The Simple Difference Between Left & Right

When you see somebody doing very well or very poorly, do you ask what happened to him or do you ask what did he do to make that happen? Both are valid questions, but #1 came to your mind first, you are probably liberal.

When you experience something different, good or bad, it just makes sense to figure out how it happened so that you can improve the result in future. It is good to try to understand what outside forces affected the outcome, but the key question - the one that successful people ask - is what could I do differently to make it better next time.

You cannot always chose what happens to you, but you can choose the response. Often, it is not your fault, but it usually is your problem and your choice.

Is that "blaming the victim?" Yes, but let's not think of it as blame. Rather think of it as empowering. I would rather be "blamed" if it means I can take action, no matter how small, to change the outcomes I don't like.

Losers blame outside factors. That is why they consistently have problems. If you think others did it to you, you need not change. That is stupid.

Being active in your choices certainly does not guarantee success, but depending on outside forces is - let me use that word again - stupid.

Let's be clear. It is not your race, gender, locality etc that determines your future. They influence your outcomes, but mostly it is up to you. If you agree with what I just said, you are probably a conservative.

Posted by Christine & John at September 19, 2017 8:13 AM
Comments
Comment #419951

C&J, good to see grownups back here, but conservatives are the ones trying to make sure that race, gender, locality, and especially your economic status at birth, determine your future. They weep for Paris Hilton’s level of taxation, watch a “news” channel that employs rapists, seek to protect rapists from the consequences of their actions, and even voted for a rapist as President.

Blaming the victim is empowering the victim? Say Whaaaat?

When I see a person who is unfortunate, I think that’s unfortunate.

“what could I do differently to make it better next time”
Have wealthier parents, suck up to more wealthy people, only work for the wealthiest people, agree with everything they say at all times. Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie and the rest have all been dead for a very long time.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 19, 2017 11:41 AM
Comment #419954

Great to see a post from you C&J!

Posted by: liz at September 19, 2017 5:47 PM
Comment #419955

Thanks for the good post John.

I am reminded of addictions when I read of making choices. I know a few alcoholics, both practicing and recovering.

Those that are recovering have learned that only they can control their own behavior and make the change that will alter the outcome.

Every practicing alcoholic has a reason for why they continue to drink. The recovering alcoholic has learned that the only long-term and successful way to deal with alcoholism is to not drink…at all…for any reason.

When we stop making excuses for bad behavior, or bad outcomes, and accept our own responsibility in the matter, healing and succeeding can occur.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 19, 2017 6:07 PM
Comment #419957

I did the same thing with cigarettes. I quit smoking before my last cigarette butt hit the ground. I haven’t had a cigarette in 17 years. The only way I keep away is to remind myself of how dirty the ash trays were, the burnt holes in my shirts, the money, oh, the money, and getting out of bed and dressing in the middle of the night when I ran out.

Yep, there’s none of that any more.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 19, 2017 6:14 PM
Comment #419958

“He must be wicked to deserve such pain.”

Robert Browning
“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”

Posted by: phx8 at September 19, 2017 6:15 PM
Comment #419966

ohrealy

I think being “to blame” for things that happen to you is very empowering. It is a big part of my life philosophy. I allows you to change. If you think others are responsible for what happens to you and that you have no part in changing, you are a slave. I choose to be free.

My parents were not rich. Both dropped out of HS. My father’s first language was not English. We never owned a car, never went on vacations. “Underprivileged”? Never. I learned that I could chose and that made the difference.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 19, 2017 10:04 PM
Comment #419967

Phx8

It is not what you deserve. Life is not fair and that is okay. We cannot control what happens to us, but we control our response.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 19, 2017 10:06 PM
Comment #419968

C&J, you sound like disciples of Alisa Rosenbaum:

the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism…a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.
(wiki)

I think people who have read her books, or have been influenced by them, should read other additional books, and have other additional influences.

Conservatism has been rocked to its core this last year. WFBuckley is long gone, and polite discussions have been replaced by confrontation. Conservatism has now been revealed to be based on rejection of human rights, disdain for democracy, a firm belief that the end justifies the means, and solidarity among rich entitled criminals.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 19, 2017 10:57 PM
Comment #419970

ohrealy

Never heard of her, nor do I buy it.

My philosophy is a mixed bag. To simplify, I think the purpose of life is to find your calling and do it well. Do your duty to God and man and you will be entitled to happiness.

The system that allows most people the freedom to make these choices necessary, but not sufficient for the good.

I dislike the emphasis on material things. I am not talking only about greed here. The whole idea that the material nature of life determines you is something I find both silly and pernicious.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 20, 2017 6:10 AM
Comment #419972

Slumming again C&J? Welcome back. I have two words for you- “perpetuating stereotypes”. That was my first thought upon reading this post. That is what you are doing with this post, perpetuating myths and stereotypes.

What you say is not without merit, however it wrongly contributes to the political divide in this country. Your hypothesis is wrong, it is based upon myths and misinformation that damages the political dialogue. This is something you did not something that happened to you…right?

Wrongly attributing this way of thinking to probably conservatives is laughable at best. To think “what happened to him” can only be said by a liberal is just as laughable. Nice try but no correlation,IMHO.

Is this just some type of ego boost that you and conservatives in general need to make them feel good about themselves? Or are you deliberately wanting to open the divide between conservatives and liberals?

Some examples? Sure… blaming immigrants for the lack of decent paying jobs- liberal or conservative? “What happened to me or do you ask what did I do to make that happen”?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 20, 2017 11:37 AM
Comment #419974

I would ask j2t2 to reword his last post as I find it confusing and I don’t understand his point. I am not being rude here, just want to comprehend what you wrote.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 20, 2017 2:08 PM
Comment #419976

Another example of the difference between Right and Left can be found by reading this pronouncement by Nancy Pelosi.

“Pelosi said, “Their families did a great thing for our country bringing those kids here—who are working, who are in the military, who are in school, who are a brilliant part of our future.”

The Right believes law breaking should not be rewarded.

The Right believes American children, who are citizens, should be praised for what they accomplish in this country.

The Right believes that American resources allocated for education, health care, job creation, etc., contributed by American taxpayers, should be used for citizens of this country.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 20, 2017 3:23 PM
Comment #419978

How did so many of these conservatives become followers of Trump? What made them so vulnerable to an appeal to the dark side of the American character? And what made them so vulnerable to Russian propaganda?

Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2017 8:09 PM
Comment #419979

J2t2

It is my observation. That is what motivates both sides.

Studies show that conservatives are as generous or more generous with their own money and they are more likely to serve in the military and even to donate blood, so the other stereotype, that liberals are more generous, is also wrong. Both sides are similarly interested in helping others.

Liberals, however, are more likely to blame large forces for people’s problems. Conservative see choice.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 20, 2017 9:03 PM
Comment #419980

phx8

I have never been a Trump supporter and wrote as much on these pages several times before the election. I know lots of Trump supporters who are good and intelligent people, and I have wondered why they disagree with me.

Some just want change I know people who voted for Obama twice - for change - and then voted for Trump with the same reason. I do not crave change in general, so I do not agree, but I can explain it that way.

But one big reason I think Trump made headway is this crazy PC stuff. Papers recently reported that some people are upset that cotton sticks were used as decoration. They associate this with slavery. I find that abysmally stupid and even worse that we are supposed to take such folks seriously. When Trump tells such people to go to hell, I like that. That was not motive enough for me to vote for him, but I expect it is a factor.

Re Russian propaganda - Russians have done this kind of thing every election since 1922. I wish Obama had taken the Russian threat more seriously before the election, but it is not the determining factor.

Hillary made herself vulnerable because of her email stupidity. That is why she and Obama kept quiet when they thought they would win the election.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 20, 2017 9:11 PM
Comment #419981

I’m aware you were never a Trump supporter.

The point is, how did a political philosophy of personal responsibility metastasize into the Trump presidency? Is there a connection?

The Trump movement started with the Birther movement- the fundamentally racist conspiracy theory that Obama was not an American- that he was a Kenyan, a Muslim, and so on. Polls consistently showed about 1/2 the GOP believed this to be the case, and an even higher percentage of Trump supporters.

In the 2016 campaign, the racism and bigotry still targeted blacks and Muslims, but increased its emphasis on misogyny and xenophobia; most of all, it went after immigrants, legal and illegal.

Some people wanted change in 2016. Some disliked Hillary Clinton. Very true. But it also required an awful lot of people to be willing to overlook the glaring examples of racism, bigotry, and so on pushed by Trump. Of course the media and the Russians played a role, but it still required fertile soil for the seed to grow.

We see another version of the same problem now with foreign policy. America First is isolationist. It encourages the US to abandon alliances and treaties, abandon international cooperation to address Global Warming, and reset the world’s political structure in a way that is, when you get right down to it, favorable to one country in particular: Russia.

So how did a conservative political philosophy metastasize into what we see today? Somehow it morphed from calls for personal responsibility, to blaming the victim, to objections about political correctness, and into the horror show we are now stuck with.

Is it political correctness run amok to object when 41/42 District Attorney nominees are male?

Is Sherriff Arpaio, the receiver of a pardon for the gross violation of the constitutional rights of Hispanic citizen, a hero?

Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2017 10:12 PM
Comment #419982

PC is mostly silly. It annoys reasonable people who then may do unreasonable things.

I do not defend Trump. You asked me to try to explain and I tried.

The Trump policies are at odds with many things I have long supported and believed. But the choices this time around sucked. I am mostly finished with Hillary’s new book. I got the audio version, so I hear her deliver it herself. All I can say is that I am not happy that Trump won, but I am glad Hillary lost. I only wish there was a way both could have lost.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 21, 2017 12:08 AM
Comment #419990
I dislike the emphasis on material things. I am not talking only about greed here. The whole idea that the material nature of life determines you is something I find both silly and pernicious. Posted by: Christine & John at September 20, 2017 6:10

Then you are pretty much at odds with everything that the Rpblcn party stands for, unless you consider money as a non-material thing. It’s all about money now. The SCOTUS has authorized turning the USHOR into a low class prostitution ring, and the Senate into a higher class escort service. The POS himself is a money-grubbing former millionaire desperately struggling to get rich again. Worst of all, in their pursuit of an all Roman Catholic SCOTUS, the Senate confirmed someone who is exclusively owned by Philip Anschutz, petro-billionaire advocate against environmentalism, and advocate for charter schools, many of which are in fact former Catholic schools that were closed and have now been re-opened with different names.

So how did a conservative political philosophy metastasize into what we see today? Somehow it morphed from calls for personal responsibility, to blaming the victim, to objections about political correctness, and into the horror show we are now stuck with. Posted by: phx8 at September 20, 2017 10:12 PM

Appeals to stupidity. People found out that conservatives can be easily manipulated. Someone, well mostly Newt G, made a list of words that sound good, and called that conservative, and a list of words that sound bad, and called that liberal, and they’ve been promoting that as the conservative ideology for 20 years. The POS doesn’t believe in the things that he promoted to get nominated, he just believes that his followers are that stupid. Elite, which means the best, has been turned into a bad word, to stoke resentment among the have-nots, and keep them voting against their interest.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 21, 2017 10:45 AM
Comment #419993

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Posted by: David Banks at September 21, 2017 12:51 PM
Comment #419999

It is curious to see objections to political correctness by conservatives. When translated into reality, those objections turned into nightmares like the FOX News workplace, where at least 11 women left over sexual harassment, and some of the top management and broadcasters resigned. FOX, one of the poster children for attacks on political correctness, turned out to be a moral nightmare.

Posted by: phx8 at September 21, 2017 9:18 PM
Comment #420000

ohrealy

Money is instrumental. I know a fair number of rich people. Few are greedy in the way depicted in the movies. Most have some goal or goals that transcend their money.

I see money in terms similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People w/o money think about it all the time. Once you have enough, you move on to better things.

But I am talking material in a broader way. Socialism is materialistic, in that it emphasizes material over spiritual. The Marxist variety of socialism is very strictly, openly and proudly materialistic. In fact, there is more to life.

Phx8

Re PC - I just object to the restrictions on speech.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 21, 2017 9:37 PM
Comment #420011
People w/o money think about it all the time. Once you have enough, you move on to better things. But I am talking material in a broader way. Socialism is materialistic, in that it emphasizes material over spiritual. The Marxist variety of socialism is very strictly, openly and proudly materialistic. In fact, there is more to life. Posted by: Christine & John at September 21, 2017 9:37 PM

Some people never move on to better things once they have enough money, and those are the ones driving our political processes. They are the ones that create economic crises. They buy office holders to keep things running the way they want, and threaten others not to stray from the fold. They fund think tanks to persuade gullible people that the truth are lies and lies are the truth.

I don’t understand how socialism is supposed to fit in to this. It sounds like a talking point that has been inserted into your mind by people who don’t have anything much to say for themselves. In your quest for non-materialism, I would suggest doing the circuit of Mt. Kailash. It’s only about 32 miles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6xCppgYbUU

Posted by: ohrealy at September 22, 2017 10:27 AM
Comment #420023

ohrealy

I am not on a quest to be non-materialistic. I have enough and so I do not worry very much about it. That is the true freedom. If you have to think about being non-materialistic and even go on quests on that subject, you are not free from it.

Re socialism - I just don’t like it very much and I positively hate Marxism. One of the things I do not like about them is their materialistic viewpoints. That is why I mention it.

Posted by: Christine & John at September 22, 2017 10:36 PM
Comment #420026

C&J, I fear that like many others, the POS has affected your mind in a negative way. If you want to start a topic on socialism and marxism, then start one. I just don’t see what it has to do with anything, except possibly pandering to a couple of people who claim to be conservative. People can be materialistic or non-materialistic in any kind of system.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 23, 2017 4:33 PM
Comment #420039
People can be materialistic or non-materialistic in any kind of system

Excellent point.

Being active in your choices certainly does not guarantee success, but depending on outside forces is - let me use that word again - stupid.

Outside factors ultimately have a much larger impact than any individual’s choices. While it would be stupid to abdicate responsibility over the 20 to 30 percent of one’s life that is under one’s control, it would also be stupid to assume that someone who is down on his luck is in that situation solely due to factors within his control.

One of the biggest things influencing society is how the elites have rigged the system so that they do not face consequences for bad decisions. One of the most stark examples is seen in hiring for entry-level professional jobs. Companies will hire the experienced, but ultimately mediocre candidate over the inexperienced but hard-working one. It’s a myopic move meant to save the costs of training new employees, but it has broader ramifications for injustice in society as a whole.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 24, 2017 8:57 AM
Comment #420045
it would also be stupid to assume that someone who is down on his luck is in that situation solely due to factors within his control. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 24, 2017 8:57 AM


From Texasville by Larry McMurtry


A lot of people think soap operas are successful because they’re like life, but that’s horseshit. Game shows are what’s really like life. You win things that look great at the time but turn out to be junk, and you lose things you might want to keep forever just because you’re unlucky


Posted by: ohrealy at September 24, 2017 10:46 AM
Comment #420049

People make decisions in game shows. It’s not entirely luck, good or bad.

Posted by: Weary Willie at September 24, 2017 12:59 PM
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