.
     
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  13. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada Winebibber

    Please?
     
  14. 4th_floor

    4th_floor From now on, I want you all to call me Loretta.

    You paid wampum?
     
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  15. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    Do they talk politics? If they do, I'd be happy to visit. Post the link.

    I've toyed with calling myself Independent George. I've just been Mr. Deez too long to change it. I'd disappoint all my fans. Lol
     
  16. OUBubba

    OUBubba Reluctant and Bullied Sponsor

    Tokanawa.
     
  17. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 10,000+ Posts

    FB_IMG_1603127814186.jpg
     
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