Many balk at talking to the other side, the Right-Wing. My question is what is the alternative. The only other option is untenable.
A listener of Politics Done Right sent me a clip from a commentator who believes talking to some people like Right-Wing Americans is worthless.
“The biggest waste of time is arguing with a fool and fanatic who doesn’t care about truth or reality but only the victory of his or her beliefs or illusions,” the commentator said. “Never waste time on discussions that make no sense. There are people who for all the evidence presented to them do not have the ability to understand nor do they want to understand. They just want to argue. Others who are blinded by ego or hatred and resentment, the only thing that they want is to be right even if they aren’t. The saying goes; when ignorance screams intelligence moves on.”
I have a few comments about his necessary but incomplete commentary. It is the reason I wrote the book “It’s Worth It: How to Talk To Your Right-Wing Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors.”
I believe in shoring up and empowering the Progressive and Democratic base. But I know from experience that there are many on the Right looking for a place to land if given the opportunity. And that delta of people is the winning margin for 2022. Please listen to the entire clip and then give me your thoughts.
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While “conservatives” seek to remove federal governance, excepting only large military, the nonwealthy among them are motivated by fear and anxiety.
The delusion that gun proliferation as “defense” is shared by a proportion of nonconservatives and nonlibertarians, though, and this issue being delusionary has been long shown to be the case:
The formerly most armed populace was that of Yemen- it may remain so, but is involved in the horror of permanent conflict. Guns, you, see, are FAR too easily used as panacea by the enraged and the fearful. They are OFFENSIVE weapons, as within arms’ length become useless unless the trigger is nearly pulled. They allow people to lethally attack and threaten from a perceived “sage” distance, without recourse by the targeted. Because our brains are long evolved to first remove ourselves from threat, it is, as in the Rittenhouse case, MORE likely that these offensive weapons will be used than not.
Scientific blood testosterone testing has shown that even picking up a firearm gives males increased blood T. and testosterone fuels persistence, through anabolic pathways, giving the feeling of power. T, by the way, is not the ultimate hormone leading to exclusionary ideation. When a male becomes a parent, it drops, and Argninnne Vasopressin, another multitasking hormone, affects cogntion in aggressive ways toward strangers. Even the renowned Oxytocin, is involved in stranger-rejections while increasing prosocial feelings toward ONLY those most intimate!
Our biases, our never-complete heuristics through which we respond and act, are in reality, ALWAYS conscious, though they are fast and fleeting, largely escaping th e reflective ability that most individuals embedded in a culture are attentive to. Cognition itself is not, in thecultures or upbringings in which most are familiar, at all as well-developed, as shoud be. Discourse, so basic to our brains, has largely in this and many cultures, been undeveloped, due to the abandonemnt of familial discourse from birth. Other issues, to adults, are erroneously regarded as “more important”, even as that self-induction of stress and child neglect becomes so overwhelmingly the norm in such societies as ours. Children, then, are taught to ignore their own highly consicous response to sensory information, as well as are emotionally neglected. Brains , all brians, function THORUGH emotional salience, and not to address a child’s salient concerns IS abuse, as should be clear from the almost completely undeveloped awareness of one’s own motivations in this society.
Our culture has descended into combative rhetoric, rather than discourse, and is most likely to fall farther into violence, unless the perceived need and desire for coercive guns is somehow ENDED as social norm. Even to strongly suggest that guns N OT be carried around in open lethal threat, is met with such internal terror on the timid gunowners, with lethal threat for “taking it away.”
These people perceive their own elected government is somehow “out to get them”, a delusion so powerful that it can only be described as paranoid schizophrenia. Only some reduction in their terror can relieve them from crazed lethal threat.
Their terror also results from the massive influx of strangers, since around 1980. Humans, like EVERY other animal, have brains that record and remember, often not at all fully consciously, excessive proportions of strangers. This RESULTS in the racism you see, but is NOT itself racism. We are each quite differentially xenophobic, with the young being the most outgoing – this is due to the very natural evolutionary sense that leads us to outbreed, rather than be attracted to inbreed. This reflex is actually molecular, pheromonal as well as cognitive. We are NOT sexually attracted to or responsive to those with whom we lived around in early developmental stages. This is scientific fact.
However, humans, like all other species DO have hormonal and cognition-driven responses to overdensities of strangers. As a parent you saw thevery early stage when your child was highly fearful of strangers. This diffidence is actually retained throughout life, as evolution favored organisms who did NOT and do not, overwhelm their local habitats. It does not even require that the habitat lose its food or other resources fro this cognition to strongly affect individuals. It is rather pre-emptive, this xenophobia, and is called “social carrying capacity” of a habitat or locale.
The more one experiences events which one perceives as “loss”, whether of livelihood (I actually experienced this working skilled construction during the immigrant influx. I grew up in mixed racial areas, and saw immediately how the choices made by the rural area’s largest employer and all service employers, cynically lowered wages and pay because they COULD do so due to inundation. So such fears as conservatives display are actually based on factual evidence and experience. Their resort to violent threat is in part due to their not wanting governance mixed with the obvious necessity for constraints on the community!
NO generalization is true in all cases, and only discourse with the intent to arouse affiliative sense for the living environment in which we exist has value. For example, I do not contribute to solely humanitarian issues, as for my lifetime, from North woods and truly rural mountains to coral islands, xeric desert and the great forests so destroyed of the Pacific Northwest, I have seen the TRULY dispossessed – the NONhuman organisms, whose lives are as important as we regard our own. THESE are the MOST vulnerable, the MOST exploited.
Human overpopulation worldwide is the ultimate source of our international and local discord[s]. Upon these subjects, all will agree, though their impulse to alleviate it differs individually.
So, Egberto, you ARE completely correct in working for open discourse.
But you must also realize that we desperately need to remain as sensitive as the best parent is with their most precious child, as well as seek, as the most trusting child, to share and discover their own most salient fears, and concerns.
Since MOST is learned through play in social species, the whole of discourse must be playful, rather than adversarial. As you may note, males sharing adventurous play become the best bonded.
Females insofar as I know, share verbally better, and their vulnerabilities lie in , as do males’, formation of coalitions seeking social dominance or association with social dominance.
THe indigenous peoples of North America, tended in many specific ways to discourage dominance-orientation. a far longer essay than this note.