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Understanding political narratives

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,798 Senior Member
When I read the novel 1984, about 30 years ago, this 'fictional' Party slogan was somewhat baffling to me:
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

It's a lot clearer now, after watching the Democrat party transform itself from the 'big tent' moderate-conservative organization of the '50's and early '60's into the postmodern political machine it is today. Where once they debated their accomplishments, they now live or die on their rhetoric - the narratives they create. And if their opposition does not learn how to parry those narratives, they will create a phony 'reality' that let's them off the hook for all their failures and deceptions.

Postmodernism is a way of thinking in which many (or all) realities are rejected, and subject to change. There is no absolute truth - everything about the things people view as reality is subject to change, because the way people view the world is subjective, not objective...or so they say.

Here are some quotes from a blog (http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2012/05/countering-postmodern-political.html) on this subject. See if you recognize any of it as what you are seeing from politicians.

  • "choose a narrative, find the "facts" to back it up, get your twelve best friends to attest, publish."
  • "Postmodern rhetoric explicitly rejects truth, and because of this those who use it are completely indifferent to consistency and dismissive of reason.Hence they tend to loathe rational debate and make sure that any discussion of issues plays out with their rules."
  • "It is a fundamental truth of the postmodern political left that the difference between truth and fiction is not what it used to be--in fact (can't use facts when describing anything postmodern!) it never was what it used to be."
  • "There is no desire for rational argument on the Democrats' part because Truth is not the objective of their rhetoric. Stephen Hicks in his book quotes Frank Lentricchia, a noted Duke University literary critic. Postmodernism, says Lentricchia, "seeks not to find the foundation or conditions of truth but to exercise power for the purpose of social change."

As a rule, the 'average American' is completely turned off by modern political debate, simply because most of us live relatively simple, reality-based lives. We make our decisions based on the things we know and have experienced. Some of us call ourselves 'conservatives,' because we lack a better label for a simple philosophy that is based quite simply in the things we know and understand. Most people are fairly conservative, even if the rhetoric of recent years has made us loathe to call ourselves by that label.

I don't necessarily recommend that everybody go out and read 1984, or conduct an in-depth study of postmodernism. It's not necessary. We already know how to recognize it, whether we really understand it's philosophical goals or not. When applied to the politics we are now witnessing on a daily basis, it simply is identified by politicians or pundits who will not debate their accomplishments or suggest any sensible solutions to problems. Every discussion circles back to a specific issue, often manufactured, but sometimes slightly legitimate, that attaches blame to the opposition, period.

The bottom line is that postmodernism allows a political movement to first determine what its goals are (social change, for the most part), and to then create a narrative that seems to prove it. Selective statistics, arguing the 'exception' rather than the 'norm,' creating phony consensus, redefining the language (and therefore the rules for the debate), and repeating outright falsehoods, ad nauseum, are the path to victory that the left has chosen for the upcoming election. It has worked all over the world, and the proponents of postmodernism now believe that it will work in the country where most of the worlds realists reside.

I know this is a long read, and that I lost most readers early on, but for anyone who waded through it and is upset about what's happening in this country, and wants to understand why, do a little of your own research on this subject, and see if a light bulb switches on in your brain.

Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Alf,

    All I can really say is that if you sincerely believe that both sides do this in equal amounts, or anything close, you have been fully assimilated into the very mindset that I tried to describe.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    I'm giving this a bump, on the chance that the Sunday morning viewers might be tempted to wade through it. After that, I'll let it go.

    Understanding the postmodern mindset has helped me understand a lot about what's going on these days in politics, and I just wanted to put it out there for anyone else who might care.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    I likes what you wrote bisley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think it's pretty darn good myself. 38 years ago it was 1974, I was a senior in high school. Our English teacher let the whole class read 1984 George Orwell, and we discussed it, later that week, did book reports on it, and had a wonder week in English class!!! One of the best week's of English I ever had!!!!!!!!!!!!! One thing we all pretty much agreeded on then, was something like that could and would never happen.. How wrong we were then.


    bisley wrote:
    As a rule, the 'average American' is completely turned off by modern political debate, simply because most of us live relatively simple, reality-based lives. We make our decisions based on the things we know and have experienced. Some of us call ourselves 'conservatives,' because we lack a better label for a simple philosophy that is based quite simply in the things we know and understand. Most people are fairly conservative, even if the rhetoric of recent years has made us loathe to call ourselves by that label

    I have to agree with that^^ bisley. It wasn't that way 40 or 50 years ago, I mean folks turned off by modern political debate. I think back then is what a lot of us called the good old days, or more happy days of yesteryear, folks could understand politics, political debates, international issues, and they/we were more pro-active in electing our Senators, Congress members, President, even local and state officials, were more closely watched then IIRC... We had stronger leadership back then, men and women with Backbone, and guts, not afraid to buck the system or expose a "Good Ole Boy" network so to speak. Now all of that has changed, and I must say changed for the worse.

    Thomas Jefferson said:

    "When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe , we shall become as corrupt as Europe ."

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

    "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

    "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

    Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

    bisley wrote:
    I know this is a long read, and that I lost most readers early on, but for anyone who waded through it and is upset about what's happening in this country, and wants to understand why, do a little of your own research on this subject, and see if a light bulb switches on in your brain.

    bisley believe you me, the light bulb has been on in my brain, for decades now, and contrary to popular belief, there is someone home,me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have been preaching, telling informing, debating whatever, the direction this country has been headed in for the last 3 or 4 decades, to no avail,...it just seems to fall on deaf ears, and especially now a days, but I will not, won't, can't, and adamantly refuse to quit fighting for this great Nation, and it's constitution, BOR's and for life, liberty and justice for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not to mention the pursuit of happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I almost forgot, Reading 1984, in 1974 was the spark, that spawned my interest in our American history and politics. Reading 1984 set a fire under my blessed assurance, and caused me to get up off my blessed assurance, and become more pro-active.
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    Funny, reading the blog excerpts, everything attributed to liberals to me seemed to apply perfectly to right wing talking heads and most of the republican party.

    Overall though while I do not belive that reality itself is subjective, our individual perceptions of it certainly are. We all willingly accept or reject the individual "facts" as true or false based upon how they fit with our own personal mental model of what we perceive reality to be.

    A great example is Obama's citizenship. There is only one objective reality, he was either born in this country or he was not born in this country. However, the perceived reality for a fair number of people in this country is that he was not born in this country despite the limited amount of objective evidence to support that belief.

    Alph thank you so much for providing a perfect example of what Bisley just outlined here. He is spot on with his observation and you are the perfect example.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I'm giving this a bump, on the chance that the Sunday morning viewers might be tempted to wade through it. After that, I'll let it go.

    Understanding the postmodern mindset has helped me understand a lot about what's going on these days in politics, and I just wanted to put it out there for anyone else who might care.

    I am interested. Also you so elequently cleared up my thoughts and outlined the problem to a Tee!!! And Alph has shown us a perfect example of what you described.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Funny, reading the blog excerpts, everything attributed to liberals to me seemed to apply perfectly to right wing talking heads and most of the republican party.

    Overall though while I do not belive that reality itself is subjective, our individual perceptions of it certainly are. We all willingly accept or reject the individual "facts" as true or false based upon how they fit with our own personal mental model of what we perceive reality to be.

    A great example is Obama's citizenship. There is only one objective reality, he was either born in this country or he was not born in this country. However, the perceived reality for a fair number of people in this country is that he was not born in this country despite the limited amount of objective evidence to support that belief.

    Alf,

    Upon reflection, I can see why you would attribute this to Republicans, based on the decision to invade Iraq and undertake nation-building, especially if you stopped reading after the two alternative narratives describing the politics of all that.

    But I think there are major differences in how the two factions arrived at their narratives. I personally believe the 'grand strategy' of making Iraq a base for transforming the Middle East into a beacon of hope for the non-radical factions of Islam was an honest one, and that were it not for the lack of support from some of our 'allies' and the opposing political forces at home, it might have worked. It still could, if the Iraqis stumble into some good leaders, rather than succumbing to the radical elements.

    History will either eventually exonerate GW Bush for gambling on all the circumstantial evidence, or rip him for making a premature decision that cost an exorbitant amount of blood and treasure. I do think that he decided on this course of action very soon after 9-11, and possibly gave too much weight to some of the evidence to justify it. In that sense, you could make the case that he decided on a course of action and then searched for the evidence to support it.

    However, I contend that, even though Bush did in effect create a political 'narrative' to justify his actions, he believed that hard facts would eventually prove out the circumstantial evidence. This is not postmodern thinking - it is taking a political gamble, based on the best evidence - some prove out, and some don't. If Saddam's WMD eventually turns up in Syria or Iran, or if Iraq somehow survives the radical factions and becomes a functioning democracy, it could yet turn out that his narrative was correct.

    I don't think that can be said for the left-wing opposition, on that particular subject, or any other that I can think of in recent times. They create narratives on a daily basis, some of which are based on slim evidence and some that are almost completely fabricated. They send them up as trial balloons to see which ones gain traction, drop the ones that don't take hold and press the ones that do. They use a saturation technique that puts out so many charges against their opponents that one cannot be refuted before the next one hits the headlines.

    This is an 'end justifies the means' political strategy by elitists who strive for power in any way it can get it, and promise an ideal that has never been proven to work. Yet it is promoted as a panacea to a segment of voters who have no interest in verifying the facts as long as they get a handout. These narratives are created by people who know better, because they want to be members of that elite.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,672 Senior Member
    Bis...loved your post, and I personally believe you are correct. Listening to Democrat talking points for the past 12 years has absolutely convinced me that they develop an idea of what they want to convey, and use misinformation, lies and half-truths to prove what they say is true. Then all of them get organized into one voice, like a cacophony of parrots and screech the same ugly song all at once. It's just amazing how they get away with this BS artistry all the time. It's clear to me 90% of the Democrat politicians want to move this country to socialism or worse, by gradually convincing the American public that it is in their best interests to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    Bis...loved your post, and I personally believe you are correct. Listening to Democrat talking points for the past 12 years has absolutely convinced me that they develop an idea of what they want to convey, and use misinformation, lies and half-truths to prove what they say is true. Then all of them get organized into one voice, like a cacophony of parrots and screech the same ugly song all at once. It's just amazing how they get away with this BS artistry all the time. It's clear to me 90% of the Democrat politicians want to move this country to socialism or worse, by gradually convincing the American public that it is in their best interests to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Not to mention that if you try to argue against their plan/BS you will be accused of being a racist, sexist, radical, nutjob, anachronistic, idiot who just does not understand how wonderful their ideas are and that they will solve the environment, economy, health care and male pattern baldness while everyone sings cumbaya on the beach at sunset.

    Good post Bisley!
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Not to mention that if you try to argue against their plan/BS you will be accused of being a racist, sexist, radical, nutjob, anachronistic, idiot . . .

    Don't forget 'right-wing extremist,' the 'Christian Right', or the fact that the media, by default, attaches Tea Party affiliation, in a loud voice, to any nut who makes the news, then whispers their retraction when it proves false.
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    Postmodernism is a way of thinking in which many (or all) realities are rejected, and subject to change. There is no absolute truth - everything about the things people view as reality is subject to change, because the way people view the world is subjective, not objective...or so they say.:applause:

    Sure got that one right. Sounds just like the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Pete Times), a notorious right wing progressive anti-gun rag. The Times has been attacking Florida's "stand your ground" law since the Zimmerman/Martin case, and now refuses to publish pro-gun letters. It had been publishing my letters on a regular basis for over 10 years, but no more. It has jumped to conclusions about this case, and has vigorously attacked the law, even though "retreat" is not an issue in the Zimmerman case.

    The basic rules of self-defense go way back to to a SCOTUS decision in 1895 (Beard v. United States) in which Justice John Harlan wrote for a unanimous court that the victim "was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground, and meet any attack upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force as , under all the circumstances, he, at the moment, honestly believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, were necessary to save his own life, or to protect himself from great bodily injury". Sure sounds like Florida's law.

    The Times and all its anti-gun liberal progressive cohorts have completely embraced the non-think approach of postmodernism. What was well established in law, and accepted by society in general, was now invalid. In a front page article today titled "A rough crowd benefits from law", subtitled "Many who kill and go free using the "stand your ground" defense have a history of violence", it seem to be suggesting that only those who can pass a CCW background check have the right to self-defense. My best friend ex-corrections employee assures me that even convicted murderers in prison have a right to defend themselves from physical attack by fellow inmates.

    My question to alpha, with his plethora of liberal progressive nonsense, is: Why do you break with your core liberalism and anti-capitalism beliefs, and embrace a very conservative movement that is so pro-Second Amendment AND so strongly supports the inherent human right of self-defense?
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,543 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    But I think there are major differences in how the two factions arrived at their narratives. I personally believe the 'grand strategy' of making Iraq a base for transforming the Middle East into a beacon of hope for the non-radical factions of Islam was an honest one, and that were it not for the lack of support from some of our 'allies' and the opposing political forces at home, it might have worked. It still could, if the Iraqis stumble into some good leaders, rather than succumbing to the radical elements.

    History will either eventually exonerate GW Bush for gambling on all the circumstantial evidence, or rip him for making a premature decision that cost an exorbitant amount of blood and treasure. I do think that he decided on this course of action very soon after 9-11, and possibly gave too much weight to some of the evidence to justify it. In that sense, you could make the case that he decided on a course of action and then searched for the evidence to support it.

    However, I contend that, even though Bush did in effect create a political 'narrative' to justify his actions, he believed that hard facts would eventually prove out the circumstantial evidence. This is not postmodern thinking - it is taking a political gamble, based on the best evidence - some prove out, and some don't. If Saddam's WMD eventually turns up in Syria or Iran, or if Iraq somehow survives the radical factions and becomes a functioning democracy, it could yet turn out that his narrative was correct.

    At the risk of oversimplifying, I was a teenager in the 80s, but I remember how everyone around me talked about Ronald Reagan, and how he was ruining the country by spending so much on national defense. Nowadays, Reagan is credited with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Excellent observations, Bis.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Then again maybe that didn't fit with your "post-modernist" narratives of who I am or what a liberal is or should be.

    I'm assuming this statement is directed at blueslide88, since he asked the personal question about how you are able to mesh your thinking on owning guns with the stereotypical liberal position of wanting to dilute or remove that right. I'll leave that to him, because it is mostly irrelevant to the discussion of postmodernist thinking that I wanted to have.

    Since his questions/assertions are the only ones you chose to respond to, I'm assuming that you have already said all that you have to say on the original subject. All of your posts tend to deflect from the assertion that the Democrats are completely invested in a postmodernist philosophy and have crafted all of their political strategies around it...a perfect example of postmodernist thinking, in my estimation. :zzzz:
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    At the risk of oversimplifying, I was a teenager in the 80s, but I remember how everyone around me talked about Ronald Reagan, and how he was ruining the country by spending so much on national defense. Nowadays, Reagan is credited with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Good observation. It is the reason that an objective study of history is so important in crafting a course for the future. When I find myself in a discussion with someone who cares nothing about history, or focuses on the minutia and the many contradictions to be found in history, rather than the actual results (or trends), I tend to lose interest in buying whatever they are selling.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    Good observation. It is the reason that an objective study of history is so important in crafting a course for the future. When I find myself in a discussion with someone who cares nothing about history, or focuses on the minutia and the many contradictions to be found in history, rather than the actual results (or trends), I tend to lose interest in buying whatever they are selling.

    I know the feeling, and I totally agree... Again those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it! My Grand Dad used to say: " Find 'em dumb,leave 'em dumb!"
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,713 Senior Member
    I like beer.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    I like beer.

    well, It makes you a jolly good fellow,beer does, Buford, what do ya like pabst, schlitz, Ranier???? hahhahh Now do you like draft, bottle, can, homemade??? .... And you like Colts, Smith & Wesson, Marlins, Winchesters, etc.etc.etc., hahhahhaha:rotflmao: I like beer too, but at my current age my stomach doesn't like it as much as it once did!!!!
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    I like beer.

    So do I.

    Thanks for participating. Your insightful comments are always welcome. :beer:
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,672 Senior Member
    P.S. People who fall into this category make themselves extremely vulnerable to manipulation by those who lead their chosen ideological movement. Being an ideologue has it's benefits as it eliminates effort involved in evaluating individual issues on their merits and it comes with the comfort of certainty that you are right in your beliefs (at least according to your fellow ideologues), but it doesn't come without the cost of giving up control which can be extremely dangerous. I think people should always test and reevaluate their beliefs and why they hold them on a regular basis.
    Spoken like a true know-it-all. So say's the guy with the "Hippie-Liberal background" as you so proudly exclaimed 4 years ago. So far, the only thing about you that seems different from the every day progresso-lib, is your fondness for guns. Your opinions on economics, energy and social policy are still pretty much the same tired old lib-based crap. Your assertion that all of us conservative/libertarian types are being manipulated by party ideology and you aren't, is total hypocritical-lib, cow-defecation in my opinion.

    The utter crust of this guy amazes me.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    That wasn't my assertion at all. I would argue that few people who actively engage here on the 2A forum fit the category of blindly following a specific ideology. I see a lot of thought behind most of the positions taken here, even if I don't usually agree with them. That's the important thing.

    There are however lots of people in the world who do blindly follow (we all probaly know a few) and that can be dangerous.

    Dealing with you on an intellectual level is sort of like chasing a greased pig in an open field. You did make an assertion, and now you're modifying it. I used the newspaper as an example of blind anti-gun hysteria, not based in logic, using single exceptions and examples to make a point, arguments based in emotional rhetoric, ignoring and purposefully misrepresenting or ignoring facts, and taking a position based on thin air, on what the newspaper's owners and staff have concluded from supposedly careful consideration, based on its X, Y and Z factors of what it believes in, much like your thought processes.

    The only problem is that the paper is using the same "independent" evaluation process, with a supposedly open mind, free of all ideological assumptions, that you claim brings you to solid and reasonable conclusions. In this case, the results are inconsistent, to say the least. I'm sure the Times is at least consistent in its ultra-liberal views, reveling in its intellectual and moral superiority which is based, it sure seems to me, on thin air. The only liberal base logic I can see is one of "fairness" stretched to absurdidty and based on subjective and selective empirical evidence of little or no validity.

    Perhaps it was just plain chance that your mental processes just happened to embrace the SA, sort of like a pinball machine that rarely hits the jackpot.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    Perhaps it was just plain chance that your mental processes just happened to embrace the SA, sort of like a pinball machine that rarely hits the jackpot.

    In his defense, I don't recall ever seeing Alf post that he actually "embraced" the second amendment, or any other part of the Constitution (I could be wrong about this). It could be that, like some of the limosine liberals, he believes that certain selected people are competent to possess firearms, and that he believes he is one of them.
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    bisley wrote: »
    In his defense, I don't recall ever seeing Alf post that he actually "embraced" the second amendment, or any other part of the Constitution (I could be wrong about this). It could be that, like some of the limosine liberals, he believes that certain selected people are competent to possess firearms, and that he believes he is one of them.

    Hey Bisley, you hit upon my main goal. I'm trying to coax it out of him. I have serious doubts and question his motives. There, I said it. What does he believe in? All I can see is clever word play, a phoney intellectualism that I deplore.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,672 Senior Member
    All I can see is clever word play, a phoney intellectualism that I deplore.
    He's real good at verbal parry and deflection.....the mark of a true lib.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,672 Senior Member
    ........I also believe in the personal right to self defense and I think it is my personal responsibility to protect myself and my family rather than depending upon others to do so for me.
    Too bad other libs are so insistent on taking this right away....we might almost be able to have a dialogue. Then again, when a former lib friend of mine who supported 2A and liked guns and shooting told me it was a "moral imperative" to pass Obamacare, the friendship quickly dissolved after I told him that baby-killing libs have no morals. I used that only as a counter to his argument about a moral imperative, since I am not for total banning of abortion. But somehow I got a really intense satisfaction out of saying it, because I was really sick of this Obama-lover.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    I tell you what I believe in very openly in just about every thread I post. The problem you seem to be having is that you can't easily tag a label on me or I don't fit into some predetermined box. I'm sorry that I try to think independently on individual issues rather than selecting a specific ideology and blindly following it. My beliefs and opinions even change on occasion when I encounter new information or a persuasive argument.

    I support the 2A because I generally support the constitution. I am not a strict constitutionalists, but I do believe it is a very strong basis for our government. I also believe in the personal right to self defense and I think it is my personal responsibility to protect myself and my family rather than depending upon others to do so for me.

    You just proved my point. You are a progressive liberal in denial.
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    Does that mean I have to hand in my guns at the next buyback, buy a Prius, and become a vegan too?

    Well, according to you, everything is debatable and subject to change. Even the Constitution, and your "general" attitude towards the SA as part of the Constitution. It's how you think that's so wobbly and circular. There is no core, just liberal intellectual fluff, Alan, always subject to change.
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