It is an uphill climb

The following summary comes from a man in his seventies who has leaned Democrat most of his life. He is a retired, successful businessman who lives in a metropolitan region of North Carolina called the Piedmont Triad. He is lamenting the kinds of conversations he has with old friends who lean to the conservative side.

“Unfortunately, I banter almost daily with three guys (separately ) who are very conservative, watch Fox News primarily ( including Tucker ) , read EPOCH Times , NY Post , you get the idea . Their ages are 65-88 and two are UNC grads while the other was UGA . All voted for Trump twice and would again because they agree with his principles ( ??? ) though might not like his ‘style’. I’m trying my damndest to understand them and budge them from some of their positions.

I believe each of these gentlemen, successful in business and with strong church and family ties, believes America’s Left’s infatuation with Socialism, PC , CRT , diversity , reverse discrimination, softness on crime, disregard for the Second Amendment, gay marriages , secularism, trans-genders, open boarders ( that’s usually how they spell it ) and voting rights for illegals is all undermining the basis of our Republic. They believe all that from the vote of their being . And they send ‘intellectual ‘ videos from Hillsdale and Prager and elsewhere to defend their position . While excusing Jan. 6’s actions ( what insurrection ? ) and Trump’s role and glee while his minions scared the crap out of Congress people , Left AND Right .

In addition, they believe 2020 was RIGGED, swear by 2000 Mules , put up with Gaetz and Greene by declaring the greater threat to our democracy is from the Left . They say the Rightist militias like Proud Boys are a non-factor .

One of these guys, a long-time acquaintance, owner of 65 McDonald’s at one time, is fond of telling me that we are ‘wired differently,’ that all liberals are wired differently meaning wired wrong . No doubt on his mind ‘we are losing our country’ and it’s due to the Socialist liberals. They all three love to point to Cuba and Venezuela as examples of failed Socialistic governmental policies. As if such comparisons make any sense .

These folks are committed and are seemingly in a strong position to make big gains mid-terms. Plus they have a stable of ‘good’ candidates for President if Trump will allow it.”

I sent the following return email (the quoted piece below) and told him he could forward it on if he liked. As an independent and former member of both parties, mostly Republican, I thought it might carry more weight. Probably not, but it is worth a try.

“A place to start is posing a few questions:

– do they know our economy is a blend of fettered capitalism (bankruptcy protection, insider trading laws, interlocking boards, etc.) and socialism (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Medicaid, Workers Comp)? The key is what is the right balance?

– do they know that the economy, stock market, GDP growth and job increases have done much better under Democrat White House’s?

– do they know Trump was handed the reins on an economy that was in its 91st consecutive month of growth, a more than doubled stock market and six straight years of 2 million plus job increases?

– do they know Trump planned to contest the election by hiring 1,000 attorneys up to two months before the election and still lost all but one of about 65 court cases and every recount, review and audit?

These are questions posed by an independent and former Republican and Democrat voter. They may want to answer why Michael Gerson, one of my favorite conservative pundits has said the “Republican party is in decay.” We need a viable GOP, but vilifying the truth tellers and glorifying the liars is not the path forward.

These are just a few thoughts. By the way, most Democrats are not socialists. They just want people to have a fair deal.” 

It is an uphill climb. But, if we don’t get people to listen and discuss their points of view, then convincing them their positions are not well-founded will be difficult. It should be noted, neither party has all of the good ideas and both parties have some bad ones. The key problem is I get argue policies with more progressive people than me, while I must argue the truth with the current version of Republicans. We need a viable conservative voice in this country, but the current GOP is not it. That speaks volumes.

14 thoughts on “It is an uphill climb

  1. Studies show that Republican and Democrat brains are different – neither is better than the other – they are just different. The world needs both of these views in order to survive. Republicans tend to use the ‘fight or flight’ network in their brains. Democrats tend to use the emotional-social- processing areas of their brains. We need both of these to work together if we want to survive traumas, and make the world better. The job of us independent voters is to try to get each side to balance compassion with personal responsibility. None of us have all the answers, or all the facts. It’s our job to talk truthfully with each other, listen sincerely to one another, and take care of our planet and all the people on it. Personally, I find that anyone choosing to be a one-sided Democrat or Republican, is directly disobeying George Washington’s warnings to Not divide into warring political factions. The two-party system is spreading animosity, hatred, and destruction in our country. I’m unsure why ‘intelligent’ politicians can’t see that.

    • Rose, very well said. It is funny the system is rigged against having a viable third party between these two parties or independent candidates. Keith

  2. I have to give two thumbs-up to this man for being able (and willing) to continue his friendship with these men, for even being able to carry on a conversation with them! I, too, am in my 70s and unfortunately, I have lost all patience with anyone who believes the lies spouted by Fox, anyone who would even consider voting for Trump again! This man must truly have the patience of a saint!

    Your suggestions are good, as they always are, but it seems that those staunch Republicans refuse to listen, to think, to consider any opinion or view that differs from the one that is already implanted in their mind. Still, one must keep trying and I applaud the man for being able to do that! And as always, I applaud you for your calm, well-reasoned questions.

    To address one point specifically … he says his friends think we liberal-thinkers are “wired differently” … no, but due to a combination of upbringing, education, and life experiences we have a different set of values.

    • Jill, thanks. The comments about being wired differently I find as just BS. Most people are a blend of beliefs, ideals and values. I am more progressive on social, but more fiscally conservative. Much of what those friends of his espoused is just disinformation or misinformation. For example, Trump is all about sales schtick and very little about reality. He wants people to believe his own excrement does not smell, but he certainly spreads a lot of it around. Keith

      • Every contact, every book we read, every interaction with others shapes who we are in one way or another. Education plays a significant role, as do our family and early years. Nobody is “wired” to be one way or another. That is, as you say, just BS. Trump is an empty shell … there is no substance, nothing to love or value.

      • Jill, so true. Trump self-confesses to not liking to read or being a good student. And, then he tells us in the next breath how smart he is. Really? One of the interesting comments in the 750 hours worth of interviews by Bob Woodward for his book Fear” is how staff had to have a lot of pictures and white space in any briefing of the former president as his attention span was not good. Keith

  3. Keith,

    This is good, and I’m so grateful to you and the person you quote for continuing to engage.

    Perhaps you could also suggest that these ever-trumpers try watching the Jan 6 hearings, which they won’t find on their favorite “news” sources. I discuss them in my post today.

    And for you, here is information to back up your statement that our economic life is better with Democrats in the White House. These are data-driven presentations: “With Democrats Things Get Better.”

    https://www.ndn.org/WithDemocrats

    I strongly disagree with the Independent citing data claiming Dems vs Republicans fit categories. The Republicans have become a cult preying on fear. They stand for nothing that will improve people’s lives.

    • Annie, thanks. Fox News will cover the hearings, but I believe it will be hosted by Tucker Carlson who is a leader in disinformation in my opinion. So, his job will be to tell his viewers what you just heard has an alternative truth.

      The GOP is untethered to the truth right now. The stuff cited by my friend that he has been told is standard fare BS espoused by folks trying to disinform. Democrats are not perfect, but they have been unfairly demonized to distract. Biden is not perfect, but top of mind I would not use words like lying, bullying or sedition to describe his actions as I would with the actions of people like Trump, Nunes, or Jordan. Keith

  4. I find it hilarious that they point to Cuba & Venezuela as failed socialist countries, when both countries had their economies ruined by the USA … in Cuba’s case, for as long as my own life. Neither of these countries had a chance to flourish or fail naturally as socialist countries, so it’s impossible to say what the outcome would have been for them.

    I hear these arguments all the time but I have stopped debating these kinds of falsehoods, because these people do NOT want to change their way of thinking, which is how political arguments/debates are supposed to end up … both sides changing their thinking & coming together a little bit. They just want to be the victor & own the libs. It’s the verbal version of a WWF match & I have no interest in participating in something like that.

    I do have acquaintances who are trumpsters, but I can’t say they’re true friends. Just people I like enough to say hi when I see them & ask how’s the family. But that’s as far as it goes. & there’s a long list of people with whom I have absolutely nothing to do … they’ve been unfriended on Facebook years ago, I wouldn’t show up at their wake if they died (well, maybe I would). Even within my own family, there’s people I do not wish to see because of their pro-trump politics & I’m not sad that the price of gas is so high that we won’t be having a family reunion this year!

    I’ve pretty much stopped going out anywhere at all … because I don’t want to hear any pro-trump, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-white-supremacist BS anymore … & that’s pretty much all you hear nowadays. The bars are filled with this shit … the nice people stay at home.

    • Thanks for your perspective. The veracity of these kinds of comments as noted in my friend’s summary is not very high. What puzzles me is if these smart folks knew they were having smoke blown up their rear, they would be ticked off. This cognitive dissonance is powerful.

      Avoiding some folks with strong and strange opinions is not always possible, because it may be a close relative. So, there is a lot of time spent avoiding the 800 pound gorilla named Trump. Keith

  5. When a nation reaches a stage where in the political arena the two sides are speaking mutually unintelligible languages, seeing the same events in two very different ways and the separation borders on the violent it has to be asked if the nation is reaching a tipping point.
    Whereas the first two factors are not uncommon experiences when one side inclines to violence firstly through intimidation and slips into denial at the obvious (The 2020 Election and its aftermath) then matters are becoming dangerous.

      • Indeed Keith. At this stage far too many folk are believing misinformation, and I suspect those who started it are so mired into the flow, they are beginning to believe it themselves.

      • Roger, I was thinking this morning how Trump sycophants are thinking “how can I lie my way to helping Trump escape scrutiny today with the January 6 presentation?” Some of those folks are actually guilty of sedition as well, even Congress members. Keith

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