Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Losing More Friends

 

On Sunday, there was a large gathering of BLM protesters in my little town of Lynden, WA. A lot of us who don’t toe that particular line were mildly nervous about how it’d go, but it went fine. Some counter protesters, Trump supporters and flag wavers, etc.

My daughter, a brash young woman if ever there was one, decided to drive by the protesters with her Keep America Great hat on, and the national anthem playing loudly. Apparently, this effrontery was much too much for a couple of her “good” friends. Within minutes she had a text: “On behalf of [nitwit] and I, you are no longer our friend. The national anthem is disgusting, and driving past us with your Trump hat on is disgusting.” Or some such nonsense.

I told our daughter: Good for you for standing up for what you believe in! I reminded her that standing up for what you believe in will always cost you something. Unfortunately and often it costs you relationships with friends and family. She didn’t quite understand why someone would react that way. She knew her two friends had gone to the BLM rally, and they’d even had discussions on the topic. But she was not “unfriending” them. I explained to her: Some people are very fragile in what they believe. Because they are fragile, they cannot tolerate others not agreeing with them, much less people actively arguing against their views. I reminded her of a liberal friend of mine. I said, “We don’t agree on much of anything, politically. But we are still friends. We are brothers in Christ, and we know that each other’s view on political matters is the result of our commitment to Christ, each of us in our own way. We have built a trust in each other that rests on the foundation of Christ. That supersede’s our political disagreement. We are both firm enough in our convictions that we can stand to disagree with each other. And in fact, we value that disagreement because it sharpens both of us.”

I am not troubled by COVID, nor by protesters, nor counter-protestors, nor by police, nor by Joe Biden, nor by Trump. I AM troubled as I watch our nation divide even more sharply over something which, when you get right down to it, we don’t disagree.

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  1. Arvo Coolidge

    Bummer.

    • #1
    • July 6, 2020, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    The lack of confidence in their beliefs is what marks the left’s intolerance of dissent.

    • #2
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 24 likes
  3. MarciN Member

    Spin: I am not troubled by COVID, nor by protesters, nor counter-protesters, nor by police, nor by Joe Biden, nor by Trump. I AM troubled as I watch a our nation divide even more sharply over something which, when you get right down to it, we don’t disagree.

    Me too.

    This conflict is wholly artificial. I don’t see a way to fix it because people are making money by stoking emotions right now.

    • #3
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:05 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Hoyacon Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Spin: I am not troubled by COVID, nor by protesters, nor counter-protesters, nor by police, nor by Joe Biden, nor by Trump. I AM troubled as I watch a our nation divide even more sharply over something which, when you get right down to it, we don’t disagree.

    Me too.

    This conflict is wholly artificial. I don’t see a way to fix it because people are making money out of stoking emotions right now.

    I may be off base, but I see the conflict as between those who view BLM as the literal representation of its name, and those who see BLM as representing much more. I’m not sure that’s reconcilable.

    • #4
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 19 likes
  5. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As long as they’re peaceful, I don’t really see the need to counter-protest. It just feeds them oxygen, and convinces them that what they’re doing isn’t a complete waste of time. History has shown time and again that the most effective response has almost always been to let the babies have their little tantrum and then go back to business as usual once they get tired and go home.

    The only reason this time has been different has been because a) governments have been publicly agreeing with the protesters and/or giving in to their demands instead of following the time-tested playbook of affirming their right to protest peacefully but generally ignoring them otherwise, and b) too many folk who despise these government capitulations to the mob have taken to counter-protesting the protesters instead of protesting the governments that pander to the protesters.

    One should almost always punch up at government officials rather than punch down (or laterally) at other protesters with whom one disagrees. Protesters depend on opposition for their spiritual sustenance, while politicians fear opposition that might translate into lost votes at election time.

    Of course, one should still make preparations to defend one’s one life and property if it should come to that, but IMHO counter-protests actually exacerbate the odds of that eventuality. Be Prepared will always be a great maxim but so will Don’t Feed The Trolls.

    Other maxims our side should keep in mind when dealing with the current crop of alienated youngsters:

    • Peace Through Strength
    • Talk Softly And Carry A Big Stick
    • There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear.
    • If somebody gets in your face and calls you a c**ksucker, I want you to be nice. Ask him to walk. Be nice. If he won’t walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can’t walk him, one of the others will help you, and you’ll both be nice. Being called a c**ksucker is nothing personal. It’s just two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.
    • #5
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:15 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    One should almost always punch up at government officials rather than punch down (or laterally) at other protesters with whom one disagrees.

    This is a great point and one we’ve discussed in our home. To whom are these protests directed? At each other? What’s the point. Is someone going to see me in my Trump hat and say “Well, now that I think about it…I see your point”? No. And what good is holding up a sign at me when I drive down the street? Am I going to suddenly say, “Oh, ok. NOW I get it!”? No.

    They should be protesting policies they disagree with.

    But..the BLM folks are here in this little town because they believe us, the residents of said town, to be racists. They’ve flat out said that. “We need to go to Lynden and protest because they are racists.” And the counter protestors are saying “No, we aren’t.” So…it’s like a big “IRL” version of a Facebook argument.

    • #6
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “…the national anthem is disgusting.”

    Hmm.

    I’ll bet she has heard it sung hundreds of times in her life, and that thought never occurred to her once. So somebody must have told her that recently, and she just adopts that phrase and attitude without thinking. That sentiment is welcome in the crowd she is running with. Is she a college student? So much for critical thinking.

    There’s nothing particularly “disgusting” about it that comes to mind – just a poem about a battle and a flag, and whether it’s still flying or not.

    I wonder if they told her that the national anthem has been co-opted by the movement and now we sing it as our marching song, would she suddenly find it glorious?

    • #7
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    There’s nothing particularly “disgusting” about it that comes to mind – just a poem about a battle and a flag, and whether it’s still flying or not.

    Clearly she’s disgusted that the US national anthem glorifies an illegal war of aggression against poor innocent Canadians whose only crime was their pious adherence to holy scripture.

    I kid! I kid!

    I kid, because I love.

    • #8
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Wise words for your daughter, Spin. Well done.

    • #9
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If I remember correctly I was in Lynden once about 20 years ago, had a windmill and Dutch Reformed church an every other corner. Hardly struck me as a hotbed for racial tension.

    Spin: The national anthem is disgusting

    After a rally near me the newspapers label one guy who drove past in a truck with a flag on the back as a “counter-protester.” So the flag and national anthem are horrible racist things now?

    • #10
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Spin: I reminded her that standing up for what you believe in will always cost you something.

    • #11
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Vince Guerra Member

    I said “We don’t agree on much of anything, politically. But we are still friends. We are brothers in Christ, and we know that each other’s view on political matters is the result of our commitment to Christ, each of us in our own way. 

    I had the exact same exchange with a decades old friend after a months worth of Facebook Messenger discussions over the lockdowns. Love the guy, and we’re in lockstep about the gospel, just not what to do about it these days. 

    • #12
    • July 6, 2020, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    If I remember correctly I was in Lynden once about 20 years ago, had a windmill and Dutch Reformed church an every other corner. Hardly struck me as a hotbed for racial tension.

    The idea that peace is evidence of injustice is the whole twisted point of post-modern revolutionary thinking. If a place doesn’t strike you as a hotbed of political tension that is itself proof that the underclass has already been stamped out by the Iron Heel really successfully. There’s no need to protest in genuine hotbeds of political tension because those are the places where the revolutionary struggle is already underway. Q.E.D.

    • #13
    • July 6, 2020, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Stina Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    One should almost always punch up at government officials rather than punch down (or laterally) at other protesters with whom one disagrees.

    This is a great point and one we’ve discussed in our home. To whom are these protests directed? At each other? What’s the point. Is someone going to see me in my Trump hat and say “Well, now that I think about it…I see your point”? No. And what good is holding up a sign at me when I drive down the street? Am I going to suddenly say, “Oh, ok. NOW I get it!”? No.

    They should be protesting policies they disagree with.

    But..the BLM folks are here in this little town because they believe us, the residents of said town, to be racists. They’ve flat out said that. “We need to go to Lynden and protest because they are racists.” And the counter protestors are saying “No, we aren’t.” So…it’s like a big “IRL” version of a Facebook argument.

    The audience is the government who sees BLM and thinks “oh! They represent a majority… let’s tax our population for reparations, and continue to defund police!”

    The existence of counter protestors say “not so fast, government… we are not all on board with this thing.”

    And no, I don’t think us turning a blind eye all the time has done us any good.

    Sure, for some toddlers, ignoring works to get them to stop. But assuming that’s the only tactic you may need is foolishness. Some temper tantrums or temperaments need a bit more than ignoring.

    And it is ignoring that has spawned this monster that thinks they are ascendant and are just punishing the lone blasphemers.

    We need more counter protests. Not less.

    • #14
    • July 6, 2020, at 9:11 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    If I remember correctly I was in Lynden once about 20 years ago, had a windmill and Dutch Reformed church an every other corner. Hardly struck me as a hotbed for racial tension.

    Spin: The national anthem is disgusting

    After a rally near me the newspapers label one guy who drove past in a truck with a flag on the back as a “counter-protester.” So the flag and national anthem are horrible racist things now?

    Just for clarity’s sake: I didn’t say the national anthem was disgusting. ;-)

    We have a lot of the big trucks with flags here. One person online called it “abusive”.

    • #15
    • July 6, 2020, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    One should almost always punch up at government officials rather than punch down (or laterally) at other protesters with whom one disagrees.

    This is a great point and one we’ve discussed in our home. To whom are these protests directed? At each other? What’s the point. Is someone going to see me in my Trump hat and say “Well, now that I think about it…I see your point”? No. And what good is holding up a sign at me when I drive down the street? Am I going to suddenly say, “Oh, ok. NOW I get it!”? No.

    They should be protesting policies they disagree with.

    But..the BLM folks are here in this little town because they believe us, the residents of said town, to be racists. They’ve flat out said that. “We need to go to Lynden and protest because they are racists.” And the counter protestors are saying “No, we aren’t.” So…it’s like a big “IRL” version of a Facebook argument.

    The audience is the government who sees BLM and thinks “oh! They represent a majority… let’s tax our population for reparations, and continue to defund police!”

    The existence of counter protestors say “not so fast, government… we are not all on board with this thing.”

    And no, I don’t think us turning a blind eye all the time has done us any good.

    Sure, for some toddlers, ignoring works to get them to stop. But assuming that’s the only tactic you may need is foolishness. Some temper tantrums or temperaments need a bit more than ignoring.

    And it is ignoring that has spawned this monster that thinks they are ascendant and are just punishing the lone blasphemers.

    We need more counter protests. Not less.

    Please note that I didn’t argue “don’t protest”, but rather “direct your protests at the proper target”. By definition, a “counter-protest” means you’re opposing your fellow citizens, and while that might be necessary as a last resort IMHO it’s more effective in the long run to protest the people who wield legitimate political power. i.e. the elected politicians.

    One of the causal factors for The Current Moment is the way that politicians are so desperate to convince voters that politicians are powerless, which is yet another Doublethink absurdity we are being conditioned to accept as axiomatic. The whole point of politicians is that they wield political power!

    • #16
    • July 6, 2020, at 9:28 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Spin: some people are very fragile in what they believe. Because they are fragile, they cannot tolerate others not agreeing with them, much less people actively arguing against their views.

    I’m not sure I would call such beliefs “fragile”. Brittle, perhaps, for something can be extremely strong but still sensitive to being hit at the right angle and still shatter.

    But there is something else afoot, something far more insidious by far, and that is a totalitarian new religion that demands heretics be driven out of polite society, and that the true believers not associate with the apostates.

    In this sense this is not fragile or brittle, this is totalitarian. And it will get worse.

    • #17
    • July 6, 2020, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  18. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    They were never her friends.

    Just aquaintances.

    Your daughter is better off learning this now.

    • #18
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 22 likes
  19. brad2971 Inactive

    Stina (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    One should almost always punch up at government officials rather than punch down (or laterally) at other protesters with whom one disagrees.

    This is a great point and one we’ve discussed in our home. To whom are these protests directed? At each other? What’s the point. Is someone going to see me in my Trump hat and say “Well, now that I think about it…I see your point”? No. And what good is holding up a sign at me when I drive down the street? Am I going to suddenly say, “Oh, ok. NOW I get it!”? No.

    They should be protesting policies they disagree with.

    But..the BLM folks are here in this little town because they believe us, the residents of said town, to be racists. They’ve flat out said that. “We need to go to Lynden and protest because they are racists.” And the counter protestors are saying “No, we aren’t.” So…it’s like a big “IRL” version of a Facebook argument.

    The audience is the government who sees BLM and thinks “oh! They represent a majority… let’s tax our population for reparations, and continue to defund police!”

    The existence of counter protestors say “not so fast, government… we are not all on board with this thing.”

    And no, I don’t think us turning a blind eye all the time has done us any good.

    Sure, for some toddlers, ignoring works to get them to stop. But assuming that’s the only tactic you may need is foolishness. Some temper tantrums or temperaments need a bit more than ignoring.

    And it is ignoring that has spawned this monster that thinks they are ascendant and are just punishing the lone blasphemers.

    We need more counter protests. Not less.

    I have to ask a question about backlash: Does it come marching down main street with a high-school marching band, or does it come quietly, leaving the rest of society guessing as to intentions? Maybe, just maybe, this would be a good time for conservatives to keep the complaints about BLM to ourselves (on a relative basis) and let things play out.

    • #19
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Arvo Coolidge

    How do we balance freely speaking our minds with consideration for how our message will be perceived by the audience?

    Kinda like, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

    • #20
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Hoyacon Member

    brad2971 (View Comment):

     

    I have to ask a question about backlash: Does it come marching down main street with a high-school marching band, or does it come quietly, leaving the rest of society guessing as to intentions? Maybe, just maybe, this would be a good time for conservatives to keep the complaints about BLM to ourselves (on a relative basis) and let things play out.

    I have a pretty good sense of how things would play out if conservatives did that. I’m trying to think of an instance where “keeping to ourselves” has solved anything.

     

    • #21
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    They were never her friends.

    Just aquaintances.

    Your daughter is better off learning this now.

    We’ll see. People say stupid things when they are angry. Friendships can be patched up. But if not, then what you say is true.

    • #22
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  23. brad2971 Inactive

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    brad2971 (View Comment):

    I have to ask a question about backlash: Does it come marching down main street with a high-school marching band, or does it come quietly, leaving the rest of society guessing as to intentions? Maybe, just maybe, this would be a good time for conservatives to keep the complaints about BLM to ourselves (on a relative basis) and let things play out.

    I have a pretty good sense of how things would play out if conservatives did that. I’m trying to think of an instance where “keeping to ourselves” has solved anything.

    While I would readily admit that backlash doesn’t often lend itself to solutions, I would submit that trying to solve this George Floyd/statue/BLM protest thing right now would cause quite a few more issues. Right now, President Trump looks pretty good for NOT sending, say, elements of US Army’s I-Corps into downtown Seattle to force dispersal of the CHAZ/CHOP protesters.

    • #23
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Arvo Coolidge

    Arvo (View Comment):

    How do we balance freely speaking our minds with consideration for how our message will be perceived by the audience?

    Kinda like, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPX2cQP8uoI

    • #24
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Hoyacon Member

    brad2971 (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    brad2971 (View Comment):

     

    I have to ask a question about backlash: Does it come marching down main street with a high-school marching band, or does it come quietly, leaving the rest of society guessing as to intentions? Maybe, just maybe, this would be a good time for conservatives to keep the complaints about BLM to ourselves (on a relative basis) and let things play out.

    I have a pretty good sense of how things would play out if conservatives did that. I’m trying to think of an instance where “keeping to ourselves” has solved anything.

     

    While I would readily admit that backlash doesn’t often lend itself to solutions, I would submit that trying to solve this George Floyd/statue/BLM protest thing right now would cause quite a few more issues.

    Maybe a bit more specificity as to those issues would help. As I see it, the more entrenched the narrative becomes, the more difficult it is to supplant at a later date. Except for the generic statement that black lives matter, there is very little about BLM with which I agree.

    • #25
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Cod bless her, Spin. Ya raised her right.

    • #26
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    They were never her friends.

    Just aquaintances.

    Your daughter is better off learning this now.

    Agreed, but she should also learn that acquaintances can still be useful, and one should gauge their utility before taking actions that render them useless to you in the future. Obviously, this is not to say that acquaintances must be accommodated at all costs to oneself, but merely to say that everybody needs to get in the habit of weighing costs against benefits when engaging in political speech.

    In virtually no instance in history have protesters been the winners in any political struggle. The winners are the ones who use the protesters to elevate themselves to the commanding heights. e.g. Lenin was absent for both Russian revolutions, only showing up afterwards to take the credit and consolidate his position.

    The sad reality is that the other side has succeeded in erasing the line between the personal and the political, and one must now learn the skills of politics to survive personally. Kids these days need to read the primers on amoral political persuasion now more than ever. Rules For Radicals. The 48 Laws Of Power. How To Win Friends And Influence People. Propaganda by Edward Bernays. On Running For The Consulship by Quintus Cicero. Etc.

    Regardless of whether one is a revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary, ya gotta learn how to be a winner, and protesting the revolution when you don’t have big guns backing you up is almost always a losing strategy. If one is compelled to choose a side in a war, one must remember the fact that it is a war, and war is hell. Better to hold back and gather one’s resources in secret than to run into battle unarmed and without backup.

    • #27
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Spin: On behalf of [nitwit] and I, you are no longer our friend.

    That kind of stuff is hard on girls, but doing the right thing has costs. You have to offer up your suffering.

    • #28
    • July 6, 2020, at 10:39 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Spin (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    They were never her friends.

    Just aquaintances.

    Your daughter is better off learning this now.

    We’ll see. People say stupid things when they are angry. Friendships can be patched up. But if not, then what you say is true.

    People also say stupid things when they know they are being stupid and they feel embarrassed. I’ve found embarrassment one of the most debilitating emotions on the planet. And why were they embarrassed? Because your daughter spoke her truth, and they could only be nasty by texting her. Who showed courage?

    • #29
    • July 6, 2020, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    “…the national anthem is disgusting.”

    Hmm.

    I’ll bet she has heard it sung hundreds of times in her life, and that thought never occurred to her once. So somebody must have told her that recently, and she just adopts that phrase and attitude without thinking. That sentiment is welcome in the crowd she is running with. Is she a college student? So much for critical thinking.

    There’s nothing particularly “disgusting” about it that comes to mind – just a poem about a battle and a flag, and whether it’s still flying or not.

    I wonder if they told her that the national anthem has been co-opted by the movement and now we sing it as our marching song, would she suddenly find it glorious?

    Akshully, 

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
    A home and a Country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    While I’m pretty sure that the ‘hireling and slave’ part means American enemies such as the Brits, and not American hirelings and slaves, the very existence of the word is often used for the ‘racism is baked-in’ claim. 

    But – fun fact – until the end of the Revolutionary War, Britain owned all the slaves.

    • #30
    • July 6, 2020, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 7 likes