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

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  •  Go Meta (5+ / 0-)

    People, especially those in close family relationships, will seldom or never change any minds by argument or discussion.  The best policy is simply to agree to disagree, and it seems you've tried to do this.

    The great divide here is between what I call "heart" people, and "head" people.  Heart people decide truth based on their emotions with their logic providing whatever rationalizations are necessary.  Head people try to understand objective truth by reasoning, with varying degrees of success, and never completely free of their own emotions.   You sound like a head person (most here in Orangeland are) and your dad a heart person (they constitute the vast majority of all religions and fill up the conservative ranks.)

    You are unlikely  to ever agree on politics because you have different means of perceiving truth.

    Heart people are always deeply insecure when they take positions which are refuted by logic, but which they equally deeply believe in their hearts (emotions).  This is why religions have started wars and burned people at the stake.

    This is why your dad can't leave it well enough alone. He seeks validation from a head person.  You.  This is true of most heart people in cognitive dissonance, their insecurity leads them to always seek the validation of logic.  

    So, go meta.  Instead of talking about the issues, talk about why you can't agree to disagree.  Take the bull my the horns.   "Why is it so important for us to keep discussing this, dad.  Why can't we just agree to disagree?"

    The honest answer would be "because you are wrong!".

    So what?  So what if you think I'm wrong?  We both believe millions of other Americans are wrong, and no doubt they are.  Just different millions for you and me.  We are only human, and what we believe are just our opinions.

    Why do we prioritize being right over expressing love for one another?

    Consider this.

    How much does it bother you that he is wrong?

    What does it matter in the grand scheme of things?  You and I and your dad are but tiny drops in an ocean.

    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

    by Treats on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:44:44 AM PDT

    •  Interesting point. (4+ / 0-)

      If I am honest with myself, which I try to be, I want validation from him in that I am able to think for myself. He's said it to me time and time again that I "must" be "listening" to "someone else" for me to come to the conclusions I've come to.

      It bothers me that he's wrong in that I hate seeing both of my parents succumb to being conned by these people. That's the extent to which it bothers me. I'd be happy to agree to disagree and joke about something else. But he presses the issue or sighs with a "You'll see (that I'm right)". It used to bother me a good deal more for various personal reasons, but I've a) deprogrammed myself and b) gotten through those issues for the most part.

      I have asked him in the past why a person's race has any bearing in a discussion. For example, "That family is screwing over your uncle in their rent. You know they're Indian." I asked him, "What does it matter that they're Indian?" He got instantly angry at me and yelled at me, "I'm just giving you a fact about these people." I didn't pursue the question further. Seemed like his reason for telling me was loud and clear.

      •  Sounds like (0+ / 0-)

        You want validation from him that you've never gotten, really. He didn't want to pay for college for you - and it sounds like your the only girl with 2-3 brothers. Are you the youngest (or close to it)? He sounds like a very old-fashioned man - the type that women should be able to hold a pink-collar job then get married, and never push back against the men in her life. Does that sound anywhere in the ballpark?

        If so, you're starting from two holes piled on each other: his beliefs about women, and his beliefs about liberals. You're not really going to be able to win both battles at once, I'm afraid. You might try veering away from politics right now, and focussing on making him realize your successes in life (graduation, jobs, etc) as a single woman. Be confident - hey, they're your successes. Even if you don't have the best job/house in the world, you're supporting yourself and that's the important thing.

        Enlist the rest of your family in this (if that's possible). When they talk about their jobs, join the discussion and talk about yours. When they talk about their homes, talk about yours. (As always, use this advice as appropriate with your family).

        Once you've gotten that spadework planted, then you can approach politics with your family. Good Luck!

        Radical Right - UnAmerican and Tacky as Hell

        by efrenzy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 11:45:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Basically right ballpark. (1+ / 0-)
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          efrenzy

          I'm the oldest of four with three younger brothers. My parents are evangelical Presbyterian and if you're familiar with that branch of the Presbyterian church, then you'll understand where the whole issues with women come from.

          Fortunately, the oldest of the three boys is now a lawyer (I work in Juvenile Justice as a quasi-paralegal) and so my dad has figured out that being a public defender is a good thing and not "the enemy" as he used to call my work. lol But it irked me that it took my brother's chiming in to get the point across. So yeah, I'm starting from behind. But I figured as much when I realized that church wasn't for me.

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