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Thread: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

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    Endearingly Dislikable RotationSlimWang's Avatar
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    Default Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    As I've espoused on this board before, I had completely lost my faith in democracy--I suppose mostly just American democracy to be entirely accurate--after the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections. And then in 2008 I felt my confidence in this nation suddenly reborn when finally it seemed that the logical desire of a populous to choose smart people acting in the interest of the greatest good had won out over a propaganda machine who had somehow managed to own this country for 20 out of 28 of the past years with a platform of nothing but tactical lies, faulty premises, and preposterous manipulations.

    Then I came home and found out that socialized medicine has been defeated. Again. Almost purely on the strength of accusations that were completely factually inaccurate and brutally short-sighted self interest. Cognitive dissonance at its absolute finest won on this issue yet again, and a better example of the phenomenon cannot be found. In this democracy, people will shout down a program that offers to protect them and their families' well being, and all the convincing it took was talking points involving abstract concepts like socialism combined with absolutely inaccurate interpretation.

    Americans are more eager to get absolutely incensed and emotionally involved in a lie that hurts them than try to entertain what they perceive as an opposing viewpoint.

    So I submit to you this question: at what point exactly would you say the responsibility for whatever the fuck you can call this bizarre trend in our cultural began? Let's chart the path of America's development in its decline. What event was it that really started this slide of ours from such a great nation into the most powerful empire in history being systematically crippled from the inside by a completely ineffective democracy? Where did these evil people who've successfully managed to convince us to fuck ourselves in the ass multiple times first get their foothold?

    I put together a few crucial events, but I'll wait to see if anyone gives a fuck before posting them since this is already probably tl;dr for most of you illiterate fucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Coachella Junkie PlayaDelWes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    What event was it that really started this slide of ours from such a great nation into the most powerful empire in history being systematically crippled from the inside by a completely ineffective democracy?
    The rise of the internet along with broader faster media.

    Today, only the loudest are heard and too much focus is spent on meaningless bullshit.

    The moderate and those willing to work together to get things done are now drowned out more than ever.

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    Endearingly Dislikable RotationSlimWang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Dumb answer. It started long before the internet. One event I pinpointed--one of the most recent ones in the timeline in fact--was the rise of Reagan giving birth to thirty years of brainwashing on the grounds of "lower taxes," a line of thought which took firm hold and has resulted in millions of rationalizations for voting down improving things like education and social services.

    The question here is: what in the FUCK managed to convince more than 50 percent of the populous to start acting AGAINST their own self-interests? Where did that part of the equation of manipulating America en masse get its first steps?
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    I agree with you to an extent, but at the same time I am just reminded of this quote from a band I kind of like...

    "Every generation thinks it's the last. Think's it's the end of the world." -- Jeff Tweedy of Wilco

    ...And the answer to your question. We're human.

    Obviously it's more complex than that, but I don't like typing that much.

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    Coachella Junkie PlayaDelWes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Dumb answer. It started long before the internet. One event I pinpointed--one of the most recent ones in the timeline in fact--was the rise of Reagan giving birth to thirty years of brainwashing on the grounds of "lower taxes," a line of thought which took firm hold and has resulted in millions of rationalizations for voting down improving things like education and social services.

    The question here is: what in the FUCK managed to convince more than 50 percent of the populous to start acting AGAINST their own self-interests? Where did that part of the equation of manipulating America en masse get its first steps?
    Sounds like you are stuck on your own ideals and really don't care what others have to say. Rather than pretending to be interested, why don't you just list all your preconceived thoughts against anything that is not pro-liberal.

    EDIT: This is what is wrong with America

    Last edited by PlayaDelWes; 09-17-2009 at 06:56 AM.

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    Bambi menikmati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Post WWII.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by menikmati View Post
    Post WWII.
    Yeah, we went wrong with the whole civil rights thing. What the fuck were we thinking?

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    Bambi menikmati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    you don't get it...

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    24 hour news cycle. There were political figures like Regan that helped push people to the right yes, but it was the launching of CNN that doomed us. It is way two much time to fill with news, so it started to be filled with inane commentary as the news. This was unlike in newspapers where commentary is clearly labeled, it is just thrown out there next to regular news programs.

    Look at the 2004 election and how the news networks killed Howard Deans run for presidency in one day. One yell killed everything, they just replayed and got conservatives on to talk about how psychotic Dean was for screaming at a rally. Which brings to the concept of equal time for competing ideas. This is why CNN always has a counterpoint no matter how batshit crazy it is. Even Fox News and MSNBC have counterpoints but the purposely hire weak analysts in their opposing view points.
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    freedom of speech.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by menikmati View Post
    you don't get it...
    If you are referring to the point of the thread then you are wrong. I get it, but I also think it is stupid.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnow

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    The invention of the television in 1927.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    The 3/5 Compromise
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by menikmati View Post
    Post WWII.
    this was my first response on the phone. "let's police the world! VIVA LA WAR MACHINE"

    i also don't like typing that much and agree that it's human nature
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    Bambi menikmati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    I think it's pretty obvious that the "downfall" occurred after WWII, with the start of the cold war, rise of competing technologies/weapons, the "shrinking of the world", the rise of media such as TV...governments and officials became more secretive/corrupted/exposed it seemed, it was like the age of conspiracy theories coming to light...and when people feel like they can't trust their own governments and elected officials and start questioning everything, it really separates people and their beliefs, and then it's bound to go wrong eventually.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    The question here is: what in the FUCK managed to convince more than 50 percent of the populous to start acting AGAINST their own self-interests?
    Are you familiar with Antonio Gramsci, Randy? If not, you should read up on him. In specific his notion of hegemony. He adresses this exact issue.
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    The Vietnam war would be the nail in the coffin in Menik & Chairmen's line of logic.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    You guys who are posting recent shit like mass media are being way too short-sighted about this. Sure that's increased the acceleration of it but we started down this path far earlier than Fox News.

    What we're supposed to be looking for is the either (a) shifts in societal behavior or (b) specific incidences of political action that so drastically changed what was expected, permitted, and encouraged in America that have now led us to this point of retarded shouting contests.

    Post WWII is a pretty obvious, somewhat accurate, but always way too open-ended answer. What moment in post WWII America was it that it started to fall apart? Cause there was at least a decade or so where America was still on the rise and doing relatively well after the fall of the Third Reich and even after dropping the bomb on Japan. One could say that the shift from reactive military action into proactive, which the jumping off point would be Korea I guess, is a good choice. But that's not a sociological answer, that's a military action.

    Becoming the strongest nation in the world wasn't the turning point, although it's certainly a big part of why we went to shit. We're looking for what was the essential change to the common theory of how government should operate and what the voters could be swayed by that started fucking us up.

    If anything capitalism and the economic boom following WWII are probably more responsible for the ills that are really eating us alive now than anything else. But what's the symbolic moment of shift where our free market that made us so great started to turn into the albatross around our neck?

    Another one of the primary turning points I chose was when Nixon deregulated the health industry. A better metaphor (shit, not even a metaphor, it's pretty literal) for how America turned into a land of entrepreneurs and hard work into a land of greed and profiting at the expense of others under the guise of capitalism is hard to find.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by greghead View Post
    Gramsci is necessary reading for anybody.

    Though I agree with Menik, we must also recognize that the U.S. was not a wonderful place before WWII, either.
    It was Churchill who said something along the lines of 'Democracy is a terrible form of government, but it's the best one we've got.'

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    Endearingly Dislikable RotationSlimWang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    The earliest incident I can think of that's really critical is the Civil War. It should never have been fought. That was probably the first time we really threw the whole notion of being a republic of states out the window. One could argue it was the birth of a federal dictatorship within a moderated democracy. If we had only let the South secede--as they had every right to do--I can't help but think that we'd be a million times better off now.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

  22. #22
    Coachella Junkie BlackSwan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    The Great Depression. The period which showed us our growth was not unstoppable.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by greghead View Post
    Gramsci is necessary reading for anybody.

    Though I agree with Menik, we must also recognize that the U.S. was not a wonderful place before WWII, either.
    No, I agree too....not trying to prove the US was a wonderful place prior to WWII, but surely there was a different vibe when it came to people's opinion on Government and their own sense of nationalism...granted, the Great Depression and the whole "Grapes of Wrath" stories of moving out West only to find nothing but continued despair lead to some hard feelings I'm sure, but nothing on the level to the Cold War, and the eventual Vietnam War.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSwan View Post
    The Great Depression. The period which showed us our growth was not unstoppable.
    Disagree. The Great Depression gave birth to the finest period of policy making in American government history. More progress towards becoming an evolved, caring culture whose government wielded its power to do right by its citizens with no voice and no money or power to express it was enacted in FDR's administration than in practically the entire rest of US history combined.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Disagree. The Great Depression gave birth to the finest period of policy making in American government history. More progress towards becoming an evolved, caring culture whose government wielded its power to do right by its citizens with no voice and no money or power to express it was enacted in FDR's administration than in practically the entire rest of US history combined.
    I agree with this partially, the Great Depression gave great policy making for the American Government, so it's hard to look back on that and say that was the turning point for the country going in the wrong direction...but you can also argue it was a big shift in separating the right and left (as those who wanted the Govt to help the people, and those who didn't) from each other. Still though, I think most people will view the policies coming out of the Great Depression as a success, as well as our victory in WWII...but how we dealt with our new powers in the "new world" after that I think can be attributed with our country going down the wrong paths.

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    Endearingly Dislikable RotationSlimWang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Another strong candidate is the deluge of Communist fear. Pinpointing when that really started is something a person older than myself would have to help us with, but creating that mass movement of rejection of any notions that appeared to be socialism or communism has to be one of the biggest factors that has kept the American people from understanding how the rest of the western world has passed us by.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Disagree. The Great Depression gave birth to the finest period of policy making in American government history. More progress towards becoming an evolved, caring culture whose government wielded its power to do right by its citizens with no voice and no money or power to express it was enacted in FDR's administration than in practically the entire rest of US history combined.
    It is a psychological root answer. The Great Depression not only crushed collective faith in our modernizing economic system, but ushered in a new level of government involvement in literally everything. You asked when "these evil people who've successfully managed to convince us to fuck ourselves in the ass multiple times first get their foothold?" It occurred when the government was to allowed to get big enough to do that with out repercussion, and the masses were permanently afflicted with an underlying worry that their comfortable way of life was always at stake.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Dickhead--that government involvement is what we NEED and keep voting down. The New Deal is what made America a truly great country. Now we've somehow ended up in this place where The New Deal would probably get voted down by idiots with placards where FDR has a Hitler mustache.
    Quote Originally Posted by amyzzz View Post
    Hannah, I don't know that pigs have big weiners, and my early 20's facination with dogs because of weiner size, I think. If that helps.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Yes, I think the whole fear of communism plays a huge role in this...which is why I say it's post WWII that this all comes into play...granted, the fear of communism didn't start after WWII, I'm sure it was around and being driven in far before that, and a lot of seeds were planted then....but then you hear the stories and read about how ridiculous the whole fear thing got in the few years after WWII and going into the 1950's and it's just unbelievable. Really made a lot of us ignorant and unaware...but I guess that's what comes when you're labeled the world's super power, you and your government and your values and everything else is better than everyone else.

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    Default Re: Pinpoint Where America Went Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by RotationSlimWang View Post
    Dickhead--that government involvement is what we NEED and keep voting down. The New Deal is what made America a truly great country. Now we've somehow ended up in this place where The New Deal would probably get voted down by idiots with placards where FDR has a Hitler mustache.
    Government involvement isn't what is being rallied against. It's extreme partisan politics, not republicanism that is the culprit today.

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