Aug 262008
 

Repeat after me: Don’t discuss politics with friends.

I have far too many left-leaning friends with whom I have extremely strong differences of opinion to engage in political debate with them. They tend to all come at me at once, so that I feel like I’m being ganged up on by them and their (from my perspective) ill-informed views.

It’s not conducive to legitimate discussion, and I always wind up offended and frustrated, which usually results in me storming off in a huff.

Here are a few examples of ways good friends can force me to withdraw from a political discussion in sheer exasperation:

  1. Repeatedly call our leaders lunatics or idiots without backing it up with any kind of logical argument.  Me, if I don’t like someone, I just say that.  Just because I disagree with someone doesn’t make them an idiot or a lunatic.
  2. Insist that someone’s motives are entirely driven by greed, malice, or sadism, despite a total lack of evidence that such is the case.  If you honestly think that, you’d better have a reason for it, otherwise shut the hell up.  Just because you don’t understand why someone does something doesn’t mean their motives are impure.
  3. Argue that our country shouldn’t defend its interests, no matter where in the world those interests lie.  Isolationism doesn’t work, and never has.

I think it’s a low form of debate to use such arguments as 1-3, and I think people that don’t think we should defend our interests around the world are just stupid. I’m fine with arguing degrees to which things should be done, but to flat-out argue against it is insane.

 Posted by at 11:20 PM

  2 Responses to “When will I ever learn?”

  1. I always wind up offended and frustrated, which usually results in me storming off in a huff.

    Funny. That’s what I did the last time you and I discussed politics. :-)

    Perhaps we can find some common ground in this R-rated blog post.

  2. I’m very left-leaning, socially speaking, and very right-leaning on economic matters. That’s why I’m registered NPA. Taking an absolutist view will nearly always result in someone being offended, and sometimes even the loss of face, when you argue politics with people who aren’t so absolutist. And that goes for both the left and right. Of this last election, I encouraged everyone to vote — even those people I knew wouldn’t vote the way I would. The fact that I have an opinion doesn’t make me right. Or them, for that matter. I encouraged everyone to put aside the propaganda floated by both sides — and there were reams of it this election, personally vet the candidates based upon their positions and voting records, and vote based upon the issues closest to them in their own communities today. In the end, there were very good reasons for supporting each candidate. Just my $0.02.