Skip to main content

View Diary: Furthermore! - They Hate Our Freedoms? (138 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for sharing that. :) (5+ / 0-)

    I think it helps all of us to have better evidence with which to counter the kinds of hateful screeds you received. It's not that you can change the minds of those who send or say such trash, but you may be able to convince bystanders who otherwise would hear only one side of the story. As noted above, we don't need to win hard-line conservatives. We do need to win Fred, the archetypal median voter.

    Good afternoon! ::hugggggs::

    •  I agree about Fred, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB, swaminathan

      for a number of reasons I think it is wrong to think in terms of excluding the hard-line conservatives.  Nice as it would be if they would just...evaporate...

      One line of argument is the flip side of what I would like to say to them about Muslim-Americans.  What do you expect to happen to them?  They're here; they're citizens; they are entitled to government representation and the benefits of our society.  In the case of Muslim-Americans I would argue against the creation of a downtrodden and resentful underclass, for no good reason.  (Look at how hard it has been to undo that situation with black Americans.)  If we on the left succeeded in isolating and excluding the far right, though, we'd also be creating a dangerous and alienated underclass.

      Another line is that I don't want to validate their wishing us out of existence.  I had a great conversation with one of the attendees at a Wounded Warrior event where I was volunteering, until the topic turned to Cub Scouts and he said something along the lines of how Scouting is good because what we need is to "get rid of the Liberals."  I suspect that a lot of them, maybe especially the churchgoing ones, consider us simply evil and to be done away with.

      It also seems to me there are a lot of them, and possibly some forces in the modern world that push people in that direction (OK, this was the topic of a course I took back in college back in the 80s).  I would like to understand them better and find ways to disrupt their recruiting.

      •  I don't exclude hard-line conservatives ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        addisnana, political mutt

        ... in my Fred Whispering conversations. They often raise the issues and participate in the discussion. But my real focus is on the Freds who are listening. I don't expect to convince hard-line conservatives, though it occasionally happens. I do expect to make a favorable impression on Freds, even if we don't agree when that conversation ends. Fred Whispering is about listening, respect, and patience. The more Freds we reach, the more progressive "middle America" becomes.

        As for your story (below) about this teacher, I can see why you wouldn't want to abandon that friendship. If so, Fred Whispering works best face-to-face. We're more open to ideas that come from people we can see and with whom we can interact ... and most of us are more reluctant to be "internet rude" in face-to-face conversation.

        Good afternoon! ::hugggggs::

        •  I definitely need to work on my Fred whispering (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrissieB, addisnana

          Thanks for the tips, and the encouragement.

          I always think of Stephen Covey's advice, to listen to the other side until you can make their case back to them better than they can.  I think it will take fortitude and determination to keep my emotional reactions under control while listening, when the topic  is depriving others of their rights and dignity.

          I've been thinking all day, and about concluded I don't want to abandon that friendship.  I "accept" certain things about others of my friends.  I think I can extend that.  And down the road, if I listen well enough, maybe there will be an opening where she'll listen with an open mind to me.

          Your diary and comments have helped me a lot.  Thank you.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site