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Is Nationalism Necessary?
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:03 PM
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D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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Default Is Nationalism Necessary?

This isn't a ra-ra question. It was spawned by the following article regarding Russian interference in the US electoral process

So we know that foreign actors are influencing the process AND specifically fanning the flames that cause division at home, how do our conversations need to change on both sides of the aisle?

On the left I'm thinking we need to stop dropping the "Cold War" part of history when we talk about US history of foreign intervention and empire because many of our problems are actually from our legacy in direct relation to the Soviet Union and our position in NATO. That omission over time has led to too many people knowing what the US did without the why. It's like presenting the WWII as Britain, France, the US, and Russia slaughtering Germans. What happened doesn't change but the perspective changes everything.

But on the right (and this is what's REALLY warping my brain right now), I'm not sure. Literally the whole Russia fiasco got a "meh... *shrug*" because it got their guy elected. And that's the party of "evil empire", Reagan, Joseph McCarthy (ultimately), etc. It seems to be a party completely ok with wild conspiracy theories as long as it serves the political purpose. Most of the conspiracy theories I heard as these links were discovered was "well, that's coming from the Government so..."

Feel free to bag on either party only on this question. My question is really, what BS are both sides engaging in that is going to have to change if the US is being indirectly challenged (which it is)?
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:46 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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it's necessary to a point. To be blunt, if someone is elected by foreign interference, there inevitably has to be a question about if they serve their country, or the foreign government that got them elected. (an obvious one is that there are some NATO countries that have significant Russian populations in areas. If Russia tries to pull a Crimea in those countries, what will Trump's reaction be? by the NATO treaty, America is obliged to come to their aid- that is, attacking any NATO country is considered to be an attack on each member state ( in short, an attack on any member of NATO is considered an attack on the United States) would Trump ignore the treaty?) Note that this is regardless of which party they back- I would be asking the exact same questions if the Russians backed Clinton.
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:53 PM
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Have they stopped teaching the Cold War in history class? I ask because I haven't been in high school approaching twenty years now but every history class that covered that period in time covered the cold war. And referred to it as such. We weren't taught that the House Un-American Activities Committee (Commission?) and unrelated Joseph McCarthy happened in a vacuum. (Btw I say unrelated because McCarthy was 1 a Senator and 2 had nothing to do with HUAC it happened 10 years before he was even in office. They often get lumped together though)
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:51 PM
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I sort of tilted that aspect of it towards the liberal end because that's the end that's most apt to write the history of the US somewhere around we had McCarthy and Blacklists and put up a bunch of puppet regimes around the world because that's just American Empire. That is, there is a tendency to isolate the Soviet Union as an actor and the retreat of European nations as global actors in those situations.

I don't condone the McCarthy and Hollywood blacklists side of it, but I do think (and Obama ran into this) there is a point you realize there are more disruptive, ill-meaning actors out than the US. So I tend to think the far-left and far-right tends to idealize some sort of purity the United States lost (but never really had). And it's really undercut what I'd consider national unity because in that context, is a national identity worth more than hating your politcal opponents? If that's what you think of it, maybe not.

I think they teach the Cold War the same way my wife talks about history from her school - events that happened. Not necessarily the cause and effect dominos that occurred because of it.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:02 PM
Daskinor Daskinor is offline
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Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Have they stopped teaching the Cold War in history class? I ask because I haven't been in high school approaching twenty years now but every history class that covered that period in time covered the cold war. And referred to it as such. We weren't taught that the House Un-American Activities Committee (Commission?) and unrelated Joseph McCarthy happened in a vacuum. (Btw I say unrelated because McCarthy was 1 a Senator and 2 had nothing to do with HUAC it happened 10 years before he was even in office. They often get lumped together though)
There is this idea that we don't teach all the horrible things our government has done over the years to students, because they would not be able to handled it.
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:46 PM
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There is this idea that we don't teach all the horrible things our government has done over the years to students, because they would not be able to handled it.
Yeah I never saw that attitude but I did see that excuse. What I mean is that with the exception of teachers that went off book there was the idea that the curriculum kind of distanced our country from the actions of our country.

Slavery was something some horrible people did but not the United States Government.

Native Americans were treated horribly by people but not the United States Government

Even in the scouts was a "No matter what the government does have unwavering loyalty to such"

And I would sometimes hear the whole "You can't handle the truth' I don't think it was that and I don't think it is that now.

The reason it was so easy to get Corporations recognized as individuals is because we had been already doing so for 100 years. The US Government was recognized as "Group of people making up various branches and offices of the government"

Now in a by the book history class (Now being when I was a student) It was "horrible person did horrible thing" "US Government did great thing"

I know people from Britain who have mentioned having the same problem with their country's history too.

The Government is quick to claim credit for any good thing that was done by an individual or group of individuals but when talking about things like Trail of Tears the US Government's direct responsibility is minimized and most blame is placed on the settlers.

But the point is I don't think anyone has ever genuinely concerned about the students "not being able to handle it"

Rather it all comes back to "Respect your Elders"

My uncle was kind of a shitty human being. Being told to "respect your elders" but seeing how he acted made me realize that "respecting" him was a bullshit lie.

History class is much the same way. Instead of just nodding and smiling as your government tells you stuff you might suddenly question their actions. Instead of blindly slapping a yellow magnet on your car and screaming "support the troops"

You might actually question the military actions they are taking.

The whole idea is less don't shock the children and more don't have people who think they have the right to question their government.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:05 PM
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History class is much the same way. Instead of just nodding and smiling as your government tells you stuff you might suddenly question their actions. Instead of blindly slapping a yellow magnet on your car and screaming "support the troops"

You might actually question the military actions they are taking.
That's one thing the Hippies got wrong. Don't vilify the 19 year old Private who got sent overseas (and back then, had probably been drafted). Vilify the elected representatives who sent him overseas.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:06 AM
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That's one thing the Hippies got wrong. Don't vilify the 19 year old Private who got sent overseas (and back then, had probably been drafted). Vilify the elected representatives who sent him overseas.
People still do that too to people in today's military.

The thing that annoys me more than anything is that if you don't 100% backup America and everything the government does, you hate America. There's no room for criticism, even if it's constructive. God forbid you suggest we could be doing something better than we already do now. (Which still blows my mind that the crowd who thinks America is the best ever at everything forever and always voted for a guy who said America isn't great and that we'll make it great again).
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:00 AM
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That's one thing the Hippies got wrong. Don't vilify the 19 year old Private who got sent overseas (and back then, had probably been drafted). Vilify the elected representatives who sent him overseas.
If the 19 year old private who's been trained to disobey an illegal order and report the person to the next highest ranking person obeys the illegal order the are as culpable as everyone else who issued the order.

I don't know what it was like back during the draft but it's 2016 I know in 2000 when I went through Basic I was taught exactly what to do about Illegal Orders and how important it was to follow the Geneva Convention.

I don't blindly support groups of people ever.

We didn't let anyone in Nazi Germany get away with saying "Patriotism, Nationalism, Just following orders"

We tried them all the same. Thus we have to hold ourselves to the same standard.

Anyone who enlists for the last two decades has done so voluntarily. They are equally responsible for following orders.

WE shouldn't vilify anyone for the orders unless we believe the orders were illegal.

Nor should we vilify the politician for issuing orders we disagree with.

What we should do is disagree where we disagree and then act on it accordingly by voting for the people we do agree with.

What we shouldn't do is yell at people who disagree with us call them unpatriotic and scream that they need to support the troops rather than discuss the issue.
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:02 AM
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One thing (and I think this has been brought up before) we could all do is stop mis-using/over using certain words. I know this came up recently on a post about how often the word "racist" and/or "racism" is used when it may not actually be present.

It's the same with other "negative" words, like hate/hateful, bigot, etc. As I said in a previous post, we all have implicit biases. We can do self-examination on them if we want. Sometimes those are used as "feel good" words. In other words, calling someone a bigot doesn't necessarily mean they're a bigot, but it makes the person making the accusation feel better about themselves, for various psychological reasons.

The problem is, we're at a point in this country where if we disagree with a stance/position, we're labeled hateful, bigots, evil, un-American, or whatever, and the word "discrimination" is tossed around a lot.

This can lead to a lot of eye-rolling when topics like that/words like that are brought up. Especially since there's no way to "un-prove" most of those things.

Like the whole thing people like to bring up when someone says they're not racist: "...because you have a black friend, right?" That's happened on this very forum a number of times.

That's condescending on the surface of it, and you're (in a general sense) essentially calling the person a liar, too.

The other issue, as I see it, is the divide is too great to the point where we're either talking at each other, to get some point out, or using terms such as the ones previously mentioned. And therefore, even though we don't say it, we lump everyone into that group.

We must also keep political opinions out of classrooms vis-a-vis professors. Like the story recently of the college professor who equated Trump's election to "an act of terrorism". And now the student is being threatened with expulsion.

Story here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/c...nstructor.html

And here: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/...-trump-tirade/

A further issue is what most people who live in the northeast and on the west coast refer to as "flyover country". That, in and of itself, could be considered a dismissive term, wouldn't you agree? It's like saying, "these people don't matter". And that seems to be one of the issues the Democrats are having as they move forward. How do they "reach out" to those people in "flyover country". Especially since a lot of liberals (but not all) and Democrats (again, not all), think that everyone in "flyover country" is out of touch and behind the times.

I think, unfortunately, identity politics plays a lot into it. I know we all do it, though.

I think if we work on talking to each other, instead of about and at each other when it comes to politics, and really work to understand most of the positions of "the other side" and people we disagree with, we'd be better off.

Democrats and Republicans must also realize that the government isn't perfect. I think it'd be a lot better if people actually worked to understand why people want government the way they want it (i.e. "big gov't vs small gov't), without saying words like "entitlement" and "hate the poor", and those sorts of things. We might actually make progress that way.

I do think we must also hold politicians and media to high standards. And we must hold them accountable to the truth, whether it hurts "our side" or not. They are supposed to report, not influence or present opinion as news.

Wouldn't you agree? That would, I think, make us less divided as a country. Then we could combat these things like you're talking about.

Last edited by mjr; 12-11-2016 at 11:41 AM.
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