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How many of us have just given up talking to or arguing with conservatives. Not the fine folks in this community but outside of this community? I Have just unfriended a number of people who think that the answer to an argument is "I don't care what you say I know I am right" and steadfastly refuse to provide links or articles or quotes or sources.

How many people in your life like to argue with you just to get you riled up? Just for the Lulz? I know in my case that has happened all my life. My brothers, my father, my "friends" will pick fights with me about politics and then when they recognize they are losing get really nasty and personal. If another person calls me a traitor just because he disagrees with me I will leave the country. This level of discourse is what passes for current events discussion in our culture today. And of course nothing is ever fact based. And we hear it on radio and see it on TV and lies go unchallenged and the whole process falls apart.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unfortunately you describe a very real dynamic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shippo1776, PsychoSavannah, XenuLives

    I have found very few cons who are willing to attempt to engage with any sort of reference or documentation, let alone facts.  They mostly spout Fox/talk radio nonsense and get their cackles up when it is confronted.  Some even say CNN is the counter to Fox, which is batshit crazy. But they believe this sort of crap so strongly that it really is pointless to try to engage with most of these folks.

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:33:08 AM PST

  •  just an observation since I only visit FB from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    time to time for a couple of minutes each month; that is the firmly held conviction by many people that the media is firmly in the hands of liberals and hence, no information received is believable.

    I don't quite know how someone operates or makes decisions in a universe where all information sources are false but evidently some folks do.  OTOH it may explain some of their behavior;  It is human nature to prefer the known over the unknown and the familiar to the unfamiliar.  Therefore, without information sources since all are false, this means the present situation, no matter how onerous, is preferable to a new situation because there is no means by which to evaluate it.

    Doesn't solve the problem of how to move such a person towards new ideas and situations (as building a fire under a mule's belly is a very bad idea for moving him) but at least it is a bit more understandable    

  •  Until they rejoin the reality based community (3+ / 0-)

    any conversation is likely to be futile.

    There can be no meeting of minds if there isn't a basic agreement on the context...on objective facts.

    I do have one conservative I talk to, but that's because she and I share a lot of things in common, and the core of the disagreement is she has a masters degree in economics but what she was taught was supply side drivel.  She really believes the job creator and confidence fairy nonsense because it was taught with authority.   This makes political discussions very difficult because where you arrive if you really believe that stuff isn't where you arrive if you don't.    

    She's also a naturalized citizen so she didn't grow up in an America where public schools actually worked and she's not yet needed the safety net so hasn't experienced how awkward and limited it is (and how it's degraded since I was young).

    She's also the best program manager I've ever met, and the rest of her education is first rate.  I respect her as a person.   Sometimes when I can tie an argument to something that will affect her family, or especially her children, I think I get through.

    But we do hit walls where we can no longer talk to each other.   Because we have to work together, and we have professional respect for each other, those walls just end the coversation, rather than starting an argument.

    We've both carefully stayed away from social issues.  I don' t go there with co-workers  unless they bring it up first (or act in a way that violates the "safe and comfortable working environment"....hate speech, sexual harassment or similar gets a response of course)

  •  My mother said to me, while we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    were talking about violent video games:  I don't care what the science says.  MY science says they aren't good for kids and turn them into killers!

    This is the attitude.  I fall into it sometimes myself, but I also realize that the billion dollar gaming industry is just as capable of funding studies that say what they want as the pharmaceutical companies are, and the NRA is, and the cranberry lobby is, and the vitamin industry is, and the avacado lobby is, and, and, and.  Every time we turn around, a new "superfood" is being touted and we find out later that the "stuides" are of dubious origin.

    My mom is old.  She has no foot in this real world as her working time is long over.....she sits with a comfortable pension and her Social Security with no threat to any of it (it's a military pension and she's way over 65).  She can not see how things have the worker protections that were there for her in her youth are gone.  She has a hard time understanding that the military members of today will not receive the same benefits my father did.  And she STILL blames the "anti-military" democrats!  Despite all the evidence I send to her.....sponsors of bills to cut veterans benefits, votes, etc., she is STILL stuck in some Ronald-Reagan fucking wonderland where black people cause poverty and the government is too big.

    It is just maddening.  

    My brother is even worse and he is as low as you can get on the economic totem pole without being homeless.

    I can understand it to a point.  But when facts, figures and real-life are introduced, it becomes MY science that wins.

    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

    by PsychoSavannah on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:45:01 AM PST

  •  When it's over the holiday dinner table, i prefer (0+ / 0-)

    to use what I call "The Cornbread Defense".

    Send conservatives to for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 11:15:25 AM PST

  •  Here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

    I have been fairly successful in talking to right wing hangers on. (True believers are a different story, with a different, happy ending.) I turned maybe a dozen of them in '08. At least, they TOLD me they voted for the President. I believe I turned a few this year, too, though I gathered the electoral pie was divided way early, despite all those reported sightings of "undecideds." No one was about to change their mind this year.

    Anyway, I succeed with these folks for the very reason my first grade teacher said I would. I cork my pie hole and listened to them. More, I invite them to elaborate. More, I ask constructive questions intended to draw out their views, rather than contradict them. Still more, I invite them to tell me about how others misunderstand them.

    You see, many in the right's rank and file don't belong there for one set of reasons, but have gravitated there for a different set of reasons. This is that puzzle about "voting against one's self-interest" that supposedly baffles our heavy thinkers.

    Seniors and working parents ought to gravitate to the Democratic Party for economic and ethical reasons. We know that. But after a century virtually defined by anxiety and alienation, we ought to be looking at those motivators, too.

    People are scared, and not only scared. They feel like no one pays attention to them, that they are left out of the sweep of history, that they do not count and are not respected. Aligning with the tea party or with religious bigots is attractive preceisely because those movements are governed by catechism, repeated incantations that gel identity in membership as efficiently as anything. You can feel you belong the first day you show up.

    Lib'ruls, OTOH, can appear to the mainstream alienated to be impatient, snarky, and superior-acting swells with obscure and complicated tests you have to pass before they will accept you. (Also, the Teas and Xtians say we are evil.) So these mainstream, non-intellectual, non-political neighbors of ours feel excluded before we even notice them. And, when we notice them, we cut them off at the knees with our impatience to be heard.

    So I listen. Sometimes, I only listen. Sometimes, I say no more than "thank you for laying it out for me. I disagree with you, but I've learned something." Sometimes I go as far as to bring up a factual particular, but only after they have had their say. But I don't prosecute an argument. I just say "what about this?"

    I'm sure you get what I'm doing. What they feel deprived of is respect and acknowledgement, and then belonging. I make a point of giving the first two, which imply the third. When I've given enough,  they let me know. They ask what I think. And I only tell them when they ask.

    If you can make it about them at first, and mean it, I think you will get further along with them. Really listen. Really, like you want them to listen to you.

  •  I have a friend (0+ / 0-)

    on FB who likes to post the current FOX news talking point du jour.  When people call him out or point out the truth, it usually degenerates to him just re-posting the same thing over and over.

    His primary response to liberal postings is 'Propaganda'.

    My response is usually this:

    Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
        Robert A. Heinlein - Assignment in Eternity (1953)

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