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As many have noticed, we have long had a Dems rox/sux debate here at DKos.  This is not an attempt to resolve that debate.  Rather, this diary is an attempt to explain (partially) the differing viewpoints people bring to the debate, and why these different viewpoints lead to different views of the Democrats.

In some sense, it all boils down to how different people view the primacy of economic and cultural issues.  Those who think economics (e.g., economic inequality) are most important are most critical of the democrats.  Those who think cultural issues (e.g., civil rights) are most important are more favorably inclined to the democrats.

Follow me below the fold for my explanation for all of this.

The democrats and republicans are the same.

This phrase, or some variation of it (e.g., the two parties are owned by the same oligarchs.), are often said here at DKos. This angers some and doesn't trouble others.  Those who it angers usually respond that it ignores civil rights, abortion and the supreme court.  Those who are not troubled by the phrase respond that they weren't talking about those issues--and critically, I think they are being honest about that.  

Most people here on DKos would agree that the democrats are significantly to the left of the republicans on social issues.  Most would also agree that the two parties are far too similar on economic issues.  The difference between the roxxers and suxxers is the relative importance that they place on economic and cultural issues.

IMHO, most of the folks who use the "republicans and democrats are the same" rhetoric are talking about economics...but that's not entirely it.  They are also people who think that, deep down, economics is the real foundation of society, that ultimately economics determines social policies (Basically an old school Marxist theory).  That is, humans are seen as homo economicus. Its not that they think that the dems and republicans are the same on social issues, its that they think that economic issues (e.g., economic inequality) are far more important than social issues.  From this view, if we address economic inequality, social and racial inequality will ultimately follow.  Another way of saying this is that if minorities achieve economic parity, they will no longer face the social and civil rights abuses they currently experience.

I am more of a neo-marxist, placing social and economic issues on roughly the same level--each influencing the other.  I place roughly equal emphasis on both economics and social concerns and see the directionality of importance varying on the particular issue.  That is, I see a need for action on both sides of the equation at the same time.  

Others see social/cultural issues as primary (gender, race, LGBTQ etc).  By this view, if we solve social inequality, then economic equality will follow.  That is, if we guarantee minorities the right to vote and fully participate in society, that will allow them to partake fully in the economy and achieve economic parity.

IMHO, most folks on DKos lie on a continuum between a primarily economic focus and a primarily social/cultural focus...with those on the economic side more critical of the dems and those on the sociocultural side more supportive. If the dems have been better on sociocultural issues and worse on economic issues, than those who care most about economics will be most critical of the dems, while those who care most about civil rights will be most supportive.  The two positions in the rox/sux wars make sense given the underlying assumptions of the different factions.

To be clear, this doesn't explain everything.  Some issues lie outside this continuum (e.g., the environment), and some folks have strongly differing views on the speed at which progressive action can occur (e.g., incrementalist vs revolutionary change).  I am not saying that the economic/cultural debate explains everything, only that it explains much of it.

Recognizing these differences in perspective may not end the rox/sux wars, but perhaps it can help focus the arguments in a more productive way.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This diary SUX (5+ / 0-)

    er, I mean ROX!

    John Roberts? Melville Fuller?? WTF is the difference???.

    by Walt starr on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:43:50 AM PDT

  •  if people focused on issues (18+ / 0-)

    regardless of the politicians, and based their opinions of the politicians on how they act on the issues rather than basing their opinions on the issues on what specific politicians do on them, we'd all be better off.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:50:00 AM PDT

    •  I guess what I am saying (9+ / 0-)

      is that the issues we choose to champion are, to some level, chosen by the economic/cultural difference.

      At some level, I think much of the war comes from people failing to understand why they focus on one thing, while others focus on other things.

      It explains why the cultural folks are enraged by the "republicans and dems are the same" and why "the dems have done good things" enrages the economic folks.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:56:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but it's much more than that (8+ / 0-)

        i would say some 75% or more of the fights are personality driven.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:11:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "the dems have done good things" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, badger

        doesn't "enrage[] the economic folks" any more than "the repugs have done good things" would.  You know . . . "somebody loved his dogs" is not a particularly convincing argument.  Some things are nice.  The National Marine Sanctuaries are nice.  They're kind of not in the same category as the wars.  That's all.

        Oh yes, the wars.  Is all that militaristic "world domination" stuff "economic" or "cultural"?  How about "universal health care" . . . "economic" or "cultural"?  And the ongoing "war on marijuana" . . . is that "economic" or "cultural"?

        Not saying that there's not a germ of truth in what you write, but it's awfully simplistic, and misses rather a lot as a result.  By your "split" I'm certainly in the SUX category . . . but fewer than half of my objections to the current administration's policies hinge around strictly "economic" matters.  "Economics" is of course significant, but my objections to both parties go far deeper and are far broader than just "economic".

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:27:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me ask you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3rdOption, Deep Texan, Garrett
          Oh yes, the wars.  Is all that militaristic "world domination" stuff "economic" or "cultural"?  
          Did we go to war in Iraq for the oll and to provide money to the military industrial complex, or was it the revival of the crusades?

          I'd say it was a bit of both, but mostly the oil and money.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:43:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  both, and neither . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel

            Certainly the "free oil" guys thought they were going to make out like bandits . . . that it was going to be "a cakewalk" and all that.  That made them easy to convince.  And they were correct, as far as the "war" went . . . just abysmally wrong regarding the subsequent occupation.  But that's not all, or perhaps even most, of "what it was about".

            Whether to call it a "crusade" depends on how you define that.  If you mean it in the "classic" sense . . . to drive the Muslims out of Jerusalem . . . maybe closer to the truth, but with quite a peculiar twist.  I don't see any "American" interest in a war against Islam, though . . . we're not run by the Catholic Church or motivated by that kind of religious sentiment any more, except perhaps for a few fundamentalist nutcases.  I don't know many Christians who much care about Jerusalem.  Or Damascus.  Or Baghdad.  Not really.

            Which is what I mean when I suggest that there's a lot that falls outside the simple "economics"/"cultural" divide . . .

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:26:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and I pretty much agree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3rdOption, Deep Texan

              which is why I wrote

              To be clear, this doesn't explain everything.  Some issues lie outside this continuum (e.g., the environment), and some folks have strongly differing views on the speed at which progressive action can occur (e.g., incrementalist vs revolutionary change).  I am not saying that the economic/cultural debate explains everything, only that it explains much of it.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:29:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Well then ... (0+ / 0-)

        Killing citizens by drone attack without due process is not an economic issue. Neither is NSA surveillance or repeated prosecutions of whistleblowers. In fact, those seem like civil rights issues to me. The supposed civil rights supporters don't seem too bothered by surveillance and write diaries with "the traitor Snowden" in the title, or diaries attacking Glenn Greenwald for his sexual orientation.

        Climate change is an environmental issue with just as many civil rights as economic implications in the long run. Health care issues are about a lot more than economics - things like survival and quality of life.

        So I guess I think what you're saying isn't really very accurate. I think it's a lot more accurate to frame it as issue-oriented vs. celebrity-oriented.

        No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

        by badger on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:12:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stegro, Deep Texan, 3rdOption

          I would have though that you would agree that drones and the "Global war on Terror" was part and parcel of the military/industrial complex...very economic.

          And where exactly did I say that attacking Snowden and Greewald was either good or sociocultural.

          If you wouldn't mind, would you please debate me rather than some frankenstein image of what you think I am.

          And please re-read this, you know, in the diary I wrote.

          To be clear, this doesn't explain everything.  Some issues lie outside this continuum (e.g., the environment), and some folks have strongly differing views on the speed at which progressive action can occur (e.g., incrementalist vs revolutionary change).  I am not saying that the economic/cultural debate explains everything, only that it explains much of it.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:18:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I'm worried about foreign policy (0+ / 0-)

            and intrusive snooping only (or even mostly) because of the vast sums paid to the military-industrial complex. Was that supposed to be a serious argument on your part, or just grasping at straws?

            As to debating what someone said vs. some image, I didn't notice I said that you were writing crude diaries about Snowden or Greenwald. Would you like to pretend that they weren't written at all because you didn't write them?

            "Much of it" is your claim, and of course virtually impossible to argue with because it's unquantified, just the same as if I think "Very little of it" is attributable to what you claim as responsible. That disclaimer doesn't save your assessment IMO, because there are a huge number of issues where your assessment doesn't work - some, as I pointed out, completely in opposition to your "concern about civil rights" claim. And virtually no one here who has disagreed with the President on one or more issues is opposed to civil rights or abortion.

            But there are very many issues where neither culture nor economics enter in significantly (yeah, you can make anything cultural or economic, as you attempt above, but it's largely irrelevant in a lot of cases). And on those issues it still comes down to defending the party or President versus having a consistent position on the issue - having the same position on a policy stance no matter which party or personality advocates it.

            No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

            by badger on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:50:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Money and Power are Siamese Twins. (2+ / 0-)

            The purpose of the police surveillance state is to consolidate power to the powerful, so they can keep their power by continuing to scam as much money as possible from every source possible.

            The purpose of the Iraq war was to free up the profit center that was trapped both under the sands, and under the weight of Saddam's recalcitrance (which resulted in economic sanctions).

            A secondary purpose of the Iraq war was to prototype anti-insurgency tactics and weaponry which could be deployed elsewhere in the world in support of the interests of the plutocrats and their corporations. Thus, the awesomeness that is Total Information Awareness + Drone Strikes + SpecOps.

            The purpose of the continuing "War on Terrah" is to normalize the police surveillance state in the social democracies of the west, and to inculcate into those societies the idea that anyone who opposes the plutocratic power structure of the economic elites can be labeled and persecuted as a "Terrrist", sub-humans who have no rights, and can be tortured, detained indefinitely, and assassinated without legal recourse.

            The purpose of austerity is to break the social democracies of the west, and cement the economic elites as the only effective political power on the planet. The billionaires do not see why they should pay for granny's hip replacement, nor for her catfood. That money is theirs and if the Chinese people and the Mexican people and the Brazilian people and the Indonesian people do not demand "social security", who do these freakin' Canadians, Americans, Greeks and other Europeans think they are, anyway?

            When the citizenry disagrees, shiny new police surveillance state, with well-honed anti-insurgent tactics and weaponry.

            They intend to teach us just who we are.

            A whole shitload of powerless nobodies.

            And if those powerless nobodies get to vote in meaningless elections, or not, or get to gay marry, or not, or have access to abortions, or not, why would the plutocrats give a flying fuck?

            Thus, the social issues are entirely meaningless once the social democracies are broken.

            We are in a fight for the survival of our Constitution and our way of life. Lose the economic/power fight, and none of the rest matters.

            And that's why those of us who prioritize economic and power issues realize that the cultural issues must take a backseat, and a much lower priority, to the survival of our democracy as we know it, or we will never see its cultural potential.

            •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Free Jazz at High Noon

              This would be the very honest economic (marxist) argument.  As I have said elsewhere, though I am more of a middle of the road neo-marxist (equal weight to both economic and cultural), I would not label your argument as stupid or unsound.  There is much going for it.

              I guess all I am saying is that the more you say this...

              And that's why those of us who prioritize economic and power issues realize that the cultural issues must take a backseat, and a much lower priority, to the survival of our democracy as we know it, or we will never see its cultural potential.
              The more you will debate the issues with people who may disagree on on your strategies, but hope to achieve the same ends.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:06:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The problem is that I am right. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Free Jazz at High Noon

                The people who chose to minimize the economic and power issues in favor of their pet cultural issue do so because their pet cultural issue is personal for them. But this is myopic.

                If you need to get gay married, gay marriage is right in front of your face.

                If you know how difficult a choice it is to chose an abortion, but understand, viscerally, how important it is that you have that choice, the abortion issue is right in front of your face.

                If you see the impact of racist policies daily, by like, I don't know, traveling by any means while being brown or black, then civil rights is in your face, daily.

                But if you vote for a Corporatist who collapses your economy and allows the economic elites to nullify the Bill of Rights, just so you can get gay married, have the option of an abortion, or maybe not get your ass kicked by a white cop, what have you accomplished?

                I am right about these priorities.

                Imagine that one type of software is super important to your job, and the best version of that software runs on one operating system. You chose that operating system, right?

                What if that operating system crashes so often and so badly that you cannot actually use that awesome, necessary software?

                First comes the stable, secure operating system, then comes the software.

                To stretch this analogy, we've had a somewhat stable, somewhat secure OS running for decades, and it is designed for improvements, and we've been making them. And now it is being destroyed in favor of one that will be the opposite of everything we've worked for.

                Should we ignore this and focus on our little software issue?

                The exploding power of the economic elites is an existential threat to everything this country stands for and everything we've worked for, for centuries.

                You are correct in your analysis of the two camps.

                But you are muddying the waters by claiming a false equivalence between them.

    •  That what we used to do when Bush was in office (8+ / 0-)

      for 8 years.

      if people focused on issues regardless of the politicians, and based their opinions of the politicians on how they act on the issues rather than basing their opinions on the issues on what specific politicians do on them, we'd all be better off.
  •  Rox/Sux explained more concisely: (3+ / 0-)

    "Too many people are intellectually lazy."

    Non futuis apud Boston

    by kenlac on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:50:44 AM PDT

    •  Dkos is not a place for intellect and instrospect (4+ / 0-)

      ion. It just isn't. If it was people would be able to discuss Nader and Chomsky without frothing at the mouth. The fact that Chomsky is never even mentioned here says everything about a fundamental level of ignorance. He is Kossack of all Kossacks when it comes to truth to power and holding government accountable with FACTS and unassailable documentation.

      But his name gets crickets.

      Says everything really.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:03:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This place is ground zero for talking points. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        It's where they first start getting used and where the tone is set.

        It's also one hell of a place for news - usually based upon those talking points - but whatever...

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:19:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  probably because (4+ / 0-)

        he's as 'libertarian' and anti-American as Glenn Greenwald. (snark) Chris Hedges, Jeremy Scahill, David Sirota, Michael Moore, Jessica Radick and any writer from Firedoglake, who is perceived to threaten the current Third Way /DLC end of the  Democratic party or Obama is villified, harassed, called 'far left' and is a danger and needs to be countered. This occurs (gulp) on both sides of the rock/sux divide. I think Turkana is right it is the cult of personality. Not surprising as our culture is steeped in celebrity and heroes and villain myths.

        It reflects imho a wider problem that I see in the Democratic party at large, a definite split that is growing wider. Issues, policy and direction and even ideology come into play. Since I'm often called a hater, purist, a Nadarite, a far left bagger (tea and fire) I am by definition a sux'er. Dkos is not alone in this divide I read it all across the net.

        Ask me it's just another divide and conquer tactic that  the owner's of the place and both parties employ to keep the status quo and kabuki in place. Then there is the fear factor another enabler. I also think some people on the Democratic side are more conservative and respect and trust authority if it's couched as responsible, pragmatic and adult and is implemented by their team.

        I see political parties as a means to an end representation being one of those ends, upholding the Law and democratic principles and implementing the common good. The big tent seem to be having problems fitting us all in these days.

        'I'm taking back my country and the vehicle I'm using is the Democratic party' Howard Dean

           

    •  I'm not sure its that easy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, Free Jazz at High Noon

      There are real differences here, and neither the economic nor cultural position is stupid.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I indulged in the thing I insulted -- ironic, no? (3+ / 0-)

        To expound a bit: a lot of the "rox/sux" dynamic is driven by the desire to make the most cynical comment with the least amount of effort as possible.

        Statements like "Best president of my lifetime!", "No better than Bush!", or, "There's no difference between parties!" are not presentations of arguments or analysis -- they are presentations of pre-established beliefs and the emotions that accompany those beliefs. They're used constantly because they express those beliefs without actually having to come up with any argument behind them.

        The next step up in effort  from there is the cut-and-paste laundry list: "He's great/he sucks because [pre-established list of items]." This gives can give the appearance of thought, but is more likely to be the result of buying the list as a unit.

        Most of this behavior is driven by the ease of comments. Diaries come with the expectation of at least a minimum amount of heft and thought. Comments, on the other hand, are extremely cheap, and people don't mind spending them on cheap thoughts and empty cliches. People feel free to bark out the quick and the cynical, but that kind of thing starts to resemble sports trash talk more than political debate.

        I think it's fascinating to imagine what Daily Kos would be like if we were all limited to 5 comments a day. Would we spend so much time on flame wars and trash talk? Would we see the same BS slogans over and over and over again? Would the friction die down because we couldn't go at each other's throats without limit?

        Non futuis apud Boston

        by kenlac on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:29:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Only emphasis separates "Left" from "Right". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, Deep Texan

    Pet issues rule both and the ideologues on both sides lack empathy for those who dare differ from them.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:51:48 AM PDT

  •  Stop making sense. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, blueyedace2, Deep Texan

    We don't have time for that here. Too busy depressing ourselves into losing the midterms.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:56:37 AM PDT

  •  Tipped for trying. (5+ / 0-)

    But rox/sux is a stupid meme.  I don't know who started it, but "rox/sux" means nothing.  What policies or issues is it referring to and what politician who is for or against something is it referring to?

  •  There is another split - based upon whether or not (6+ / 0-)

    voters work to elect politicians or that politicians work to earn our vote.

    It's a huge split, every bit as much as social vs economic justice.

    Good piece, ev.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:15:50 PM PDT

  •  Interesting take (5+ / 0-)

    From my perspective the difference actually is as much or more one of the other elements you mention
    "differing views on the speed at which progressive action can occur (e.g., incrementalist vs revolutionary change).  ". However, it is hard to pin down at this point since I think many people have "hardened their categories", to an extent that others (and themselves) may no longer be able to see the foundational beliefs that got them there.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:17:17 PM PDT

    •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, JVolvo

      the speed issue likely matters a lot.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:20:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps more the further out on your continuum (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Empty Vessel, polecat

        If there will be no social justice until there is economic equality then the economic equality must be achieved immediately in order to begin getting even the small gains in social justice; and vice versa.  In the middle of the continuum it's easier to push on economics for awhile, then go nudge some social issue, then back to pressure on another economic policy, etc. without feeling the whole agenda depends on the one element.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:24:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe

          and of course, everyone thinks that they, and the people who agree with them have struck the proper balance whereas others have not.  So that's another issue to muddies the whole fucking thing

          PS And yeah, I did say in the diary that I am in the middle.  But you see I am in in the middle, and everyone else isn't!

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:29:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Incrementalism/pragmatism vs Revolution/idealism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, Lady Libertine

      is a large part whether or not the politicians work for the voters, or the voters for the politicians - at least that's where the last bastion of defense winds up.

      It always goes there.

      I'm a staunch,"earn my vote or take a flying fuck," kind of guy these days, much more so than when I started voting in the early 90s.

      That is an anathema to the pragmatists, because I refuse to work for the politician.

      I believe that one is quite large.

      There's also the intuitive vs subjective thinking angle as well - big picture people tend to focus on the econ side of EV's piece here. Subjective thinkers, those who prefer step by step or detailed thought, are on the social side.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:23:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure I agree with the last paragraph (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc, stegro, Deep Texan, Catte Nappe

        I think we've got big picture and narrow focus on all sides of the equation.

        But i agree, i think the speed/idealism thing is linked.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:26:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm pretty solid on that last paragraph - probably (2+ / 0-)

          some kind of definitional problem - poorly phrased...

          But you can't follow the econ trend and be OK with neoliberal economics if you're looking at the big picture - well you can, but you'd not be a Democrat.

          The step by step, though, the metrics, the numbers, that stuff is not too hard to get behind on neoliberal econ because you never get the data on the gaps in the big picture.

          A similar situation exists with geopolitical stuff - it doesn't look to bad if you're looking at specific metrics, or step by step progression. But if you're seeing the big picture, you're friggin' hair is on fire because extinction is not that hard to imagine - especially given the path we're on.

          Hope that makes sense and doesn't piss anyone off.

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 12:31:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel, Deep Texan, k9disc

            I think another very big picture way of looking at it is, are things better off overall if party X or party Y is elected. I think that could be behind a lot of people's attitudes as well.

            •  That's not the same kind of Big Picture that (1+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about, but it's a great point.

              When I talk about the Big Picture, I'm talking about the way you see things, not the results.

              Kind of hard to explain...

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:24:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm talkin about reading the big picture (0+ / 0-)

              not naming it.

              What is the big picture?

              In your description, one looks and says,"yay or nay," but based upon what?

              In the case of the pragmatist, or the subjective thinker, as I said earlier, they look at last year's metric and compare it to this months. Perhaps they take 2 metrics (5... 10... a shit ton) and they piece the big picture together by assembling all the dots.

              In the case of the generalist, or the idealist, we look at the big picture, assess it's visage, and then scan for the facts. Facts that don't fit are not ignored, they are explored. That exploration leads to changes in the big picture.

              Once this current situation changes from corporate sponsored public policy and profit before people hegemony knuckles under, all of us big picture people are going to have a battle royal pie fight that would be a perfect fit for Primary season here on dKos.

              I would like to say that I don't think that us generalists are superior. We just see things differently.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:47:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  As a person who is more attuned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, Deep Texan

    to the social/cultural issues, I have to admit it burns me when I see others say these issues are just the shiny toy the oligarchs use to distract us, as if they have no relevance.

  •  You forgot "national security" and foreign policy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, Garrett, FiredUpInCA

    Two more areas where there is little fundamental difference between the parties (other than in style).

    We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    by RageKage on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:19:16 PM PDT

  •  HR for going there. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    (+4/Rec'd for trying to start the conversation.  I assume this is the first of a series?)

    I'd like to make some drink coasters -- SUX on one size, ROX on the other.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:20:55 PM PDT

  •  At this point, it seems to me, (2+ / 0-)

    The rox/sux "debate" itself has become the reason for its perpetuation.

    Once a person has been established as a "member" of one side or the other, little can be done to persuade the opposing side that that member does NOT have some "agenda" favorable to that person's "side."

    In other words, people get "tainted," for lack of a better term.

    Over time, it becomes less about being legitimate critics of policy/defenders of unreasonable "attacks" on particular politicians, and more about the actual Daily Kos usernames supposedly assigned to one "side" or the other.

    And emotion is certainly a major component. A lot of the extreme rhetoric that comes from "critics" is often times based on people getting increasingly angry at the direction things are heading, so their release might take the form of hyperbolic statements like "Obama is a sell-out" or whatever.

    Similarly, those supportive of the president, for example, react to that anger with MORE anger, because, well, hyperbole just pisses people off, I guess. It's a cycle that feeds itself.

    Ideally, the best approach would be the one absent specific politicians.

    However, these people are in power, so it's hard to avoid talking about the issues without those discussions eventually referring to the people either responsible for implementing related policy or in a position to change that related policy.

    In any case, it's complex, and I really don't see these "wars" ending permanently. The conflict may go into remission, but flare-ups seem inevitable. There'll be Hillary loyalists, too, I'm sure, if she were to end up president.

    All the above is merely MY take on it, of course, and I claim no innocence from contributing to these flare-ups.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:51:35 PM PDT

    •  I guess what I am saying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, Free Jazz at High Noon

      is that passions are there, but they are partially inflamed by the economic/cultural axis I identified.  If nothing else, they help explain why someone goes to one camp or the other initially.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:58:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I recognize that is your intended focus (2+ / 0-)

        But I think my reply ended up lacking that specificity due to the "rox/sux" title.

        Not necessarily a criticism, just pointing out that it's loaded terminology, and in my case at least, automatically got me thinking about it in a non-specific way.

        IOW, there's a lot of contributing factors to this "debate," and while they may indeed include those you mention, it certainly isn't limited to them.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whose civil rights? (2+ / 0-)

    I'm trans -- and I don't see any Dems championing my civil rights.

    I care about economics more because I am poor (because I am trans) but I know equal rights for people like me are are not going to happen in my life; hell, we still don't have equal rights for cis-het women in this country, and may never have them here. Equal rights for Us trans people is not something Dems will even pay lip service to yet.

  •  BAM! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    So what's next?

    It feels like there's a need for a big tent agenda. Is that the next step?

    Thank you for this thoughtful, on point Diary!

  •  even if you grant just an economic bent (0+ / 0-)

    it's still wrong because there is a vast difference between your generic democrat and generic republican. Nevermind that that ignores the fact that even most of worst (economically speaking from that POV) democrats will still tend to vote with democrats as opposed to the GOP which in today's world opposes anything a democrat proposes because a democrat proposed it.

    I almost feel like I should apologize but frankly I think people that say there is no difference between the parties are utterly irresponsible and have nothing constructive to offer. Not to mention the fact that such people don't really expect to have to deal with having the power to actually change things.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:06:24 AM PDT

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