I'm so tired of all the political hate. It's getting harder and harder to have a reasonable online conversation. My favorite political blogger, Jonathan Bernstein, got a new job at Bloomberg. His posts are still good, but the comment sections are overrun with idiotic trolls who can't put together an argument so they live and breathe insults.
Over at National Review I'm attacked and down-voted for not being in lock-step with liberal-bashing when it's done in a petty way. "Thou shalt hate liberals" reigns at National Review.
Common Language - Gone
I also notice that the words conservative commenters use have different meanings from what I'm used to. Take the word 'Marxist.' To me, it means someone who wants to abolish private property, seize all wealth over, say, a few thousand dollars, seize all business assets, and generally do what the Soviets did in Russia. To most commenters over there, a Marxist is anyone who advocated higher tax on the wealthy. Maybe just supporting progressive tax rates, like we already have, makes you a Marxist.
If you talk about inequality, a very squishy topic, you're probably a Marxist. If you say that money should be spread around ... Marxist. If you say the middle class should be stronger and getting more money, maybe you aren't a Marxist, but how is that different from saying that money should be spread around?
Now I'm also having trouble with the word 'confiscation.' It's a favorite term there. To me, it means the government taking a sizable portion of a person's money or property, or taking any portion that it doesn't have a legal right to. To others, it's any taxation. I'm sorry, but I can't call any and all taxation 'confiscation.' It has to be excessive--beyond what has been normal for the past several decades. So I think a 70% income tax rate is confiscation, and taking of saved assets is confiscation, but a 25% to 35% taxation rate on income doesn't fit the definition.
General Respect - Gone
I'm having a hard time at the soft-left sites too. The problem there isn't the meaning of terms, but the idea that anyone intelligent could disagree with the standard leftist platform. To some, it makes no sense that someone would want smaller government instead of bigger government.
The partisanship and the hate is not abating--not with the most recent elections and not with the slight uptick in employment. If anything, it is becoming more entrenched. I suppose I'm glad that we don't have political street demonstrations where people are beaten up and killed, but it's happening metaphorically on the internet. People loathe each other, and don't give a damn what happens to someone on the other side.
Considering Other Viewpoints - LOL
They also loathe any different ideology. We used to have an ideal that this country is a forum where different ideologies can compete and be judged. I guess that is over, and each side thinks its ideology has been proven (yes, proven) superior. Anyone who doesn't agree is either a shill, corrupt, a rentier, a leech, or what-have-you.
Worst of all, I don't see any way that this situation is going to get better. The different political sides show no signs of rapprochement, and a buoyant economy isn't going to rush in and save us. We are stuck with all these people we hate, and nothing is going to fix it.
I wonder what we did last time this happened? Are there any good ideas from the past?