Tired of Political Correctness


Krev82 wrote:

How can we make GWJ P&C more comfortable for conservative minded folks to post and share their viewpoints then?

We can stop demanding evidence and become a place to share opinions. Everyone's opinion is equal.

Parallax makes good points about the dogpiling, without my ideological frustration.

I will say as someone who has been observing P&C and occasionally posting here since 2006 that often, some of the more frequent right-leaning posters often took a very adversarial and polarising stance. First off, let me be clear that this is not everyone with a right-leaning view I refer to and the same thing has happened from certain people leaning the other way as well. I'm not pushing any agenda here, it's just what I've observed. I do recall reading a lot of posts from certain individuals who tended to lump all opposition into one group and referred to them with very cable-newsy groupthink terms, "liberals always say this", "liberals always think that" etc. Those individuals were often unable to have a debate without using attacking language and when called out on it, often went "well the left-wing dogpile's happening again, I'm out" and went away for a while. After this happened several times, they often didn't return. Again I will say that not everyone on the right side of the spectrum did that, just some of the more well known posters from that side did on occasion. Most of them aren't here any more.

While their attitude was often not indicative of good debate, I have observed some of the dogpiling myself. There have been a couple of P&C threads where I've wanted to chime in lately (no, not naming them) not with a directly opposing view but one that's a little bit more in the middle, basically saying "I largely agree with this except for these finer points." However, I have refrained from doing so because I've watched others who have done something similar get vilified and treated as if they take a polar opposite viewpoint. Essentially, an "us vs. them" mentality where if you don't agree whole hog with one person's viewpoint, you are in full opposition to them. This has happened from several prominent site users, often more than from new posters. Unfortunately, such a thing often happens when people are discussing sensitive subjects that they have heavy investment in but I have observed in some threads that people with viewpoints more in the middle as opposed to entirely to one side or the other often are treated as having an extreme viewpoint. Personally, I have refrained from posting my views in those threads but I don't want to get painted with the brush of views I don't actually share, at least not in their entirety. I suspect a lot more people with similarly varied opinions feel the same.

As I said, this is just what I've observed and I'm just throwing it out there. You may agree or you may think I'm seeing things that don't exist. Either way, I just wanted to post what I've seen and how it's affected my motivations when it comes to participating in P&C. I state this because despite people making fun of it, this forum is one of the only places I've seen online where real debate and generally civil political discourse can take place. My views have been well informed and sometimes, even altered by arguments I've read here. Even if I post less, I will continue to read it.

bandit0013 wrote:

Does GWJ actually collect any age/gender/location demographics that are available? I'd be curious to see them.

Though as far as the statistical likelihood, my anecdotal experience has found that gamers tend to swing left.

You know, I would have agreed with this before this last Presidential election. The whole XBox Live knee-jerk-reaction-button-press-real-time-hoodoo machine thing was actually kind of surprising to me. The split, at least in this case, was not very liberal. It seemed to favor what I'd call a more over-simplified approach: "spend less, tax less, do less, moar drugs, enforce laws, stop being evil kthnx" which kind of flies all over the spectrum.

I think the crux of the problem in conversations here is one that Parallax hit on in his excellent post - there seems to be some manner of antipathy towards taking issues buffet-style. Instead, everything seems to eventually need to be slapped with the left/right liberal/conservative flavor, and then the rallying begins. It's just that in this case, this board tends to have a somewhat larger and/or more committed base of people who haunt this forum and generally lean left on stuff. So it might come off as bullying, but folks who have more conservative viewpoints have, again and again, turned a great deal of conversations/arguments into "oh well, this is a conservative thing and you just can't handle opposition" and then proceed to run takeballgohome.exe.

I think this is a somewhat separate problem from the whole chest-thumping, "proud to be non-PC!" crap that crops up when social commentary and politics intersect. I'll be honest, I can be combative and I have a somewhat conservative slant in most of my politics. I know that there's several posters here who, when prodded, have no hesitation to get snarky and personal - I won't name names, except Seth. I will name Seth. Seth you are a jerkface jerk sometimes*. And when posters are sometimes jerks or feel like personal attacks are going on, it's easier for those of us who end up on a "right" side of a political argument to fall back to the whole GWJ P&C Liberal Dogpile Theory rather than examine our behavior.

That being said, the Liberal Dogpile is really a thing here, but no more here than any other place, I think. Less so, really. Posters here, in general, tend to be less prone to fits of ideological rallying, but it does happen from time to time.

(*I get to say this because some of my best friends are Seths. Also, I've raided his fridge before and one time he pretty much ruined an Undying attempt in Naxx).

Robear wrote:
Krev82 wrote:

How can we make GWJ P&C more comfortable for conservative minded folks to post and share their viewpoints then?

We can stop demanding evidence and become a place to share opinions. Everyone's opinion is equal.

If you can't rigorously explain and defend your opinion, you probably shouldn't have one.

For the reasons I've stated, I think the dogpile is more related to the demo of people posting. I remember being dogpiled on here by conservatives. What changed? To me, it's the positions and rhetoric and information available to conservatives today.

OG wrote:

If you can't rigorously explain and defend your opinion, you probably shouldn't have one.

I should have been more clear. I agree with you, but at least when something is an opinion, it does not *have* to be rationally held. It's kind of a pressure valve in discussions; "Well, yeah, I can't find support for this, but hey, I'm entitled to my opinion."

Like I said, there are a whoooole lot of people who have been exposed to groupthink for their entire lives. There's an entire sector of the media dedicated to instilling one ideology in it's consumers. This kind of split is the logical outcome. As Norm Ornstein said recently, it's no long two competing ideologies, it's two competing *tribes*.

Just caught up on this thread, then checked facebook where the pastor of our church recently posted this quote:

"I am sick of opinions.
Give me a humble, gentle lover of God and man, a man full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy. Bigotry is too strong an attachment to our own creed or opinion. How unwilling men are to allow anything good in those who do not agree with them in all things. We must not narrow the cause of God to our own beliefs, but rejoice in goodness wherever it appears." - John Wesley

Wesley was big into reasoned investigation, as well, and wrote a book on electricity which Franklin read... He was one of those who ended up believing that Nature was a revelation of God. Disclaimer - I was raised a Methodist.

Sounds like Wesley was keenly aware of the idea of confirmation bias long before it was formally defined.

I wouldnt say all gaming boards lean left - I'm a member of a big historical wargaming board where the mood is decidedly conservative. And by conservative I mean I'm seen as a moderate if not left-leaning. There is a guy on that board who in a welfare thread actually posted a picture of a lion taking down a young gazelle to illustrate how he feels the same way about kids on food stamps. Sucks to be them but you shouldn't stand in the way of natural selection. Granted he's one of the extremists but a lot of guys fall into the "taxes are theft" and "American society is going to hell in a hand basket" category. I may be right leaning but I don't consider my self a total self-absorbed a hole, so I actually get in way more fights over there than I do here.

As far as GWJ goes, I'll say there is both a negative and positive side of P&C. I don't think it's a stretch to say that it can be tough to be right leaning on these boards. And it's not just me- when I posted the "conservatives let us chat" thread, I got at least five PMs from conservative board members who said they would love to participate but didn't particularly feel safe posting.

On the positive side, I've had a lot of fun in games and at S&Ts wiith people I don't agree with politically. I've also been able to send PMs when things escalate and been able to walk away on better terms. The one time I did that on the other board I was pretty much told to take a midol and grab a helmet.

I think this thread has run its course.