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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tired of Sitting on the Wrong Side of the Fan

It is time. Go ahead, say it. At 54 years of age, I speak as an adult observer of 36 years of trends in American society. Certain things have been increasingly accepted without rebuttal. More and more it is accepted that, the louder you speak, the more words you use, and the more dramatic you are, the more truth you speak. Nothing could be further from the truth. In other words, fiction can be turned into fact simply by how urgent you make it sound. Style has won over substance.

Why no rebuttal? Because those people who have a natural talent for language are the ones who stand to gain from this trend. They can play fast and loose with language and still be artful with it. They can be seen as truth tellers simply because of their talent, regardless of those pesky little “facts”, which often just get in the way.

Yes, facts can be used, but only to mix in just a few of them, to make the argument sound completely true. Rebutting this trend may be a losing battle, at this late stage. But it must be done.

For example, respect for George Washington is beginning to erode. Respect for his personality type is already gone. There is no way this man would be elected today. Washington’s personality is widely accepted to be a Myers-Briggs ISTJ type, a man of few words and often silent, yet an insightful listener, discerner, and decision maker. He often used the phrase “Deeds, not words.” We have traded this man in, for a set of blabbering mouthpieces, country wide.

The late 1700’s were a time when pamphlets made great impact. They were short, to the point, and inexpensive. Thomas Paine was arguably the most famous pamphlet writer of the time, influencing the outcome of the American Revolution. But now, you have to be so full of words that a whole book comes out, to be taken seriously. In other words, fluff quite often rules the day in many cases.

I’m calling their bluff. And it is a bluff, if there ever was one.
 

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Oh snap--it has substance; my brain exploded ~ let's move to a thread where we can share funny pictures! I jest I jest.

Bravo, sir. Good post.

This thread could turn into a seriously charged political debate (which might be why so many withheld response), but I feel compelled to share some thoughts. I want to preface this with noting I may have taken a totally different approach on this. So don't feel anything I'm about to say it supposed to mirror image anything you said... unless of course it does. :laughing:

I think the bulk of this problem can be attributed to our political system. A very long time ago one of the branches in Government found out that rooting for the underdog would give them a very large advantage in the long run. It's taken many, many decades to pay off, but I think now with ~50% of American's not paying any federal income tax, they're harvesting their crops.

Without a clear message; without any real substance they must use alternate tactics, you articulated quite well their #1 go-to tactic: overwhelm. Create a war (not literally) that doesn't exist. Smother your opponent. I thought the Government was supposed to have the betterment of the country as a whole in mind? And in relation, I thought the media had a responsibility to produce honest journalism? When did the Dollar start controlling everything we see? I'll tell you: when enough people with enough money got together and realized a monsoon-approach would be their only way to yield results. And by God they got them.

Who do you believe? Who do you turn to? Is there even a "right" anymore? Or is it just a lesser of two evils? And exactly how evil is the lesser evil one? Evil enough to destroy everything we know?
 

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Sadly you are correct - and not just in America. A kerfluffle of verbose verbiage can overwhelm the rational mind until it ends buried in fluff and feel-good nothingness, having crushed all critical and original and commonsense thought out of sheer exhaustion.

That said, I still enjoy V for Vendetta's little speech/rant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

This may be true, unless those of us who are not hypnotized by feelings and words, get to work inventing enough catch-phrases for common sense to again become popular.
 

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MOTM June 2010
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I liked your comments Ranson, but here is the problem as it has always been in at least the USA. We tend to muddle and just plain misstate history, putting past heroes on an ideological pedastal. I truly have a problem with just how distorted our history has been. It was subjective and historically inaccurate in many cases. How long did it take for us to know about Jefferson's affairs? Was anyone really discussing J. Edgar Hoover's sexual preference in the 60's? Would JFK have been re-elected if we had known just how impaired he was daily, due to pain killers?

I remember so many things that at the time seemed quite different than how they are looked upon today. Even Nixon is beginning to look like a great president. History has a way of distorting the facts. The present generations have access to information in real time that we had to wait to hear about as it made history. I applaud them for being skeptical, because so were we. But again, I liked your rant.

This sounds a bit like a rant toward our current political system. Do you truly believe anything has changed from how it was decades ago? The USA is and always will be a sleeping giant where most people are more willing to accept the ills of society, the unfair treatment and the rhetoric of politicians as long as it does not affect them.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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The USA is and always will be a sleeping giant where most people are more willing to accept the ills of society, the unfair treatment and the rhetoric of politicians as long as it does not affect them.
... too much.

It is a case of electing the politicians that we deserve, or politics imitating real life. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and it is us."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your replies. To be sure, Washington, (even with being an ISTJ) had his faults, most notably being a slave owner. But from what I’ve read (His Excellency George Washington by Joseph Ellis, The Real George Washington by Jay Parry & Andrew Allison, George Washington’s Sacred Fire by Peter Lillback, and George Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow) it would be hard to say he would have had the same impact on the American Revolution, without his plantation. His letters show he did wrestle in his mind with the issue. No person can know how things would have turned out otherwise, one way or the other.
I live in the south and do believe there has been much change in American society, much of it positive such as the civil rights movement, yet much negative such as the national debt. (Side note: most people I communicate with outside the south are stunned that Birmingham, Alabama has had all African-American mayors since 1979. On national TV, the most frequently shown videos of Birmingham are still those of the 1960’s). I agree the USA is a sleeping giant but not so sure it always will be sleeping, or will always be a giant. “Citizen Apathy” has exploded and so has the debt, and so has the number of books written about a “coming economic collapse”, from what I’ve seen in the past 36 years since I turned 18 and began taking notice of such things.
The one sleeping part of the population that can see through the BS and do something about it, I believe, is ISTJ’s. I am no great orator. I know this by experience in speech class. But I have been told I can write well, and I suspect many ISTJ’s can also. They key will be not only the number of readers, but “catchiness” of original phrases, that stick in people’s minds. It would be great if some of our words ended up on teleprompters across the land.
 

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MOTM June 2010
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I live in the south and do believe there has been much change in American society, much of it positive such as the civil rights movement, yet much negative such as the national debt. (Side note: most people I communicate with outside the south are stunned that Birmingham, Alabama has had all African-American mayors since 1979. On national TV, the most frequently shown videos of Birmingham are still those of the 1960’s). I agree the USA is a sleeping giant but not so sure it always will be sleeping, or will always be a giant. “Citizen Apathy” has exploded and so has the debt, and so has the number of books written about a “coming economic collapse”, from what I’ve seen in the past 36 years since I turned 18 and began taking notice of such things.

The one sleeping part of the population that can see through the BS and do something about it, I believe, is ISTJ’s. I am no great orator. I know this by experience in speech class. But I have been told I can write well, and I suspect many ISTJ’s can also. They key will be not only the number of readers, but “catchiness” of original phrases, that stick in people’s minds. It would be great if some of our words ended up on teleprompters across the land.
Correct me if I am wrong Ronson, but isn't the whole nation looking at the South right now for not finding a need to investigate the killing of a young black male in Florida just several weeks ago (Trayvon Martin) in Florida?

When I refer to sleeping giant, as it relates to type I am referring to the whole SJ population, SJ industry, SJ way of life. This does not necessarily imply that everyone in this mix is some sort of SJ but we live in a SJ culture that has no problem dismissing things until it actually affects them personally. A good example is the economy. Most would say this occurred the end of 2008-beginning of 2009. I say that most were affected as early as the end of 2006, beginning of 2007. By the time the "sleeping giant" had awoken, we were at critical mass having to same the entire banking industry.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Correct me if I am wrong Ronson, but isn't the whole nation looking at the South right now for not finding a need to investigate the killing of a young black male in Florida just several weeks ago (Trayvon Martin) in Florida?

When I refer to sleeping giant, as it relates to type I am referring to the whole SJ population, SJ industry, SJ way of life. This does not necessarily imply that everyone in this mix is some sort of SJ but we live in a SJ culture that has no problem dismissing things until it actually affects them personally. A good example is the economy. Most would say this occurred the end of 2008-beginning of 2009. I say that most were affected as early as the end of 2006, beginning of 2007. By the time the "sleeping giant" had awoken, we were at critical mass having to save the entire banking industry.
FWIW, I find this to be associated with a broken set of values, exacerbated by a feeling of apathy. I don't see it as an SJ society issue so much, since despite being the most populous group, SJs are still less than a majority.
 

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MOTM June 2010
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FWIW, I find this to be associated with a broken set of values, exacerbated by a feeling of apathy. I don't see it as an SJ society issue so much, since despite being the most populous group, SJs are still less than a majority.
Good point Niss, but that is why I purposely said SJ culture. Whether the demographics indicate a set number (which I am suspect) of SJs, the western culture is based on SJ values.

Keirsey separates how each temperament may view the past, present, future, places in time, etc, but more importantly as indicated by Jung, types that use Si store images and intonations of how things were, but in a very subjective way.
In the introverted attitude sensation is definitely based upon the subjective portion of perception. What is meant by this finds its best illustration in the reproduction of objects in art. When, for instance, several painters undertake to paint one and the same landscape, with a sincere attempt to reproduce it faithfully, each painting will none the less differ from the rest, not merely by virtue of a more or less developed ability, but chiefly because of a different vision; there will even appear in some of the paintings a decided psychic variation, both in general mood and in treatment of color and form.

Such qualities betray a more or less influential co-operation of the subjective factor. The subjective factor of sensation is essentially the same as in the other functions already spoken of. It is an unconscious disposition, which alters [p. 499] the sense-perception at its very source, thus depriving it of the character of a purely objective influence. In this case, sensation is related primarily to the subject, and only secondarily to the object.
That is how we (as a country) prefer to remember the past as though it was something special when in truth, there were many things that were very dark about our past.

I am reminded of George Santayana's famous quote, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. I say those who never objectively viewed history accurately are just as doomed to continue repeating it. But again Ronson's points are well taken, I am just noticing in typical fashion how long it has taken (if most SJ types are now awakening to the mess of this country) the "sleeping giant" to awake to realize how bad things have been for a long time.
 

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I am reminded of George Santayana's famous quote, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. I say those who never objectively viewed history accurately are just as doomed to continue repeating it. But again Ronson's points are well taken, I am just noticing in typical fashion how long it has taken (if most SJ types are now awakening to the mess of this country) the "sleeping giant" to awake to realize how bad things have been for a long time.
In regards to this, I doubt that how the past is viewed is as much an SJ (or particularly Si) bias to society, as it is representative of a shift in the culture. Coming out of the Victorian era, where much of these types of issues and blemishes in character were simply not publicly discussed, until now we find ourselves in a culture that seemingly at times, wears these issues in the open as some type of badge of honor. IOW, this is a reflection of societal values and conduct.
 

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In regards to this, I doubt that how the past is viewed is as much an SJ (or particularly Si) bias to society, as it is representative of a shift in the culture. Coming out of the Victorian era, where much of these types of issues and blemishes in character were simply not publicly discussed, until now we find ourselves in a culture that seemingly at times, wears these issues in the open as some type of badge of honor. IOW, this is a reflection of societal values and conduct.
Not a bias, just how Si perceives. It’s subjective and things that don’t affect the perceptions of Si and Ni, or the principles of Ti and values of Fi are considered not to have occurred until something makes us see things in reality and objectively, not as how we perceive them subjectively.

I think we may be also getting hung up on how this relates to SJ types instead of appreciating that temperament can also be considered as a theme. I have a post somewhere on the forum where I wrote about varied institutions being subject to different temperament themes such as banking, law enforcement, etc. under the SJ theme, academia and entrepreneurship falls under the NT theme, outdoors activity is generally the theme of SPs, and non-profit industries will fall under NF themes.

This does not mean that ISJs and ESJs are at fault for the state of our world. It means that we have chosen not to change with the times, preferring to live in the past and attempting to apply SJ themes to what may take NF is obsolete. I will give the best example as Thomas Jefferson writing that the Constitution should not be an ideology etched in stone, but should be a living document that changes as generations change. The SJ culture we live in has prevented this from occurring. We simply attempt to refer to the “good ole days”, which in reality were not so good and is a perfect example of Einstein’s definition of insanity by continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. The values and conduct of our society are based on as you said Victorian (some may say Puritan) culture. We outgrew those values at the inception of this nation. We outgrew the values of the industrial age 30 years ago.
 

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MOTM May 2011
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Not a bias, just how Si perceives. It’s subjective and things that don’t affect the perceptions of Si and Ni, or the principles of Ti and values of Fi are considered not to have occurred until something makes us see things in reality and objectively, not as how we perceive them subjectively.

I think we may be also getting hung up on how this relates to SJ types instead of appreciating that temperament can also be considered as a theme. I have a post somewhere on the forum where I wrote about varied institutions being subject to different temperament themes such as banking, law enforcement, etc. under the SJ theme, academia and entrepreneurship falls under the NT theme, outdoors activity is generally the theme of SPs, and non-profit industries will fall under NF themes.

This does not mean that ISJs and ESJs are at fault for the state of our world. It means that we have chosen not to change with the times, preferring to live in the past and attempting to apply SJ themes to what may take NF is obsolete. I will give the best example as Thomas Jefferson writing that the Constitution should not be an ideology etched in stone, but should be a living document that changes as generations change. The SJ culture we live in has prevented this from occurring. We simply attempt to refer to the “good ole days”, which in reality were not so good and is a perfect example of Einstein’s definition of insanity by continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. The values and conduct of our society are based on as you said Victorian (some may say Puritan) culture. We outgrew those values at the inception of this nation. We outgrew the values of the industrial age 30 years ago.
This is probably where we differ politically and in our world view, in that I don't think that you outgrow values. I see a culture that is self-centered, apathetic, and which considers itself progressive while actually just being destructive, tearing down fences which they did not build, not asking or caring why the fences were erected in the first place, failing to understand that a fence is not only used to keep things in, but also to keep things out.

For any capitalistic society to operate, it is required that the people - and especially those in positions of leadership - strongly adhere to moral principles that protect the individuals in the society as well as the society itself. Instead, we have a society that is focused primarily on looking out for themselves at the expense of anyone that gets in their way.

I am not naive about "the good ol' days." There were many issues that were covered up or not dealt with appropriately. However, I suspect that my generation and my father's generation were so intent on giving our children what we did not have given to us, that we have failed to give them what was handed down to us.
 

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“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)
I look upon the above as a description of the rise of the welfare state, coupled with a breakdown in personal morality and of the concept of the family unit, followed by eventual implosion. The following opinions are going to sound very sexist: it's from observation here in NZ, I cannot speak for other countries.

We have the current institution of "welfare mothers". When certain segments of society have a financial incentive to have multiple children and no husband, they will have kids. The nominal "husband" is typically a live-in boyfriend of the moment. (I know, not all women are like this! Only certain types will follow this path.)

Said children don't have great role-models while growing up (deadbeat mothers and fathers). This often results in higher crime. (I'm tempted to say self-perpetuating, yet at least it's a trend.)

People with different standards (generally the more hard-working types) look at this, shake their heads, and move elsewhere. With them goes a large chunk of money which would otherwise have gone into the local community. Things start going downhill faster.

The government raises taxes so that they can pay these deadbeat types. People with money restructure their affairs to shield themselves, or move out of the country(!) - lower tax revenues, more wealth gone: from the wider community this time.

The higher taxes make things more difficult. There is less incentive to earn (if I decide that I want to earn more money, then slightly over 50% of anything extra over the current goes in taxes and levies). It is also difficult to set up new business, which makes less jobs available in the community for people to earn a living from.

Eventually you end up with fraud and capital flight coupled with a collapse of government. Your social structure implodes, violence due to desperation, etc etc. A nasty macro-trend for smaller countries (that we've seen overseas, cf the book Secret Money). Remember though: in the end, nothing is too big to fail.

That said, the NZ government has made a recent change in an attempt to stop this cycle. Welfare for mothers with one child only (that could be an honest mistake) and nothing for those who have more than one child (a trend that they want to nip in the bud).

I personally think that the effect will not be what they hope. What I think will happen is a declining birthrate instead, below sustainability for the country, coupled with a rise in immigration to keep the numbers up. We'll be importing people from overseas to keep ourselves going, and then bitching about the watering-down of our culture. It's going to be an interesting next couple of generations.

Personal thoughts for a solution: knock off as many forms of welfare as possible. Then you don't need to tax so heavily, because the taxes are only needed for actual basic infrastructure. Then people will be inclined to work more, and start more businesses, and build their homes and communities up. The concept of welfare mothers will die away due to lack of support.

*shrug* Just my 2cents, doubt it'll happen. Too much "what's in it for me?" in people's heads, they'll keep voting themselves more largesse from the government.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If the whole nation is looking at the south right now for not finding a need to investigate George Zimmerman, then the whole nation would be prejudiced (see statemaster.com/graph/cri_hat_cri_rac_rel-crime-hate-crimes-race-related). The Sanford, Florida police chief stepped down because he was gravely mistaken, and we have seen and heard of many police officers being removed from duty in many areas of the country, not primarily the south.

As far as being in an SJ culture that has no problem dismissing things until it actually affects them personally, I would have to respectfully disagree that SJ’s tend to engage in big-picture denial. Quote from Isachsen & Berens “Working Together”: SJ’s “can be found to give warnings when someone or something is going off course or varying too much from the prescribed norm”. I don’t know if we had an SJ culture in the past, but it has now gone too far in the impulsive direction, hence the debt.

I don’t believe one personality type is better than the other. But we do have differing talents. A balance is what is needed. With regard to “a broken set of values” as Niss mentioned, I would have to point to the other end of the Zimmerman scale: Carle C. Zimmerman, and his 1947 magnum opus “Family and Civilization” which is now in re-print. This book has predicted, decades in advance, many things that have come to pass in America.
 

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MOTM June 2010
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Excellent discussion folks, full of political views which I really did not want to go into on this forum. Notwithstanding, as a typical ISTP, my political compass is not on the right or left, but Centrist. I see an equal tearing down of this nation by both the conservative and the liberal sides.

@niss your comment that, "There were many issues that were covered up or not dealt with appropriately" seems to imply past tense. There remain many issues that are covered up and not dealt with, namely the death of a kid for merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing a hoody and the "good ole boy" network is alive and well. Ask any female who continues to be limited by the glass ceiling.

@Yardiff Brey you said, "I look upon the above as a description of the rise of the welfare state, coupled with a breakdown in personal morality and of the concept of the family unit, followed by eventual implosion". Really? We frown upon the poor receiving government subsidies, but never question the multi-million dollar farmers who have been receiving government assistance for decades or corporations that never paid taxes? Seems quite one-sided and hypocritical.

Were you aware of the many large companies that receive billions in subsidies each year? I don't think there were very many AFDC recipients receiving bailout money in 2009. And by the way what many refer to as "welfare" is officially called "Aide to Families with Dependent Children". What a moral conundrum created when on one hand, social conservatives fight vehemently for anti-abortion, while in the same breat their economic conservative view is you should not receive AFDC. Don't you think you're creating the dilemma?

@ronson, we know the Chief of Police stepped down only after receiving a vote of no-confidence, which did not occur for almost a month after the boy's death and until the rest of the nation made it known. So let's not pretend that Sanford was going to do anything about the matter before this week. But I am in no way making this about a particular region of the country. It has always been prevalent and worldwide, not just excluded to the south. I merely pointed that particular incident out since it is currently in the public's eye and a constant reminder of the past that some want to fondly want to remember was laced with such matters.

Again I am a Centrist, so I have no issue with the conservative view any more than I have an issue with the liberal view. I don't condemn anti-abortion while at the same time appreciating it's only the potential mother's concerns as to whether she can honestly take care of bringing a child into this world. For those who say the female should remain abstinent, I say mind your own damn business. It's her choice which in my opinion what pro-choice is all about. It's not about being for abortion, but saying it's the decision of the individual. For those who find a need to get into that person's business, I say get your own affairs in order first and remember, "Those without sin, cast the first stone".
 

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@Functianalyst - of course, there is a great amount of subsidies and hypocritical stuff everywhere. Countries which have drastically reduced company tax rates, allowing multinational's to claim lesser taxes there through overseas sheltering and transferring of income (capital flight). Technically, the governments which allow this sort of thing to occur with companies that started in their jurisdiction - or even making money in their jurisdiction - have fallen down on the job and allowed the wealth of their country to vacate the premises.

I simply addressed things from the view of the OP, who was commenting upon voters constantly voting themselves money from the public purse. Which has been taxed (effectively stolen) from those who work and do pay their taxes, believing that such taxes should be paid etc for the good of the country as a whole. The result in my view is a moral decay alongside the destruction of the society.

When you look at it, companies who pay lobbyists are having their own form of voting also. One which is in the form of voting for largesse as exemptions from paying taxes. The result is a loss of wealth, contributing to the destruction of the society. Everything is incredibly interconnected.

Everyone has a finger in the pie in the form of various special interests. And my pathetic little analysis is exceptionally summarized, you could fill a shelf with the books required to detail more than 0.001% of what actually goes on in a single country in regards to this kind of thing.
 

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@Yardiff Bay: Exactly... it's everyone. I have no dog in this fight and I agree with Ronson, but I want to make it clear that any pretentiousness that what is accepted now is worse than what was accepted, fifty, one hundred or the inception of nationhood is different or worse, goes back to Si subjectivity. We should not pretend the increasing acceptance without rebuttal is worse now than it was when accepted the rounding up of this country’s indigenous people and putting them on reservations or kidnapped and enslaved a whole race of people and brought them over to America to build this country.

It only has become shameful because we grew to realize just how unacceptable it was. Do you not think we will see how bad gay bashing is, once it becomes a violation of law? I agree with a lot of what Ronson says, but let’s not pretend anything is different. It has just been repackaged. Fiction has always, and will always be turned to fact.

@niss: As I said, we like to keep those images that make us uncomfortable at arms length. Somewhere down the road like slavery, this country will pretend these matters were never that big a problem or just completely deny they occurred like some claim now the holocaust never happened. This is SJ-ness and Si-ness at its best. Whether we feel comfortable or uncomfortable discussing such matters, they exists and there is nothing wrong with having an opinion, as long as one’s opinion does not impede on another’s freedom of choice.
 

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@Functianalyst - I think that you have misunderstood my reluctance to carry the discussion further. It has nothing to do with keeping things at an arms length or anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. I am reluctant to enter a discussion on the topics because I have strongly held positions which are contradictory to yours, which would potentially cause the discussion to become a debate and then devolve into an argument. Since so many political positions are influenced by values and our world view, which are subjective in nature, I can't see a good outcome to a pointless argument.

I consider you and I to be on friendly terms and I would like to keep it that way. Therefore I am backing away from a topic that will only result in a heated exchange about a topic for which this site was not intended.
 
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