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carl_pwccaman Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 03:05 AM
Original message
Bitching About, or Patronizing Moderates/Centrists?
Can the Democratic Challenge move beyond either bitching about or Patronizing Moderates/Centrists?

There are two major tendencies I see, neither of which seem all that fruitful. Hostility to any appearance of compromise or admission of any conservative critique or point of view, fails to demonstrate any sincere interest to deal with reality and to deal with people who see things differently. Pandering or patronizing moderates or centrists, with transparent compromises in language, style, or by simply caving in and acting contrary to principle, fails to demonstrate any ethical high ground or firm belief in principles.

It seems to me that these two tendencies mirror two main critical perceptions that conservatives have about liberals/Democrats: that there is a lack of desire to be realistic or to really address people who have a different education level or political point of view; and that there is a lack of firmness and consistency of personal conviction about truth or morality of principles.

Reasonable dialog, a willingness to respond respectfully to those who have substantial differences of viewpoint, and some consistency, firmness, and moral clarity on a handful of crucial principles that are articulated well, can go a long way. How far can you get with reactionary bitching or patronizing coddling?
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Che_Nuevara Donating Member (517 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 03:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Couldn't have said it better myself. (n/t)
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. Thank you - I've been trying to say this same thing for ages now..........
....but have never managed to put it all quite as eloquently as you have. Let's hope someone listens.
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cleveramerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 04:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. faith in each other IS faith in ourselves
Edited on Wed May-31-06 04:07 AM by cleveramerican
If you go into a political discussion assuming you are right about everything and everyone who sees things differently for any reason is a fool, you have lost faith in the promise of this country. Consensus is hard to arrive at and always has been. The biggest trap one falls into is raising their voice when they should be re-enforcing their argument.

Assume the republicans(and moderates and liberals and Greens) are utterly sincere, and demand that they return this simple courtesy.This raises the level of discourse beyond whats expected and goes a long way toward building some of that all too elusive consensus.

FAITH IN EACH OTHER IS FAITH IN OURSELVES.

Of course I could be wrong
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm having trouble understanding what you're saying.
You are being very general. Can you give examples of who is exhibiting these tendencies?

Who is being hostile to admission of any conservative point of view? (And what do you mean by "hostile to admission of any conservative critique"?)

And do you mean that it is pandering moderates who fail to demonstrate belief in principles, or do you mean pandering TO moderates fails to demonstrate belief in principles? And who do you mean is doing that?

And you seem to be agreeing with conservatives that it is Democrats who have these tendencies, Democrats who lack desire to be realistic. Can you give a concrete example of who you mean? And who are the Democrats who lack desire to "address people who have a different educational level"?

Who are you speaking about, and to, about reasonable dialog and responding respectfully? The language you're using is dense and vague at the same time. Who exactly are you being critical of?

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I'll give you an example in the first category.
The kind of DU'er who calls Hillary Clinton or Maria Cantwell or Nancy Pelosi a "DINO," even though they are among the most progressive Senators in Congress, judging by the voting records. But if they slip a couple times from the "righteous path," if they take just a couple steps to the right, then people here are up in arms and calling them names.

Maybe this is my imagination, but except for Joe Lieberman, the people who are most often given the DINO label seem to be women who have let a DU'er down in some vote or other.

Another example -- the Green voters who come here to "work within the system" and then, once they're here, announce that if the wrong candidate wins the primary, then they'll sit out the general election. Why did they even bother coming then? If they can't get their way then they're out of here.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. thank you, pnwmom, but I was hoping to hear from the original poster.
If the OP is calling out people on DU, he or she should be more plain. My first reaction to his post was how incoherent it was, with all the cliches and garbled syntax. Now I suspect it was designed to be indirect. Which strikes me as sneaky, and a little cowardly.
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carl_pwccaman Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yeah, what pnwmom said is part of my point
As a matter of strategy, I do think there are some general questions that need to be considered more often, that are more open-ended, based in broader principles and not just moment-by-moment agendas and details.

I do not accept the Republican caricature of Democrats, but I do think that within some of the caricatures, there is SOMETHING that can be looked at productively.

It is easy to viscerally resist a caricature, yet it can be very helpful to consider possible challenges, to see if it is an opportunity to turn them into insight and improvement.

Part of what I'm thinking of is the railing agianst "Tweety" (Christ Mathews), who, whether or not you like his style or his statements, does tend to draw out the people he interviews, to get them to reveal something about their character (or lack thereof) or their position and agenda. That is useful, as often he gets things out of conservatives that others don't get out of them... stuff that is useful for Democratic strategy, or out-and-out amunition against Republican nonsense, if used wisely.

Another part of it is the drive to speak 'religious language' in a patronizing way, as if that will wave a magic wand, or some people who seem to think that ignoring gay issues or abortion, will win over conservatives, sometimes it seems like compromise without principle, instead of principled compromise.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 05:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. Welcome to DU, carl_pwccaman! Great post.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 06:43 AM
Response to Original message
7. perhaps when the " moderates/centrists" stop patronizing
Edited on Wed May-31-06 06:56 AM by jonnyblitz
and bitching about liberals/progressives and calling us fringe leftist loonies, "moving beyond" just might occur. Also a true opposition party might be nice instead of a Bush enabling party. that's all. have a nice day.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Good points, all.
:thumbsup:
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carl_pwccaman Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Can't disagree with that one!
That's why I challenged unprincipled compromise, too.

Real opposition is important. And responding to unfair caricatures, is very important. I think all of it can be done more clearly, forcefully, intelligently, and more strategically.
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carl_pwccaman Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. How to avoid Patronizing Compromises, then...
This one is a bit trickier, I think.

In gay rights discussions, I tend to try to shift the focus back to comparisons between laws against mixed-race couples, and emphasize the more practical difficulties gay couples go through, from harassment and vandalism, to job or housing discrimination, to bullying. I try to reach more consensus by focusing on things everyone is more likely to have experienced and to sympathize with.

In that context, a compromise that works to counteract ALL bullying and humiliation in schools, on the basis of its disruptiveness and interference with creating a learning environment, is preferable to having nothing or having something that focuses upon empty rhetoric about toleration.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-01-06 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. good points nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-01-06 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
14. Well, that works both ways. You need to read what I posted today.
It is about the way a Democratic think tank and its bloggers talk down to us and call us names. It started in 03. It has not stopped.

I AM a moderate. But I think the ones in the party who want to keep on spreading Democracy in the middle east will call us anything to win.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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carl_pwccaman Donating Member (259 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-01-06 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Oh yeah 'left' is just a smear word, in many people's hands
I.e., 'centrist=sane' even though what is meant by 'centrist' or 'moderate' is really something quite different, on a key issue of the day.

Principled compromise is different than whilly nilly reactioneering to manipulate perceptions.
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