Outnumbered in a Conservative forum (ramble)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Lord Blackadder, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #1
    Semi-coherent rant ahead...

    As a gun collector and Democrat, I find myself in unusual situations with some regularity...I'm a member at a couple firearms forums and they are generally heavily conservative. Check that - they are almost totally conservative. :eek:

    Myself and another brave (foolhardy?) member (and Vietnam vet to boot) actually engaged in a debate in one of these forums recently in a thread about the Obama inauguration. Most of the members agreed that the financial crisis was the result of Democrat tinkering and, most importantly, the unions. They hate the unions. And the poor.

    As soon as the two foolhardy liberals spoke up, (all I did was mention that Obama and Biden were on the record as saying they would not take anybody's guns away) the mods closed the thread amid a storm of hyper-conservative rhetoric. The best part was that before we posted, one of the members had commented on how he was proud that they could have a civil discussion about Obama....well, that's because everybody was expressing the same damned (negative) opinion! The moment that situation changed the thread was shut.

    The thing that irritated me the most was that the only things we were trying to say were that we should be looking for middle ground, but middle ground to these people is merely a step towards their own forced disarmament. They are dug in so firmly it's mind-boggling.

    One particularly vociferous poster stated that any reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment or any amendment was tantamount to treason, as the founding fathers had everything figured out and we should not mess with it. I tried to point out that Amendments themselves are modifications to the Constitution and that the "founding fathers" left us a means to alter the constitution as needed. Otherwise we would still be using slaves and women like Anne Coulter wouldn't be voting (hmm....). But he couldn't accept it.

    Stereotypes are never completely true. But in my recent interactions with fellow gun collectors I'm left discouraged. They are all out panic-buying because of the election. Which, by the way, has driven up prices for me (thank you very much, paranoid gun owners!).

    My point is, if you can't talk you can't make any progress. One of the reasons I'm oriented much more towards the left than the right is that liberals, in my personal experience, are more willing to listen to positions they disagree strongly with and try to make some compromise, whereas the conservatives tend to have much more conviction and give ground only when it doesn't really cost them anything.

    I doubt Obama will really go after gun ownership, and I think these guys are all drinking the Anne Coulter kool-aid. But more importantly, they are unwilling to admit that their stupid guns might be less important than something else (like a massive economic crisis, two wars and global ****ing warming, for example)?

    So in a roundabout way this ranty post is a thank-you to Mac Rumors members and especially the mods - one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life is to approach somebody I strongly disagree with and try honestly to work towards a real compromise. So many people can't or won't do that. The PRSI forum here is moderated closely but very intelligently IMHO, and while it's dominated by the left it is at least not in total lockdown like most forums I've visited. Logging in here is a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the 'net.

    I'd love to see skunk and some of our other resident lefties tangle with some of these crusty old codgers. I'd like to hear the popping sound produced when their heads burst with rage. ;) :D
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    #2
    They want people to think guns kill people but we know that is not true. if a gun is sitting on a table I don't believe it will get up off that table and shoot someone. I could be wrongs but I don't think so.

    But when someone, whether a thug or someone that just snaps, uses a gun to injury or kill someone this provides the other side ammunition to say; See if guns were illegal this would have never happened. Again another pipe dream. But this is one way to deflect responsibility of the individual and punish those that are responsibile and law obiding.

    some people use aluminum bats to play baseball, some opt to use bats to beat people with, should bats be illegal. Of course not. But the rights to bare bats is not in the constitution so there realy isn't a platform to stand on to preach one's visions and beliefs.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #3

    We try our best, all things considering. And it's nice to get some positive feedback for once. I've said it before and I'll say it again:

    Nearly all political opinions are welcome here as long as people follow the forum rules. When I say nearly all, I think we'd draw the line at racist, homophobic and extreme rightwing hate speech as these are dealt with under the overall site rules.​

    And for those who have complained they have the right to free speech in here, you don't. I'm going to quote another moderator here from another thread which encapsulates our position:

     
  4. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    Well, I don't want to turn this into a gun debate (we have plenty of those threads). I was more interested in illustrating stiff-necked unwillingness to engage in real discussion over tough issues. Many of these people are so convinced they are totally right and that others are totally wrong that they consider real debate uneccessary. :(

    Thank you :). I'm sure many of us are pains in the butt at times. It's easy to ban people and lock threads. It's much more time-consuming to let people wrangle while keeping it from getting out of hand.
     
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #5
    I believe skunk would tell you he's not a leftist but a right centrist according to the european political spectrum. :)


    Tell me, is the fox below a conservative at a liberal forum or a liberal at a conservative forum?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    oh how i wish this board wasnt domintated by liberals
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    See, what you think of as liberal is actually fairly centrist by overall Western standards. Get used to how the rest of the world thinks.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    I'm an anthropologist by training, so I'm ever so aware of how conservative the US is as a nation. I don't see it in terms of good or bad, but it is interesting to see how so many people within the US are not aware of the ways in which US politics differs from European politics.

    The one thing that does irritate me is how "socialism" is seen here as a four letter word. Just because elements of socialism are adopted in certain laws or agencies doesn't mean we are radically changing our government or way of life. In fact it can be a big improvement. Duh.
     
  9. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #9
    I'm not so sure its completely dominated by liberals as, the liberals tend to be a lot more vocal. I'm fairly conservative (though I support gay marriage, gays serving in the military, etc), and yet, I very rarely go into PRSI because I'd rather get information from Drudge, Digg, Google News, etc.

    Trust me, there's enough dirt on both political parties, that revealing such dirt would cause this country some very severe problems. Which is why I'm leaning towards voting Independent/Libertarian.
     
  10. bruinsrme macrumors 603

    bruinsrme

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    #10
    For some hellbent reason it is the mission of some to take the rights of all away, just because they don't agree with them.
     
  11. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #11
    No you don't. You'd be bored within an hour.
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    It's not dukey. Look how many times you and I agree on things- quite a bit lately. I love it when I get labeled "liberal" when I'm for gun ownership and against anti-smoking laws. Just because I think Bush was a screw up, I get labeled "liberal".
     
  13. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #13
    Curious how you mentioned extreme rightwing hate speech, but don't seem too concerned about extreme leftwing hate speech. Oh, I know, I know... it doesn't exist. But, anyway, I digress...

    I wouldn't suggest that Macrumors Forums are biased, but I think it would be a good lesson to everyone here to try and avoid the left-wing version of what happened to Lord Blackadder on a conservative forum. Whether its here or there, it's ugly and unfortunate.

    Lord, I'm sure it was endlessly frustrating, and even more frustrating when the thread was shut down at the first hint of disagreement and excitable reactions by the majority. Good luck in the future! Hopefully you'll get a mod on your side who realizes that you're simply offering up another point of view, and simple disagreement is not something to be wary of.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    By all means, share some examples of this left-wing oppression of which you speak.
     
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #15
    Now that America has voted in a democrat does that mean that the whole country has a liberal bias?
     
  16. juanster macrumors 68020

    juanster

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    #16
    i agree with you on this...this irks me to no end...:D
     
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    Since hate speech is a notoriously right-wing and fascist means of expression, I'm not sure what your problem is, unless you would like people to be permitted to express clearly racist opinions in here, for example. As per usual, anything that you see breaks forum rules, report it. Anything we think is borderline is always handled by more than one mod, sometimes several.


    No lessons to be learned. This is not what this forum is about. However, what this forum is about is discussion. These are not my rules:


    And most importantly of all, remember that this is a Mac forum. This specific forum is officially right at the bottom of all our concerns which is why trouble in here tends to get short shrift.
     
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #18
    (Full disclosure - I'm a conservative.)

    What you're describing really runs pretty rampant among both liberals and conservatives, unfortunately. It's disappointing to hear that in a message forum you can only post your opinion if it's the same as everyone else's. If it were me, I'd find another place to post...maybe MR or something *shrug*

    What irritates me more than the bullheadedness you described is when people say they believe something, but they aren't able to explain why (again, this goes for everyone, conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between). When I ask someone about their beliefs, whatever they may be, I absolutely detest hearing something like, "I dunno, that's the way I was raised," or "I've just always felt that way." I'm able to muster up a whole lot more respect for someone's opinion, even if I disagree with it, if they can explain to me with logic, personal experience, etc. why they feel a particular way about something.

    Just my 2 cents. Again, I wish you had had a different experience on that forum; but like you said, there are exceptions to every stereotype. Try not to think of all conservatives as that closed-minded.
     
  19. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #19
    I think people (on the left and of all political persuasions) can say some pretty hateful things religious types and religion, for example. I know I certainly have.

    Rather than single out groups as being hateful, we should just stand on the principle of not accepting hateful comments in this forum.
     
  20. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #20
    Until you can provide some links or other form of citation to corroborate these claims; we will be forced to consider them as opinion/hearsay. If you continue to repeat them as the factual basis for an argument, it will fall under the heading of "trolling"

    Just foolin' with ya, Blue. :D




    +1 What sound advice.
     
  21. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #21

    The thing about religion is that in some ways, it's unsuited to discussion outside its concerns. If people want to believe in something and can only point to a book or a belief in order to uphold that view, that's where the conversation ends.

    The emphasis in the forum rules on "being willing to engage in fact-based debate" doesn't bode well for discussions of intelligent design, for example.
     
  22. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #22
    Drudge has information now?
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #23
    But that shouldn't excuse malicious or hateful comments made towards someone just because of what they believe.


    Lethal
     
  24. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #24
    The bottom of our concerns perhaps, but near the top in terms of moderator workload! (outside all the "MWSF was crap" rants perhaps :D)

    See, now I feel I've created work for you. Hope you don't have anything important on today... ;)

    I agree. I also think it makes a difference when somebody you are debating with agrees with you on something, no matter how small. "You make a good point with x" or "I agree with you in principle on that" or other turns of phrase can steer a debate towards more constructive ends sometimes.

    True. Then debate becomes more about what is "fact" rather than dealing with the actual issues. Assuming, as Lethal pointed out, that we are keeping things civil.

    I could make a similar case with regards to my experience on the firearms forums. Their concept of what Obama is going to do is set in stone, and this conviction (informed by conservative pundits more than anything else) proves to be a stumbling block in any constructive debate. If Rush Limbaugh says Obama is going to do x, y and z, and people truly and firmly believe it (and don't bother to fact-check at all), then debate becomes nearly impossible.

    I don't want to single out the conservatives on that either, it's merely an example from personal experience. The same stiff-necked, willfully ignorant approach can and certainly is found in persons of every political persuasion.
     
  25. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    Has it ever? Name-calling and the like has always been frowned on in this forum, no matter who it comes from.
     

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