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View Diary: "Serious Discussions" with my Tea Party Father (38 comments)

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  •  Unasked, I offer this advise from one who has... (14+ / 0-)

    been there.

    There are two things you never say to someone who is firmly convinced that they are right and you are wrong and would understand that fact if only you would listen to what they had to say:  1) "I don't want to talk about it" and 2) "You're an idiot".

    In my circumstances, the reply always was "that's cause you know I'm right"

    If the objective is to convince your father he is wrong, stop trying, you will fail.  If it is to have something approaching a meaningful relationship, then engage but do not argue.  He has his point of view and you have yours.  Accept that this will never change and in your discussions try to achieve something of value.

    In your discussions, rather than starting from the positions a) He is wrong.  b) he is wrong because the people he listens to are wrong. c) I am right.  Start from the position a) what does he believe.  b) why does he believe this.  c) what does he think is the consequence of this belief.

    For example, in the climate change discussion, you could have asked why he thought liberals were faking climate science.  What their ultimate goal was and what they hoped to achieve.  When he gave the boilerplate answer of expanding government, destroying business, Tyranny, etc., you could turn to argument towards what he is really afraid of, what his real concern involves and what he really is saying.  Rather than trying to convince him his beliefs about climate change are unfounded, you could end up finding out something about himself that he is hiding behind the rightwing rhetoric.

    It has been my experience, that most Right-Wingers are frightened people.  They fear change, the "other", things that are different or difficult to understand.  They fear violence, crime or loss of power and priviledge.  The first step to overcoming Right-Wing thought is to understanding and dealing with these fears.  Then the change comes.

    Good luck.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:49:02 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm going to try this out and see what happens. I'm pretty positive he's afraid of something, but what that is, I'm not sure and wonder if he's even sure. I have a few suspicions what it might stem from what I've gathered from past arguments and conversations, but again, I'm speculating.

      I also need to work on not letting my frustration and temper get the best of me. lol

    •  I've tried these (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with my dad. But usually, there isn't any belief behind why he believes the way he does. I think he looks to people he thinks are smarter than him and parrots their opinions. My dad is not a dumb man, but he doesn't have any intellectual curiosity. I think he has to be able to want to reason out why he believes one way or another to even have this kind of conversation.

      As he gets older, he does this more. I'm a bit worried that he is losing some of his mental faculty and that might be exaggerating the parroting that he has been doing over the past several years. Of course, he could just be a lazy SOB, and if it isn't related to the Indians, Browns or the CAPS, he really has no need to think about it.

    •  Republicans are convinced that ... (0+ / 0-)

      the sole motive behind the global warming and "green" causes is to create trillions of dollars worth of make-work (i.e., useless) jobs for otherwise unemployable liberals.  At least, that's the gist of what I hear, by FAR, from those I encounter.  Those who see that man can impact the environment refuse to accept that there's any global impact, insisting that only some local areas (like Bejing's pollution) need any real attention.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:59:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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