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Thoughts On Peggy Noonan WSJ - Defuse America's Explosive Politics (1 Viewer)

What do you think?

  • Completely agree

    Votes: 10 33.3%
  • Mostly agree

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • Slightly agree

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • On the fence

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Slightly disagree

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  • Mostly disagree

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • Completely disagree

    Votes: 9 30.0%

  • Total voters
    30

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
https://www.wsj.com/articles/defuse-americas-explosive-politics-1540507892

It's from Peggy Noonan. Who you may know worked as a writer in several Republican administrations. And Wall Street Journal leans conservative. 

Wondering what you thought of this:

Also to add - what do you think of our roles in this as regular people? Meaning, aside from what President Trump will or won't do here. Or any other politician might or might not do. How do you see it as it applies to us?

The attempted bombing of political figures is domestic terrorism meant to disrupt and intimidate. That it came to light less than two weeks before an election whose outcomes may constitute a national rebuke to—or soft boost of—President Trump’s controversial leadership means that passions are high and will stay so. Things are feeling primal, tribal.

There’s more than enough time before the voting for the gates of hell to open. Let’s try to keep them shut.

What can help? Some things I’d like to see:

A suspect was arrested Friday morning. It‘s good that law enforcement appears to have used every resource available to find the bomber or bombers, which will help in returning an air of order. As the investigation continues, all law enforcement should be extremely, unusually forthcoming about the facts and state probe. We’re all tired of their swanning around after school shootings with their secret information we can’t have. Be as open as possible without injuring the investigation. This may help calm the finger pointing. “It was a left-wing false-flag operation!”

Everyone running for office should admit things have gotten too hot, too divided. Then they should try to cool the atmosphere. Next Tuesday will mark one week before the election. Candidates should devote the day to something different. It would be good to see every one give a speech or statement containing their most generous definition of the aims and meaning of the opposing party. A Democratic nominee might say, “Whether they always succeed or not, Republicans do want to protect the liberties that have allowed this nation become the miracle of the world.” A Republican might say, “At its best and most sincere, the Democratic Party hopes to help those in peril, and to soften disparities of wealth and opportunity.”

The dirty secret of most political professionals is that they do see virtues in the other party. And when you show respect for people, they tend to put down their rocks.

Read rest of article here:

Does this sound dreamy or otherworldly? Yes. But a tender moment isn’t the worst thing that could happen to us right now, and enraged people will find it boring. We want them bored. And actually I don’t mean it as sentimental but reorienting—a reminder for some and an education for others about what it is we’re trying to do here.

Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown, let us hear you on what you know to be admirable in the Republican Party—and in Republicans. Ted Cruz, Martha McSally, the same from you on the Democrats. Show some largeness. We’re dying of smallness.

Both parties could absorb an essential truth of the moment.

Democrats really and sincerely see the threat of violent words and actions as coming from the right. It’s Mr. Trump—he’s hateful and has no respect and it sets a tone. He encourages fights at his rallies; he said the other night that a congressman who pushed around a reporter was his kind of guy. He calls the press the enemy of the people. He widens all divisions, mindlessly yet opportunistically. No surprise his adversaries are being sent bombs.

Republicans and the right truly, deeply see the threat as coming from the left. Rep. Maxine Waters and Sen. Cory Booker actually told crowds to get in Republicans’ faces; Hillary Clinton says you can’t treat them civilly. Republicans see the screamers and harassers at the Kavanaugh hearings, the groups swarming Republican figures when they dine in public, antifa. A man who wrote “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” on Facebook didn’t insult Rep. Steve Scalise last year; he shot and almost killed him. The intimidation is coming from the left.

Trump supporters don’t take him seriously when he issues his insults. He’s kidding; he doesn’t mean it; he’s Trump. You’re lying when you say he makes you afraid.

But the left finds him, and some of his allies, honestly—honestly—dangerous.

Just as the right finds Ms. Waters and Mr. Booker and Mrs. Clinton and the swarms and the hissers and antifa honestly—honestly—the threat.

Neither side appreciates—neither side credits—the anxiety the other side legitimately feels. They have no sensitivity to it. They had better get some.

When conservatives see a liberal or progressive not condemning Mr. Booker or Ms. Waters, they assume it’s because the liberal agrees with what they say—that intimidation is part of the plan.

There is too much blindness to how the other side is experiencing the situation. It’s in the news media, too. Politicians should have a greater awareness of their own role in the drama.

Thursday morning New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on television, saying words that were meant to be helpful. We’re not Democrats and Republicans really, he said, we’re Americans; we can’t be divided. It was good, he clearly meant it. But he spoke as if he had no memory of strikingly divisive words he’d uttered just a few years ago. In January 2014 he said of those who are pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage and pro-gun that they are “extreme conservatives” who have “no place in the state of New York.” No place in the state of New York? That is an extreme and aggressive statement, and it speaks of how too many progressives and liberals feel about conservatives. This kind of thing isn’t new, and it’s contributed to the moment we’re in.

Politicians, don’t lecture us. Clean up your own side of the street.

As to the president, one thought. He will never lead effectively at moments like this because he can’t. It’s not within his emotional range or in his intellectual toolbox. The targets of the would-be bombs have been his antagonists. He’s not believable when he issues pained vows of unity. Everyone assumes his staff told him to do it and in a burst of amiability he did. When he’s obnoxious, people believe he’s speaking his mind.

Mr. Trump has ushered in a new presidential era of verbal roughness. At his rallies he sees himself as being provocative and humorous and teasing. His crowds know he is entertaining them and they have fun back, re-enacting their old 2016 fervor with “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” They don’t emerge whipped into a rage; they leave in a good mood, though tired from standing so long because he speaks so long.

The president knows half the country is watching, and dislikes and disdains what it sees. What he doesn’t seem to know is that the unstable are watching, too. They get revved up, ginned up, pro and con. There is danger in this.

Mr. Trump seems to think only about his audience and his foes. He doesn’t seem to proceed with a broad knowledge that there are the unstable among us, and part of your job as president is not to push them over the edge. It can get ugly when you do.

In a funny way he seems to think everything’s more stable than it is, that the veil between safety and surprise is thicker than it is. Maybe you assume everything’s safe when you’ve spent your whole adult life, as he has, with private security and private cars, surrounded by staff. Maybe that makes you careless, or too confident.

But few of our political leaders seem especially sensitive to the precariousness of things. I wish they worried about the country more. That really is dreamy and otherworldly, isn’t it?


10

 
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Snorkelson

Footballguy
It’s great in theory. I honestly don’t see it happening. When I was a kid I don’t remember seeing attack ads- in the 90s you’d see some. Now I’d estimate that I see mostly attack ads. 70-30 maybe? Republicans did everything they could to stall anything Obama tried to do. I believe they voted against legislation that was good simply so the dems didn’t get a win. If the democrats get house control they will do what they can to stall the other sides agenda. And back and forth we go. 

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
The president knows half the country is watching, and dislikes and disdains what it sees. What he doesn’t seem to know is that the unstable are watching, too. They get revved up, ginned up, pro and con. There is danger in this.

Mr. Trump seems to think only about his audience and his foes. He doesn’t seem to proceed with a broad knowledge that there are the unstable among us, and part of your job as president is not to push them over the edge. It can get ugly when you do.

In a funny way he seems to think everything’s more stable than it is, that the veil between safety and surprise is thicker than it is. Maybe you assume everything’s safe when you’ve spent your whole adult life, as he has, with private security and private cars, surrounded by staff. Maybe that makes you careless, or too confident.
I like Peggy Noonan. A long time ago when I was interested in politics as a career I followed her closely. She is a great political writer. Some people not agree with some of her ideas or her causes but she has been genuinely great in her field and she has had some good influence in national affairs.

But... I think she and some others make a bad false assumption here. Trump is aware of the unbalanced in his wake. He is aware of the disruption he causes. 

This is a very important point about Trump: to him disruption is power. That's a fact. If white nationalists and supremacists are supporting him, good, he's fine with that. If nutjobs love him, good on that too. 

This man holds completely disparate and opposite values and end goals from Peggy Noonan. She leaves that unsaid. Maybe she knows it as well and can't bring herself to say that out loud, I don't know, and I can understand that, because it's terrible.

 
It seems to me that the most important part is buried in the second half of the editorial, the part you have hidden.  Trump is being excluded by Noonan from those expected to change their behavior because of a recognition that he’s incapable of doing so.  Trump is the Republican Party right now.  You can’t say “both sides should speak nicely about the other side, oh, except for the one guy that happens to lead one of those two parties and has by far the largest megaphone.”

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
It seems to me that the most important part is buried in the second half of the editorial, the part you have hidden.  Trump is being excluded by Noonan from those expected to change their behavior because of a recognition that he’s incapable of doing so.  Trump is the Republican Party right now.  You can’t say “both sides should speak nicely about the other side, oh, except for the one guy that happens to lead one of those two parties and has by far the largest megaphone.”
There are some important parts for sure in the rest of the article. I would have preferred to post the entire thing but I ask others not to post super long posts so I used the spoiler thing. 

I think where I read this too is taking it past what Noonan suggests and asking regular people like us can help.

 
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toshiba

Footballguy
It’s great in theory. I honestly don’t see it happening. When I was a kid I don’t remember seeing attack ads- in the 90s you’d see some. Now I’d estimate that I see mostly attack ads. 70-30 maybe? Republicans did everything they could to stall anything Obama tried to do. I believe they voted against legislation that was good simply so the dems didn’t get a win. If the democrats get house control they will do what they can to stall the other sides agenda. And back and forth we go. 
I don't know Jefferson, Adams,  ... were pretty brutal!

 
There is some important parts for sure in the rest of the article. I would have preferred to post the entire thing but I ask others not to post super long posts so I used the spoiler thing. 
Yeah I’m not blaming you for doing it I’m just explaining why I think Noonan isn’t really making a fair argument.

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
I like Peggy Noonan. A long time ago when I was interested in politics as a career I followed her closely. She is a great political writer. Some people not agree with some of her ideas or her causes but she has been genuinely great in her field and she has had some good influence in national affairs.

But... I think she and some others make a bad false assumption here. Trump is aware of the unbalanced in his wake. He is aware of the disruption he causes. 

This is a very important point about Trump: to him disruption is power. That's a fact. If white nationalists and supremacists are supporting him, good, he's fine with that. If nutjobs love him, good on that too. 

This man holds completely disparate and opposite values and end goals from Peggy Noonan. She leaves that unsaid. Maybe she knows it as well and can't bring herself to say that out loud, I don't know, and I can understand that, because it's terrible.
Noonan has been harshly critical of Trump.  She did not say that because it has been said a thousand times.   She is trying to make a higher point here and get away from just another Trump-bashing.  

 

toshiba

Footballguy
There is some important parts for sure in the rest of the article. I would have preferred to post the entire thing but I ask others not to post super long posts so I used the spoiler thing. 
Yeah I’m not blaming you for doing it I’m just explaining why I think Noonan isn’t really making a fair argument.
I've changed on this over this year.  I can't control what politicians do (or other posters here), I can only control what I do.  While I am not perfect, I have really attempted to tone down my own language.  That is all I think any of us can do.

 
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Ilov80s

Footballguy
I agree. All people should admit their mistakes and sign a commitment to change. If I was running for higher office, I would absolutely campaign on a commitment to higher standards and demand those from both parties sign it. It might be a losing strategy but it's the strategy I would take. 

 

toshiba

Footballguy
I agree. All people should admit their mistakes and sign a commitment to change. If I was running for higher office, I would absolutely campaign on a commitment to higher standards and demand those from both parties sign it. It might be a losing strategy but it's the strategy I would take. 
I don't know that I agree with the demand of others, but I completely agree with the self commitment.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
I don't know that I agree with the demand of others, but I completely agree with the self commitment.
I think both parties need a new agreement on how to work with each other with civility, humility and honesty. It can't work if everyone is not on board. 

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
What is unfair about saying both sides should treat each other with respect? 
To me, that's one of the primary issues.

Both sides treating the other with respect works great. Until one side doesn't and gains a perceived advantage.

It's why mudslinging negative ads almost always cause both parties to get dirty.

"They're saying this mean thing about you. You HAVE to respond!"

And so it goes.

And it goes throughout life. Here too. People keep their "notebooks" and it goes back and forth and spirals down.

It's unfortunately human nature. And takes an active effort to change. 

Not sure it'll happen. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
We’ve got less than two weeks until the election. Afterwards everything is going to change one way or the other. 

If the Democrats win control of the House, there will be a chance for compromise and a toning down of rhetoric, at least during the year of 2019. If that doesn’t happen, it will be as much or more the Democrats’ fault as it is Trump’s. But I think and hope it WILL happen (and in writing this, I am placing a lotnof faith in Nancy Pelosi.) 

If the Democrats do not win the House, things will be uglier than ever. The Democratic Party will engage in a civil war in which the most extreme members will attempt, probably successfully, to expel the moderates. Trump will gloat and argue that his style of divisiveness worked again, and he will complete the Trumpification of the Republican Party; almost all opposition to his brand of governance will be gone from the GOP. It will be scorched earth on both sides. 

So while I agree mostly with Noonan, I find this article premature. We will know much more after November 6. 

 

toshiba

Footballguy
I don't know that I agree with the demand of others, but I completely agree with the self commitment.
I think both parties need a new agreement on how to work with each other with civility, humility and honesty. It can't work if everyone is not on board. 
I understand your point, but waiting for others hasn't worked so far.  I disagree though that we need everyone on board, we have always had these elements around.

 

toshiba

Footballguy
To me, that's one of the primary issues.

Both sides treating the other with respect works great. Until one side doesn't and gains a perceived advantage.

It's why mudslinging negative ads almost always cause both parties to get dirty.

"They're saying this mean thing about you. You HAVE to respond!"

And so it goes.

And it goes throughout life. Here too. People keep their "notebooks" and it goes back and forth and spirals down.

It's unfortunately human nature. And takes an active effort to change. 

Not sure it'll happen. 
This is a fair point and probably why @Ilov80s is saying it can't work if both sides aren't on board.

 

timschochet

Footballguy
Now I just wrote that I mostly agree with Noonan. Here’s the part where I disagree with her: it’s not just about respecting each other. It’s also about lying. 

No major politician is 100% honest, but no major politician has ever lied as often and as brazenly as Donald Trump, and it’s not even close and everybody knows this. He tells dozens of lies every day. This makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have civil and respectful conversations or debates with his supporters, because so much time is wasted debunking obvious falsehoods. IMO, this is the core problem. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
I understand your point, but waiting for others hasn't worked so far.  I disagree though that we need everyone on board, we have always had these elements around.
The toxicity is higher than normal in the main stream right now. 

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
I think for me the big point I read was trying to show empathy. It's one I believe strongly. It's a complicated thing and one we need way more of. It's tied to other stuff like understanding you're not the center of the universe and being more selfless. But that trying to see how a person who thinks differently than you might feel is so big. And too rare. I hope we could do a lot more of that. 

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
This is a fair point and probably why @Ilov80s is saying it can't work if both sides aren't on board.
Exactly, it's like playing pick-up basketball. Both sides have to agree to follow certain basic rules. If one side just keeps hacking and bullying than it is unfair advantage and the game can't work. 

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
To add, I think this is important as I know I've gained a lot of perspective and value from empathy. I think it might be that for whatever reason, I have a pretty wide range of friends with widely different views. And I believe them all to be good people. So it's helped me try to dig in a little and understand why they think what they think. It often doesn't seem completely rational or logical to me. But that's not the point. It seems that way to them. And understanding why they think what they think has been helpful. It's part of why I get so discouraged when I see talk that's more the "forget them, they're bad people and I don't need to understand". Because that to me means it's over. And this doesn't mean everything's groovy and we should all just get along. For me, it means truly trying to understand and see another side before making a judgement. And for sure, I'm not very good at it. But I believe the trying is positive.

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
That's nice. But he's POTUS and rules thru divisiveness.  His followers don't want to see him empathize. F that.  It wont change until he's gone and even that will take awhile.
It won't change ever until both sides acknowledge others perspective.   For instance, you really do not comprehend why so many people hate political correctness.  In your eyes it is probably because they are bigots.  Whether Trump is President or not, it will not change the fundamental hatred that exists between the two sides. 

 

timschochet

Footballguy
It won't change ever until both sides acknowledge others perspective.   For instance, you really do not comprehend why so many people hate political correctness.  In your eyes it is probably because they are bigots.  Whether Trump is President or not, it will not change the fundamental hatred that exists between the two sides. 
Isn’t this kind of simplistic? There are tons of non-bigots who hate political correctness, and there are some bigots who hate political correctness, and I think most liberals are smart enough to know the difference. 

 

JIslander

Footballguy
It won't change ever until both sides acknowledge others perspective.   For instance, you really do not comprehend why so many people hate political correctness.  In your eyes it is probably because they are bigots.  Whether Trump is President or not, it will not change the fundamental hatred that exists between the two sides. 
Apparently not since the rage over "political correctness" (i mean really??) is now at bombs being delivered.

 

dutch

Footballguy
It won't change ever until both sides acknowledge others perspective.   For instance, you really do not comprehend why so many people hate political correctness.  In your eyes it is probably because they are bigots.  Whether Trump is President or not, it will not change the fundamental hatred that exists between the two sides. 
Political correctness leans toward acceptance of diversity so to castigate it indicates an unwillingness to allow other perspectives which belies your arguments premise.

 
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dutch

Footballguy
Put it another way, people, myself included, are best served if they are open to having their thoughts, views, opinions challenged with the idea that perhaps they, we, me are not always in the right on some issues.  

 

Hilts

Footballguy
The president knows half the country is watching, and dislikes and disdains what it sees. What he doesn’t seem to know is that the unstable are watching, too. They get revved up, ginned up, pro and con. There is danger in this.
I disagree with this. Strongly. Very, very strongly. 

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
Political correctness leans toward acceptance of diversity so to castigate it indicates an unwillingness to allow other perspectives which belies your arguments premise.
It is diversity for non-whites.  It is often seen as a tool to roast white people.  If political correctness was about treating all people equally and with respect it would be great, but it is not.  

 

jomar

Footballguy
And understanding why they think what they think has been helpful.
I'd like to hear some specifics as to what they're telling you why they think what they think.  because when I talk to Trump supporters and they tell me why they think what they do, its a laundry list of conspiracy theories, false and misleading statements, with at least a tinge of racism and bigotry thrown in.  so yeah, I understand why they feel the way they do, but I think much less of them after listening.  it doesn't help and I just want to stay away until hopefully this thing passes and even then, I'm not sure how I'll look at them.

I know this is extreme, but if you were living in Germany in the 30s, would you be concerned with understanding the viewpoint of the Nazi.  and once you did, would it help you accept the person and their viewpoint?  disclaimer:  Trump supporters are not all Nazis, but it shows that there is a line most of us have where just because we understand their view, it just disgusts us and doesn't really help foster empathy towards them.

 

dutch

Footballguy
It is diversity for non-whites.  It is often seen as a tool to roast white people.  If political correctness was about treating all people equally and with respect it would be great, but it is not.  
Hmm, you are challenging my thoughts cuz in all honesty I, as a white guy, have never felt this persecution.  

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
when you've been ruling the roost for so long, equality feels like oppression.  this is what's happening
Blacks can say anything about whites and it is ok.  Whites, especially conservatives, are walking on eggshells everytime they open their mouth on issues concerning blacks.  How exactly is that equal?

 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
She’s very crafty as usual but she still gets away with framing the dems as the welfare party. She is the absolute text book definition of east coast elite. End of the day she’ll vote straight republican and support the most radical elements of the country. 

Time for words is over. The only thing to be done is repudiate at the voting booth. 

 

ffldrew

Footballguy
I think for me the big point I read was trying to show empathy. It's one I believe strongly. It's a complicated thing and one we need way more of. It's tied to other stuff like understanding you're not the center of the universe and being more selfless. But that trying to see how a person who thinks differently than you might feel is so big. And too rare. I hope we could do a lot more of that. 
Then it's time to do everything in your power to remove the one person who will never look at the universe this way - Trump and his followers. He's surrounded himself with sycophants who understand his world and play to his worst traits to gain favor - Nazi and racist sympathizers have gained a foothold in our government through feeding this Narcissist. Our country went through hell post Civil War to get to a better place. And now he's going back to satisfy the George Wallace, Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon , J Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn - and his fathers wing of America - and enabling those on the wrong side of American values to get their ounce of flesh for being told they were wrong. Well guess what? They were wrong then - they are wrong now - and sadly there are 30% of them still around that we have to deal with and they fight dirty just like the names I've mentioned before, they fight real dirty and play on the base fears of the 30%.  gain power by using fear and scare tactics - they aren't Americans. That's the part that Peggy Noonan doesn't get - she was part of that cabal. She might not have liked the views of those above but she rode in on their coattails to her perch. If anything she needs to make a major confession to that fact and then we can start clearing the air.

It's time to start fighting back on these people and making them crawl back into the hole they came from and if any pledge needs to be made it's by those politicians who continue to ply the fears of the 30% to power. They need to reject them for good and make them completely powerless.

 
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jon_mx

Footballguy
Hmm, you are challenging my thoughts cuz in all honesty I, as a white guy, have never felt this persecution.  
There are examples all the time.  The most recent being the whole Megyn Kelly incident.  Would a black person raising that question be fired for saying that?  It is not about seeing it personally, but many people see these cases as unfair.  

 

dutch

Footballguy
Yeah, see, this is just it, I take no umbrage at not being able to slight others just cuz they don't like something.  As a straight, white, Male I am in the most protected class in all of American society, I have advantages over every other subset and dont get bothered by other groups fighting for what I have by virtue of who I am.

 
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timschochet

Footballguy
Blacks can say anything about whites and it is OK. 
Joe, if you’re looking for reasons why it’s so difficult to achieve the understanding you’re hoping for, the above post is a good one. 

Also, you mentioned empathy. I strive for empathy all the time. And Jon mx is a guy I like around here, a guy I’ve often defended even though my political views are very different from his. But do you understand why I have so much trouble being empathetic to a comment like this one? 

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
There are examples all the time.  The most recent being the whole Megyn Kelly incident.  Would a black person raising that question be fired for saying that?  It is not about seeing it personally, but many people see these cases as unfair.  
TV is a little different. Her ratings are bad and they were about to crater. Fair’s got nothing to do with it.

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
Yeah, see, this is just it, I take no umbrage at not being able to slight others just cuz they don't like something.  As a straight, white, Male I am in the most protected class in all of American society, I have advantages over every other subset and spot get bothered by other groups fighting for what I have by virtue of who I am.
You are in the minority.  Most whites do not believe they have gained anything by their so-called white previledge.  They see minorities getting into colleges with much lower test scores.   They see favoritism in government hiring and contracts based on minority status.  They see quotas from companies in their hiring policies.   They see whites being crucified by the PC police.  Concepts of institutionalized racism which are just accepted by the left, are not widely held by many on the right including the majority of whites.  

 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
I'd be more than happy for for Republicans to stop scapegoating the powerless and inciting violence and for Democrats to be civil to people who stopped scapegoating the powerless and inciting violence. 

Who could even argue with that?

 

jomar

Footballguy
Blacks can say anything about whites and it is ok.  Whites, especially conservatives, are walking on eggshells everytime they open their mouth on issues concerning blacks.  How exactly is that equal?
things aren't equal and they've never been equal, but not at all in the direction you claim.  you might want to read some articles on former white supremacists who have come to see that they were wrong.  the views you spout are what white supremacists use to get white americans riled up and empathize with racists.  its a recruiting tactic.  it concerns we when I hear it come from the mouths of family, friends and coworkers.  if you can't see why black people and other minorities are a little more sensitive to racism, I'm not sure what to tell you.

 

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