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View Diary: Through the Looking Glass: Freeperville (324 comments)

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  •  The echo chambers work. (4.00)
    They work for their side and they work for our side.  The echo chamber concept is not something to be feared, but embraced.  The talking points they've been distributing in lockstep to the media for more than a decade now?  Guess what -- that's part of the right-wing echo chamber.  

    We're just starting to develop our own answers to that.  Want to know what the general consensus among the progressive movement might be on a given issue?  Want the progressive talking points of the day to work from in your water-cooler conversations?  Well, here it is.  

    It doesn't mean we can't think and act for ourselves, it just means that we now have a simple and effective method for disseminating OUR message.

    Also, this blog (as well as Eschaton/Atrios and many others) serves as a GREAT source of news, thusly:  Thousands of political geeks like us are combing the net and the wires for the little stories that either get ignored or intentionally buried.  Those stories end up posted (almost always with legitimizing links) here for our edification.  That means a casual look over DKos a couple of times a day keeps me about a half a day ahead of the MSM on political news.  I value that as a service (which is why I pay for the service as a subscriber).

    There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

    by ThirstyGator on Tue May 24, 2005 at 07:44:56 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (4.00)
      One of the reasons why I am here is to help create the echo chamber.  Sometimes I disparagingly refer to the Daily Kos community as a "Greek Chorus."  But this is one of the things that we do extraordinarily well.  We've got to keep doing it!

      People like Louise Slaughter come here for a reason.

      (Well, I suspect that one reason is that the House Leadership has "assigned" her and John Conyers to this beat, because their seats are secure and their is little risk for them in being liaisons to a community as sharply partisan as this one.)

      And that reason is that they can put the message out ... and it gets amplified a thousand times by us.  We're like a giant megaphone.  And I'm here, in part, to help carry those vibrations.

    •  They may work, but... (4.00)
      The echo chamber makes it difficult to thoughtfully debate the other side; I have trouble sometimes even understanding why the Right thinks the way it does, when they do have a rationale to their arguments (which usually progress quite logically from point A to C, although point B is often a moral/theological facet that I do not accept as fact.) They, just like we do, then extrapolate point D, which is the point where one side looks absolutely nuts to the other side.

      Example (from a conversation with my Dad and brother-in-law):

      • Point A- There are dangerous terrorists in our prison camps.
      • Point B- If we captured the Number Two in Al Qaeda, the benefits gained by torturing him to admit what he knows could provide immense benefits to the safety of civilians globally.
      • Point C- Therefore, it is wrong to say that we should never ever torture any prisoner whatsoever; it is a grey area.
      • Point D- (Extrapolated from B and C) Those who condemn the torture of prisoners are supporting terrorists and are a danger to America.

      The problem with echo chambers is we never end up hearing and debating the points B and C from either side- each side takes their point B on faith, and never hears the other side's take on it. By the time we hear point D, we say, "What?!" and assume the other side is completely irrational and insane.

      "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." - Thomas Jefferson

      by EsnRedshirt on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:08:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While I'd like to agree with you (4.00)
        I can't.  The existence of the established GOP echo-chamber structure (far more advanced than ours -- Limbaugh reaches millions more than Kos & Franken together) means that we are faced with two choices:  build our own structure to advance our message or continue trying to engage a discussion with people who aren't interested in politics most of the time.

        See, the problem isn't the Freepers.  They're not the ones we need to reach.  We need to reach the people in the middle the way they've been doing for years.  They've been doing that by pounding simple and concise messages into the gound 24/7 with their echo chambers.  

        Most people do not have politics as a hobby (as most of us here do) and they really only want to hear about it every two years.  That doesn't make them stupid, it just means they have other things on their minds.  To get through to them we need to be pounding our talking points, not asking them to engage in debate.

        There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

        by ThirstyGator on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:15:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that the difficulty with debating (4.00)
        wingers stems less from our unfamiliarity with their vernacular and more from their unfamiliarity with the facts.

        There is NOT a perfect informational symmetry between the present day progressive and conservative movements.  The pre-elections PIPA report illustrated that fact.  Our differences do not merely lie in our worldviews; our differences also lie in our exposure to and acceptance of the truth and their relative weaknesses in this regard.

        If someone hasn't bothered to learn and absorb the FACT that torture does not yield reliable intelligence, how can one argue with them about the US' torture policy?  You wouldn't be arguing worldview and ideology; you would be arguing whether facts should trump fantasy, and that is a foolish argument to be having with an adult.

        •  In "discussions" (4.00)
          with my Red sibling, I notice that much of their arguement consists of opinion.  They tend to view their opinion as proven fact.  Recently he wrote an e-mail railing against the "liberal" supreme court and  gloating over the possibility of Dubya getting multiple appointment opportunities.  After I pointed out that only 2 of the 9 justices were appointed by Democrats, and the other 7 by Republican administrations...he was reduced to hemmin' and hawin'.  They seem to find facts malleable, and you can't argue logic when the arguement consists of opinion masquerading as fact.

          It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

          by eunichorn on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:41:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Precisely. (none)
            I think there is a tendency to conflate progressives with conservatives and just label us all the "two extremes" as if these movements are perfectly symmetrical.  They're not.  One movement, at least for now, relies on fact.  The other, on conjecture, propaganda, native biases and prejudices.

            It's nearly impossible to reason with someone who truly sees no value in truth and fact.  That's what the GOP is banking on and riding to power.

          •  Useful terms: pre-reflective, quasi-reflective (none)
            Renee, in a diary last week, referred to the very helpful terms "pre-reflective" and "quasi-reflective".

            She gave this link.

            "What I tell you three times is true." - the Bellman, The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll

            by AlanF on Tue May 24, 2005 at 03:01:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why you can't really argue with people (4.00)
        You will never win this argument because they didn't start with A, go on to B, then C and come up with D.

        They started with D and worked backward.

        That is why you will never win this argument. You could demonstrate that A is factually incorrect -- there are no dangerous terrorists in our prison camps. You could demonstrate that B is bogus because torture doesn't work to uncover truth.  

        (And it doesn't. Torture is a great way to get people to confess to things they didn't really do. Torture is an INTIMIDATION tactic against the population as a whole, not a working strategy to get information out of people.)

        But if you argued them into a corner on that, they would instantly shift the argument to some other area which would still lead them to D.

        •  Put them in a corner (4.00)
          I'm a "liberal-tarian" or also know as an "alpha geek" Democrat (after a dKos user).

          It means I love gun rights but would slash the military budget, and also lean left on many issues.

          For example, look at this exchange between a "God boy" (theocon) and a "libertarian".  

          Theocon writes in response:

          Knock it off and take your Haldol. Your assume a person who disagrees with you "dont give a flying @$%@ about a kid that starves to death or is put to death like Sun Hudson?"

          You clearly ignored my previous post to you. It is rare for me to run into a person who is for abortion who is not for starving babies like Sun. Since you are FOR abortion I bet your position on cutting the feeding tube is okay but regrettable. I am against BOTH.

          A few notes about your erratic and illiterate posts. They would be better received at the DU. Go away troll

          So that's what they do, tell you to take prescription meds and go away.  Because they can't handle reality.  No one would address Sun Hudson.

          So in response, this poster wrote:

          To:****
          Cute. I like that round about attack telling me to do drugs. Hey the thing is, Ill fight for you to use anything you want if you could handle it.

          I dont do prescription meds, I prefer beer and skoal, especially when Im wrenching.

          I think your ignoring the fact that I asked for solutions to kids in need but you have none and your just mad because I called you on what I see is hypocracy.

          Dont worry Ill go away soon. Ill be riding, you be you.

          The beauty is, when backed into a corner, pressed for solutions, they fold like a matchbook.  Tell you to take anti-psychotics.  Ad hominem attacks.  That's when you can go chop, chop and again press for a solution.  They'll just go ballistic!

          http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1408749/posts?q=1&&page=1#1

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:56:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We are the liberal think tank (4.00)
      I don't mind people with a stronger stomach than I have going over and seeing what freepers are saying. I confess to a mild, somewhat perverse curiosity about it. It might even be useful.

      But I don't think the right got the political power they have now by caring what we think. They didn't win elections by attempting to engage us in reasoned debate and persuade us to consider their point of view.

      They got political power by shouting their viewpoint loudly and consistently. By having highly paid right wing think tanks where machiavellian marketing geniuses figured out what the talking points were going to be and then disseminated them along well-established channels -- out of the minds of the Heritage Foundation to the lips of Rush Limbaugh to the ears of Joe Pickup who lives out in the county because he likes guns and not a lot of people around.

      Sure, we're an echo chamber over here. But I think we're also the closest thing that exists to a truly liberal answer to the Heritage Foundation.

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