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  #21  
Old 01 June 2018, 04:00 AM
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Not all conservatives are Trump supporters.
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  #22  
Old 01 June 2018, 04:46 AM
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No, but his approval rating among conservatives.
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  #23  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
There are two main types of conservatives in America: the kind who are vile misogynistic racist homophobes, and the kind who are willing to put up with the former because they're willing to throw women, minorities, immigrants, and LGBT people under the bus as long as they can get tax cuts and reduced regulations on industry.
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
Pretty much. I feel a need to reiterate a rule I have: even if you’re claiming more noble, more enlightened reasons for charging with a racist, stinking mob full of assholes, you’re still charging with a racist, stinking mob full of assholes.
The above comments, among others, are perhaps illustrative of some of the difficulties faced in talking with "people we disagree with," even when not "on the most fundamental levels." Call it concern trolling if you will, but I doubt I’m the only one who finds this off-putting and I’m not even conservative.

This is a thread about how to talk with people, but this... this is why we can’t.

ETA: And just one more thing to be clear. This is what pisses me off to no end about this forum. I’m not even conservative, but I spend so much time arguing about what is fair or unfair to deduce about "what conservatives really think" and whether they’re all racists or some of them are just racist sympathizers that I don’t even get to talk about what I actually believe because otherwise there is so much unchecked bullshit it’s not even worth having a conversation.

Last edited by ASL; 01 June 2018 at 05:42 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01 June 2018, 06:00 AM
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ASL, I'm sure you're aware of most of the nasty, deplorable things that Trump has said. The only Republican politicians willing to openly speak out against him are ones who've announced that they're not going to run for reelection. According to Gallop, his approval rating among Republicans has consistently been in the 80s.

I've been debating for years about whether or not to say this on the boards, but here goes: I identify as transgender though I'm not and do not plan to transition at this time. Donald Trump and Mike Pence support policies that represent an actual threat to people on the LGBT spectrum. Pence, for example, supports "conversion therapy," which is to take someone and torture them until they're willing to pretend that they're a heterosexual cisgender individual.

Trump is currently ordering immigration officials to separate children from their families at the border. This is to deliberately frighten them, that is not a side effect, it's the intended goal.

This is not an argument about opinions. What's the middle ground that I'm supposed to aim for? That they'll only torture me until I'm halfway ready to confess? That they'll agree to only take some of the children? Why is it that so many "you've got to talk with them" statements are aimed at liberals and not conservatives?

I come from a strongly conservative family. My dad doesn't have anything in particular against gay people, but every time there's a choice he'll vote for a conservative candidate who's running on an anti-LGBT platform if that person also promises to ease pollution regulations on businesses. The statements I make on this subject aren't based on things I've read on internet forums and op-ed pieces, they're what I've personally experienced.
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  #25  
Old 01 June 2018, 07:24 AM
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I do think there is a certain point, perhaps related mostly to difference of opinion or logical reasoning and argument, where dialog is not productive. I don't accept the idea that talking about any problem is a productive way to resolve differences or accomplish progress.

I don't need to read most of the threads posted here about radical antifeminists because (IMO) most of the whole world is very antifeminist and I feel I've heard enough of their arguments to know (with a 99.9% probability) how I will feel about the others. I don't need to see or talk about yet another YouTube fascist, or antifeminist, or racist, etc. I don't need to explain to the person in my family who couldn't understand "how is Birtherism racist?" I'm sure I could make a not-terrible argument and I might even convince one person after a lot of back and forth but for what? (Yes, I know, "it mattered to that one starfish" but heck no I am not going to go around trying to save a starfish so far from shore when there are 30 million of them and thousands that are a lot closer to the waves.) I don't think he will ever convince me it's not racist, either. So I said, no, I'm not going to have that discussion. If those people really do want to know my side of the argument they can easily look it up on the web. It's all been said before.

That said, there are plenty of conservatives and even right wing people who I feel I can talk to. I've had a lot of great conversations here with conservatives. Yeah, some of them have gone away but so have plenty of our most strident liberals. This is still the best place I know of to come for a real discussion that's likely to be productive and interesting and has very often changed my own point of view, never mind others. I miss a lot of old members but I don't want them around if they feel uncomfortable in my favourite place.
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  #26  
Old 01 June 2018, 01:41 PM
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ASL: yes, that's what I meant by saying that the board may be seen as hostile to conservatives.

crocoduck_hunter: I've got no problem with you attacking Trump. I've got no problem with attacking voting for Trump, or for representatives who will vote with Trump. I've got a problem with lumping everybody on the Right, all conservatives, in with Trump. Yes, he's got relatively high support among them -- but he hasn't got all of them. And he has some of the ones he does have because they've been convinced by their "news" sources that the alternative was a murderer and pedophile. That is of course nonsense; but humans very often believe nonsense. You and I are probably each believing some nonsense right now, though very likely on different subjects entirely.

ganzfeld: one of the things I've loved best about these boards is that I have seen minds change here. I've changed my own about a couple of things. And people do change their minds: on this board and elsewhere. It's not always immediately obvious; sometimes it takes years. And of course it doesn't always happen. But slamming the door in people's faces -- I'm not going to say that's never useful; sometimes I think it is. I don't think this is the place where it's most likely to work, though. I think that may actually be more effective coming from people one knows in the flesh.
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  #27  
Old 01 June 2018, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
I mostly don't like to go into detail on my reasoning regarding abortion, because I've found that it just makes everyone mad. So I generally just stick to saying I want to keep it safe, legal, and available to whoever chooses it.
I hear you. That's my go to as well, and it's true. But my more nuanced stance makes both extremes mad - I would suggest to you EQT that your stance and mine (assuming we are coming at it from the same or similar vantage point) is a lot more like the fabled "most people" than not. Not on this message board though .
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  #28  
Old 01 June 2018, 01:53 PM
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Ganzfield brings up two really good points that I want to use as jumping off points. Thanks for the segue, ganz.

Quote:
...perhaps related mostly to difference of opinion or logical reasoning and argument, where dialog is not productive. I don't accept the idea that talking about any problem is a productive way to resolve differences or accomplish progress.
I once had a discussion here with a poster (almost a decade ago) where I questioned a statement. Their statement went something like this.

"I can't debate {group with different view} because no matter how hard I hit them with my points, they won't change their mind."

I asked, is there anything they can say that would make you change your mind? To which I got a firm, very assertive "no". Then, I submitted, you aren't willing to debate then either. That got about a five post response that highlighted the emotion, energy and depth of conviction for this one poster, as well as their inability to reason with anyone who challenged them. This poster also attributed my challenge to mean that I was a supporter of that other group, which was wrong.

The inability to discuss points, which should be the easiest thing to do, is becoming one of the hardest blocks to clear. Our television channels all have panels of guests that are either in complete lockstep (Fox) or constantly bickering (CNN) and no actual dialogue is underway. A study done by CBC during the 2004 US presidential election (remember Bush and Kerry?) highlighted that although those panels drew in viewers, it did absolutely nothing to convince voters or further educate voters on the issues. So, with these television channels all putting up the notion that loud and unresponsive dialogue is acceptable, then where are the regular people going to go for their guidance on debate?

And it need not be about politics: Vaccinations, GMO, WTC7, Kennedy Assassination, death penalty, pharmaceuticals etc. They all draw out an emotional response, and the default in the past 20 years has been to loud, unresponsive argument.

So, perhaps dialogue is not the best way forward in many cases.

Quote:
I've had a lot of great conversations here with conservatives. Yeah, some of them have gone away but so have plenty of our most strident liberals. This is still the best place I know of to come for a real discussion that's likely to be productive and interesting and has very often changed my own point of view, never mind others.
Ganzfield is entirely right. When the board was really, really active, I could filter out those whose contributions detracted from the discussion. Mute was a great feature for some. And I did use it on more than one occasion. There were other times where conversations were had between people opposed to issues where ideas were shared and a greater understanding of the broader issues came to be. This was (and still is, this thread being an example) a great reason to be a member of this board.

All that being said, it did come with gang maulings, irresponsible invective, and the occasional intervention by the mods. All that was salted by the threads about our pets, families, jobs and lives.

While the liberal/conservative balance has always bent more towards the liberal, there were times where due to personalities, it leaned way over and several of our less liberal members disappeared. The pendulum has swung back towards the centre and the core membership here has a fairly decent balance. This is still a comfort zone for me to jump into. I've been here through three deployments to Afghanistan, one to Lebanon and one to Israel/Syria. It is a great place to hang out.

While conversations here may be slowly dwindling through the loss of some members (cancer is a terrible disease), it still holds a certain level of decorum. Some of our members have it in spades, and some have a little more to go to reach the level of decorum that I enjoy engaging in.

All told, I wish the rest of the world would use this place as an example of how to discuss their differences.
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  #29  
Old 01 June 2018, 01:58 PM
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I have had some major opinion changes based on discussions on these boards, but that's all a distant memory now.

What's missing, here and so many other places, is people willing to take the time and patience to really get to the root of disagreements. Back when my opinions changed there were so many people, Silas Sparkhammer comes readily to mind, who would reply to even the most venomous post with kindness and an attempt to understand where the other person was coming from.

These days it seems like the way the world works, is we find a slot for someone and put them in it as quickly as possible. If that slot is a bad one, that person gets painted in the worst possible way and there's nothing to discuss with them.
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  #30  
Old 01 June 2018, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Why is it that so many "you've got to talk with them" statements are aimed at liberals and not conservatives?
This, this, a thousand times this.
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  #31  
Old 01 June 2018, 03:37 PM
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Persecution complex mixed with confirmation bias would be one guess.

I'd say that one tends to hear more things targeted at those with his/her own political views.

As an example, I rarely see anyone on these boards make broad negative statements about all the liberals like those made about conservatives in this thread. That does not mean that such things are predominantly said by liberals.
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  #32  
Old 01 June 2018, 03:54 PM
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Did we just slide into the equivalency zone?
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  #33  
Old 01 June 2018, 04:25 PM
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I think we've been in the equivalency zone the whole time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
ASL: yes, that's what I meant by saying that the board may be seen as hostile to conservatives.

crocoduck_hunter: I've got no problem with you attacking Trump. I've got no problem with attacking voting for Trump, or for representatives who will vote with Trump. I've got a problem with lumping everybody on the Right, all conservatives, in with Trump. Yes, he's got relatively high support among them -- but he hasn't got all of them. And he has some of the ones he does have because they've been convinced by their "news" sources that the alternative was a murderer and pedophile. That is of course nonsense; but humans very often believe nonsense. You and I are probably each believing some nonsense right now, though very likely on different subjects entirely.
Then who on the right is actually standing up and opposing Trump? Where's the major pushback against him? Who's actually willing to speak truth to power when he attacks the FBI or talks about the millions of illegal votes for Hillary or Obama's birth certificate?
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  #34  
Old 01 June 2018, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
Even if his supporters claim to have voted for Trump for reasons that arenít racist, that doesnít change the fact that his platform centered around one idea: certain people arenít fully human and thus arenít deserving of the basic rights due to them.
As much as I loathe the current occupant, I must take issue with this part of your statement. His platform did not center around the idea that certain people aren't fully human, it centered around the idea that certain people aren't fully American, and thus aren't deserving of basic rights.
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  #35  
Old 01 June 2018, 04:43 PM
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I'm seeing that a lot of people are worried about giving the other side an advantage, or the upper hand, or giving ground, by listening or trying to understand. I'm not sure that is a given from what I'm talking about. I'll try to explain a bit more, and maybe you can tell whether it still feels like you lose something by doing it, and if so, what it feels like you are losing.

One of the things that I realized is a part of my evolving views about this is something I learned from two different sources. From both teaching people how to provide good customer service, and from research-supported information about how to parent small children when they are having "big feelings," I've learned that people who are experiencing strong feelings basically can't process much else, and can't move on, until they feel heard. (Or until they deal with the emotion internally, but that takes emotional intelligence, which many people don't have.)

So, in thinking about the election, and the much higher Trump numbers than one might expect, and how motivated reasoning works, and the transparently untrue reasons some people gave for voting for him, I came up with a theory. I think that there are a chunk of white voters, more males than females, who are very scared about progressive ideas and culture. Being told they are privileged when they know they've had to struggle for everything they have, not having formerly "certain" things like knowing who is a girl and who is a boy, and whatever else seems threatening to them has left them very scared and angry. They feel like they are losing something, that progressives, immigrants, minorities, women, are all trying to take something from them, and that is triggering a very defensive response.

It's not necessarily wrong to say, "oh, boo hoo, get over it, you don't deserve to have privilege so it isn't really yours to defend," but it also doesn't solve a problem that is our problem too, which is that when people are feeling very threatened, scared, angry, they will vote for who and what makes them feel safe. And they will articulate reasons for it, but when those reasons are challenged, they will just shift their reasons or ignore the challenge. Because their actual motivations are visceral, not rational.

We all need to deal with that. And it isn't dealt with by having "debates" with people.

It is absolutely true that I should not have to listen to a homophobe who says awful things about me and my family. And I don't have to. I can refuse to listen. But I also know that studies have shown that attitudes are more progressive among those who personally know LGBT people. Even when the person is otherwise conservative.

I am not talking about compromising. I am not talking about everybody needing to become moderates. I am just talking about going into conversations with a goal, not of convincing someone of my point of view, but of learning something. When someone says something outrageous to me, thinking about asking them more about that, or acknowledging the feelings behind it, instead of attacking it.

There is a technique that used to be discussed here for dealing with people spouting ULs. It was referred to as polite persistent questioning. It isn't exactly what I'm talking about, but it is in the same vein. Instead of attacking what the person is saying head on, you ask them more about it. In this technique, there is actually a goal of showing them that they are wrong, but you can see that it can be more effective to draw someone out than to attack and have their defenses slam into place.

Anyway, thanks for posting your thoughts here-- I'm interested in seeing your views.
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  #36  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
Persecution complex mixed with confirmation bias would be one guess.

I'd say that one tends to hear more things targeted at those with his/her own political views.

As an example, I rarely see anyone on these boards make broad negative statements about all the liberals like those made about conservatives in this thread. That does not mean that such things are predominantly said by liberals.
Slate
USA Today
Vox
The Atlantic

I found each of those from a quick search, on just the first page. There are plenty more. Can you direct me to an article where conservatives are being told to listen more to liberals, or that the attitudes of conservatives lead to more liberals?

I can find some that say both need to listen to each other, but the equivalent search that got my first four, swapping conservative with liberal, came up with mostly the same articles as my first search, plus some like these that ask both sides to listen.

Thought Catalog
Brookings
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  #37  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:03 PM
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Why is reciprocity important in this?
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  #38  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
Why is reciprocity important in this?
I assume this is directed at me.

I was responding to Beach's claim that the thought that it is only liberals being told to listen is confirmation bias. I could not find any articles that are similar to the ones directed at liberals. There may very well be some, and I can just find the ones aimed at liberals easier because I have seen and read a number of them. But it has long been a part of this board where if someone makes a claim that others find dubious, that the person will be asked to back that up. My post was a more thorough, and I hope more polite, 'Cite, please'.

As to your latest post, and asking what we lose by it, is that we lose positioning on the Overton window. If side A listens and tries to understand what side B wants, but side B doesn't reciprocate, the window of discourse shifts toward side B. Then side A listens to the formerly extreme things that are now in the window, and the window shifts further. If everyone listened to each other, then there could be solutions that everyone could agree on. But when it is only one side willing to do so, it greatly benefits the non-listeners.
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  #39  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I have had some major opinion changes based on discussions on these boards, but that's all a distant memory now.

What's missing, here and so many other places, is people willing to take the time and patience to really get to the root of disagreements. Back when my opinions changed there were so many people, Silas Sparkhammer comes readily to mind, who would reply to even the most venomous post with kindness and an attempt to understand where the other person was coming from.

These days it seems like the way the world works, is we find a slot for someone and put them in it as quickly as possible. If that slot is a bad one, that person gets painted in the worst possible way and there's nothing to discuss with them.
I miss Silas... he was definitely a moderating voice of reason in many debates.

I think that most of us on the boards probably fall into the nuanced/moderate category, even if it seems that we're predominantly left-leaning. I think that given the state of discourse in general, a lot of the moderate voices maintain a sort of radio silence because it doesn't seem worth the mental energy and emotional toll to dive into partisan screaming matches. Unfortunately, this has played out in the real world as letting the extreme voices on either side frame the debate.
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  #40  
Old 01 June 2018, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
I assume this is directed at me.

I was responding to Beach's claim that the thought that it is only liberals being told to listen is confirmation bias. I could not find any articles that are similar to the ones directed at liberals. There may very well be some, and I can just find the ones aimed at liberals easier because I have seen and read a number of them. But it has long been a part of this board where if someone makes a claim that others find dubious, that the person will be asked to back that up. My post was a more thorough, and I hope more polite, 'Cite, please'.

As to your latest post, and asking what we lose by it, is that we lose positioning on the Overton window. If side A listens and tries to understand what side B wants, but side B doesn't reciprocate, the window of discourse shifts toward side B. Then side A listens to the formerly extreme things that are now in the window, and the window shifts further. If everyone listened to each other, then there could be solutions that everyone could agree on. But when it is only one side willing to do so, it greatly benefits the non-listeners.
It was directed to anyone who seemed to feel that reciprocity was important, or who wanted to answer it -- definitely not just you.

I looked up the Overton widow. Interesting. Do you know if there is any way to prevent or counteract the shifting effect without having to cease listening to people?
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