Wednesday, 23 December 2015

America’s clash of civilisations -

First up in the morning I line up the four newspapers I'm going to read: the International New York Times (left), the South China Morning Post (centrish) the Wall Street Journal (conservative) and the Financial Times (centre-leftish) Then I turn on the BBC (left). When the Beebs begins recycling stories I switch to Fox (right). Then back to the Beebs, and so on till I'm finished multitasking with the papers.
So I get views from right, left and centre.
Most people don't do that. I mean most will watch Fox OR BBC. Not both. They'll read the New York Times OR the Wall Street Journal. Not both.
I've even heard folk tell me they "never watch" Fox, because it's so bad. Which begs the obvious question as to how they know, to which their answer would be that they know from their friends so no need to watch.
But I reckon it's worth knowing what the other half thinks no matter which side you're on.
Then you might know something you wouldn't otherwise know. A recent editorial in the New York Times claimed that the Republican candidates didn't have any alternative to Obama's Middle East policy. But that's just not true, as you'd know if you'd watched Fox. Simple example: they call for no-fly zones and safe harbors in Syria. Those strike me as reasonable suggestions. And which are not on Obama's agenda.
Even in this article, Edward Luce makes the mistake of stating that the Republicans have no alternative Middle East policy. Not true. Perhaps Luce is guilty of the same sin he accuses both sides of: namely not speaking or listening to the other side.
Yet the things that divide the country are growing. If you listen to the Republican presidential debate, one message overrides all. Conservatives do not just disagree with President Barack Obama — they hate him profoundly. When asked if they would back a Donald Trump nomination, even the most moderate Republican says anyone would be better than this "feckless, weakling" president, to quote Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor.
Likewise, if you ask a liberal about today's Republicans, it does not take long before the word "stupid" is used. People who support Mr Trump are idiots. People who oppose him must be snobs. The two sides neither speak to each other, nor obtain their "information" from the same outlets. Facts are what you feel comfortable believing. No one in your social group is likely to challenge you.
/end snip
By the way I don't "hate" Obama. I'm disappointed by him. Had I been American I would have voted for him first time around. And second time around I would have abstained from having to choose between a feckless and weak president (accurate description I reckon), and a loony Mormon.
But I do hate Hillary. Not because she's a woman. But because of how she handled Benghazi. That showed her to be either a liar or incompetent. Or, more likely, I think, both. How she handled it was contemptible. It deserves the most thorough censure which is to keep her out of the presidency, for which she clearly lacks the character.