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Position: progressives should spread optimism and positivity

From dKosopedia

"Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching." - Assyrian clay tablet dating to around 2800 B.C. [1]


Position: progressives should spread optimism and positivity

By "optimism" and "positivity" I mean the view that the human condition is better than in the past, is still getting better thanks to progressive ideas, and will continue to improve as long as progressive efforts continue.

Arguments for

Disadvantages of a pessimistic, negative culture

Conservative pseudopatriotic flag-waving is a perfect example of how negativity and nit-picking on the left results in conservatives taking credit for the work of progressives:

The United States of America has been the most exceptional thing ever to happen to humanity. I say this not out of reflex triumphalism or chauvinism, but as a simple matter of outcomes appraisal…. Alas, in a supreme irony, those who most fervently push this overall viewpoint in fevered generalities have also been the same folks responsible for severely damaging the American republic, far more than any enemy has in 150 years....Don't spurn American Exceptionalism, and thus leave the scoundrels with their last refuge unchallenged. Challenge them even over patriotism!'' [3]

Political Polarization

Negativity is a key part of political polarization. A polarized political environment is not a fertile one for progressive goals. See The Polarization Paradox. "Extreme polarization has served conservatives very well, driving moderate leaders from politics, promoting feelings of cynicism, inefficacy, and distrust among the public...disgust with politics, government, and "Washington." The resulting damage to our civic culture disproportionately harms liberals, whose core social and political objectives almost always entail government services, investments, and interventions in private markets.

Barack Obama wrote on DailyKos: I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate.

Evidence for Optimism

Pessimistic and negative narratives to debunk

Analytical Tools


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This page was last modified 13:32, 18 February 2014 by dKosopedia user PatriotismOverProfits. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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