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Do "Discuss Politics" with Your Friends, Folks — Know Who They Are!

Discussion in 'Member Announcements' started by Debater Slayer, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Yesterday, a friend told me that one of her college friends had been arrested by the FBI for uploading a selfie of himself near Nancy Pelosi's office. He was one of the rioters who invaded the Capitol.

    She told me he had never talked about politics with her and that, as she put it, "Now [she] knows why. He always seemed super nice otherwise and would even give up his seat for [her] and such." She immediately cut him off upon learning that he's a MAGA fanatic and regretted knowing him to begin with.

    This is why "we don't discuss politics" is not a mantra I buy into or will ever buy into. Your politics are a significant expression of your character and moral values. I'd rather "discuss politics" than be surprised to find out someone I considered a friend had gotten arrested for partaking in an act of terrorism and sedition.

    Make sure you know who your friends are, folks. In my experience, many of those who don't wish to tell you about their beliefs either have something to hide or don't want to face difficult moral questions. Not that everyone who doesn't like talking about their beliefs is that way, of course, but there are many who are. Be careful of those.

    Stay safe and aware. :thumbsup:
     
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  2. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    I've a fair idea of their political inclinations. One is quite 180° to me so I banned the topic, by his own admission he's really angry about The Issue in UK politics.
     
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  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Since we can no longer discriminate against, Blacks, Latinos, Women, LGBTQ folks, Muslims, Jews, Someone has to take their place.
    What kind of world would it been if we had no one to discriminate against. The civilized world would likely end...
     
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  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I think sometimes it is more complicated than that, because there are some casual friends. Also I have family who are heavily pushing in opposite directions on this political thing, and I'm not interested in telling the grownups their business. That would be disrespectful unless I couldn't avoid it. Besides, some friendships must start out very casually and without knowing all of another persons defects. If I met you for the first time I wouldn't start out by telling you who I hate and like. Its just not me, and I'd be more comfortable to begin with boring conversation and safe conversation.


    *********************

    Something to be aware of, tangent to this conversation, is that political groups can purchase profiles on facebook, instagram and other sites. These are complete fake profiles sold with fake friends. Don't listen on social media to information from anyone you don't know personally. If you met them through a social network they can be entirely fictional. Begin with people you know and trust, and always affirm they personally know someone before accepting that their friends are real enough to be your friends. Today it may not matter, but someday it may matter. It may matter who is on your friends list.
     
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  5. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Not sure what your point is. Care to elaborate?

    And since this OP in specific is about a rioter who participated in domestic terrorism, do you think avoiding people like him is "discrimination" that is in any way comparable to discrimination against any of the groups you listed?
     
    #5 Debater Slayer, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  6. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    The OP is about friends you've known for at least a few months or more, not someone you've just met or family members (with whom we often have no choice but to be utterly diplomatic and avoid any hot-button topics).

    Also, my point is that knowing the values of one's friends is significantly important whether or not one "tells them their business." It's entirely possible to distance oneself from someone without telling them what to do or believe. I can control myself even if I can't control others.

    Are you talking about my friend? If so, I've known her for a long time. This is not an issue at all with her, but I do get your point and mostly agree with it in general.
     
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  7. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    It's... more complicated than that.

    My University does campus surveys from time to time to assess progress on diversity and inclusion issues, and something that comes up as a common theme from conservative respondents is that they don't feel comfortable speaking out for various reasons. It isn't necessarily that they want to hide their beliefs, they feel that if they do express their beliefs that they'll be persecuted or mocked for it. And sadly, they're not exactly wrong.
     
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  8. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    I mean, I did acknowledge that in the OP:

    And realistically speaking, if the conservative belief is something like white supremacism or support for the seditionists' actions--both of which have demonstrably led to actual harm to others, up to and including murder--what can someone expect for voicing such an opinion other than mockery and condemnation? Are people supposed to treat such evidently harmful beliefs as all rosy and acceptable?
     
    #8 Debater Slayer, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  9. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    I make it easy on myself. I just don't have friends. :p

    I'm perfectly fine with discussing politics. I'm also fairly accepting of other's beliefs, even if I don't agree with them. Most of the time, there's a story on how they got there. If the belief is a particularly negative one, discussing why the person holds that belief is often a lot more insightful. You're also more likely to be able to change their mind if you can relate to them in a personable way, rather than calling them a big poopy head and accuse them of eating endangered puppies.

    Politics doesn't have to be ugly, but most of us can't seem to help but make it so.
     
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  10. Rival

    Rival Veteran Member
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    I'm an ex National Socialist. Talking to us is the best antidote. We need more discussion, not less.
     
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  11. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Long ago, in a galaxy far away (so the storytellers say), there used to be "The Kingston Trio" who (among other things) sang ─

    They're rioting in Africa
    They're starving in Spain
    There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain

    The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
    The French hate the Germans
    The Germans hate the Poles

    Italians hate Yugoslavs
    South Africans hate the Dutch
    And I don't like anybody very much.
    So the question has a long history ...
     
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  12. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    I agree completely, although I'm not sure where in my OP I said otherwise. I simply think that if someone's belief leads them to commit violence, then the time for discussion has passed. That and some people are willfully ignorant or hateful and refuse any possibility of changing their mind.
     
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  13. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    My response to this is pretty much what I said in my previous post:

     
  14. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    No, your OP didn't state that. I should have been clearer on why I added that statement.

    In my own personal life, I've met a good number of folks on both sides of the fence that believed if you held an opposing view, you were plain 'bad'. Your view wasn't bad, you were bad, and therefor that is why you had such a deluded opinion.

    Though I would wager that sometimes when you find a person's belief may lead to a violent crime, this is exactly when we should keep the conversation going. Find out why. Maybe dissuade the person if you can(or alert proper authorities/health care officials if they can't be). You may not want to ask them to come over and watch your pets while you're gone, but oftentimes a person behaves in these unpalatable ways because something is screwed up in their lives. What is it?

    Granted, not everyone is able to do that, and sometimes if you can't reconcile with a person's belief(or their hatred is simply too deep set and harmful to others), it is best not to get too chummy.
     
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  15. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    I think it depends on the person. Some people who hold harmful beliefs are genuinely bad people, and others hold said beliefs for other reasons that have nothing to do with being a bad person. Out of my own social circle, there are two or three people I'm close to who have beliefs I consider deeply harmful (e.g., that homosexuals should be killed, that ex-Muslims should be punished if they don't reconvert, etc.). They know I'm an atheist, and we're in frequent contact because I think there's potential for dialogue with them.

    On the other hand, I've known people who aren't even open to the idea of changing their mind or reconsidering any of their beliefs. I think those are genuinely bad people because they've also witnessed first-hand the harms that their beliefs could have on specific groups, yet they didn't mind or care. In fact, some of them were even happy about that because the targeted groups "deserved it." I ended up distancing myself from them when I found out just how they feel toward me and anyone else who doesn't share their beliefs: they thought we all deserved to be punished or harmed in addition to refusing any dialogue whatsoever.

    What I'm saying is that some people can't or refuse to be dissuaded from harmful beliefs, and instead of mollycoddling or turning a blind eye to their actions and beliefs, we should make an effort not to be part of the problem and at least speak out or distance ourselves from the ones who actually commit violence or directly contribute to it if we can't convince them to change their mind.
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I don't regret knowing the unsavories I've known....
    - 1 serial killer
    - Many MAGAs
    - Many Christian fundies
    - Many lawyers
    - Several Marxists
    - Many socialists
    - Several paranoid people
    - A couple who hear voices
    - Several con artists
    - A couple bad cops
    Had I not known them, I'd know less about humans.
     
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  17. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    This hearkens back to this thread I did recently here: Is it unacceptable to hold certain views?

    Some pointed out the important distinction between holding a view and acting on it. Others felt holding certain views are simply unacceptable. "Thought police" was also mentioned, which is ultimately unenforceable with present technology. In any case, it's not a straightforward question. Do as thou must given your nature.
     
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  18. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    To further expand on the line of thought in that thread, I think there's a difference between holding an opinion, voicing it, and acting on it. These are three related but different things; in the case of white supremacism, for example, I think voicing it is unacceptable. More so for acting on it beyond merely voicing it.

    Whether or not it is acceptable to simply hold a belief without voicing or acting on it is kind of a moot point, in my opinion, since only speech/writing and actions have real-world consequences. Usually, we only find out that someone holds certain views because they express them through speech or action, in which case evaluating their beliefs no longer becomes an act of "thought police" and instead turns into reasonable and sometimes even necessary evaluation of ideas with real-world impact.
     
  19. JustGeorge

    JustGeorge Well-Known Member
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    I generally agree with this, unless your voicing it comes from a place of needing to heal. A person who was bullied by a certain group, or had violent or terrible experience(especially if this happened to the person as a child) may need to talk about some prejudices in order to get past them.

    This happens in much different circumstances, of course. A person screaming a white supremacist slogan is much different than my 87 year old grandmother(who has lived in the same rural town her whole life) asking me "do you think they[black people] are just like us?" after being terribly upset by the George Floyd video. One comes from hate, another comes from ignorance.
     
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  20. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    My best friend growing up and I had been out of contact for decades. During Obama's Presidency we reconnected and got caught up with all the mundane marriage/family/career stuff.

    He started sending me humorous and fun emails as part of his group of email recipients.

    I was shocked when those emails included some quite nasty anti-Obama stuff.

    So I wrote to him and asked him to not send me that but that I was also happy to receive other material.

    He did that for a time and then I think is no longer in a physical body.

    Fortunately our childhood and adolescent friendship was enough to prevent either of us from cutting off communication entirely.
     
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