Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Death, Decency, Humanity, and Politics

 

Senator John McCain, after suffering a long battle with a brain tumor, finally passed away on August 25, at the age of 81. The Senator was one of the more influential members of the Congress during my lifetime. For both better and worse, his opinion on the policy issues of the day have driven much of the debate in this country for over the last two decades.

This, of course, doesn’t even to begin to describe his sacrifice during the Vietnam War, where he suffered years of torture at the hands of his Vietnamese captors. This was a true American: imperfect, with lots of friends and enemies, but he certainly sacrificed much for the great cause of his nation.

And yet, like everything else in America today, his passing brought up terrible responses of hate, anger, and downright ugliness.

What is unique about McCain, unlike most of the other examples we have seen in recent years, is how bipartisan that hatred truly is. The hate from the far Left mostly originates from anger toward McCain’s aggressive foreign policy stances, which have promoted intervention and war. The hate from the Right originates from several areas, starting with his “disputed” record in Vietnam (from some corners), to his very mixed record as a Republican and conservative, where his “Maverick” status often let to McCain undercutting base conservatives in an attempt to move to the theoretical political middle. The fact that he killed one of Trump’s promised goals, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, only hardened those feelings.

Both extremes have been very vocal in their giddiness over the news of McCain’s passing. It is unlike anything else we have seen in recent years. Sure, hatred toward Reagan and Thatcher was quite vocal when they passed, but that came from one side of the aisle. McCain’s haters are ironically bipartisan and enthusiastic on both extremes of the political divide.

To compound matters, President Donald Trump isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue on these matters. As always, in his small, petty, thin-skinned way, he did everything possible even in death to belittle McCain. First, he refused to make a sufficient statement on learning of McCain’s passing. After several hours (where can one imagine his staffers pleading with him to put something out publicly) … he expressed condolences to the McCain family, without ever praising McCain himself. This was compounded by the fact that Trump raised the flag over the White House from half-staff, only a day after McCain’s death, which angered many, especially those in the military community. It was only three days later that Trump could bring himself to put out a satisfactory White House statement on the Senator’s passing.

Now, we can write this off as “Trump being Trump.” And frankly, at this late stage, getting angry at Trump’s petty theatrics is probably a waste of time. He is better ignored than focused upon.

But Trump is a mirror on which we might be able to understand the state of the social climate in America as a whole. Many refuse to admit this, but Trump’s actions echo much of our public’s reflexive responses to political disputes these days. And McCain’s death isn’t the only recent example.

The Mollie Tibbetts case comes to mind.

Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was kidnapped and murdered a month ago. Her case made national news, as the frantic search for the young woman continued. After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime. The fact that this young man was in the country illegally, however, set off the expected political chain reaction one might expect.

The political Right quickly made Mollie the newest in a line of poster children for the risks of open borders. This, for obvious reasons, had a poor reaction from the media, who quickly attacked conservatives for “politicizing a tragedy.”

To be frank, there is absolutely no question the Right was politicizing a tragedy. The irony is that for the last several years, we’ve been told that politicizing tragedies was precisely what the country needed to fix policy failures at the federal level. Every time a mass shooting has occurred, we’ve heard this refrain … just from the Left instead of the Right.

Clearly, there are political issues involved. These days, when isn’t politics involved? For me, however, this goes back to my concern about the fundamental shattering of basic civility and common decency in American society.

Both McCain’s death and the Tibbetts tragedy highlight how vicious our daily rancor has become, even with the simplest of human interactions. Common decency once dictated that we would, for the briefest of moments, express sympathy to the families who had lost a loved one, and that our personal animosities and political ambitions would be brushed aside, for the greater good.

That commonality of humanity is lacking today.

Politicization of every single facet of life has had massive detrimental repercussions. Conservatives have warned about the ever-encroaching effect of government in our daily lives; we are now seeing some of the real-world effects of this seismic shift, and these reactions are an example of them. The inability to view our political “enemies” as fellow Americans, with some level of common purpose and beliefs, is undermining the very fabric of what it used to be to be an American.

Additionally, using these events as moments to advance political causes is not without some logic, but the tactic is not benign. Tibbetts’ family rightfully pleaded with the nation to avoid using their daughter’s death as a political tool. I fundamentally wish people had heeded that call. But in an era where both sides are adamant about winning the political battle, the feelings of the mourning family seems irrelevant for either political tribe.

There were moments in which we could unite as a country, regardless of party affiliation, policy differences, and general disagreements. The assassination of JFK. The moon landing. The 1980 USA Hockey Gold Medal team. The Challenger explosion. 9/11. We used to be able to come together at those moments and weep or celebrate together.

Smaller tragedies, like those described above, would bring us together for a few moments. Now, they are events that drive us further apart.

Sadly, I am not sure this trajectory can be reversed in the short run. We have become a more coarse, hard-edged society, unwilling to give even the smallest concession to our “enemies,” even at a moment of suffering and weakness. Some hyperpartisans believe showing such empathy at moments of tragedy shows our weakness; the irony is, the lack of showing such emotion is what is undermining our country in the long run.

Eventually, we must ask ourselves: if we are not a society that can come together in any way, even in moments of greatness, sadness, and heartache … what kind of country are we?

There are 115 comments.

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  1. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This post is a little short on historical perspective. Demonizing the other side really is as old as humanity. So is politicization of every event. The plural of anecdotes may be data, but it is anecdotes – not data – that drive most monumental decisions in human history.

    • #1
    • August 28, 2018, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Pradheep Shanker: Both extremes have been very vocal in their giddiness over the news of McCain’s passing.

    I don’t see “giddiness” in the commentary over McCains passing, a least from the right (at least on Ricochet). Nobody is happy the man is dead. Some of us just refuse to overlook the man’s failings.

     

    • #2
    • August 28, 2018, at 11:00 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  3. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Pradheep Shanker: Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was kidnapped and murdered a month ago. Her case made national news, as the frantic search for the young woman continued. After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime.

    Irrelevant fact check – it wasn’t “after finding her body”. The suspect was identified, who then led authorities to the body.

     

    • #3
    • August 28, 2018, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Henry Racette Contributor

    Pradheep Shanker: Clearly, there are political issues involved. These days, when isn’t politics involved? For me, however, this goes back to my concern about the fundamental shattering of basic civility and common decency in American society.

    A good post, Pradheep, and there’s much in it with which I agree. Thank you.

    Regarding this one thing, this idea that something “fundamental” has changed, I’m skeptical. I wonder if it’s really more the fact that everyone now has a megaphone: social media has given everyone a voice, and we will naturally take notice of the loudest and coarsest voices.

    Imagine that there were no Twitter. Think how much different the discourse would be, how many fewer opportunities there would be to express outrage over some uncivil and indecent outburst. Just think how often “so-and-so tweeted out” is the starting point for all the vitriol that follows.

    Twitter is like alcohol: it encourages normal people to do stupid things, and magnifies the evil in the worst of us.

    • #4
    • August 28, 2018, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. Pradheep Shanker Reagan
    Pradheep Shanker

    I think social media clearly has changed the dynamic. Whether it is the cause of this, has amplified it, or something else, can be debated. 

    • #5
    • August 28, 2018, at 1:26 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief

    Pradheep Shanker (View Comment):

    I think social media clearly has changed the dynamic. Whether it is the cause of this, has amplified it, or something else, can be debated.

    Spending too much time on Twitter, as I do, really captures the dynamic you describe above. The constant fighting is a digital WW1 — each side desparate to seize one more useless trench, hill, or acre, imagining that will win the battle for their side.

    • #6
    • August 28, 2018, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  7. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker (View Comment):

    I think social media clearly has changed the dynamic. Whether it is the cause of this, has amplified it, or something else, can be debated.

    Spending too much time on Twitter, as I do, really captures the dynamic you describe above. The constant fighting is a digital WW1 — each side desparate to seize one more useless trench, hill, or acre, imagining that will win the battle for their side.

    This confirms the wisdom of me never getting on Twitter. Thank you Jon for doing it for the rest of us, so that we don’t have to.

    This was an absolutely superb Post.

    • #7
    • August 28, 2018, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. blood thirsty neocon Inactive

    He was right about the Iraq surge, and he rightly voted for the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax reform law. Everything else was bad.

    • #8
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. George Townsend Inactive

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: Both extremes have been very vocal in their giddiness over the news of McCain’s passing.

    I don’t see “giddiness” in the commentary over McCains passing, a least from the right (at least on Ricochet). Nobody is happy the man is dead. Some of us just refuse to overlook the man’s failings.

     

    You are forgetting (or choosing to forget) the comment that said “Good Riddance”.

    • #9
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Skyler Coolidge

    I don’t think it is accurate to say the military supports McCain because of his service. I think a significant percentage of those with military backgrounds are more critical of him. 

    • #10
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Concretevol Thatcher

    Pradheep Shanker: Eventually, we must ask ourselves: if we are not a society that can come together in any way, even in moments of greatness, sadness, and heartache … what kind of country are we?

    A pretty good one actually. Jon is right, the scenario you describe is exactly how twitter is. It also is represented on 24 hr news channels etc….. That is not, however the way everyday America looks or sounds. Thank goodness

    • #11
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:46 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  12. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Pradheep Shanker:

    Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, was kidnapped and murdered a month ago. Her case made national news, as the frantic search for the young woman continued. After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime.

    Mollie Tibbetts’ murderer was not a “young local man,” but an illegal alien who had no business being in our country. Had our laws been enforced, she would still be alive. However, the Democratic Party and the Republican establishment privilege foreign criminals over their own countrymen for their own personal enrichment. To them, Americans who suffer at the hands of illegals are little more than collateral damage.

    • #12
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  13. George Townsend Inactive

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: Clearly, there are political issues involved. These days, when isn’t politics involved? For me, however, this goes back to my concern about the fundamental shattering of basic civility and common decency in American society.

    A good post, Pradheep, and there’s much in it with which I agree. Thank you.

    Regarding this one thing, this idea that something “fundamental” has changed, I’m skeptical. I wonder if it’s really more the fact that everyone now has a megaphone: social media has given everyone a voice, and we will naturally take notice of the loudest and coarsest voices.

    Imagine that there were no Twitter. Think how much different the discourse would be, how many fewer opportunities there would be to express outrage over some uncivil and indecent outburst. Just think how often “so-and-so tweeted out” is the starting point for all the vitriol that follows.

    Twitter is like alcohol: it encourages normal people to do stupid things, and magnifies the evil in the worst of us.

    This isn’t a bad comment, Hank. It is perceptive. I can agree with much of it. but, I think the public square has become more hardened, less civil. Twitter is the biggest symptom of it, I would argue. But the biggest example of it, I would contend, are the men and women who are running for office, and the ones who are already there. Years ago, we would have not put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left, or that crazy Alabama guy from the Right, who almost won election (and whose name I have -praise the Lord – forgotten).

    • #13
    • August 28, 2018, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Weeping Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker (View Comment):

    I think social media clearly has changed the dynamic. Whether it is the cause of this, has amplified it, or something else, can be debated.

    Spending too much time on Twitter, as I do, really captures the dynamic you describe above. The constant fighting is a digital WW1 — each side desparate to seize one more useless trench, hill, or acre, imagining that will win the battle for their side.

    A digital WW1 – I like that description. 

    • #14
    • August 28, 2018, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Weeping Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: Clearly, there are political issues involved. These days, when isn’t politics involved? For me, however, this goes back to my concern about the fundamental shattering of basic civility and common decency in American society.

    A good post, Pradheep, and there’s much in it with which I agree. Thank you.

    Regarding this one thing, this idea that something “fundamental” has changed, I’m skeptical. I wonder if it’s really more the fact that everyone now has a megaphone: social media has given everyone a voice, and we will naturally take notice of the loudest and coarsest voices.

    Imagine that there were no Twitter. Think how much different the discourse would be, how many fewer opportunities there would be to express outrage over some uncivil and indecent outburst. Just think how often “so-and-so tweeted out” is the starting point for all the vitriol that follows.

    Twitter is like alcohol: it encourages normal people to do stupid things, and magnifies the evil in the worst of us.

    This isn’t a bad comment, Hank. It is perceptive. I can agree with much of it. but, I think the public square has become more hardened, less civil. Twitter is the biggest symptom of it, I would argue. But the biggest example of it, I would contend, are the men and women who are running for office, and the ones who are already there. Years ago, we would have not put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left, or that crazy Alabama guy from the Right, who almost won election (and whose name I have -praise the Lord – forgotten).

    How far back were you thinking when you said the above? According to Wikipedia, Ms Waters has been in office since 1990. So apparently we have been willing to “put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left” for almost 30 years. That’s a pretty long time.

     

    • #15
    • August 28, 2018, at 5:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. George Townsend Inactive

    Weeping (View Comment):
    How far back were you thinking when you said the above? According to Wikipedia, Ms Waters has been in office since 1990. So apparently we have been willing to “put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left” for almost 30 years. That’s a pretty long time.

    You are right. She has always been horrid. But I think she has gone further than ever lately. For a public official to say that it is ok to harass people whose only “sin” is to eat out in a public restaurant, I believe, is unprocessidented. That is what I was thinking of.

    • #16
    • August 28, 2018, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Skyler Coolidge

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):
    How far back were you thinking when you said the above? According to Wikipedia, Ms Waters has been in office since 1990. So apparently we have been willing to “put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left” for almost 30 years. That’s a pretty long time.

    You are right. She has always been horrid. But I think she has gone further than ever lately. For a public official to say that it is ok to harass people whose only “sin” is to eat out in a public restaurant, I believe, is unprocessidented. That is what I was thinking of.

    She wasn’t the first on either side. 

    • #17
    • August 28, 2018, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    Twitter is the biggest symptom of it, I would argue. But the biggest example of it, I would contend, are the men and women who are running for office, and the ones who are already there. Years ago, we would have not put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left, or that crazy Alabama guy from the Right, who almost won election (and whose name I have -praise the Lord – forgotten).

    Maxine Waters was first elected to Congress in 1990.

     

    • #18
    • August 28, 2018, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: Both extremes have been very vocal in their giddiness over the news of McCain’s passing.

    I don’t see “giddiness” in the commentary over McCains passing, a least from the right (at least on Ricochet). Nobody is happy the man is dead. Some of us just refuse to overlook the man’s failings.

     

    You are forgetting (or choosing to forget) the comment that said “Good Riddance”.

    You have a different definition of “giddy” than I do.

    Remember the Lefties in the UK who were throwing street parties when Margaret Thatcher died? That’s “giddy”.

     

    • #19
    • August 28, 2018, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Chris B Member

    Pradheep Shanker: First, he refused to make a sufficient statement on learning of McCain’s passing. After several hours (where can one imagine his staffers pleading with him to put something out publicly) … he expressed condolences to the McCain family, without ever praising McCain himself.

    It has been reported that McCain explicitly requested that Trump neither eulogize him or attend his funeral . . . Given that, how is Trump supposed to respond?

    This was compounded by the fact that Trump raised the flag over the White House from half-staff, only a day after McCain’s death, which angered many, especially those in the military community.

    The White House extended Senator McCain exactly the honor specified in the official Flag Code. Why, exactly, should be McCain be honored above any other Senator or member of Congress? He was not Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; who are persons to be honored by a flag flown half staff until their internment. It is unlikely that Trump even had a hand in this, as the situation is explicitly codified to be carried out exactly as it was performed, and is something that was likely managed by the White House staff.

    After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime.

    When a person is not a legal resident, it is disingenuous to refer to him as a “local man.”

    Frankly, I am done being fed a blatantly contrived narrative and then told that I must accept the narrative for the sake of civility. If refusing to accept false narratives means that “everything is now politicized,” so be it.

    Because of his own animosity towards Donald Trump, John McCain requested that Trump extend him no special honors. Trump did as asked. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    The flag was flown at half mast for exactly the time prescribed by the Flag Code. There has been, to my knowledge, no evidence presented that Trump had anything to do with it. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    Molly Tibbetts was murdered by a man who had no legitimate business being in the country. The media and the left tried to make it about “Toxic Masculinity.” Somehow the murder of an innocent young woman is the fault of everyone with testicles?

    I’ll think about “coming together” when the other side decides to hike up their trousers and stop telling me the dampness on my leg is rain from the global warming climate change that’s really all my fault anyway. Until then, I’m simply unimpressed with calls for “decency.”

    • #20
    • August 28, 2018, at 6:28 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: First, he refused to make a sufficient statement on learning of McCain’s passing. After several hours (where can one imagine his staffers pleading with him to put something out publicly) … he expressed condolences to the McCain family, without ever praising McCain himself.

    It has been reported that McCain explicitly requested that Trump neither eulogize him or attend his funeral . . . Given that, how is Trump supposed to respond?

    This was compounded by the fact that Trump raised the flag over the White House from half-staff, only a day after McCain’s death, which angered many, especially those in the military community.

    The White House extended Senator McCain exactly the honor specified in the official Flag Code. Why, exactly, should be McCain be honored above any other Senator or member of Congress? He was not Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; who are persons to be honored by a flag flown half staff until their internment. It is unlikely that Trump even had a hand in this, as the situation is explicitly codified to be carried out exactly as it was performed, and is something that was likely managed by the White House staff.

    After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime.

    When a person is not a legal resident, it is disingenuous to refer to him as a “local man.”

    Frankly, I am done being fed a blatantly contrived narrative an then told that I must accept the narrative for the sake of civility. If refusing to accept false narratives means that “everything is now politicized,” so be it.

    Because of his own animosity towards Donald Trump, John McCain requested that Trump extend him no special honors. Trump did as asked. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    The flag was flown at half mast for exactly the time prescribed by the Flag Code. There has been, to my knowledge, no evidence presented that Trump had anything to do with it. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    Molly Tibbetts was murdered by a man who had no legitimate business being in the country. The media and the left tried to make it about “Toxic Masculinity.” Somehow the murder of an innocent young woman is the fault of everyone with testicles?

    I’ll think about “coming together” when the other side decides to hike up their trousers and stop telling me the dampness on my leg is rain from the global warming climate change that’s really all my fault anyway. Until then, I’m simply unimpressed with calls for “decency.”

    Five stars!

     

    • #21
    • August 28, 2018, at 6:31 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  22. RightAngles Member

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: First, he refused to make a sufficient statement on learning of McCain’s passing. After several hours (where can one imagine his staffers pleading with him to put something out publicly) … he expressed condolences to the McCain family, without ever praising McCain himself.

    It has been reported that McCain explicitly requested that Trump neither eulogize him or attend his funeral . . . Given that, how is Trump supposed to respond?

    This was compounded by the fact that Trump raised the flag over the White House from half-staff, only a day after McCain’s death, which angered many, especially those in the military community.

    The White House extended Senator McCain exactly the honor specified in the official Flag Code. Why, exactly, should be McCain be honored above any other Senator or member of Congress? He was not Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; who are persons to be honored by a flag flown half staff until their internment. It is unlikely that Trump even had a hand in this, as the situation is explicitly codified to be carried out exactly as it was performed, and is something that was likely managed by the White House staff.

    After finding her body, it was quickly discovered a young local man had committed the crime.

    When a person is not a legal resident, it is disingenuous to refer to him as a “local man.”

    Frankly, I am done being fed a blatantly contrived narrative and then told that I must accept the narrative for the sake of civility. If refusing to accept false narratives means that “everything is now politicized,” so be it.

    Because of his own animosity towards Donald Trump, John McCain requested that Trump extend him no special honors. Trump did as asked. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    The flag was flown at half mast for exactly the time prescribed by the Flag Code. There has been, to my knowledge, no evidence presented that Trump had anything to do with it. The anti-Trump factions on both sides feigned outrage. Somehow this politicization is Trump supporters’ fault?

    Molly Tibbetts was murdered by a man who had no legitimate business being in the country. The media and the left tried to make it about “Toxic Masculinity.” Somehow the murder of an innocent young woman is the fault of everyone with testicles?

    I’ll think about “coming together” when the other side decides to hike up their trousers and stop telling me the dampness on my leg is rain from the global warming climate change that’s really all my fault anyway. Until then, I’m simply unimpressed with calls for “decency.”

    I don’t need to comment now because you just said everything I was going to say, only better.

    • #22
    • August 28, 2018, at 9:08 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  23. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Pradheep Shanker: this trajectory can be reversed

    I am not sure many people want the trajectory reversed. The media sells more ads with all the outrage. It is probably good for politicians. Marxist theory calls for the destruction of binding institutions, so those folks off the table. It seems like all the people that are in the business of getting elected prefer the polarization. Do not despair. I think it was Ben Shapiro that said (iirc), “I used to worry that the majority of Americans who were ignorant of politics would be our undoing, now I believe they will be our salvation.” In other words, Twitter is not real life.

    • #23
    • August 28, 2018, at 9:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Jager Coolidge
    Jager Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have read this a few times just to make sure I was giving it a clear reading and not reading things into it that were not meant.

    Overall I think there is some merit to your theory in the big picture but some of the details are problematic.

    Part of the cause of the divide maybe that we no longer share common “facts”.

    Your thought is that the flag was lowered because Trump is petty. My thought is that Pres. Eisenhower set the rules for this in 1954. The existence of set rules is a fact, but apparently not one we share.

    Your “fact” is that a “local boy” murdered a college student. I guess it is technically true in that he had lived in the area for a few years. My“fact” is that an illegal immigrant is not a local boy. That is just not what people in my part of flyover country consider to be a local boy.

    As we do not share common facts, we talk past each other and finding common ground and unity on issues becomes much harder.

    • #24
    • August 28, 2018, at 9:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Pradheep Shanker (View Comment):

    I think social media clearly has changed the dynamic. Whether it is the cause of this, has amplified it, or something else, can be debated.

    Twitter’s impersonal nature means people have no qualms about saying things in 240 characters they would never say face-to-face to a person, and more importantly too many people in the media put an oversized emphasis on Twitter, in part because they like to be on Twitter and hear the sound of their own tweets, with your number of followers substituting for the old Neilsen Ratings.

    But most people don’t care, and in many cases, the obsessive desire to be cutting edge on Twitter and to care what people on Twitter think is counterproductive, because it amplifies the angry crazies and gives far greater weight to the heckler’s veto and to the professionally offended than they ever should have.

    Being hyper-offended and/or hyper-angry on Twitter is a way to gain power for yourself and attempt to marginalize your enemies, because in the pre-social media days you used to have to work really hard to get the big media’s attention for your cause (and you usually had to also be in a major media market to get that type of press attention). Now, anyone with an internet connection and the proper amount of outrage can use social media to try and create a mass following to get what they want, and people in the media (old and new) are perfectly happy to help them do it if they think they can get a few more eyeballs or clicks out of it for their own purposes.

    • #25
    • August 28, 2018, at 11:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. RufusRJones Member

    The problem is the whole left uses Alinsky tactics and Critical Theory reflexively now and the centralization of government + Keynesiansm means that 

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    I don’t see how moderate or civil anything is that helpful anymore. 

    The Frankfurt School is winning and we are way past the point that the Tea Party could do anything about the centralized power and graft that is ruining everything. 

    • #26
    • August 29, 2018, at 4:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. RufusRJones Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Pradheep Shanker: Both extremes have been very vocal in their giddiness over the news of McCain’s passing.

    I don’t see “giddiness” in the commentary over McCains passing, a least from the right (at least on Ricochet). Nobody is happy the man is dead. Some of us just refuse to overlook the man’s failings.

     

    The reports on twitter are sickening. There really are people going out of their way to celebrate. 

    • #27
    • August 29, 2018, at 4:04 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. RufusRJones Member

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):
    How far back were you thinking when you said the above? According to Wikipedia, Ms Waters has been in office since 1990. So apparently we have been willing to “put up with a Maxine Waters from the Left” for almost 30 years. That’s a pretty long time.

    You are right. She has always been horrid. But I think she has gone further than ever lately. For a public official to say that it is ok to harass people whose only “sin” is to eat out in a public restaurant, I believe, is unprocessidented. That is what I was thinking of.

    See: Critical Theory

    • #28
    • August 29, 2018, at 4:08 AM PDT
    • Like
  29. RufusRJones Member

    I have some extended friendships on Twitter with liberals. Some these are people that actually get paid to acquire political power. One is an environmental lobbyist who’s somewhat reasonable and really doesn’t have any bad financial incentives like most of them do. I can tell you all of these people believe in Alinsky tactics, seizing as much government as they can to control Society’s wealth, and to a certain extent, protecting the graft they get. Minnesota is very eye-opening in this sense. They aren’t going to be reasonable. They aren’t going to learn about policy, especially in economics or health insurance. 100% of them are ignorant or disingenuous about gun policy and I’m not exaggerating. They don’t care about natural rights. They just want what they want.

    There are no Scoop Jacksons or whatever.

    David Horwitz and David Stockman are right about everything.

    • #29
    • August 29, 2018, at 4:19 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. George Townsend Inactive

    Chris B (View Comment):
    The White House extended Senator McCain exactly the honor specified in the official Flag Code. Why, exactly, should be McCain be honored above any other Senator or member of Congress? He was not Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; who are persons to be honored by a flag flown half staff until their internment. It is unlikely that Trump even had a hand in this, as the situation is explicitly codified to be carried out exactly as it was performed, and is something that was likely managed by the White House staff.

    Because he served with honor, grace, and distinction in the armed services, and got crippled by evil people for his trouble. If you hate this good man so much that you can’t give him the dignity in death that he earned ten times over, this speaks volumes to the kind of person you and others like you are.

    • #30
    • August 29, 2018, at 4:27 AM PDT
    • 1 like

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