Over the ten years that BlueNC has been in business, our attitudes about those pesky trolls who try to hijack discussions has moved steadily toward less tolerance. It turns out to have been a wise policy. This from Mother Jones.
Together, all of these studies support the theory of "motivated reasoning": The idea that our prior beliefs, commitments, and emotions drive our responses to new information, such that when we are faced with facts that deeply challenge these commitments, we fight back against them to defend our identities. So next time you feel the urge to argue back against some idiot on the Internet ... pause, take a deep breath, and realize not only that arguing might not do any good, but that in fact, it might very well backfire.
Spend two minutes looking at online comments about any political news story and you'll find yourself knee-deep in whining about who did what first.
You think Pat McCrory's a bumbling liar? Well what about Mike Easley?
Why should Republicans clean up coal ash? The whole mess got started under Democrats.
Extreme gerrymandering? You guys did it first.
The list goes on and on, with every current transgression excused by someone else's past sins. Even Vladimir Putin is using "they did it first" as the public justification for his invasion of Ukraine. Citing the US's military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, he claimed yesterday that Russia is only doing what America has done in the past. And he's right. Under the second President Bush, America did indeed invade and occupy two countries with no justification whatsoever. Thanks for nothing, George.
Submitted by scharrison on Fri, 02/21/2014 - 12:19pm
They need to remember all the opportunities they had, back in the days before Republicans took over the General Assembly and the Governor's mansion, to take steps to ensure disasters like this recent coal ash spill wouldn't take place. But it was more than just missed opportunities to do what's right. Democrats were so concerned with keeping their campaign contributions from the hometicks and utilities they refused to acknowledge something was a hazard until it resulted in actual damage. As a Party, we can never let that happen again.
I'm not trying to deflect attention away from Skvarla, McCrory, and all the other jackasses in NC's current government who seem hell-bent on destroying our environment. But I'm also not going to ignore the corporate toadyism and half-measures that elected Democrats engaged in before the GOP stumbled into the picture. And for those who are memory-deficient, we're going to take a few trips in the way-back machine to jog said memory:
Submitted by scharrison on Sun, 02/02/2014 - 5:00pm
Had a fairly long conversation with my son yesterday, mostly centering around the challenges facing the Democratic Party here in our state. A sampling of two is by no means a statistical foundation for taking action, and it's also important to note my firstborn is an unrepentant contrarian, always ready to assume the mantle of the devil's advocate. Or just the devil...anyway, we spent some time poking at soft spots and chewing on assumptions, and I may have a slightly better understanding of why the ranks of the Unaffiliated (like my son) have swelled so much in North Carolina, seemingly at the cost of registered Democrats. As I've mentioned before, I think it is critical the NCDP dedicate some resources to figuring this out, however much the data will hurt some feelings. In lieu of that, chew on this for a while:
Submitted by scharrison on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:15pm
A recent discussion about the massive growth of unaffiliated voters in NC, while the Democratic Party's "share" of the pie is shrinking precipitously, had me scrabbling for some kind of guidance on what that actually means. Not sure if this is an all-encompassing answer, but if it is, those consultants calling for centrism or even center-right Dem candidates need to take a powder:
Of all the storylines emerging from the historic 2008 elections perhaps none has more impact on the future of our country than the rise of the Millennial Generation. These young 18- to 29-year-old Americans born between 1978 and 2000 represent the largest and most diverse generation in American history.
What is most important about these voters is not their current predilection for Democratic candidates, however, but rather the deeply held progressive beliefs underlying their voting preferences. The progressive beliefs of these young adult voters could recast the core ideological battles that have defined our country’s post-Vietnam political discourse.
Kind of sheds better light on why Republicans are trying to stifle the college vote, eh?
BlueNC is a member-driven website, and we encourage all of you to exercise your voice here. One of the features available when composing a diary are tags, which interact with Google (and other) search engines, potentially drawing many more readers to your posts. But having too many tags can clog up a system, so we've instituted some changes to help regulate this function. I'm going to turn the rest of this diary over to one of the technicians that keep us running smoothly:
How tagging your blog post on Blue NC works
Before we get into how the tagging system works, I would like to say a big Thank You to all those who actively participate on this site. Your continuous contributions are what make this such a great community!
Now for the tagging. As you all know tagging is a great way to organize and find content on particular topics. However, because we all think a little differently, we sometimes use different but similar tags for the same topic and this makes the organizing and searching content much more difficult.
Ten years ago the Economist magazine -- no friend of Marxism -- warned: “The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.” And as a recent headline in the Columbia Journalism Review put it: “The line between democracy and a darker social order is thinner than you think.”
We are this close - this close! - to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants.
The US Senate race in 2014 is all but set. A Tea Party Republican will run against Kay Hagan, most likely Thom Tillis. Which means Senator Hagan will be tacking hard to the right, as she did yesterday with this stunt, calling for a probe into the sketchy roll-out of the ACA.
I don't get it. This move won't buy her friends on the right, it aggravates the left, and most important, it gets in the way of people doing actual work to get the website improved.
There's no need for Hagan to try to appease Tea Party obstructionists on this or any other issue.
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