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Painting With A Broad Brush

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Certainly one of the most pernicious of traits--observed daily, sad to say--is to paint with one broad brush anyone and everyone with an opposing viewpoint or belief. That some may harbor beliefs or make statements or take actions as partial proof that a particular assessment is correct easily becomes a blanket indictment of all on the "other" side of debate and ideology. Liberals do it. So do conservatives.

My bias is that it certainly appears to be a much more mainstream practice by those on the Right than it is for progressives. The frequency with which so many utter the same phrases--statements that readers/listeners are presumably expected to accept without question--is a substantial impediment to problem-solving.

No explanations and probably very little understanding or context, but these tactics sure do adhere to the party line. Painting with the broadest brush possible simplifies the process of condemning all of us all at once.

These attacks on those with a different perspective--with absolutely no mention whatsoever of conservative culpability or obstructionism, and no proper defense for conservative policies and ideologies--are just making bad problems worse.

In the course of doing some research on liberal vs. conservative thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies, I came across a rather "interesting" post written more than five years ago entitled "The Liberal Philosophy." Written even before President Obama was elected the first time (given the author's focus on Hillary Clinton), the article nonetheless could have shown up on the internet last night and it would have been just as "credible" a piece of fact-free ideological tripe.

After I read it the first time, I found it [with apologies] so mind-numbingly bizarre that I wandered though this site to see if this wasn't some sort of online spoof. Sad to say, it's yet another in a never-ending line of categorizations and definitions of progressives and liberals so far removed from our perspectives and beliefs that it's hard to imagine it isn't a spoof. Judging by the evidence presented every day, it--unfortunately--is not.

And the problem: how on earth do we all move forward if this kind of nonsense is the starting point for conversations? What is the point of disseminating such disdain for facts? [No question whatsoever that some on the left are arguably guilty of the same, but the sheer audacity exhibited by this stereotypical piece is impressive!]

The above-referenced post begins with this:

This page is dedicated to the philosophy of the Liberal, done in an effort to help folks better understand why liberals think the way they do. Let's begin with a simple definition of a Liberal.  Generally this is any person who has the follow two values, 1) Redistribution of the wealth; and 2) they truely [sic] believe they know what is best for everyone else, regardless of what you value or believe.

Can a few conservatives find examples of a few liberals who arguably validate the observations? Of course! But all of us? More than even a very small percentage? This so distorts and trivializes the many interests, concerns, positions, and beliefs of the overwhelming majority of decent, kind, everyday progressives that it is genuinely difficult for us to accept that there are people out there convinced this definition is absolutely correct for each and every progressive/liberal in America.

And in a more recent effort by that same right-wing author, we have this gem [worth noting that the few links provided by the author in support of his observations referred back to sites safely ensconced in the far-right wing "news" bubble. Why is this not surprising?]:

When listening to liberals one must be careful to listen for what they don't say. The reason for this is liberals have a very difficult time talking directly to an issue....Liberals always seem to be looking over their mental shoulders or sniffing the political air.
Here's a great Liberal quote, "I like to think of America as a suffering patient, where Hillary is an experienced doctor. What we need here is some good medicine.'
Like the typical Liberal, their philosophy is to convince the public that they are sick, poor, down trodden, and generally worse off than they really are.  And government (aka, Hillary's "village') is always the answer.

Not only does this make almost no sense at all, I doubt the author could find five people in the country who give evidence of such a skewed (and incorrect) assessment. [And who uttered that "great Liberal quote"?]

A broad indictment of the supposed entire liberal philosophy in just a few fact- and context-free sentences ... nice job! Childishly simplistic, but no doubt "successful" in stirring the pot. Why?

If we don't recognize and accept that bitter partisanship is not always the wisest or most beneficial strategy, the goal of a better future will forever be as far away tomorrow as it is today.

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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)

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