How To Talk To Liberal Friends in 2014
One of the things that the holiday season proved is that talking to friends about politics can be very difficult. And it can get nasty.
Contrary to the administrations encouragement, via Pajama Boy, most political discussions, especially with those not frequently seen throughout the year, are not recommended.
There is a divide in the country and it grows larger and more unbreachable by the day. Part of it is due to a general lack of interest or knowledge in the economic or political topics. Many folks get their insight from a glance at the USA Today’s front page or a 30-second YouTube clip with Steven Colbert or John Stewart. That sort of information gathering makes any sort of intelligent discussion almost impossible.
The other part is due to, as Thomas Sowell puts it in the best non-fiction book ever written, “A Conflict of Visions,” the existence of two radically different views on human nature and life itself. These two views, generally referred to as left wing/liberal and right wing/conservative, are almost perfectly incompatible. They make it not only difficult to come to general agreement on the important issues of the day, but sometimes even impossible to even understand what each other is talking about.
When disagreements occur, it sometimes can get very personal and uncomfortable. No one wants to be told “You want to pay for your pet programs on the backs of my grandchildren” or “You would prefer old people and children to die.”
So here is a list of things to say in such circumstances. They should be stated out with boldness and assuredness. They are also designed to stand alone without comment or refinement. One only needs the basic idea of what the other person is referring to in order to pick the right and appropriate response.
You say: Things Are Indeed Broken In DC/Sacramento/(insert state capital)!
What they hear: if it were not for the obstructionist Republicans, our grand vision would be implemented and America would be saved.
What you mean: cronyism and self-dealing dominate our political structures. The constitution is a relic and is never followed. Dictates from centralized government are destroying our liberty and increasing our pending bankruptcy.
You say: I Support Fairness In Taxation
What they hear: the rich should pay more because they can afford it.
What you mean: everyone should pay the same rate of income tax. On their first earned dollar. Eliminating special exemptions or lobbyist-supported carve-outs is immoral and serves to reward some and punish others. High-earners and low-earners owe a tax, to be sure, but to exempt some and tax others at higher rates, is not fair and merely populist deception.
You say: Politicians Should Not Use Public Entities For Private Purposes
What they hear: George Washington Bridge
What you mean: Internal Revenue Service
You say: I Support Race and Gender Equality
What they hear: women and minorities have historically been screwed and so special programs are needed to right these wrongs.
What you mean: a person is a person. I don’t notice genitalia nor melanin levels.
You say: Everyone Deserves Healthcare
What they hear: DC-forced, subsidized and planned health insurance for all.
What you mean: everyone should be able to purchase whatever health insurance they like, from companies free to offer a menu of options that can be bought anywhere in the country. Or to just purchase health care with cash when they need it.
You say: I Definitely Believe In Climate Change
What they hear: man’s activities have disrupted the weather patterns and so governmental efforts to coerce behavior, limit fossil fuels, redistribute wealth, and regulate activities are required.
What you mean: weather happens.
You say: Barack Obama Is An Inspiring Leader
What they hear: everything he does is good and right.
What you mean: normally sane people deny reality without a second’s thought.
You say: George W. Bush Was Not A Good President
What they hear: everything Barack Obama has not been able to fix was his fault.
What you mean: he was the second-most profligate spender in history.
You say: The Country Is Certainly Going In The Wrong Direction
What they hear: there are a certain class of individuals that decisions should be deferred to so that their wisdom and knowledge can improve the country in a way that would never happen if individuals were allowed to decide things for themselves.
What you mean: astonishment that an increasing number of people think that deferring decisions to others will somehow result in better results for themselves. That effective central planning for a vast and varied populace is impossible and that ignorance of history’s utter refutation of its efficacy boggles the mind.
You say: Barack Obama/Kathleen Sibelius/Eric Holder/Hillary Clinton/Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi (and on) Are Very Smart
What they hear: these folks care and know way more about important things than I do. So I trust them to take care of things for me.
What you mean: they probably got good grades in school. Or something. But that has nothing to do with me in my life and I want them to have as little with it as possible.
You say: The Economy Is Definitely Improving
What they hear: the Obama administrations efforts are working
What you mean: things are not completely dead and statistics show there has not been two quarters of GDP contraction in a few years. BUT, job growth is a fraction of what it was under Reagan, in very similar economic circumstances; workforce participation is the lowest in 40 years; interest rates are low because the Fed is printing billions of dollars every month; and regulations and heavy-handed control is stifling our economic potential.
You say: I Believe In Peace
What they hear: capitulation and dialogue can solve all conflicts
What you mean: peace through strength; and sometimes you have to kill bad people.
Just DO NOT, under any circumstances, even BEGIN to tell them what you mean…