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Thread: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

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    Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    There are a number of layers to the question, but I am curious about how different people might answer it. Comity can mean cooperation between branches, or cooperation between parties, or even, cooperation within the parties. The Tea Party movement created a significant split within the Republican Party, which made it largely ineffective for the last 8 or so years. There is currently a schism in the Democratic Party (although, I believe much less significant) between the new class and the leadership. There is a real problem between the White House, and virtually everyone else. The agencies and bureaus are a near disaster (see the last note). Rural and Urban voters are in different worlds. Are the wounds that have been inflicted on our polity by the rancid behavior of our "representatives" too deep to heal? What would it take to repair the damage? I'm going to leave suggestions for later, as I would like to get some reasoned views before I opine further.

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by NWRatCon View Post
    There are a number of layers to the question, but I am curious about how different people might answer it. Comity can mean cooperation between branches, or cooperation between parties, or even, cooperation within the parties. The Tea Party movement created a significant split within the Republican Party, which made it largely ineffective for the last 8 or so years. There is currently a schism in the Democratic Party (although, I believe much less significant) between the new class and the leadership. There is a real problem between the White House, and virtually everyone else. The agencies and bureaus are a near disaster (see the last note). Rural and Urban voters are in different worlds. Are the wounds that have been inflicted on our polity by the rancid behavior of our "representatives" too deep to heal? What would it take to repair the damage? I'm going to leave suggestions for later, as I would like to get some reasoned views before I opine further.
    I don't think it's ever too late for comity.... it's going to take the right kind of leadership to accomplish it, though. I look at the situation now as being similar to the one that existed in the early 1960's. Back then we had the same rancor, the same divisions, and the same feeling that the system just didn't work anymore. But when LBJ came into office, he managed to turn the situation on it's head. He broke the logjam that was keeping all of the pent-up demands for social progress from being realized. How'd he do it? By getting in there and dealing with Congress incessantly. Day-in and day-out he was on the phone and in meetings, wheeling and dealing, twisting arms and brokering compromises to get things done. That's the kind of mentality we need today.

    Could we elect an LBJ today? Not a chance in hell.... he couldn't have been elected in 1960, let alone today. The nominating system in both parties is too stacked against a true insider becoming President in his or her own right. We elect the show horses, not the work horses. But if we get a President who is secure enough in himself and in his own abilities - like Reagan - and they picked the right Chief of Staff - like Reagan did with Jim Baker - then it's possible to get an awful lot accomplished in a short amount of time. All it takes is getting the right people in there.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    What's "comity"? No, it's not Norm Crosby mangling the synonym for humor.
    It's really sort of a synonym for a cooperative society voting for their mutual best interests.

    Are we willing to cooperate with each other and acknowledge that we all have a lot of mutual best interests and common ground?
    Look at the way Republicans have been leading for the past decade and you tell me. Look at the way Trump leads.
    Look at the way Mitch McConnell leads.
    Then look at the way prisons are run in America.

    Yes, PRISONS. Does anyone actually think that the folks who run our prisons WANT all the different races to get along?
    That would scare the LIFE out of them, the thought that all the inmates are cooperating together in common cause.
    The inmates versus the guards and wardens, it would be their worst nightmare, which is precisely WHY prison management LOVES the fact that inmates are all separated by race, and divided and the fact that they fight each other.

    I think you have your answer, because now you understand why things are the way they are right now in this country.
    Nothing frightens Trump and the Republican Party more than the thought of conservatives and liberals finding enough common ground to be willing to work together to address the larger issues.
    "The Left ones think I'm Right, the Right ones think I'm wrong."
    Leon Russell - Magic Mirror

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler View Post
    What's "comity"? No, it's not Norm Crosby mangling the synonym for humor.
    It's really sort of a synonym for a cooperative society voting for their mutual best interests.

    Are we willing to cooperate with each other and acknowledge that we all have a lot of mutual best interests and common ground?
    Look at the way Republicans have been leading for the past decade and you tell me. Look at the way Trump leads.
    Look at the way Mitch McConnell leads.
    Then look at the way prisons are run in America.

    Yes, PRISONS. Does anyone actually think that the folks who run our prisons WANT all the different races to get along?
    That would scare the LIFE out of them, the thought that all the inmates are cooperating together in common cause.
    The inmates versus the guards and wardens, it would be their worst nightmare, which is precisely WHY prison management LOVES the fact that inmates are all separated by race, and divided and the fact that they fight each other.

    I think you have your answer, because now you understand why things are the way they are right now in this country.
    Nothing frightens Trump and the Republican Party more than the thought of conservatives and liberals finding enough common ground to be willing to work together to address the larger issues.
    That's a great insight... so we're all prisoners in a cage of our own making? I like the irony.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    That's a great insight... so we're all prisoners in a cage of our own making? I like the irony.
    I don't have to agree with everything you believe or agree with all your views (or anyone's)...I can still respect someone I don't always agree with.
    We just have to have some kind of common ground on something somewhere.

    This society seems to have lost that, at least temporarily.
    "The Left ones think I'm Right, the Right ones think I'm wrong."
    Leon Russell - Magic Mirror

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler View Post
    I don't have to agree with everything you believe or agree with all your views (or anyone's)...I can still respect someone I don't always agree with.
    We just have to have some kind of common ground on something somewhere.

    This society seems to have lost that, at least temporarily.
    I agree with your first statement... I don't know so much about your second, though. I think there is a tendency for people to blindly agree or disagree with a policy position for partisan reasons. I'm still not sure if this comes from laziness or just fatigue, though. We get bombarded by so much information in the run of a day... I think it's almost too much to absorb. So instead of taking the time to try and go out and find the answers for ourselves, a lot of people just tend to parrot the lines they're fed. It's almost like we're rooting for the hometown baseball team or something.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by Cordelier View Post
    I agree with your first statement... I don't know so much about your second, though. I think there is a tendency for people to blindly agree or disagree with a policy position for partisan reasons. I'm still not sure if this comes from laziness or just fatigue, though. We get bombarded by so much information in the run of a day... I think it's almost too much to absorb. So instead of taking the time to try and go out and find the answers for ourselves, a lot of people just tend to parrot the lines they're fed. It's almost like we're rooting for the hometown baseball team or something.
    Twitter is absolutely the worst invention for civil discussion invented. As with anything, though, it can be used for good or evil. We're still trying to suss out where it fits.

    Here's my hypothesis: There is a convergence of circumstances that have eroded civil discourse, notwithstanding the myriad channels to affect that discourse.

    The speed of our connections has actually harmed those connections. Let me give examples: The 24 hour news cycle has shortened and hyperinflated our consumption of information. It has to come faster than it can be vetted, so we get loads of errors in the process. The news is old before you get home from work. Tweets are limited to 144/now 288 characters, overvaluing speed and pithiness, but eroding thoughtfulness and "politeness". Put-downs become the coin of the realm (boy is it prevalent here!) Tweets are to conversation what twerks are to dancing. As a civilization we have been through these cycles before... the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television, cable, internet, cell phones. This is a far faster rollout of new technology, but the process is the same. It infects virtually every aspect of our lives. I understand the urge to unplug.

    When I was a kid, we played in the yard. My kids played in the family room. They don't have the patience for board games. Newspapers are failing all over the country - too slow.

    [Ironically, I posted this post before I had finished the thought process.]

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    Re: Are We Too Late to Fix Comity

    Quote Originally Posted by NWRatCon View Post
    Twitter is absolutely the worst invention for civil discussion invented. As with anything, though, it can be used for good or evil. We're still trying to suss out where it fits.

    Here's my hypothesis: There is a convergence of circumstances that have eroded civil discourse, notwithstanding the myriad channels to affect that discourse.

    The speed of our connections has actually harmed those connections. Let me give examples: The 24 hour news cycle has shortened and hyperinflated our consumption of information. It has to come faster than it can be vetted, so we get loads of errors in the process. The news is old before you get home from work. Tweets are limited to 144/now 288 characters, overvaluing speed and pithiness, but eroding thoughtfulness and "politeness". Put-downs become the coin of the realm (boy is it prevalent here!) Tweets are to conversation what twerks are to dancing. As a civilization we have been through these cycles before... the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, radio, television, cable, internet, cell phones. This is a far faster rollout of new technology, but the process is the same. It infects virtually every aspect of our lives. I understand the urge to unplug.

    When I was a kid, we played in the yard. My kids played in the family room. They don't have the patience for board games. Newspapers are failing all over the country - too slow.

    [Ironically, I posted this post before I had finished the thought process.]
    I've never considered myself to be "unplugged"... yet I've never used Twitter or Facebook. Maybe that puts me outside of the mainstream, I don't know.... but what I have always been is an infoholic. I pursue information relentlessly. But any infoholic will tell you that you have to be discerning. It's like processing intelligence information. You have your current assessment and you keep a keen eye out for the information that makes to adapt that to changing realities. 99% of the information you receive will be bogus.... the key is adjusting your filters so that the 1% that is both factual and relevant gets through.

    You're never going to learn anything by monitoring sources that agree with your current assessment. If you're a liberal, the last thing you should be watching is MSNBC. If you're a conservative, the last thing you should be watching is Fox News. I think, ideally, people should seek to be inquisitive.... reach out for news sources that don't reinforce your views - look for the ones that challenge them. Assess the information they present... can you refute it or not? And if you can't, well, maybe they have a point. That's my concept of comity.
    "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know." --- Lao Tzu

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