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. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    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.

    Didn’t take long for someone to prove my point.

    • #31
  2. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Cat III: 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’d love to hear how you interpret this:

    “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” ― Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

    Note Alinsky observes that Lucifer’s reward wasn’t “a better world”, as Alinsky claims was his own goal, but a kingdom.  Even if it was Hell…

    Sounds a lot like what Leftists actually do when they get power, doesn’t it?

    • #32
  3. Patrickb63 Coolidge
    Patrickb63
    @Patrickb63

    Cat III:

    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.

    Didn’t take long for someone to prove my point.

    True.  But Xennady is right.  It is socialists and communists who gave us the mass graves and genocides of the 20th century.  And when the language of the left in America starts to sound like the language of the 20th Century socialists and communists, it makes people worry.

    • #33
  4. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Warning. You are in danger of being fired from this company. Your best bet is to keep your head down your mouth shut and convince them you don’t follow politics. If they start to suspect that you are conservative you will be either pushed out of the company or removed for one reason or another. The left that run this country do not tolerate our kind if they can help it.

    • #34
  5. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    Sr. VP 2 isn’t aware that Bernie is against open borders. Probably doesn’t know his position on 2nd amend either. Oh well, you can’t fix stupid.

    • #35
  6. Great Ghost of Gödel Inactive
    Great Ghost of Gödel
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    Cat III:

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

    I know, right? All those “Hitler hears about…” videos he records? Hilarious!

    • #36
  7. Great Ghost of Gödel Inactive
    Great Ghost of Gödel
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    Patrickb63:

    Cat III:

    Didn’t take long for someone to prove my point.

    True. But Xennady is right. 1669078

    • #37
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I have not been in contact with any of my Liberal friends since the Trump phenomena.  I have been wondering what they think.  I do agree with your lessons learned though.  Thanks for the insight.

    • #38
  9. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    Cat III:

    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.

    Didn’t take long for someone to prove my point.

    Ahh, but “they” think we are all evil.  We think that many if not most of them are evil, but the others are wither misguided or just want the gummint to take from the haves and give it to them.  Wait.  That is evil.

    • #39
  10. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    The outcomes of liberal policies are evil, but the policies themselves are rooted in good intentions. Liberals are NOT (very often) evil.

    It is analogous to parenting. Nice people usually make awful parents. The outcome of accepting bad behavior from children is spoiled and hopeless children – but it was certainly not the parents’ intention. They just thought that being nice to their kids was how good people show their children that they love them.

    • #40
  11. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I work in aerospace. People who support the Ex-Im bank carelessly refer to “lunatic tea-partiers” without any awareness that the Bank is pure cronyism – or that their readers may well be among those very same lunatics.

    • #41
  12. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Are these people politically active, or are they just everyday Americans who vote left? If the latter, then we (the right, the party, and our whole nation) have a very serious problem. I’ve written before about how the lefty views have become cultural common sense. Even ridiculous things like single payer healthcare and gun grabbing — which have always gone so well for the little people throughout history — become those things against which an argument shouldn’t even be required. We can’t win an argument on the substance because these people don’t even acknowledge that there is a debate to be had.

    Do you have any insight as to how the left has so wholly infiltrated the culture and the public mind so that other (better) ideas as universally dismissed as nonsense?

    • #42
  13. mezzrow Member
    mezzrow
    @mezzrow

    The King Prawn:Are these people politically active, or are they just everyday Americans who vote left? If the latter, then we (the right, the party, and our whole nation) have a very serious problem. I’ve written before about how the lefty views have become cultural common sense. Even ridiculous things like single payer healthcare and gun grabbing — which have always gone so well for the little people throughout history — become those things against which an argument shouldn’t even be required. We can’t win an argument on the substance because these people don’t even acknowledge that there is a debate to be had.

    Do you have any insight as to how the left has so wholly infiltrated the culture and the public mind so that other (better) ideas as universally dismissed as nonsense?

    Time for a post on the Gramscian progression through the institutions, I suppose.

    • #43
  14. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    KP, to your point, that is a very broad question.  Part of the answer is the 60’s & 70’s radicals that have wielded the tools of the culture for a long time have dripped their poison into the national bloodstream via curriculum, university study areas that have little to do with reality and a lot to do with propaganda, etc.  The institutional pillars that support have buttressed the society have been systematically undermined.  We have become so certain of our own superior insight that we think we can deconstruct everything that has been built over the centuries without destroying the structures that fostered virtue and industry.

    When Time magazine pronounced the “death of God”, they weren’t really trying to say God was actually dead; they meant He is dead to “us”.  No longer relevant, no longer a daily force in our lives.  Sadly, they spoke for much of the culture.  We are reaping what they have sown.

    • #44
  15. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Brian McMenomy: Part of the answer is the 60′s & 70′s radicals that have wielded the tools of the culture for a long time have dripped their poison into the national bloodstream via curriculum, university study areas that have little to do with reality and a lot to do with propaganda, etc. The institutional pillars that support have buttressed the society have been systematically undermined. We have become so certain of our own superior insight that we think we can deconstruct everything that has been built over the centuries without destroying the structures that fostered virtue and industry.

    It still baffles me that when otherwise reasonable human beings are presented with the inevitable, historical outcomes of socialism they still think Bernie Sanders has “some really innovative policy ideas.” It’s as if their brains have been turned off and their ability to reason through the data is entirely overcome by a demonstrably faulty worldview.

    • #45
  16. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I see much of the problem (undermining of conservative values) as unionized (and presumably liberal) teachers in government schools.  Being a teacher is the opportunity to warp young minds.  Even without intending to impart political attitudes, the attitudes get imparted just the same.

    I remember the case of a popular children’s video used in schools that told the kids that government gave them the rights in the Bill of Rights.  When confronted, the video author was astounded that anyone could think differently.  Of course the government was the source of all rights, she thought.

    Good intentions.  Blind to the other side.

    • #46
  17. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    iWe: The outcomes of liberal policies are evil, but the policies themselves are rooted in good intentions. Liberals are NOT (very often) evil.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions

    So if you do evil out of ignorance—to give them the benefit of the doubt—is it any less evil?

    • #47
  18. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    There is a fundamental difference. The left needs universal agreement and compliance with their collectivist schemes. We on the right want there to be (vast) areas where politics are irrelevant and inconsequential. To us someone with different political opinions isn’t such a threat. To them, even a small minority in non-compliance threatens everything about their world.

    • #48
  19. Jojo Inactive
    Jojo
    @TheDowagerJojo

    iWe:The outcomes of liberal policies are evil, but the policies themselves are rooted in good intentions. Liberals are NOT (very often) evil.

    It is analogous to parenting. Nice people usually make awful parents. The outcome of accepting bad behavior from children is spoiled and hopeless children – but it was certainly not the parents’ intention. They just thought that being nice to their kids was how good people show their children that they love them.

    Excellent analogy and truthful observation about parenting.

    • #49
  20. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    I know many liberals and they are all like your dinner companions. Every time they turn on the TV or radio, read the newspaper or visit their favorite websites, they hear how horrible conservatives are and how heroic liberals are.

    I’ve heard for years how this is a center-right country. I have never believed it. That hasn’t been true since the 1920s. If it were true, why is the vast majority of our media biased toward the left? Why is Ronald Reagan the only truly conservative president we’ve had since the Great Depression (90% liberals)? Why have Democrats controlled the Senate 73% of the time since the Great Depression? Why have Democrats controlled the House 74% of the time since the Great Depression? This is a center-left country.

    • #50
  21. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Tuck:

    iWe: The outcomes of liberal policies are evil, but the policies themselves are rooted in good intentions. Liberals are NOT (very often) evil.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions

    So if you do evil out of ignorance—to give them the benefit of the doubt—is it any less evil?

    Of course it is not evil to want everyone to have health care.

    The murder of live babies is barbaric evil. But the people who advocated Planned Parenthood really did not have the outcome in mind. If they were evil, they would be showing the videos proudly instead of being quietly embarrassed.

    • #51
  22. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    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.

    When I see quotes like this, reminds me why I’ve liked Scott Walker for a while.

    • #52
  23. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    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.

    The left is both wrong AND evil.

    The right is just evil.

    • #53
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Franco:There is a fundamental difference. The left needs universal agreement and compliance with their collectivist schemes. We on the right want there to be (vast) areas where politics are irrelevant and inconsequential. To us someone with different political opinions isn’t such a threat. To them, even a small minority in non-compliance threatens everything about their world.

    Saw a post on Facebook the other day from my lefty niece, about how the latest Taylor Swift video is horrible because it shows white people in Africa and doesn’t address the centuries of racism, oppression and Other Bad Stuff that White People are all collectively responsible for.

    One of her friends commented something to the effect of “I spent 15 minutes and can’t come up with an argument for why you’re wrong”.

    I wanted to, but didn’t, reply that “How about because not every [redacted] thing has to be political?”

    • #54
  25. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    MJBubba:

    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.

    MJ

    I loved Haidt’s book and found it really useful in conversations and understanding how people who are more liberal make decisions.

    The GOP has not availed itself of the insights in behavioral and social science.  Even if most of the experts are more liberal, the science is out there, and we hurt ourselves if we don’t use it.

    • #55
  26. Pelayo Inactive
    Pelayo
    @Pelayo

    Lynne,

    I find it interesting that you came across a Liberal “terror cell” in Georgia.  I work for a large company and we have a large presence in Atlanta.  Almost all of my coworkers in Atlanta are Republicans.  Do you think that perhaps Liberals gravitate to working for a non-profit like yours and that would explain the disparity in our experiences?

    For what its worth, I have a few family members that work for non-profits and they are Republicans so you are not alone.

    • #56
  27. Pelayo Inactive
    Pelayo
    @Pelayo

    Miffed White Male:

    Franco:There is a fundamental difference. The left needs universal agreement and compliance with their collectivist schemes. We on the right want there to be (vast) areas where politics are irrelevant and inconsequential. To us someone with different political opinions isn’t such a threat. To them, even a small minority in non-compliance threatens everything about their world.

    Saw a post on Facebook the other day from my lefty niece, about how the latest Taylor Swift video is horrible because it shows white people in Africa and doesn’t address the centuries of racism, oppression and Other Bad Stuff that White People are all collectively responsible for.

    One of her friends commented something to the effect of “I spent 15 minutes and can’t come up with an argument for why you’re wrong”.

    I wanted to, but didn’t, reply that “How about because not every [redacted] thing has to be political?”

    Ask your niece to explain why North Africa’s glory days came at a time when Greek influence was pervasive or why South Africa is an oasis among poor nations.  How does she conclude that White People are the problem?

    • #57
  28. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Great Ghost of Gödel:

    Patrickb63:

    Cat III:

    Didn’t take long for someone to prove my point.

    True. But Xennady is right. 1669078

    This caption have been attached to a picture of Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

    • #58
  29. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

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

    The King Prawn: Are these people politically active, or are they just everyday Americans who vote left?

    They are everyday Americans, and Hillary wants to be their champion.

    • #59
  30. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Pelayo:

    Miffed White Male:

    Saw a post on Facebook the other day from my lefty niece, about how the latest Taylor Swift video is horrible because it shows white people in Africa and doesn’t address the centuries of racism, oppression and Other Bad Stuff that White People are all collectively responsible for.

    One of her friends commented something to the effect of “I spent 15 minutes and can’t come up with an argument for why you’re wrong”.

    I wanted to, but didn’t, reply that “How about because not every [redacted] thing has to be political?”

    Ask your niece to explain why North Africa’s glory days came at a time when Greek influence was pervasive or why South Africa is an oasis among poor nations. How does she conclude that White People are the problem?

    Naw, don’t bother. They are impervious to reason. The other response (not every [redacted] thing has to be political) has a better chance. Even that’s likely a waste of time.

    Political views are tribal for most folks. It’s a rare person who has come to political views through careful, systematic thought. In short, you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

    • #60
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