“Victory Girls … an echo chamber of ideas?” – A Lib’s POV

“Victory Girls … an echo chamber of ideas?” – A Lib’s POV

Editor’s Note: this is a guest post submitted by Kevin, a regular VG blog reader and commenter, and a liberal. Feel free to tell him where he’s wrong – and right.

I heard a phrase the other day on the radio … Today’s politically focused blog sites, specialized television or radio broadcasts (both liberal and conservative) create an inaccurate perception of its’ readers/viewers/listeners who are of the same political persuasion … They refer to it as an “ECHO CHAMBER.” The only thing you read/see/hear are your own view points echoed back. It’s dangerous. Very dangerous.

I think this can also be attributed to our political figures and their passion for their view points and perspectives. You can imagine the mail that Governor Sarah Palin gets is 95% supportive of her view point. You can also assume the mail received by Secretary Hillary Clinton is 95% supportive of her view points. (Of course, after they remove the worthless messages like … “You suck. Please remain retired. Or, get your head out of your rectum.”) So, what do you think Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton thinks when it comes to the political view points of the day … Their perspective is the 95% of people swooning over their ideals and fainting in their presence. Do they sit down and really try to understand their opponents perspective? Probably not.

It creates an echo chamber and it is completely understandable why the liberals or conservatives are head strong and feel justified in their positions. The echo chamber creates a dangerous dynamic in our Beloved Nation because no one is willing to talk to one another thinking the majority is on their side. I also have a hard time when certain “outcome points” occur like an election or a poll (assuming the organization conducting the poll is viewed as a neutral or centrist organization) and the results lean opposite of your view point. Barack Obama wins and the election results are ignored and the echo chamber starts spewing, “It was fixed! Illegal aliens were voting! Acorn registered all the welfare moms they could find!” Or, when a conservative issue/candidate prevails, the other view point begins to spout, “Poor black people were disenfranchised and couldn’t vote! The elderly Latino woman couldn’t get an ID because she didn’t have $9.99 to pay for it so she couldn’t vote!” It’s so predictable that it’s terrifying.

It’s comforting listening to someone that has similar viewpoints as yourself. I understand that perspective. It’s probably why the majority of my friends (not all) are liberals. My guess the same is true for you; most of your friends are conservative. People want to be around others who look like them, think like them, and have similar experiences. It’s predictable, comforting and human nature. It’s also something we need to break away from if we’re ever going to understand a different perspective other than our own. We may not ever come to agree with that perspective, which is not the outcome I’m looking for, but maybe we can stop demonizing the opposition. My life experiences, view points and beliefs are no more or less true than your experiences. Does every American have to own a dozen assault rifles or attend five gay weddings a year? No, they don’t. That’s what great about this nation.

Now, with the prevalence of the internet, we no longer have to appear in the plaza and stand on a soap box espousing our views and debating our opponents and detractors face-to-face. It’s done in anonymity in front of a computer screen that can’t talk back and challenge our perspective. It’s too easy to call someone a liar or devalue their experience when you can’t see their eyes. I’m talking about both liberal and conservative ideologues.

What do we do? Wait for the next election and when we (whichever side) wins, spike the football? Beat a dead horse? Rub salt in the wound? Or, when we lose, spin the message … Well, they only won by .005% of the vote so they really didn’t win. We have to do something else versus stay in our comfort zone and listen to the echo chamber which is going to simply parrot back everything we believe in.

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23 Comments
  • johnmapes says:

    I’m conservative but most of my friends are not. Whenever I hear politicians/pundits on the right fall back on the same tired talking points it makes me cringe. If you really believe in what you believe, then work to convince your opposition. Left and right view the world differently. It takes a real leader to show how their view benefits all of us convincingly. Anyone can preach to the flock. It takes leadership to go into the lion’s den.

  • Kit Lange says:

    Kevin,

    Let me get this straight. You come to a conservative blog, comment (negatively) on every post, disagree on every topic, and then have the gall to submit a guest post to that same conservative blog calling it an “echo chamber?”

    Here’s the problem–or at least one of them. Your post is transparent and blatantly hypocritical. You throw the obligatory “and liberals” in your condemnation but it’s lip-service; anyone reading it can see that. Besides, you crafted it and submitted it for publication on a conservative blog. Did you submit the same thing to DailyKOS? Since you’re so concerned about the problem, I mean.

    As long as we’re talking about DailyKOS, I’m curious. When you mention rubbing salt in the wound, are you talking about liberals wearing T-shirts with the President’s face on them with a bullet hole in it? It wasn’t Obama’s face by the way. Are you talking about the way that liberals claim that conservatives are all racists if we don’t bow to the great and might Obama simply because he is half black? Contrary to liberal opinion, being half black does not really entitle you to a seat as leader of the free world. Oh, I know. You’re talking about how people call Sarah Palin a c***, a slut, and more, or how they call for the death of her son Trig. Because he’s ‘retarded’, as they put it.

    You have not seen that here. We do not judge on race, we judge on performance. We expect people to be able to defend the beliefs they claim to hold, because we’d die for ours. Would you? Are your beliefs and your worldview important enough that you would give your life for them?

    I’m no Republican apologist. Quite frankly, with 4 notable exceptions, I think they’re all trash. But I also don’t believe that someone can simultaneously espouse the liberal philosophy of government reliance and overactive statism while still claiming to love freedom and liberty. To you guys, “freedom” only means being able to kill your children at will. To me, and to us at VG, it’s a whole different ball game.

    Let us know when you get done posting this article at DailyKOS. I’m really interested to see their reaction. Make sure you don’t put any personal details in there though. I could tell you some stories about Liberals Gone Wild. 😉

    • Kevin says:

      I don’t read any other blogs than Victory Girls. If you want to link this article on DailyKOS (again, which I’ve never read), feel free to.

      • Kit Lange says:

        If you don’t read any other blogs, then you just proved my point about not actually meaning the part where you also single out liberals. You specifically meant conservatives, and more specifically meant us when talking about echo chambers. If you don’t read other blogs, then you have no one else to compare to.

      • GWB says:

        That sounds frighteningly stalkerish. What *are* your other sources of information, then? I presume MSNBC and other such scions of investigative reporting?

        (Yay to CBS, btw, for at least doing the expose on Benghazi. Next time do it before the pertinent election, though.)

  • Jennifer says:

    Amen Kit, I also have an issue with this post. I don’t recall being the one who introduced”tin foil hats” into previous conversations. This is typical liberal behavior though. Good ol’ Alinsky 101-until both sides are willing to STOP identifying the target, isolating and demonizing it to render it a non-threat our (in their opinion) we will all continue to slide into third world status (thanks to the oligarchy which is comprised of Dems and GOP). So, how about practicing some of what you preach on your next visit to VG? Are you up for it?

    • Kevin says:

      “So, how about practicing some of what you preach on your next visit to VG? Are you up for it?”

      What do you suggest?

  • Kate says:

    Hi Kevin

    First let me thank you for submitting a guest post. As the owner and publisher of Victory Girls Blog, we value not only limited government, free market values, and lower taxation but also freedom of speech and thought. That “freedom of speech and thought” value has been extended to you (and everyone else) time and time again, as you comment freely here, without edit or censor. So, the idea that we’re an echo chamber? Bullshit.

    Have a great day! xxoo

  • >>>You can imagine the mail that Governor Sarah Palin gets is 95% supportive of her view point. You can also assume the mail received by Secretary Hillary Clinton is 95% supportive of her view points.<<<

    I imagine no such thing. In Sarah Palin, we had a governor getting so weighed down in bullshit lawsuits (if you want to say otherwise, please point to any one of those lawsuits that came to anything) that she decided that the drain on her time was so great that she couldn't effectively do what the people of Alaska hired her to do, and resigned. I'm quite certain that more than 5% of the correspondence she receives falls into the "disapproving" category. And considering that I've actually seen her confront critics, I'm betting that at least some of the negative correspondence gets to her. I can't claim the same for Hillary Clinton, who when faced with tough questions from Congress had her now infamous "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE???" melt down (after she finally deigned to grace them with her presence).

    As for echo chambers in the blogosphere, they DO exist, but this one doesn't qualify. I myself frequent (not as much as I used to) a blog written by a lefty. It is much more of a give and take than many places I've been on the net, but he has managed to create a forum that is the electronic equivalent of the corner bar. He frequently gets it wrong…as a regular viewer of MSNBC, he can't help it…but unlike many lefties I have encountered, he will occasionally admit it.

    That said, I think the larger reason for the gulf between the two mindsets is that many leftists are ill-equipped to really have a meaningful exchange, because they either do not know the facts regarding whatever it is that they are talking about, which is why you can almost always make a reasonable estimate as to how long it will take in an exchange before you have been transmogrified into a facist, a racist, a Nazi (Godwin <3's these folks), or if you're really winning the argument, a combination of these.

    A great example would be your casual assertion in the comments to “The Arrogance of Willful Blindness”:

    Section 8 of our Constitution … The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States … Did you pick out the phrase, “provide for the common defence (sic) and general welfare of the United States? Hmmm, I wonder how our lawmakers the past 236 years have been able to justify spending billions and billions of dollars on their citizens who are most vulnerable? I just can’t figure it out? It’s so confusing? Maybe you can help me GWB? Maybe?

    Now, I corrected this bit of horrendously bad history, but since you either didn’t see it, or didn’t have a reply, I will again explain to you why this is another example of not having a clue what you’re talking about.

    They CAN’T justify this constitutionally, and they know it.

    It certainly wasn’t what the principal authors and architects of the document had in mind when they included the phrase “general welfare” in it. How do I know? Because they TOLD us.

    See The Federalist No. 33, and 44. Why was Hamilton, writing as “Publius” addressing the “general welfare” phrase, and the limitations on the Federal Government? Because a delegate to the convention named Robert Yates, who was the Anti-Federalist “Brutus” TOLD him that their posterity would not possess the same character and restraint, and would instead give that unfortunately undefined phrase the exact incorrect meaning you ascribe to it in his own published essay entitled “VI”. Unfortunately for us, Brutus was correct.

    I’ll even save you the trouble of Googling these documents yourself, as you will find convenient links and excepts directly on point in this essay:

    http://threesurethingsoflife.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/constitutional-musings-corrections-and-perspectives/

    I’ll even go one step further and squash that bit of wishcasting with another thing that Leftists have problems with: Logic.

    Prior to the passage of the 16th Amendment, the Federal Government couldn’t possibly have taken in the “billions and billions” of dollars you admit are necessary to fund the welfare state, nor would the Founders or Framers have approved of a government able to be the welfare state (with the taxation necessary to make it happen).

    • Kit Lange says:

      This may be one of the greatest comments ever. Considering his “I’ll get back to you” response…you’re now my hero. 😉 You must be that rare combo of a racist, fascist Godwinite Nazi. God bless you. lol

  • Sorry, I forgot the other part of the correction, straightening out the “236 years” nonsense.

    Oh, and they HAVEN’T been spending it in the manner you prescribe for 236 years. You start in the 1930′s with Social Security, which only exists because FDR threatened the Supreme Court with a court-packing scheme (google “The Switch In Time That Saved Nine”).

    Medicare, Medicaid, and TANF came with The [Once] Great Society in the 1960s.

    Frankly, you and people like you might be more persuasive if you could get your facts straight before fashioning your arguments.

    • Kevin says:

      WhiteisBlack … I didn’t see it. I don’t go back to previous posts after a couple of days. Let me think about this before I respond.

  • Jodi Giddings says:

    Kevin, Kit has articulated my thoughts on your post, so I won’t repeat what she has already done so well.

    I would, however, like to echo (chamber!) Kate’s sentiment in thanking you for submitting your guest post to VG. As Kate pointed out, we are unabashed defenders of the First (good, bad, and ugly), permitting comments from anyone who cares to chime in (and obviously guest posts), not just our own. So your assertion that we are an “echo chamber” filled only with our own voices is phooey.

    And Kit beat me to it: You’ve already admitted you read only VG (which I’ll take as a compliment given your admitted sphere of influence!). So comparing VG with Leftist blogs is pretty tough to do if you haven’t read any of them, yes?

    You’ve asked for suggestions for your next guest appearance here at VG. Here’s mine: I’d like you to articulate, with facts and substantiated evidence, why Hillary Clinton should be the next president of the United States. And not because she’s of a particular gender. Leslie Van Houten is female, too.

    I’ll be waiting, “tin foil hat” in hand, for you to convince me she’s the gal for the job.

  • Kevin says:

    I don’t know Leslie Van Houten so I can’t make the comparison. We’ve had this discussion before … can’t remember the name of the article … it probably will not matter what I say about Hillary; minds are already made up as to her value as a person.

    Kevin

  • Merle says:

    It seems to me that the vast majority of accusations (and hate) come from the extreme left. I have not seen any right wingers printing the addresses of people they disagree with and inciting violence against them – or wishing their children would be killed.

    Merle

  • Jodi says:

    Fair enough. Then perhaps your most convincing argument for why liberalism is the way to go, and where it has proven successful in its employ. Game?

  • Kevin says:

    I would also say that any offers to engage in any kind of constructive discussion are spurious at best. I can’t tell you how many Facebook conversations I get into with liberal friends where I ask them for sources, reasons, logic behind their positions and get only talking points back. It’s very frustrating especially because they see fit to rip my arguments (all while not providing any of their own).

  • Kevin says:

    Heh, 10/28 comment at 1:06pm is from a different Kevin…

    …we’re taking over…

  • Michael says:

    “Self-Deluding” & “Self-Contradictory” should be added to all Echo Chamber Liberal references. Anyone with eyes or ears, even Kevin, knows there is Nothing homogeneous in Conservative politics – they share only a handful of basic principles. You only need to look to LIBERAL commentators & reporters for proof, as they continuously point out the harsh and loud conflicts among Conservatives every day. And revel in it, as they and their group-think masses continue to believe it will be their down-fall. “Transference” is a well-known mental health pathology that people of Kevin’s world of emotion-driven “thinking” are notoriously plagued. To Kevin I say in the language of his people, as best expressed by PeeWee Herman, “I know what you are, but what am I?”.

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