"Common ground"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by parmalee, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    ...or the idea of it.

    Frankly, I just don't get it. Over the past couple years especially, writing pieces on finding "common ground" with your rightwing brethren has become something of a cottage industry. And, of course, around the "holiday season," there's an abundance of articles on getting along with your proverbial asshole uncle at the dinner table. But how exactly does this--or is this supposed to--work?

    In certain respects, I've led a fairly sheltered life, in that, owing to my occupation(s) and lifestyle, I've mostly only ever really had to deal with people with whom I have only the mildest of political differences. Musicians, artists, artisans, academics, and organic farmers overwhelmingly tend to be some brand of communist, socialist, or anarchist. There are Republican musicians and the like, but they tend to make shitty music (and the like); consequently, I don't really know any of them. (And seriously, does anyone dispute this? Name a good rightwing comedian, artist, musician.)

    It's kind of a good thing that I don't have to deal with/tolerate rightwing sorts because of my explosive epileptic temperament--I can be extremely unpleasant at times, to put it mildly. For example, my ex-girlfriend, whom I've known for twenty years, has somehow managed to keep me from ever having had to interact with her brother, who is kinda conservative (he voted for Gary Johnson); yet, I know the rest of her family quite well and have stayed with them on countless occasions--I've only even met the guy just once, in passing. That's a fairly impressive feat, I think, and most people who know me well have gone to similar lengths to keep me from having to interact with conservative associates.

    Yet most people, so far as I know, are capable of maintaining somewhat cordial relations with persons who hold abominable viewpoints. Sometimes it's of necessity, but I've also known of people who are actually married to such persons. I just don't get it. How do people get along with those who have no regard for, say, non-whites, women, immigrants, and, especially, the planet and all it's species (upon whom they're knowingly and willingly inflicting multiple genocides)? I mean, just at a social level? What quality or attribute am I lacking (tolerance? empathy? patience? I really don't know.)?
     
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  3. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, fuck that. If it were an economic issue, it would be possible.
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    They don't see themselves that way. They don't see themselves as against women's rights - they see themselves for the rights of the unborn and for traditional family values, because everyone is happier that way. They don't see themselves as against immigration - they see themselves as for legal immigration, law and order and strong borders. They don't see themselves as against the planet - they see themselves as strong, independent thinkers who don't accept the "climate change myth" like all the sheep do.

    Everyone is a hero in their own story.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think the answer to the OP question is "all of the above" and proud of it.
     
  8. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Some of them, maybe. But plenty are quite open about their beliefs: most Trump voters actually believed the sexual assault allegations against him, yet they voted for him anyways; Evangelicals are quite open about their belief in the inferiority--or essential submissiveness-- of women; and what was it that Fox and Friends schmuck said of the child separation policy? Something like, "It's not like they're our children, from Texas or Indiana or wherever" (something along those lines). And it kinda goes without saying that plenty of people are openly racist, and plenty believe that the "environment" and all other creatures are theirs to do with as they please. (That said, I'm a staunch proponent of year-round open season on trophy hunters; of course, I'd actually make use of them (i.e., render their fat into fuel for diesel engines, etc.))

    And honestly, I don't know who is worse--the ones who are deluded and/or pretending, or the ones who are openly monstrous. While I've mostly been sheltered from having to deal with people I genuinely consider to be enemies and an existential threat, I've not gone entirely without my dealings: I spent a couple of years living in various parts of the South, for some bizarre reason (something to do with Poe, Faulkner, and O'Connor, I think--also I've traveled through the South countless times); dealt with skinheads in a few Eastern European locales, etc. A lot of people genuinely scared the shit out of me, and if I wasn't afraid for myself, I certainly was for others.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Tolerance is strongly modified by proximity.

    The closer you are (in terms of physicality and in terms of communication), the better you can get simpatico with otherd. And, generally, people standing near you don't shout deplorable things in circumstances where there might be immediate consequences.

    Conversely, the farther you are, the easier it is to both say abominable things, as well as to encounter abominable things - especially when consequences approach zero (or at, least, you think they do.)

    Such is the power of social media and mass broadcasting. Civil discourse doesn't make headlines quite like diabolical sound bites.
     
  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    For the most part, I'm inclined to agree. However, personality disorders, neurological quirks, etc. tend to throw some variation in the mix.

    For whatever reason--TBI/temporal lobe epilepsy? some variant of autism? highly unusual upbringing?--I am almost entirely without affective empathy--with respect to humans. With respect to other beings--especially mammals, but extending to plant life--I've got an abundance of affective empathy, kinda on the scale of "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" abundance. I'm generally quite civil on the interwebs (well, mostly); IRL, it's a mixed bag. Mostly I am quite civil and reasonable, but I've also been told by countless people that I am wholly incapable of masking my true feelings towards anyone or about anything.

    Don't really know how I ended up like this, but I suspect epilepsy is mostly responsible, as my mother tells me I became this way long after a traumatic head injury at age four. But I can be a real prick towards people who I believe hold abominable views--then I ask myself, am I really all that different from the guy who won't bake a gay wedding cake?

    That's why I ask: how do people do it? I know the various whys, from a strategic and tactical standpoint--which isn't to say that I necessarily agree with them--I just don't get how it works.
     
  11. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Its a rightwint tactic to distract from the stink of Trump an the GOP by shamin decent folk into huggin a republican an hopfully even vote for one.!!!

    I suspect that what you are most lackin in is... ignorance… stoopidity an insanity.!!!
     
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    If it works at all, it's mostly by avoidance. You never bring up the contentious subjects and if someone else does, you try to change the subject as fast as possible. If that doesn't work, you keep quiet, let others talk - stuff your mouth with turkey, if necessary, or even leave the room on some pretext, while the objectionable person is sounding off. You don't respond; you deflect, misdirect, misunderstand; find any excuse to refrain from speaking. If a response is unavoidable, you say something noncommittal, like "I see." or "Is that so?".
    It's hard, and I can't keep it up for very long, but I can manage for a couple of hours, as long as there are other people around.
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    PJ O'Rourke was funny. That's a short list, though - comedians are mean, in general, but for some reason their mean streak doesn't take them rightwing. Come to consider, that almost defines a comic: if somebody is leftwing and mean, they are going to be funny?
    (My guess: it's an artifact of the left having disproportionate grounding in physical reality these days, since the rightwing went 'round the bend)
    Poets seem to have a bent toward authoritarian worldviews - a couple good ones bent right. Pound, say. Playwrights also - David Mamet. One suspects even very good writers in general are not as lefty as they appear in these days of rightwing lunacy - they often have to create suspension of disbelief, after all. The nonfiction ones are bound by the facts.

    Michael Lewis, say: (The Big Short, The Blind Side, Moneyball) - how left is he, personally?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The deal with the Rep voters is that their story keeps changing. They are being continually reprogrammed, aimed at new targets, fitted with the obsessions of the month.

    The main consistency is meanness, short horizon punishment of other people. Hard to find "common ground" there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    Con -
     
  16. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    i doubt it is epilepsy. from my loose understanding Epilepsy has no traite to form moral construction through cultural processing etc.

    4 years old is a developmental stage... per-say
    so when you add the brain injury/trauma to it, it takes on a whole new thing.
    i am curious of the nature of the trauma
    keeping in mind ballet-mom/helicopter/tiger-mom parenting Vs the absent parent to the emotionally-void-parent models are all very common
    children that have been raised with no posative emotional physical contact by their own parents etc.
    the usa as 1 example, go back 50 years. it was common for boys to have no emotional support ever.
    the act of being physically interactive in non violent physical contact was only seen as a sexual process. thats a massive psychological thing that is politely avoided by most of western society.
    [not withstanding all the other issues around equal rights etc etc]

    thats a bit more complex
    do you go about trying to sell your religous ideology to others as a normal state of Ego and persnality disposition ?... in every inter personal contact you have ?
    evengelical conservatives are no different to cult members. they cant seperate themselves from the dogma. they have no free will.

    LoL most dont.
    though if underneath it your asking "how do they value themselves knowing they are capitulating with someone who is morally opposed to them ?
    well... thats quite complicated also and seems to have varying ranges of degree. much like a spectrum.
    there is considerable literature on the subject if you wish to read about it.
    you may need to familairise yourself with the type of writing of semi formal psychology 1st.

    there are various social experiments done to try and study this but mostly banned now.
    getting real results in such things usualy means the person agreing to join the study may well sue based on the suggestion of what possible outcome may be insinuated.
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's "per se" and its meaning doesn't fit in where you used it.
     
  18. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    everyones the hero of the own story yes, but that doesn't mean their actually a fucking hero.
     
  19. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Mostly. Occasionally these pieces come from ostensibly "progressive" sources, and I'm not quite sure what to make of them.
    -----------------------------

    What impresses me is that most people tend to have some sort of emotional or empathic connection with the subjects, yet can exercise restraint with, seemingly little difficulty. For me, the presence of other people not reacting/over-reacting actually makes it more difficult--it's almost as though the absence of a reaction from others pushes me over the edge.

    At the same time, I find it unsettling when the cordial relations, civility, restraint spill over into other arenas, where perhaps the antagonistic response might be warranted or effective. For instance, watching the questioning of Brett Kavanaugh by Democrats was infuriating. The guy possibly set a world record for perjury in a single session, yet he wasn't really taken to task for it. (The Republicans, with their "I have but one question for you, good sir: do you believe in our lord, Jesus H. Christ?" questions were as infuriating, but expected.)

    ------------------------------
    Poets. That was a pretty glaring oversight on my part. The number of decent poets with fascistic leanings is staggering. While it certainly doesn't have to be (Whitman, Rilke, et al, are exceptional here), the enterprise of writing poetry--for many--seems almost to be like deliberately ignoring every bit of advice Bertolt Brecht had to offer.

    I sometimes wonder if their might be readers who, somehow, are familiar with Gore Vidal, say, only through his correspondence with and writings on Timothy McVeigh, and what actually they take away from that (of course, today, with wiki and suchlike, there's really no excuse for not having a more comprehensive overview). And then, somehow, Hannah Arendt remained on good terms with Heidegger throughout the entirety of her life; his other students (Hans Jonas, et al) rightly deemed him a monster.

    -----------------------------
    Refractory epilepsy does shape , and transform, personality--see Geschwind, Waxman, et al. Innumerable, successive seizures over time are not wholly unlike receiving ECT back in the day (pre-1980s; present day use of ECT is a very different beast): a very different person is gonna come out of that, we just don't know in what ways they will be different.

    UNfortunately (well...), most studies of this nature were done with insufficient rigor, and consequently, can be read and interpreted in countless manners. Though, we can fairly conclusively state that we, mostly, tend to do what we're told.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Of course. But it gives them a way to see their actions in a positive light. "I'm just protecting decency." "I am just thinking outside the box." Which is why that sort of ignorance is harder to combat.
     
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose they'll just have to get used to your outbursts, or stop inviting conservatives, or stop inviting you.
     
  22. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Not wantin to seem unreasonable some progressives take the bait an in the name of "common ground" soften ther stance to better accommodate the low moral standards of the GOP.!!!
     
  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    Autism spectrum.
    very common.

    why do you care what they think ?
     

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