Pints and Politics: Time for Another Round?

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Founders (17,668) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    #1 BeerAdvocate, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2017
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  2. DovGibor

    DovGibor Initiate (146) Sep 18, 2015 New York

    Re: Pints and Politics.

    Mr. Crouch's article appears to advocate for discussion that in my experience has been frowned upon in this website's discussion threads. He is clearly suggesting such discussions out in the real world, not here, but it does strike me as having a small bit of irony that if one was to begin such a thread in reaction to this article, it would likely be flagged/shut down by the site moderators.

    The same reasoning Mr. Crouch uses to encourage "Respectful disagreement" in the pub could be applied to threads on this site. Disrespectful or disparaging discussion should be discouraged and I would not object to site mods policing such. However, if we accept Mr. Crouch's premise that reasonable political discussion can move us all towards a better future, why ban it outright here? I'll not bother repeating more of his article, just wanted to point out the apparent incongruity.

  3. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Poo-Bah (4,225) Nov 26, 2015 Nevada

    We pretend the community feeling is uniform, ignoring the homogeneous nature of our niche, which is largely populated by reasonably well-off white men. That reality, borne out by attendance at any beer event or in looking at the websites of almost any craft brewer or the Brewers Association itself, is self-evident and troubling.

    --What is self evident?
    --And why is it troubling?

    But the insular nature of the craft brewing community is a weakness, not a strength.

    --Why do you say that it is insular, much less a weakness?

    The industry needs a boost of cultural agility
    --Why do you say that? Aren't there like over 2000 breweries from all walks and regins of life in the USA alone?

    This is certainly an inviting safe space—a warm, comforting cocoon. But it’s also not healthy in the long term. Exposure to new experiences, thoughts, and realities is healthy. Respectful disagreement and engagement are healthy. Ultimately, even dissent is healthy.
    --Is this historically true though? Does BA have/had the reputation of more of a unilateral heavy handed moderation that found "disagreement, dissent etc. . ." as grounds for being eliminated for said disagreement/dissent?"

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,243) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio
    Premium Trader

    I like the overall tone and direction of the article. I agree with respectful disagreement as well as civility in discussion. Unfortunately respect and civility have obviously taken a backseat let alone an aftert
  5. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,681) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    You nailed down exactly what I came here to comment about. While the Code of Conduct doesn't explicitly state it, there is a clause at the bottom that could be interpreted that political discussion is not tolerated.

    Personally, I understand the need to discuss politics to develop a better understanding and at least interacting with various perspectives, but I fail to see how it relates specifically to beer or more importantly - this forum. After all, I found this forum to be a voice for better beer, and all that's associated with that - ingredients, brewing method, distribution, storage/cellaring, etc.

    If you want to discuss politics at the pub, go right ahead. I won't stop you. I may move away from you though as I like going out for a beer to discuss life, camping, cars, and tell jokes. I'll debate politics in other situations. Not while I'm enjoying a $8 pour.
  6. MikeyDD

    MikeyDD Initiate (76) Jul 2, 2014 Wisconsin

    I think the implicit distinction in the piece (at least how I took it) was to encourage in person, face-to-face discussions about politics or more weighty matters rather than beer, brewing and the like. Online debates (political ones in particular) seem to readily deteriorate into unproductive name-calling-laden drivel. For whatever reason people are more comfortable writing awful things on a message board that they world never say to someone's face. ...literally read ANY comment section to bssicaly any news story. Having challenging discussions in person, I'd argue, is more civil and hopefully more productive.
    ebin6, Brolo75, drtth and 2 others like this.
  7. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,681) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    I do agree that it implies more of real life instead of here, and that real life discussions do tend to be more lively and beneficial than online debates. I just find it a curious read after being in this community for at least a little while and seeing how folks react to political posts here (myself included).

    I also find it interesting that we've now been encouraged to stop taking notes and converse with strangers - and discuss politics in that conversation. It's no easy subject to broach, particularly with complete strangers at the bar. Beer is such an easy conversation to open up and follow along with considering both sides have something to offer since they're both enjoying craft beer at a nice bar. It's kinda like discussing MLB games at a game you go to, or talking coffee origins when you're enjoying a fresh pour over, or talking running tactics, recent races, shoes etc when you're running with a new group. Not all folks are well informed enough to engage in a meaningful political discussion with vetted information (myself included), although perhaps that would change if we had more discussions. Or perhaps more folks would become misinformed and mislead.
  8. WoogityBoogity

    WoogityBoogity Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2008 Florida

    I wonder if the women hanging out down at the salon wonder how they can attract more white men into their industry...or more importantly, if they find it "troubling"?

    This stupid, imaginary self-guilt is exactly why Trump won.
  9. rronin

    rronin Initiate (178) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    Politics has become entirely too toxic in the past twenty-odd years. I for one am grateful that BA is a safe haven for me from all the poison on the internet.
    Junior, PatrickCT, puck1225 and 6 others like this.
  10. 71CrazyOtto

    71CrazyOtto Initiate (142) Mar 30, 2010 Michigan

    Talking openly about politics now is more important then ever. Fascism is on the rise in the USA and Europe. They call themselves "Populist" to fool the gullible masses.
    Progress doesn't happen on this planet when people always bite their tongues in fear when politics come up in a social situation.
    Challenge the status quo when the status quo ain't working folks.
    Like most parents teach their children at a early age- use your words.
  11. sosbombs

    sosbombs Initiate (105) Jan 12, 2016 Vermont

    In a better day people knew not to discuss religion or politics.
  12. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,259) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Nothing I enjoy more than drinking beers and talking politics with my friends and family. Usually around a campfire. With that said,religion and politics are usually best to keep out of conversations with strangers you meet out in public however. Usually doesn't end well.

    I've sort of found that the nano/local brewery taproom demographics today (regardless of location) seem a little more homogenous than say a large regional or national brewery experiences from 10-20 years ago. Today also people tend to stay more in their small insular group converations where back at the brewery taprooms many years ago, there seemed to be alot more open conversation with lots of strangers and various types of people from all walks of life. Maybe I was just a more approachable person back then, who knows.
    PatrickCT, beergoot, eppCOS and 2 others like this.
  13. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (538) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona

    When exactly was this "better day" you speak of? I don't think a lack of discussion is going to make anything better. You might not want to engage with total strangers in those topics, but polite debate is a good thing for society.
    rodbeermunch likes this.
  14. sosbombs

    sosbombs Initiate (105) Jan 12, 2016 Vermont

    a better day was when people knew not to discuss religion or politics with strangers. It was a common rule of etiquette.
    TrojanRB, PatrickCT, beergoot and 3 others like this.
  15. GOBLIN

    GOBLIN Meyvn (1,243) Mar 3, 2013 Ohio
    Premium Trader

    I agree, why discuss politics and/or religion with someone you don't know . . . so we can become even more divided as a nation and society ? Forget that. I'm of the opinion that a healthy and mutually respectable relationship should already be firmly established before bringing up such potentially divisive subjects. Of course there are exceptions but I agree with your statement.
  16. SinjaminBentek

    SinjaminBentek Savant (946) May 14, 2014 Nebraska

    I'd like to hear your guy's thoughts regarding a brewery/pub taking a political stand. Perhaps by sponsoring a charity event that is clearly conservative, liberal or divisive...
  17. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Initiate (0) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    I find my own political views sharply divided from much of the posted material from the breweries and brewers I admire. I have no interest in talking politics with beer geeks (or with anyone for that matter), but discussions on beer styles are certainly welcomed. Just like talking about beer with a politically like minded friend who drinks only Bud Light would be avoided. We will just agree to disagree.
  18. sosbombs

    sosbombs Initiate (105) Jan 12, 2016 Vermont

    That is a risky proposition for any business. You obviously risk pissing off about 50% of your customers. I just don't get it. There is a brewery in PA that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole and I spread the word whenever I can.
  19. eppCOS

    eppCOS Crusader (703) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    It seems like even in-person (political) discussions today simply mimic the same "virtual" friends group we have on-line and in social media. I have to do better myself at mingling with others that I don't immediately know, and it's tough if you are a natural introvert, or you're tired of people who discuss points of view from ideology without any real evidence, data, or perspective. Few people actually want to learn these days...or they'll pretend they're interested, and then you see the veil drop over the eyes and nothing changes. But I think there is a need for in-person discussions on difficult subjects. We can't expect politicians to "do their elected job" if we cannot engage with each other as citizens.
    Social media, mass media, and the various sources of information these days have also polluted any notion of what counts as actual and factual information. As an educator, it is pretty disheartening to also witness the decline of (mass) public education, to see the rise of magnet, charter, and voucher systems that bleed off people from overall schools. This simply reproduces the same echo chamber segmented population we now see forming among adults. I get it - "people want the best for their kids" - but if we are not putting the next generation together in a learning environment, then those same kids will learn differently about the same material.
    Maybe it's safest to stick to coffee and tea when it comes to politics (or religion, or sex) these days. An interesting piece, however...
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  20. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2013 California

    Agree, it is an interesting piece. I do believe in political/social/cultural/religious discourse but I believe the internet is the worst place to do so. I much prefer engaging with others in person. Even that is difficult because our current political/cultural/social climate is very heated and any disagreement tends to result in name calling instead of discussing the why and how of our disagreements. As a conservative Hispanic I have been called a coconut by other Hispanics, brown on the outside, white on the inside. Very unfortunate. Great post, cheers!
    beergoot, SinjaminBentek and VABA like this.
  21. Beginner2

    Beginner2 Poo-Bah (2,254) Feb 14, 2016 Illinois

    It was good of BA to run this article again. But little has changed in 16 months. The same 35% of the country that supported Trump still does. (Historically the Presidential honeymoon has twice that support.) Judging from those stiff battle lines, I am skeptical that BA can do much to get the US on track.

    But, beer can be a mystery. So if BA wants to try, it should setup a separate group with special rules and anyone participating takes a pledge. Since that requires site supervision, make it part of Premium membership. One rule I'd make is that every opinion needs to consider both sides and, then, offer a new solution. Beer is better when it stimulates thought.
  22. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    Say that again. Fascists running riot all over university campuses, intolerant of conservative ideas, forcing deans to give in to their feverish demands, labelling anyone who disagrees with them a nazi or fascist.
    sosbombs, Skabiski, TrojanRB and 2 others like this.
  23. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    In a "better" day that silence was used to subjugate entire races and genders, I personally prefer the somewhat uncomfortable discussions over that past.
  24. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    People really through the word fascist today just with no regard for the historical context. Idealistic and somewhat unruly youth protesting every second of every day aren't fascist, in fact the one area you can reasonably point to and identify fascist like tendencies are in the extremely nationalistic right wing parties in the US and Europe.
  25. eppCOS

    eppCOS Crusader (703) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Sigh. This is the kind of exchange we don't really need more of, anywhere, much less on BA. Fascism is a government ideology designed to serve corporations and corporate interests... that was Mussolini's Italy, and what we see today (emerging) in the U.S. (for better or worse, whether you/i/we like it or not).
    But to call students on campuses "fascists" is a bit odd, since they're really just concerned about alt-right movements and not simply "conservative ideas." Colleges and universities are actually very conservative institutions and it takes years, if not decades, for curricula to change. I have plenty of colleagues with conservative ideas. I even have many of my own... this isn't a set pattern where we seek to indoctrinate anyone. Seriously.
    There are protests, petitions, student sit-ins, yes... but that's part of democracy, part of our institutional education. How do you effect changes otherwise?
    As someone who teaches on a liberal arts college campus, I don't see this as fascist, but I do see it as a problematic over-inflation of identity politics when students perceive "traditional" requirements as excluding intellectual contributions from other people other than dead white guys. And before you jump all over me, I'm a white guy.
    So, let's throttle this back a little, be precise (just a wee bit?)... and focus on beer.
    We can have civil discussions. Or we can overreact. I'll choose the former. Cheers, have a great day you two...
    Duckaduck, Jaycase, bret717 and 4 others like this.
  26. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Democrats today practice identity politics as it relates to race, gender, and sexual orientation. Republicans play identity politics as it relates to national identity and weaponize a morphed sense of patriotism. Neither practice is right, and it's exactly what deepens our divide as a nation. These parties use our worst base instincts against us, I mean how can two political parties be on different sides on literally EVERY single issue? It's to further sow division, which keeps the status quo in tact. Even our "outsider" candidates ran on party lines basically.
  27. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    Yeah, but the term has long been used for anyone demonstrating authoritarian and intollerant attitutes towards other groups. I mean, you don't see grammar Nazis wearing SS uniforms.
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  28. eppCOS

    eppCOS Crusader (703) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Right, it never ceases to amaze me how "binary" American politics is in general, compared to other countries. This/that, black/white, right/wrong... leaves little room for accommodating third, fourth, or even 18 different perspectives. Crippling. Cheers.
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  29. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Why nothing will ever truly change until we break free from the 2 party system George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison feared most. Mandatory voter registration and civic education would be nice to see too!
  30. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Long used incorrectly, the situation you bring up is more moblike group think than outright fascism. The political ambitions and demands between censor happy liberal youth and textbook fascism couldnt be more different.
  31. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    But you can exhibit fascistic behaviour without being a proponent of Fascism (with a capital F).
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  32. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,349) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    I try to avoid politics when at a bar or with friends. Drinking and hanging out is my down time, I don't want to think, argue, debate I just want to relax from the week, etc. I understand what the article is saying but I think most would agree when they go out to the bar/pub they want to relax, not debate laws and current issues. Not to mention usually a argument results and mixing booze and anger = bad day out lol.

    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  33. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Complete agreement, but i tend to prefer the use of the phrase "fascist like tendencies" for somewhat obvious historical reasons. And fascistic directly implies right wing doesn't it? Can extreme leftist fervor be fascistic? I think it's an interesting debate for sure!
  34. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (836) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I agree that more people need to hear things that make them uncomfortable and that challenge their beliefs.
  35. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (836) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Actually, the internet is the best place to do it because the exchanges don't have the opportunity to degenerate into yelling and violence. Words can be appreciate for what they are. Ideas.
    rodbeermunch and IPAExpert69 like this.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,647) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @DovGibor, there is a fair bit of political discussion in this thread and it has not been closed (yet). What do you think about that?

  37. Ambers_Ambers

    Ambers_Ambers Initiate (25) Dec 3, 2016 Virginia

    x2. Poured out what I had, politely refuse when offered and engage people drinking it to ensure they know what they are supporting. For the same reason I gladly pay the snob tax for Patagonia gear, because I firmly believe in the causes they help fund, I'll put my wallet away for businesses that support causes I find abhorrent.

    To each their own both politically and religious affiliation, but if you enter the realm of activism you reap the benefits and the cost as a package deal.
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  38. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Everyone (businesses are included they are technically people too :stuck_out_tongue: ) have the right to express themselves however they like. A political leaning of said business doesn't change my views on their product, but it can break a tie between a rival business. Take Chick fil a, it's run by bigots but they make great chicken. Line is a mile long regardless. Beer in my mind is no different, if you base all of your purchasing decisions on political thought you are totally going to miss out, and you take things WAAAYYY too seriously.
  39. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (836) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    As has been said before, if you choose to draw this line in the sand, be prepared to have your options vastly limited.
  40. tktaft

    tktaft Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2016 Ohio

    I know I'm only the equivalent of a Twitter egg on this site, but if you ever find yourselves in Washington D.C. you should check out the Urban Adventures tour on this subject. I lead these tours and always find them to be most enjoyable when we've got an Aussie or Brit along to provide an international perspective, but the conversation (and beer) tends to flow smoothly no matter who's along for the ride.
    IPAExpert69 likes this.