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Are we too divided as a society? Even locally?

Uploaded: Apr 9, 2019
Rigidity. A lack of willingness to change one’s views – or really listen to other people’s point-of-view. It’s happening here in Palo Alto, it’s happening nationally. I fear it, and don’t like it.

An incident happened last week in town that went viral. As you probably read in the Weekly, at Starbuck’s on California Avenue in Palo Alto, resident Rebecca Parker Mankey verbally assaulted a 74-year-old man drinking his coffee. He was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, which set her off and she started screaming at him. Calling him a "hater of brown people," Mankey addressed Starbucks customers and employees to join her in her effort. She said she left the store but soon returned and continued to yell at him. She followed him out of the store to the parking lot, where she continued to berate and swear at him. She called the man "Nazi scum" and afterward posted pictures of him on social media.

Certainly bad behavior (outrageous is a better word) on her part, to say the least. And because of the hat and the Trump MAGA logo, she quickly concluded he was a bad guy politically and apparently felt entitled to berate him. It is a raw, sordid, example of the partisan divide that has enveloped our country.

We have drawn the red-blue lines and refuse to step over them. I had a discussion recently with a group of Democrats about Trump and there was disapproval about everything the president is doing. So I suggested we talk about some of the positive things Trump has done – and asked them to name a few. Silence in the room. “Nothing,” one person said. “I can’t think of anything,” another replied. “Not one”? Not one.

“What about our low unemployment rate or our healthy economy? I asked. “That started when the Dems were in power, so Trump can’t claim he did it all,” several said.

A couple of days later I quizzed some Republican friends asking if they still support Trump, as strongly as they once did. “Well, I feel uncomfortable about his personality, but he’s done great things and is a really good president,” was the common response. “But what about his lies, his narcissism and his seeming disdain about our allies, and his continuing praise of Putin?” I asked. That didn’t matter, they responded. “He’s a strong leader and it’s time our allies stopped taking advantage of the U.S. and the economy is thriving and he is doing great and I support him,” was the collective (paraphrased) answer.

No right vs. wrong value system. Only “them” vs. “us.” No subtleties. Just a big black paint smear against “them”—on both sides of the red-blue line.

All these conversations happened in Palo Alto.

This tenacity toward zealously defending one’s points of view is endangering our country. It’s part of that “Don’t bother me with the facts, I know what I believe” line of reasoning that is percolating through the country.

And some of these rigid attitudes have permeated Congress. Certainly the Tea Partiers were unrelenting at times, and now the Democrats are having trouble in their ranks. There is a general consensus for Dems that their goal for 2020 is to get Trump out of office. Period. THE Priority. But the younger group of newly elected representatives, e.g., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”), D-NY, and her supporters, are pushing their Green New Deal, insisting on government health care for all, and a variety of brand new programs, such as a guaranteed income for everyone. Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants a less abrupt change of policy so that Democrats can come together by 2020. So far the newbie Congressional members ‘strident voices are becoming louder every day.

So how do we listen to each other and not attack “the other”? How so we start to become a less divided country, hear, and better understand each other, work together and compromise on issues facing our country? That’s what Palo Alto is all about and that is what our country is all about.
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Comments

 +   6 people like this
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 9, 2019 at 1:57 pm

> “He's a strong leader and it's time our allies stopped taking advantage of the U.S. and the economy is thriving and he is doing great and I support him,"

Which allies? Please ask them. I'm always curious about that - Mexico? Justin Trudeau? Teresa May? And what did he change in the 2 years he had complete control of congress?

re: the economy - yes, President Trump has not messed up the Obama Recovery yet. See any 20 year GDP chart, or 20 year job growth by month chart. Obama's recovery from the Bush Great Recession continues.

Are we divided? You say yes, and I say no.

;)

Seriously: "So how do we listen to each other and not attack “the other"?"

Just that, listen. And use real information; ie.. demonstrable proof of the Obama Recovery through real data (GDP, monthly job growth, etc..) I honestly don't know how to take the "I feel" rants (I feel like we're being taken advantage of, that "the others" want my job, etc..)

Great topic.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Birds, a resident of Ventura,
on Apr 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Birds is a registered user.

Ms Diamond,

Your article is a great, much needed one.

As for how people can improve the situation.....watch some quality news programs from stations that do not agree with your political view, read some quality newspapers that dont agree with your political view, dont assume that people with whom you disagree politically are evil (virtually none of them are), ask yourself what legitimate reasons people might have to disagree with your view.

And look at the big picture. The fact is that this is still a wonderful country (yes with many flaws and challenges) despite the Presidencies of Obama and Trump. In other words, neither of them has destroyed the country or anything close.

None of this is intended to change peoples political views, only to not have them view people with different views as fellow human beings with a different life experience who have reached a different conclusion on political matters.

And by all means debate politics, respectfully.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Seriously, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 9, 2019 at 5:57 pm

I actually don't feel we're so divided as a society. Most Americans are moderate, practical people, as they always have been.

What's changed is that fringe looneys have become emboldened by their on-line echo chambers. Mankey actually believed that she could organize a lynch mob from Starbucks patrons. She's living in a different country than the rest of us -- one that exists only in her imagination.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DIana Diamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 9, 2019 at 7:48 pm

DIana Diamond is a registered user.

Really good and interesting comments so far. You all sound so fair -- and thoughtful!

Diana


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Dan, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:11 am

People shouldn't be so invested in government and the 24/7 media coverage of it that their political identify becomes a distorted personal identity. Think of it this way ... no matter how bad FOX NEWS bashes immigrants legally or illegally crossing the border or how many times NYTIMES publishes stories comparing Trump to Hilter or claiming he is a Russian operative set on turning the US into a new Fascist state, you still have to get up in the morning to go to work, make sure your kids are doing OK in school, check on the neighbor's house while they are away on vacation, take out the garbage, etc. These things are more important than the constant grossly exaggerated political circus. Now If only the government weren't soaking up nearly half of my earnings in taxes (income, sales, gas, obamacare surcharge, mental health tax, FICA, property, ...) I could feel much happier ignoring all politics.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:16 am

Entertainment.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 9:12 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A major problem is reporting by the local papers, including the Associated Press. The SFC and SJM take opinions which are personal animosity against Trump vs policy. That is not journalism. They are importing Washington Post and other reports on the Opinion Section - some of which are virulent is their opinion pieces.

Example is the reporting on the Central American Countries. Read Wikipedia on these countries - it tells you the history and brings you up to the current problems. These countries have established government agencies and elected presidents. There are whole government relationships with other countries and the typical agencies for the United Nations. Most telling is the relationship with US companies which operate tax free - Dole Foods, Del Monte - both California Corporation companies. They both have long histories of buying up land and bringing in foreign workers which has resulted in a number of problems.
Next you have the predominant religious organizations which are unable to manage their in country responsibilities and are fostering the migrant scattering of peoples - creating confusion and chaos. All the reporting is from the viewpoint of the people who have no authority to control the country government - no mention of who the Presidents are and what their points of view are. Immigrants and non-profit agencies are not the designated spokes people for those countries - they are informational only. The press needs to highlight the top level government elected officials which make the decisions and inter-relate with other governments - including the US government. So the press is no help here in dealing with meaningful information which could backfire on current congressional members who are shareholders in the American Corporations that are operating tax free in these countries. California - you are not a help here - you are leveraging profit at the expense of the citizens of those countries.

Bottom line is read up on your topic in Wikipedia so you understand the government ground rules and circumstances that are dominating the local situations.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Much Ado About Nothingness, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

> But the younger group of newly elected representatives, e.g., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC"), D-NY, and her supporters, are pushing their Green New Deal, insisting on government health care for all, and a variety of brand new programs, such as a guaranteed income for everyone.

^^^ This is FDR's 'New Deal' & LBJ's 'Great Society' concept taken to an extreme.
Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist & not a progressive Democrat. Hopefully she will not get re-elected and/or assume any noteworthy legislative or executive position/status further up the line.

> “But what about his lies, his narcissism and his seeming disdain about our allies, and his continuing praise of Putin?" I asked. That didn't matter, they responded. “He's a strong leader and it's time our allies stopped taking advantage of the U.S. and the economy is thriving and he is doing great and I support him," was the collective (paraphrased) answer.

Another distasteful individual who is seemingly not very 'presidential' from the standpoint of diplomacy & tact...in other words not a true statesman as we have come to expect from our presidents.

All in all, we elect & deserve whoever we get as leaders because 90% of the voters allow themselves to be duped by platform hyperbole & false promises.

The current divide is also significant because we are encountering a generational shift in politics. This occurred back in the late 1960s as well when Baby Boomers became of voting age. Those who were around at the time remember the 1968 & 1972 POTUS elections...the overall contentiousness & the aftermath. Except that back then the nation's divide was centered around Nixon.

History is simply repeating itself & sometimes the discontent is far more obvious than at other times...depending upon the circumstances as a whole.

Donald Trump will come & go along with all the other politicians of the day so there's no need to lose any sleep over the current headlines.

All things pass & there will always be some other contemporary leader to point fingers at or to blame for the currently perceived mess.

As far as the MAGA caps go, are they any different from the American flag decals construction workers used to wear on their hardhats during the Nixon era while spewing their questionable visons of America?

Getting bent out of shape over superficial political symbolisms is a mental & emotional waste of energy.

As 'musical' stated above, perhaps it's best to reserve all of this nonsense 'for entertainment purposes only'...except that I personaly like to accompany the experience with a beer + a good joint.





 +   2 people like this
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:01 am

> A major problem is reporting by the local papers, including the Associated Press.

Not following. How are the two related?


> The SFC and SJM take opinions which are personal animosity against Trump vs policy. That is not journalism.

Op-Eds are not journalism. They are opinions, not reporting. One should be aware of that.

Today's Chron had opinions on a local mural and CA migration. I would link, but suspect it's behind a paywall.

Have an example/link of PERSONAL animosity?


> They are importing Washington Post and other reports on the Opinion Section - some of which are virulent is their opinion pieces.

The papers frequently "import" opinions from national writers, on 'both' sides. Also from the wishy-washy middle (imho: ugh - take a stand, fercrisakes!)

Again: have a link so we can better understand your definition of virulence?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:17 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

This is all entertainment if you are part of the majority mob in any one area. It is not entertainment when taxpayer dollars are being used to fuel personal animosities. Case in point is Mr. Schiff whose congressional district in LA is the saturation point for Eastern European transplants - former Russian countries. Armenia has a large presence in that area which is pointed out in visitor guides, including a consulate which looks like a castle, and huge church supporting the designated religious group of that country. There are emersion schools where the children learn the language and visit every year. And Mr. Schiff has participated in their fund raisers which sends money back to the homeland. So who is the Russian connection?

If anyone has enough knowledge base in what is going on where and what the population mix is it is obvious what a waste of time and money is going on.
I grew up in that congressional district and am fully aware of the population mix. Also growing up in LA Tom Bradley was Chief of Police then Mayor of LA. Never see his name listed as a prominent person. The International part of LAX is named after him. Many goals for integration were met successfully then somehow the non-story did not work so stir the pot. Mr. Willie Brown - columnist for SFC was mayor and California State Assembly leader.

The problem is narratives which are based on a bunch of non-facts that are wasting our taxpayer time and money. Not amusing at all. What is worse is scripts that sound like a Dear Abbey column. The AG suing individual states because they don't met his criteria - no one an travel there on tax payer dollars. Truly a mix of characters who stretch credibility on their management and leadership skills. Pick a narrative and stick to it despite the facts of the matter.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Oh, good heavens!

First, throw out all sorts of random noise about local, regional and national media, and when asked about it - go off on some strange tangents (again, without facts or substantiation.)

Somehow, all the Trump-related guilty pleas and indictments are because a single congressman has some Armenians in his district?

And then the indecipherable Bradley race comments?


" Pick a narrative and stick to it... " and support your claims. You may actually find discussions far more satisfying if you base your theories on facts.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

It has been pointed out by people selling "stuff (financial advise)" on the radio that there are right brain and left brain people - One group prefers stories, the other group prefers financial data and facts. The people selling these products needs to have a different story line for the right and left brain people. Obviously any discussion here cannot bridge the right and left brain people.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm

I'm surmising the blogger was not here in the sixties. For an education, read the PA Times archives of exactly 50 years ago.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Reality - do you know how to read a newspaper? The Associated Press downloads are paid for by the newspapers and appear in the world news sections. Since all newspapers buy that service they are not politically loaded - just provide facts on a topic. Lots on Africa right now with Cholera and other assorted problems. They appear in Section A of the SFC. You then have the problem that the opinion section sometimes is not consistent with the Associated Press downloads.

As to Mr. Schiff - he is the person on TV every night telling you that he has knowledge of Russian Collusion. Yet he receives political contributions from a soviet related country and has a lot of Russians in his congressional district. Conflict of Interest.
As to Mr. Bradley the typical lines right now seem to jump from the 1950's with no mention of what has gone on in the time being. Like "normal" activity and people acting like normal people. There seems to be a problem with "normal" these days.
Since these are all topics that are being discussed as political talking points then the ball keeps rolling every day on these topics. But that requires reading newspapers and keeping up with the narratives that are on-going and keep changing. It also helps if a person can Google the topics rather than assigning someone else to do that. I think there is a commercial on that right now.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Sammy, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:21 pm

Pogosticking from Dole to media to Armenians as evidence of corruption is hardly a left brain/right brain thing.

What on Earth are you getting at? And can you share *any* evidence to back your claims?

Painting Schiff as a criminal because of his constituents is scatter-brained.

And seriously off topic.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 11, 2019 at 8:12 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If you go to his Congressional District 28 Wikipedia and his personal Adam Schiff Wikipedia is calls out specifically that the biggest US Armenian community is in that location - It is on his own Wikipedia references. He has initiated legislation to recognize the Armenian Holocaust. Armenia is a former Soviet country that became independent when the Soviet empire broke up but is dependent on Russia for power and protection. I have been to Armenia. The problem is that there is a huge amount of money transferring to the homeland from the US.
That is a political talking point in this election. I am not pointing to Schiff as a criminal - just conflicted ethically.

As to Dole Foods it is located in Southern California, Del Monte in Contra Costa County. Their history is to go into a country, buy land, and bring in their own labor. Honduras is the original Banana Republic. These three Central American Countries have tax free zones to accommodate foreign investment.
End result is immigration to US due to lack of jobs in these countries because of displacement by US companies. You can check their Wikipedia pages which discuss wage disputes. That is a talking point in this election - in fact your Governor is in El Salvador now. This will be his talking point when he comes back, as well as his major topic for the next two years.

So what are the talking point for the upcoming elections - immigration, Russian involvement, and health care. Are you waiting for Fb to tell you what to think about these topics? The topics do not start at our border - they are directly related to our involvement with the details of those topics.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 11, 2019 at 8:53 am

Good gracious. You don't get out much, I'm guessing.

> So what are the talking point for the upcoming elections

No. All your random spewing about nonsense (again, without links and unsubstantiated) is NOT the point. Go open a new thread for the ramblings. The wonderful Ms. Diamond has a post about societal divide.

> Are you waiting for Fb to tell you what to think

Couldn't tell you, as I do not do facebook, thank you. But I guess it's useful for shut-ins.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by 123, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 11, 2019 at 10:27 am

post removed


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 12, 2019 at 12:06 am

We are a divided community, locally, nationally and globally. To some extent, we always have been so this is nothing new. To some extent, it is a good thing as who would want to live in a carbon copy society where everybody thought the same.

Saying this, it is not division that is bad, but the way in which division makes people behave. I can disagree with many people even over important matters, without berating them either verbally or physically.

I think we have lost the ability to debate and we have lost the ability to listen. We have become a society where the one with the loudest voice, the biggest fist, the largest gun, or the most activists, has become the sole acceptable opinion.

Personally, I am pleased that we are not all the same. But sadly, I wish more felt this way. I would give my opinion more often if I felt that people would listen and respect it, instead of calling me names or targeting me for abuse.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 12, 2019 at 5:57 am

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

(incidental font check)


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 12, 2019 at 4:16 pm

"We have become a society where the one with the loudest voice, the biggest fist, the largest gun, or the most activists, has become the sole acceptable opinion."

Not entirely. That's certainly the case for the 30% that comprises Trump's Base. For them, Trump is the loudest voice, the biggest fist, the largest gun. But the majority of us prefer the old civil way.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Katy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Apr 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

> the largest gun

Graydon Carter begs to differ.

Back to your point: I'm with the side that documents their facts, as opposed to the side that argues with their emotions.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 12:44 am

Curmudgeon - your comment is part of the problem. Anyone without a liberal, democratic point of view in Palo Alto is shouted at, called names and assumed to be a Trump supporter.

How can we make progress when these ridiculous assumptions are brandished instead of sensible, thoughtful discussion?

I may not agree with your politics, but if you have a good argument, I will listen. If you do not agree with mine, I would expect the same courtesy.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:34 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Reality/Feel - you have yet to come up with what you think the major talking points are at this time. So what are your talking points and provide what ever proof you have to back up your positions. Merely bouncing off what other people have stated is not you producing an original thought on the matter. Disparaging other people's thoughts on the matter don't count here. Same for Curmudgeon - you are in the "feeling' department with no actual talking points. We could go to "mad Maxine Waters" for that type of activity. There is no lack of people running around flailing away at non-facts, including the lady at Starbucks which started this whole dialogue. Reading up on her in the main papers she is no longer at her job or some of the interest groups she participated in. What ever she was doing has not worked for her.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Katy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 9:23 am

"you are in the "feeling' department with no actual talking points"

I've read both posters and it's you who is going without facts, sticking with your feeling and talking points only.

As the other poster said: a rant about Rep. Schiff and his Armenian constituents (along with wiki references - wow!) has virtually nothing to do with the topic. Continuing the babble out to Dole and beyond adds nothing to the question: how do we communicate better?

Any reasonable debate has to be based on facts, not your emotions and attempt to address the topic.

Not to veer into "but, Hillary's emails!"

And Armenians. And Dole Fruit.

"you are in the "feeling' department with no actual talking points"

Good conversation goes beyond your feelings, and frankly, is not laced with talking points delivered on either Fox or Daily Kos.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Katy - where are your talking points? My talking points are relative to the "Russian Connection" which has dominated the press for two years and the person leading it, and the economy of the Central American Countries which are on our border. From where I am sitting those are dominant press concerns at this time. Especially in CA. So Katy - do you have any talking points other than taking potshots at other people's talking points? (portion removed_). It is not about feelings - it is about actual facts. And Reality I am sure can come with her own talking points.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Katy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 3:41 pm

"So Katy - do you have any talking points other than taking potshots at other people's talking points? (portion removed_)"

I'm sorry I missed the 'portion removed' comment (yes, I'm just being polite)

My point is as stated: your opinion on THE TOPIC (Are we too divided) should include supporting facts. You are so far afield, you should, as suggested, open a new thread for Dole and Schiff.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 3:56 pm

"I may not agree with your politics, but if you have a good argument, I will listen. If you do not agree with mine, I would expect the same courtesy."

What politics? I am advocating courteous discourse, even to the point of listening politely to flawed opposing arguments. Identifying the major source of flawed arguments is not equivalent to condoning them.


"Anyone without a liberal, democratic point of view in Palo Alto is shouted at, called names and assumed to be a Trump supporter."

That overreaction well exemplifies the blog topic.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

So I will finish this with the suggestion that when you go to Trader Joe's, Cosco, Safeway you touch and feel the pineapples that are now on the market. They are Dole - corporate office in Westlake Village, Ventura, Ca and Del Monte - corporate office in Walnut Creek, CA. And if you go to Hawaii you can visit the Dole Pineapple Presentation Center on Oahu. Agriculture is a big topic for the Central American countries.This is all referred to as the economy. The economy is a big topic. The Pelosi's have multiple homes in Hawaii and are invested in various ventures related to agriculture. Mr. Schiff is in the International Relations topic - as well as the DOJ bizarre topic. There is more to this state and country than Palo Alto and a red hat.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Katy, a resident of Palo Alto Hills,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm

"So I will finish this with the suggestion"

You are consistent. Completely ignore the topic. Throw up odd comments and then an accusation. When the accusation is shot down, you just move on.

"Trader Joe's, Cosco, Safeway you touch and feel the pineapples"

How did fruit or Central America relate to the topic? It didn't. I'm beginning to think you had a bet all along with a friend that you could take the thread to fondling fruit or something strange.




 +   5 people like this
Posted by Mounting, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 13, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Pelosi has multiple homes. What on Earth does that have to do with the topic?

Kinda like if I said Trump wants to drop illegals in cities so his properties have cheap labor to hire. Not on topic.

But funny.

And true.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 14, 2019 at 12:44 am

Curmudgeon. Thanks for your reply and coming back to discuss, I appreciate that.

You do however assume that I must be wrong and you are right. We can discuss this issue or indeed any other issue but when one party already says that the other party has flawed arguments. We are not even talking about Politics (with a capital P) but it is still a political (with small p) discussion. If you already assume that my reasoning is flawed without me even mentioning what my opinion on an issue is, then you are not really listening. All you are doing is politely giving me time to express my thoughts while you already have a closed mind. Jordan Peterson says in his bestselling book, that we should listen as if the other person has something worth hearing and we might understand something we had not thought about before. I think that is important. I think we should be open to having our minds and our thoughts widened by discussion and discourse, not narrowed. Many issues are not black and white, but many shades of gray. We should be educated on how to think, not what to think.

Thank you for reading this, but don't just come back with a perceived impression of who I am or what I think as being incorrect just because it is not exactly as you think.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 14, 2019 at 12:51 am

Curmudgeon

P.S. Your last paragraph does carry some weight. Unfortunately the assumptions that disagreeing with the majority of Palo Altans does make people keep quiet about their opinions. Many do think that they will be judged as being a Trump supporter just because they don't tie the liberal line. It is a shame that supporting an opposing idea to the majority assumes all sorts of other things which may or may not be true. Just because I am not as liberal as others may be does not mean that I voted for Trump - I didn't. The assumption that I may have done amuses me because as an independent thinker I can think for myself and make up my own mind.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 14, 2019 at 8:38 am

Mandatory vaccines? Anthropogenic climate change? The existence of God?
There is ALWAYS a right side and a wrong side. Non-negotiable.
Is it fair to ask the correct side to tolerate the great unwashed?
Justice is in the eye of the beholder, here as anywhere else.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm

"Many do think that they will be judged as being a Trump supporter just because they don't tie the don't tie the liberal line"

If by "liberal line" you mean accepting people of all skin colors, economic classes, and creeds, well, yes, those who don't tie [sic] the liberal line are overwhelmingly likely to have voted for Trump, and to be continually thrilled by his negative attitudes toward people of certain skin colors, economic classes, and creeds. Look around you.

If they have the courage of their convictions they should be able face liberals with smug pride, secure in their conviction that America will be great again when it again scorns people of certain skin colors, economic classes, and creeds. In other words, when the "liberal line" is banished from the land.

Look, where would America be today if the Founding Fathers had been too timid to confront King George, and had just whined in the media? Hmmm? If you ask me, what this country needs is a braver brand of conservatives.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by AnthroMan, a resident of Stanford,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 9:03 am

On the issue of ethnic diversity in the USA...

If America truly wished to remain a white country, why did it import people of color to do their menial labor? Shouldn't the wealthy landowners have simply paid poorer white laborers to do this work or have expanded indentured white servitude from western Europe to fulfill this mass labor requirement?

Instead it opted for slavery from Africa, cheap farm labor from Mexico/Asia & in today's modern world...H-1B visas from India.

So in many ways, the procurement of a cost-effective outside labor pool has led to the 'melting pot' demographics that some folks find utterly distasteful.

With the possible exception of Great Britain, most of the homogenous European countries either avoided slavery altogether or maintained colonies abroad with 'in-house slavery' & limited immigation rights to the parent country.

> Justice is in the eye of the beholder, here as anywhere else.

Agreed. Justice is merely reflective of societal views at a given timeframe.

> If you ask me, what this country needs is a braver brand of conservatives.

Ironically, some Republicans (aka the Radical Republicans) were once perceived as 'liberals' based on their anti-slavery position & post Civil War Reconstruction efforts. The more 'conservative' Southern Democrats resisted the changes & Reconstruction in the South turned to Jim Crow after the election compromise of 1876 when Samuel Tilden/Democrat who won the popular vote conceded to Rutherford B. Hayes/Republican who garnered the electoral vote.

As a result, progressive Reconstruction ended & it really wasn't until LBJ's Civil Right Act early 100 years later that certain equalities became legally enforceable and ironically many Southern 'conservative' Democrats changed party affiliations. Go figure.

The bottom line...equality can be mandated by law but individual prejudice cannot.

This is the ongoing saga of America.






 +   4 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm

"Ironically, some Republicans (aka the Radical Republicans) were once perceived as 'liberals' based on their anti-slavery position & post Civil War Reconstruction efforts. The more 'conservative' Southern Democrats resisted the changes ... "

Those who do not learn their history are destined to get it wrong forever. The old labels from when the Repubs were the radicals and the Dems were the old guard have not applied since early in the past century.

The flip began in 1932. It completed in 1969, after LBJ (D-TX) put through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, and Nixon welcomed the angry Dixiecrat bigots as Republicans. Like bad apples in a bag, they rotted the party and became the Trumpist party Base.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by 2020 Or Bust, a resident of Atherton,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 1:54 pm

> As a result, progressive Reconstruction ended & it really wasn't until LBJ's Civil Right Act nearly 100 years later that certain equalities became legally enforceable and ironically many Southern 'conservative' Democrats changed party affiliations. Go figure.

> The flip began in 1932. It completed in 1969, after LBJ (D-TX) put through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, and Nixon welcomed the angry Dixiecrat bigots as Republicans.

Yes. LBJ was a 1932 New Deal progressive. But other than that, the these two comments/observations are somewhat similar in perspective.

> Like bad apples in a bag, they rotted the party and became the Trumpist party Base.

Yes again. The Trumpist part base is low on integrity & possibly IQ as well...a very hateful group of finger pointing sad sacks.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Trump -is- the problem. Unlike any other President -ever-, Trump is appealing directly to the Right-Wing-Authoritarian impulse of certain voters. It is all about Trump's personality-- policy is completely secondary to Trump. Republicans who have challenged Trump on various policies have been silenced or driven from the party. Trump hates the First Amendment and attacks it every day one way or the other. "Republicans" who don't want to live in a dictatorship should open their eyes-- I have been told by some that Trump's administrative disaster and incompetence make his rhetoric unimportant, but nothing could be further from the truth. Trump is doing exactly what he wants-- dividing the country, setting one against the other, and remaking the Republican Party in his authoritarian image. It is so sad that so many people don't value their personal freedom.

Oh, by the way-- I think Gavin Newsom seems determined to create a budget mess himself. Unfortunately, he was the only Democratic choice for governor on the November ballot. But, it is unlikely that I will ever vote for a single Republican again ever for any office. The Republican Party has become the Trump Party-- Right-Wing Authoritarian. Thank goodness we still have a vote-- for now.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm

The strength of the American melting pot is its diversity. Nowadays we are still receiving immigrants from all over the globe. These immigrants who enter the country for legal and ethical reasons are welcomed. They enter the work force, they pay taxes, they enrich the lives of their neighbors by sharing their customs and experiences. I am not sure why the idea that non-liberal people don't welcome immigrants is a problem issue. I just don't see it myself. Perhaps you know different non-liberals than me.


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Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 3:07 pm

> I am not sure why the idea that non-liberal people don't welcome immigrants is a problem issue.
>Perhaps you know different non-liberals than me.

Perhaps I do. But, while I've not actually met him, but maybe you've heard of 'dis guy?


** NYT, Aug '17: Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half **

...

What happened to the idea of staying on topic - what divides us, and not drilling down into issues and personalities? As before, I agree with hostess: we need to talk, but is has to be reality/fact-based. and not unsupportable "I feel/thin/want/suppose" statements.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 3:54 pm

"Trump -is- the problem."

I think Trump is more an accidental beneficiary of the existence of the Republican Base. Trump is totally being himself. He found a resonance with the members of the Base which the Republican party had been diligently assembling since the seventies to be a reliable source of votes. It's ideal for its purpose. It is easily aroused with simple hot button issues, including ever more thinly veiled bigotry, but too unsmart to realize it is steadily being fleeced economically.

Trump captured this monster with authentic bigotry and turned it on its creators. Establishment Republicans who don't fulsomely worship Trump are future ex-Republicans, and they know it. Hung by their own petards.


"Unlike any other President -ever-, Trump is appealing directly to the Right-Wing-Authoritarian impulse of certain voters."

True, Trump appeals to the worst in the worst amidst us, but he's spouting not scheming. He's not capable of scheming. He has a simple craving for the cheers he gets for yelling his crude opinions to the Base.


"It is all about Trump's personality ... "

Yup.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by American Black Man, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm

If we didn't have ethnic diversity in the United States, American culture would be incredibly bland...like having to eat bleached white WonderBread 365/24/7.

Americans as whole aren't all that culturally interesting or unique & they often need a little color to liven things up.







 +   6 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Res, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 9:40 pm

Crescent Park Res is a registered user.

At least part of the divide can be attributed to posts/comment boards like this one. People are anonymous and write things that they would never say in public - mainly, I think, because people don't think before posting, they just "rant." And, I believe (there is that word "believe") that this online ranting has somehow lessened the unacceptability of ranting in public. Or maybe people forget they're not online? Are our worlds blending? Ms. Mankey "forgot" she wasn't "online" when she turned to the older man in the MAGA hat and verbally abused him? And, I would say all of what I just wrote to anyone. And, I would say that Ms. Mankey was terribly wrong for accosting this man. I hope that I if I had been there, I would have asked her to leave the gentlemen alone. And, that I would've have pursued it. All while wearing my "blue wave" pin with my "women cards" still in my purse.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MikeRowdanss, a resident of Stanford,
on Apr 15, 2019 at 11:47 pm

" No right vs. wrong value system. Only “them" vs. “us." "
This is so true! I was talking to this lady at my house cleaning the dogs ( Web Link ) and she had the most stubborn view on what has been happening, it was like she was looking through a toilet roll at some of the bad things, but missing all the improvements in other areas...I just don't understand how people can be so small minded. Well, then again we probably have the media to blame, don't we!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Winifred, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Apr 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

>>> Are we too divided as a society? Even locally?

Yes. Many Palo Altans look down on East Palo Alto while many East Palo Altans have contempt for Palo Altans in general.

No need to elaborate.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm

> Yes. Many Palo Altans look down on East Palo Alto while many East Palo Altans have contempt for Palo Altans in general.

So wrong. Dodger fans, on the other hand....

Sheesh!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Posted by Crescent Park Res, a resident of Crescent Park,

>> At least part of the divide can be attributed to posts/comment boards like this one. People are anonymous and write things that they would never say in public

I post anonymously because of threats like this:

Web Link

BTW, in posting anonymously, I have no problem with moderators doing their jobs either. "You get what you pay for." I'm merely trying to move the discussion forward.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dodger Blue, a resident of another community,
on Apr 16, 2019 at 6:21 pm

> So wrong. Dodger fans, on the other hand....

GO DODGERS!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by reality vs "I feel", a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 17, 2019 at 8:38 am

> GO DODGERS!

Sigh. Always one in every crowd...



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