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To think all this left wing vs right wing stuff is escalating?

(115 Posts)
rubydoobydoo Fri 26-Jun-20 01:49:51

I've always been of the opinion that I don't care about a person's politics, all I care is if they're a twat or not. I've always had non-twatty friends with various political leanings which has never been an issue but recently things seem to have changed and you either have to be one or the other - and it's turning previously non-twatty people into compete twats!

I don't identify as either, but recently it suddenly seems to be causing massive divisions with lots of people when it just never came up previously!

Has it always been like this and I've been living in a world of my own until now? It's like the right wing people think all left wing people are one block who think exactly the same about everything and vice versa and I just don't get it?

I'm probably not articulating well here but I've seen so many arguments lately that I'm sure never would have happened about ten years ago and society seems to be getting so much more divisive.

OP’s posts: |
Nihiloxica Fri 26-Jun-20 01:55:05

I don't identify as either

Yeah, that's not allowed any more. You have to pick a tribe and go along with their positions on everything.

rubydoobydoo Fri 26-Jun-20 02:01:12

Damn, I'm probably slightly more to the left but I don't think they'd let me in!

OP’s posts: |
Nihiloxica Fri 26-Jun-20 02:09:12


Damn, I'm probably slightly more to the left but I don't think they'd let me in!

Oh God, they definitely wouldn't.

"Slightly more to the left"?

You might as well be Hermann Goering.

You probably shouldn't be allowed to keep your job since you are obviously a fascist.

rubydoobydoo Fri 26-Jun-20 02:15:46

Just because I don't think all tory voters are thick and racist? I'd best hand in my notice!

OP’s posts: |
Nihiloxica Fri 26-Jun-20 02:18:43


Just because I don't think all tory voters are thick and racist? I'd best hand in my notice!

No. Please submit yourself to being hounded out in the preferred manner.


Bluebooby Fri 26-Jun-20 03:29:57

Yes very divisive. People are so quick to judge and to assume bad intentions. It's horrible to see. It's making me stressed.

ClutterbuckFarm Fri 26-Jun-20 04:33:08

I agree with you but I think this is being played out on social media more than it is in real life. Social media would have us believe the world is a very different place to what it actually is.

tobee Fri 26-Jun-20 04:35:34


I agree with you but I think this is being played out on social media more than it is in real life. Social media would have us believe the world is a very different place to what it actually is.


letmethinkaboutitfornow Fri 26-Jun-20 07:23:45

For me it started with the Brexit referendum. It’s gone downhill ever since.
Everything is so polarised.
You either have to be one OR the other... 🤔

(So I don’t think YABU or alone with it 😔)

tilder Fri 26-Jun-20 07:33:02

I think people feel free to say what they want on SM. So in some ways, it's a more accurate reflection of reality. Assuming we are all on SM.

Things are very polarised at the moment. It's horrible. At least we have a non political source of news in the BBC. Which seems to be equally loathed by left and right. Media in the US is appalling, completely for one side of the other. The difference in reporting on the same story is phenomenal.

But yes. I agree. Comrade Jeremy would not want you unless you were signed up to everything.

Linguaphile Fri 26-Jun-20 07:37:29

I agree. In the US it’s even worse, with even the most mundane stuff being immediately polarized. Both sides accuse you of horrible things if you don’t tow the entire party line. It’s actually been causing me a lot of anxiety recently.

Camomila Fri 26-Jun-20 07:37:48

I agree with you but I think this is being played out on social media more than it is in real life.

YY, I think it real life people are politer and rub along better. Also, lots of people never bring up politics. I've been friends with the ladies I did NCT with for almost 5 years now and we've talked about everything from breastfeeding probs, to worries about the kid's development, to worries about elderly parents...still have no idea who most of them vote for.

kojolo Fri 26-Jun-20 07:40:11

Definitely true on social media. But I don't think actual conversations with human beings in person have changed much. Except we all have an edge of terror now because of SM!

The thing is there are a few absolute maniacs on social media driving most of this. Most people, grown up people, take one look and think: I'm not touching that! And so don't say anything. All you see on SM is the people talking, not the people NOT engaging, so it gives you a really false impression of what 'everyone' is thinking, doing, and saying. And it also means we are leaving our kids to be socialised by those people, which is a problem.

It's a bit like if you could ONLY see the madman ranting on the street corner and not any of the commuters and shoppers.

BelleSausage Fri 26-Jun-20 07:41:23

I agree.

Ironically, giving the medium we’re chatting through, I think people need to talk to a greater range of people in real life and stop reading crap opinion pieces on the internet.

I give myself 30 mins of social media in the morning and have deleted Facebook and Twitter. They are basically screaming, angry rows at all times.

And it is starting to spill over offline.

Alchemila Fri 26-Jun-20 07:44:50

I think it probably has come to the fore, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

The BLM movement is one of the most significant, if not the most significant, civil rights movement in living memory for me, and in recent times for most. It is raising awareness of issues which are long overdue for radical reform.

There is a hug backlash against this, in the media, online and in government. Right wing governments like the Trump administration and the Conservatives have a lot to gain from a culture war, because they see it as a good way to win over so-called ‘traditional’ voters who will not benefit from them economically. Brexit was a perfect example of this - despite the fact that it will leave most people in this country worse off, and nobody more worse off than those who are already economically disadvantaged, they won over that demographic in huge numbers in part because of their focus on ‘Britain first’, ‘taking back control’, anti-European and anti-immigrant rhetoric. You see it with Trump too - his deportations and his ‘Build the wall’.

So yes, right now there is a lot of entrenched opposition. But it is always so. In America, whenever there have been active KKK movements it has been in direct response to civil rights victories by black people.

It’s a long road and there will be peaks and troughs of opposition along the way, but the reason things feel so tense right now is because we’re on the cusp of change. It feels quite frightening to live through sometimes, but it’s because better days are coming.

Alchemila Fri 26-Jun-20 07:45:36

Hug backlash grin that would be nice. Meant huge, obviously.

BigBadVoodooHat Fri 26-Jun-20 07:50:42

I completely agree, OP. I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few years. It’s all down to SM, I think. I’ve come off SM apart from for work purposes as I found the aggressive tribal stances of friends who were generally very nice people IRL was making me feel negatively towards them.

The last two general elections, Brexit and Covid seem to have fuelled it massively. It seems that there is only one ‘correct‘ viewpoint and anyone who isn’t 100% in agreement, or who dares to ask a question, is harangued, insulted and bullied, and I’ve seen some dreadful pile-ons whereby some sort of dog-whistle attracts an onslaught of ‘re-education’ and abuse.

The last general election was particularly unpleasant. I’ve stepped back from two of my oldest friends because their relentless ‘if you vote for anyone other than X you’re a brain-washed, evil cunt, so please delete me off your fb asap’ posts were so aggressive and unpleasant I couldn’t reconcile that with the intelligent, funny, reasonable people I had known them to be for 20+ years.

Sadly I think it’s filtering down into ‘real life’ now too. sad

I’d guess that a large part of the issue is that 20 years ago we sat in pubs and had face-to-face discussions and debates. Now this all happens online, and in 5 seconds you can find an online article in support of your stance and use it to browbeat anyone who disagrees or asks questions. There’s no debate anymore, just ‘cancelling’.

[centre-left floater voter here, for full disclosure]

BertieBotts Fri 26-Jun-20 07:53:08

There is quite a good series about this on a website called Wait But Why at the moment. It's not finished though and it's really long, almost a small book! Bit worth a read if you're interested/concerned about this.

kojolo Fri 26-Jun-20 07:55:49

Oh definitely get off FB and Twitter, in particular. They are deranging.

I think Twitter is just over, really. It's just bots and trolls. (And for some reason, politicians, who seem to think their electorate are bots and trolls.) grin

ballroompink Fri 26-Jun-20 07:55:54

It is absolutely getting worse and has been since 2016. It is stressing me out seeing people I care about get deeper into these ridiculously polarised rabbit holes of conspiracies, usually fuelled by Facebook posts and groups.

Blackforesthotchoc Fri 26-Jun-20 07:57:00

I think that there are fewer and fewer areas where politics does not intrude. I personally find it irritating - no area now in which one can enjoy life without being in belated, hectored etc. I think it creates a stressful mental environment for a lot of people.

Blackforesthotchoc Fri 26-Jun-20 07:57:30

*should say berated

BigBadVoodooHat Fri 26-Jun-20 07:59:59

Thanks Bertie, I’ll check that out.

I do worry about the influence of this on my DC. They’re too young for SM just yet, but it won’t be long and I don’t want their formative years to be influenced by this polarised aggression.

Sadly my in-laws are some of the worst for this, so I’m going to have to ask them to tone it down. That’ll be a fun conversion - my MIL is a full-on political conspiracy theorist and doesn’t ‘do’ facts or discussion grin

sst1234 Fri 26-Jun-20 08:03:14

There was always a moderate and extreme right wing. Most people would just laugh at the extreme right and ridicule them, still true today.
There was a moderate left but now an extreme/hard left has sprung up and they are hijacking every cause they can, BLM for instance. This hard left is aggressive, and hides behind causes so they can’t be called out. If they are called out for being hard left, they will make it about one of those causes and accuse you of berating feminism or some other form of equality. This prevalence of the extreme left is doing the most damage to equality and society, that will be seen in decades to come.

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