Monday, March 15, 2010

The difference between liberals and conservatives - Part Two

Building on my last post on the differences between liberals and conservatives, Nate Silver catches an interesting twist to Gallup's lastest health care poll. They provided "the verbatim responses (.xls) of the rationales given by people who would tell their Congressman to vote for or against the current health care bills, respectively."

Nate ran it through some software that created word clouds for the pros and cons. In essence, the pro-reform cloud said, "Healthcare for everybody." The con cloud said, "Government takeover of my healthcare," or in other words, "I am a Glenn Beck zombie."

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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9 Comments:

Blogger Southern Beale said...

I saw this today, thought it was fascinating. As Nate points out at the link, "some of the anti-health care sentiment may be based on a misunderstanding about what exactly the bill would do..." Riiight we've been hollering about this for a year now. I do not for the life of me understand why Dems are SO BAD at messaging. Why no one stepped forward from the get-go and screamed THIS IS NOT A MASSIVE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER which is what the right has been saying ... it just makes me nuts.

i've been saying this for months but what pisses me off the most about this whole thing is that we've been *fighting* the single payer argument when single payer was never, ever even on the table! I mean holy crap! If I'm debating this with people who think we're talking about a massive government takeover of American healthcare, at least MAKE IT A MASSIVE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF AMERICAN HEALTHCARE!!!!

Brick ------> forehead

8:32:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

Dems are not so much bad at messaging as they are unable to understand how the half or so of the country that 'leans right' thinks.

When you say it is not a massive takeover you are entirely correct, by your definitions. When they say it is a massive takeover, they are also correct, by their definitions.

We are not even arguing the same things; that is why we cannot agree on what the truth is.

To choose the obvious example, if you say I can get any insurance I want as long as it meets certain standards, but those standards make it impossible to get what I want, then when you claim I have a choice, and I say I don't, neither of us is lying or even wrong. We just evaluate things differently.

Of course, the various crazies are not helping, but then neither is the focus each opposing side puts on them.

3:20:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Undefined terms are indeed at the heart of most political arguments, but which side has done the most to obscure, misrepresent, invent, incite and make rational discussion impossible?

Is there a Democratic Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh wailing and screaming day and night about Democrats murdering your grandmother and death panels? No, we hear that even though three quarters of America wants reform, that they're a lunatic fringe of Bolsheviks, Nazis, and Marxists out to destroy the very fabric of civilization and trying to ram it down our throats.

How can anyone deny the disparity in rhetoric, the responsibility for this biggest smear campaign in living memory? We're speaking different languages because the Republicans want it that way.

10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Dems suck at messaging. This could have been a done deal months ago if they could get their act together. But to be fair, the people who need to get the message don't hear it because they only listen to Beck, Limbaugh and World Nut Daily.

The Dems biggest problem is that they let the GOP rattle them and they're not good at inventing viral slogans like "death panel" and even when they have good messaging they don't all unite behind the talking point and push it into the narrative.

But the Dems also have to fight the SCLM who give the microphones to the nutcases and do everything they can to stoke hte outrage because it drives traffic. Damned depressing, but hey, looks like our Dems iz learning. I'm thinking this thing is going to pass. Keep your fingers crossed.

10:22:00 AM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

I think you are rather underestimating the number of people who just don't agree with this solution, but perhaps I am mistaken.

No one I talk to listens to Beck, Palin or Limbaugh. I did try Rush once... he was kinda funny but that's all I can really say for him. Beck is like fingernails on a chalkboard, I can't even sit through clips. Palin just doesn't say anything new or interesting.

But if you don't understand how the other side thinks, you cannot convince them of the merits of your ideas. Even worse from a functional perspective, you cannot compromise on the important sticking points if you cannot identify them.

Another obvious example would be the use of the phrase 'access to' applied to healthcare, housing, what have you. I am reasonably certain y'all have no idea how much that instantly sets conservatives teeth on edge. Which is fine if you are talking amongst yourselves, not so good if you are trying to when converts.

8:03:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

when = win (that's a pretty special typo there)

8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Well, I'd like to say I give a damn what self-styled conservatives like or don't like, but I don't. Every bastion of "traditional values" has fallen over the last 150 years and I'm sure the trend will continue. Since fewer than a quarter of voters self-identify as Republicans I think you are indeed mistaken and are on the same wrong side of history American conservatives have always been on.

Converts? We didn't get universal suffrage or equal rights for all citizens or even ending lynchings, Slavery and segregation by winning converts, now did we? Nor by making compromises with the Confederacy or the Klan. Indeed we have made some with the plutocracy, but the cost has been far too great.

I'm sorry about your teeth, but it's not my problem.

11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm with Fogg, OMR. I don't think it's possible to get converts among people who won't accept hard facts when they conflict w/ their mindset. Righties I interact regularly will refuse to even looks at link to a MSM outlet if a leftie has linked to it in a blog or whatever.

And how interesting that "access" sets cons off. Adds more weight to my theory that cons are me-centric since access implies everyone gets an opportunity for whatever the access is for.

2:30:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

That's a new one to me and I thought I had heard it all.

The fear is indeed that someone will get something from them. I wrote about an anti healthcare rally in Columbus today where they were taunting someone with Parkinsons demanding that he go to "work" and not ask for handouts.

Anyway, the hell with trying to understand the minds of nasty, ill informed and neurotic people. Let 'em go to China if they want a country without public health care - and even China is getting ready to provide it.

12:22:00 PM  

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