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Why is the U.S. presidential campaign generating so many vitriolic comments from supporters of both sides, including readers of Japan Today? Why is it so difficult for some people to be tolerant of op

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I think its fair to say that MOST people are not tolerant of opposing views. We just express our biases differently. In addition to that the views of people can be so polar opposites that its impossible to relate to each other. But being behind the safety of a computer can sometimes bring out sides to people they rarely show in public.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because liberals can't stand not having one of their own in the White House.

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

American politics is more polarized than any other country. You have voters who are so rabid in their support for the Republicans or Democrats that they are incapable of conceding that the other party might have decent people. Sometimes it's even generational ("My father was a Republican, his father was a Republican and so on.") It's weird.

In my country (Australia), I have voted for candidates from different parties in many elections. I was never obsessed with one party. I evaluated the candidates' policies and voted for the ones who I thought would be good for the country. Of course, there was lots of mud-slinging, always has been been and always will be.

The U.S. campaign would be less vitriolic if it were shorter. Do away with primaries and caucuses. Each party holds a convention in July, they choose their candidate and then have a three-month campaign (instead of the current two years when it seems to start). The British and Australian parliamentary systems, for all their faults, are much better at election processes.

In the end, it doesn't really matter who is elected president. He or she can't stop terrorism, defeat IS, stop global warming, fix the economy or anything else. No one leader can do any of those things, so all the rhetoric is meaningless. "Make America great again." What does that mean exactly? When was America great and when did it stop being great?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Hey, Hey now.... With this Presidential election I am switching parties. Most people in the world do tolerate opposing views as long as things do not get physical. But that doe not mean we have to live these opposing views without speaking our own minds.... Freedom Of Speech.....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Tony Alderman. What world have you been living in? Take a look at the last 7 years and you will see that the exact same is true of the GOP. They are even worse. They are always the ones who start the mud slinging.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

We need to learn to disagree with others without being disagreeable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Quite simply because the American people have been sold out time and time again by their incompetent so-called 'leaders'!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Why is it so difficult for some people to be tolerant of opposing views?

The easy answer is that some opposing views can be unpalatable at best, and potentially dire threats at worst.

It depends really on the views, how thay are articulated and also by whom.

In the present US presidential election campaign climate, some Republican views are quite simply scary. On the other hand, Bernie Sanders' more humanistic views would be understandably opposed by various moneyed, corporate and other interests, who also might see those ideas as scary.

And I haven't even gotten onto religious aspects yet.

About people in JT being intolerant, well, as mentioned it depends on the view, and it also depends on who any individual is who responds by posting antipathetic comments.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The reason is because there are only 2 parties in the US. With only 2 choices, it immediately becomes a tribal mentality with an "us vs them" tinge. With more parties there are more options to move around and choose a party with policies attractive to you.

Why there aren't more than 2 parties in the US is truly baffling, but understandable if Yanks are unable to comprehend more than 2 options

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Divide and conquer. Works every time.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I think the reason is because so many people are scared. Some researchers have suggested there has been more change in the last 20 years than in the last 200. We have been living in constant whitewater for decades and long-held programs and values are being erased and it's scaring the bejeezus out of people and when people are afraid they get mean. Add to that incompetency of our current political system and its leaders and it's natural that there is going to be some nastiness.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For many takers the threat of cutting back on taxpayer handouts is terrifying. They will fight, scream, shout and do anything they can to maintain their access to other peoples' money.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Answer to both questions: Participation Trophy Syndrome. Give the whiners a safe space so they can suck their thumbs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TravelingSales. Are you speaking of taxpayer handouts to the needy or to the ultra-wealthy and corporations?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why is it so difficult for some people to be tolerant of opposing views?

Back in '08, it was very difficult (for me) to accept "change."

So today, when the Left hear Trump, its understandable that its difficult for them too.

Why is the U.S. presidential campaign generating so many vitriolic comments from supporters of both sides, including readers of Japan Today?

America will still be great whether it be Clinton / Trump sitting in Oval Office. On JT, most westerner posters are Liberal. So when they clash with Republican supporters, pro-guns, anti-LGBT, anti-illegal immigration, pro-military etc. Expect those vitriolic comments.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

All handouts. That's why Goldman Sachs is paying hundreds of thousands to Hillary but not to Cruz or Trump. Hillary will keep the corporate welfare coming. Cruz won't. Trump - who knows.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think it is good that people are shocked and dismayed by the rise of Trump. I encourage everyone to read the following link. Don``t just read the title. It is a very well written article. http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/what-will-trump-presidency-look-rise-nazis-pretty-good-guide

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The question is based on false premise. Elections and especially US elections always generate these kinds of comments. Political party hacks always view the world in terms of "our team" (which they never criticize) against the "bad guys" (which from the comments you'd think represent satan himself. Sad, but I guess it is human nature.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It was just as vitriolic on JT when Bush ran against Kerry. Even more so, I'd wager. We just have selective memories, is all.

Not a fan, necessarily, though of this particular "Have Your Say." If the posters pass a certain threshold in the vitriol, then the JT mods usually catch it and toss the post out.

May as well make the question, "Why can't we all just get along?"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The political scene has always been rather nasty. If you look 200 years back, the campaigns were possibly even more strewn with personal attacks and slander. The difference now is the media and internet coverage. The level of scrutiny of every word and gesture of each candidate is scary.

I have noticed that tolerance has disappeared. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing about issues. The problem happens when you try to shut down the voices of those you disagree with. Disrupting events, interrupting speakers, mindless violence, etc. are all the tools of the desperate and the ignorant. They are also unfortunately mostly the tools of the radical left.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With more parties there are more options to move around and choose a party with policies attractive to you.

That would only cause more divisions. (United States) "United" means just that -unity.

Look! Its hard enough with (R) vs (D) or the "tribal" mentality you mention. @dcog. There's an acronym: KISS. It means Keep It Simple Stupid. It works well (obviously) in american politics.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Why is the U.S. presidential campaign generating so many vitriolic comments from supporters of both sides,

Simply put, it's not. You've got one side saying Mexicans are theives and rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, women can't think straight when they're on their periods, and that people who oppose Trump are weak, politically correct, holding they country back, and should be beaten. You can see that rhetoric filtering into comments on this very thread. Then you've got the other side saying what, that bigotry is wrong and reductionist views of the world are overly simplistic… hardly both sides spewing vitriol.

including readers of Japan Today?

Because you choose to cover it. This is a Japan-centered site, but hardly a day goes by without a repost of American news, not to mention features and opinion pieces analyzing the US election without even paying lip service to informing us how this impacts Japan. In a nutshell, Japan Today has intentionally used the anger and controversy of the US election to generate page views and therefore revenue, and then after going out of its way to attract an audience that enjoys that kind of conflict, implies the bad atmosphere is some moral failing of its user-base and not a consequence of conscious decisions of site managment.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

There are many reasons, as can be seen in the comments. One thing is unusual this year - The leaders of both parties Clinton and Trump have very high negatives. 75% of the population, maybe more, would agree that it would be better if NEITHER of these are elected. Too bad we can not get together and pick SOMEBODY ELSE.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Augh, even the Have Your Say question of the day is being written by Agence France Press now?

And moderated by a relative of Donald Trump!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is definitely vitriol from both sides, but the vitriol from more liberal politicians and voters, and commentors on this site, is in reaction to comments from the right, which are vitriolic to begin with. You can see that clearly in terms of the debates between candidates in both parties: the GOP is an absolute circus, with them attacking each other viciously about smell, sweat, femininity, etc., whereas with some exceptions the debate between the Democratic nominees has been quite civil and they talk about what has been done, what they will do, etc.

Katsu puts it best: "Simply put, it's not. You've got one side saying Mexicans are theives and rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, women can't think straight when they're on their periods, and that people who oppose Trump are weak, politically correct, holding they country back, and should be beaten. You can see that rhetoric filtering into comments on this very thread. Then you've got the other side saying what, that bigotry is wrong and reductionist views of the world are overly simplistic… hardly both sides spewing vitriol."

Bang on!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Smith;

On the other side, you have lots of name calling too: xenophobe, bigot, Tea Bagger, Rethuglican, idiot, etc. The big difference is that left leaning folks find it hard to disagree without making moral judgments. The other side isn't just wrong, they are also bad. Makes it hard to have a civil discussion.

Also, only one side is actively trying to silence the voice of the other. It is quite scary to see this kind of Orwellian reaction to a political disagreement. The answer to speech you disagree with is MORE speech, not the heckler's veto.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

cuz PC

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Americans are fed up with the status quo. Change is in the air and right or wrong Americans will fight for that change. God bless the U.S.A.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Why, because what people believe, religiously, politically, ethically, morally is important.

We don't live in isolation from one another, and the ideas others have lead to actions, actions that can have serious consequences for those around them.

Of course we all have bias, but there is a difference between bias and plain ignorance, racism, sexism, fear mongering...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Even as a non-American I can see how Donald Trump has reduced the presidential elections to some kind of freak show, with every rally more bonkers than the previous one. I mean the man actually encourages hecklers to be beaten... how is a person like that good for America? America already has a reputation for being aggressive... with Trump in command... I don't want to think what would happen. It's too frightening.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Americans are fed up with the status quo

Except for those Americans who support the status quo, plus those who can't be bothered about it all, plus the other 200,000,000 or so who have a wide range of opinions. Included in that 200,000,000, 2/3 of the population, are those tired of one group saying their perspective is one of two possible perspectives: ours (the imaginary American us), and wrong (them).

The US, with the possible exception of WW2, has never stood as a singular society; it's always been factionalized and fractured. The US is an ethnically diverse and complex conglomeration of peoples who will always remain splintered.

What should scare people are those politicians, regardless of whether they've ever held elective office, who claim they can make America great again, return the country to some mythical past (which they can't describe), those politicians who orchestrate mass movements preying on the anger and fears of alienated peoples.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

There is no sense to be made of it, the appeal seems to be some subhuman pre-socialital fear that people that seem different, ideas, appearance etc are going to come take all your stuff and ruin "their" country.

Idiocracy much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Human nature makes people intolerant of opposing views in this election. Opposing views are what allow people to think and dig in deeper, investigate and make better decisions. Hitler, PolPot, Stalin, Bush and many other leaders always controlled the thoughts of people by blatant use of the eraser for anyone opposed to what they thought.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

From my distant view it seems: Democrats are campaigning based on (possibly foolish) hope of change i.e. Changing healthcare, changing education costs, changing gun laws, changing taxes

Republicans are campaigning based on (possibly foolish) fear of change i.e. Dont change healthcare, dont change education costs, DEFINITELY dont change gun laws or taxes

And then Trump is campaigning based on the (possibly foolish) hatred that Americans have for just about everything (current POTUS, muslims, mexicans, china etc)

All three groups campaigning based on mutually exclusive premises, so its obvious this will bring massive divisions with it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Forgot to capitalize to make it more obvious that the three groups are HOPE, FEAR and HATRED

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The vitriol has come mainly, if not exclusively, from the Republicans and primarily about other Republicans. The vitriolic style was codified by Trump, who is now talking about beating up protesters. (Kansas cops did one better: the pepper sprayed people ant-Trump protesters.)

As far as being tolerant of others' beliefs go, I must as how you can be tolerant of someone as Hitlerian as Trump or the assorted Republican Bible beating born agains who wish to take away our human rights, be it by defunding Planned Parenthood or supporting "religious freedom" by allowing discrimination against LGBT people or mixed race couples (my category). I don't want to be tolerant of such people. I don't want to be nice to them. I do not want to hear what they have to say. I want to keep them out of power.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I was just mentioning this factoid to my J wife. She has no opinion about this. I'm really surprised by the anti-Hillary ones who called her 'Hitlery'. I mean, come on, these online hate! I find Trump rather obnoxious but if Americans want to vote him as GOP candidate, he must have something they like about him. My take is he will 'break some rules' to deal with ISIS, North Korea & China unlike the rule-obeying previous Presidents. The end justify the means, especially on North Korea and China.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

attilathehungry: "On the other side, you have lots of name calling too: xenophobe, bigot, Tea Bagger, Rethuglican, idiot, etc. The big difference is that left leaning folks find it hard to disagree without making moral judgments. The other side isn't just wrong, they are also bad. Makes it hard to have a civil discussion."

If you want a perfect contrast in how the attitudes are, look at the first two comments. The first is by a more left-leaning person. The second is clearly by someone on the right (hence the 'liberals' part). I don't have to tell you which is more open-minded, and which is not.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Because people are sheep.

For countless years the political establishment has operated under the principle of "divide and conquer". By dividing people into opposing groups by creating social issues, and then playing to support or abolish these issues, the people are made to fear that issues they have been conditioned to love or hate will be taken away or forced upon them.

This method of rulership goes back thousands of years, yet most people are fooled into taking one side or another, to the peril of both sides, and to the benefit of the ruling class.

Maybe it is out of place to quote Hitler, but he had an interesting saying about politics; "What a wonderful thing for rulers than men are stupid". In this one thing, he was undeniably correct.

Examples?

The vitriol has come mainly, if not exclusively, from the Republicans and primarily about other Republicans.

or

Because liberals can't stand not having one of their own in the White House.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

crapaphat:

" The vitriolic comments towards now POTUS has been the worst ever. "

Simply not true. The most hysterial attacks that I have ever seen in US politicas were directed against GWB. And amazingly they are STILL going on. That is really impossible to beat. Do you think anybody will write hysterial attacks against the current potus 7 years from now?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Do you think anybody will write hysterial attacks against the current potus 7 years from now?

No, because 7 years will show just how excellent this president was. Same as how seven years has shown just how bad Bush was.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Strangerland:

" No, because 7 years will show just how excellent this president was "

LOL! Thanks for a comical interlude.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is definitely an element of voyeurism in ppl being so passionate about this us campaign, Trump being obviously the catalyst. He is a magnet not only for US voters but also us non americans as its almost surreal to have a guy like this in a general elections.

And its just hard to be measured when you have polarising, controversial candidates like hillary, trump or cruz. If we get a kasich vs bernie final, which we won't, it will be back to platitudes and measured comments from all. You cant be measured when you talk about the other 3.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I find hilarious is that a word meaning open-minded and/or generous has become an insult directed at those who oppose the Republican views in general and Trump in particular. I mean 'liberal' is a positive word, and yet it's being bandied about in America as if it's a bad thing.

Certain JT posters are infamous now for using the word to describe anyone who doesn't sleep with the US flag as a cover and a rifle/handgun at the ready. If we had politicians like Trump in the UK we'd be in a worse state than we are now...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think only the viciously partisan make the really outrageous attacks. The Trump as Hitler and Sanders as Stalin nonsense. This stuff should be called out, ridiculed for what it is and then discarded.

Nothing wrong with a good, feisty debate as long as it doesn't sink into stupidity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think many people lead unhealthy lives and/or eat poor quality food or just make poor food choices. The basic would be more Omega 3 (non-inflammatory fats) and less Omega 6 (fast food, chips etc). =Poor liver and brain function leads people to anger, violence, and making poor choices. Metals like lead (coal burning), mercury (coal, amalgam fillings) are even in the water for many people. = a short circuit state to hate.

Then you have a media egging these people on trying to get them in trouble. Or you have a media that just outright lies so the real truth is constantly changing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzRyxmL2aTY (Michelle Fields claims)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's called inverted fascism. SOME are waking up to it, but some still trust the MSM. The MSM is the main tool of the divide and conquer strategy, of course not in all aspects of the news(this point is necessary for those still stuck in their sphere), politically pitting one set of morals and beliefs against the other, and then there is ever powerful consumption/distraction part.

The Bush-Clinton families may potentially occupy the White House for a staggering 28 out of 36 years. The narrowing ideological gap between the policies of major political parties reflects the decay of the nation’s democratic system.

In America, corporations exert strong influence over the state for the benefit of a wealthy minority. In fact, over the last few years, the top thirty American companies spent more money on lobbying politicians than they paid in federal taxes, according to a report from the non-partisan reform group, called Public Campaign. This is a key pillar of an inverted fascist democracy: coercive hard power tactics have given way to soft power corporate coup’s of American politics.

The richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the majority of 150 million Americans combined. Truth is, America has shown that free markets and free elections simply cannot co-exist. Corporate campaign contributions become votes; thus, the poor are politically marginalized. Money becomes speech, muzzling the poor. How can capitalism and democracy co-exist, if one concentrates wealth and power in the hands of few, and the other seeks to spread power and wealth among many? Organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/07/the-death-of-american-democracy/

Go Trump!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It's called inverted fascism. SOME are waking up to it, but some still trust the MSM. The MSM is the main tool of the divide and conquer strategy, of course not in all aspects of the news(this point is necessary for those still stuck in their sphere), politically pitting one set of morals and beliefs against the other, and then there is ever powerful consumption/distraction part.

That's so true. For the past eight years, Fox has been using divide and conquer on the American people, telling them that Obama is evil, the poor are evil, the left is evil, and that all of these groups are coming for the right's jobs and money. This has been driving the right-wingers into a rabid frenzy, that resulted in Trump. The Fox MSM should be ashamed of itself, but they don't even realize that this is their fault.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Of course Obama is coming for our money - he doesn't hide it - "spread the wealth" etc.

Fortunately Congress has blocked most of his attempts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why is the U.S. presidential campaign generating so many vitriolic comments

Owners' agenda: Divide and Rule.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because liberals can't stand not having one of their own in the White House.

People who post comments like this one are solely to blame.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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