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Lv 7
Gerry asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

Why are the people of the US and Gov't so emotional anymore; is there no reason being applied any longer?

Instead of being proud of the History of this nation it seems "every politician is out for themselves and forget the common man or woman" - all labels are included with this statement - don't show me your party tag - I could care less. But our sense of History has long been removed from the equation.

Politicians are the worse; they openly congratulate themselves over a "deal" that means nothing and at best is less than "mediocre". A new deal now has to be reached by 13 December even though the lousy CR only runs through 15 January 2014. There is still "no Federal Budget" in place.

People on both sides think "this" and speak "that" and yet somewhere in the middle lays the truth in everything necessary for the COUNTRY to move forward.

Case in point from History: When Louis XVIII was put into the throne of France after 25 years of Napoleonic rule he in fact was inclined to "forgive and forget" and he even wanted to keep most of the reforms of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Eras in place; but, his supporters were not. The voices then of reaction were strong, advocating total abolition of anything having to do with "Jacobinism." As a result many useful laws were overturned, loyal and experienced civil servants were chased out of their posts in favor of functionaries who had served a generation before. Napoleon had his faults; but, he also had many good things and was a successful son of a Revolution that nearly took him away during the Jacobinism phase. Napoleon's armies had trod and wiped out the vestiges of feudalism, imposed reform, sparked nationalist and even republican sentiments. After having united solidly to defeat Napoleon, the Great Powers of the time began falling out over the division of spoils.

Today; we have a Gov't returned for a short period of time - still no budget - for those that would say "Obamacare" needs to be defunded are as idiotic as those who say "Obamacare" is the solution to the Healthcare woes of the United States - somewhere in the middle lays the truth - the truth that some things in the Affordable Healthcare Act are good and should be allowed to move forward and other things that need to be tweeked and yet other things that need to be removed completely. The finger pointing continues - in less than 60 days from now a new CR must be in place before the deadline of 13 December though the current CR runs through 15 January 2014.

BQ: Is there "no" common sense anymore? Has everyone decided to follow "this" party or "that" party blindly?

BQ2: Our history means something to me; what does it mean to you as an American and how can we assist the process in a positive working fashion of the country?

Moderation may be key ~ but emotions (or emoticons) run too wildly with no sense of reason any longer.



To my good friend from the north in Canada I am familiar with this quote of course from one JFK - as most people are; however, he wasn't the first to make this statement (though he had the world stage when he did). I must give credit to Kahlil Gibran "The New Frontier" in which he is quoted as writing: "Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?" and also my personal hero in Sir Churchill who made a statement but not so quite eloquent (1956) and not so much in front of the world audience then made a very familiar statement; Ted Sorenson was a gifted speech writer. Thank you! You are a good friend and the USA is a fractured self centered society ~ in many respects it begins with the Politicians though the citizens need a lesson as well.

I will answer each responder respectfully and individually as these are all great answers. More to come....

Update 2:

eldots ~ terrific answer yet again and I see the 3TD's as people visiting this Q and not liking what you said about either Jackson or Nixon or both. Your knowledge of Jackson and the time frame have been and are an educational tool in this forum. I will beg to differ though on the process of the politics on our nation - you have enough experience to pass a view; though historical judgment of this time frame will not be able to come during our lifetime (I am certain some will read this from me and cringe). Politicians of both parties should be ashamed of the current environment and the current CR. The CR is nothing but a spending authorization with heavy restrictions that have previous FY levels attached (Agencies have to read the fine print) but this is no way to operate a Gov't - a political body that oversees the all aspects of the nation and its citizens. The media for the better part of 40 years or more now have been the "message" they no longer deliver as "m

Update 3:

eldots (2): Yahoo still hasn't repaired the edit feature continue from above.....they no longer are the "messenger". I don't understand the TD's you have here as your answer was spot on and maybe some didn't like what you had to say about Jackson or Nixon or both. To the die hard liberals in Washington DC Nixon is still considered to be the last "liberal" President the USA had ~ many in current day media hype will find this hard to believe in this forum but it is a true account of beliefs politically. Thank you for the great answer.

Update 4:

Will ~ first, it's good seeing you here again. Your answers are always straight up and honest and this one proves no different. You have hit the nail on the head here I believe and all answers provided are decent to form. To maintain a sound health organization in the USA the public must understand the general requirements for health care in the country - the mere requirements for health maintenance (as most people could imagine) requires a heavy cost to the society at large. We have a population of Senior Citizens (over the age 65) in the USA that dwarfs the total population count of many nations in the world alone. The political and media evolution you so eloquently spoke of goes to the human condition of emotion rather than fact as you have also addressed. We have of course admitted the need but have yet to address the cost and the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA aka "Obamacare") has good things in place I admit; things that are needed and yet there are other items I am

Update 5:

Will (2): same problem I had with eldots above in replying to the answer. I will continue here....yet there are other things I am certain that could be addressed at a different time and in a new political forum. I haven't watched television news now for nearly 6 months or so. Thank you for the well written answer.

3 Answers

  • Will
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    Several points...

    The nature of the current situation flows from two distinct yet interconnected sources: Transformation of Political Parties, and the Rise of New Media.

    Political parties used to play a creative and useful function of tying voters to the political process and thereby enhancing commitment to democratic values. Prior to the 1970s they were more pragmatic because they were big tents that were filled with many constituencies , not all of whom wanted the same things (Farmers and Bankers in the Republican Party, for example). Thus the parties had to compromise on policy stances, both internally and between each other. This made American parties unique in the world -- as the world norm is organization on the basis of ideology rather than mobilized but disparate interests.

    But in the 1970s (ref: Buckley v. Valeo 1976), personal campaign spending caps were effectively gutted and we saw the rise of the Political Action Committees (PACs) which took power away from the ameliorating influence of the parties and placed it firmly into the hands of wealthy and influential individuals and groups. With this, the galvanization of American politics around hard ideological lines was all but guaranteed.

    The nature of media also changed radically. When I was a kid there were only three networks, and each one took great pride in their news divisions. At that time, news was considered a "public service." The news divisions were never profit centers. and each was heavily subsidized by the entertainment divisions. Thus, the news divisions, fronted by people like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, etc, reported actual news.

    However, with the advent of CNN we witnessed a growth in news that was All news All the time. The news now had to become a profit center. With the addition of new networks like MSNBC, Fox etc, we now have networks which are required to produce income on their own. So, how do you get profit from news? Viewers. How do you increase viewership? Ahh -- that's the big one...

    You increase viewership NOT by real news augmented by actual analysis -- that's BORING. You get viewers by Infotainment -- a combination of rhetoric, sensationalism, name calling and general fear-mongering. And sad to say it works

    Given that most people don't take the time to do the work necessary to understand complicated issues, they rely increasingly on the "Shouting Heads" in the media, who do not think, but merely rearrange their prejudices.

    Make no mistake, a combination of fear mongering mixed with self righteousness (YOU'RE FINE -- it's THOSE people who're messing things up and who want to destroy YOU) has been demonstrated to be effective. Ask Herr Goebbels.

    The problem isn't political parties, it's the lack of genuine parties which are capable of Big Tent Compromises. The nature of the New Ideologue is merely to "Be Right." And being "right" is more important than anything. Hence, compromise, (on which this country was based, and which has always been its political saving grace) is now a dirty word, a sign of weakness. What was once a necessity is now forbidden; and anyone who knuckles under is branded a "sellout." Just look at what the "Conservative Senate Fund" (another major PAC) has done in branding Mitch McConnell. This isn't about party, it's about ideology, and ideology is NEVER about moderation -- it's about total commitment to "Purity."

    And frankly, it's "Un-American" -- whether from the Left or the Right.

    I wish I could give you a solution, but I can't. The virtue of Self Government (as Madison told us long ago) can only succeed if the people have the desire for it to succeed. But today, increasing numbers of people would rather wreck the whole thing than compromise.

    What was it Gandhi said -- "an eye for an eye making the whole world blind?"

    Sorry, Gerry, but I don't see this getting any better until the people actually care about government more than they care about being "Right."

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  • 7 years ago

    hmmmm, I'm Canadian so wary of even offering an opinion on what Americans do in their own backyard - judging friends is not the act of a friend.

    "BQ2: Our history means something to me"

    Suffice to say the greatest words I've ever heard spoken at the exact right time was "Ask not what this country can do for you, but ask yourselves what you can do for this country"

    The author is obvious to all in the USA undoubtedly, heck if I know it you surely shall.

    Perhaps the time is right to step out of yourselves and take a hard third party un-biased view.

    America's greatest strength isn't just Americans, it's American's united.

    Yeah, from the outside looking in there is a perpetual loop of circling the wagons, political impasse, blame, end result...

    You tell me.

    Cheer my friend, and all my US friends.

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  • 7 years ago

    Your frustration is palpable, totally understandable, and totally shared (at least by this person, who'd like to believe she's a reasonable, thinking American. ..and I feel like an endangered species). I'm going to respond out of order: BQ1: I have long thought that common sense was an oxymoron, as I found it rare enough in childhood. It is now asymptotically approaching zero. BQ2: Our history means a lot to me, but I feel as though I need to learn more about the political process from the beginning so that I can settle my thoughts. I am in a stage of serious questioning and re-examining. I'll have to ask your forbearance on this one; can you wait for a few years and I'll get back to you? Seriously. of the things that I always do when I read history is to look at what I'm reading through a dual lens, to look at it with the perspective of the time, as well as today's perspective. That's why you always see me answering questions on Jackson - because he's so often criticized by people who demonstrate no understanding of the issues and tenor of his time. Not saying one has to love the man, just to avoid seeing him as a cartoon. I need to delve as deeply into our political history as Remini does for Jackson in his trilogy before I feel qualified to speak.

    Now for your main question: I mourn the current media environment. When I was growing up, news columns and programs were to inform. Now there is almost no true news, but there's a surfeit of opinion, with the purpose of those opinions being to inflame. Extremity is the coin of the realm. Thing is, despite all this noise and hysteria, the bulk of the people lie in the middle, no matter what their political affiliation. And we have no apparent voice, because no network wants to air something so bland. I keep thinking about Nixon's Silent Majority - not that I loved Nixon, but even as a youth I realized *he was on to something. *

    I have always disliked political parties. Hate 'em with a purple passion, for at root I feel they're un-American. Even reasonable positions can become lost in the muck that parties peddle to appeal to the base. It's why a man like John McCain, who on his own steam can be a reasonable, fair and wise person, just as he's been the last several weeks. But when he was running for President, the Straight Talk Express became the Political Expediency Express - and I was horrified. I wish I had a solution - a third party of Reasonables, perhaps? Hey, a woman can dream, can't she?

    I wonder if you'd heard the edition of This American Life that aired around Election Day last year, with a political theme. One segment focused on changes that outside candidates and money had made to the New Hampshire state government. I was horrified to hear what was happening to tiny, quirky, polite, fiercely independent NH. Politeness and reason gave way to rudeness, outside control, and raw, ugly power grabs. I believe some kind of campaign finance reform is needed, if only allowed. In the meantime, I fear for our republic.

    Source(s): I'm proud to have answered without using the word "stupid" or "tinfoil hats".... !
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