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What exactly are "mainstream values"?

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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:22 AM
Original message
What exactly are "mainstream values"?
There are certain posters on this forum who like to cite the term "mainstream values". As in, "The majority of DUers don't support mainstream values," as the reasoning for their position on certain issues.

But one thing bothers me a great deal about this kind of rhetoric. It sounds eerily similar to those on the right who cite "supporting family values" for every kind of homophobic, misogynist or even racist proposal that they put forward. There is no effort to define "family values" -- it is simply thrown out there as a blanket cover.

What I would greatly appreciate is if somebody could tell me exactly what "mainstream values" are. If they are truly mainstream, and held by the vast majority of Americans, they shouldn't be too difficult to define. Then, we could possibly have an honest debate on specifics rather than using overgeneralizations to defend dubious positions.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Mine"
That's what politics is all about baby.

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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. LOL!
Exactly! When someone says "mainstream values" they mean the ones "they" hold, as opposed to the ones "you" hold, which are deviant or nonexistent.
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Frodo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. No really. I meant mine. :-)
Just ask me anything. Everyone agrees with me. except, as you said, the deviants. :eyes:
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. Good question
Is there really such a thing as "mainstream values" anyway? Or is it just a trerm people use to make their own values seem universal?

This is (despite the attempts by corporate America to homogenize us) a very diverse nation, with many cultures and subcultures. If you go to a folk festiuval in Vermont, a NASCAR rally in Alabama, a rodeo in Wyoming, a punk fest in Seattle and a hip-hop concert in LA you're likely to perceive a completely different set of cultural values.

But are there values that all of those subcultures share? Common goals and principles than transcend the differences in styles and politics?

Maybe I'm taking it beyond the context you're asking. But it is a basic question that we ought to look at.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's An Oft-Repeated, Empty Term Meant Whereby
anyone can fill in the blanks. To some it can mean anti-gay. To others it can mean pro-healthcare. To others it can mean anti-immigrant. It's term probably concocted by political consultants after countless focus group sessions.

In sum, it's an empty term whereby anyone biggots, religious nuts, liberals, and progressives can use to defend their political positions.
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. values held by the majority of US citizens?
I think that's what is meant by "mainstream values".
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Then what are those values?
In case it's not apparent, I admittedly did start this thread as a means of "calling out" a certain poster. But I would really like an honest, concise definition of this term without defining it with another sweeping generality (as you just did).
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. here's an easy way to tell what is a mainstream value
1. Choose a value.
2. Find out if a substantial majority of US citizens hold that value.
3. If yes, it's a mainstream value.

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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. IMO
1) All should be treated equally by the law and by our govt
2) A days pay for a days work
3) Freedom of expression and thought
4) Economic opportunity for all - a days pay for a days work
5) an assortment of some ill-defined (for many people) concepts like freedom, justice, fairness, etc
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info being Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. I use it as a dirty word
Edited on Wed Oct-22-03 10:57 AM by info being
Being from the Midwest and spending a lot of time in conservative Colorado, I can tell you exactly what it means to me:

- Power-worship
- Being lock-step with what you see on TV...thinking "normal" is what you see on TV...and/or watching TV every night
- Talking like people you see on TV
- Being in debt because you are materialistic
- Flag-waving and God Bless America crap
- Having a high tolerance for advertisments / quoting advertisements
- Going to chain restaurants
- Eating fast food and pre-packaged crap
- Being fat and out of shape
- Following sports
- Reading nothing other than the sports section in the mainstream newspaper
- When asked what kind of music you like, you say "all kinds"...which really means nothing in particular

That's a good start.
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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-22-03 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. In order to discount an argument
instead of offering a rebuttal, someone will say, "DU doesn't reflect the views of most people" - who supposedly represent the mainstream values (which, of course would be in agreement with the poster making the charge) ;-)
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