A modest proposal

  1. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    From the thread on the Bush tax cuts:

    I move that we ban (on this forum) the use of political labels that do not denote a formal affiliation with a political party or other organization. Such labels are often stereotypical and/or inflammatory.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree. Neo-con is a good example of a term meant to be derogatory. Also, unless a member self-identifies with a specific party, no labeling of members
    .
     
  4. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    Where do you draw the line, though? I'm a Rhinoceros, and that party hasn't even officially existed for over 10 years. Even when it did, it wasn't in my province. Where does one's ideology or appearance become associated with a political label?
    I consider Russ a conservative (Republican in US terms) because of his expressed views, Evo as a moderate, the Penguin as a liberal, Astronuc as a Sasquatch (but I don't think that it counts as a party)...
    At what point can you equate someone's ideology with a political party? For instance, I am dead-set (pardon the pun) against the death penalty, because too many innocent people have been killed. On the other hand, if I were to personally witness someone doing something, I would be more than happy to blow his brains out. I just don't trust anyone else to determine guilt or innocence. Does that make me liberal, or conservative, or just a weirdo?
     
  5. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,539
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not an objection but a consideration. This does completely ignore political philosophy, which is how most people ultimately self-identify.

    It seems to me that the problem is when one member defines another to be of one particular political philosophy, not the attribute itself. For example, I have long been accused of being a closet liberal in spite of the fact that I've been mostly conservative for most of my life. If I really was primarily a liberal, I wouldn't mind the label. Likewise, neo-con is only a deragatory term is you don't agree with their philosophy. If you're a neo-con, it wouldn't be deragatory. I think the philosophy is hocus pocus, so to me it is deragatory, but not automatically so. If they changed their plaltform, it wouldn't be a dirty word for me.

    I assume this only applies to PF members and not general statements about neo-cons, liberals, etc?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    We could do away with labels altogether and just stick to facts and actions of the politicans involved. We certainly shouldn't be labeling members.

    Even making general statements should be stopped as per jt's post, instead of insulting a single member, now you're insulting a large number of members, that's even worse.
     
  7. Danger

    Danger 9,878
    Gold Member

    Ivan, did you just steal Dave's avatar?
     
  8. Would these new rules apply to threads about Sarah Palin and the Tea Party - for instance no more "tea bagger" labels? We might also want to consider Nazi and neo-Nazi labels as well?
     
  9. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    There are liberals and conservatives in the US political scene. There are also neo-cons who claim to be conservative, but will happily do non-conservative things like start wars and refuse to budget for them. I think we ought to be able to discuss these differences.

    Wildly slinging around "marxist" or "fascist" labels should be pretty much off the table unless you can justify the slurs, IMO. If someone on this forum thinks we ought to be able to offer publicly-financed health insurance to our citizens (not a really foreign concept to people in modern countries outside the US!!!), they shouldn't be called Marxists. People who want to argue against such coverage shouldn't be called Fascists or Nazis, either. Such name-calling is the first sign that your debating skills are inadequate to the task. Let's grow up!!!!
     
  10. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    What the hell, do you even know me? *gets out his M16 painted as an American flag and shoots at Danger while smoking a cigar and watching Chuck Norris movies*

    What is going on in this world? Did the definition of liberal and conservative get flipped while I took that nap last night? Or are we making this distinction between "liberal" and "progressive", whatever the hell that means.

    Buncha fascists....
     
  11. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    [Assuming some new rules are implemented, and I do not yet have an opinion on whether that would be a good idea ...]
    If Sarah Palin were to join PF and post in the P&WA forum, then I imagine anyone engaging in conversation with her wouldn't be at liberty to call her a 'tea bagger' or a 'neocon'. But if not, then she is simply a public figure, and addressing her with made up labels, while underhanded, should not be disallowed, IMO. If you want to disallow that, what else would you want to ban: referring to Reid as a scoundrel, Pelosi as delusional, O'Donnell as an airhead ...?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  12. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    I do agree with an outright ban on calling people this and that and whosawhats it and whatsawhosit. It's stupid. I just realized why people are so... hmm whats a nice way of putting it... mentally defective when it comes to labeling people as this or that. The way I see it, most liberals know that America is becoming a conservative utopia. On the other hand, most conservatives know that America is becoming a liberal utopia.

    You see what I did there? The problem with politics is that unless someone lives in a society that is unarguably one way or the other by everyone, they're going to see their ideals as being under attack or marginalized. They of course can find a boat load of evidence to prove their assertions as well, especially with the, pardon the expression, liberal use of cherry picked examples (and damn it, what is that term for when you're intentionally looking at data that proves your hypothesis?).
     
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, we're all guilty, so we would exclude tea bagger. I actually thought people that supported the tea partiers referred to themselves as tea baggers. I also didn't know about the sexual inuendo. People I know don't use such terms.
     
  14. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Shouldn't the exact same argument apply towards wildly slinging around "neo-con" labels as well?
     
  15. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    ...*facepalm*...

    Wait, wheres my GOOBF cards...
     
  16. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    There is big difference between the conservatives of the 1960s and the pro-business neo-cons of this age. They are not conservative at all in any sense that would have been understood by Goldwater et al. I don't know how I can explain this any better to someone who was not politically active 40 years ago. My father was aghast that I would support Goldwater, when he was a die-hard Democrat, but he was also appreciative enough to let me have free rein when he heard my reasons. We don't get a lot of that respect and understanding these days. Polarization can be poison.
     
  17. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm not sure I understand what that means to the final equation. Are you saying the argument made previously should apply towards slinging around the "neo-con" label or that it shouldn't?
     
  18. I would note that although I disagree strongly with the mis-characterization of my beliefs common on this forum, for example the hateful ad hominem attacks on the motives of people who support the Bush tax cuts, banning such characterizations would effectively completely censor some members altogether.

    And it seems pretty strange to ban political labels in a politics forum.
     
  19. turbo

    turbo 7,366
    Gold Member

    "Neo-con" is a label for a movement that is relatively recent (you might want to research the "southern strategy" to find some more information).

    Marxist and Fascist are highly-charged labels that carry lots of emotional baggage. Want to call a survivor of Stalin's Russia a Nazi or a Marxist? Depending on you are slamming, you could easily end up being pounded to a pulp. One of my best friends is a survivor of the Russian invasion of Latvia. He was sure not a supporter of the Nazis, but as he told me "They gave us the chance to kill the Russians." His father, uncles, and grandfather and older brother were all killed as the Russians came through and took all stored food, livestock, etc. His mother and aunt pulled him out of school in a panic, and it took 10 months to get to Belgium where they could get passage to the US. Labels that might be passed over with no concern in the US could trigger a very heated reaction in other parts of the world. I think that it's a good time to stop calling people Marxists, Fascists, etc, unless people self-identify with such extremes.
     
  20. The biggest problem with that is that often the people being called "neocons" do not have the philosophy claimed to be the "philosophy of neocons" by the poster. In fact, the philosophy often claimed as "neoconism" is one that nobody on the planet has ever advocated as far as I can tell.
     
  21. Unlike the word Fascist, the word Marxist doesn't denote a connection with any particular regime or national movement. Neither does "socialist". It's a description, not an insult. It refers to ideology, political strategy, and belief systems.

    And neo-con isn't an insult, either. It was and is commonly used to describe "the ultimate neocon", Barry Goldwater, so you can call me a neo-con anytime. My only objection is to false and insulting claims about "neo-cons", not the use of the word itself.
     
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