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I sure as hell ain't killing any conservatives or re-educating their kids

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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:43 PM
Original message
I sure as hell ain't killing any conservatives or re-educating their kids
so what do we do? I am concerned that there is so much "othering" going on (they're mentally ill, inhuman, monsters, sociopaths, viruses, etc) that we are closing in on violence. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to non-violently cope with our ideological others?
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think we have a lot more to worry about them committing violence against US.
They're at a boiling point right now. Pointing that out is NOT "othering".
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:48 PM
Original message
I'm open to that, though pointing it out as their lacking human
qualities is dangerous, by my measure, but I agree they are on the edge too.
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Okay, agreed on that point. On the other hand....
when people show such ugly qualities of themselves, it's difficult not to dehumanize them. How do you propose we avoid that?
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I sincerely do not know.
But I do know they are dehumanizing us too, so maybe I am pissing into the wind.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. Agreed. And frankly, nonviolence only goes so far.
I don't start fights, but far too many people on our side reject the principle of self defense.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think that calmly and rationally repeating what they say and do
is enough to show how disgusting they are, even to themselves. When the Repugs who are not wingnuts hear the utter lunacy, they will realize that these are not the ones they want to align themselves with.

If that fails, I have my pitchfork sharpened.
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes, thank you. I think this is the most effective and tasteful approach.
I sometimes feel violent toward the owner class, but these working class republicans...I just don't know how to feel.
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RZM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow. Couldn't have said it better myself.
That is one thing that does trouble me about this place (and frankly, prevents me from becoming a donor).

A thread the other day pointed out that there might not be a whole lot of distance between 'let them die' and 'kill them.' And I think that poster had a pretty good point. Not wishing to get flamed, I refrained from pointing out that saying people are 'subhuman,' 'insane,' 'monsters,' and 'intent on destroying the country' can end up at 'kill them' just as easily.

Also, I think that namecalling like that sometimes stems from intellectual laziness. It takes work, time, and energy to actually figure out WHY people believe what they do. Dismissing them as 'insane' is often little more than a cop-out because it's so much easier to do than put in the required legwork.

As for solutions, I guess I would just argue that people should work hard to put themselves in the opposition's shoes and try to view them as humans like you and I in an effort to understand where they are coming from. Doesn't mean you should give up your own convictions one bit - that's not even required to understand where someone else is coming from. All it requires is little shift in perspective.
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RadiationTherapy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I don't want to call you a liar, but
you just did say it better than I did.

The intellectual laziness really resonates with me because, if I may tweak it a bit, I wonder if it is political exhaustion instead.
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RZM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. LOL. Had me worried until I read the body :)
Thanks. A couple more points I forgot too.

One unfortunate thing about 'othering' is that it conflates people and views that shouldn't necessarily be conflated. That's especially bothersome when we're talking about our two party system, where people of very divergent views are lumped together in just two parties. Other people have probably thought about this more than I have, but if we shifted to a multiparty system and the Republican coalition broke up, it would be divided into quite a few parties that would be very different from one another. There would be a Ron Paul libertarian party, a COC/Big money party, a Tea Party (actually the Tea Party itself would probably be sub-divided), an evangelical party, a 'paleocon' party, a Bill Kristollish neocon party, an anti-immigrant party, and so an and so forth. Same thing with the Democratic party too, as we've seen with the testy relationship many people here have with the current administration. Some elements of the Republican coalition are far closer to the left on certain issues than many Democrats are. I pointed out on another post last night that Pat Buchanan's columns on our foreign wars could easily make it to the greatest page if you took his name off of them. Ron Paul wants to legalize weed, which isn't very close to how Obama and Holder approach the issue.

'Big Tent' may be a discarded buzzword, but I actually think it still applies to a certain degree. That's just the kind of thing I think you and I are talking about here. Really understanding the opposition means also understanding its naunces and complexity. It's not that hard to see these kinds of things, but the first step is acknowledging that the opposition is not a monolithic ideological bloc and is instead made up of regular people with regular differences. Elements on the left and right may not have a whole lot in common ideologically, but we have a hell of a lot in common when it comes to internal dynamics within our own sides of the spectrum.

And you're right about political exhaustion as well. If you spend hours reading about politics day in and day out, you eventually reach a point where you stop giving a fuck about splitting hairs and go on autopilot. There are also problems that are unique DU and other elements of the blogosphere, which is very much an 'echo chamber.' Not hearing voices from the other side articulating what they are all about on their own terms makes it that much more difficult to understand what they are all about. Plenty of DUers venture into RW territory to get the views of the other side, but I get the impression that more than a few almost never do so.

Thanks for your OP. I think these types of things need to be said and I'm glad you did so. Free Republic could use just this kind of post on their own side as well, because they have the same types of problems.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Nice post
Edited on Tue Sep-13-11 08:03 PM by themadstork
Ultimately you gotta control what you can. Behave kindly, thoughtfully, and generously, and hope it catches on. But if someone shoots you anyhow, them's just the shakes. Consider yourself honored to join the long historical list of victims of senseless violence. It's the list of the mighty.
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RZM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'm going to have to pass on joining their ranks
But I'm also confident it won't come to that. Or at least I really hope so :)
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idiotgardener Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I would add "animals" to your list
"pigs", "dogs", etc.

Plus it makes no sense, because if they were animals they would almost certainly behave better.
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RZM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Of course, we're all animals
We've only had our anatomically modern forms for a couple hundred thousand years. We've only had 'behavioral modernity' for something like 50 thousand years. And we've only been settled down for about 15 thousand years. That's not very long from an evolutionary perspective :)
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idiotgardener Donating Member (479 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. True...
but when someone calls someone else an "animal" you know they are doing it with the intent to make them subhuman. Or it's a bedroom situation and I don't need to hear more about it ;-)
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. reframe: "the poor" and "the disabled" are "other". but when they're "americans" they are US!
when they say let the sick die, tell them, "you're talking about turning your back on your fellow americans! you're abandoning american on the field of battle! you're no patriot if you stand for leaving your countrymen to die!"

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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. Me either
As misguided as they may be, living where I live, many if them are my neighbors, some are even my friends. I don't know how to "change" them. I can't. One by one and very slowly, I have seen some of them come to the realization that they have been duped. My brother was one of them, and somewhere between 2004 and 2008 he did a slow, wide turn that eventually ended up being a 180 on a lot of the things he steadfastly believed for decades.

While I would never advocate offensive violence against them, I will defend myself and my family if it ever becomes necessary. All across the nation, 24/7, there's always somebody on their propaganda bullhorn shouting to their adherents about how we are "enemies of America ". They get them stirred up enough to come after us in a violent manner, all bets are off.
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