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What websites do people visit when they want to gain some insight into the views of the other side? Is there a conservative version of Daily Kos that people have found useful for this purpose?

I would like to improve my ability to have conversations with people who do not agree with me. Not total wing nuts, but normal people I might be otherwise friendly with at work or in my neighborhood who self-identify as Republican or conservative. What websites represent people like that fairly?

I am exposed to a fair amount of FOX News at my workplace. But I am not willing to sit and watch for long enough to really understand the mind-set. There are also frequent posts here at DK quoting or linking to particularly egregious or stupid statements from the other side. Are those representative? I doubt it. I would appreciate some suggested sites in the comments. Thanks!

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Comment Preferences

  •  I rather enjoy reading Andrew Sullivan on a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueisland, Catte Nappe

    regular basis. He's a conservative who nevertheless supports Barack Obama, gay rights, and a few other not-very-hardline-Republican points of view. I find enough difference from this site to make it worthwhile to follow him, and his links to other conservative sites are generally readable.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:22:48 AM PDT

  •  Talk to any racist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, Dogs are fuzzy

    It is not hard to understand "the other side".  There are two main world-views for American conservatives.

    The first world-view is that of racism: white people are good (American exceptionalism!), and people with any other skin color are inferior.  That thinking characterizes much of what we call "the republican base": republicans who still claim allegience to the party, and Tea Party members.  Racists make up the largest portion of republicans and conservatives.

    The other world-view is that wealthy people are more deserving and superior to poorer people.  This thinking characterizes those who call themselves "fiscal conservatives".  There are fewer fiscal conservatives than racists, but they also tend to have more clout among conservatives.

    Fox News runs a web-site where you can read the comments of conservatives.  Redstate.com is another popular conservative web-site, where (like dkos) readers can also post articles and comments.  Most of the various Tea Parties have web-sites as well (try teaparty.org).  These web-sites will have plenty of stuff you can look through, and even share and communicate with partiicipants if you want.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:43:37 AM PDT

  •  The Three Rules (5+ / 0-)

    To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's character in the movie "As Good as it Gets":
    "Think of a Liberal, and take away reason and accountability."

    That's the Conservative mind-set in a nutshell.

    Having been exposed to a whole lot of "Conservative" thinking, especially in the business and religious fields, and having read many of their books, and being in the midst of them all my life, I've discovered a few little rules that work for me in understanding them.

    I admire your desire to hear from the horse's butt directly, but in my experience it's grueling, dispiriting work. And after all the effort I was surprised that their entire philosophical hay wagon came down to so few simple principles.

    1. The only thing that matters to a Conservative is "more money for me."

    2. They call everything by a name that is the opposite of what they mean. The Freedom Center is a center opposing freedom; the Clean Air Act is an act allowing for dirtier air, etc.

    3. They have no core morality or decency. Anything and everything is subject to point number one, above.

    All the rest – the web sites, the books, the cable news networks, the political maneuvers and policies and statements, are all geared to convince the public to give up their freedom in the name of freedom, to direct them away from truth and the issues, and to vote in ways that will realize point number one for those in charge (not those voting).

    It took years of thrashing through the misdirections, lies, and muddying to discover that Conservatives beliefs were simple. You may discover something different, but good luck.

    A Southerner in Yankeeland

    To save your life read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

    by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:59:49 AM PDT

  •  Sunday Morning Visit a RW Evangelical Church (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins

    especially one of the larger or megachurches. They'll probably have free literature you can pick up, and there are sometimes bookstores. I'd recommend anything that looks political.

    Also of course listen to the sermon and if you get a chance, to people conversing about the ways God works in the daily lives and what they know about it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 10:18:17 AM PDT

  •  some suggestions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, alain2112, qofdisks

    I think it's important not to underestimate your opponent - at the very least to guard against hubris. The problem is that it's too easy to find the crazy-wackjob voices out their. They're fun, they're entertaining, but they're not what is really dangerous IMO.

    It's the quieter, reasonable-sounding, conservative voices that are more pernicious - it's the ones blowing the dog-whistles, not shouting the n-word.

    Anyway, avoid sites that focus on conspiracy-mongering.

    Redstate.com - Erick, son of Erick, is totalitarian weasel (just see what it takes to get an account, and how easy it is to get banned) But the site has no patience for birthers, truthers, explicit racists, or their ilk; so you get the reasonable-sounding perspective. (BTW, this is where the 53% meme started) Also, it's entertaining how pissed they are at their own party leaders.

    David Frum - his website, Frumforum, and his blog on the DailyBeast were good for a moderate-though-committed-Republican perspective. I always thought of him as the kind of ideal Republican, alas, he seems to have quit for a while.

    Breitbart.com - this site is pretty wacky, but if you want to know what headlines are dominating the conservative universe, it's a good place to start.

    drudgereport.com - i don't even bother with drudge anymore - it's practically an artifact.  

    Honestly, though, I don't think you'll find the same quantity (to speak nothing of the quality) of blog-o-sphere on the right as you see on the left. It's the party of the old. They listen to radio. If you can stomach talk radio, you'll get a truer sense for what conservative voters are hearing and thinking.

  •  Or, go deer hunting with Scalia as Kagan did. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Of note, is while people of the highest intellectual order may disagree, they do not "hate" each other and respect one another's personal dispositions. Below from WASHPOST:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Kagan’s unlikely journey began during her 2010 confirmation process, when meeting with senators who, while trying to divine her views on the Second Amendment, coyly asked if she had any shooting or hunting experience. “You know me — I grew up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This was not something we really did, you know?” She said that when she horrified one senator (Who? She didn’t say) by asking if he’d take her hunting, she resolved to ask Scalia, a practiced hunter. “He thought it was hilarious,” she said, and promptly agreed.
    There was a larger point here — that despite their ideological divides, the justices “shmooze more than people think we do.” In addition to her extracurricular hours with Scalia, Kagan spoke fondly of Clarence Thomas, a “justice of incredible integrity” who she said knows the name of every low-level employee at the court. “I enjoy every moment I spend with him.”
    On “today’s court, there are true and genuine friendships. The disagreements test people’s capacity to work together and to come back the next day and to find your colleague just as delightful as you found him the day before. But we’re all grownups and we manage to do that.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:25:52 PM PDT

  •  You might chek out: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease, qofdisks

    Hotair
    Townhall
    National Review Online

    And congratulations for being willing to hear the other side and make attempts to communicate with those around you. As you presumably know from those you interact with they aren't all evil ignorant racists. Furthermore, on any given issue we need some of them to help us get the votes needed. If we had enough influence without them we'd already have our preferred policies in place.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:27:01 PM PDT

  •  Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax (0+ / 0-)

    and read the comments at theblaze.com.

    While appreciating the passing of time and Obama turning the pages of history.

  •  Conservative sites won't help you understand (0+ / 0-)

    They don't understand themselves.

    Look up books like "The Republican Brain" and "The Paranoid Strain in American Politics" to understand the fearful conspiracy theorists, and "The Righteous Mind" to help understand social conservatives.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:58:34 PM PDT

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