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Old 12-28-2004, 01:56 AM   #1
danacara
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Culture of the Commonplace?

Got an email today from a guy who works as Bill Frist's Josh Lyman (if that makes sense to the political folk out there, ha). He's a charming man, incredibly articulate and smart, generally speaking. Here was his closing line:

"America has something of a culture of the commonplace. What you
will softly hear is the pressure to fit in. Don't sweat it."

I'm thinking about this - do you agree? Are we a culture of the commonplace, however you define that?
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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Yes, there is pressure in the business community to fit in at times. I avoid discussing politics with most busness associates because there is such strong feelings at time. I work with some very conservative business people including one of the top contributors to the Bush campaign (he is a ranger or a pioneer, whichever is the higher category) and it is safer to avoid politics and try to fit in.
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:48 PM   #3
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I think that people are trained in this country to "fall into line" in the school system. Take something like homeschooling and try to say that the schools do not know it all and all hell breaks out. I believe that American people are taught from an early age to conform. Anytime folks express an idea that is negative, or different than the main stream, they are labeled at best "troublemakers" and a lot worse!

disclaimer: I chose homeschooling as an example due to having experienced both condemnation of it (as an aunt in the 80's) and a proponent (participant) now. I did not use it to start a school argument!
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:55 PM   #4
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Yes. I think so.

I work in a very liberal environment (some of my co-works I would actually consider to be extremists on the left...one of them is downright scary, ie. thinks it's okay to bomb SUV sale lots because SUVs are gas guzzlers etc., burns books written by conservative authors etc., he also has hung up anti-Semitic and anti Isreal propaganda at his desk and not once has anyone told him to take it down. I was told to remove a small American flag and a photo from a paper of my friend in the marines from my desk.)

I would not be surprised if they'd start looking for reasons to fire me because I am a moderate conservative. There are only 4 other people in my office of over 70 that I am aware of as being non-liberal. 2 women and 2 men and me.

My boss has some rather nasty anti Bush posters and stickers up in her office and I didn't dare say a word about how unprofessional I thought it was. I had co-workers insult my beliefs to my face and never even stop for a second to think that maybe not everyone thinks like them.

There is an air of "think like us or get the hell out" in my office building.

By the way, I am not like a diehard right winger either. I'd say I'm 50/50.

ETA : Again, not trying to start a political debate. Just using this as an example of a place in my day to day life where I really DO NOT fit in and feel the pressure.
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meandtheguys2
I think that people are trained in this country to "fall into line" in the school system. Take something like homeschooling and try to say that the schools do not know it all and all hell breaks out. I believe that American people are taught from an early age to conform. Anytime folks express an idea that is negative, or different than the main stream, they are labeled at best "troublemakers" and a lot worse!

disclaimer: I chose homeschooling as an example due to having experienced both condemnation of it (as an aunt in the 80's) and a proponent (participant) now. I did not use it to start a school argument!
I think you hit the nail on the head. (and home schooling is a great example, BTW). We are a country of fads, of fitting in, of not being different. We used to be "rugged individualists" but no more.
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Old 12-28-2004, 03:42 PM   #6
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I call it the dumbing down of America.
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:35 PM   #7
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Absolutely, and it is most evident in everyone who tries to be politically correct. No one states an opinion anymore for fear they'll insult someone.
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