Where are the true lefties???

geezer

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I really enjoy the debates on this forum, but I feel like a moderate in the uncomfortable position of having to be a token lefty. I mean, out in the real world, I am routinely attacked and insulted from both sides. That should make me something of a centrist, relatively speaking. But on this forum I feel like I'm out in left field. What's with that?

Let me give you guys an example. I voted for President Obama and I'm pretty much satisfied with the job he's doing so far... with some exceptions. OK, considering that he won the election by a significant majority and still is enjoying very high approval ratings, that should put me in the mainstream. Especially, since the more liberal groups are beginning to attack the President for not fully carrying out their agendas.

Yet on this forum, everybody, ...well almost everybody, seems further to the right. OK that's cool. Still a lot of smart people with interesting opinions... But where are the lefties? Don't socialists practice the martial arts? It seems like there should be some Commies from Krav Maga or something. What did the KGB use? Help me out here, guys.
 

Sukerkin

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Well, I hope I fit in the 'exceptions agreed' clause inplicit in "almost everybody" :D.

I think in part that the lack of Far Left opinions here at MT has something to do with the age distribution of the membership i.e. most of us are adults and quite a number are in their middle years. It is natural for people to trend towards more conservative (deliberate small "c") opinions as they get older - the practical grind of life knocks the idealistic shine off a lot of things.

It is also true that the Far Left paradigms, as implemented by the USSR and China, have been somewhat discredited and are considered by some to be examples of the failure of such political ideas.

As we've talked about before, definitions are a bit vague when the Atlantic gets in the way but I consider myself to still be a liberal-socialist, the latter primarily owing to my economic opinions and the former to my social ones.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I think it may also be part of a martial arts mindset - namely the believe that in certain circumstances, violence does indeed solve problems. It's just a question of what, how much, and when.

Not many of my left-wing friends or relatives see any value whatsoever in MA training, because it involves violence, which they see as something to be avoided under all circumstances.

Nothing against them - just a different point of view.
 

CoryKS

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Depends on your perspective. To me, the group seems mostly comprised of lefties or libertarians, with a few notable exceptions. Used to be a lefty myself, but I got better. ;)
 

Phoenix44

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I'm a true lefty. I like Obama--he's a BIG improvement over what we had--but he's not liberal enough for me. My choice was Kucinich.

I like a good political discussion as much as the next guy, but I have no tolerance for personal epithet and insulting generalizations. That's why I no longer post here.
 

Flea

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I'm a lefty too.

I was a little surprised when I got into this to find the more conservative bent in the MA community. I'm not sure why I was ... but it's been a good education for me. I don't have any plans to convert though. :)
 

Ken Morgan

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love Churchills quote, well I love many of them but this one is one of my favs,

If youre not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If youre not a conservative when youre old you have no brain.

I consider myself a Libertarian, in order to find a political home, here in Canada, I plopped myself down with the Conservatives. Now I have serious issues with some of their policies, and I find a huge range of beliefs among the members, (red Tory vs. blue Tory). I consider myself centre right on economics, military, democratic reform and for rights of the individual. I consider myself centre left when it comes to the arts, health care and the environment.

Personally I wouldnt get too hung up about it all, no one here really minds one way or anoher. This forum is like sitting down with your dojo mates after practice, shooting the **** and having a beer, tones of opinions. In the end they are the friends who would do anything for you. We all love the Martial Arts, thats it in a nut shell.
 

bluekey88

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I consider myself pretty left of center...although it's not across the board on all issues. All in all my po9litcal and social bent is a liberal one. I tend to stay out of the heated political debates as they tend to go no where.

Peace,
Erik
 
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geezer

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I consider myself pretty left of center...although it's not across the board on all issues. All in all my po9litcal and social bent is a liberal one. I tend to stay out of the heated political debates as they tend to go no where.

Peace,
Erik

So what I'm getting is that true lefties are too pacifistic and tolerant to suffer the aggravation of posting here. That leaves us formerly left-leaning moderates to shoulder the burden. And, since I'm getting into my middling years (I'll be 54 next month), I'm a prime example of what Bill and Ken noted... the rightward drift that comes with age. I'm also fond of that Churchill quote. A lot of truth in that.
 

Nolerama

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I'm a Lefty... it's pretty useful for boxing.

Bob, I know we disagree with some things, and I'm adding your statement to the mix. Thinking "left" doesn't necessarily mean you're a pacifist or a peacenik.

Ad for myself, I definitely don't like the status quo established by the Bush 2.0 era. I also believe that gay people should have the right to marry, that America should endeavor to adjust our economy/infrastructure towards renewable resources, and that American capitalism is creating a huge disparity between the rich and poor and we'll end up like Brazil in 50 years. I think there should be baseline medical care for all Americans... And I think Barbara Bush was one of the ugliest women... ever.

Call me Left?

I also believe in gun rights. War as in "pax Romana" as a good way to stimulate the economy (just not the way war industry was handled this time around) and establish national pride. I think that if the world is going to play a media game and wage cultural war on the rest of the world, we should strive to be the best and influence other cultures in order to win them over. Hearts and minds are won via television and internet propaganda. I like steak, bacon and wouldn't mind drilling for oil in Alaska as a temporary means of reducing gas prices.

Call me Right?

I don't really think it matters what you call it. The more people add names to what they are, the more they pigeonhole themselves into a stereotype. That means they think of others in stereotypes. Racism/classism/all the isms are born from this simple, yet popular, way of thinking.

So I ask anyone reading this thread to possibly step back and ask themselves what they really think right now, instead of adding past prejudices from lame stereotypes into their decisions.
 

MBuzzy

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I'm relatively liberal with mostly left leaning views. I get into some of the threads, I certainly read almost all of the Study threads, but I really have little desire to post there unless I have a particularly strong opinion or it is something that I feel that I have some knowledge in.

I do believe that most of the Martial Arts community is more right leaning and I have noticed a fairly strong inclination for Martial Artists to share certain views. In general they are on the political right and many have "security concerns." Which makes sense, because security is a reason to get into MA. I see many martial artists who are conspiracy theorists and who are much more concerned about personal and government security than your average person. I tend to see more concern from the MA community about the government being corrupt or somehow "out to get" the average citizen.

My reasons for largely staying away from posting are two-fold.

First, I am in the Military. As such, I am prohibited by law from being too vocal about my views. There are things that you can say, but I think that many members know what I do. Though I know personally that the members here would not try to equate my views with that of the military, but the rule exists to prevent service members from being perceived as speaking on behalf of the military. We are prohibited from publicly renouncing or "denigrating" the government, particularly when our occupation is general knowledge (nothing in uniform, etc). Some of these issues, I also have knowledge that would be security violations or I have "inside" info based on security clearance and experience, so those I REALLY try to stay away from.

Second, the right minded individuals around here are pretty opinioned and out spoken. Not a bad thing at all and completely within people's rights. But in my time here, I really haven't seen a reason to post opposing opinions in most cases. Many of our discussions in the study go quickly to political bashing of one side or another. There are many sweeping generalizations (in the real world also) made, which honestly, I just don't have time for. Once you label yourself, you get stereotyped and pigeon holed. NO ONE'S views are completely one way or the other, people exist in a world of grays, not black and white.

I hear a lot of it off the boards too and I know that my perspective is skewed (even though I technically consider myself independent, I have more liberal views than conservative), but I seem to hear more attacks and generalized disparaging comments coming from the more conservative people about liberals than the other way. That is the nature of the beast though - liberals tend to be less confrontational and less likely to judge a group based on the actions of some members. There are very long standing stereo types of both sides and I've grown tired of the way that politics are viewed among the population. I've been personally attacked entirely too many times in person for my views by people that can't debate an issue without losing their cool, I am not about to do that in my leisure time sitting in front of a computer.

I tell my troops regularly that if they are overly emotional about a topic or have some vested personal interest, take a few steps back. Getting emotional and worked up over something doesn't solve the problem, it only makes it worse. Politics is a VERY emotional topic for everyone because it plays into the human nature of wanting to have control over their environment. Unfortunately, my person opinion is that you CANNOT have control over the vast majority of your environment and in a system as large and complex as politics and government - have an opinion, do your part and vote, contact your congressman for major issues, but other than that....there isn't much that you can do. Plus, I'm a bit of an idealist in that I truly believe that the government in general IS NOT out to get us and that most polititians, which liars, have our best interests at heart. I dont' see the sky falling any time soon.

Was that too much?
 

MBuzzy

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And for the record, I'm not a pacifist in ANY sense of the word. There hasn't been a major conflict in the history of the world that violence can't or hasn't solved. Although I do detest war....which comes from the fact that I also detest being shot at and blown up.
 

crushing

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I don't know what I am. I was hopeful that W would be a significant departure from Clinton, but we ended up with more of the same, with the big difference really being the marketing and media portrayal. I was going to vote for Obama, until it was obvious he had Michigan wrapped up and McCain gave up, so I went third party. Time has yet to tell if we are going to actually get that significant departure and if so, if this particular departure will be a good thing.

Same sex and non-same sex couples alike should be able to marry and celebrate with a joint and a hooker if they want, but people shouldn't be able destroy a human (pre- or post-natal) unless that human is a threat to the life of another. Just golden rule stuff (the ethic of reciprocity not alchemy). I don't know if that makes me a lefty or a righty, it's probably not enough information.

I think of myself as a conservative, but not a big spending, big government, Heritage Foundation Republican hiding in conservative costume. I'm more of the libertarian CATO Institute type. Unfortunately, these very different types are often lumped together by the media and others.

Maybe I'm a true lefty and just don't know it? Daddy I'm home. Where did everyone go?
 

Marginal

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Most of the vocal folks ended up leaving the site or getting banned during heated discussions.
 

Andrew Green

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Bob, I know we disagree with some things, and I'm adding your statement to the mix. Thinking "left" doesn't necessarily mean you're a pacifist or a peacenik.

Most certainely does not. Although the funny thing is that a good number of the people that claim it does as a insult against the left also use the USSR as an example of why "left" thinking fails.

Left / Right seems far too limiting, I really think you need at least 2-axis on a political spectrum:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:European-political-spectrum.png
 

shesulsa

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I play devil's advocate a lot because I generally detest blanket statements regardless of to whom or which party they refer.

I am generally left of center but have very stringent beliefs on the second amendment, criminal law, misplaced patriotism, abortion rights and gay rights.

I don't think anyone with my politics would be electable (they haven't been for as long as I've been voting) because I am neither square nor round and it seems those are the only two shapes to be in American Politics.

You're not alone ... but there are some personalities on this board that sound a lot louder than others for very specific reasons.
 

Andy Moynihan

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See now this is why, though I may make the occasional joke, I don't like political pigeonholing and do try to avoid doing it myself, even if I may not always succeed.

If you were to judge me *solely* on my views regarding religion, abortion or gay marriage---you would label me "liberal".

If you were to judge me *solely* on my views regarding illegal immigration, welfare, or government bailouts---you would label me "conservative".

If you were to judge me *solely* on my views regarding the Second Amendment, self defense and the right to bear arms---you would label me an ultra right wing kook.

But none of those three "labels" are correct because they are not what make Andy, Andy.

People cannot be pigeonholed. So quit doing it and tell the media to cut the **** too.
 

Tez3

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I think it's quite hard to categorise non Americans against American political standards and vice versa. It puzzles me when people say Obama is left or liberal as he seems to us far from that. Our political parties seem too different and our politics very different, we don't seem to have the same interests apart from the economy and perhaps the Afghan/Iraq war.
To Americans it seems I'm very left and socialist where here I'm a middle of the road liberal!
 

Twin Fist

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Depends on your perspective. To me, the group seems mostly comprised of lefties or libertarians, with a few notable exceptions. Used to be a lefty myself, but I got better. ;)


agreed, speaking as a conservative, I can say that IMO, the study has more regular posters that lean left than that lean right
 
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