A View from the Other Side: Ideological Purity and Trump

 

I started a new job last week with a large non-profit focused on a specific disease prevention, treatment, research, and cure. I now work from home, but was in the corporate headquarters earlier this week. Much like the government and academia, there is an implicit assumption there that anyone who is educated and cares about people is politically liberal. This always leads to little insights into how the non-fringe, non-activist wing of the other side thinks.

Here are a few snippets to mull over.

Sr. VP 1:  Hillary has got to win. Period. Whatever it takes.

Sr. VP 2:  My politics are much closer to Bernie Sanders, but I’ll vote for Hillary if she’s the candidate. She’ll help get us there.

Sr. VP 1:  I agree. Sanders has “some really innovative policy ideas.”

Sr VP 1:  Of course, we could nominate anyone, because as long as Trump goes third party, we win (at this point they both raised there hands in the air and cheered).

Sr. VP 2:  Him winning the presidency wouldn’t be so bad … except on immigration (note this is from Bernie Sanders fan).

Sr. VP 1:  Lynne, I hope you don’t mind we talk politics sometimes.

Me:  I don’t mind, just curious about how much of diversity of opinion there is here.

My lessons learned:

1)  Liberals vote to win. Half a loaf is better than nothing. No comments like, “If Bernie isn’t the nominee, I’m staying at home.”

2) They see Trump for what he is — a disaster for the Republican party and not conservative at all.

Next conversation at dinner:

Executive VP:  Republicans are going to lose. Hillary is going to win and it’s going to be awesome. We’ll get to the single-payer system that works.

Other dinner comments:  Yes, she’s going to get out of this email thing … it’s just media bias making a big deal of it. It must be hard to live in a Red state (we were in GA). Trump is going to drag the party down, down, down.

Me:  I really think that Trump represents a populist movement (talk about the Michael Barone column on re-alignment). … go on to say, my friends here in GA who are Republicans see this as too early to make big predictions yet.

EVP:  You know people who are Republicans? Even active in the party? (Seriously, he said this.)

Me:  Yes, one of the great things about growing up in a Red State is that you meet people who are conservative politically, are smart, educated, caring, compassionate, not crazy, and would make excellent conversationalists here at our dinner.

Silence at the table

Me:  Maybe it’s the psychologist in me, I just think people are more complex than their political views.

My lessons learned:

1.  They will vote for Hillary no matter what comes out about Benghazi, e-mails, or anything else.

2.  They think most Republicans are Tea Partiers, and that Tea Partiers are crazy radicals.

3.  They think that all people who have had politics explained to them will agree with them.

What do you think? Is this consistent with what your more liberal friends and colleagues think? I think they’re right about Trump, he’s not conservative, but he could sure botch it for us this cycle. I also think they’re right to take the closest thing they can get to the liberal they want … even though it’s not as liberal as they want.

 

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  1. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Most of my “more” liberal friends and colleagues are on Facebook, and I don’t have enough reason to go on and find out what they’re thinking, but I’m starting to think that were Trump to make a 3rd party run, he’d pull at least as much support from Democrats as Republicans. I’ve heard a lot of people expressing support for him, and while I don’t know their political affiliations, I’d tend to assume leaning Dem unless they specifically said otherwise, especially given that the other sentiment expressed was “[CoC] Scott Walker”.

    • #1
  2. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee Coyote
    @WyleeCoyote

    4.  When confronted with a conservative who doesn’t match the bogeyman they have in their head, the result is an uncomfortable silence.  :)

    • #2
  3. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    I feel for you, having to endure that loud, highly reverberant echo chamber. Their cluelessness boggles the mind.

    • #3
  4. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Matt Balzer:especially given that the other sentiment expressed was “[CoC] Scott Walker”.

    One of my dinner companions lives in Wisconsin…she HATED Scott Walker.  Went on a tirade about how much he had hurt the state.

    • #4
  5. David Sussman Contributor
    David Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    IMO political purity is more evident on the right, which I would argue is due to the gigantic tent called “conservatism”. We see it here on Rico: SoCons, FiCons, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, etc.

    I know there are people who are ‘one issue’ voters, whether it’s abortion, gay rights, immigration, 2A, taxes, etc. That’s not a problem until we hear those who suggest they won’t vote to ‘teach the party a lesson’.

    I heard it in 2008. “I can’t vote for McCain, so I’ll stay home. Obama will be so bad that in 2012 the Republicans will get back in. People will be clamoring for common sense.”

    Not sure how losing the country has taught anyone a lesson. Clinton, with all her baggage, is still very much a viable candidate.

    Congrats on the new job!

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I hope Jeb Bush is the nominee so I can vote against him like I voted against his brother, and then I’ll get to hear all the moralizing, sermonizing, and lecturing from Reublicans like I did back in 2000.  Nostalgia!  I’ll think I’m 15 years younger than I really am!

    • #6
  7. MBF Member
    MBF
    @MBF

    A tea party group in Wisconsin got all of the Walker recall petitions through an open records request. Then they manually entered all the names into a searchable database and posted it online. It’s really interesting (if not entirely surprising) to find out which of your neighbors and coworkers are hardcore liberals.

    • #7
  8. Cantankerous Homebody Inactive
    Cantankerous Homebody
    @CantankerousHomebody

    I think the issue is that the left is in broad agreement over what should be accomplished and people who were more moderate have already been jettisoned.  They also have constant reinforcement from the universities, media and certain social media figures that both converts new people and reinforces orthodoxy. The left has “purity” tests and they can be vicious.  The jetsam of the left either meekly keeps on their side or drifts to ours.

    The thing is Hilary AND Sanders will “get [them] there“.  We can’t agree where “there” is or if there is even a “there” at all.

    • #8
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    PsychLynne: EVP: You know people who are Republicans? even active in the party (seriously, he said this)

    This reminds me of one time when I was in Minneapolis visiting my uncle.  He had some friends over and at one point I mentioned something that I heard on the Rush Limbaugh show.  Three people all simultaneously took a half step back from me as one asked “You listen to Rush Limbaugh?”  You would have thought that I had casually mentioned that I pray to the ghost of Adolph Hitler.

    • #9
  10. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    PsychLynne: Me: Yes, one of the great things about growing up in a Red State is that you meet people who are conservative politically, are smart, educated, caring, compassionate, not crazy, and would make excellent conversationalists here at our dinner. Silence at the table

    Good for you, Lynne!

    • #10
  11. Luke Thatcher
    Luke
    @Luke

    Lynne… I need this like an addict needs drugs… Please report back as often as you can… I have a much harder time maintaining my cover.

    I’ve been itching to write a post on Fellow-Travelership and this is a clear example, thereof; in my eyes.

    • #11
  12. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    By the way, this is why I hardly ever contribute time or money to non-profit organizations any more.  They are almost all extensions of the police state these days.

    • #12
  13. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    David Sussman:IMO political purity is more evident on the right, which I would argue is due to the gigantic tent called “conservatism”. We see it here on Rico: SoCons, FiCons, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, etc.

    I know there are people who are ‘one issue’ voters, whether it’s abortion, gay rights, immigration, 2A, taxes, etc. That’s not a problem until we hear those who suggest they won’t vote to ‘teach the party a lesson’.

    I heard it in 2008. “I can’t vote for McCain, so I’ll stay home. Obama will be so bad that in 2012 the Republicans will get back in. People will be clamoring for common sense.”

    Not sure how losing the country has taught anyone a lesson. Clinton, with all her baggage, is still very much a viable candidate.

    Congrats on the new job!

    Like. Like. Like.

    • #13
  14. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Cantankerous Homebody:I think the issue is that the left is in broad agreement over what should be accomplished and people who were more moderate have already been jettisoned.

    Where did they go, do you think?

    • #14
  15. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Pencilvania:

    PsychLynne: Me: Yes, one of the great things about growing up in a Red State is that you meet people who are conservative politically, are smart, educated, caring, compassionate, not crazy, and would make excellent conversationalists here at our dinner. Silence at the table

    Good for you, Lynne!

    Aw shucks….Thanks!

    • #15
  16. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Before I was outed with my colleagues, I listened to a lot of these sort of conversations. I find it interesting as to what they assume about Republicans. To them Republicans are all either crazy religious types or rich business types.

    • #16
  17. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Z in MT:Before I was outed with my colleagues, I listened to a lot of these sort of conversations. I find it interesting as to what they assume about Republicans. To them Republicans are all either crazy religious types or rich business types.

    Oh so true.  But the thing they have in common is they are mean and uncaring.

    • #17
  18. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Z in MT:Before I was outed with my colleagues, I listened to a lot of these sort of conversations. I find it interesting as to what they assume about Republicans. To them Republicans are all either crazy religious types or rich business types.

    My colleagues are mostly to the right of me, neighbors and acquaintances mostly to the left. Do folks on the Right have a clearer picture of Leftists than vice versa? I’d like to think so, but not sure.

    • #18
  19. Cantankerous Homebody Inactive
    Cantankerous Homebody
    @CantankerousHomebody

    PsychLynne:

    Cantankerous Homebody:I think the issue is that the left is in broad agreement over what should be accomplished and people who were more moderate have already been jettisoned.

    Where did they go, do you think?

    The Republican Party?  I don’t mean RINOs or whatever but like reagan democrats and neoconservatives and what not.  That or they broadly agree and keep their heads down.

    I’m just saying that the left knows who they are and where they want to go in general and their leaders deliver big for their base. We have arguments and sit-outs because we don’t have that agreement and some nominees deliver things the base doesn’t want.

    I mean, in my opinion, is McCain better than Obama?  Yes. But an inanimate carbon rod is better than both so I don’t know how far that takes you.  McCain spent years trying to pass amnesty with Ted Kennedy and when he faced a primary challenge he ran ads saying “build the danged fence!”.  It’s not because of purity tests that people would want to opt out of voting for a candidate like that.

    • #19
  20. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    PsychLynne: But what do you think?

    I think you’re going to get fired.  They’re only discussing this with you because they assume you’re part of the team.

    Is this consistent with what your more liberal friends and colleagues think?

    I learned a long time ago not to discuss stuff like this with them.

    • #20
  21. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    PsychLynne:

    Z in MT:Before I was outed with my colleagues, I listened to a lot of these sort of conversations. I find it interesting as to what they assume about Republicans. To them Republicans are all either crazy religious types or rich business types.

    Oh so true. But the thing they have in common is they are mean and uncaring.

    Classic projection, in other words.

    • #21
  22. Underwood Inactive
    Underwood
    @Underwood

    drlorentz:

    Do folks on the Right have a clearer picture of Leftists than vice versa? I’d like to think so, but not sure.

    I think the Right does. People in deep red states can’t help but be exposed to left-wing thought through mass media and educational institutions. In deep blue states it is much easier to live in a comfortable bubble.

    • #22
  23. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Tuck:

    PsychLynne: But what do you think?

    I think you’re going to get fired. They’re only discussing this with you because they assume you’re part of the team.

    Is this consistent with what your more liberal friends and colleagues think?

    I learned a long time ago not to discuss stuff like this with them.

    When they asked what I thought I said “I’m one of those people who probably frustrates you, those crazy moderates”  They laughed a lot.  However, I’ve negotiated this before in pretty much every position I’ve held.

    But I may get fired, this organization has a reputation : ) within the industry.  Since I work in health (disease) there’s no way to avoid the political and policy piece.  We’ll see what happens.

    • #23
  24. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Underwood:

    drlorentz:

    Do folks on the Right have a clearer picture of Leftists than vice versa? I’d like to think so, but not sure.

    I think the Right does. People in deep red states can’t help but be exposed to left-wing thought through mass media and educational institutions. In deep blue states it is much easier to live in a comfortable bubble.

    There is more to it than that.   More conservatives are religious, and even non-religious conservatives share the moral compass of the religious conservatives.   This was studied by a liberal psychology researcher who came up with an interesting description of the difference between the moral code of conservatives and the moral code of progressives.   It turns out that his explanation also provides a way to understand why it is that conservatives understand liberals but liberals cannot understand conservatives.

    Check out the work of Jonathan Heidt,  especially his book  The Righteous Mind:

    http://righteousmind.com/

    It makes for fascinating reading, and puts some real thought and science behind the saying that we think they are wrong, but they think we are evil.

    The problem is, Heidt is lending his support to the election science effort of the Democrat Party, but the GOP has nothing like him.

    • #24
  25. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    MJBubba: This was studied by a liberal psychology researcher who came up with an interesting description of the difference between the moral code of conservatives and the moral code of progressives.

    I’m familiar with Heidt’s work. He claims to have converted from a hard Leftist to a moderate because of this work.

    MJBubba: The problem is, Heidt is lending his support to the election science effort of the Democrat Party, but the GOP has nothing like him.

    Is he actively working for the Democratic Party?

    • #25
  26. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Another fellow traveler here. When I first joined Ricochet, I had my own photo as my avatar. Then I realized that some of the threads I’d posted in had gone to the main feed, and I nearly fell over dead. I couldn’t change my avatar and erase my bio fast enough. Many at my publishers, including the person I deal with often (an executive officer), are lefties. And my agent?! Haha! During the Walker recall, he was so upset he actually used the expression “bust the unions.” It was all I could do to keep from saying, “Did I wake up in 1935?” I fired him (for unrelated reasons). I never thought I’d feel this way in America, but I do not feel I have complete freedom of speech anymore. If certain people found out what I really think, it could actually harm my career and livelihood. And the people harming it would feel very sanctimonious and self-righteous about doing it to me. Some of them are my Facebook friends, and you should just see some of the absurd propaganda they merrily post all day. If my father had lived to see this world, he would never believe it. Doublespeak, Newspeak, Groupthink, Thought Police. It’s all here.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    drlorentz:

    MJBubba: This was studied by a liberal psychology researcher who came up with an interesting description of the difference between the moral code of conservatives and the moral code of progressives.

    I’m familiar with Heidt’s work. He claims to have converted from a hard Leftist to a moderate because of this work.

    MJBubba: The problem is, Heidt is lending his support to the election science effort of the Democrat Party, but the GOP has nothing like him.

    Is he actively working for the Democratic Party?

    I assume the difference between a hard leftist and a moderate is that a hard leftist will take an active part in the Killing Fields, while a moderate won’t go any further than to hold the coats of the hard leftists.

    • #27
  28. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Randy Weivoda:

    PsychLynne: EVP: You know people who are Republicans? even active in the party (seriously, he said this)

    This reminds me of one time when I was in Minneapolis visiting my uncle. He had some friends over and at one point I mentioned something that I heard on the Rush Limbaugh show. Three people all simultaneously took a half step back from me as one asked “You listen to Rush Limbaugh?” You would have thought that I had casually mentioned that I pray to the ghost of Adolph Hitler.

    You don’t? You really ought to reconsider. Ol’ Adolf has reformed a lot post-death.

    • #28
  29. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    MJBubba:It makes for fascinating reading, and puts some real thought and science behind the saying that we think they are wrong, but they think we are evil.

    This is repeated often, but I’m unconvinced. There are plenty of “us” that consider “them” evil. The sentiment isn’t even alien to Ricochet.

    • #29
  30. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    Cat III:

    MJBubba:It makes for fascinating reading, and puts some real thought and science behind the saying that we think they are wrong, but they think we are evil.

    This is repeated often, but I’m unconvinced. There are plenty of “us” that consider “them” evil. The sentiment isn’t even alien to Ricochet.

    I’m sorry, but “they” are evil. They have carpeted the planet with mass graves, and would do so here if they had the chance.

    Never forget that Bill Ayers is an honored member of the democrat party.

    • #30
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