Tag: differences

Member Post

 

The last couple of weeks, several people (some of whom I consider to be friends) have been very angry with the management of Ricochet. Most recently they have been furious with Rob Long. I haven’t heard his comments yet, but I’ve been reflecting on the choices people are making to leave, and I don’t relate […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Will Our Relationships Survive Politics?

 

When I first began to lament the absence of values in politics many years ago, I was told, in so many words, that’s politics. Get over it. Politics has followed its own set of rules forever, and that was simply the way things were. I should hold my nose and vote for the least bad candidate.

Whether or not that is still true today is something we can discuss. Of more importance to me is the role politics and values play in my relationships. The people on the Left with whom I’m friends are caring people; they aren’t violent or angry. In fact, I love them in part because of their kindness (and for tolerating me!)

But I’ve become uncomfortably aware that their intelligence and kindness may not be enough to maintain our friendships. They have taken positions politically and are resoundingly on the Left. There was a time when I simply said, well, we have so much in common otherwise that we’ll be okay if we simply avoid politics.

Bridging the Abyss

 

It’s been difficult at times to post on Ricochet, and nearly impossible to discuss politics with anyone who isn’t a conservative outside of Ricochet. With some of these conversations erupting into conflict, I decided to shed some light on the topic of conflict. It doesn’t matter which “side” you’re on: I’m talking to you. After all, if you experience serious conflict, it’s your own fault.

Let me explain a few things before I delve further into this topic. First, I use the term “serious conflict,” because every living human being experiences conflict several times a day, every day, whether or not you visit Ricochet. So I’m not talking about minor skirmishes, choices of whether to start your diet today or tomorrow, or whether to go out for Chinese or Italian. I’m talking about the heavy duty stuff. There is no permanent elimination of conflict—at least, not until you die.

The first reality to acknowledge is there’s no objective reality. Yes, I see the conflict already in my statement. Unfortunately each of us thinks we have the clearest vision of the world, of Truth, and everyone else can and should see the world as we do, right? Wrong. No one else sees your reality or your world, or whatever you choose to call it. You may argue that there are universal truths, though. Well, good luck when you try to identify the list: all of us can state universal truths—based on our own world views. What about the objective realities of mathematics or science? One only needs to study Einstein or climate change to know there is no fixed or objective science there, either. Even with the simple experience of sitting right next to a person in a closet: you may generally describe the closet in the same way, but you’ll likely have a different experience of that closet which influences your perceptions of the closet. It gets very interesting when you try to describe what seems to be a clear-cut experience and you both describe it quite differently: who’s right? Who’s wrong? Both of you and neither of you.