On What Issues, If Any, Do You Agree with the ‘Other Side’?

We always hear cliches about finding common ground between people of different political persuasions, but I’ve noticed, especially since Obama’s presidency, that there are very few issues that I agree with liberals about. 

What are your thoughts and experiences with this? Is this idea of ‘common ground’ becoming less realistic in America? And, if so, what do we do about it? 

  1. Jon Vin

    I wish I could answer that. But, to be completely honest, I don’t think I’ve met a Progressive who actually believes in anything.

    For example; I’m quite dovish when it comes to foreign affairs/military intervention. Team Obama purports this very same stance but continues much of the Bush-era War on Terror strategies (and we’re still in Afghanistan and Iraq).

    When it comes to the immigration issue, I take quite an “open-borders” position. I say we should hand out work visas to all that want them and I’m not too keen on additional enforcement. But this position is strongly opposed by Big Labor (the Left’s greatest ally) because they want to limit the labor supply to our country. The only reason my Progressive homies want immigration reform is to increase their voter registration roles.

    I find that the Left is completely disingenuous on any policy stance they take; they stand for nothing, so it’s impossible to find common ground with their kind.

  2. raycon and lindacon

    America was founded with a common ground world view, Western Juedo-Christianity.  Although there were many disagreements regarding specific laws and governing styles, they were all among people who shared a common basis for their arguments.

    Our first separation from that world view was when the South, in justifying slavery, adopted a view separate from the Declaration of Independence, and claimed that some people were sub-human, blacks, that is, and must be ruled.  That ended not in negotiation but in the Civil War.

    Today, the preponderance of the intellectual class and the ruling elites, have accepted the alternative view of godless progressivism, in which Darwinian evolution is the basis for rejection of the Declaration of Independence, and the rational that the Constitution is a meaningless anachronism.  The generally unreflective members of the population simply go along, as usual.

    There can be no common ground any more than there was in 1860.  The result will be the same.  It remains to be seen whether those on the side of our Founders will fight back, or go the way of Dixie.  
  3. Vince Guerra

    I pretty much agree with the beatnik hippie types regarding genetically modified foods. What God made with seeds, let no man make seedless.  I prefer free-range meat to mass produced, large farm types etc…

    My ultra-liberal family member and I agree on the need to implement a national sales/consumption tax, though I want one to replace the income tax (Fair Tax), and she wants one to supplement it.

    I suspect we would both agree on wanting greater online privacy.

  4. D.C. McAllister
    C

    I agree with some of the sensibilities of your average lib, but I don’t agree with the means they want to use to achieve their goals. For example, I’m for protecting animals and the environment and caring for the poor, but I don’t support their big government solutions to these issues.

  5. Tommy De Seno
    C

    That Mitt Romney shouldn’t be President.

  6. Front Ranger

    I’m opposed to bailouts of big banks and businesses. But the left’s remedies for this and other issues are wrong and usually make things worse.

  7. Spin

    If it were up to you, and you had to choose between Mitt and Barry, would you choose Barry?

    Tommy De Seno: That Mitt Romney shouldn’t be President. · 1 minute ago

  8. Spin

    I agree to disagree.

  9. Tommy De Seno
    C

     

    Spin: If it were up to you, and you had to choose between Mitt and Barry, would you choose Barry? · 0 minutes ago

    Tommy De Seno: That Mitt Romney shouldn’t be President. · 1 minute ago

    Who does more damage to Conservatives – a Democrat embracing liberalism, or a Republican embracing liberalism?

    I say the Republican does more damage to Conservatism.    Think George Bush stating he had to “Abandon Capitalism to save Capitalism.”  Good grief.

    Given the choice, I’d rather Barry the Democrat harm the country than Mitt the Republican.

  10. Spin

    I remember when Clinton was running for president the first time I had this discussion with a cousin.  He said he was voting for Clinton because “after 4 years of that guy, the people will have no choice but to vote conservative.”  He was wrong.

    Tommy De Seno:  

    Spin: If it were up to you, and you had to choose between Mitt and Barry, would you choose Barry? · 0 minutes ago

    Tommy De Seno: That Mitt Romney shouldn’t be President. · 1 minute ago

    Who does more damage to Conservatives – a Democrat embracing liberalism, or a Republican embracing liberalism?

    I say the Republican does more damage to Conservatism.    Think George Bush stating he had to “Abandon Capitalism to save Capitalism.”  Good grief.

    Given the choice, I’d rather Barry the Democrat harm the country than Mitt the Republican. · 7 minutes ago

  11. Edward Smith

    I have met enough Gay men and Lesbian women in a professional capacity (I’m from New York, waddya want!) who simply did their jobs and did them well, and lived their personal lives, keeping them as much out of the workplace (sometimes more, actually) as the straight people.  Over lunch, I learned something surprising.  They do not wish to overturn the world.  They want to live in a world where they can quietly plan their vacation on Fire Island.

    So, if it stopped with Same Sex Couples getting the same legal rights as Married Straight Couples (I mean, honestly, survivor benefits? visitation in the hospital?, filing jointly?) I’d be okay with that.

    But it doesn’t stop with that.  The people I have met are not the activists, some of whom are actively looking to destroy the Churches.

    The Silent Majority is larger and more diverse than either side thinks.  the silent majority is far less enthralled by ideology than the progressives think, and more more in agreement with Conservatives than Conservatives, foot often in mouth, think.

  12. Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Does finding Donald Trump really obnoxious count?

  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    Front Ranger: I’m opposed to bailouts of big banks and businesses. But the left’s remedies for this and other issues are wrong and usually make things worse. · 32 minutes ago

    Amen to that.

  14. Salamandyr

    It’s hard to tell because it feels at least like a lot of progressives aren’t really honest about what they want.  They’ll say they want a strong country, but then abuse it in favor of other countries.  So, while I’m prepared to find common ground, or at least areas where I’m willing to compromise.

    I guess the one area where I feel like I might have some in common with leftwingers, is the growing authoritarianism and abuse of power by police, and the generally poor state of our sentencing laws.  I want a drastic reduction of prison terms, with reformation of parole terms.  I’d like to see people sentenced to 5 years that they serve every day of, rather than 20 year sentences where they get out in 7. 

    I also despise sex offender lists, and think that when your sentence is completed (full term), that should be it, you are done, you can vote, own a gun, and live free of harassment.  You’ve paid your dues.

  15. EThompson

    This will be the first and the last time you hear such words from me, but I agree with Obama’s refusal to engage with the Syrian crisis. 

    Using Egypt as an example, the infamous “Arab Spring” was nothing but a transfer of power from a brutal dictatorship to the Muslim Brotherhood. So seems to be the case in Syria and I refuse to risk precious American lives and treasure to back yet another dangerous Islamist regime.

    I wish a more knowledgeable Ricochetti could explain why one of the richest countries on earth, Saudi Arabia, is incapable of policing their own neighborhood. They certainly manage to find the resources to put an effective  stranglehold on the behavior of their women.

  16. Duane Oyen

    I would say “break up the big banks”, but the Left doesn’t want that.  I’m with Arnold Kling.

    I agree that we should ask ourselves whether it is a good idea to indiscriminately dump carbon into the atmosphere if we don’t know what it will do.  I strongly disagree about what to do about the issue. 

    I agree that a social safety net is important for a 21st century civil society that is rich.  I strongly disagree about what that consist of or how to structure and manage the program. 

    I agree that there is a Federal role in several things, including health care, I strongly disagree with every proposal by the Left on how to effect, structure, and manage that Federal role.  Markets and freedom can be enhanced by smart government policies even though many here don’t see it that way.

    So the agreements with The Other Side on goals and aspects of roles estrange me from Ricochet and make me an Evil RINO Managerial Progressive, but the strong disagreements with The Other Side on the same set of issues leaves me out in the cold with Yuval Levin, Bob Zubrin, John Podhoretz, etc.

  17. Larry3435

    I think the left and I  are in agreement that pedophile priests are bad (although I can’t be sure if the left particularly believes that, or just thinks that all religious leaders are bad per se).  Some lefties might believe in decriminalizing or legalizing drugs (although not for the same reasons as I do, I’m sure).  And I have no problem with early term abortion or SSM.  Oh, and I liked the X-Men movies and don’t like Dennis Rodman.

    So I guess the only places where I disagree with the left are on philosophy, economics, morals, history, science, logic, civility and common sense.  Plenty of room for bipartisanship if you just leave those items out of it.

  18. Ron Selander
    Tommy De Seno:  

    Spin: If it were up to you, and you had to choose between Mitt and Barry, would you choose Barry? · 0 minutes ago

    Tommy De Seno: That Mitt Romney shouldn’t be President. · 1 minute ago

    Who does more damage to Conservatives – a Democrat embracing liberalism, or a Republican embracing liberalism?

    I say the Republican does more damage to Conservatism.    Think George Bush stating he had to “Abandon Capitalism to save Capitalism.”  Good grief.

    Given the choice, I’d rather Barry the Democrat harm the country than Mitt the Republican. · 45 minutes ago

    Unbelievable, Tommy.

    BOzo will cause unlimited damage. Romney would have caused virtually none!

  19. SMatthewStolte

    There are two kinds of common ground:

    1st, common principles. This is common ground, proper. Two people might, for instance, believe that the division of power is important or that the freedom of expression is important. But they might disagree about how these principles fit into the overall framework of principles and (therefore) the exact force and field of these principles. (Their force: how strong does a consideration have to be before one of these principles can be overridden? Their field: to exactly what sorts of things do these principles reach?)  Most individual progressives I have met share some of my principles (like the above), but they (a) understand them differently and (b) are prone to partisan bias. 

    2nd, overlapping beliefs from different principles. For instance, tea partiers and occupiers both dislike crony capitalism. The tea partiers dislike it because they are opposed to regulation that discourages fair competition. The occupiers dislike it for some other reason. I could find examples of overlap with most individual progressives, but overlap is an accidental convenience. (Consider: Person_A wants the minimum wage to help the poor; Person_B wants it to keep a certain class of people poor. Overlap! But bad.)

  20. Retail Lawyer

    Official progressive positions – no!  But everyone is conservative about what they know best.  So I can agree with my leftist professor friend that the humanities at his university are a “wasteland of political correctness”, that our municipal civil servants are predatory goof offs, that the homeless and Occupy Whatever are mostly criminals, that the DMV is to be avoided at all costs.  Interestingly, he is much more likely to engage in cultural stereotypes that I am, but he has to teach them . . .  But still, he’s progressive in all policy positions.

    Guns – that’s it.  That’s that only place he will stray from the liberal dogma.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In