Here’s the crux of our problem illustrated by two specific examples. The other day, while listening to the radio, I caught a few moments of a debate over gun control. It was the typical back and forth liberal versus conservative banter, but towards the end of the segment, the conservative challenged the liberal to talk to NRA members, not the executives mind you, but everyday people. Her response, and I’m paraphrasing, was something to the effect that she had nothing to say to those people. The second example comes from the gay marriage debate. On Facebook, two different religious conservative friends of mine posted similar rants about having other people’s sins forced upon them. In both of these examples, there is a common thread that shuts down dialogue and allows no room for discussion.
In the first example, the liberal woman refuses to talk to her opponents. In her mind, her position is perfect and flawless, with no need for improvement or refinement. The arrogance of this stance is staggering. When someone refuses to listen to someone else, that person is adopting an air of superiority, as if their opponents cannot possibly be intelligent enough to add anything to the discussion. Now, I can almost justify this stance if the challenge had been to converse with an executive from the NRA, someone with a profit-driven agenda to promote, but this challenge was specifically to talk to ordinary people, to listen to their stories, to hear their perspectives. In her own way, she dehumanizes conservatives, and her arrogance is what makes people view liberals as out-of-touch elitists.
For the second example, we have the opposite side of the same coin. Both of the religious people are operating from the mindset that their beliefs are the only ones with validity. Anyone who doesn’t believe their version of the scripture is simply wrong. Much like their liberal counterpart, they refuse to accept that their view might be flawed. Never mind that there are many, many examples of laws proclaimed by their bible that are now considered archaic and absurd. We no longer force rapists to marry their victims for one example. These people cannot see the holes in their own logic that as humanity’s understanding of science and biology and psychology has improved, we’ve let go of the obviously ridiculous “rules” proscribed in the Bronze Age. Even though they more than likely enjoy delicious, tasty bacon, to them the Holy Bible is the immutable law of God, except the passages they conveniently choose to ignore. Just like their liberal counterpart, they dehumanize homosexuals with inflammatory analogies to bestiality, and as long as they hold this stance, there can be no discussion with them.
Until we can get both of these extremes to budge off of their arrogance, we cannot find peaceful resolution to our differences. Until we can get these extremes to stop dehumanizing their counterparts, we cannot find common ground. The only way we can ever hope to heal this widening chasm is by listening to each other, but as illustrated, the extremes have no interest in listening. In their minds, their stance is perfect and beyond reproach, and I for one have no idea how to breach this irrational gulf.
20 thoughts on “Saturday Afternoon Ramblings”
Alex, who would ever have guessed that you actually have a lick of sense! Well-stated, sir!
I have my moments 🙂
There is never any need for Americans to “budge” or tolerate our domestic enemies. It is up to these Liberal filth to change or face the consequences of their refusal to do so.
Not sure if that’s sarcasm or not.
Nope. It’s wrong for Americans to compromise their position in order to “get along with” or somehow validate the Liberals who are very much the domestic enemies of America and who should in all ways be treated as the clear and present danger to the nation that they are.
Simply put, I don’t see where the Left should be listened to beyond determining what they’re after and how they’re trying to achieve those ends so that we, the People can balk them by any means possible and necessary. Aside from that, they should be silenced by not having an audience or being allowed to engage with Americans.
Thanks for perfectly illustrating my point. You and your “side” alone know the truth, and America has never progressed forward in any way.
Jonolan- if you stand behind YOUR convictions as much as you profess to, why not sign your name to your tirade? Or is it just easier to hid behind a generic name as you spew your hate and intolerance? In case you’ve forgotten, democracy allows for ALL opinions, not just YOURS.
Probably just someone trolling for hits to his site. Don’t give him the satisfaction.
Nope. Go ahead and de-link my comments though, if that’s what you believe.
What difference does it make, Steven, whether or not you can see my face? Anyone with an ounce of skill could get that info off the web. Anonymity is largely an illusion these days.
As for Liberals being allowed their opinions – of course! I never said otherwise. I just said that there’s no reason for an American to provide them with an audience for their opinions. They can rant among themselves to their black hearts’ content as far as I’m concerned.
Democracy may allow for all opinions but it doesn’t require anyone to engage with enemy opinions or be an audience for them. Just as Mr. Adams could, for any or nor reason at all, choose to delete each and every one of my comments here and even blacklist me and I’d doubt that you’d find that either hateful or intolerant. 😉
Unfortunately, you have no concept of what a free society is about. We have real world examples of your kind of thinking, that anyone who doesn’t ascribe to your political beliefs is an “enemy” of the state. Fidel Castro used it to maintain power in Cuba. Joseph Stalin murdered millions of people using exactly your rationalization. Adolph Hitler created concentration camps for anyone who opposed his narrow world view. The name for your philosophy is Fascism, and hopefully, in a democratic republic such as the United States, fascist thinkers such as yourself will never dupe the majority of Americans into following your kind. As I said, we already have real world examples of where that thinking leads.
As for me, I will not delete your comments because, as an American, I believe open dialogue is good, and I also believe that the vast majority of people are intelligent enough to discern for themselves that hate-think such as yours is a bad path to follow. Sunlight is a great disinfectant, so I will shine plenty of it on your philosophy and let others decide for themselves what to think of you.
I get a kick out of your equating not bothering to provide and audience for- or listen to America’s domestic enemies, the Liberals with exterminating them en mass.
As for your hopes – they’re foredoomed. More and more both Americans and Liberals are realizing that there’s no good purpose in speaking to each other as we have no common ground and compromise has taken us as far as we can go.
The logical conclusion of your rhetoric is bloody violence against your “enemies.”
That conclusion is closer to reductio ad absurdum than anything else.
I could as easily and as absurdly claim that going down your path would just lead to the destruction of all principles and a luke-warm society with neither claim to a culture of its own or path forward…or back.
But I do think of Liberals and Progressives as enemies of America. They’ve made their position and their laudable levels of loyalty to the nation that they want to replace America with quite clear.
There’s also the problem that the metric of “successful” modern political compromise seems to be that nobody likes the outcome except for the government who always seems to benefit from it.
Yes, it’s absurd to think people who prescribe to your thinking would ever resort to violence. It’s not like we have any examples of that playing out or anything:
No, it’s not ridiculous to think that individuals with a predilection towards violence might choose political, cultural, and ethical reasons as the rationales, reasons, or excuses for exercising those tendencies.
It is, however, ridiculous to claim that a society will go from not providing an audience or bothering to engage with their domestic foes to the extermination of them without some greater provocation.
I count myself as one of your “Conservative” friends and I know we disagree on many things; however, I, as you, are seeing the two extremes in our politics standing their ground in a sort of political “cold war”. The wall is up and both appear to throw around “Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)” to try to accomplish their goals. Although most won’t say this, there is value to both sides of the arguments and realistically – our answer lays somewhere in the middle. If my fellow conservatives don’t learn that we live in a changing world and you can’t legislate morality-our other views will be heard less and less and conservatives will continue to move into the minority. Our God tells us not to judge, love our neighbor as yourself, and leave the judging to Him. I have friends and family that love someone of the same sex, and although I think a different way – it is their life and they should be able to enjoy all the freedoms others enjoy as long as they don’t infringe on the freedoms of others. As for gun control – as long as we are able to own guns – I don’t have a problem with some checks and balances being in place just as we do with people who are going to drive cars… I’m not a writer although I learned from a great one – hopefully, this makes some sense and in some small way helps to begin the process of us as a country to learn to communicate better and compromise to everyone’s benefit.
John, you make plenty of sense to me, and we need more people like you, who despite your convictions, are willing to engage in dialogue.
As one of the aforementioned “conservative” friends, I’d first like to say please don’t anyone ever, EVER pigeonhole all that lean to the right in with folks like this guy. Dear Mr. I can say anything as long as it’s anonymously: Spoken like a true extremist. You seem desperate for an audience that you can’t get on your own. I’m a firm believer we don’t have to “accept” everything and every point of view but this whole culture of complete intolerance worries me. I may not agree with everything someone does or says….does that mean I have to hate, belittle or threaten them??