Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Opening, Closing, or Losing an American Mind?

 

The-Righteous-Mind-Cover1I joined Ricochet as part of a personal, spiritual project—-though a liberal, I had come to see political polarization as an obstacle to what I believe to be not only my calling but the highest human calling: love one another.

Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind, had convinced me that liberals have to talk to conservatives and conservatives have to converse with liberals, or the country as a whole will become stupider and uglier. This makes civil dialogue between liberals and conservatives (and everyone in between) into a serious patriotic duty. Indeed, since I am unlikely to be asked to defend my country by force of arms, engaging in such dialogue may be the sole contribution I can make to the great American experiment.

“Center-right” describes (loosely) a much wider range of orientations and opinions than I had dreamed possible before joining. Folks on Ricochet do not agree about everything (to put it mildly). I admire the intellectual diversity I’ve found here, and applaud my fellow members for their willingness to hang in there and keep talking even when passions are aroused and the debate is unlikely to be resolved to everyone’s (or anyone’s) entire satisfaction. I have learned a lot about good conversation—-not just in terms of more and better content, but technique and tenacity too—-from you.

Here is what I’m worried about:

In their 2015 Atlantic article “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff discussed the ways that American college students are being trained into habits of thinking that are strongly associated with mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety disorders.

One of these is “negative filtering,” and Lukianoff and Haidt (quoting Leahy, Holland and McGinn) described it as a habit of “focus[ing] almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notic[ing] the positives.”

“When applied to campus life, mental filtering allows for simpleminded demonization,” said the authors.

When I became involved with Ricochet, I told my husband I felt like I’d gone back to college — challenged, stimulated and discomfited by turns, reading and writing about ideas I hadn’t thought about for years (or ever) while making new and interesting friends. Now I’m wondering if there is another similarity. Am I being trained into negative filtering?

Am I selectively noticing and angrily highlighting egregious nuggets of leftist cant in the president’s speeches, New York Times editorials, idle remarks of friends and relatives while ignoring the rational, reasonable parts? Persuaded that they are irrational and unreasonable, am I now avoiding conversations with left-leaning people the way I used to avoid conversations with conservatives?

“If students graduate believing that they can learn nothing from people they dislike or from those with whom they disagree, we will have done them a great intellectual disservice,” Haidt and Lukianoff write.

If I am simply becoming the right-leaning version of my left-leaning self, demonizing and disdaining the political Other, that may be an improvement in one sense — though fretful and depressed, I am more likely to be accurate in my facts and correct in my reasoning.

But how will this make me a more helpful, loving contributor to the American project?

There are 78 comments.

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  1. H. Noggin Inactive

    I admire your attitude. It is important to always listen, with an open mind. But then, we are given brains to, yes, here is the word that most left thinking people seem to hate, …judge. Yes, there are a few gray areas, but an issue usually comes down in essence to a judgement about what is right and what is wrong. You have already embraced the listening that many do not. Now you need to trust your judgement.

    • #1
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:08 AM PDT
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  2. Profile Photo Member

    I think there is a tendency to think your side has a monopoly on truth. This is always a mistake. Thinking you are morally superior has a corrupting influence. They think they can justify bad means for good ends. It becomes almost comical when people switch on issues when their team has the power.

    • #2
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:18 AM PDT
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  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Great question, Kate. I so appreciate the work of Haidt and Lukianoff. One of the things I do is constantly check myself: when I read comments on a post, especially one where I have a position, I check to see if I only accept those that support my ideas or if I can see the reasoning of others who have the opposite view with a level of openness. It’s taken a lot of practice, and I’m not always successful, but I often “like” a person’s comment that is different from my own view because I can see the reasoning in it. My main goal on Ricochet is to have civil conversation, and to learn as much as I can about being engaged but open. By checking my flexibility in considering other viewpoints, I grow and learn from others. Not easy, but absolutely necessary. And I have no doubt that you are up to doing the same!

    • #3
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:22 AM PDT
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  4. I Walton Member

    The right tends to react to the ideas and policies of the left, not the personalities. Although that’s changing. It is very difficult to get anyone on the left to engage on fundamental ideas. Giving the left the benefit of the doubt about motives is part of our problem. Only seeing nefarious intentions is the lefts problem. The Left is no longer rooted in a set of acknowledged historical ideas, it’s about power and it’s more personal, about warped right wing personalities, “deep seeded” racism, or economic interests and it’s personal; dislike to the point of hate. Mobs are like that and the left is the politics of the mob. That may be changing as well. We’ve got our own mob now.

    • #4
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:30 AM PDT
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  5. genferei Member
    genfereiJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate Braestrup: Am I selectively noticing and angrily highlighting egregious nuggets of leftist cant in the president’s speeches, New York Times’ editorials, idle remarks of friends and relatives while ignoring the rational, reasonable parts?

    I’m sure you are still paying attention to the rational, reasonable parts of the idle remarks of friends and relatives. (Looking for rationality and reason in the president’s speeches or NYT editorials would not be a good use of time or energy.)

    Persuaded that they are irrational and unreasonable, am I now avoiding conversations with left-leaning people the way I used to avoid conversations with conservatives?

    I don’t know — are you? Don’t forget, there are not a lot of left-leaning people who are looking for a challenging conversation. Right-leaning people — especially at Ricochet — tend to be up for it because the bulk of the culture is aimed against them: they are challenged all day, every day.

    How about looking into the far left? Marxists — not the faux types, but the real ones — in western society can have interesting things to say because they, too, are used to pushing back at the culture. They are also horribly, terrifying wrong, of course. But interesting interlocutors. (Well, some. Sometimes.)

    • #5
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:32 AM PDT
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  6. Sandy Member

    I experience this problem daily and think about it often. I long ago came to the conclusion that what counts in the end is not ideology but moral character, and it is with that in mind that I try to converse with friends and colleagues. Usually that means not discussing politics directly, though occasionally one can get a point in because in fact there is an area of agreement, and occasionally my friends on the other side make important points, too. I find hope in these areas of agreement, which are more likely to come from people’s personal experience: the musician friend who is terrified of having her instrument destroyed by customs officials, the parent who is frustrated with public schools, anyone who has to deal with our tax forms, etc. No one has fought with me when I’ve mumbled that we are over-regulated.

    If you are becoming something like the other side, it may be because it is more and more difficult not to be forced into battle formation. However, having read your posts and comments here, Kate, I suspect that you will be as generous in battle as you are in peace, that you will be able to respect the person even when hating their ideas. It is an old problem that will forever be with us.

    • #6
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:36 AM PDT
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  7. MarciN Member

    Kate Braestrup: Am I selectively noticing and angrily highlighting egregious nuggets of leftist cant in the president’s speeches, New York Times’ editorials, idle remarks of friends and relatives while ignoring the rational, reasonable parts? Persuaded that they are irrational and unreasonable, am I now avoiding conversations with left-leaning people the way I used to avoid conversations with conservatives?

    I doubt it. I think the negativity you are feeling on the liberal side is real. You’re not causing it, and you’re not avoiding it out of preferences for certain collections of ideas. Rather, something inside you is saying, “This is not healthy.” For a person who has some faith in God, it’s hard to communicate to people who don’t have that same sense of hope and serendipity.

    My daughter and son-in-law are both Sanders-supporting Burlington, Vermont, left-leaning liberals. One thing I find troubling is that the left is a negative field on which to play. It’s always a zero-sum game, and the world population consists of the oppressors and the oppressed. I know those two groups exist, but I also believe there is a group in between that I call “the left alone.” :)

    They do love the natural world. But the world of people, for them, seems to rest completely on the negative side of the zero on a number line.

    • #7
    • July 4, 2016, at 6:40 AM PDT
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  8. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate – I’ve enjoyed your posts and appreciate the respect you bring to Ricochet.

    As for the open/closed mind question: At some point, a person must make a decision on any given question. (Otherwise, one might stand forever in the grocery aisle pondering the best brand of coffee to buy!)

    I’m 62 years old. I’ve tried all sorts of fish over the years (even the kind that “tastes like chicken!”) — and never once have I enjoyed it. For me, it’s a settled issue. I don’t like the taste of fish. And i can live with that.

    Similarly, after a lot of reading & soul-searching, I’ve reached the conclusion that human nature is fixed – and it ain’t pretty. I no longer spend much time pondering whether that decision is right or wrong. I’m good with my choice. As a result, I fall almost entirely on the “limit the power of those in charge” side of things. And that puts me in the Conservative column in most everything.

    So, is my mind closed? Maybe. But if so, it’s because I spent a lot of time making the decision. And I don’t wanna spend any more time eating something that purportedly “tastes like chicken.” I’ll eat chicken, instead.

    Thanks for another thoughtful post.

    • #8
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:10 AM PDT
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  9. Bob Thompson Member

    Can a personal characteristic of something I will call ‘non-competitiveness’ be an attribute that increases the tendency of some to avoid the mental gymnastics required for activities relished by those on Ricochet? Instilling features like negative filtering and avoidance of engagement with those who promote views that conflict with what has been taught results in an opposite effect of: love one another. The teaching seems to do a substitution of the fact that the ideas are faulty with the fact that the people with whom the conflict is happening are faulty. So hateful interaction but not debate or sometimes just disengagement.

    • #9
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:14 AM PDT
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  10. Son of Spengler Contributor

    Kate Braestrup: Am I selectively noticing and angrily highlighting egregious nuggets of leftist cant in the president’s speeches, New York Times’ editorials, idle remarks of friends and relatives while ignoring the rational, reasonable parts? Persuaded that they are irrational and unreasonable, am I now avoiding conversations with left-leaning people the way I used to avoid conversations with conservatives?

    Mark Steyn was fond of saying that when you mix 80% ice cream with 20% dog poop, it’s bound to taste more like the latter than the former.

    The fable of the boy who cried wolf is evergreen. Even when there is truth, when it comes from one with a deserved reputation for falsehood, it’s reasonable to discount it.

    Life is short. I value truth, and if someone repeatedly feeds me dishonesty (intentionally or not), I tend to spend my time elsewhere rather than spending it sifting through their words. Deeper relationships have value beyond politics, of course, and are worth the time. But I feel no intellectual obligation to listen through an Obama speech and consider what’s not dog poop.

    • #10
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:23 AM PDT
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  11. Son of Spengler Contributor

    Kate Braestrup: If I am simply becoming the right-leaning version of my left-leaning self, demonizing and disdaining the political Other, that may be an improvement in one sense —-though fretful and depressed, I am more likely to be accurate in my facts and correct in my reasoning.

    It could just be that you’re more anxious because the facts are sobering.

    • #11
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:25 AM PDT
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  12. Profile Photo Member

    No. You are not.

    You are aware and attentive to it, and you catch yourself doing it.

    But, you knew that, and your essay, it seems to me, is more of an admonition to others.

    • #12
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:35 AM PDT
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  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate Braestrup: But how will this make me a more helpful, loving contributor to the American project?

    “Horticulture. You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think,” said the great Dorothy Parker.

    The left has always lived in their cultural bubble (at least since the 1930s). But we live in it, too, which means we are bombarded by liberal thinking at all hours of the day and night. Your average liberal only gets a characterization of conservative thinking. That’s frustrating if you get into discussion with them.

    • #13
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:37 AM PDT
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  14. PHCheese Member

    Kate have you started to recognize the leftist propaganda doled out constantly over the air waves and in print? Once we begin to have doubts it becomes obvious that things are being planted especially on the subject of global warming. Yesterday or the day before a paper I read had a long article about global warming killing the cod fishery in the Bay of Maine. They made the statement those waters have warmed greate than 99% of the rest of the worlds oceans. The trouble is they never claimed a temperature . It was so completely unscientific. Paragraph after paragraph of the woes of the fishermen. It’s common knowledge that the reason they aren’t caching cod is that the caught them all in that area.This piece wasn’t an editorial and was supposed to be factual. Right here in Charleston the Post and Courier ran a erroneous banner head line on global warming following it with a huge editorial the following day. Of course global warming isn’t the only issue that this happens. If a person on the right had acted as Hillary Rodham has they would be in jail and the laughingstock of the country.

    • #14
    • July 4, 2016, at 7:48 AM PDT
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  15. Sandy Member

    EJHill:

    Kate Braestrup: But how will this make me a more helpful, loving contributor to the American project?

    “Horticulture. You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think,” said the great Dorothy Parker.

    The left has always lived in their cultural bubble (at least since the 1930s). But we live in it, too, which means we are bombarded by liberal thinking at all hours of the day and night. Your average liberal only gets a characterization of conservative thinking. That’s frustrating if you get into discussion with them.

    and that would be the great Stalinist Dorothy Parker, which just goes to show something or other about human nature.

    • #15
    • July 4, 2016, at 8:01 AM PDT
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  16. Jules PA Member

    Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

    Phillippians 4:8

    • #16
    • July 4, 2016, at 8:10 AM PDT
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  17. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    The Independent Whig:No. You are not.

    You are aware and attentive to it, and you catch yourself doing it.

    But, you knew that, and your essay, it seems to me, is more of an admonition to others.

    You must have missed the post where I described the, um, conversation I got into with my brother… S of S! The one that very nearly became a screaming match, and I am way too old for screaming matches, with anyone let alone with people I love. (Though, admittedly, one is more likely to scream at a loved one than at a stranger, unless serious mental illness or Yale Snowflakes are involved…)(do I repeat myself?)

    One of the things I have come to realize is that a good, civil conversation does not and need not end in agreement. It doesn’t end with one side winning (necessarily) though one side may win. If the conversation ends up resulting in a vote or a decision, it can indeed be zero-sum. (The conversation still matters).

    I’ve been on the losing end of a few conversations here at Ricochet—that is, I have been persuaded by you that I’m wrong about something. It’s not comfortable, so I should at least be somewhat aware of that when attempting to persuade someone else that he or she is wrong.

    I admonished/invited the congregation I preached to yesterday to engage in discussion with people whom they disagree with—about things they have in common, sure, but also about things they don’t. Trump, for example. The pro-Trump/#neverTrump arguments here have been instructive for me. However exhausting and difficult these arguments often are, they don’t seem entirely fruitless from my perspective. It’s good for us to have to explain our reasoning, good to be challenged, good to learn how to challenge someone else without attacking them, and good to feel heard.

    Because politics (like religion) is about morality, it is difficult to avoid discussing politics with family members without feeling as though you are concealing a significant part of yourself from them, and requiring them to conceal themselves from you. I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter. Poor people matter. Black lives matter. Abortion matters. Free speech matters. Same Sex Marriage matters. And so on.

    • #17
    • July 4, 2016, at 8:25 AM PDT
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  18. Profile Photo Member

    I would say that there are at least two questions to ask:

    1. Do you have any opinions or positions that are either minority positions on the right or not considered conservative opinions? Except for elected officials, everyone who thinks for themselves has some kind of quirky opinion about something. There are simply too many opinions that fall under the rubric of “political” that you can given them all some thought and still come up exactly where everyone else is.
    2. When you talk to people who disagree with you about politics, are you more concerned with changing a heart and mind or scoring points?
    • #18
    • July 4, 2016, at 8:43 AM PDT
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  19. genferei Member
    genfereiJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate Braestrup: I’ve been on the losing end of a few conversations here at Ricochet—that is, I have been persuaded by you that I’m wrong about something.

    Sounds like you won, really. (Which I know is your point.)

    Kate Braestrup: I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter.

    Not convinced about this.

    • #19
    • July 4, 2016, at 8:44 AM PDT
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  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t care for the implication of moral equivalency, which indicates to me you still have a way to go to completely extirpate the progressive in you, Kate. There is nothing similar to the scapegoating and demonizing done by the Left on the Right. That video I posted recently asking students “What is a conservative?” indicates just how ill-informed the Left is about the Right’s positions and reasoning. And, really, the Left is forced into mischaracterizing the Right because their ideas are so impractical and simply do not work toward the good.

    When Christian bakers are being sent off for re-education and the DOJ is talking seriously about prosecuting Global Warming skeptics, I find it hard to be concerned that Obama may have occasionally hit on something true in one of his speeches. Even the devil quotes scripture.

    Having said that, I’ve been fixated lately on Aquinas’s assertion that the first response (one might suggest the natural human response) to truth (which opposes one’s views) is anger. I’ve been trying to become more aware of when I’m responding out of insecurity so that I can refine my thinking in search of the truth, rather than becoming angry and defensive. In the modern vernacular, I’m trying to “check” my anger. Have I been confronted with a truth I don’t like, or is this lefty spouting nonsense? More often than not, it’s the latter, but that doesn’t justify anger.

    • #20
    • July 4, 2016, at 9:04 AM PDT
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  21. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Kate Braestrup: Because politics (like religion) is about morality, it is difficult to avoid discussing politics with family members without feeling as though you are concealing a significant part of yourself from them, and requiring them to conceal themselves from you

    It’s interesting that you say this, Kate. I’ve had a number of Ricochettis tell me that morality has no place in politics. (I assume by morality that you include principles, values, and so on.) That’s how I live in that place of not-knowing at this time, because I can’t choose between two blatant evils in this election. And I do hope that miraculously I will be able to make a different choice–rather than no choice.

    • #21
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:01 AM PDT
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  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    genferei:

    Kate Braestrup: I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter.

    Not convinced about this.

    I’m developing a new appreciation for Michael Savage’s “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Not as a means of insulting people, but by engendering compassion and trying to “walk with” people through a detoxification process.

    In this way, I agree with you, genferei. Just because someone is hearing voices in his head doesn’t mean I’ll be better able to love him if I know what the voices are saying.

    • #22
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:09 AM PDT
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  23. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Western Chauvinist: I don’t care for the implication of moral equivalency, which indicates to me you still have a way to go to completely extirpate the progressive in you, Kate.

    I’m not suggesting moral equivalency! Not at all—it’s more that if we don’t engage in discussion, there is no hope of changing anyone’s mind. And because I don’t consider that all arguments, world views, religions etc. could possibly be equally valid, it seems very important that we engage the discussion so as to have a better chance of discovering or affirming the better one.

    I couldn’t know that my opinion about something was wrong (that is, based in faulty premises and incorrect or incomplete information) until I got into a discussion with someone who had the corrective information and a willingness to share it with me.

    As it turned out, I was persuadable. I can’t believe I am unique in this, nor even all that unusual. Faith in my country demands that I not consider at least half of my fellow citizens to be morons. (Yes, a few definitely are!)

    This is the argument I make to leftists and to rightists alike; how are you going to persuade me if you don’t talk to me (let alone if you insult me, or storm out of the room in a huff)?

    • #23
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:20 AM PDT
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  24. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Susan Quinn:

    Kate Braestrup: Because politics (like religion) is about morality, it is difficult to avoid discussing politics with family members without feeling as though you are concealing a significant part of yourself from them, and requiring them to conceal themselves from you

    It’s interesting that you say this, Kate. I’ve had a number of Ricochettis tell me that morality has no place in politics. (I assume by morality that you include principles, values, and so on.) That’s how I live in that place of not-knowing at this time, because I can’t choose between two blatant evils in this election. And I do hope that miraculously I will be able to make a different choice–rather than no choice.

    Really? How could morality have no place in politics? If we cast our vote for the best candidate (or the least bad candidate) doesn’t that mean “the candidate most likely to do the right and just thing(s) as I understand them?”

    • #24
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:32 AM PDT
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  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist:

    genferei:

    Kate Braestrup: I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter.

    Not convinced about this.

    I’m developing a new appreciation for Michael Savage’s “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Not as a means of insulting people, but by engendering compassion and trying to “walk with” people through a detoxification process.

    In this way, I agree with you, genferei. Just because someone is hearing voices in his head doesn’t mean I’ll be better able to love him if I know what the voices are saying.

    I should add, as a former brain-dead liberal, others have done as much for me, for which I’m very grateful.

    • #25
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:38 AM PDT
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  26. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Western Chauvinist:

    genferei:

    Kate Braestrup: I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter.

    Not convinced about this.

    I’m developing a new appreciation for Michael Savage’s “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Not as a means of insulting people, but by engendering compassion and trying to “walk with” people through a detoxification process.

    In this way, I agree with you, genferei. Just because someone is hearing voices in his head doesn’t mean I’ll be better able to love him if I know what the voices are saying.

    Actually—having had some experience loving someone who was hearing voices— it helps a lot to know what the voices are saying. And, at least in the beginning, one shouldn’t angrily insist that the voices aren’t real.

    “Obama is a good president, that Eric Holder (whom I met and had a conversation with once) is a professional doing a fine job, that of course Democratic politicians want race relations to improve, and of course they discuss it in good faith” These were basic assumptions, and it was disorienting to have these, and more, thrown into question.

    • #26
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:40 AM PDT
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  27. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Western Chauvinist: I should add, as a former brain-dead liberal, others have done as much for me, for which I’m very grateful.

    There! See? It’s not just me—there are a lot of us here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we F.B.D.Ls are the majority, since the zeal of the converted might explain our obsessive Ricochetting!

    • #27
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:41 AM PDT
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  28. Bob Thompson Member

    Kate Braestrup:I’m not suggesting moral equivalency! Not at all—it’s more that if we don’t engage in discussion, there is no hope of changing anyone’s mind. And because I don’t consider that all arguments, world views, religions etc. could possibly be equally valid, it seems very important that we engage the discussion so as to have a better chance of discovering or affirming the better one.

    I couldn’t know that my opinion about something was wrong (that is, based in faulty premises and incorrect or incomplete information) until I got into a discussion with someone who had the corrective information and a willingness to share it with me.

    Kate, because of your specific experience having wandered amongst the leftist population and then with the other on the right, you may be better equipped than any here to understand what is behind how this all works.

    • #28
    • July 4, 2016, at 10:42 AM PDT
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  29. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Morality is a word that is often confused with either religious faith or repressed sexuality. When a leftist throws that trope (You can’t legislate morality!) at me I ask them if they usually vote for the most immoral person they can find and then say something to the effect that that’s a pretty good explanation for the current state of the national Democratic Party.

    There are three types of people, moral, immoral and amoral. The first knows the difference between right and wrong and tries to do the right thing. The immoral knows and does the wrong thing anyway. The amoral person doesn’t know the difference.

    What separates left and right are the sources for our morality.

    • #29
    • July 4, 2016, at 11:12 AM PDT
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  30. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kate Braestrup:

    Western Chauvinist:

    genferei:

    Kate Braestrup: I can love my brother as a kind of familial duty—but to really love him, I have to know him. That means knowing what he thinks about things that matter.

    Not convinced about this.

    I’m developing a new appreciation for Michael Savage’s “liberalism is a mental disorder.” Not as a means of insulting people, but by engendering compassion and trying to “walk with” people through a detoxification process.

    In this way, I agree with you, genferei. Just because someone is hearing voices in his head doesn’t mean I’ll be better able to love him if I know what the voices are saying.

    Actually—having had some experience loving someone who was hearing voices— it helps a lot to know what the voices are saying. And, at least in the beginning, one shouldn’t angrily insist that the voices aren’t real.

    “Obama is a good president, that Eric Holder (whom I met and had a conversation with once) is a professional doing a fine job, that of course Democratic politicians want race relations to improve, and of course they discuss it in good faith” These were basic assumptions, and it was disorienting to have these, and more, thrown into question.

    Don’t we already know what the voices are saying? We’re fish swimming in the progressive world view furnished by mass media and the education establishment.

    • #30
    • July 4, 2016, at 11:27 AM PDT
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