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I find very little reason to close this question: Are we currently seeing another ideological realignment happening in today's unstable political climate?

It's perhaps the most interesting question that has appeared on Politics SE in weeks, a site that claims it want "experts" to come to.

Notice that the top 3 viewed questions of the last week: can laws be shorter, what's the difference between the medal of freedom and one with distinction, and what are the drawbacks of tactical nukes on terrorists. With the exception, sort of, the last one, the most viewed and most commented on questions are by far the most trivial. Some would say the last question was just salacious.

If you really want to attract political scientists, historians and writers/pundits as you claim, rather than say coders that read the newspaper or kids trying to skip out on homework, which seem to make up the bulk of viewers and voters, something needs to be done to make the questions more relevant and thoughtful.

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    It was closed as an opinion-based question. Do you disagree that it's an opinion-based question, or do feel those opinionated questions should be allowed? At any rate, I don't find your argument that it will attract more people very convincing. Yahoo! Answers has a lot of people, and I wouldn't call that site "better". – user11249 Jan 14 '17 at 15:30
  • I understand why it was closed. I sort of agree that it was opinion based. And yes I do believe you should be able to post trends and historical data and expert opinion as argument in support of a position. It's called reasoning, and forms a whole school of thought, the rationalists. (Hobbes, Spinoza, etc.) – K Dog Jan 14 '17 at 17:43
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    No one is arguing that you shouldn't be able to "post trends and historical data and expert opinion as argument in support of a position". I most certainly didn't. I'm just curious why exactly you "find very little reason to close this question"? – user11249 Jan 14 '17 at 17:45
  • Maybe I think we just need a less reductive view of opinion-based answers. Arguments could be made that any question or answer is subjective. While I think we could rule out questions like: who is the best President ever. I would like to think we could answer a question like, who were the primary responsible figures or institutions for the 2008 economic meltdown. Right now I have no faith that this site could handle the second question, or would want to. – K Dog Jan 14 '17 at 17:52
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    My initial reaction to that question is that I'm note entirely certain what it's asking for. The ideology of the political parties shifts continuously, and It's hard to say what does and does not count as an "Ideological realignment" for the purposes of the answer. In situations as unclear as this, I personally am usually slow to act, but 5 users voted to close, and the level of unclarity in the question doesn't exactly make me want to undo that. – Sam I am Jan 14 '17 at 23:27
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One common misunderstanding I see about the Stack Exchange platform on many sites is "Why was this question not allowed here?! It's such a useful question!"

No one is arguing it's not a useful question; but it's simply not what we do.

If you go to a Thai restaurant, you expect to be find, well, Thai food. If you find a lot of Italian food mixed in with the Thai food on the menu you'd likely be confused. Not that there's anything wrong with Italian food – you might love Italian food! – but it's just not what a Thai restaurant does.

The Stack Exchange sites are the same. It has a heavy focus on specific, answerable, and non-opinionated questions.

This doesn't mean that any and all subjective content is forbidden though, I encourage you to read Robert Cartaino's answer here, as well as the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective post he links to.

These – as well as other – rules exist to encourage useful, constructive, insightful, and generally high-quality content. In many ways Stack Exchange is the exact opposite of something like Youtube comments.


Back to this specific question: I voted to close it for these reasons:

  1. It's speculative, and don't see how it can really be answered without hindsight.
  2. It's not clear what exactly is intended with "ideology", which is shown by the discussion about this in the comments.
  3. It has attracted poor quality answers. For example your answer may or may not be correct, but as I read it, it doesn't actually answer the asked question (and several people seem to agree with me on that).
    Which reading of the question is "correct" here isn't important, what is important is that several people have different understandings of the question, which kinda proves the second point that the question is unclear.

I feel this question can probably be salvaged by an edit, somehow. Perhaps "Are Donald Trump's policy positions significantly different from established GOP leadership?", or something like that.

The problem with editing the question now is that it'll change the meaning of the question, invalidating the five answers. Perhaps it's better to ask a separete question and let this one be.


If you really want to attract political scientists, historians and writers/pundits as you claim, rather than say coders that read the newspaper or kids trying to skip out on homework, which seem to make up the bulk of viewers and voters, something needs to be done to make the questions more relevant and thoughtful.

I'd love to have a more diverse user base here (I say this as a programmer), but in my experience all Stack Exchange sites are heavily biased towards this demographic.

Stack Overflow is a resounding success, and I can virtually guarantee you that almost every professional programmer in the world has heard of it and uses it in some form or another (it's hard not to, since so many Google results point to SO).

The Stack Overflow model has since been exported to a wide range of other topics – from more IT stuff to Cooking to Christianity to Politics – with some modest successes, although none of the sites have been as resounding of a success as Stack Overflow is.

I'm not entirely sure why this is the case; perhaps it's due to the nature of the subject matter, or due to the nature of the people interested in such subject matter. Or maybe it's because there are already many good discussion forums for many topics. Or perhaps it's something else. I don't really have a clear answer for you.

What I do know is that allowing unclear and opinionated questions to remain open is not the answer.

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    The question was neither unclear nor opinionated. Nor did it remain opened. It was answered by a few and an answer accepted. – K Dog Jan 16 '17 at 22:50

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