In Response to a Question


#1

I am frequently asked one question that needs a response. In an effort to head off having to write the same thing so many times I thought I would answer it here.

The question? How the **** can I help?

The first thing is to consider how to make use of the obvious anger you have. How? Restrain it. Don’t let it color your discussions with any liberal. Think about this for a minute and imagine this all too common scene: You are talking with a person that does not agree with your views. One thing is apparent. You want to convince that person you are right just as he/she wants to convince you of the sanctity of their position. So you begin to raise your voice in an attempt to get them to listen to you. You just want them to shut up and LISTEN. The trouble is he /she is thinking the same thing so now we have a shouting match where nobody is listening to anybody.

Try listening to their side. They just might reveal the central flaw in their position which you can use to counter their arguments in a sane manner. Get rid of all of the invectives. The name calling, the swear words, the insults. These will quickly turn off their hearing and you will accomplish nothing other than make yourself feel less frustrated.

The Constitution is one they will not hear. That they believe is just and old outdated piece of paper that should be scrapped. Law of the land? Not a problem. They simply change it as they see fit.

Socialism can be shown to be a failure in every single case. The U.S.S.R.? Doesn’t exist anymore. Argentina? Where a hamburger cost $28.00 and no one has even $5.00? Were food riots are a daily occurrence? What about England, they say? I have been to England and yes they do have some socialism. Their medical profession for example. Anyone that can afford it leaves the country to be treated for anything worse than a broken bone or a cold. There aren’t enough doctors or nurses to handle the traffic because it has become a second rate profession. When I was over there several years ago, I suffered a bad cut and needed stitches. The wound was bleeding profusely. I waited nine hours to be seen. I was using a handkerchief to stop the flow of blood. It was soon soaked through, but I had nothing else and could not get any help. By the time I was seen the cut was infected, still seeping blood and hurt worse than it had when I came in. I was given a few stitches and some antibiotics. Total time in the room? About ten minutes. At least the anesthetic used to put in the stitches stopped the pain for a while. Yeah, socialism is great. Oh yeah. The taxes. They pay, on average, $85.00 out of every $100.00 they earn to support it and are still going broke. What does that mean in practical terms? It means you work 310.25 days each year to pay other peoples bills and just 54 and ¼ days for yourself.

OK. I got off track there for a while, but if they do bring up social programs there are plenty of facts to use in rebuttal. The real point is - use your anger to your advantage and yelling, swearing or not voting against these disastrous liberal policies is not the way to “help”. Learn to bank the fires of your anger and learn to listen. Then unleash that anger in a way that will actually do some good. Not doing anything only makes them stronger. Not voting only makes them stronger.

We use the term RINO to highlight a person that is a Republican in name only. Sorry, that is not true anymore. The RINO is the republican of these days. The conservative has been left out in the cold.

Today I registered as a member of the Constitution Party. To paraphrase Reagan, I did not leave the Republican party. They left me. I can still vote for those of any party that I think has a chance of helping to save this country while having the ability to work towards something better. A Constitutional Republic just like we used to have. That will take a while and I may not live to see it (I am an old guy), but I will go to my grave knowing that I fought the good fight and made a difference. A small one to be sure, but a difference and in a good way.


#2

All great points. I think the trouble for many of us is when trying to debate with someone from the other side, they fail to offer facts through citations, evidence, sources, etc. They rely too much on their own opinion and their self bestowed moral superiority and not enough on facts. I’ve always try my best to provide sources where applicable. When I do, those on the left immediately start criticizing the source itself or the author of the work as being “right wing” and not credible. A conversation is a two way street.


#3

Watch the video. First you will laugh. Then you will cry.


#4

Stop voting for the same people repeatedly and hoping that things will be different.


#5

Maybe you should try reading his entire post before supplying your same canned response.


#6

Shillposting without reading OPs thread.


#7

For a long time in my life – late teens probably through late 20s – I believed that my only responsibilities were to myself and those few I cared about, and everyone else had to be responsible for themselves. I really believed this. I did not know it, but at this time, I was very conservative.

Much of this was due to the enormous influence the pigheaded, selfish, and socially miserly philosophy of Robert A. Heinlein had on me as a young idiot.

Most of my adulthood has been, as it is for all of us (well… many of us?) a maturing process. I have grown steadily more liberal as time has gone on, and come to accept and believe that we all have a social responsibility towards everyone else, and towards the society/culture/civilization whose benefits we enjoy. This, as best I understand it, is the liberal/progressive social viewpoint – that individual rights and liberties are of course important and we all want to be free, but just as children have to learn to be responsible and think about the consequences of their actions on others before they act, so too do adult individuals have to be responsible and think about the consequences of their lifestyle choices on others, as well.

The conservative viewpoint seems to me to the opposite of this – a carefully cultivated, utterly conscious disdain for the impact and effect their actions and chosen lifestyles will have on other people. They want to be comfortable, they want those few they actually care about to be comfortable, and if that comfort is purchased with the discomfort, inconvenience, misery, humiliation, degradation, enslavement, harm to, or even death of others they don’t give a shit about, well, they don’t give a shit. Those people have to take care of themselves. Those people are not their responsibility, they have no duty to them, and they had best stay the hell out of the road when the conservatives are out driving around.

This is why we have a healthcare system in which an elite few make all the decisions, and in which generally, those elite few will profit greatly from making decisions that negatively impact many others. Because conservatives don’t care. They want the premiums, they don’t want to spend any money on expensive health care for people they don’t give a shit about. It’s why profit sharing, which was starting to become more widespread in the 70s among employers, went completely out the window in the 80s and has never made much of a comeback… because conservatives don’t believe that the people who actually do the scut work that creates the profits are entitled to any of them.

Because they don’t care about anyone but themselves and their little tribal circles.

It’s heartless, and despicable, and frankly evil. But their more intelligent members, good with words, come up with snappy sounding phrases like “productive” and “job creators” and “parasites who think the world owes them a living” and that’s the end of it to them… they’ve found a way to justify their selfishness that sounds good to them.

While people suffer and die all around them.

I don’t really understand how people can live with themselves when they behave like this, when they make these decisions.

But they can.

And they do.

Sean Hannity once very famously opined that one could live next to liberals, work with liberals, spend time with liberals, be friends with liberals… but one could, under no circumstances, ever allow liberals to govern. The results, he stated quite confidently, were inevitably disastrous.

Disastrous for what. I wondered when I heard this… the tax rates of affluent people? The profit margins of CEOs and bankers and business owners and defense contractors? The emotional comfort of racists and misogynists and homophobes and religious bigots?

The ‘freedom’ of the wealthy and powerful to treat poor working class proles like dirt? What, exactly, suffered so, under a liberal regime?

Personally, I’ve long thought what he said can be much more accurately applied to conservatives. You can live near a conservative, work with conservatives, spend time with them, even be friends with them. But it is absolutely catastrophic to allow conservatives to govern. And I do not wonder who suffers from this catastrophic conservative misrule – it’s the poor and the marginalized and the powerless, the weak and the elderly and the infirm, the disabled and the different. It’s anyone who makes a conservative in power feel threatened or afraid or even uncomfortable. It’s everyone who rich, powerful conservatives feel, in the absence of the protections of the legal system and social sanctions, they can exploit and bully and victimize.

In short, it’s pretty much everyone who doesn’t toe the line, watch their mouths, doff their caps, and step off the sidewalk into the gutter when a conservative comes strutting by.


#8

There are many characteristics that demonstrate the conservative-liberal divide. Which are fundamental to that divide and which are incidental? The hard part is most (all?) of these characteristics are displayed by partisans on a continuum. I doubt that there is one that is fundamental where one side displays it 100% of the time and the other displays it 0% of the time. That would be too easy.

But one that gets mentioned many times as a fundamental difference that you touch on is empathy. In general broad brush strokes, Liberals display empathy while conservatives do not. Using my brother-in-law as a conservative archetype, he displays empathy for a much more narrow slice of humanity than I do. I see a dichotomy based on empathy, but its complicated.


#9

This of course is the emotionally pushed fallacy of the liberal. Empathy is of course the understanding of another feelings. Both the left and right on this continuum react to that understanding differently. The left are determined to remove personal responsibility and by extension personal consequence from the lives of people. In doing so, they make the individual weaker and less aware than someone who, to use a term, employs tough love and at the same time supports the person in recovering. Its the give a man a fish or teach them to fish philosophy… both have empathy and one debilitates the recipient in their actions.

An example of cause and effect is the population of the third world. For centuries Christian missionaries went out to villages around the world. The built schools, taught people to farm and generally gave them the skills to care for themselves. The people they helped lived within their means. The left on the other hand decided that the way to help these people was to engorge them with lots of high glyceminc food stuff. The people became overweight and sexually much more active… the result an over population of unhealthy people who in turn create more dependents to your liberal system. In the end, you helped no one, but you hooked millions on food that they could not produce themselves.

So when you say that the left has empathy and the right does not, I think you are just trying to make yourselves feel good about yourselves and by the way, it has been shown time and again that those who identify with the right actually give more personal funds to charity and causes, volunteer more and are much more active in community cohesion than those on the left… the left depend on government force of others to give them that ‘feel good’ feeling.

I have, of course, attempted to engage liberals in societal damage done by many progressive social programs in the past… They aren’t keen to talk about it because to admit the damage done to individual in specific and society in general, would show the flaws of their thinking… in their words, repeated adnausium: “We will never go back”…


#10

I happen to agree with much of your worldview with a couple of important exceptions. Empathy is important, but that empathy must be tempered with strength for the other person. They can be helped best by getting them out of that situation with a job or other such enablements. The government’s job is not to provide for their happiness. That is their own responsibility. While I do empathize with the downtrodden, I do not believe that just giving them charity is either the right thing to do or the moral thing. Helping them achieve happiness an best be served by teaching them self-reliance. Forcing others to pay them is not the answer. That is not real empathy. That is the liberal wanting to feel better about him/herself.


#11

@feddo

Because it seems to me that liberals have made an unhealthy connection between empathy and reaction to that empathy I would like to give another example of where the huge cassum exists in how the right and left react to that empathy. The example I gave above was a bit convoluted with many issues leading to the problem…

More simply is the fat person. A person judged by medical science to be overweight or obese. We of course can class these people into two relative groups. Those who have a medical problem making weight regulation difficult (although, except for things like water retention, thermodynamics still has some bearing) and then there are those who push far too much into their pieholes than they expend in burnt calories when they actually get off the couch.

The left of course say that these peoples should be accepted and respected as any other and be given the freedom as an individual to live their life as they choose. At the same time that progressive will turn around to society and force the burden of their individual choice on society. Business must bear the cost of excess sick days and higher pool premiums and perhaps even an imaige problem based on their particular product. The progressive will also insist that society pay for the negative effects of that individual’s choice via higher taxes and medical costs. Of course the left think that they have been benevolent even though they have harmed the individual by allowing them to abrogate the consequences of their actions and society. BUT because those people like you and vote for you, you think that you have done the right thing…

The right on the other hand sees those same fat people and has empathy for both groups. The one with health issues that are beyond the control of the individual might garner support in monetary form but the one who ‘chooses’ to eat too much is better served by making them understand that if the refuse to get a control of their piehole/exercise ratio, they will receive no sympathy in a job interview, in personal accommodations (think of setting next to one who bleeds over into your space in coach class airfare) and beyond that exacting a personal penalty for choices they made with regard to support and medical care. This approach, while not popular with the recipient, helps the individual in the long run and helps society even more. It doesn’t garner votes or popularity from those who choose to let society carry their consequences…but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Same empathy… two different solutions… one is a sure vote getter and dependency creator… the other is not. I am a very strong advocate of live and let live… of personal ability to pursue a dream… but I am also pretty well convinced that a strong society does not reward poor choice.


#12

There is another point regarding empathy that should be made especially in view of governmental duty. First, let’s define the word empathy. I checked a couple of dictionaries and they both said the same thing: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” One point we can agree on is that most, if not all people have some degree of empathy. The question seems to be where does our personal responsibility to others begin and end. Is it the government’s job to supply the same answer for all or us or is that an individual responsibility. Am I responsible for the plight of someone a thousand miles away? No, I am not. I am responsible to those in my community and you are responsible to those in your community. It is my (our) moral obligation to help those closest to us first and that should take the brunt of our resources. Further, is it my responsibility to have “empathy” for those who have placed themselves in a bad situation? Probably not. Is it my community’s responsibility to offer them a way out? Probably. Should government be tasked, via our tax dollars, to step in? Hell no. If you have a problem in a community far from me, you solve it. I’ll take care of those in mine.


#13

You probably have enough to worry about.


#14

Yep, and he’s a blind partisan. Much like you’d see with Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC.


#15

Cute… typical response but cute…


#16

Except of course that we have a very long progressive history as a baseline…


#17

We have, as a society, confused empathy with sympathy, and on the left, with patronizing and pandering.

We cannot feel the experience of another, and so we can only ‘experience the feelings’ of another in the most vague sense, and only if we ourselves have had closely similar experiences. We can feel sorry for the plight of others, but that is all we can do.

Nonetheless, it is de-rigueur that every liberal claim to ‘know the experience’ of the ‘oppressed’, and that conservatives are unable or unwilling to care about the poor. They feel they can, while clutching their virtue signalling merit badges, divine and then dictate to others:

  • who s oppressed
  • how the ‘oppressed’ feel
  • that all who do not agree are heartless monsters, scheming to eat your children this very night!
  • that Pol Pot apologist Noam Chomsky or Clinton/Obama Leprechaun Robert Reich have the definitive solutions to the woes of the ‘oppressed’
  • that while they themselves pay little or no taxes ‘the rich’ should be taxed ever higher amounts for programs with no accountability - only ‘heart
  • that a person’s current state is all that matters
  • that questioning how someone became poor is ‘part of the oppression’

What the liberals offer is at best sympathy, but tainted with darker purpose- control through dependence. I have said before that the pseudo concern - empathy’ if you like - for 11- 32 million illegals is neither empathy or sympathy - it is pandering to a potential chokehold on the electoral system, and an unbreakable one party rule. There is no empathy in any of it.


#18

Amen, progressives/liberals don’t understand that the constitution protects the minority…but the constitution is for citizens. Everything they do waters down the value of citizenship. This figures in with their idea of equality, everyone a serf.


#19

Empathy is part of it, but I think the world ‘tribal’ gets closer to it. You and I and maybe a few others here call ourselves progressives, and why? Because we have progressed beyond basic xenophobic tribalism to the point where we are capable of emotionally grasping the concept that all humans are part of the same tribe.

I myself have not gotten to the point where I accept all animals as part of the tribe, like the PETA folks. But for conservatives, only the people who look and more importantly, act, like them are truly human. Everyone else is a potential threat and needs to be tightly controlled – if such people will not voluntarily defer to the ‘humans’, then they need to be controlled by slavery, prison, or death. That’s the only way conservatives feel really comfortable, really secure.

There’s a reason why ‘shares our values’ is an extremely important poll question for Presidential candidates.


#20

These are important points. I put in a quote from a book by Nancy MacLean where she is discussing some of the key theorists of modern consrvatism.

"the very terms of their analysis denied such motives as compassion, fairness, solidarity, generosity, justice, and sustainability."42

MacLean, Nancy. Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (p. 98). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I think that all people unless they are complete sociopaths show empathy. A key theme is how far that empathy and desire for fairness extends - almost everyone feels empathy for immediate family, but how far beyond what you call the ‘tribe’ is important. The recent increase in favorable attitudes to LGBQT individuals was at least partially driven by people coming out and others discovering they had family members and friends who were part of that community, e.g. Sen. Portman from Ohio.

I will accept that self-interest is a major motivating factor in the world and progressives should never ignore that, or pretend that it does not affect them also. However, I think that progressives since the time of John Locke accept that it should be ‘enlightened’ self interest. Politics is defining what 'enlightened ’ means.

Progressives are always open to criticism for violating their own ethics when it comes to their own interests. I used to work within a humanitarian agency that was full of liberals who were committed to the idea of equity, who would look at me as if I had a disease when I said that arranging internships for your children or the children of your friends was basically unfair and inequitable.

I am an unabashed liberal but I live on savings that are invested in the financial markets and I would not support a confiscatory tax othat income. Self-interest is there.

Are you aware of John Rawls’ theory of justice which says that decisions about society should be made as if the decision maker is behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ and does not know what position they hold in that society? He made a career and many books about it although it basically seems like the ‘Golden Rule’ I learned about in Sunday School which is common to almost all religions.

So, we engage in the painful political process of defining ‘enlightened’, or perhaps easier to understand ‘fairness’.