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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:09 PM
Original message
Why Is Our Country Like This?
I'm just disillusioned is all. Why do we seem to be the only developed nation in the world where so many people are just so ignorant, misinformed, and sometimes just downright nasty?

What has caused this? Where did this country go wrong?

It just seems that the majority of people in this country just outright buy the lies and distortions of the people who are trying to destroy this country, or if they're not brainwashed, they still think the message is viable.

I think there are good Republicans, just as there are good Democrats, but it seems that the far right in this country has just got so many people hoodwinked that they make fun of Clinton's health problems, call Kerry a flip flopper on issues that he isn't, think that Bush and Cheney are honest noble men...

I just don't get it. Why? Why don't these people wake up? What is wrong with us as a people?
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Greed.
Squawk Radio. Two of the biggest reasons. Everything else springs from that.

I fear that it is gonna get worse before it gets better. It's gonna be a while before it gets better, too. It usually takes an awful crisis before we wake up and smell the toast.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I can understand the greed aspect....
I mean there are selfish people out there...even if that means that 30% even of the population is incorrigbly self centered. I don't even think it's that high...

What about the normal people? Why do they listen to talk radio and believe it when the rest of us don't? I have relatives who read constantly, but are still this way...they shake their head when I tell them that the party they vote for doesnt' stand for what they think it does....they shake their heads like I'm telling someone their god is dead.

I don't get it. What did they do to close their minds?
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. The American dream run amok.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Great questions. I have no idea.
Edited on Fri Sep-03-04 08:14 PM by madmax
My personal opinion is God, Greed and Apathy. :shrug:

Throw in a little laziness from the media and the public.

Welcome to DU Ravenseye :hi:
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yes but...
While I've met God Republicans, Greedy Republicans, and even Apathetic Republicans (those who support it like a team)...

The majority are people who when I ask them questions, or make them take the political compass test...they're liberal or moderates far to the left of the republican party...Why do they think what the rest of us see so clearly as lies...why do they see it as truth?
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. That's the million dollar question and I want to thank you for
really nailing down the whole enchilada.

"Why do they think what the rest of us see so clearly as lies...why do they see it as truth?"

This would make a great topic by itself. Why don't you start a thread and let's see what other DU'ers come up with. It's almost like, which came first the chicken or the egg.
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Jon8503 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was thinking the same thing Raven. It seems to me the RW are
the most vile, hateful people you run across. They only think of themselves. I asked one once how he could say he loved his children and grandchildren and still follow the RW philosophy because that Philis is doing great hard to future generations. Also, to me a lot of the Church's are turning into nothing but Republican bastions and social events. When I grew up, my parents volunteered, my mother took single young mothers to the grocery store to help teach them the things to buy that would stretch meals and would be more nutritional for the kids. We work at the Union Mission once in a while. RW are all about themselves.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. You might be onto something with the churches
We only go to the liberal hippie unitarian church now, when my wife manages to make me get out of bed on Sundays which honestly is not most weekends...so I can't speak from personal experience.

It does seem like this country has grown more and more Christian though, at least outwardly so, and the churches seem to be denigrating all candidates on the middle or left who support womens rights.

So they might be part of the problem. I know in Europe people are christian but they're not like american christians.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. I live about 5 miles from a HUGE fundie
Edited on Fri Sep-03-04 08:42 PM by madmax
church. It is one big social event. They do good things but, you must give up any individuality or contrary opinions.

I know. I went to one service with someone I know. The visiting minister was from Texas and he started to tell a story about a 'fag' that he sat next to on the plane to come to this church. The hatred, the mockery was disgusting. I stood up to leave and this acquaintance said I couldn't leave because this was being filmed for TV viewing later in the day. There were 'guards' at the door. I was so pissed off and scared at the same time but, with knees shaking I walked out.

In the parking lot I notice the reserved parking space for the Minister. Parked there was his Mercedes Benz. When I ask a cop on duty outside if the Minister really needed a Benz he said, 'God Blessed him.

I don't live in rural America, the Heartland, or down South. I live in NJ near Princeton and Rutgers. Yet, their membership is LARGE. No one lives there but, the church and grounds HUGE. It's like WACO/North
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Jon8503 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. You are right, there is a difference in what they call christianity now in
a lot of the churches. I know those who I include myself that I feel meet the test of christianitiy but do not participate in the so called organized religion of it.
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rwheeler31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. It is simple greed,
many of these people think if they go along with the money grubbers they will become wealthy. Old Calvinist thinking the praised and the damned, why else would Pat Robinson be giving investment advice. These people have suppressed the value of truth as long as they win. I agree it is depressing but don't worry the truth cannot be hidden forever.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. The Old John Smith Adage...
is crap...and thats another difference. Europeans don't think like that. Americans however do always think they will be rich.

The problem though is I know a ton of republicans and maybe only one would greed really come into play. Sure I"ve met others. But of the ones I KNOW personally well...it's not greed. They honestly think the Democracts are there to hose everyone, sleep with their interns, tax everyone 70%, make their healthcare go away with a universal system ala England 1975, and so on and so on.

Not to mention they honestly think that the Democracts want to destroy our military and become slaves to Europe.

It's the talking points. And they believe them...lord help us
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Poll_Blind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. Ravenseye, it's because we let it.
That line about "For evil to flourish all it takes is for good men to do nothing" is no b.s. Of course every bit of wisdom that can be wrapped up in a single sentence that I've ever come across is deceptive in its simplicity. We are a rich nation with many, many distractions from protecting Liberty and our own society. Some are new and specific to our generation or to the last several. Some are as old as the hills. Regardless, it is those distractions and our lack of appreciation or commitment to a healthy society which prevent enough of us who might attempt to change the world from doing so. Or doing so enough.

That's how it seems to me anyway. Terrorists can blow up a bomb and hill dozens but it's the fellow citizen who leans out the window of his moving automobile to flip you off for no reason at all that really destroys our society. What destroyed Rome? Was it the Visigoths? The Vandals? Was it the crazy emperors? No, Rome and America are two societies so powerful the only way they could be destroyed was by the uncaring inactivity of their own citizens.
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. It has a lot to do with the way our news is delivered
It started becoming more entertainment and less information.

The catalyst for that dynamic is a little more sinister (and involved), but, human nature being what it is, most folks eat it up.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. The drone of RW media
is playing to the worst in people. Some people appear to be very responsive to that.

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kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. My thoughts too - years of brainwashing by the media
not to mention a lot of stuff that was put in place during the McCarthy ere- the changes to the pledge of allegiance, the In God We Trust on our money. And constant, constant repetition of the memes that are patently false, yet believed simply because of being frequently heard. "tax and spend democrats" "ungodly, treasonous liberals" etc. etc. etc.

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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Moore in Bowling for Columbine concluded it was fear.
I think people in fear do irrational things.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. The 'who cares' problem
It just seems that the majority of people in this country just outright buy the lies and distortions

I have been around awhile on this earth and have spent a good deal of time trying to understand things. From the time I was a kid I have heard repeated the mantra 'there are no honest politicians', they all lie, they all distort/spin, and they all tell you what you want to hear so that they can keep their job (and not have to work in the real world).

Given the above, why should folks believe the democrats when they say bush is lying, they already know bush is lying about some things. It is an accepted practice. Sometimes the reasoning is 'they have more info than me, so it does not have to make sense to me to be right' - and sometimes this is the truth (and it applies in many jobs like my own where I sometimes do things my engineers don't understand because there are some things I cannot tell them, later they see the wisdom of it and have learned to just trust me).

You see bush as hell bent to take over the world, destroy everything, erode freedoms, and so on. Many people on the right see democrats as wanting to do the same thing - from smoking bans, etc, they see the dems as the party of less freedoms for the individual and more restrictions for people to better the group. They see dems as soft on crime and as making excuses for criminals, taking their side over the victim. You see bush as wanting to limit your basic freedoms, they see him as defending them (but not always).

At any rate, each side sees the other as the bad guy. And we will rarely to never see any good in the other side because we feel to acknowledge such would lose us votes (and vice versa).

Seeing the flurry of attack ads, hearing candidate x lied, z cheated, and so on people see less and less or real hard core ideals and how they will be implemented. Anyone can say they will save Social Security, but lack extensive details (though often they throw in something like divert funds, increase taxes, etc but still no hard core details and analysis).

I just don't think the avg voter sees a huge difference like we do at the end of the day sadly. I guess we need to do a better job in getting the message out between the flak coming from all sides.
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Dangerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. Two words... Karl Rove
Edited on Fri Sep-03-04 08:35 PM by Dangerman
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. Read Fahrenheit 451
I think it describes our society very well...to answer your question, I don't think people care about other people. Whatever doesn't effect them doesn't register. There is a shortage of real thought, as well.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
19. I really don't know, Ravenseye
a lot of DUers are under the impression only really stupid people are hoodwinked, but I work with highly educated professionals who are fooled too. It is very sad and very scary.
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Liberal Gramma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
20. I think it's fear
Fear drowns out all other noise. Fear is the basis for the fundie churches, both in the secular and religious sense. In the religious sense, they're afraid of going to hell if they step outside the lines drawn by the churches; in the secular sense, they are afraid of the massive changes that our society has undergone in the past several decades, and they are looking for a snuggly blanket for comfort. Fear makes your choices seem more simple and stark: better schools or your life? fairer taxes or your safety? health insurance or your child's life? Any of us would choose life and our children's lives over any of these, but those of us who aren't ruled by the animal portions of our brains realize that the danger, like Saddam's WMD's, is remote and preventable. We have to convince the sheep that Little Georgie is crying wolf in a transparent effort to win their votes, and then he's going to dump them faster than he dumped Zell Miller.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Casting my votes for
Edited on Fri Sep-03-04 09:03 PM by PassingFair
fear, greed, conformity and religion.

On edit: Not necessarily in that order.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. and assumptions of superiority.
.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
22. Creeping fear, ignorance, and selfishness. Take the SUV for example...
Fear: You often hear SUV drivers say, "I want a car that I can feel safe in," so they bought this four-wheeled monster.
Ignorance: No matter how many published studies state that SUVs are more dangerous to drive (longer braking time, tip-overs, etc.), SUV drivers will stick with the bigger vehicle.
Selfishness: Just one look at a Hummer or an Expedition, and the average person thinks, "That is just so wrong, to have something that big on the road." Regardless of the gas-guzzling and polluting, SUV drivers do not want to give up their illusion of safety.

Never engage a right-winger in a "discussion" about social programs -- you will get your eyebrows singed off by their "welfare cheat" rant. Fear, ignorance and selfishness are all found in the claim, "The government is taking my money to give it to welfare bums."

The right-wing and their media-arm are playing on these negative qualities like crazy, since it more or less equals control of the masses: Keep them afraid, keep them in the dark, and make them feel entitled to all kinds of phony tax breaks, etc. Fundamentalist religion also manipulates in the same manner.

The tragic bottom-line of all this is that our country has morphed into a cult of the first-person, and drifted away from being a team of individuals concerned about the betterment of the whole.
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DURules7 Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
24. Who is making fun of Clinton's health problems?
I haven't heard anything remotely derogatory about President Clinton's health. And I know some big time Republicans.


Now on another note when Reagan died I did read some mean nasty comments on this site. I think we need to look within ourselves before we judge others.
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Well
He was mean and nasty
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DURules7 Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Who??
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
26. God, Greed and Apathy - absolutely - and, insecurity, which leads to
vulnerability to the Fear/Terra card...as well as the lemming phenomemon - so many sheep blindly following others, rather than valuing individuality.

Someone today mentioned in another thread the formation in our country of the Christian Taliban - as alarming as it sounded, there is some grain of reality to that assertion.

Greed is everywhere - it seems that MANY (not all, but seeminly, most on the right) that have desire to keep and desire more and more. It corrupts.

Apathy - we are so lazy, so uninformed, so incurious.

* is a poster child for all that is wrong today
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Geo55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Agreed....but in this order
FEAR > SELF INTEREST > PERVERTED FAITH > POWER
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-03-04 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. They have no shame, no conscience. Just unbridled hatred.
How can people who claim to love God and embrace Jesus write this filth? How can any person Republican or whatever condone statements such as these? Why can't can't rational reasonably intelligent people denounce this?? Many did. Just as many justified it.

http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/Conover022301/c... (This link no longer works :( but this at the time caused major outrage.

National Review columnist calls for genetic cleansing, starting with Chelsea Clinton
By Bev Conover

February 23, 2001If the National Review, that icon of the right, ever had any respectability, it is gone with columnist and contributing editor John Derbyshire's veiled call for and justification of killing Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.

We thank BuzzFlash.com for clueing us about Derbyshire's appalling column, "Be Very Afraid," in the Feb. 15 National Review Online, in which Derbyshire stated, "I hate Chelsea Clinton."

And what it is this Brit, who has gone around the bend with his fellow countryman Christopher Hitchens, hates about Chelsea, aside from her lookssomething he says he won't discuss, then snidely discusses them at great length? He hates her genes.

Chelsea has the "dreaded" genes of her parents. And you know what that means: she might some day run for public office. Shudder.

Of course, the corrupted genes of the Bush Crime Clan are just fine with Derbyshire. It is those Clinton genes that must be stamped out. So let us embark on a course of genetic cleansing by reviving how kings and despots dealt with "corruption of the blood" in the past. Today, it's cleansing the Clinton genes and tomorrow it's anyone else whose genes don't come up to the rabid right's standards.

To make his caseall in good fun, of course, ha-ha NOTDerbyshire repeats a litany of lies about the Clintonsperjury, rape, selling secrets to the Chinese, Hillary's commodities trade and Hillary's first book (all of whose profits were donated for the upkeep of the White House). Golly gee, he left out all the lies put out by the Bushistas' propagandists, then denied by George W. when maximum damage had been done and the lies had forever been burned into the empty heads of the Rabid Reich's followers, about how those "evil" Clintons trashed the White House and made off with the silverware and glassware from Air Force One. By gummy, he even left out Bill's "slimy" last minute pardons, not to mention the gifts he and Hillary made off with. Then "the man is gone, off to a lifetime of golfing at all-white clubs, biting his lip in the pulpits of black churches while the hallelujahs soar, goosing waitresses, slithering in and out of shady business deals, being collared by showbiz bores at Barbra Streisand's parties, and defending himself in court." As for Hillary, "his lady has no future beyond the U.S. Senate. The people of New York, trapped in their little Stalinist time-warp, still fretting about why that nice Mr. Adlai Stevenson didn't get in in '52 (my explanation: WE NEED ADLAI BADLY! was the worst campaign slogan ever) will probably go on voting for her until, like Gagoola the hag in King Solomon's Mines, "She has lived so long that none can remember when she was not old, and always she it is who has trained the witch hunters, and made the land evil in the sight of the heavens above." But given her far-left paper trail and her amazing capacity to make people detest her where'er she treads, Hillary's maxed out: She has no real future."

So, you can forget about Mom and Dad, because Chelsea is the target here. After all, "Clintonism may yet rise again, like Glenn Close from that bathtub. For, ladies and gentlemen, the tworch has been paaahssed to a noooh generation of Clintons. On February 27th, Chelsea Clinton will turn 21." Then Derbyshire offered this prescription for dealing with Chelsea:

"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the pastI'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential troublerecognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an "enemy of the people." The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, "clan liability." In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished "to the ninth degree": that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed, and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed. (This sounds complicated, but in practice what usually happened was that a battalion of soldiers was sent to the offender's home town, where they killed everyone they could find, on the principle neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscet"let God sort 'em out.")

In an attempt to cover his butt, he ended with this disclaimer of sortsa weak "hey, don't blame me if some nutcase takes me seriously and snuffs Chelsea:"

"We don't, of course, institutionalize such principles in our society, and a good thing too. Our humanity and forbearance, however, has a cost. The cost is, that the vile genetic inheritance of Bill and Hillary Clinton may live on to plague us in the future. It isn't over, folks. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a "friend of the family" (how much money did she give them?) is quoted as saying that Chelsea shows every sign of following her parents into politics. "She's been bred for it," avers Dr. Snyderman. Be afraid: be very afraid."

Given some of Derbyshire's other columns, this one cannot be brushed off as the ravings of a lunatic. He has twice defended racial profiling, has spewed invective about Hillary and all those other "ugly" Democratic women, bashed on the Chinese because they resent being called "Chinamen," thinks all those red states and counties on the 2000 election mapsthe ones that comprise acreage, sagebrush and tumbleweedcounted for more than the will of the far greater number of people crowded into the blue states and counties, and has an insatiable appetite for all lies fed to him about the Clintonswhom he depicted as roaches in his Feb. 20 column. Now we have his Final Solution to the Clinton genes problem: Make gone with Chelsea as you would any other roach.

People have received visits from the Secret Service for far less. Some have even wound up with stiff prison terms. Are Mr. Derbyshire and his bosses about to receive such a visit? Is Mr. Derbyshire ripe for an orange jump suit, a room next to John Hinckley's or would deportation solve the problem?

According to BuzzFlash, "The 'venerable' National Review has refused to remove an unconscionable article that suggests Chelsea Clinton should be murdered." Why are we not surprised?

The level of hatred for all things Clinton and Democratic in this country has reached the boiling point. Every day is a piling on by not just the right-wing media, but also the so-called "mainstream" media. What will it take to stop it? Certainly not the Bushistas who illegally occupy the White House. In their twisted minds, anything that keeps the people's attention diverted from what they and their puppet, George W., are doing is good, despite their mild protestations to the contrary.

Does anyone want to partner in a body bag concession? The way things are going, they are going to be in great demand.


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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
31. Good questions, with no easy answers... n/t
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
33. He who owns the most gold and the printing presses...
Edited on Sat Sep-04-04 05:52 AM by Q
...owns the 'truth'. The irony here is that the Founders of this nation have always known this...and were always fearful of a few powerful (men) using their wealth to take the government from the people. This is one of the reasons they gave the people a 'Bill of Rights' to protect against tyranny and oppression.

- Republicans hold no where near a majority...but they have the gold and the 'printing presses' and can manufacture consent and make it appear as if they have a mandate from the people.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-04-04 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
34. It's the whole philosophy of the nation
"Me first" Is basically written in to your Constitution. It carries on to the people.
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