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What do you hope to accomplish arguing politics?

By edvard2 follow edvard2   2012 Mar 19, 1:41pm 25,306 views   38 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

Having political debates is nothing new. But the internet has brought a whole new level of what I'd consider nastiness to the scene. Now- I am occasionally guilty of participating in these myself. I'll go further and disclose that I am a fairly liberal person. But seriously, about 90% of the time I don't even bother because I think to myself, why even try? At the end of the day what these arguments all boil down to is this:

" I'm right and you're wrong!"

"- No, I'M right and YOU'RE wrong!"

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

We've all heard the exact same talking points over and over and over again. It never ends. Its the same crap too, which is someone who is on one "side" will post something that is I guess another means to prove their points, which again have been made repeatedly in the past and present.

I find this frustrating because I come from a mixed ( politically) family. Half the family voted Republican. The other half voted Democrat. Yet somehow, even now we can have a fairly civil and productive conversation. Most of the time we actually agree on most of the topics at hand. Yet this sort of intelligent and respectful debate doesn't happen anywhere else.

But in the end, for those who constantly argue about politics, what is the desired outcome? One thing is certain: Nobody is going to change anyone's mind. If that's the goal then forget it. If that's the case, then what? Why waste so much time doing something that is totally useless and unproductive?


1   Vicente   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 19, 3:50pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

"I came here for a good argument!"

Everyone enjoys a bit of argument, it's not pointless. If it gives you pleasure and exercises some muscles, then feel no shame about it!

Hmmm.... the same applies to some other social interactions....

2   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Mar 19, 10:39pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ah the "argument clinic." Isn't that what all internet forums ultimately are? ;-)

3   TPB   ignore (3)   2012 Mar 20, 12:19am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

That's the problem, I come here to vent, but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

I'm not looking for arguments, I come here to post acute observations of what is going on in politics in Washington. As an independent, I started out poking a bipartisan finger at both parties. I find that does not sit well with the Patnet Liberals, they refuse to let a good old fashioned Bitching about politics in Washington go by, with out answering the threads that were not posed as a question. They like to inject that everything is 100% the republican's fault. It's pathetic really, these folks are either paid shills or delusional of the highest order.

I am willing to argue the state of peoples minds, that are arguing about the what are on the politicians minds in Washington. But I try not waste to much time arguing about what are on those politicians minds. There actions are clear enough, do we really need to debate, who these Bastards serve?

4   edvard2   ignore (1)   2012 Mar 20, 12:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Delving into this further, the problem I have with the aforementioned bickering is that there is nothing wrong with debating things. But the way it seems to be done-especially online- is that it isn't constructive. Instead of someone coming on board and saying they are either concerned or in disagreement with something and then put forth some ideas, instead its more about posting statements. Additionally, the statements usually place blame on the "other side" while at the same time reinforcing their party or political position. There is absolutely no intent to entertain the other side's notions.

5   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Mar 20, 2:09am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

Delving into this further, the problem I have with the aforementioned bickering is that there is nothing wrong with debating things. But the way it seems to be done-especially online- is that it isn't constructive.

But I paid 5 pounds for this argument. I expect 5 minutes-worth of an argument.

6   Vicente   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 5:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

TPB says

I'm not looking for arguments, I come here to post acute observations of what is going on in politics in Washington.

It may start that way inside your head.

However what comes out on the forum is often gibberish.

Perhaps you have a condition interesting enough for study.

7   TPB   ignore (3)   2012 Mar 20, 2:50pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Vicente says

Perhaps you have a condition interesting enough for study.

Perhaps, How much could I make on a gig like that?

8   Nomograph   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 3:37pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

What do you hope to accomplish arguing politics?

I hope to get to the bottom of the Obama birth certificate kerfuffle.

9   Travis Bickle   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 6:58pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

To mix it up a bit and make things interesting - how about deliberately adopting the "wrong" opinion, or point of view, and try to support it as poorly as possible... In other words, try NOT to be "right" or "correct" in any given disagreement - by simply redefining a "win" as a "lose" and a "lose" as a "win" - you can be completely lazy and not even try - yet still "win" the argument and come out on top (by the now redefined meaning of a "win")!!! You do not need the consent of those you argue with to adopt this approach, either. Delusionnal thinking maybe - but who CARES - you get to "win". CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY! For example: the Dodgers lose to the Lakers in a game, and I can still claim that the Lakers are the better team and that they actually "won" because they "lost".... Dodgerg V. Lakers??? Who won? Who lost? Who CARES anymore? It's just laundry and overpaid participants!!! When you adopt this method of argument, another unintended - yet pleasant - side effect is that you tend to not get upset wheather your "right" or "wrong", wheather you "win" or "lose", and you also get a kick out of other peoples' reaction to your argument methodology... they tend to get pissed off and not want to talk to you anymore - thus a "win-win" as they say.......

10   ne5534   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 7:25pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

What the other writer "CLOUD" says here is correct. The public are largely fools that do not have the facts and reality. That is a huge part of why the political debates go nowhere.

The reason is largely the gov/big corp/banker controlled media lies, and the deficit spending which has hidden the truth. Right now the FedGov spends 26% of GDP while Fed taxes are 17% of GDP. So we have a -9% GDP deficit/year.

That is horrible enough, but add in the trade deficit, and the state losses, and and we are bleeding from every orifice of our body.

(BTW: the FedGov only spent 0.13% of GDP in 1913.)

If the Reps want more military, and if they actually were TAXED to pay for it, they'd be changing their minds real quick.

If the Dems want more social spending, and if they actually were TAXED to pay for it, they'd be changing their minds real quick.

Deficit Spending = Disneyland, and Disneyland is closing.
Just look at Europe. It ain't fun. Our turn is coming very soon.

Free lunch time is over. Reality is coming. Neither party represents reality, with the exception of Ron Paul. He is the only one telling people the truth, and most people don't want to hear the truth, they want to keep living in Disneyland.

So we are all riding in a plane out of gas, in a death spiral headed towards the ground. Yet most of the idiots on board want to spend their time arguing over whether they get the Vodka or Rum drinks for Free.

That is exactly how insane all of this actually is. When the plane hits the ground, the type of Free drinks ain't going to matter anymore.

After the things that Bush has done, and now the things that Obama has done, you would think more people would have realized these are all just banker puppets: Reps or Dems there is no difference.

Electing more puppets won't stop the plane from crashing. They are only offering you more Free drinks just to get elected, and to keep you happy and stupid, while the plane crashes into the ground.

Wake up folks. You have a rare opportunity to elect someone who is telling you the truth for once, and has the backbone, courage, and character to stand up to and expose the corruption.

Famous quote: "The people get the government they deserve."

11   Travis Bickle   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 7:32pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yeah, whatever man - you guys are just tryin to WIN again. So now you lose.....

12   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Mar 20, 7:33pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

ne5534 says

If the Reps want more military, and if they actually were TAXED to pay for it, they'd be changing their minds real quick.

If the Dems want more social spending, and if they actually were TAXED to pay for it, they'd be changing their minds real quick.

True that. +1.

13   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 10:49pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Great question! Wanna hear a funny story? I came to the internet to solve a physics problem (having to do with energy), back when I thought I knew what I was doing at a "job". I was rather libertarian/conservative/radical. I learned a lot, especially about politics, religion, and marketing, as well as the energy 'business', which is really ALL business in a way, and the business of America is Business (and avoiding inconvenience).
The funny part is that the more I try to express a logical, reasonable view, the more I am accused of being a nutjob/babykiller/liberal, when I am merely trying to state what I observe about how people do things, how the machinery of our world is behaving, and where it seems to be headed.
I guess I argue politics because it is how I learn about the subject. I wouldn't say I am always willing to change my mind about something, but my mind has changed in the course of the discussions I have been involved in.
If anything at this point, I am here to find the rationale to move out of this idiot-infested country and break my addiction to home and the fear of new places. When all is said and done, we are way beyond the possibility of 'saving' the world as we know it. The world we know is the one of Consumerism and Ignorance and Blind Faith. It is what large societies thrive on. Most people are looking for a 'cure' to some particular aspect of the failure of this meme: to prop up capitalism or "free markets" or "democracy", but those things don't actually exist as part of the growth civilization. They are symptoms of people acting in the bizarre, illogical ways that caged animals act. Some stay in one part of the cage and others tend to jump the fences. The only solution is the one that always happens: Barbarism: either from the frontiers of the civilization or from within. Barbarism is the chaos-induced event which a too-stable system induces in itself. The more that the System of systems tries to respond to instabilities, the more it creates the failures. Until humans realize that diversity and randomness are just as important as stability and quantity, they will continue to create Boom and Bust cycles. While they work to try to repair the Busts, they must learn to control the Boom. Politics is just what happens when you have too many people in one cage. Rather than eliminate the cage, we try to make people "better".

14   Auntiegrav   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 10:57pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sorry that was too long, but a P.S. about politics:
Government is an inherent part of the body of society. Libertarian/conservatives claim that we can cut off a leg and be more 'efficient' because we won't have to eat as many calories. Liberals believe we can just keep growing more arms without understanding the limits to the body of society. Neither really stops and talks about what the purpose of the society in total is for, what people are good for, or how to determine whether a thing is "good" or "bad" (other than some vague bullshit about "morality" that comes from historically victorious war mongers).
Any species survives because of its usefulness to its own future (and the future of its resources). The bottom line in any politically heated argument is to stop and ask "What are people FOR?"
Any logical and reasonable person will be willing to explore that question. Any fanatic will say "Only God (or Fate or the Invisible Hand Job) can answer THAT! What's that got to do with the ELECTION?!!"

15   wbblair3   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 20, 11:35pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Not that political arguments actually make any difference in a system where we only have a facade of representative democracy:

And most of the most politically argumentative people I have seen online have no real idea what they're talking about having apparently acquired their knowledge on the topics they argue from 24 hour news channel coverage where even most of the shows that pretend to specialize in political topics take the idiotic left vs. right position. As a result, one always gets only half of the story and superficial coverage to boot.

16   wirelessben   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 21, 12:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Cloud says

The term "muppet" in England means "idiot."

This is a key piece of information not found in any of the American articles about Greg Smith's resignation.

An argument founded on facts which proceeds to a logical conclusion is a good read. If it survives the onslaught of subsequent comments from the critical thinking crowd, then you have a decent claim of acquired knowledge.

17   Travis Bickle   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 21, 3:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I WANT to be wrong - I ssek to promote the "incorrect" point of view in any given argument... It's just fun...

Besides, argument & protest solve nothing since violence solves everything.... in the end...

...and now I am "liking" my own comments, so take that!!! BTW, I thought we couldn't do that anymore...

18   Papercut   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 21, 1:40pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The thing is that we all actually want the same thing for everybody. Jobs, healthy economy, prosperity, good schools, good affordable health care, retirement, better future for our children, etc.

The political views are not about what we want, but about about HOW we achieve those things.

Political arguments tend to be accusations that the other party actually does not want those things for everybody (wrong). In political arguments, we seem to confuse our common goals with our varying methods.

20   AWK1   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 23, 2:11am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The above is from Since this image is appearing in the main page today, I am sure (because the source site specifically states so) that the artist would have appreciated an attribution.

21   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 23, 2:12am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes, that's a good point. How should I do that attribution? Maybe a link under the photo on the home page?

22   Dan8267   ignore (3)   2012 Mar 23, 6:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The purpose of a debate is not to persuade your opponent, but the audience. And the Internet's audience is all of mankind including those not even born yet. Like it or not, these debates will be archived for thousands of years. So make sure your point is clear and sensible.

23   Travis Bickle   ignore (0)   2012 Mar 24, 4:25am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Dan8267 says

So make sure your point is clear and sensible.

Yeah, like mines... You win...

24   FortWayne   ignore (4)   2012 Mar 24, 2:55pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Vicente says

Everyone enjoys a bit of argument, it's not pointless. If it gives you pleasure and exercises some muscles, then feel no shame about it!

Hmmm.... the same applies to some other social interactions....

25   curious2   ignore (0)   2012 Sep 29, 5:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Actually I do learn from some of these exchanges.

Some PatNet Users are smart but come from a different perspective with a different bias. It is interesting to see how people's memories drift over time, in ways that tend to confirm their bias. I recently had an exchange with someone where each of our memories had drifted in opposite directions, mine by 5% and his by more than 50% over a longer time. It may explain part of why people can drift apart, memory can be self-serving.

Also I like testing ideas in an anonymous way, where other anonymous users are uninhibited in their critique. Conversations with family or friends tend to be more polite, because people don't want to offend or damage relationships. Online debates are what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

On the other hand, without the smiles and laughs of in-person conversation, typing back and forth can easily get overheated. Some people are good with emoticons :)

Other people just want to vent, which is OK.

Still others want to bully and call other people names where they can do that without getting punched. Others run away while displaying bizarre combinations of behavior (one made obviously false accusations against me and Ignored me while using a separate browser to follow me). Those people aren't much fun, but their personality disorders illustrate part of human nature and so it is possible to learn about people by observing their behavior.

I feel like I learn a lot from PatNet, and it's free.

26   anonymous   ignore (null)   2012 Sep 29, 7:06am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I just want to convince all the stupid republicans to shut up and go away so the smart democrats can make the world a better place

27   curious2   ignore (0)   2012 Sep 29, 8:34am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Squatting in East CoCo says

Please buy Patricks book to support the cause.

Done, and am enjoying reading it!

28   someone else   ignore (0)   2012 Sep 29, 9:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thank you!

If you have time, I'd be honored by a review on Amazon.

29   JodyChunder   ignore (3)   2012 Sep 29, 10:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

edvard2 says

What do you hope to accomplish arguing politics?

The hope is that your views are intellectually challenged. This is constructive in that it helps you gain perspective, which either girds or undermines your philosophy. One thing is for sure -- to stick to the intellectual ghettoes and amen corners of like-minded fiends might be pleasant, but it's no good enough -- not for a serious thinker. You gotta take it out on the track and and then come back and tear everything down and rebuild it again, trying to suss out the weak parts of your blueprint/

30   HEY YOU   ignore (8)   2012 Sep 29, 12:42pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

No one should waste their time arguing with me.
I know everything. LOL

31   marcus   ignore (11)   2012 Sep 30, 3:22am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

JodyChunder says

You gotta take it out on the track and and then come back and tear everything down and rebuild it again, trying to suss out the weak parts of your blueprint/

John Bailo says

‘Daily discussion of the matters about which you hear me conversing is the highest good for man. Life that is not tested by such discussion is not worth living.’"


Also, these days politics is SO partisan that it's difficult except with certain friends to argue about it.

I've observed that republicans tend to not follow much of it. For example they didn't see Clinton's speech at the democratic convention and they don't want to.

Liberals are more likely to be willing to try on for size the republican view point than the other way around. It's true that you aren't going to change many republican's mind on here. But what about independent's ?

If a relatively politically independent type voter were to read these arguments, and wasn't starting off wanting to believe one side or the other, I have to believe they would easily choose Obama over Romney.

But it's true they wouldn't have to come here to figure that out.

32   Nobody   ignore (0)   2012 Oct 2, 2:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I just needed to confirm that idiots do exist.

33   lostand confused   ignore (0)   2012 Oct 2, 4:01am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Nothing. I don't like either party. One is nuts and the other is an ostrich with its head in the sand.

So at different times I end up supporting different parties for different reasons!

34   freak80   ignore (4)   2012 Oct 2, 4:09am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I'm just going to go home and kiss my pet lion. :-)

35   anonymous   ignore (null)   2012 Oct 2, 5:42am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

If you thought the height of stupidity was the left/right paradigm and repubs bickering with demtards, then I guess you never saw these jackasses that claim to be independents. They make this claim, because they are not married to either party, they merely pick the shittiest of ideas that flow from that two sided coin, and allow them to become law! Thanks a whole friggin lot, friends!

Its impossible to think outside the box, when you willfully trap yourself in the box

Nothing urks me more then to hear the attitudes of the holier then thou "my political bent is better then yours" americans. People actually think they are free, and they rationalize it by wether or not an action falls within the law. You gotta be friggin kidding me. Some clown posted a thread topic that the repub right in this country is responsible for the descent into fascism, and cited their use of the term 'liberal' as a derogatory term. Gtfo with that crap. The people that put higher priority on the laws of the land, over their own personal internal devices to decide what is (morally) right or wrong, are the fascists. "Hey, I might not agree with it, but its not illegal" or hey, I know such and such isn't wrong, but it is illegal. Fuck all to what some horseshit system of laws says to dictate my moral actions. I'm free and I prefer to keep it that way.

That there are millions of poor people rotting away in (for profit) prisons in this country withou ever having committed a crime against society, and you never ever ever hear a peep out of the disinteresting finger waggers about how hieniously cruel that shit is, is all the proof I need that its one big fucking sham.

Instead we have a bunch of people whining about same sex cocksuckers and abortion clinic floozys, who obviously don't know enough to comment on the matter, because its quite obvious you're not getting any yourself.

36   Nobody   ignore (0)   2012 Oct 2, 6:06am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Nothing. No cure for idiots and deceived.

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