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America's "divided society" is not unique

brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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11/8/2012 7:20:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
As an outsider it appears to me that America now has a fundamentally divided society and this is reflected in the members' posts on this site.

On one hand there are the Republican sympathisers who maintain that a less affluent Americans view themselves as "victims"; and that these "grasping layabouts" believe the government has a responsibility to care for them; they believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. They seem to think that because students, disabled war veterans, part-time workers, old age pensioners and other "freeloaders" don't pay Federal taxes, the government shouldn't have to worry about them because they'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their own lives. Furthermore, they resent the Obama regime for "stealing" money from wealthy people and handing it out to "indolent young scholars", "work-shy cripples", "feckless single moms" and "lazy geriatric spongers".

On the other hand the Democrat supporters seem to believe that society should rise and fall together which means that in the good times everybody should share the gains and when times are tough everybody should share the pain. They also believe that everybody in society should have the opportunity to follow "the American Dream" regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or family background which means that high quality education, health care and other public utilities should be available according to need rather than the ability to pay, and that these services should be funded through taxation. Furthermore, they seem to believe that the rich should not be allowed to dodge their responsibility to the rest of society by cynically avoiding taxes.

There are very few Americans I know who have one foot in each camp: opinions are very polarized and, interestingly, they follow as a similar pattern to here in the UK where supporters of the two main parties: the rightist Conservative Party and the leftist Labour Party; broadly mirror Republicans and Democrats.

Most Conservative voters are affluent and live in rural areas or small towns but they may also get support from people on low incomes who resent foreigners competing for jobs and affordable housing and are attracted by the Conservative's strict anti-immigration policies.

Meanwhile, most Labour supporters are less affluent and live in cities and large towns though they also have support from professionals with a social conscience. In addition, they also pick up votes from Britain's sizeable ethnic communities.

I've used broad strokes to paint this picture and have coloured it liberally, I admit, but it's interesting to note how similar the two countries' political landscapes are.
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jharry
Posts: 4,984
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11/8/2012 7:27:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/8/2012 7:20:09 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
As an outsider it appears to me that America now has a fundamentally divided society and this is reflected in the members' posts on this site.

On one hand there are the Republican sympathisers who maintain that a less affluent Americans view themselves as "victims"; and that these "grasping layabouts" believe the government has a responsibility to care for them; they believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. They seem to think that because students, disabled war veterans, part-time workers, old age pensioners and other "freeloaders" don't pay Federal taxes, the government shouldn't have to worry about them because they'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their own lives. Furthermore, they resent the Obama regime for "stealing" money from wealthy people and handing it out to "indolent young scholars", "work-shy cripples", "feckless single moms" and "lazy geriatric spongers".

I think you are getting a little liberal with your strokes here. I don't know a single "conservative" IRL that will not help any of the listed people above. Maybe the young "scholars" but I'm not sure what you mean by that.

It's the people that can work but don't and those that abuse the system. Just more reason why it should not be in the hands of the feral government. Too easy to buy votes that way.

On the other hand the Democrat supporters seem to believe that society should rise and fall together which means that in the good times everybody should share the gains and when times are tough everybody should share the pain. They also believe that everybody in society should have the opportunity to follow "the American Dream" regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or family background which means that high quality education, health care and other public utilities should be available according to need rather than the ability to pay, and that these services should be funded through taxation. Furthermore, they seem to believe that the rich should not be allowed to dodge their responsibility to the rest of society by cynically avoiding taxes.

There are very few Americans I know who have one foot in each camp: opinions are very polarized and, interestingly, they follow as a similar pattern to here in the UK where supporters of the two main parties: the rightist Conservative Party and the leftist Labour Party; broadly mirror Republicans and Democrats.

Most Conservative voters are affluent and live in rural areas or small towns but they may also get support from people on low incomes who resent foreigners competing for jobs and affordable housing and are attracted by the Conservative's strict anti-immigration policies.

Meanwhile, most Labour supporters are less affluent and live in cities and large towns though they also have support from professionals with a social conscience. In addition, they also pick up votes from Britain's sizeable ethnic communities.

I've used broad strokes to paint this picture and have coloured it liberally, I admit, but it's interesting to note how similar the two countries' political landscapes are.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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11/8/2012 7:46:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/8/2012 7:27:14 AM, jharry wrote:
At 11/8/2012 7:20:09 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:

I think you are getting a little liberal with your strokes here. I don't know a single "conservative" IRL that will not help any of the listed people above. Maybe the young "scholars" but I'm not sure what you mean by that.

It's the people that can work but don't and those that abuse the system. Just more reason why it should not be in the hands of the feral government. Too easy to buy votes that way.


By "young scholars" I mean students, particularly those from poorer backgrounds.

I'm not saying all Republicans are heartless by the way, far from it, many are great philanthropists who are very happy to donate money to those less fortunate.

And as far as those who abuse the welfare system are concerned, they are condemned as much by liberals as anyone else.
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jharry
Posts: 4,984
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11/8/2012 8:15:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/8/2012 7:46:47 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
At 11/8/2012 7:27:14 AM, jharry wrote:
At 11/8/2012 7:20:09 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:

I think you are getting a little liberal with your strokes here. I don't know a single "conservative" IRL that will not help any of the listed people above. Maybe the young "scholars" but I'm not sure what you mean by that.

It's the people that can work but don't and those that abuse the system. Just more reason why it should not be in the hands of the feral government. Too easy to buy votes that way.


By "young scholars" I mean students, particularly those from poorer backgrounds.

I came from poor backgrounds. No real education. All three of my children will have the opportunity to go to college and no one will pay for it but me. Are my children over privileged? Where do you draw the line? What if my daddy had been rich? What if I had become rich? If my children become rich will there children be over privileged?

I'm not saying all Republicans are heartless by the way, far from it, many are great philanthropists who are very happy to donate money to those less fortunate.

I'm talking about the working class Republicans as well. Maybe their donations are not huge but it's everyday all the time.

And as far as those who abuse the welfare system are concerned, they are condemned as much by liberals as anyone else.

Seems like an easy way to buy a vote to me. Just look at each parties base and what each wants.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen