Talk to Trump Voters!

We're hurting the feelings of those trying to destroy the country.

Washington Post contributing editor Greg Abernathy implores us, “Stop insulting Trump voters and their concerns. Talk to them.”

His argument, alas, is unpersuasive.

When supporters of former president Donald Trump hear media pundits analyze them with the usual collection of belittling observations, they must be tempted to respond, “Hey, we’re right here! We can hear you!”

Yes, they are indeed here, and living among us. And they have every right to be insulted by being accused of believing a “big lie,” and by the implication that they are violent, or traitors, or mindless sheep — racist sheep, of course. They’re fed up not just with the overt insults, but also with more subtle digs, such as former defense secretary Leon Panetta saying last week that he worries that Trump “will continue to try to somehow sway his followers” to attempt another Jan. 6-style uprising. Followers? No one refers to President Biden’s “followers.” It’s a word generally reserved for adherents of cult figures.

The problem is that, as Abernathy later acknowledges, a plurality of these people actually do believe in a big lie and, while he doesn’t directly acknowledge it, the only possible rationale for that is their cult-like devotion to Trump over all reason.

I live in Trump Country. I was a Trump supporter, until he lost me with his actions after the 2020 election. But most Trump voters have stuck with him. With Trump’s encouragement, they sincerely believe the election was stolen. They’re not racists. They’re not traitors. Some of them think anyone who accepts Biden’s win is a traitor. Some of them think I’m traitorous — or at the very least I’ve succumbed to the evil influences of the mainstream media — for accepting Trump’s defeat.

So, if the first time Trump “lost you” was with his incitement of the Capitol riots and outrageous claims that the election had been stolen, you’re probably a racist. If you think accepting the legitimate outcome of the race makes a person a traitor, you’re pretty much a traitor, in the sense of being an enemy of the Constitution.

Still, I agree with the larger point that a lot of Trump voters—and I know and work with many of them—are simply garden variety Republicans faced with binary choices, both of which they found awful. And that, yes, some large number of them are worth talking to.

Polls are occasionally produced to perpetuate the myth that Trump voters are ready for war. Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute reported in February that 39 percent of Republicans polled agreed with the statement “if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions.” The survey’s director, Daniel Cox, acknowledged the speculative nature of the question by cautioning, “We shouldn’t run out and say, ‘Oh my goodness, 40 percent of Republicans are going to attack the Capitol.’ ” No, they aren’t. In fact, the Capitol riot wasn’t mentioned in the question, so it wasn’t necessarily what respondents were thinking of when they answered.

It’s my unscientific conclusion that about half of Trump’s supporters will go to their graves believing the election was stolen. The other half can be persuaded otherwise, but only by time and reflection, like accepting a death. Shaming will never work.

The linked poll showed that 66 percent of Republicans believed Biden’s election win was not legitimate. That few of them are willing to riot in the streets or otherwise commit acts of violence to overturn the outcome is a collective action problem, not a sign that things are good. And, if most of those people will “go to their grave” with their minds unchanged, talking to them is unproductive.

But, yes, there’s the other half. And, no, shaming won’t help reach them.

Considering the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism recently found that the U.S. media ranks last in trust among 46 countries, some self-examination on this issue should be welcomed. In 2016, the New York Times decided to start applying the word “lie” to many of Trump’s claims. “We owed it to our readers,” executive editor Dean Baquet said at the time. Others followed suit. But using words such as “lie” and “falsely claimed” in news stories arrogantly supposes an absolute knowledge of truth and makes it appear the news outlet has chosen sides.

So stop calling people liars. The media should return to the non-accusatory style that worked for decades. Instead of writing that election fraud is a lie, or Republicans are “falsely claiming” fraud, go back to the style that worked for decades: “Republicans again claimed the 2020 election was rigged, but no evidence has emerged to support that allegation and courts have dismissed all suits challenging the results.”

So, I actually agree with this, if only from a stylistic standpoint. While I don’t mind the editorial pages using Big Lie to describe the claim that the election was stolen, it is essentially impossible to prove that the people making those claims know that they’re untrue–the definition of a lie. We can only reiterate that there is no evidence for the claim and that every attempt to prove the claim has come up empty.

Next, abandon the narrative that Trump supporters are insurrectionists, and stop elevating groups such as QAnon and the Proud Boys beyond the fringe elements they are. As shameful as the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was, only about 800 people were involved — hardly representative of millions of Trump supporters. Despite their suspicions, the vast majority of Trump voters are not interested in invading federal buildings or overthrowing the government. They’re interested in going to work and church and soccer games, taking care of their families and voting in the next election.

So, again, this is demonstrably true. But who is it that is claiming otherwise?

There’s no big mystery to effectively communicating with Trump supporters — or for Trump supporters to communicate with everyone else. Treat each other with politeness and courtesy. Respect other opinions even if you disagree. Acknowledge each other’s patriotism and love of country. Don’t assume you understand each other because you’ve read some think-tank analysis. Reach out, be curious and start a dialogue.

Abernathy made a longer form of this argument in a previous column (“The simple fix to our polarization: Befriend someone you disagree with.“). At a micro level, I agree. Indeed, it’s how I live my life. But, at the macro level, it’s problematic. Pretending that the results of the last election are in factual dispute undermines the legitimacy of our system while fueling the notion that any means necessary to thwart the will of Democratic voters is justified. If, in fact, Biden and his party somehow stole the election, not only was the 6 January riot justified, it should have been joined by millions.

So, yes, we should treat people who disagree with us on the election, vaccination, and the like as human beings worthy of dignity. But, no, we should not pretend that their views are equally valid.

Trump supporters aren’t going away, and those who continue to paint them as the lowest forms of life reveal themselves to be more interested in perpetrating stereotypes and nurturing divisions than in achieving what’s needed for our nation to survive — reaching across our political chasm, respecting our differences and finding common ground where we can.

So, here’s the thing. Trump got to be President despite getting 3 million fewer votes than his opponent in 2016. He’s fomented violence and attempted to steal the 2020 election after getting 7 million fewer votes than his opponent. And yet the people who are in the decided minority are doing everything they can to further stack the deck to make it harder for the opposition to vote. They’re refusing to get vaccinated, putting the most vulnerable people in our society—including our youngest children—in literal mortal danger. Maybe—just maybe—it’s not us who need to show respect and find common ground.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Society, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. EddieinCA says:

    100%.

    Well said, Dr. Joyner.

    23
  2. Modulo Myself says:

    Republicans are trying to make being a Trump supporter more difficult to kick than constant snacking or smoking or drinking. It’s utterly nuts. Sure, shaming doesn’t work. This is like that post a couple weeks where the alleged lack of fat-shaming has made people fat. That was crap. Fat-shaming doesn’t work. But also it’s also incredibly hard to deal with eating. Most overweight people would love to have the easy choice of just accepting that vaccines work or that Biden was elected vs having to deal with their relationship with food.

    The heart of right-wing America believes that the most traumatic thing ever is when a normal red-blooded American encounters the left. Everything else is small potatoes.

    8
  3. CSK says:

    Abernathy isn’t taking into account the rabid hatred that Trump fanatics have for anyone who doesn’t share their fanaticism. Can I overcome that? Do I even want to overcome that?

    These people don’t even know me, and they believe I’m treacherous Commie scum.

    17
  4. dmichael says:

    Yet another version of “If we treat Trump supporters with politeness, they might be convinced….” I suggest all of you who believe this walk up to a belligerent old white guy with a “Fuck Your Feelings” t-shirt and see how far politeness gets you. How about a guy with a AR-15 strapped across his chest? Or a woman screaming at you with a raised middle finger? A mistake common to many, including intellectuals and progressives, is the assumption that, like themselves, these people decide important matters on the basis of evidence. They don’t. They use their amygdala, not their pre-frontal cortex. To use Kingdaddy’s phrase, they are aggressively stupid. Yet, Dr. Joyner says, without evidence, that “some large number of them are worth talking to.” Let me know how that turns out.

    29
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Of course shaming works.

    50 years ago people tossed McDonald’s bags out the windows of their car and thought nothing of it. Why don’t they still do that? That behavior became anathema. People were shamed, so they stopped. Why do most people avoid using the N-word? Shame. Why do people wash their hands in the bathroom? Shame. Why don’t they cut in line? Shame.

    Shame is a vital component of civilization. Shame is the enforcement mechanism that exists outside of law.

    Should Trump culties be shamed? Yes, they’re shameful. It’s not about changing some random asshole’s behavior, it’s about isolating that asshole and signaling to the rest of society that his behavior is out of bounds: shameful.

    44
  6. senyordave says:

    From my experience it is almost impossible to change people’s mind on anything they feel strongly about. And most of the people who support Donald Trump feel strongly about him. And when people do try to reach out they end up being accused of being patronizing. I don’t see any reason trying to understand why someone believes that the election was stolen and Trump won by x million votes. Abernathy’s column is just another, more exaggerated version of both sideserism.

    5
  7. dmichael says:

    It is not difficult to find examples of what I wrote about. Here is one from this morning from CBS:

  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    The irony here is that Abernathy’s column is self-refuting. What finally got HIM to abandon Trump was not some understanding liberal reaching out and making him comfortable, but rather it was the shame of being associated with the 1/6 insurrectionists.

    What Abernathy and Dr. Joyner actually want is to be made comfortable in their apathy. They recognize the country is under attack, but don’t want to have to do anything about it. Naturally, this is leading to feelings of guilt and shame, but their solution is to browbeat the rest of us into making them feel better about it, because in their minds it’s really all our fault for not being just as apathetic as they are.

    21
  9. Chip Daniels says:

    In addition to James’ comments, this whole genre of “talking to Republican voters” AKA Cletus Safaris is an example of how racism permeates journalism while being invisible.

    Where are all the profiles of black women, the muscle and bone of the Democratic party? When to reporters venture out from NYC to barbershops and nail salons across rural Georgia or Compton or Chicago to find out what “real heartland Americans” think? Where are all the essays demanding that Republicans “Talk to Urban Residents, Don’t Demean Them”?

    Whenever there are stories about agriculture, there will inevitably be a profile of some white male with a cap in Iowa giving the opinions of “farmers”. No, they won’t interview the actual farmer, the Honduran immigrant who actually plants the seed and tills the soil.

    A few days ago J.D. Vance made some sneering comment about venturing to New York City and how he expected it to be like Walking Dead. People chuckled and rolled their eyes, but compare that to Hillary’s comment about coal miners, and the national freakout that resulted?

    This is how racism is woven into the very structure of media because the sort of people who run the media- editors, writers, publishers- tend to be blind to the existence of actual minorities, and urban minorities in particular.

    They don’t exist, they aren’t authentic Americans, their opinions don’t matter and there isn’t any reason to bother talking to them.

    42
  10. senyordave says:

    @dmichael: Exhibit 1 when we talk about wasteful medical spending. Keeping this guy alive probably cost hundreds of thousands. A simple shot* would have saved society that money and allowed it to be spent where it could do some good.

    * the shot was not the vaccine, I am thinking more like arenic.

    3
  11. charon says:

    @senyordave:

    Abernathy’s column is just another, more exaggerated version of both sideserism.

    What it is is yelling “squirrel,” changing the subject as a diversion from the other reasons Trumpers can not be reasoned with.

    Stupid column, as is universally the case with everything Abernathy writes, the reason U know not to ever read anything Abernathy writes.

    8
  12. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: i think there is quite a difference between Abernathy and Dr. Joyner.

    20
  13. Teve says:

    @Chip Daniels: co-signed.

    2
  14. Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon and dmichael:
    Consistent with Teve, I don’t think Dr. Joyner is saying what you think he is saying.

    I share Dr. Joyner’s frustration with the media short-handing Trump’s statements with words like “lie,” but I also think they would run out of ink having to put a more politic explanation behind every reference to one of those lies. There are not enough hours in the day to try and comprehend why they are saying what they are saying. At some point, you just gotta move on.

    The same goes for trying to talk to a voter about why she likes Trump. She either likes him/Republicans better than she likes Biden/Democrats or she just likes him. I would rather talk about the weather or her grandchildren. Trying to understand this is beyond my patience and, after some trying, beyond my curiosity.

    7
  15. gVOR08 says:

    Bless you, James, for your conclusion. I see constant appeals for us to reach out to, and sympathize with, them. I never see appeals for them to try to see our point of view, and maybe stop calling us libturds and communists. All appeals for bipartisanship seem to be directed at Democrats, never at Republicans. I’m seeing more criticism of Pelosi for declining to make the 1/6 special committee a circus than I see of McCarthy for appointing clowns. This morning my local semi-pro newspaper has a syndicated Bloomberg column dumping on Biden for not getting Trump to campaign for vaccination? Why not just ask Trump to campaign for vaccination? Why not ask my Governor DeUseless to stop selling beer cozies that say “Don’t Fauci my Florida”? It’s a huge demonstration of Murc’s Law, the fallacy that only Democrats have agency in U. S. politics. Or to put it differently, only Ds are expected to act like adults, while the Rs somehow get to coast on their reputation as the daddy party.

    26
  16. drj says:

    “Stop insulting Trump voters and their concerns. Talk to them.”

    “Snooty coastal elites (whom I painted as inveterate liars and vowed never to listen to) should now kindly prevent me and my friends from betraying our country.”

    Apart from the outright shocking abdication of personal responsibility, how is that even supposed to work?

    8
  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    You’re absolutely right about the Abernathy column being self-refuting, and absolutely wrong to equate Joyner to Abernathy.

    This is an example of why I don’t trust progressives. You people – at least at the grassroots level – are incapable of acknowledging progress, invariably ready to make the perfect the enemy of the good, and utterly intolerant of even slight deviations from the Leftist orthodoxy of the moment. Anyone not 100% in line with your views is the enemy, cast out into darkness. It’s not just hypocritical intolerance but stupid, self-harming politics.

    For a bunch of people forever yammering about ally-ship progressives are terrible allies.

    24
  18. Kathy says:

    The quotes from the linked article seem to be saying trump’s followers should face no social consequences for their malfeasance.

    Perfectly consistent in these doublethink days with the party of personal responsibility.

    13
  19. Scott F. says:

    Still, I agree with the larger point that a lot of Trump voters—and I know and work with many of them—are simply garden variety Republicans faced with binary choices, both of which they found awful. And that, yes, some large number of them are worth talking to.

    I get the whole binary choice thing – it’s the “both of which they found awful” part of this equation that doesn’t compute. Biden is the most anodyne POTUS one could imagine for the Trump supporter demography – white, man, suburban, kid served in the military, old school moderate – and his policy priorities are pandemic response, infrastructure, and voting reform. Where the hell does “awful” come in? Sure, you can disagree with his approach, but none of the objectives can be characterized as “awful” while staying connected to reality and reason.

    It is equally delusional to demonize Democrats and their current middle of the road priorities that it is to see past Trump’s corruption and racism to admire him.

    I wonder, James, how’s it been going with you and talking to the many Trump voters you know and work with? Have they demonized you?

    15
  20. charon says:

    Democrats are responsible for Republican behavior:

    Murc’s Law – only Democrats have agency.

    5
  21. CSK says:

    It’s pointless to tell rabid Trump supporters that there’s no evidence the 2020 election was stolen by Team Biden. They’ll reply that there’s plenty of evidence: videos of truckloads of fake ballots been dropped at polling places, “eyewitness” testimony from people who saw votes for Trump being destroyed, and absolute proof that voting machines were rigged in nine or ten states.

    It’s all coming soon. Just you wait and see.

    10
  22. inhumans99 says:

    Your last line James, “Maybe—just maybe—it’s not us who need to show respect and find common ground.” is so on point it is not even funny.

    On of the things I have noticed as of late is how many people try to ask us liberals in on-line sites, comments sections, etc., if we would consider trying to engage with a Trump supporter instead of dismissing their views outright, I think Mu has asked this of us on this site on multiple occasions.

    Folks sometimes forgot that Trump supporters should also be asked this question, could you hold a conversation with a liberal and not simply dismiss their views outright. I bet the Trump supporter would say that is a difficult question to answer because the odds are that the Liberal I am talking too believes that Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States so it would be difficult to engage with them or change their mind that yes, Trump had the election stolen from him.

    My thoughts are a mess at this point, but again, using your words James are as good a way of making a point as any other by using another quote from your post: “If, in fact, Biden and his party somehow stole the election, not only was the 6 January riot justified, it should have been joined by millions.”

    So yes, finding common ground with the typical Trump supporter is quite the difficult task.

    One question I would like to see asked of Trump supporters is of the 40% (that is a lot of folks claiming they are ready to engage in a fight) who say a battle may be necessary to get this country back on the right track is how many might change their answer to the question if the opposition actually fights back.

    During the Capitol Insurrection due to Trump not pushing for the National Guard to get in the mix and tamp things down the Trump Supporters basically had carte blanche to run amok in the Capitol.

    Here is a hypothetical, what if 10s of thousands of Liberal activists were on-site to celebrate the day, and what if there was a lot more security lined up ahead of the day, and what if the Trump supporters encountered real resistance, (for the most part, they were resisting nothing but wood doors and glass windows to get in the Capitol, along with a woefully small police force to block their path) and we all saw tons of pictures of folks who ended up bloodied and bruised on the news (on BOTH sides of the Political Aisle) in the aftermath of the attempted Coup, would seeing the consequences of their actions splashed on the news reconsider how they decide to engage with Liberals?

    Right now, most Trump supporters are not experiencing any painful results of their actions to overthrow the Government and yet most say they are champing at the bit to get into a fight. However, if Trump supporters saw many of their brethren bruised and battered after the attempted Coup I bet that would give them pause to reconsider their enthusiasm to continue the fight.

    We are at a point where so many Liberals are the only ones being asked to meet Trump supporters half-way, but the problem is Trump supporters are not doing the same, it would be nice if they also were asked and tried to meet us at least 25% of the way so there would be the possibility of having a nice and fairly calm discussion with them.

    9
  23. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Should Trump culties be shamed? Yes, they’re shameful. It’s not about changing some random asshole’s behavior, it’s about isolating that asshole and signaling to the rest of society that his behavior is out of bounds: shameful.

    This is the point with shaming. The Trump culties won’t be shamed, because they aren’t ashamed of their behavior. But the “rest of society” is a fair target and if they find being associated with Trump and his base of supporters uncomfortable, so be it. Those discomfited have the means to return into the bounds of polite society – it would be a mistake to expand the bounds to accept the aberrant behavior.

    8
  24. EddieInCA says:

    Bill Burr yesterday: (I’m paraphrasing) If they came out with a vaccine tomorrow that got rid of beer guts on men and replaced them with six pack abs, these same MF’rs would be lining up to get the shot.

    12
  25. James Joyner says:

    @Scott F.:

    it’s the “both of which they found awful” part of this equation that doesn’t compute. Biden is the most anodyne POTUS one could imagine for the Trump supporter demography

    Even when I was more conservative, I liked Biden. Certainly in his VP days, he seemed like a good dude. But he did the opposite of what candidates have historically done—he ran as a moderate in the primary and then tacked harder left in the general. He defeated Sanders and Warren easily and then coopted their positions.

    Beyond that, people in Trumpland believe, not without reason, that the culture is moving away from them. Biden isn’t reassuring in that context.

    I wonder, James, how’s it been going with you and talking to the many Trump voters you know and work with? Have they demonized you?

    While most military officers aren’t Trumpers by any means, I’m guessing more than half still voted for him. They’re far more likely to have stay-at-home spouses and far, far more likely to homeschool their kids than others in their socioeconomic class. They’re far more religious. Our vaccination rates are very, very high—but most of the guys I served with 30-odd years ago seem to be more doctrinaire Trumpers and anti-vaxxers, etc.

    1
  26. Christine says:

    Exactly. Many Trumpers lived for the “F*&k Your Feelings” comeback to Democrats after Hillary won the popular vote. There was never outreach from the right to hear out Democrats, it was simply “F&%k You”. It is their crude way of saying ‘elections have consequences.’

    15
  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Just to be clear, there isn’t really a shot that’ll do that. Right? I mean, even in Beverly Hills?

    7
  28. JKB says:

    They’re refusing to get vaccinated, putting the most vulnerable people in our society—including our youngest children—in literal mortal danger.

    Actually, the youngest children are at higher risk of dying from influenza than from SARS 2.0. But reality is hard. Those 0-17 were less than 500 deaths from COVID and those 18-29 were only 0.5% of deaths from COVID (and we know those stats are inflated). 95.2% of COVID deaths were individuals over 50 with the large majority of those individuals over 65. Even though those over 50 were only 1/3rd of cases while those 0-29 were 35% of cases.

    But the most unvaccinated are among blacks and Hispanics across all states. Are black and Hispanics now considered Republicans? Although forced vaccinations in violation of the Nuremberg Code might push them away from supporting Democrats in the future.

    There is a real possibility that more of the youngest children would die from serious side effects to the virus than the virus itself, even if the vaccines have no higher incidence of serious side effects than the average of other vaccines approved for children.

    1
  29. J. Foobar says:

    We just need another “winning of hearts and minds” campaign! They have worked so well before.

    /s

    2
  30. Joe says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I hope it’s not just my FB feed, but I have been seeing ad for a t-shirt for which the single selling point is that it hides your beer gut. If you’ve seen me you know I don’t own one, but perhaps I should.

    1
  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    But reality is hard.

    Who won the free and fair presidential election of 2020 by 7 million votes?

    STFU about ‘reality,’ snowflake.

    19
  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    We have here the perfect test subject: @JKB: Try talking to this brain-dead cultie. Go on, try out some facts on him. Try some logic. Sing a few verses of kumbaya.

    Then, so that we have a control group for our experiment, make the same points to your cat. Note any differences in outcome.

    21
  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    There’s no big mystery to effectively communicating with Trump supporters — or for Trump supporters to communicate with everyone else. Treat each other with politeness and courtesy. Respect other opinions even if you disagree. Acknowledge each other’s patriotism and love of country. Don’t assume you understand each other because you’ve read some think-tank analysis. Reach out, be curious and start a dialogue.

    Gee, where was this guy in 2016? 2017? 2018? 2019? 2020?

    Oh right, it was only those people who were being insulted and pummeled, and really, they don’t count.

    11
  34. drj says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Then, so that we have a control group for our experiment, make the same points to your cat. Note any differences in outcome.

    This is a bit unfair, honestly.

    Three days ago, Fox News changed its tune about Covid-19 vaccines, and, as you can see, it’s unvaccinated Democratic voters who are now the problem, according to JKB.

    So JKB will acknowledge that Biden was legitinately elected when Fox tells him to.

    My cat will not change its mind regardless.

    11
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: 50 years ago people tossed McDonald’s bags out the windows of their car and thought nothing of it. Why don’t they still do that?

    They still do it driving past my property. Jus’ sayin’…

    3
  36. CSK says:

    @drj:
    Over at Lucianne.com, the reaction to Fox’s support for the vaccine was comical. Although most of the L.Com commenters have despised Fox for years for being insufficiently pro-Trump (yeah, yeah, I know), this sudden vaccine cheerleading was a betrayal too far. They’re all vowed never to watch that backstabber Hannity again.

    8
  37. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “This is an example of why I don’t trust progressives. You people ”

    Oh, FFS Michael. Yes, we know you hate progressives. But that doesn’t mean the definition of progressive is “anyone who is annoying Michael right now.”

    Stormy Dragon is, as I recall, a self-described former libertarian. He has never posted a single message here that could ever be mistaken for progressive.

    You want to bash another commenter? Knock yourself out. But don’t use this as yet another excuse to mount the old hobby horse.

    14
  38. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “For a bunch of people forever yammering about ally-ship progressives are terrible allies.”

    Says the man who spends most of his time here bashing his allies.

    20
  39. Nightcrawler says:

    I tried to read that ridiculous column yesterday. I couldn’t get more than about halfway through it.

    I’d rather just continue with my semi-shut-in lifestyle.

    3
  40. Monala says:

    Yeah, just talk to these people, who are harassing and beating up on cancer patients:

    One protester, who was filming the scene on his phone, asked her why she was so angry, as a man holding a cardboard sign saying “End the Censorship of Vaccine Risks” smirked.

    “Because I’ve just gone through fucking breast cancer,” Burns said. “And you motherfuckers are here.”

    “That has nothing to do with you,” one man replied. “We’re trying to help.”

    “You are protesting a breast cancer fucking center. It has everything to do with me and my community,” Burns said. “Do you know anything about chemotherapy? Do you know what happens to the immune system?”

    …Tensions continued to rise as more far-right, anti-maskers arrived on the scene. A small group of anti-fascists also arrived, and got into altercations with the far-right. A woman holding a megaphone shoved Burns, and then punched her several times. Burns said, on social media, that the woman hit her in the chest and struck her scars.

    Link

    6
  41. flat earth luddite says:

    @Scott F.:

    … how’s it been going with you and talking to the many Trump voters you know and work with? Have they demonized you?

    Don’t be silly, Scott. He’s the Department Chair. His co-workers and students merely roll their eyes at his “quaint” notions as they leave his office.

    Seriously, Abernathy’s a self-serving twit, and Dr. J. wouldn’t give his columns a passing grade if he submitted them for credit.

    6
  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Maybe—just maybe—it’s not us who need to show respect and find common ground.”

    This line right here demonstrates the vast gulf between James’ current politics and whatever position that drivel of Abernathy’s was supposed to symbolize.

    8
  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    The fact that you think I spend most of my time here bashing progressives makes my point beautifully. Any objective analysis would show that I spend 90% of my time here bashing Trumpies. Another 5% is devoted to random musings and dumb jokes. And maybe 5% is bashing progressives because they make beating Trumpies harder, and by virtue of their inability to self-examine and their frequent refusal to think about results over posturing, undercut the goals we share.

    On a Venn diagram of political positions there’s probably a 90% overlap between me and progressives. Where we differ is that I am a consequentialist, I prioritize effects in the real world over debating points at the faculty mixer. So far what progressives have accomplished in the real world is to appropriate BLM, ignore and insult Latinos, kill the blue wave and break windows in Portland. Major portions of the progressive agenda are actually being implemented right now by moderate Joe Biden who progressives endlessly denigrated as old and out-of-touch with a side order of ‘oh, he’s so creepy because he hugs people.’

    10
  44. Teve says:

    @Monala: obviously we liberals should just “acknowledge each other’s patriotism and love of country.” Problem solved!

    2
  45. Barry says:

    On lying

    If nobody is willing to call out people for being liars, then the liars prosper. In the long term, this also puts pressure on everybody to match the lies. Trump was proven to have made more false statements as president in ~2 years than the previous four presidents had made over the previous 28 years. If the press can’t call that ‘lying’, they the cede the issue to the liars.

    In our private lives, when we see somebody talking like Trump does, we quickly peg them as a liar, and deal with him accordingly. It’s only in the rules of the MSM that that’s a terrible and intolerable act (as opposed to lying, which gets treated with kid gloves).

    14
  46. Barry says:

    On the Insurrection and collective guilt

    Abernathy said that only 800 people were involved in the insurrection. What he did not say that those involved include the former Republican President of the USA, most of the GOP Representatives, and several GOP Senators.

    Abernathy also did not point out that after the insurrection, the people supporting it consisted of the entire right-wing mediasphere *and* most of the GOP Representatives *and* several GOP Senators, *and* half to two-thirds of the GOP base. Don’t give me any BS about them being deluded; the attack was televised.

    These people have *all* made their decision, and stuck by it. The only people on the right who did not stick by it were the ones who were initially appalled and shocked, but then supported it because that was the new party line.

    13
  47. Raoul says:

    So Trump supporters can behave, act and do things to own the libs but when I say that I think the new Texas gun law is stupid and if you support it you are stupid, I need to control myself and not tell truth? I think what really needs to happen is for rightwingers to grow up and face realty. And if they occasionally deservedly insulted, so be it. I mean who are the snowflakes after all.

    6
  48. Jen says:

    The well of my goodwill has just about run dry.

    The video posted above of the hospitalized Covid patient saying he won’t be vaccinated, and wouldn’t have been even if it would have avoided his hospital stay.

    The story above about the anti-mask protest outside of a cancer clinic, and the physical shoving of a breast cancer survivor.

    JKB’s ongoing blathering about how this isn’t so serious…while ignoring that studies show roughly half of the children who have covid and recover are stuck with long-covid health issues.

    And on, and on it goes. They have all seen the news. It’s real, it’s serious, it can be deadly.

    I’m really close to my shrug/DNGAF what happens mindset.

    They are actively making their choice–let them live with it (if they’re lucky).

    In the words of that great sage of our time Effie Trinket says, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

    8
  49. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Wanna know what really ticks off Trump voters more than anything in the world?

    Ignore them. Just look at them and say, “Yeah, sure, whatever.” And walk away. Don’t pay attention to their tantrums and eventually they’ll retreat back into the sulky swampland they first emerged from twenty or more years ago.

    And the ones who go the extra five yards and take part in insurrections? Call them criminals whenever your audience includes MAGAphiles. Refuse to glorify their fantasies or indulge their psycho-dramas. Practice the stare of total disbelief in your bathroom mirror until you can hold it in the face of populist stupid for at least half an hour without cracking up.

    9
  50. Gustopher says:

    The recent round of “be nice to the Trumpets and invite them to play your reindeer games” opinions are basically a campaign for Republicans to not bear the consequences of their actions.

    When Sarah Palin divided America into Real Americans and lesser people with no title, they happily followed. The Republicans bash, insult and hate the rest of America, and now that the rest of America is saying “well, fuck you too” and it is dawning on them that they are just going to have to hang out with Real Americans, they’re having a sad.

    When I have a conversation with a Trumper complaining about Socialism, I usually explain that they would be happier in Idaho, or South Dakota, or one of the other Idaho’s, and that they should move there, and that I want them to be happy. They don’t seem to like that.

    “America: Love It Or Leave It” doesn’t have the same ring when you realize that you’re not America, you’re just the backwater bits that America is dragging along.

    12
  51. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Then, so that we have a control group for our experiment, make the same points to your cat. Note any differences in outcome.

    I tend to talk to my pets a lot (when I have pets). The dogs paid attention, but rarely responded*. The cat, though, would meow a lot when I talked to her. You know, “Did you find something interesting in the bookcase?” “Meow!”

    *Emm did learn what “want to go upstairs?” meant, judging by how excited she got and how frantically she scratched at the kitchen door.

  52. senyordave says:

    @Monala: But according to Mr. Abernathy we need to reach out to these people. My wife has cancer and fortunately has not had to be treated. But if this happened to her while I was there I would be reaching out immediately to these people, and not with words.
    I would ask if these people understood what a compromised immune system is but that would imply that they believed in science.

    2
  53. smintheus says:

    Some people say the moon is made of cheese. But lacking any proof, others say they are not so sure. We will continue to report on this story as it develops.

    8
  54. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Major portions of the progressive agenda are actually being implemented right now by moderate Joe Biden who progressives endlessly denigrated as old and out-of-touch with a side order of ‘oh, he’s so creepy because he hugs people.’

    I love Joe Biden, but he is old.

    He’s even a bit out of touch — the loss of Beau and the problems of Hunter have left him a lot more grounded than he was through most of his career, and made him a better man, but I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

    I did not think he was the right man for our times, and I was wrong. We need the elder statesman, ambition humbled by loss, with a few less fucks to give than expected, doing what he thinks is best for America and taking the time for ice cream.

    16
  55. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner:

    Beyond that, people in Trumpland believe, not without reason, that the culture is moving away from them. Biden isn’t reassuring in that context.

    That is the crux of our problem. The culture is moving away from them. Nobody cares if some people are gay. Most people are basically OK with abortion. Most people are unhappy about guns. Their kids really have Black friends. “None” is the preferred religion. What do they expect Biden, or Trump, to do about it?

    14
  56. dazedandconfused says:

    I think it’s a mistake to view the anti-vax phenomena as a purely trumper issue. A lot of black and young adults are refusing the vax but aren’t trumpers. This is the same stuff that went down when the smallpox vaccine was invented, polio, et al.

    It can be counterproductive to label them trumpers. To the OP, I would make the same point. As described the author did (alas) a terrible job, but the central point is not without merit. I recall the old George Will metaphor that politics resembles baseball, a third you lose no matter what, a third you win no matter what, it’s all about the third that can go either way. With them the way to go to steer the conversation towards differences in perceived facts.

    4
  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I love Effie. She’s so gloriously over the top it’s hard not to smile every time she’s on screen.

    1
  58. Jen says:

    There’s a discussion about country music in the open thread, but really this comes to mind for this thread.

    2
  59. Nightcrawler says:

    @Monala:

    Let’s just say that if this had been me, I wouldn’t have hesitated to release my anger, and that release would have landed me in prison.

    1
  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @dmichael: “if I had it to do again, I’d still choose this…”
    Alllllllllll-rrrrightie, then. Like the motto says, “live free and die.” (Wait… that doesn’t sound right somehow… ??)

    5
  61. Thomas Hilton says:

    So, if the first time Trump “lost you” was with his incitement of the Capitol riots and outrageous claims that the election had been stolen, you’re probably a racist.

    And it is 100% guaranteed that he’ll go all in for the next crooked right wing authoritarian thug who’s even marginally more slick than Trump.

    4
  62. gVOR08 says:

    The culture war pretty much started with abortion. It occurs to me that had Republicans recognized the political potential earlier half of us would still be smoking, would sneeringly dismiss any scare talk about “cancer science”, and would be aggressively blowing smoke in the faces of non-smokers.

    5
  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: That’s still better than not having had a well of goodwill to begin with. Some of us have been trying to work through these issues from there, and it’s much harder.

    4
  64. Scott F. says:

    @James Joyner:

    Beyond that, people in Trumpland believe, not without reason, that the culture is moving away from them. Biden isn’t reassuring in that context.
    – – –
    They’re far more likely to have stay-at-home spouses and far, far more likely to homeschool their kids than others in their socioeconomic class. They’re far more religious.

    I believe your experience, James, holds the key to any progress on finding common ground between the rank and file of our two parties. “Biden isn’t reassuring” isn’t nearly as close-minded as “Biden is so awful I need to look past the corruption of Trump’s administration and vote GOP anyway.” You’ve figured that out, so others of your background and core beliefs should be able to figure it out as well. There’s nothing to be gained from listening to the Trumpkins, but “apostates” like you could provide a map for others to follow.

    BTW – there is a ton of common ground between liberal objectives and families of faith that have work-at-home spouses. Actually, that describes me. It’s not that the culture is moving away from anyone, it just feels that way to people who once had exclusive influence and are now being told to share. If any conservative would try to talk to me with an open-mind, I’m could help them to see what I see. I could learn a thing or two myself, as I have from you and Steven.

    But, if they want to continue to believe massive lies about liberals and Democrats, then they are going to get shamed. It’s up to them.

    8
  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @senyordave: You don’t even need arsenic. A lead pellet launched with sufficient velocity will do just fine. (And still meet the definition of “shot.”)

    3
  66. Joe says:

    @Gustopher:

    the loss of Beau and the problems of Hunter have left him a lot more grounded than he was through most of his career, and made him a better man, but I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

    I wouldn’t wish the pains of life on anyone and I wouldn’t be friends with anyone who had not experienced their share.

    1
  67. Mu Yixiao says:

    @inhumans99:

    I apologize in advance. It’s been a “surreal” week at work, and after I finish this post I’m going to head upstairs to watch British TV* and drink some (more) scotch, so I probably won’t see any responses until Monday.

    On of the things I have noticed as of late is how many people try to ask us liberals in on-line sites, comments sections, etc., if we would consider trying to engage with a Trump supporter instead of dismissing their views outright, I think Mu has asked this of us on this site on multiple occasions.

    First, I believe that I encourage engaging in discussion with Republicans or conservatives. I’m assuming your definition of “Trump supporter” refers to those who blindly follow whatever he says. Don’t bother trying to engage them. They’re… well… blindly following. They can’t be engaged, much less swayed.

    However… There are a lot of people “on the right of the spectrum” who can–and should–be engaged.

    Liberals are so amazingly blind to their hypocrisy: You bitch that conservatives don’t accept your opinions as fact and your goals as the only acceptable path–and then deride anyone from a different perspective who disagrees with you.

    Folks sometimes forgot that Trump supporters should also be asked this question, could you hold a conversation with a liberal and not simply dismiss their views outright.

    Again: Stop using the term “Trump supporter” (a.k.a. “Radical idiot cult-follower”), as a five-foot brush to paint anyone to the right of you, and start understanding that “to the right of the left” does not make everyone a racist idiot.

    I regularly sit down at the bar with conservatives. Even staunch Trump supporters**. I talk to them about stuff–including politics. We mostly agree on goals, but debate the path on how to get there. And we’re respectful about it.

    All y’all have decided that “not me == enemy”. Have any of you sat down at the bar and had an actual conversation with someone who isn’t a “I bleed blue” Democrat? If so, have you given them any reason to move to a middle ground? Much less become a convert?

    I was invited to a meeting last weekend where community members from our area (5 municipalities encompassed in one school district) were asked to come up with a strategic plan for our area. We had 22 people join in, and the attendees were a diverse crowd (mostly in perspectives, we’re pretty white around these parts).

    My table included a middle-aged, white, male lieutenant with our police department and a young black woman from Texas who oversees the “special needs” program at our high school. Our very progressive mayor (a woman who retired from academia and has a PhD) sat at the same table as a conservative farmer who never went further than high school (but holds a leadership position in the community). The youngest participant was probably in her mid 20s, the oldest in her mid 80s.

    We spent 7 hours working on a “strategic plan” for the future of our community–how do we grow, and how do we retain the character that makes us what we are.

    There wasn’t a single bad word spoken. We debated the goals, we debated the strategies. We didn’t agree entirely, but we spoke, we listened, and we treated each other with respect.

    If you think everyone “on the other side” is an idiot cultist, that’s your flaw. If you think that you can’t change minds with vigorous–but respectful–debate, that’s your flaw. If you aren’t even willing to engage in conversation with someone who disagrees with you…. then you’re not interested in discussion; you just want to be right–no matter the cost to civil discourse, democracy, or the best path forward.

    If there is no discussion, if there is no debate, if there is no common ground or middle ground, there is no democracy.

    ===============
    * Van Der Valk (2020).

    ** One of the regulars at the wine bar is a staunch Trump supporter (yes, Trump supporters go to wine bars). We disagree on politics, but we do agree that we can have civil discussions about politics and not hate each other. We’ve even found that we agree on a lot of things (e.g., wearing masks as spectators at a HS basketball game (inside) makes sense; requiring softball players to wear masks (outside) doesn’t.)

    2
  68. Jax says:

    @Jen: My give a damn is officially broken, as well. When my Mom and I were talking yesterday about how COVID is about to blow up here in our county, I made the comment “Well, let’s just hope it takes the right ones, and not the people who’ve done everything right”. She was a little horrified that I said it, but…..I don’t care. They’ve spent the last year and half bitching because we asked them to care about the health and safety of their fellow humans. Part of the problem we have here is Wyoming never got hit very hard, so a lot of these people don’t actually know someone who’s been hospitalized with it, or died of it, so to them it really is no big deal. Just a hoax. Well, Wyoming is about to get bitch-slapped, and all I can do at this point is raise a glass and hope it takes the right ones….the noisiest ones, the most selfish ones, the angriest ones, the ones who haven’t given a damn about anyone else this whole time. Fuck those fuckers. I’ve been social distancing from them long before it was cool, I got no problem doing it for however long it takes. May the odds be ever in their favor and all that. 😛

    6
  69. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    “Well, let’s just hope it takes the right ones, and not the people who’ve done everything right”.

    In a way, the problem is that between 95% and 98% of all COVID cases don’t end in death.

    Some don’t even end in a realization as to why taking preventive measures is important. At the office, a number of people got COVID and recovered, some were hospitalized but not all. Most were covidiots, and they’re still covidiots. At least they’ve all taken the vaccine so far.

    2
  70. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Well, a girl can hope that it’s at least the very worst sickness they’ve ever had in their lives, right?! We have a lot of “brain drain” around here, not many young people in their 20’s and 30’s, most of the population is middle-aged or older. We got off so easily last year BECAUSE we’re so remote, I suspect we won’t get off so easily this time with all of the big “small town” events about to happen.

    1
  71. EddieInCA says:

    @Jax:

    I’d upvote this more than once if I could.

    2
  72. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    You will get an outbreak, very likely. But don’t count on many deaths. Higher than normal, of course, but not a large percentage of those infected.

    For one thing, treatment protocols for COVID have improved in the past 18 months. For another, this guy Donnie in DC, and King Manuel Andres There’s No Roman Numeral For ZERO in Mexico both were deep in comorbidituies, and both managed to survive.

    If the mortality rate for COVID were 25%, I don’t think the attempts to downplay it would have worked longer than a couple of weeks.

  73. Jax says:

    @Kathy: The closest hospital with a ventilator is 90 miles away, and they’re already close to full. We have no “emergency room”, our local clinic’s triage the emergencies that come in, then it’s either the ambulance or Life Flight. Beyond that, it’s 3 hours to Idaho or Utah hospitals, 5 hours to Casper, 8 to Denver or Billings…..

    There will be home deaths.

  74. Scott F. says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Liberals are so amazingly blind to their hypocrisy: You bitch that conservatives don’t accept your opinions as fact and your goals as the only acceptable path–and then deride anyone from a different perspective who disagrees with you.

    That you’ve smashed these ideas together – opinions as facts and paths to goals – makes me question your sincerity. It may be that you are the one that just wants to be right.

    I don’t see liberals here arguing the people can’t have a difference of approach to common goals. I don’t see liberals here arguing that people can’t have different opinions. But, what I do see is people saying they have trouble finding common ground with people who want their falsehoods accepted as facts. And I see difference of opinion about what the goals should be.

    I have civil conversations with conservatives, too. And I’m completely cool with respectful differences on desired outcomes or approaches. But what I won’t do is let someone claim there was election fraud, or deny climate change, or ignore racial/wealth inequities and just let it go as a matter of opinion. If that makes me ‘amazingly blind,’ so be it.

    7
  75. Jax says:

    The local company that provides oxygen at home for the whole county is full of anti-vaxxers, so we got that going for us, too. (Sooooooo many eyerolls)

    Sorry, I’m angry. I’m on a train barreling off the tracks with no conductor and everybody on it with me thinks we’re fine.

    2
  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Corn truffles. Just learned that if the heat and humidity are high enough, corn can get infected by a fungus that causes the kernels to expand and become a delicacy known as Corn smut. Cooked they taste like a cross between mushrooms, fresh corn and black truffles. This is real.

    Here’s what I don’t get: Somewhere, somewhen, someone looked at this and said to themselves, “Mmmmm mmmmm, Doesn’t this look yummy? I just gotta try it!”

    2
  77. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ha! Same with eggs, artichokes, and milk, really. Milk is probably self-explanatory, Momma humans feed milk to their babies, so it stands to reason that an animal who has milk could also feed a baby human. I’m assuming humans learned to eat eggs by watching other animals eat them, fire was an added benefit. Artichokes, though….somebody went through a lot of hunter-gatherer effort to find the edible parts on those. 😛

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Oooopps. Wrong post. Was meant for the open forum.

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: The Japanese and Fugu. I mean how many people had to die before they finally got the recipe right?

    1
  80. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Liberals are so amazingly blind to their hypocrisy: You bitch that conservatives don’t accept your opinions as fact and your goals as the only acceptable path–and then deride anyone from a different perspective who disagrees with you.

    Really? I find that Conservatives are so amazingly blind to their hypocrisy: They bitch that liberals don’t accept their opinions as fact and their goals as the only acceptable path–and then deride anyone from a different perspective who disagrees with them.

    Snark aside, the real truth is that as a general rule human beings are amazingly blind to our hypocrisy. We all think we are right and get annoyed when people don’t accept our opinions as facts and our goals and paths supreme. Tribal behavior is so ingrained we don’t even notice it most of the time. Like you being convinced that hypocrisy and an utter conviction of one’s rightness is best described as a “liberal” problem.

    That aside, I applaud the community democracy work you are involved with. If more of the country was still involved in local initiatives, meeting people and working on issues instead of absorbing caricatures from talking heads and a totally out of control media (and social media) environment, I’d be a lot more optimistic about the future of this country. Hardly an original argument, but one I happen to think is true. Anyone who disagrees with me on that is a fool 😉

    2
  81. dazedandconfused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Somewhere back in history there must have been a “Hold my elephant piss!” moment resulted in the first circumcision.

    1
  82. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Who knows. Maybe your area wins the covidiot lottery.

    Is this getting too morbid?

  83. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Maybe. I mean, I have a list. 😛

    The granny’s and grandpa’s that come to town 3 times a year, once to watch the grandkids show their animals at county fair, and the other 2 times for fall and spring grocery shopping aren’t on it, but I fear they’ll be the targets.

  84. Scott O says:

    Mr. Abernathy is a horrible person. And his wife is ugly. A lot of people are saying he wasn’t born in this country. I’ve heard that from many, many people. He’s very weak. We need to build a wall around his house, a big beautiful wall. And we’ll make him pay for it. Grown men come up to me with tears in their eyes and say thank you, Scott, for suggestion a plan to keep that asshole away from us. lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!

    7
  85. CSK says:

    @Scott O:
    😀

  86. Jax says:

    @Scott O: Fer real. I don’t feel so bad for my “May the odds be ever in their favor” mindset.

  87. @JKB: Mom of 8 nearly dies from COVID, regrets not getting vaccinated

    Florida mother is sharing her story about how she nearly died from COVID-19 and regrets not getting vaccinated.

    “It was horrifying. I never in my life have felt like I was going to die until that day,” Ganeene Starling said.

    Starling had chosen not to get the vaccine. Her husband and her children weren’t vaccinated either.

    “Honestly, I think I listened. I think I let people influence me, like saying ‘Oh, you know, this is the government just trying to fill our bodies with stuff and they’re trying to push this shot on us,” Starling said.

    Earlier this month, however, Startling’s husband got COVID. It then spread to Startling and their four kids living at home, including their youngest who is just six.

    Soon, Starling was struggling to breathe and had to be rushed her to the hospital.

    “I remember being very desperate, grabbing the mask and just feeling the oxygen come in,” Starling said.

    Starling spent nine days in the hospital, six of them in the ICU.

    […]

    “I was one of those people that was like, ‘I can’t believe people are just going to inject their bodies with this medication. We don’t know enough about it.’ Now, I’m just like, it’s just a shot. Just get the stupid shot. That vaccine could have stopped all of this. Just one little shot,” Starling said.

    But, you were saying?

    4
  88. Jax says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: He’ll never believe it, it’s got a CNN byline. 😐

    1
  89. Ken_L says:

    The thing Abernathy missed completely in his earnest homily is that lots of liberals are angry and afraid! Trump Republicans intentionally set out to overturn an election. It was an attempted coup. And they show no signs of doing anything other than ensure they’ll suceed next time. Far from showing any signs of regret, they are busily manufacturing their usual alternative reality in which the mob that rioted at the Capitol was a loving crowd misled by agitators in its midst and the woman who got killed was a MAGAmartyr. Their villain is not Trump, but Pence, who had the gall to meet his constitutional obligations, and the Supreme Court, whose Trump-appointed justices were too cowardly to do what Trump sent them there to do.

    In other words lots of liberals believe the United States is in the midst of a grave crisis in which Trump Republicans are cold-bloodedly setting out to become a permanent minority government. They don’t think this is the time for “opening dialogues”. That ship is over the horizon. It’s the time to do whatever it takes to keep a semblance of democracy in America, knowing full well the Trump Republican Party is fundamentally opposed to that objective.

    8
  90. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    From personal experience, 6 days in the ICU ~ $150K, for the bed alone. Ventilator, O2, meds etc should about double that. Hope they’re insured; if so their copay for her will only be about S75k. Due on discharge. Plus whatever treatment her hubby & kids needed. Welcome to the new working poor sweetie!

    2
  91. Barry says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: welcome to the ranks of the crushed! Any wages will garnished, their house will be taken.

    They will be f*cked in a way that they will never recover from.

  92. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I think you might have some of your own biases to overcome if those are your takeaways about liberals in general, but especially those here.

    There are a lot of people “on the right of the spectrum” who can–and should–be engaged.

    Liberals are so amazingly blind to their hypocrisy: You bitch that conservatives don’t accept your opinions as fact and your goals as the only acceptable path–and then deride anyone from a different perspective who disagrees with you.

    To have those thoughts in that succession is a remarkable thing. There’s a broad range of conservatives, but all liberals are “blind to their hypocrisy”? Insert “Sure Jan” GIF here.

    The one thing that I have noticed with alarming frequency is the number of conservatives unable to separate opinion from fact. While this is broadly true of the population at large, it’s really evident politically.

    All y’all have decided that “not me == enemy”. Have any of you sat down at the bar and had an actual conversation with someone who isn’t a “I bleed blue” Democrat? If so, have you given them any reason to move to a middle ground? Much less become a convert?

    This is horsesh!t of the highest order. I have FAMILY MEMBERS who are Republicans. Also, I have LOADS of friends from when I worked in Republican politics, AND I have a bunch of friends from when I grew up overseas who are conservatives, given their backgrounds as families with military/intel/diplomatic corps. parents.

    You want to believe you’re the only one who can manage relationships with others politically? Fine, enjoy polishing your halo.

    4
  93. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    A few months back, I was masking up before going into a store and some ‘helpful’ citizen passerby said “The CDC said blah blah blah. Masks are bs.”

    I pointed to sign that said masks are required. She hrumphed.

    Polite me would have explained I had just the first dose, the nature on infection, etc.

    I was tired and she pissed me off so I said “I really don’t care.” And gave her the back-handed flip that connotes “Whatever!”

    Which is not standard behavior for me. I am very polite.

    A Karen getting in my business and I went dismissive and really quite rude for me.

    1
  94. Nightcrawler says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    As I’ve said many times, I’m not a liberal, but I’ll answer anyway.

    I didn’t go to bars before the world ended, and I don’t go now, especially not now. I got to liking wine a bit too much in 2020. I have alcoholism and addiction in my family, so I knew where I was headed, and I had to get off the sauce.

    I work from home, for myself, and I live a semi-shut-in lifestyle. When I do go out, it’s to engage in solitary activities like running, walking the dogs, or taking care of errands. I rarely converse with anyone in the neighborhood other than cursory greetings. I don’t sit down and talk with too many people, period, other than on the computer.

    I used to have online discussions with people of all sorts of political orientations, not necessarily about politics but about all kinds of things.

    I would say that ended about 5-7 years ago. Over time, the U.S. stopped having multiple political orientations and began having only two: Conservative and Everyone Else.

    My experience isn’t like yours at all. Mine has been that the Conservative side is blood-bound to DT and marches in lockstep. Everyone Else has more — god, I hate even typing this word, because it’s so loaded, and I’ve grown to hate it — diversity, ranging from anarchists to communists, and including people who don’t even vote.

    So yes, I have had many civil and productive conversations with people who aren’t “I bleed blue” Democrats, and I still do.

    Conservatives, no, because they hate people like me, the Everyone Else. There is no “reasoning” with people like this, nor is there any “converting” them. They attack patients at cancer centers, for god’s sake. They don’t care if their own relatives — including parents, spouses, and children — get COVID and become seriously ill or die. With that in mind, I know they’d kill me, or anyone else from my “group,” and go have a sandwich afterwards like nothing happened.

    I don’t tell other people who to be friends with, anymore than I tell other people who they should be dating, marrying, or even just having sex with. It’s none of my business. However, I will say that Conservatives are extremely dangerous individuals, and anyone from the Everyone Else category who thinks they’ve got Conservative friends is fooling themselves on some level. Either their friends aren’t actually Conservatives, they actually belong in the Everyone Else category, or their “friends” will literally slit their throats at the first opportunity.

    Everyone knows how I feel; I’ve said it many times. I think things are hopeless, and I wish I’d never been born. I’m not suicidal. I don’t want to die. That’s why I wish I hadn’t existed in the first place, because I know I’ll likely be killed in the next few years, along with most other people within eyeshot. That’s why I live like I do: YOLO baby! Got money? Spend it. Always wanted to do something? Do it now, if you possibly can, while you can.

    Because I don’t want to die a moment early — I want to live as long as I can — I don’t try to “convert” or “engage” Conservatives. I stay away from them. They’ll come hunting down people like me soon enough, thankyewverymuch.

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  95. Nightcrawler says:

    @de stijl:

    See, this is what I mean. What do you do with something like that? You can’t do anything.

    I’m very tall, and I’ve been told I look angry most of the time, so people don’t generally try to engage me in public. If they’re avoiding engagement because I look like I’m angry and nuts, that’s fine with me. I don’t want to be engaged. I just want to run my errands and be done with them.