Sarah B. provided the Comment of the Day and it’s featured question.
Mrs. Q applied her now familiar wisdom and perspective, and offered an answer, and at the end, I’ll take a shot at my own.
First, here’s Sarah’s Comment of the Day on today’s Forum:
Here is my question of the day. Sorry, but you need some exposition. I have a family member who has stage four TDS (frankly, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being willing to discuss positions that disagree with your own though you include a great many invectives and 10 being incapacitated by hatred to the degree that you won’t play bridge because of trump cards, her stance requires exponents) who had a post on Facebook today urging everyone to vote. Her claim was “Vote for Life” with pictures of a black guy with someone on is neck, a hospitalized person with COVID, a drowning polar bear, and a person standing with a rainbow flag. She has stated that anyone who disagrees that Floyd was killed by cops is a racist and she will act decisively to remove their racism. She has also said that voting for Trump is the same as committing genocide. She is willing to cut her sister out of her life, just for asking the question of, if a man overdoses in the custody of police, is it really racism that killed him. She then accuses anyone who might think that voting anything other than Democrat for any government position at all as guilty of crimes. Nothing, in her view, is acceptable other than a 100% Democrat government and if even a single Republican keeps a statewide position, much less a federal one, it is a sign that we live in a nation that is too racist to exist and must be eradicated (with totalitarian methods that she claims are the only way to protect our rights). She is already claiming that Trump is harassing voters, and that if he gets more than 20% of the vote, it will be through intense fraud, worthy of throwing him and any who voted for him in prison for life.
I won’t say that the Right doesn’t have some bad folks too, but every one of my former friends on the Left of the political spectrum is acting like she is the most reasonable person available. Aside from her hundreds of Facebook likes, she has received a great many accolades on how she is the perfect example of professionalism and reasonable behavior, and how she is treating those who disagree with her as better than they deserve and how she is almost too kind in her pronouncements.
As a note, she is the wife of a prominent Democrat in her state and he and his cohorts make her seem sane and Trump seem like the most polite, restrained, and gentlemanly man I’ve ever met.
This woman is now claiming that anyone who says MAGA, or wears red, or claims Trump is not a (fill in big lie here) with any amount of data to back it up, or even mentions the Biden laptop issue, is engaging in voter suppression. She has said that we need re-education of the deplorables who would consider Trump. That is, she says, the only way we can avoid being overcome with fascism, totalitarianism, and racism.
How do we deal with people like this moving forward? How do we keep the American experiment alive when people like this, at least in my life, seem very common?
Now here is Mrs. Q’s response…
Hi Sarah. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. A lot of us are, especially with those we really love and care for who we thought loved us too. It can be downright painful to deal with such vitriol and intolerance.
–For me, I like to take a deep breath and pause when I hear stuff like that.
-Personally, I don’t do social media because I like my loved ones better when I don’t know much of what they think unless we’re face-to-face.
-While this is an ethics blog and not a religious one, the reminder that, “they know not what they do” helps me to forgive.
–However imperfectly, I try to treat the person with the respect they may choose not to give. I find what’s inside a person always comes out in the end. If someone is being butt-hurt and rude, it’s possibly because internally they’re in some pain or fear they aren’t dealing with.
-Self-care! This week I ate extra healthy, got extra sleep, didn’t drink alcohol, and read lots of home improvement magazines to keep my mind hopeful and focused on what I can control, which is my attention, actions, and goals.
-And know you’re not alone. Many of us are in the same boat. Especially minorities of various stripes who are being called traitors and self-haters over this.
I would add these suggestions to those of Mrs. Q.
- Remember that these periods usually pass (except when they don’t). I had a former fiancée get swamped by a cult when she was in a vulnerable state, and for a couple of years conversing with her was like talking to a lunatic. I tried to be supportive within reason, even subjecting myself to intensive indoctrination from her “friends,” who found my ability to point out the weaknesses in their logic… frustrating.
Now, decades after the fever passed, my friend is embarrassed about the whole episode.
- Remember, or review, world and US history. Tragically, this kind of thing happens to all cultures periodically, and it is scary, The original “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers” was a metaphor for the Red Scare. “Rhinoceros,” Ionesco’s absurdist comedy, is also a reminder that what we are seeing from the Left today is not unprecedented.
It’s like pandemics, scary, destructive, but eventually just another thing to look back on and shiver.
- Whatever you do, don’t give in to the mob, stifle your own logic and values, or allow yourself to be bullied. Have the self-confidence to know that you’re right, and they are deluded and corrupted. Good friends don’t let their friends turn into rhinoceroses without a fight. It’s like trying to help a loved one who is an alcoholic, a drug addict, or possessed by the demon Pazuzu. Don’t give up on them, and if they reject you, well, that’s their choice.
12 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day, A Question And An Answer, From The “Election Day Open Forum””
Jack, Mrs. Q, Mr. Marshner, and Mr. Schlect,
Thank you all for taking the time to answer my question. I am grateful that you would spend your time consoling and encouraging me. The answers that you gave focused on the personal approach, for which I am extremely thankful, but I also wonder about a more societal approach.
It seems to me, that this stance, held by my aunt, is maintained by a significant fraction of the populace.
Am I wrong in thinking that this is a substantial portion of the Republic who wishes to use 1984 as an instruction manual? If I am not, is there any chance of saving the US of A as we know it and as it was intended, without becoming the monster that they are already claiming we are?
All I can think of is voting for the appropriate representation, but there are mutterings that they would not accept this and react, well, like people have been acting since George Floyd’s death, except more so.
If you approach the problem as a societal issue needing correction you will become frustrated as that problem requires a countervailing social “slap in the face”. Focus first on yourself then on others. You cannot influence anyone if you act as deranged as your opposition. Let them destroy their own arguments.
The advice Jack and Mrs Q offered will allow you to confidently respond to those with TDS. I would offer the following advice. Know the arguments against Trump and prepare in advance with iron clad logic to refute the arguments. Most of them are easy to refute.
You can also simply say there is no evidence to support their claim and force them to prove it.
If Trump should pull this one out tonight, my plan is to assert personal responsibility against the deranged: YOU gave up your independence of thought and swore to vote for any Trump opponent; YOUR pledge of allegiance gave license to the party hacks to nominate a completely implausible candidate; if YOU want to see who’s responsible for this, look in a mirror.
Jack you added really important points! You can never give the mob enough. They always want more. And yes, history shows that things get bad, then better, then bad again, then better again.
In part this is why I encouraged self-care (not self-indulgence) because in the end, no matter how this election turns out, we are responsible first for taking care of ourselves so we’re strong and healthy no matter the circumstances. We can’t be of service in a weakened state.
Sarah, the problems of our country and society feel big and they are. But this country has a constitution and a republic. We have been through worse and are still a country.
As always, thanks Jack.
I have the same questions as Sarah because it seems like yelling into a hurricane. Mrs. Q’s advuce us sage, based on good will and reason.
When I see blogs like following, my fragile grasp on reality tends to slip. Here is a blog I read (every so often as the blogress is often credited with presenting Rush to the US market in 1974 when she worked as a DJ at WMMS in Cleveland, OH – my formative year stomping grounds), so she has acquired a kind of “Super Woman” persona amongst the Rushinati. She is openly liberal, a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party, and her blogs tend toward a collectivist mindset. She wrote this last weekend, to the praise of all the world (except l’il ol’ me):
Please read it and comment if you will. I find it tautological, superficial, and not very impressive.
I am amazed that people fail to see themselves engaging in the behavior they routinely condemn.
I believe those most guilty of this practice are ironically in academic arenas where finding truth is the stated goal of learning.
“Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you…practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think – not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment – on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict ‘It is.’ ”
– John Galt (character in Ayn Rand novel)
I shared that to assert that it is a fair characterization of the Trump-deranged.
John, I read it once, and not slowly. That is always a “red flag” to myself that I probably missed or misunderstood something. But, that (missing or misunderstanding) is not the case with EVERY piece I read only once and quickly. (I think back to Alizia’s long comments.) The bias in Donna Halper’s piece was too easy to spot; it lead me to dismiss her stated worries as self-fantasized – a symptom of long-term, deliberate self-blinding. That she could speak about hate as if all of it has come from Trump since his first opinionated contrarian utterance about Democrats, is…well, not stunning, but still amazing, even today.
I like Trump because, like Lincoln said of General Grant, “He fights.” To Halper, all hate is Trump’s; all love is sourced from the Trump-haters. Halper seems absolutely oblivious to the bubble she is in – all the while, she is absolutely convinced that all of those who hold views in opposition to hers are in the kind of bubble that she is in. Amazing. Frustrating. Not encouraging of hope for the state of reconciliation that the country and The People need. No, I think the revolution is just getting started. It’s going to be long and impoverishing to all of us Americans, in many ways. The poverties might never be overcome. I am not betting on a better world to emerge from the elections – only a more dangerous and painful one.
Above is intended as a reply to johnburger2013’s comment at 6:44 PM.
My observation of humans is that there are two types of people–I will call them Intentionalists and Rationalists. Intentionalists do not mix well with Rationalists because Intentionalists believe that a person’s good intentions outweigh the facts that the Rationalist puts forth. In other words, if defunding the police is intended to make everyone’s sense of safety equal then it’s a good choice regardless of the predictable outcome which can be demonstrated by crime statistics, historical experiences, application of the scientific method to criminal behavior when left unchecked, etc. The Rationalists choose actions based on searching for patterns established by data points. The Intentionalists don’t like that approach because not all “good decisions” have supporting data. I have made it my rule to only engage in discussions with people who can answer this question positively, “Do you subscribe to objectivity and rationality?” If they can’t answer the question rationally (which every Intentionalist cannot) I find that a few of them ask why I’m asking. My response is to point out that the ability to reason is what sets us apart from all other animals and gives us the right to the free will we possess. And that’s why objectivity and rationality are precursors to productive discussions.
Most of the insanity is caused by self-reinforcing fear and mistrust. To fix this issue, I’m working with an action circle to develop a workshop to build trust and understanding across political differences. I’ve posted the current outline for the workshop (minus some specific exercises) to my blog. What do you think? https://ginnungagapfoundation.wordpress.com/2020/11/03/defeating-fear/