August 26, 2005

a few tips

The political types and the news are annoying me again. Since each election season starts earlier than the last one, I thought it might be helpful to print some useful tips now:

    Note to conservatives:
  1. "Liberal" is a valid political position, even if it's one you don't agree with. It's not a dirty word.

  2. Liberals don't typically act as they do because they're immoral. More commonly, they act as they do because their own morals so dictate. For example, tolerance of other religions may be as cherished a value to one person as a particular religion is to another.

  3. Bullying is not generally a persuasive tactic - at least, not in the long run.

    Note to Liberals:
  1. Few of you believe in classic tax-and-spend liberalism anymore, but to those few who do: give it up. There are damn few Americans who trust their government enough for that to work. And the evidence is clear that that skeptical attitude goes back to the Founders.
  2. Some of those conservatives really believe those values, you know, and are not just using them to try to gain power over others. Thing is, those are the best people, the ones you want to work with. You won't get anywhere with them until you convince them that you are not trying to take away their rights to live as they wish, where those don't impinge on others - "others" in this case don't include their own minor children. (This is of course not counting the nutcases whose so-called values lead them to child abuse. However, you need to assume people are not nutcases until they show you they are.)
  3. "Shrill" is not generally a persuasive tone.
    Note to both sides:
  1. The vast majority of us are not extremists and aren't listening to or believing your party line, on either side. We tend to assume most of you aren't acting in our interests, anyway.
  2. When someone disagrees with you on a specific point, they might be only disagreeing on that one point. It's neither necessary or productive to receive every disagreement as an attack on your core beliefs, or to drag every point of contention into every argument on any subject.
  3. Even people who don't agree with you .... are people. Treat them that way.

That's the short version. Stephen Carter's book Civility pretty much covers the long version.

Posted by dichroic at August 26, 2005 12:41 PM

Very good. Note to all politicians: I'm listening to hear whether you're (1) honest and (2) intelligent. Generally speaking, if idiocies and illogic come out of your mouth, I won't support you, no matter which side you think you're on.

Posted by: l-empress at August 26, 2005 03:37 PM

Well said, darling woman. Not that I give a damn about politics anymore... okay well I do but it's become such a headache that I prefer getting bashed on the head by the boom of a boat rather than listen to one more bloody politician... (wry grin) Thanks for the good words, BTW. Good news is I just heard from a PR firm whose CEO works with the YWCA. I'm terrified but hopeful now. Big hug and much love to you both. -J

Posted by: Jenn at August 26, 2005 04:59 PM

And there are some who wish to rule by poll and pontification. "Mission Accomplished"

Posted by: Denver doug at August 27, 2005 09:12 PM
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