On echo chambers, persuasion, Mitt Romney, "wise Republicans," salad bars, and the chronically shirked responsibility for changing our own minds.
"what I learn when talking to conservatives"
I agree wholeheartedly on the predictability of their answers (being raised by a conservative father helps), but every time they bring out a story or "fact", there's always bits they don't mention that invalidate their point. EV stations powered by diesel generators? The generators are there for when the power goes out. Hardcore pornography in children's literature? Actually a highly acclaimed British book series which the family flipped out about because the protagonists are gay. Doctors are required to call a vagina a "bonus hole"? It's actually an established slang used by some trans men who haven't had bottom surgery.
None of these took more than a couple minutes on Google to debunk, but they're gospel to conservatives because they never bother checking.
Funny thing, I was just reading this weekend about neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach and his "redemption", which apparently involved dropping the image of white supremacy, but not the philosophy.
Unfortunately, the fascists are working to "reach out" to the Left, hoping to channel criticisms of power and justice into buying into conspiracy bullshit, from eco-fascists to folks who talk about "elites" and "banksters" and then end up recommending The Protocols.
Ugh! nice pep talk you gave yourself. Your definition of fascism, and who specifically meets your criteria, needs to be reappraised.
Thank you for your writing. As a member of the choir you help me to frame my thoughts more clearly and to better see the direction I need to head.
Thank you so much for this gift
Reading this explanation of the effectiveness of preaching to the choir feels like watching a beautiful animated illustration of how a mathematical problem is solved. Brilliant.
There is also value to writing out these thoughts and allowing people who may one day change their minds to read them. Rather than endlessly hashing out the same conversations, I like to direct people to the argument already made and let them decide whether they care enough to read it and whether they care enough to consider it.
Also, this talk about persuasion often comes up in connection with elections: "You can't win if you can't persuade people on the other side to come over to your side!" Well, we just had an important election here in Wisconsin, the liberal Supreme Court candidate won by 11 points in a state where NOBODY wins by 11 points in a statewide race. The most popular explanation seems to be that suburban Republican women switched over, and that may be true, but who persuaded them? I sure didn't. Instead, what made the difference was offering the voters a clear choice with a candidate who was unapologetically pro-abortion-rights. And with that choice before them, women persuaded themselves.
With all his talk about the ex-fascist-in-chief, there’s one thing I’ve yet to see mentioned in the coverage around his decision to not seek reelection, and it has to do with his daughter, Ronna Romney-McDaniel, head of the RNC. I’d love to hear his opinion on the capitulation she has shown to TFG. Do you think there’s a chapter in his book about that?
The threats of murder that keep Republican politicians in line seem like a thing that's unspeakable, at least for the nice liberals on MSNBC or at the New York Times. A bill will come before Congress, someone will note that it would only take 5 Republican members of Congress to see reason and switch sides for the government not to shut down, for example. And then the vote comes, and darn it, no Republicans decided to switch sides, which is treated as a great puzzlement until someone offers that they must have been afraid of being "primaried", like being "primaried" is the scariest thing you could imagine when "being murdered" is right there waiting to be mentioned but never mentioned. Huh, I wonder why they couldn't get more than 2 Senators in the Texas Senate to vote to impeach Ken Paxton, after Donald Trump announced Paxton must NOT be impeached? Weird, because the evidence was so compelling, must have been fear of being "primaried", huh?
Thank you. This has helped me a great deal. I changed my mind in 2016-17 after decades of living with the cognitive dissonance of the art/lit/music I loved and the religion/politics I obediently pretended to. It has meant the loss of family, friends, and community, but it has also made me free in ways I never thought possible. I have new family, friends, and community. Anyway, you've given us the gift of words here and I am so grateful.
I assume you meant "persuade ... normal terrorists in his party who are absolutely a danger to NOT murder him. "
The part of the Romney story I find incredible is him describing losing sleep night after night as he agonized over Trumps guilt or innocence as if his guilt weren’t basically the most obvious thing one could ever observe. I appreciate he voted to convict but for it not to be as clear as day to him is just unbelievable to me.
Another terrific analysis. So many problems out there that will not change despite a majority of people holding a belief that is both different and better than the status quo. Speaking of murder, and things that happen every day that most people are opposed to, my latest politically-charged music video is HAPPENS EVERY DAY: https://bit.ly/HappensEveryDay
"American fascists are utilizing political views as both sword and shield, using eliminationist language and policy to activate an increasingly radicalized spirit of traditional American supremacy that actually does real and murderous harm to real people".
'There is no working with the GOP and conservatives. They don't want to.' (Jan. 1, 2017)
"there’s an additional obstacle to good governance created by conservatives and the GOP— the absence of good faith.
They lack any sense of shared responsibility, mutual benefit, or compromise to make the country better for everyone. Even the Christian fundamentalists, by their vote for Trump, showed that there is no core of morality, no ethical standards that they operate from whatsoever.
To approach the GOP and conservatives, as President Obama did, with the view that they would respond to good faith appeals with good faith bargaining, has been shown useless. Maybe he finally learned that, or maybe he’s just too much of an idealist to let go of that guiding principle...
Either way, the media remain derelict in reporting how President Obama and the Democrats continue to operate within the norms of civil society, and try to strengthen it, but the GOP and conservatives (to the extent conservatives ever really wanted a pluralistic, inclusive civil society) have utterly abandoned any pretense of it...
We are faced with political opponents who do not aspire to finding common goals, or believe they need to build consensus based on shared values, or work towards a shared vision for a democratic civil society.
...conservatism is the precursor to fascism, and... Trump’s election (and what we’ve observed in red states over the past twenty years) represents the GOP’s inexorable movement towards, quite literally, fascist autocracy..."