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The biggest fight isn't over judges. It's over pop culture and attitudes.

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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:26 AM
Original message
The biggest fight isn't over judges. It's over pop culture and attitudes.
Courts are important. Elected offices are important. No question about it.



But if you take a look at our broader U.S. history, the leftward and rightward swings experienced in Washington were preceded by similar swings in pop culture. The changes in official were the result of sweeping social change, not the cause of it.

It's a myth that our elected and appointed "leaders" really lead us much. We are a teeming throng of millions, subject to hundreds (if not thousands) of influences contending for our attention. We'll make up our own minds, under better or worse conditions.




By all means, fight for judges and Presidents and Senators and Reps.

But the biggest fight is for the soul of the nation. We need to be convincing to the masses.


I know. I know. Many here are loath to have anything to do with the moderates who've been duped into voting for Shrub... let alone Shrub's fans (and by fans, I'm using the original meaning, shorthand for fanatic).

But we gotta do it. Otherwise, every hard-fought victory we get will get circumvented by the greater resources of the opposition.

Otherwise, our efforts will be shortlived.

Otherwise, we'll be the tyranny of the minority that our opponents think they're holding at bay with their tyranny of the majority.

We say we're the true majority. We need to demonstrate that. Nobody will take us at our word on it.
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. We've lost our soul, we don't want to lose the laws.
Culture doesn't put people in jail without
their legal rights protected in this country.

Culture doesn't change a woman's right to
the health and financial future of a woman.

Culture doesn't dictate if two people of
the same sex have the same rights as two
people of different sexes.

It's about the laws.
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Zorbuddha Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. That's chillingly true.
Ego-driven selfishness has clipped our wings.

We need some cultural Red Bull.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Culture is not tasked with creating policy.
Culture has outsourced the task of creating and enforcing policy to government. This is for efficiency, since we cannot vote on every issue and every facet of life.

Culture brings persons into or out of power.

And today, culture is willing to look the other way.



The laws may occassionally poke or prod culture, like an imperfect dance partner. This is hard to quantify because culture is (and will continue to be) very diverse.

But in the bigger scheme of things, laws follow culture. No law that flagrantly violates our pop standards would fly. It wouldn't even be controversial. It would be viewed by all as simply stupid.
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Zorbuddha Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Jon Stewart made the assertion that govt was more culturally influential
than Hollywood.

Which took be aback. He cited Pentagon impact. I am trying to feature the truth in it, but most of that influence is built on lies and abuse of power. Can culture spring from that manure?
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Culture, esp. in today's media rich world, has many many influences.
Sure, government is a big influence. It has been so for centuries, and we recognize that.

And yes, Hollywood is a big influence. It is another traditionally powerful force, and has been since the golden age of film.

And sure, Jon Stewart can describe one as being more powerful than the other. It's a valid claim, and he might even be right if the evidence for a given period is provided.

But these aren't the only forces in town. Madison Avenue is a hugely pervasive force. Our educational system is an often overlooked force.

Then there are forces origininating in our communities (our parents, neighbors, friends, etc.). There are forces coming from our various backgrounds. There are forces coming from whatever natural curiosity or sense of adventure we may possess.



So I don't deny that government (esp. defense) is a player. It is. I'm just saying it doesn't run the game (not for very long, anyway).

The game is has many many players, and we collectively are both the field and co-players at the same time.
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Zorbuddha Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Madison Avenue is the big kahuna in my snake pit of culture demons
And, I realize how influential military indoctrination is on culture (not to mention the monied monster of the military industrial complex and covert ops madness), and that power seduces in all forms. But the saving grace of the human spirit is that the good rises up in the long run, and the crap settles out.

It is cyclical, like all things, and I'm afraid we are on a downturn.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. I agree. For me, it's difficult to walk the fine line between...
... remaining active and engaged, yet still being patient and far-sighted.

Not easy at all.




Peace.
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nickgutierrez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. His point, I think, was that govt has more direct influence
While culture does play a role in shaping government, it is the government that is directly responsible for making the laws and setting the policy that makes the country function on a day-to-day basis. So, from that perspective, government has more direct influence on us, while culture helps to form the way we view our government, and thus how we will continue to shape it. It's not one or the other - it's both.
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Zorbuddha Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I thought his Friends metaphor was a real slam at the perceived power
of Hollywood. The way he drove home his point using Ross and Rachel was cutting in the extreme. Which, in terms of cultural significance was right on target, but not in terms of comparative influence between govt and Hollywood.
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Zorbuddha Donating Member (822 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. You make a terrific point about culture rot.
One which I've tried, and failed miserably, to make.

It definitely is the legerdemain of our time. We feverishly study the wrong hand of our dismantling, while the hand doing the real undoing works its magic.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Love that last sentence!
You hit it on the head.


:yourock:
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plcdude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Your point is dependent
upon the publics knowledge of these cultural positions. If we do not have an objective dissemination of how and how many feel about these cultural issues then we are led by officials. How many realize that * has a very significant disapproval rate among the American public? How many realize that the majority of Americans still support the right to choose and Roe vs. Wade? Our struggle is to make sure that these officials do not suppress either through legislation or the courts how we the people feel.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yup, that's exactly what I meant by the "hundreds" of influences.
Especially in this Information Age, the quantity of information is no longer a problem.

But the quality (and then the processing) of information now matters more than ever.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. I think you are hitting on something important
ie. "the biggest fight is for the soul of the nation" -- I guess we have to try to do that without the help of the corporate media.

But please clarify your connection between "pop culture" and "sweeping social changes preceeding changes in official policy" --I'm not making the leap. Got an example?

If this is true--that culture drives politics--then what's the best way to influence the soul of the nation, esp such a diverse nation, which may have several "souls?" Or no soul at all. Maybe this kind of over-arching unity is not possible anymore, which maybe is why the conservation "revolution" will ultimately fail. I'm just wondering if this cyclical paradigm is itself, a thing of the past? Do you get what I'm saying? Maybe we are in such a disintegration of culture that we can't put it together that way anymore...
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Just a few thoughts before going to bed.
The kinds of broad social changes that have preceded political changes are the kind that affect great numbers of people, of all partisan stripes.

The unemployment of the Depression, which was worse than our recent dot-bomb recession, was a big influence and shared experience that galvanized Americans to try out (if perhaps warily) the ideas of the New Deal.

The heartfelt reactions to televised bloodshed in Vietnam fueled growth of progressive and anti-war ideas which eventually created a poor political environment for "staying the course". Talk about early "reality shows".

Today, we do have general disunity in experience. We now have high unemployment, but it isn't so high that everyone can relate. We are now shielded from graphic knowledge about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This variety of experiences creates a diversity of perspectives. We all know what we want and why, and the Freepers can say the same thing.

I don't think the rift is unbridgable. I don't see a disintegration in progress. Just diversity, perhaps more than we anticipated. But everybody left or right of us lives in the same reality that we do. They just receive vastly different information about it. This means we can get our message across if we learn to communicate better.

When we can reach a real majority (a TrueMajority, if you will) that shares (or at least can empathize with) our perspective, we will win just about every reasonable thing we ask for.

But we won't get very far trying to impose it on the unwilling.


The playground is run by the kids. Win over the kids and we rule the playground. Getting on the teacher's good side is nice in a pinch, but it only goes so far.

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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. I agree
It's a chicken-and-egg process, but ultimately politics is an outgrowth of the culture.

A culture filled with lies and false values will lead to a politics that is the same way.

It's not either/or, but it's probably more important to deal with the culture that enables the poilitcal morass to thrive.
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tubbacheez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Exactly. I'm hoping for a long term sustained victory.
Short term success is nice for boosting morale and keeping ourselves in practice.

But I want a stable progressive culture that is robust enough to maintain itself over the succession of several elections. Of course, I'll be happy for every gain we make. But I don't want our country to play tug-of-war indefinitely.

We need to win. But we need to win in a long-standing manner. And evolving the public culture will do what all the elections and appointments cannot: sustain our efforts long after terms run out and judges retire.

Evolution is long-lived and appreciated by all. Revolution might be a mask for fad.
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