Who has the right to say what? Are most people somewhere in the middle on the political divide?

The article I attached below got me thinking about how politized the world is. https://unherd.com/2021/09/the-lefts-science-denial/

The political divide in my country has gotten astronomically big over the past decade. There was a time in my life where people didn’t talk much about politics. One would meet and talk to people without a thought of what side of the politcal isle they stood on. However, in the past decade (more particularly the past 5 years), people seem to immediately label others as left or right. If you’re not left you must be right… and vise versa.

Free speech has always been a major right in my country. Everyone has a right to an opinion and has a right to voice that opion. Since 2020, especially with covid, right to free speech seems to be dwindling. Doctors and scientist were being silenced for having differing opinions on covid, books were being banned, speech being not only limited at times but also forced.

I myself have never been left or right (democrat or republican). I always thought for myself and never followed mob (cult) mentality. I always like certain positions from the left and right, but not all. I also despise certain positions from the left and right, but not all. I’ve always been pretty much an independent.

I think in part that the media and government actually want this divide in my country (and others) as its easier for them to rule a nation divided then one that is united…

You present as “independent”, but start with an article on a right-wing site criticizing the left.

The problem with this is that subjectively it is indistinguishable from simply being unaware of your biases.


I am registered as an independent. I find the extremes on both sides disturbing. I think there has been science denial on both sides, but attempted insurrection only from the right. That said, the left’s assault on allowing the other side a chance to be heard is also disturbing.


I think most people have just been caught up in a perfect storm of an explosion of digital information, irresponsible public figures and boredom. Here in the States you can really see the surge of energy of the past decade finally diminishing. Fuel sources for widespread activism (left or right) eventually run dry and then it takes time before the next wave comes in. So glad to see that here in the states. People assume the left vs right battle is an urban vs rural battle; a coast vs Midwest culture war, but what it really ended up being was families and friends losing one another in a shitstorm of emotion. People here are so spent from what they were willing to allow to come between themselves and others.


I think the only way to bring both sides back to sanity is for the sane to drop their party affiliations and force the two parties back to the center in order to get a majority.

I agree about the strife within families.


I agree… countless number of friendships lost and family members that now don’t speak b/c of propaganda pushed from the politcal sides.

The art of disagreeing and having a conversation is becoming lost.

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100% agree
I think the sane people would find that they agree more than disagree on many things!

Which kinda proves my point. Would you perfer a left wing site criticizing the right??

I’m not sure how thinking for oneself would be indistinguishable to one’s biasness.

Maybe i didn’t make myself clear. What I meant was that I am not a type of person that just believes things because I am told to believe them. If i can, i like to look at the information my self before i draw a conclusion.


We all have a responsibility to help end racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and ageism. We also have a responsibility to end gross economic inequality that needlessly causes mass suffering in society.

Hate speech and discrimination are harmful and should not be tolerated. Sweeping systemic inequalities under the carpet only creates the illusion of a peaceful society by trampling on the rights of others.

In my experience, most of the people complaining about how they no longer have “free speech”, are the types of people who bristle at the thought that they can no longer expect to be able to voice hate speech and misinformation with impunity.

And for that matter, people who complain about partisanship as the main problem, while ignoring the rights of marginalized groups, make their priorities and values very clear as well.


No, I would prefer a good-faith attempt to understand and acknowledge the perspectives you are representing.

Please understand, the world is full of people who claim to be “independent” and fans of “free speech”, not going with the “herd”, but time after time, when push comes to shove, they turn out to endorse extreme right-wing views. Elon Musk is merely the most prominent example of this right now. So when I see someone coming out with the same rhetoric, yet again, you can understand why I view it with a certain skepticism.

Thank you. I learned this during the great bhikkhuni kerfuffle. Those who adamantly and steadfastly opposed treating women as equal continually tried to reframe the issue as one of harmony, rather than of basic human rights and common decency. Since then I have noticed the same pattern play out time and again.


Well, from a Canadian perspective I can tell you that we saw a complete breach in US-Canada cooperative response to Covid19 and we are deeply thankful for the people in the US who fought to get the truth about SARS-Cov2 out to the public. Canada and the US had spent time developing a North American pandemic response based on H1N1, so we anticipated a good partnership, working together in an integrated fashion to deliver - the minimum required - public health strategy, at least … and that didn’t happen.

Instead, we encountered a major problem here with US right-wing, alt-right wing, and just general sick flying monkeys descending upon our media like a horde, trying to bend our politics, our elections, our actions. And then, the great copy cat storming of the capital, which, in response, our government had to invoke the Emergency Measures Act.

The USA was facing utter collapse of its democracy. People are not happy with you. You might want to step in the 21st century with a bit of style and deal with it.

The perspective i was trying to present was that the nation seems to be very divided by party right now. It’s as if people either have to be far left or far right.
Or all left or all right.

It’s ok if a liberal is for free speech and the 2nd amendment. It’s ok if a conservative believes in choice and the right for any two adults to be in love.

Not sure what Elon Musk’s veiws are (I always thought he was a democrat, shows how much i know…lol) but whatever they are he has the right to say them and i have the right to ignore them if i dont agree with them.

But i dont think many people really fall on the extreme ends of either end (left or right). I think people are closer to the middle of their perspective parties (the sane people that Raftafarian referenced) than the extreme ends. I think that if people actually talked to each and listened instead of shouting at each other and/ just trying to be right they may find out that they argree on more things than disagree.


“Left” in America? No. America is hard right. And that’s the politics you are trying to get people to agree on.

Not sure if you’re aware of this but our current president received more votes than any other president in our history and he’s a democratic.

America’s democratic party is not “left.” About the closest thing you have to left is Bernie Saunders. Obama has some left-wing influence in his background. But then, in general, “left” in the US resides in the black community, to reference a white influence there would be to mention the influence of Herbert Marcuse on groups like the Black Panthers.

I don’t know anyone who defines the United States as anything but hard right. America and Britain, with Reaganomics and Thatcherism. US gun running as a core economic activity, in particular. Hard Right.

If you’re talking about the US, then it has a centrist President, and a Democratic caucus overwhelmingly dominated by the centre-left.

Many of the policies that have been practically implemented or implicitly endorsed by the Democrats are in fact to the right of the policies followed by right wing parties in other developed nations. Obamacare is a good example: the signature Democrat policy of the past two decades, it is to the right of the health care systems of pretty much any other developed nation. Australia has universal health care, and not even the most right wing of our politicians are advocating to replace it with a US-style system.

Same thing for gun control, incarceration, military imperialism, minimum wage, labor rights, tertiary education fees, and a host of other issues. The things that progressive Democrats argue for, which in the US are cast as “far left”, are usually things that already exist in most other developed nations, and which are for the most part widely endorsed by parties left and right.

We had one mass shooting, and our right-wing Prime Minister John Howard immediately introduced strong gun control laws, and that was the end of that.

The problem in the US is not that there is partisanship, it is that the right wing has become so extreme it has fallen into madness.

So did many people! But he has drifted further to the extreme right, and recently has been sending (unsubtle) coded signals that align with Nazism.

Here are the receipts, courtesy of Eric diesel.



Has been that way for a long time. Bush escaped being charged for war crimes, but people haven’t forgotten that the US “legalized” torture. Canada paid $20 million to an individual here who was incarcerated in Guantamo after being caught in Afghanistan as a child soldier, and our hard right monster of a PM Stephen Harper did everything he could do to stretch our Constitution into the domain of illegality. Huge stink. Really precarious situation with the US.

Yup. Finally Canada has movement to actually collect guns and not simply make them against the law. Go online to all the BC gun worshipping sites and find … Americans … bragging about how they modified their guns once they brought them across the border, bragging about how they escape our laws.

Hurrah freedom.

I feel this topic ties into Bhante @Khemarato.bhikkhu 's Stop glorifying centrism thread. Somehow if you aren’t on either side of the political spectrum , you are in the sane and well-balanced, neutral center. Really? I find many people I know who say they aren’t for either left or right, overwhelmingly vote conservative ( I’ve noticed this within immigrant communities. When they first arrive in the country, they tend to lean towards socialist policies. If they aren’t distracted and ‘scared off’ by issues like gay, aboriginal or minority rights or teaching sex ed in schools touted by vote hungry conservative politicians, they overwhelmingly vote left. Once they settle down-i.e get wealthy, they make a hard right :roll_eyes::roll_eyes:. I don’t know if it’s the tax breaks or what, but it’s a very curious observation)

I’m unashamedly left in my politics. I don’t see any shame in admitting that when I see the alternative.


For anyone in this thread that hasn’t yet, I highly recommend the podcast and article linked in this thread.

One concept in the article I find quite useful is “reactionary centrist.”

Reactionary centrist (n) — Someone who says they’re politically neutral, but who usually punches left while sympathizing with the right.

Given we have a large-scale effort by Trump and his supporters to invalidate the 2020 election - despite a complete lack of evidence - it seems a bit disingenuous to talk about left-wing denialism as if that were the problem.