induction wrote:You mean labels like 'religious zealots' and 'Randian assholes'?
I'm aware of the irony, but I was trying to keep things brief. You can swap those out with "those with strong religious-fundamentalist leanings" and "those who advance lassez-faire as an ethical position and not just means to an end" if you prefer.
induction wrote:In my experience, most people think that their positions are reasoned and concrete, and that those who disagree are misled by emotion. It seems that there are plenty of irrational folks on both the left and the right, and they are equally swayed by generalities. If I had to guess, I'd say that, on average, gut level approaches work better on the left for younger people and better on the right for older people. But I haven't read any studies about it, so who knows.
This is probably true on the national scale. I've spent my whole life in red states so I'm biased by the experience of seeing a lot of reactionary right-wingers and relatively few reactionary left-wingers (reactionary here meaning, they do it because they hate the other guys, not because they have their own firm principles). If I spent more time in blue states you might hear me complaining about how reflexively liberal people are. I'm sure I would've hated dealing with the legendary 60's socialist intelligentsia.
The main study that comes to mind is one that tested people's responses to the content of the Affordable Care Act, compared to their response to the bill as a whole. When the bill was described in detail a majority were in favor, but most people were opposed to "The Affordable Care Act." I can dig it up if you're interested in reading it. And then, of course, there's the fact that people continue to support the Republicans even though so many of the bills they advance contain ludicrously unpopular positions (like denying access to birth control, allowing doctors to lie to patients, cutting services to pay for additional tax cuts to the rich, oil subsidies, and a slew of other things that most conservatives don't support if you ask them about it).
Princess Marzipan wrote:After re-reading my post in light of responses, I realized I left out some of my reasoning. When I claim that identities are an inescapable part of politics, I'm specifically referring to the fact that so much legislation we're seeing has a sole or predominant effect on one of those identities.
The fight against gay marriage is a fight against those with certain sexual orientations, and the fight against abortion and contraception is a fight against women who want the freedom to choose those, for others if not themselves. In those cases, homosexuals and women can't just escape the identity issue, because the issue is about or directly related to their identity. In terms of race, we haven't seen anything 100% explicit, but we have seen Arizona's SB1070 bill which made being Hispanic probable cause for violation of immigration law. Plus, there's all the laws and systems that disproportionately affect non-whites negatively and the accompanying lack of giving-a-shit from legislators whose job is in fact, ostensibly, to give some shits.
A straight white Christian male (not that I know if you're any of those, but your attitude leads to hypothesize that that's least 75% accurate) doesn't feel the negative effects of these policy outcomes very heavily on his own. It gives him a very comfortable position from which he extrapolates outward and assumes "Well, I'm able to look at these issues without getting all worked up over them, why can't everybody else?"
I should probably apologize for not making myself totally clear, too. When I said I avoid identity politics, I didn't mean to say that there aren't groups that are explicitly targeted or disproportionately affected. I'm aware of just how much prejudice there is and what an uphill battle it is for many people. My little brother is gay and pursuing a military career- even a few years ago he would've had to keep his orientation a secret or be thrown out. In most parts of the country there are still huge obstacles to him starting a family and living a good life. So I don't mean to be dismissive of the fact that people are often targeted because of their race or religion or sex or whatever other group they're affiliated with. I mean that, as much as I support the Democrats because I think they have the better policies right now
, I never want to become a reflexive Democrat. Somebody who is deeply and unabashedly biased in how he looks at the political divide in this country. I've had to deal with too many people who are blind to their own party's faults or ignorant of the other party's good qualities. And as a moderate liberal who has to deal with some very conservative people, I spend a lot of time trying to get my ideas across in a diplomatic way, where they can get past people's anti-liberal cognitive defenses and maybe sink in. And in the environment I'm in, going on about "the war against women" isn't something that's going to score me any points or change anyone's mind. Your situation may be very different, I'm just saying that I'm personally ambivalent about it. I'm not trying to dissuade you or anyone else from calling this whatever you want to, that's just my own personal thoughts on the matter.
For the record, I am straight, white and male, and though I'm not christian my extended family is so I do get the social benefits of not being a religious outsider. And I spent 16 years of my life in Arizona and keep up with the politics as best as I can- the place is a constant embarrassment for all of us. Hopefully we can get Carmona elected so he can start turning things around.