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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:45 AM

 

Question for the older generation....

Have American politics always been this nasty and mean-spirited? Or is this nastiness a relatively recent thing?


I've read the view of some who say yes, it's recent, and have heard others insist, no, it's always been this way.


By the way, I would prefer for this thread not to devolve into "It's the fault of Republicans/conservatives/Fox News/corporations/Tea Party/racists, etc." We have plenty of those threads already, and that's not my point. Plus, I've seen instances of liberals being hateful and mean-spirited, too. The point of this thread is, has it always been this way, or not?

108 replies, 5278 views

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Arrow 108 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question for the older generation.... (Original post)
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 OP
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #1
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #5
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #11
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #13
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #16
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #2
elehhhhna Feb 2013 #3
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #6
eilen Feb 2013 #4
Progressive dog Feb 2013 #7
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #8
Laelth Feb 2013 #10
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #17
baldguy Feb 2013 #34
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #41
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #85
Cooley Hurd Feb 2013 #91
life long demo Feb 2013 #62
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #86
marybourg Feb 2013 #9
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #12
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #63
hootinholler Feb 2013 #14
RC Feb 2013 #52
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #104
hootinholler Feb 2013 #105
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #106
Flashmann Feb 2013 #15
Brewinblue Feb 2013 #18
Oilwellian Feb 2013 #19
IDemo Feb 2013 #22
OnionPatch Feb 2013 #40
IDemo Feb 2013 #20
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2013 #21
dmosh42 Feb 2013 #23
Purplehazed Feb 2013 #24
Frustratedlady Feb 2013 #25
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #89
Zoeisright Feb 2013 #26
nolabear Feb 2013 #31
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2013 #42
FSogol Feb 2013 #27
ananda Feb 2013 #28
CanSocDem Feb 2013 #44
love_katz Feb 2013 #102
Paladin Feb 2013 #29
OregonBlue Feb 2013 #30
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #39
Overseas Feb 2013 #32
oldhippie Feb 2013 #33
Dyedinthewoolliberal Feb 2013 #35
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #36
cbrer Feb 2013 #37
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #38
Dan Feb 2013 #43
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #45
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #75
OldHippieChick Feb 2013 #46
graham4anything Feb 2013 #47
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #87
graham4anything Feb 2013 #88
graham4anything Feb 2013 #48
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #49
Igel Feb 2013 #50
aristocles Feb 2013 #51
Auntie Bush Feb 2013 #69
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #96
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #53
Moonwalk Feb 2013 #54
SheilaT Feb 2013 #55
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #65
SheilaT Feb 2013 #71
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #73
graham4anything Feb 2013 #103
bemildred Feb 2013 #56
s-cubed Feb 2013 #57
RebelOne Feb 2013 #67
bananas Feb 2013 #72
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #58
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #90
uppityperson Feb 2013 #59
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #93
uppityperson Feb 2013 #97
life long demo Feb 2013 #60
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #61
lumpy Feb 2013 #64
lunatica Feb 2013 #66
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #68
nruthie Feb 2013 #70
Are_grits_groceries Feb 2013 #74
Warpy Feb 2013 #76
La Lioness Priyanka Feb 2013 #77
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #94
world wide wally Feb 2013 #78
HooptieWagon Feb 2013 #79
Revanchist Feb 2013 #80
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #81
WCGreen Feb 2013 #82
mainstreetonce Feb 2013 #83
dem in texas Feb 2013 #84
Bigmack Feb 2013 #92
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #95
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #98
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #99
LeftishBrit Feb 2013 #100
Berlum Feb 2013 #101
LWolf Feb 2013 #107
L0oniX Feb 2013 #108

Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:48 AM

1. not in my lifetime

My memory goes back as far as Nixon. And I remember the 1972 election and it was nothing like this.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:53 AM

5. Do you not remember 1968?!? BOBBY WAS ASSASSINATED! And in '72 WALLACE WAS SHOT!

MLK was assassinated in 1968! The violence at the Democratic Convention was OFFICIALLY determined to be a police riot!

In 1972 Sen. Eagleton was excoriated and then dropped from the McGovern ticket for having been treated for depression.

Your memory sure wears rose-colored glasses.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:20 AM

11. I don't, unfortunately. You're talking about politics, though, and I think the OP was asking about..

...government. Politics is always a messy biz, but government shouldn't be. That's where modern Republicans have crossed line after line. Government isn't about what's best for everyone anymore because of it.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:23 AM

13. Actually, I was referring to politics. n/t

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:28 AM

16. Oh. I thought you meant how government is operating...

My bad.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:49 AM

2. Do a google of the 1956 republican platform

and you may get a sense of how far politics have shifted


Follow the Money ............. answers many questions

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:50 AM

3. No. Shit got crazy when they went after Clinton, imo

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:53 AM

6. You must be younger than 35.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:50 AM

4. Like everything, it cycles. nt

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:00 AM

7. The fringes have become the norms

Nixon, Goldwater, Johnson began to bring the nastiness mainstream.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:01 AM

8. Hamilton and Burr had a deadly DUEL, fergawdsake. And does no-one recall these Dallas flyers?



Sec. of War Stanton spoke of the "painful imbecility" of Lincoln.

"Have American politics always been this nasty and mean-spirited?"

That would be an unqualified "Yes." Followed immediately by an unqualified "DUH."

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:19 AM

10. +1. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:31 AM

17. Well, in fairness, there was this flyer:

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:19 AM

34. Kennedy never allowed thousands of American civilians to be killed

And though you might argue that our involvement in Vietnam was unwise, he never started an illegal war based on nothing but lies.

And W didn't leave office with a new hole in his head.

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Response to baldguy (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:44 AM

41. Not disputing the myriad of differences between 44 and 43....

...but rhetoric can be heated on both sides.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:45 PM

85. There's a mortal difference between the JFK one and this joke.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #85)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:00 PM

91. Yes, but the methods of supposed "exposure" are the same.

Uncomfortable truth, but in fairness, I compared the two back when...

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:16 PM

62. WOW, I don't remember that.

I know there was a lot of rancor because Kennedy was Catholic.

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Response to life long demo (Reply #62)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:51 PM

86. BESIDES this, JFK was warned off Dallas because Adlai AND LADY BIRD were SPAT UPON there.

https://manwiththemuckrake.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/october-25-1963-anti-kennedy-wanted-for-treason-pamphlets-in-dallas/

Adlai Stevenson in Dallas: http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/jfk-2011-11/index1.html

"...the torrid atmosphere of political rage in Dallas, where both Lady Bird Johnson and Adlai Stevenson had been spat upon by mobs of demonstrators in notorious incidents before Kennedy’s fateful 1963 trip. As the time-traveling Epping gets settled in that past, he describes an inferno of seething citizens, anti-Semitic graffiti on Jewish storefronts, and angry billboards demanding the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and equating racial integration with communism."

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:14 AM

9. FDR was called "Mr Rosenfelt"

And don't even want to think about the abuse Eleanor was subjected to.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:22 AM

12. As the others above have suggested...

there have been changes in tone, but not in spirit.

I was born when Eisenhower was still in office, just for perspective.

One thing that has changed is the fact that fewer Senators and House members keep homes in the DC area. When I lived in the area in the 60's and 70's, it was common for members of Congress to live in Bethesda or Georgetown or even out in Gaithersburg, in an area known as Washington Grove.

Living there most of the year meant they knew each other better and were closer friends, even though they might be political adversaries.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:16 PM

63. Interesting

I never thought of that. Train travel took a long time, and it was not practical to go back to the home district as often as one can today.

The most interesting phenomenon in the human experience has been the law of unintended consequences. Flying was thought to be a universal boon, but clearly, it has contributed at least just a little bit to the lack of civility in Congress.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:25 AM

14. "instances of liberals being hateful and mean-spirited, too."

Um really? Please provide a reference of this.

Seriously. Now.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:04 PM

52. He's confusing today's Democrats with Liberals.

 

Most likely he means the 3rd Way and Republican-turned-Democrat, because the Democratic Party has moved so far to the Right.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #104)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:27 PM

105. Really? Had to go back to 2004 to find one?

Plus how do you know the patrons are liberal, even though that really wasn't mean spirited.

The humanity!

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #105)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 01:45 PM

106. Disagree. I think it was mean-spirited.

 

Imagine if a restaurant in an area known to be largely conservative had turned away the children of a prominent Democrat family and said they were full for the next four years, and the patrons had cheered.


I'm pretty sure you'd classify it as "mean spirited."

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:27 AM

15. Have American politics always been this nasty and mean-spirited?

I've been around since 1953,if that qualifies me as older generation...

I think the nastiness has always been there..In this age of 24/7 cable opinion/news,talk radio and,of course the internet,it's just so much more visible now....Though it does seem that same nastiness has filtered down to the "street level" Joe Sixpack folks,much more...

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:33 AM

18. Today . . .

Goldwater would be a Blue Dog, at worst. He feared and detested the Christian Right as much as anyone on here. And he was our great Right Wing Bogeyman up until Reagan in 1976. And hell, even Reagan now looks like a Blue Dog

Nuff said!

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:37 AM

19. It's usually a good idea not to dictate what we can and can't say

in response to your questions. Pointing out the fact that republicans have gone bat shit insane over the past several years, and are the source of "nasty" in American politics, is not devolving, it's merely exposing the reality we face today. I'm not sure what the point of your question is if we can't discuss why republicans are now incapable of governing this country.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #19)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:48 AM

22. Seconded

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Response to IDemo (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:44 AM

40. Yes. It's kind of hard to talk about it

without bringing up the media. IMO, there was never this much hatred between the sides before we had blatantly biased national "news" networks (of whom I will not name) and foaming-at-the-mouth, rightwing hysteria on every other radio station. It doesn't seem like that kind of blatant extremism had a place in the mainstream media until recently. (I'm 53.)

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:41 AM

20. No (55 here)

I've been politically aware since Watergate made me the only liberal in an extended family of religious conservatives. The rhetoric and policy maneuvering during the 70's to early 90's might have been good for a forehead slap or two, but since Newt and Rush and the rest gained control of the microphones it's become the standard for the Right to first and foremost invoke outrage among Democrats. The level of discourse among both the 'leadership' and their puzzlingly incurious flock has frankly descended into junior high cafeteria food fighting.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:43 AM

21. From politicaldictionary.com:

"politics ain’t beanbag"

A response to politicians who complain about the rough and tumble of the campaign trail, below-the-belt shots from their opponents or unfair treatment from the media.

It was first uttered by Mr. Dooley, an Irish-American character created by writer Finley Peter Dunne in an 1895 newspaper column. The full quote: “Sure, politics ain’t bean-bag. ‘Tis a man’s game, an’ women, childer, cripples an’ prohybitionists ‘d do well to keep out iv it.”


So it's been going on a long time. Still, I have to say I've never seen any bunch of politicians dig their feet in like today's rethuglicans. And the thing is that much of this nastiness used to be confined to the campaigns, not to the day to day business of governing.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:48 AM

23. These are the most polarized and mean-spitited times ever, and I was born in 1942.

In the 50s and 60s there was always bills being passed on a bipartisan basis. But once the corporations realized how they can manipulate the gov't, and 'rig' the system, it became as it is today. The record on filibusters and the number of times tells the story of how our leaders are mostly all crooks and follow the money.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:31 AM

24. The nastiness quotient has increased.

Or at least social media makes it more visible. Look at the level of name calling in almost any topic here.

What certainly has changed is the ability to compromise. Elected folks seem to represent their parties fist and the electorate second. To move the nation forward there has to be some give and take. Endless stalemates do nothing.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:33 AM

25. It's always been crazy, but since the Tea Party, it seems to have

become much nastier and dangerous. I believe much of it comes back to racism and a black in the White House. With the social media so instant, the hate is able to spread much faster. Before, it was thru editorials or the 5:00 news.

Hopefully, the "good" will eventually replace the "hate" and we can get on with what's good for America. Fat chance, I know, but one can only hope.

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Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:55 PM

89. Please re-read my Post #5. I'd like to know how the present is more "dangerous" than 1968.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:37 AM

26. Please give examples of liberals being

"hateful and mean-spirited".

Because you can't come up with them.

And to answer your question, repukes have always been nasty and cruel. Fux Noise gave them an outlet to spew their hate.

Finally, it IS the fault of repukes/teabaggers, etc. Just because you don't want to hear it doesn't mean it's not true. Those assholes are vile, racist, cruel, selfish, mean, deliberately ignorant, and backward.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:13 AM

31. Try being a Southerner on DU.

It can get mighty trying.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:38 AM

27. BULLSHIT: "Plus, I've seen instances of liberals being hateful and mean-spirited, too."

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:43 AM

28. It was just as nasty in previous years.

I grew my political wings in Dallas in the sixties, during the Civil Rights, fluoride, and Medicare era, and talk about hate and craziness ... it was mean, ugly, hot and intense. But there were also beautiful, inspiring moments because of the Kennedy's and LBJ and a few others. Jane Fonda was on the stage working to end the Vietnam War, and the music was fantastic!

Dallas was like a cauldron simmering and seething with a mixture of the whole mess. It was horrible and wonderful at the same time... you know, the best of times and the worst of times. Gotta love that Dickens for sure!

I remember General Walker, the crazy loon, with his confederate uniform and pistols, standing in his doorway yelling and shooting. Also, the John Birch Society was in its prime there. When I was in eighth grade, I had to debate a position against the United Nations, and my mother was no help because she was a diehard liberal and loved the UN, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Adlai Stevenson. So she took me to the John Bircher mother of one of my brother's classmates who had lots of brochures and pamphlets against the UN; and get this, even though we were for the UN, my partner and I won the debate. Too weird. The pastor of my parish was also a John Bircher, and every week in the bulletin a whole page was devoted to "J Edgar Hoover Says," and that pastor was a mean, crazy loon too.

Then there was the time during the primaries when LBJ and Ladybird were in a parade in downtown Dallas and people were yelling at them, throwing stuff, and spitting on them.. because of Civil Rights.

And don't forget, all the bigotry and hate in other states too. Steinbeck described it tellingly on one of his trips (I'm thinking America and Americans, but it might have been Travels with Charley). His accurate portrayal of the Louisiana and Mississippi "Cheerleaders" was so amazing, disturbing, and effective. Plus in the late fifties I believe, there was Edward R Murrow's "Harvest of Shame," a fine segue on The Grapes of Wrath.

Do we even have journalists and broadcasters like that any more?

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Response to ananda (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:05 PM

44. The 'good ol' days' eh....



...when the lines were clearly drawn. Political activists were, in my experience, quite rare. Occasionally I'd come across them hitchhiking through the USA. The "far-rightists" would usually start slow and it would sometimes take hours before they started the kind of inflamed rhetoric that is the starting point today.

A like-minded stranger who shared common social values over a cup of coffee might lean in and whisper "I think I'm a communist...!!"

When I stumbled into Haight Asbury in June 1967, all of that changed. We were all 'communists' and unafraid to say so. And through the early 70's many social myths were challenged and defeated. There was an impetus for social revolution that was stymied by the industrial ruling class that is still saying after all these years, to an ever more compliant audience, "We can give you a better life than these pot smoking hippies".

The Social Revolution just needs better marketing.

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:00 AM

102. + 1,000,000,000,000

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:54 AM

29. It's Been Ugly, Before. But Now It's Organized And Applied, To A Whole Other Depth.


Sure, there have been nasty incidents and movements in the past, and God help us, there have been way too many political assassinations. But the present-day, organized toxicity of the right wing in this country---and the required response from what remains of the left---is the worst I've ever witnessed in my 62 years. There isn't even an effort made to disguise it, anymore. I'm scared to death of what may have to happen to bring us out of this tailspin.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:10 AM

30. I don't think it's any worse than it was in the past, the difference is 24 hour news and hate radio.

When they got rid of the "fairness doctrine" everything changed. Now the media feels free to lie with impunity. For those that think it's worse, remember the 60's. Remember they assassinated John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. And yes, that was all about politics. Remember the John Birch Society and the KKK.

I'm 63. I remember lots of horrible stuff. It just didn't get the coverage it does now. We used to have to actually read newspapers and talk with friends to get our news. ABC, CBS, NBC was where we got our nightly dose of news and that for only 1/2 an hour at a time and networks were required to present each side as fairly as possible.

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:31 AM

39. Certainly a significant factor, but the never-ending election cycle effects what

 

is being done more than the news, I think. Money has thoroughly halted the process of governing.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:17 AM

32. Sorry, but the decades-long right wing propaganda campaign and media changes are a big part

of the dysfunction we see today. Yes, you can find scurrilous comments by one party or candidate against another throughout US history, but the most important change has been the determined campaign by corporations and right wing billionaires to push our government to the right, using media, PR and political influence (campaign contributions).

Yes it would be comforting to think it has always been this way; nothing to see here; move along.

But that's not true.

Check out the Powell memo and think about what has happened since it was issued in 1971: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/powell_memo_lewis/

For a great analysis of how deliberate the changes to US media have been, Eric Alterman's book "What Liberal Media?" is definitely worth reading. Here's an article based on it: http://www.thenation.com/article/what-liberal-media

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:17 AM

33. Would a duel to the death be considered nasty and mean spirited?

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:20 AM

35. Always

you can google it and find numerous examples going all the way back to Thomas Jefferson's day.
By the way, a true Liberal cannot be hateful and mean spirited. If they were they'd be Conservative That's an oxymoron!

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:20 AM

36. Yes, it's always been this way. Read some history. nt.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:26 AM

37. Politics has always been a dirty business

 

But what seems to have changed to me is the blatant blending of big business and political leadership. And the attendant policies to favor big business. They don't even care who sees it or gets screwed by it. It also seems to me that both parties enact policies favoring big business.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:28 AM

38. It has always been nasty, but election season used to end.

 

There are newspapers and political posters from the 19th century that are shocking by today's standards and candidates did and said absolutely appalling things to and about each other. But then, most of them would go to work and get something done until the next primary season.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:03 PM

43. how would you define "older"?

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Response to Dan (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:07 PM

45. People who can recall how US politics used to be before, say, 1980 or 1990. N/t.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:21 PM

75. Based on the watered down version of US History taught is schools these days....

...it's no wonder you know nothing about the subject.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:08 PM

46. Though it is tempting to say

things have gotten nastier, this discussion is not complete w/out remembering the McCarthy era and blacklisting. That was particularly nasty - and frankly more hateful. The VietNam era was also very ugly and certainly made its way into the street. Going to a protest and staring at the receiving end of a sawed-off shotgun makes today's disagreements seem almost genteel.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:17 PM

47. Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton for starters.

 

Two of the founding fathers had a duel and one killed the other.
Politics is by definition a nasty sport.

However, we have not had the obstructionism the republicanlibertarianteaparty have done.
That is unheard of.

Like it or not, politics in the US also has always been bipartisian and behind closed doors.

Now the 24/7/365 media does not allow compromise.

Get rid of the media and things would be better.

Transparency is what broke it and it sucks.

As for democratic fracture 1968, 1980,2000,2004 all should have been won.
(winning=getting seated).
1968 btw, liberals ate their own, when they tossed the biggest liberal ever President into the river over and insured Nixon would win. (BTW, HHH would have been the nominee most likely even if Bobby didn't die, but had LBJ stayed in the race, Bobby could be alive today).

And look at 1960 for when dirty tricks and stolen elections led to who knows which actually won the race. It is all sides when it comes to dirty

A winner does what a loser won't- that is get seated.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:53 PM

87. See Post #8 ;-)

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #87)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:55 PM

88. Yup!

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM

48. It would btw, be interesting to know the round number age wise of posters

 

18-30
31-42
43-54
over 54

because perspective is different depending on what age one is in.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:17 PM

49. "Getting into politics is like stepping in dogshit." From The Motorcycle Diaries.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:34 PM

50. Poor question gets poor answers.

Have the worst utterances been as bad as they are now?

Sure. At times.


Has it been as widespread among the fervent supporters of a party as it is now?

Sure. At times.


Has it been as widespread in the media?

Even to that, sure. Individual publishers have used the media as their mouthpieces at times.


However, has it been as widespread among politicians interactions with each other?

Rarely. Now politicians are on the record all they time, and they have to play to their fervent supporters. Now to interact with an opponent as would have been the standard 50 years ago is to be branded a traitor, to be outed, and to be pilloried by the true believers.


Has it been as widespread in society as it is now?

Rarely. Consumers of public media were rarer in the past. Now we are logged in 24/7 to our own private channels. Public media doesn't play to the public. It plays to a hundred of different sub-publics, and each little group is self-reinforcing.


Is it as accepted in common discourse as it is now, occupying as much time as it does now?

Rarely. So you get far more over-the-top utterances than before. Moments of disrespect are now routine lifestyles.


Has it ever been as hypocritical as it is now?

Probably not. We've routinized the hypocritical. Instead of recognizing cat calling as hyperbole we take it as Gospel truth. We can't accept--and that's neither "we" (D), (R), liberals, conservtives, libertarians, etc., etc.--that our side says anything non-factual or hypocritical or that the other side(s) could possibly say anything factually true or not hypocritical.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:48 PM

51. I'm 64

 

It's always been nasty, brutish, and vile.

The nature of democracy.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #51)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:39 PM

69. Lucky you...one more year and you can get SS!

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Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #69)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:14 PM

96. Can get it at 62.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:11 PM

53. It was pretty bad back in the late '60s

The Vietnam War and civil rights unrest, tanks in Detroit, etc. it was pretty bad back then.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:12 PM

54. There have been nasty times--McCarthy Era, for example, and long before the Burr/Hamilton duel...

...there were stories to politicians getting into bare-knuckle brawls. Those bewigged gentlemen were astonishingly nasty, physically striking each other on the floor of congress and spreading the worst sort of gossip during campaigns. And there's a particularly nasty story that happened a few years before the Civil War of an abolitionist congressman who was attacked by a pro-slavery congressman; after all the other congressmen had left, he snuck up on the abolitionist and stuck him with a silver cane, beat him so bad the cane broke. He left the poor man hospitalized and with PTSD (obviously, the man didn't know he had that, but he did)--so terrible he couldn't go back to serving in office. And then this pro-slavery congressman went back and crowed about what he'd done and was hailed as a hero by his constituents.

Come to that, pre-20th century politics was pretty brutal. We're talking mobs who would beat, tar-and-feather, even lynch those of opposing political parties. Pro-British fractions were beaten, whipped, burned out of homes during revolutionary times. And abolitionists suffered the same before the civil war. And laws kept voters from voting--legally or otherwise. Our current politics may be nasty, but we're astonishingly civilized by compare.

I think, as said by others, what makes politics now seem so very nasty is the complicity of the right-wing media and pundits and, yes, the internet, where cyber-bullies are able to say what they like with no fear of any consequences. Through the 60's and 70' and 80's and even 90's there were consequences for nastiness; voters and the media would say, "How rude!" if you went over the top, and so it was a losing rather than winning strategy. But once you got the Rush L. syndrome--where yelling and shouting and calling people names was taken as strength and power and cool and fun and right, where you could be a bully without consequences, and, in fact by being such you ended up rich, famous, popular and won votes for your side rather than vice versa...all that pretty much put an end to any check on political nastiness...and led us to our current free-for-all nastiness.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:21 PM

55. I am also 64. It's my opinion

that while there's always been a large degree of vileness in politics, in the past couple of decades it has gotten progressively worse. As others have pointed out, the presence of 24 hour news, the entire right-wing radio and TV presence, the willful ignorance of so many, and the overt funding of that ignorance has made a huge difference.

The nastiness has always been there. But it didn't have as strong a presence as it does now. There was also a time when after the Presidential election, almost all those who voted for the Other Guy would say, Okay, we have a new President now and I'll give him a chance. The nastiness was dialed down, and there was a lot of genuine bi-partisanship for a very long time.

I believe that the years leading up the the Civil War were comparable in utter nastiness and polarization to what we have now. But still, they did not have the kind of instant mass media that we have today.

Another hugely important thing to keep in mind, that absolutely affects all of this even though it's outside the political realm, is the constant presence of non news news. The Kardashians. A cruise ship. Steroids in sports. Even a missing child. Genuinely important news stories, such as bankers not being sent to jail for crashing the economy, are ignored in favor of some stupid wedding of a couple who split a month later, or the death of a has-been singer. I'm thinking Michael Jackson with that last, and with all due respect to the later Mr. Jackson, not only was he probably a pedophile, but his death did not warrant wall-to-wall news coverage.

Since I don't own a TV I miss most of this stuff. I actually did not figure out that all of the networks became The Michael Jackson Memorial Show when he died. As a consequence, I get my news and information more selectively. I watch Rachel. I listen to Amy Goodman's Democracy Now. I read a lot. I know what's going on in the world, but I've never seen Celebrity Apprentice or that singing show, American Idol. Lucky me.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #55)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:23 PM

65. It seems that when there is plenty to go around

there may be less nastiness. It's really only been in the post-WWII era that the US had enough strength in the economy to go a few decades without anything but relatively short recessions. About the time we hit the early 1970's, that unprecedented prosperity came to a halt, if not a severe slowdown, and fighting over what was available came back into fashion.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #65)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:56 PM

71. That's an interesting point.

It does seem, based only on impressions and not actual research, that the post WWII era was a less nasty one in politics, and the nastiness mainly started ratcheting up around 1980, when ordinary workers really were beginning to lose ground. And of course, it's Saint Ronnie who single-handedly did the most to destroy labor unions when he fired the Air Traffic Controllers. I will NEVER forgive Lane Kirkland, then the head of the AFL-CIO for tolerating that.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #71)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:16 PM

73. I traced it to the Nixon era

His people were always dirty fighters, and there was the Dick Tuck "Band of Merry Pranksters" of that era as a counter-reaction. The latter half of the Seventies had a fair amount of prosperity, but there were tough times even before we found out about Watergate. I watched a re-run of an old "Good Times" episode, and that show constantly reminded America that not everything was rosy for everybody out there.

Nixon's time in office really reflected the divide and conquer strategy of "us vs. them", with his code phrases like "Law and Order" and "Peace with Honor". We got away from that a bit when Ford didn't antagonize people unnecessarily (if you don't include the pardon) and Jimmy Carter tried to rebuild bridges between the parties.

Even the impeachment proceedings against Nixon were a nominally bipartisan affair, and it was finally Republicans who went to him to tell him it was all over. They were from the old school of trying to make progress for the country, and they knew that a full Senate trial would damage that.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #65)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:03 AM

103. thats what happened when democratic voters tossed LBJ the most liberal president ever, out

 

LBJ would have beaten Nixon in 1968 and continued with the amazing social issues he rammed through.

Nixon started the Bush age.

However, 1960 had dirt on both sides and to this day, no one knows who actually won in 1960.

But had LBJ ran, Bobby would have run in 1972 and 1976 and everything would have been different.

Democratic fracture caused 1968, 1980, 2000, 2004.
Shame really.

But its been dirty since day one.

Look what Lincoln had to go through.

Look at the snide, sarcastical Jefferson who wrote "All men are created equal" yet forgot blacks, slaves and well, all women in his statement.
I don't call that very nice myself.

And all the others were just as down and dirty today.

the fabled Tip ONeill/Reagan was done in private, no cameras, no media, hashed out
Transparency and 24/7/365 sucks. I for one wish it went back to the days when one could freely negotiate with the other side and work for the nation, not obstruct and do nothing because the media is covereing every damn minute of it.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:23 PM

56. Often, but not always.

Usually bickering indicates things are not going well (which is often since we are poorly governed) and we are arguing over who is to blame.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:42 PM

57. I am 67 . It has gotten nastier.

I know if you read history you can find a lot of nastiness: duels, fights on the floor of congress, character assassination, etc. But my memory is that a lot of work got done in the Senate and in Congress. People on opposite sides were actually friends and did work for the good of the country. It's also true that there were truly moderate Republicans, and that's an oxymoron today. There have been academics who have looked at this and say Republicans have moved much further than have Democrats away from the center (sorry I don't have a link).
.

For now, this has paid off for the Republicans: I think they have come to the end of it working for them.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #57)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:30 PM

67. I am 74 and I agree with you. n/t

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #57)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:08 PM

72. Obama and Chomsky agree - Obama would be considered a moderate Republican

"Obama: I Would Be Considered Moderate Republican In 1980s - ABC News"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101793318

"Noam Chomsky: Obama Would Have Been Called a ‘Moderate Republican’ in Recent Decades"
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/noam-chomsky-obama-would-have-been-called-moderate-republican-recent-decades



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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:44 PM

58. Nixon I remember a bit - he was nasty as they get, but underhanded about it

which is just to say you wound up in the same place but you didn't know how you got there. The Carter/Reagan run was pretty nasty too, but again not so blatant. Repugs used to pretend to be decent people, but not so much anymore.

Its possible that they just weren't as bad in front of me when I was younger. Maybe the media is about the same, but as far as person-to-person general conversation, I didn't used to hear as much. Now, I just wish I could go a day without listening to racial jokes, "the lazy poor parasites" type commentary, and the kind of manufactured outrage that asshat hate-radio encourages.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #58)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:59 PM

90. "Underhanded"?! Nixon had a notorious "Enemies List"! He told Haldeman to "get me the names

of Jews" who had been big donors to the Democrats, so that "Could we please investigate some ?"

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:08 PM

59. My 88 yr old father said never this bad. It has been bad, but not this bad ever.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #59)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:02 PM

93. Surely he remembers the assassinations and attempts on JFK, RFK, MLK, Wallace, Ford, Reagan?

The police riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1968?

Today's name-calling is tiddly-winks in comparison to the VietNam-Watergate Era.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #93)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:16 PM

97. Don't call him Shirley. Yes, he does, as do I. The bi-polarization has gotten much more extreme

is what he says. Yes, there have always been difference but he says the bi-polarization has become more extreme than he has ever seen. And I agree, in the yrs I've been aware, it has never been this bad.

I have only vague personal recollections of JFK, but MLK, RFK, all the rest I well remember. But the mean spiritedness has become SO prevalent now, so bad.

There have always been mean spirited and nasty people involved with politics, but there are so many now. The quantity. It takes me back to McCarthy days, though that was more paranoid than now.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:10 PM

60. I remember during the 70's it was mean spirited, but I think

starting in the 80's it really got hateful. I don't remember what the election of 1980 was like but I do know we lost many good senators. I did have to look it up though.
In The election of 1980 we lost nine Democratic incumbent senators: Herman Talmadge (D-GA), Frank Church (D-ID), Birch E. Bayh II (D-IN), John Culver (D-IA), John A. Durkin (D-NH), Robert Morgan (D-NC), 1972 presidential nominee George S. McGovern (D-SD), Warren Magnuson (D-WA), and Gaylord Nelson (D-WI)

I don't remember anything from Eisenhower's time, my awareness of elections really started with John Kennedy.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:11 PM

61. There's a long tradition of nastiness in American politics

Look at the movie "Lincoln" to see how the various factions in Congress spoke to each other. It was an American tradition to make up fake scandals about your opponents, and get them out in whispering campaigns.

However, there is one difference between the USA of today and the one I spend my childhood and young adult life in (I'm 57). Back in those days, we had a small group of people called "editors" who controlled everything that was either printed, or broadcast on radio and TV. They set some standards, and those standards have gone out the window with the Wild West environment of cable news, talk radio and Internet websites.

I can see where you can get the impression that things were nicer a few decades ago, but there was always derogatory political talk, it just wasn't available on Twitter.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:21 PM

64. In the past we have not been inundated and aware of such political nastiness, thanks to

the net, TV and general media. Been attentive to politics all my 84 years and I do believe political viciousness has reached it's highest peak because we have become a nation that condons that kind of behavior nationwide.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:29 PM

66. Ooooo! I love open ended questions with 15 rules about what not to talk about!!!!

Now that's what I call Freedumb of Speech!

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:33 PM

68. I don't know that it has always continuously been this way, but

there have certainly been periods when politics were extremely nasty. The election of 1800, between Adams and Jefferson, was characterized by some pretty nasty rhetoric (check out Edward Larson's A Magnificent Catastrophe). http://www.amazon.com/A-Magnificent-Catastrophe-ebook/dp/B003YCQ3BG

And certainly, the years that began with the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and ended with Secession included increasingly nasty and violent political "discourse:" citizens of Kansas and Missouri committing acts of violence against each other; politicians brawling in Congress and entering the chambers armed with pistols and knives; Rep. Preston "Bully" Brooks attacking Sen. Charles Sumner with a cane while Sumner was seated at his desk in Congress (and then being flooded with gifts of canes with inscriptions like "Hit Him Again"). Or any of the other brawls, physical and verbal, occurring in Congress during the run-up to Secession?

The political cartoon representations of Lincoln, Blacks, the Irish, etc.

Seems like those periods that fall under the broad definition of Culture Wars seem to bring out the worst in politics; perhaps we've been in an extended period of that since the 1960's.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:45 PM

70. Good Lord, NO!

I'm 71, and I can assure you that it has not always been this nasty. I can remember when we could actually discuss politics without wanting to rip someone's head off if they disagreed with us. I hate to say it, but it's the whole bigotry thing that has steadily gotten worse and worse thanks to the pervasive element of 24-hour right-wing hate radio and Fox News. I trace it straight back to the advent of Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk who have opened the gates to this terrible hatred that is so prevalent now. The media no longer does it's job...they're worthless shills for the corporations that pay them to create the news. The media and the politicans used to at least pretend that the country was their first priority....now they're shameless and don't even pretend to have any morals and allegiance to anything other than money.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:18 PM

74. Good lawd yes!

Before the Civil War SC Congressman Preston Brooks caned Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.
Before that, read some of the names and literature that was printed. These are tame days compared to what rumors were spread.
We judge from our narrow slice of time. On the whole, it's always been down and dirty.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:25 PM

76. Southern conservatives were always this hateful

It took "Christian" televangelists, Limbaugh, Pox News and the rest of the right wing shock jock infrastructure to spread it nation wide.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:25 PM

77. umm there was a civil war at some point. i am going to guess things were more divisive then

just an educated guess.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #77)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:03 PM

94. HA! THE perfect response! Thank you!

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:31 PM

78. There has always been treachery and cut-throat tactics in our political history, however...

there was always an underlying desire of both parties to do what is best for the country. At least until now. The new dynamic seems to be power to the party first... fuck the welfare of the country. If we have to destroy people. or even the entire country in the process of getting power... then tough shit.. so be it.
(at least one party thinks that way, but you said you dint want to turn it into a partisan discussion)

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:37 PM

79. Have you heard of the Civil War? nt

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:40 PM

80. It has always been nasty

[link:|

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:41 PM

81. Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises.....

Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises

"....an illustrated look at 200-plus years of dirty tricks and bad behavior in presidential elections from George Washington to G. W. Bush."

It took me more time to post it than it did to find it. Google is your friend...try it sometime.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:51 PM

82. I think it has always been like this but since we have 24/7 blanketed "news" now...

Stuff that would have remained at the local or regional level are now broad casted all across the country.

Ethnic radio stations in a lot of the larger metropolitan areas had a whole bunch of stuff going out over the airwaves in native tongues. Mass flayers with racial stuff targeted to specific neighborhoods.

As a matter of fact, Dennis Kucinich in his earlier days as a Cleveland Councilman was often accused of using this type of third party mailings. It just flew under the radar.

The stuff produced today is mild compared to some of the stuff that was done before media coverage was instant and universal.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #82)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:09 PM

83. Imagine if

the Internet was around during the Kennedy years...the stories about women...the conspiracy theories.
I think a lot of nastiness was there, but I didn't know about it.

My first political memory is the Eisenhower election.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:44 PM

84. Old political Junkie's Opinion

I am 73 years old and have followed politics for many years. On occasion, things would get hot and heated, but the moment would pass and everyone would be civil to each other. The real meanness started when Newt Gingrich came on the scene and people started watching him on C-Span. When he was chosen to be speaker of the house, he doubled down. That was the end of bipartisanship, what did we have next? Clinton's impeachment brought by old white republicans who had their own "lady" problems. This was when right wing radio and cable TV started getting popular. The right wing media pundits were glad to keep things going, it meant higher ratings for them and more advertising dollars for the radio and TV stations. I think we are seeing the end of this coming, ratings for Fox and Limbaugh are dropping like lead in water. People are tired of all the right name calling and I hope getting wise enough to see that they are being played like fools just to make more money for the media corporations.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:02 PM

92. Never been this bad...

Maybe I'm just projecting, but I have never seen this country so deeply divided. Never.

70 years old. Civil Rights... Vietnam... Those were divisive issues, don't get me wrong, but now is worse.

We have 2 countries... two countries that hate each other.

That stuff about projecting my own feelings onto this present situation...?

I know that I have never been this hostile... this pissed off. I was wondering if it was simply the fact that I'm getting older, but then I see Boner or Chinless Mitch or Grampy McPlanecrash on the TeeVee and I realize it ain't me... it's them.

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #92)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:11 PM

95. I strenuously disagree re: "worse than the VietNam divisiveness." That is the ORIGIN of "Reagan

Democrats."

Assassinations of political and Civil Rights leaders.
Riots, including the officially-designated police riot in Chicago, 1968.
Anti-war demonstrations.
Civil Rights demonstrations. Church-bombings, murders, beatings.
Campus uprisings and murders (Kent State, Jackson State).
Watergate, the hearings, and A PRESIDENTIAL RESIGNATION.
The Pentagon Papers.
Young men faced with war, prison, or Canada. 58,000 dead.

TODAY is more "divisive"?!?!

In that case, I hope never to see the LESS divisive days of the late 60's/early 70's again.



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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:22 PM

98. OK, so it looks like there are more or less two schools of thought in this thread.

 

One group of posters holds the view that politics didn't use to be this unpleasant before, but now has become significantly nastier these days.....that political parties were more civil and bipartisan, even if only for a time.


The other group holds that it's always been this way - the difference now is that we have the Internet, more television, live in the information age, and as a result we're more aware of the nastiness that has always been there.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #98)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:02 AM

99. We may be more aware of it, for the reasons you state

but that period 1850-1861 stands out, I think. Despite our current level of nastiness, Congresspersons aren't entering chambers armed, engaging in brawls, or disabling each other with vicious beatings via cane.

These days you have to go to South Korea for that...

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:35 AM

100. While I am not qualified to make an overall assessment...

I know elderly people who left the United States in the 50s, due to McCarthyism. Short of actual civil war, I don't think that politics in a democracy could get much worse than that.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:40 AM

101. No. Never this nasty

The Republicans began systematically pissing in the pot back in the 1980s, and have yet to snap out of their degenerate, anti-truth, anti-science, anti-reality, anti-decency, anti-ethical ass-spin.

They have devolved to a lower moral order, and tried desperately to drag all of America down with them into their cesspool of material corruption.

Thankfully, most Americans are still decent folk and eschew the Republican cesspool.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:33 PM

107. I'm not sure if I count

as the "older" generation. I'm almost 53.

I was raised to leave politics and religion out of polite conversation. Times have changed.

I was raised to keep conversation polite, even if it included politics and religion, even if you disagreed with someone.

I was raised to disagree politely; verbal bullying and name calling were out of bounds. If I couldn't express myself politely, then I was to listen, and quietly change the subject. You know: "If you can't say something nice...", except that, in my family, it was "If you can't say something nicely..."

Public discourse has changed dramatically during my lifetime. I feel like it started in the 80s, with the deregulation of the media and the rise of corporate-owned "talk"/"hate" radio, that indoctrinated the nation into interpreting the first amendment to mean not just the right to be rude, the right to be verbal bullies, but that rudeness, mean-spiritedness, and verbal bullying should not just be a "right," but should be celebrated.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:44 PM

108. I was bad before but it went off the cliff with Reagan. n/t

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