1. You’re completely stereotyping a whole group and acting like they’re completely abominable. You’re doing exactly what you accuse them of doing… the fact that you don’t see the irony is baffling

  2. This is kind of like saying all humans have 99.9% of the same DNA. It doesn't really explain anything or address any particular problem that stems from the ways we genuinely are different from eachother.

  3. ∆ My post assumed the parties polarized then drove the narrative to polarize voters, but it makes more sense the other way around

  4. Your foundation assumes they are good people. And why? Because someone held a door open for you? Told you to come back sometime?

  5. Its hard to respect your post when you use fascism synonymous with evil idea i dont like. I don't like fascism either but it isn't a blanket catch-all term for anything you dont like. It actually has a political ideology and meaning.

  6. I grew up in one of those towns in rural Alabama. I went to segregated schools in the 90s and 00s. I watched neighbors move to Cullman and Valley Grande to escape all the black people moving to our side of town. I watched the gay couple that made the mistake of renting there have their place vandalized, threats left for them, etc.

  7. ∆ I gave a delta to another comment with this same idea that it's not parties that polarized people, but people that polarized parties.

  8. I mean, sure, I think there's definitely more division than there needs to be, and I think a massive part of that is the math of our FPTP election, two party system that disincentivizes third party candidates.

  9. My point is there are only "sides" because we're being forced into that narrative with narrow-minded talking points from both parties that people are just parroting. (the subsequent comments prove that).

  10. I agree that discussion is important but I assure you that liberals and conservatives are different. By definition, they think different things and think different things are good for the country.

  11. There are differences, sure, but I don't think those differences are as numerous or as vast as rhetoric coming out of the current political parties would have us believe

  12. OP are you straight and white? If you weren’t, you probably wouldn’t have gotten the same warmth you experienced. Conservatives often think gay people are defective/lesser. They also often feel uncomfortable or even act outwardly hateful around people of color. It’s definitely not all conservatives who feel this way, but the number is large enough that it makes a real impact on our society. These are two huge things that divide the two sides, and even if you can acknowledge their significance, it’s a lot different to actually be discriminated against because of who you are.

  13. You making assumptions about me (and strangely making "white" a derogatory term?) is proving my point. Maybe Trump and the Republican party is taking advantage of their base for political gain, but who made them feel unheard and unwanted?

  14. this rhetoric demonstrates my point. How is this useful beyond insulating you from opinions that make you challenge your beliefs and never ever having to think?

  15. As a non-white person who's had the misfortune of traveling through rural TN, I couldn't disagree with you more.

  16. You're right that I didn't clarify "Democracy". In this case I'm referencing deliberative democracy that hinges on debate and deliberation to understand the will of the people and govern with acceptable compromises.

  17. So you agree with my point that some conservatives are not like the others and we shouldn't use rhetoric like "all conservatives are Facists" because that will isolate us from potential allies and effectively turn us into that which we claim to be against?

  18. If you "come on back" you'll start seeing a lot of holes on that way of life. If say, the son in that family celebrating 7/4 decides he's gay or god forbid trans that idyllic scene could change REAL quick.

  19. Who gives a shit what people believe individually if they keep voting for people that don’t share their views? We are a democratic republic - if doesn’t matter if every republican wanted gun registration, nationalized healthcare, and legal weed - if they vote for politicians that don’t want those.

  20. But why would people vote for representatives that don't represent them? Because the alternative is to vote for someone actively calling them a Nazi. It's the lesser of two bad choices. If we want people to vote with us, we have to stop isolating them from us.

  21. I grew up in that environment. It runs on hatred and terror. The image of kindness is a carefully constructed image. It’s a form of social currency.

  22. I think you may be conflating "conservative" with "evangelical" or "baptist" or some other belief system. These may overlap, but to lump all conservatives as such only contributes to the problem

  23. I've always found it ironic that American Conservatives have a lot in common with foreign cultures that they deem incompatible with their own.

  24. Colloquial definitions from where? Did you know there's a whole group of black, pro-life conservatives? I didn't before I saw who won the Democratic primary in AL this year. I held the same sterotype of "conservatives" as you. But conservatives are just as varied as liberals.

  25. A lot of people have addressed the issue that "small town niceness" can often be a facade, I'd like to address the economic side of things. You say you realized you wanted the same thing for this small town that the people who live there do: for it to stay a small town. Why do you assume that's what they want? I work in municipal government in a rural area of the Midwest. In my experience, small towns often desperately want to attract factories, prisons, Amazon distribution centers, and other means of making the town grow. People who own farmland in small towns are the rich people for that town, and maybe they want to stay that way and oppose growth? But in my experience they will happily sell to a developer at the first possible opportunity, and clear cut all those trees if they think they can make a buck off them.. It's honestly kind of gross how slavish small towns can be when they think they might get some growth. These sort of towns usually have been experiencing population decline for decades, and they are well aware that's a problem that will only get worse. They often have a lot of difficulty getting qualified people to work in the schools, water treatment plants, etc. because of the constant decline.

  26. It is commonplace for the right wing of America to believe in Great Replacement Theory. Not all of them do, but it is a staple of the most popular conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson.

  27. You are framing the terms of your comparison in response to your evidence where they should instead be framed based on reason and logic. Because of your approach, your judgment here is based on the randomness of reality, as the number of divisive qualities between any two humans is minute compared to the total number of qualities that we possess.

  28. Differences may not be minute, but I think there would be more points of agreement than we'd expect given this extreme sides narrative being pushed down our throats.

  29. You sound white. This means your “rural experience” was a nice one. But your experience is not everyone’s. In fact I have been through many rural towns who don’t like anyone but white people you just got lucky. 😬. Sad but true.

  30. I mean, to a socialist, liberals and conservatives are both bootlickers who support the capitalist overlords, so I'm not inclined to change your view.

  31. A lot of you are missing one major point of OP's statement. Liberal/conservative is a spectrum measurement. Republican/Democrat is a mutually exclusive split of polar opposites. Forcing everyone into one of two opposite ideologies is what has made everything so combative. Reality is that most people are likely to be 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, etc, on their personal ideolical scale. Yet, they are told they must abandon many of their similarities with others because they must choose a "side".

  32. I’ll accept your descriptive reality about how many of us are mostly alike in our politics. But I don’t think the cause of the division is “political parties”, per say.

  33. !delta Someone else mentioned the media, but your point about innate human tribalism rings true to my psych degree. I definitely think it takes an immense amount of patience and courage and self-awareness to engage in civil discourse these days. But I also think that's better than a war or a dictatorship or a theocracy or whatever else is being used as an analogy to get us to fear each other.

  34. Imagine thinking both parties are the same when one party literally wants to take away the human rights of large swaths of ppl. This opinion has the sophistication and nuance one could expect from a box of hair. I won’t try to change their view as it’s ridiculous on its face and these people don’t deserve my time. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  35. Anyone who thinks they are right, the other is wrong, and that is due to innate differences that cannot be reasoned with has the potential for fascism. If we discovered a gene that strongly predicted someone's proclivity for fascist thought, wouldn't it be safer for everyone to remove that gene from human selection? The US government has a

  36. I am to the left of the American definition of “liberal”. Republican policy goals endanger people I love, and are a threat to me.

  37. I feel like a lot of people in this thread are misunderstanding the main claim here. Maybe there are major, more or less relevant, topics that really differ the views between the two sides, but aren’t both parties agreeing on some major points as well? I feel like instead of trying to understand where the other view is coming from, all there is is bashing over how horrible the other point of view is… It is always easier to see how we differ from each other instead of how we are similar, law of history… I agree that we have been pitted against each other. Sorry for not trying to change your view…

  38. Fundamentally I agree with you. I grew up in a relatively socially conservative country. A lot of conservatives in my life are what I would consider decent human beings, but at the same time, I wouldn't blame an LGBT person to consider that individual not decent if they are homophobic. The fact that I have the privilege perspective of being straight allows me to isolate their homophobia even though I may disagree with their views and more or less accept the other good parts of their character, but as I said, it is understandable if a person having direct conflict of morals with that person identity wise will find the individual entirely immoral.

  39. !delta I didn't take into account that privilege factors in to someone's ability to engage in civil discourse. While I still think, in general, our democracy needs citizens to engage in civil discourse, I can see why someone may feel unsafe in doing so. But for those that can, I would continue to advocate doing so.

  40. You simply suggested that "the other side" isn't the caricature that they can be portrayed in certain circles. A very reasonable view, that can and should be applied in the opposite direction as well.

  41. Yeah, I was hoping to get more agreements, but I guess I did ask to change my view. I was expecting along the lines of "debate is good but there's no guaratee it will lead to solutions" not "Fuck debate, the other side should burn in hell!"

  42. One extremely surface level experience as a passerby in a rural town is the basis of your entire opinion. As someone who has spent plenty of time in the south as a straight white male, everything sure does seem fine and dandy in surface level interactions with strangers - they have no reason to dislike me because I blended in.

  43. I saw someone say me and people like me should be executed and a whole crowd agreeing. I understand that neither party isn’t black and white but that’s terrifying. I’ve heard people say they should lineup people like me and fire squad us like we’re criminals for something we can’t change. I’m terrified of my life being taken away because of brain dead freaks who don’t even know me and their part of the same party. It’s not all conservatives and it’s not all republicans, it’s enough to where I would think again before telling them I’m in a gay relationship or I’m trans, fearing that those might be the last words I say.

  44. Please stay safe. I advocate that for sure. It sounds like you are willing to engage in civil discourse, maybe you already are (you're posting on this thread). My post isn't about those of us already engaging in civil discourse, it's meant to address biases and stereotypes preventing civil discourse. I hope someone who thinks like that would see my post or your comment or a speech or neighbor (or all of the above) and realize that threats and calls to violence are part of the problem. It might take many, many times of hearing it for them to realize that. But they won't hear it at all if we cease communicating, stop engaging, wherever and however often we can. I'm sorry you're afraid. I'm afraid too. There's no shame in ceasing to engage, but I guess my post was pointing out that if we do engage, we should try to do so with an open mind and actually listen to why people are saying hurtful things rather than assuming it is as simple as "bad person say bad things".

  45. Political parties, culture and editorial media claiming objectivity is the problem. I’m a Catholic and I strongly dislike both parties for many reasons the main one being that you as an individual have human dignity and are able to reciprocate that feeling to others. However truth and happiness doesn’t sell so there has to be an agenda to dehumanize “the opposition” and pit people against each other. It’s ridiculous.

  46. !delta emotional turmoil generates clickbait, garners votes, and sells products. My position was that political parties are driving extreme narratives and stereotypes, but it might just be a result of human nature and the parties (and media and culture) are the products of that.

  47. i am not American so take this with a grain of salt. i think liberals and conservatives want the same things most of the time - they just have different strategies of how to reach the outcome. everyone wants freedom, for example, but how you can achieve that freedom will be different depending on social classification since we're not all socially equal.

  48. My biggest issue with this line of thinking is it lends itself to the conclusion that opinions are equal and all opinions must be given the “chance” to prove itself in a reasoned debate/conversation.

  49. !delta I didn't specify what kind of debate, but I was thinking constructive debate that results in a solution to a problem. Batshit opinions derail that kind of debate, so I wasn't including them because those aren't "debates".

  50. I grew in in rural Mississippi. What you experienced is a phenomenon known as Southern Hospitality. Generally speaking if you go anywhere in the Southern US people will most likely treat you very nicely. That is unless they identify you as the other. Example if you were gay and dressed very flamboyantly you would not have received the same treatment.

  51. You should see how they treat an actual minority and not just another cishet white person giving them business before passing through.

  52. oh you mean like my black manager in Texas or my Indian friend in Indiana or my gay friend in North Carolina or me (a woman) in Alabama? If we immediately invalidate someone's opinions and experiences based on stereotypes and assumptions we miss hearing their points and evolving our worldviews

  53. I agree with you on a lot here, but unfortunately it seems other people are desperate to have a great enemy to fight against and so refuse to listen. A sad fact about modern politics I suppose.

  54. Ironically, the few places I've seen still holding civil discourse have been religious. I say ironic because extreme conservatives are taking religion too far whereas extreme liberals are rejecting it altogether.

  55. we are both in a shitty developed country but everyone chooses their reaction to it. the conservative reaction is fucked up. liberals are annoying but at least theyre not dangerous.

  56. Thank you so much. More people need to think like this. Get past themselves and all the anger and aggression out there.

  57. Info: are you straight and white? I think someone who was gay or a different race could have a different experience.

  58. That’s because “liberals” and “conservatives” are fundamentally vague terms that cannot realistically encapsulate all of one’s personal beliefs. The dichotomy is obviously way too simplistic. The perceived differences between groups are way higher that actual differences. This is the definition of ingroup-outgroup bias, which revolves around the dehumanisation of the “other” group. Obviously some reflection would help see that “others” are actually human too and are probably way more similar to “us” than we want to believe. But reflection is the privilege of a calm mind: as long as you keep on painting the other group as a threatening enemy, you need to focus your energy on defending yourself, rather than thinking.

  59. My wife is black too and many negative comments she has and experiences she has had were from "progressives." She honestly has had the opposite opinion and experiences.

  60. Gatekeeping. It protects one's sense of right-ness. "You disagree with me, therefore you must be A B C which is different from us thus invalidates your opinion". I've seen liberals and conservatives perform amazing feats of mental gymnastics to make this work after they are presented with something that breaks that logic.

  61. I live in a red, rural, country town. We have very active KKK membership. We had a cross burning in 94 or 95 because a black family dared to move in. It was gossip a few years ago when a kid threatened to cut the one Jewish kid in town’s head off with a chainsaw for “killing Jesus.” I got called a racial slur by the local cop when I was nine. I graduated in a private school class of 23. I was the only one in that class that believed women could and should vote. One boy did his senior paper on how all LGBT people should be rounded up and worked in hard labor camps until they “straightened out.”

  62. I’m just setting this as a placeholder so maybe I will remember this statement is true however one of them sadly ,as an outside observer, one of them is worse… and I will try and get back to this later but I’ve already typed about 4000 words so I really need to put this in the computer and bullet point or some thing like this can’t be this long but yeah it’s bad and things neef to change and fast it is at the root of pretty much all major culture in America at the time ;we’ve got to undo some of this mess before we really do start going to war with each other. Not gonna lie I’m practically there myself just out of sheer frustration but I don’t want it and no one else should want it , but if we don’t quit letting them turn us into wild animals and children and just be smart we’re screwedTBC——

  63. The only thing that matters fundamentally is policy. Policy is made by those we vote for and right now, conservatives have voted in people that have in turn appointed SCOTUS judges that are reversing rights and basically moving forward a religious agenda. McConnell stole a SCOTUS judge from Obama as a form scorched earth politics. We have this group of right wing whack jobs that tried to overturn the election and created an environment resulting in our biggest threat against democracy in over a century.

  64. My guess is that you're a young, white, straight, male, probably middle class (considering you're early in your career).

  65. Not so much. I work with several intelligent people that are fully capable at work and in most other capacities and have a few conservative friends that are the same. One is a doctor. The common element is that they all fail to see that many of the GOP supported an attempted coup by the president and are even now downplaying the importance of the events. Meanwhile on the liberal side you have good men like Al Franken resigning from the Senate because he was involved in a joke that was in poor taste years ago.

  66. You said that we it feels like we are forced to choose one side or the other. Adding political parties to the voting roster is a must to represent all kinds of views and not just under a capitalist understanding of the economy. Yes this might not be what I’m trying to convince you of, but this would also mean that the Constitutional, Greens, Tea, and Libertarians all have a say in what happens in some small way.

  67. The difference between liberals and conservatives is that for conservatives, traditions > liberty, and for liberals, traditions < liberty.

  68. I'd only slightly modify your view. I don't think it's the parties that have pitted people against each other but the electoral system which drives up polarisation.

  69. I read somewhere that centrists are quickly becoming politically homeless because both parties are diverging to extremes (arguably at different paces)

  70. It’s all a game and while we are busy with their BUZZ words and there meanings they are getting rich playing house in our supposed government headquarters 👍👍👍

  71. Of course we mostly want the same things. It’s not like one party wants to food the city with lava and the other wants to plant flowers.

  72. But we can take a step back, remember that we have a lot in common, and ask them, "ok, why do think making being trans illegal is good for our country?"

  73. And media business models that only succeed in situations where two opposing camps can be pitted against each other, with the “conflict,” — as much as the ideas each camp believes in — being the marketed product.

  74. I've lived in blue bubbles most of my life. Blue rhetoric positions conservatives as stupid and dangerous. So when I moved to a rural town in IN (pop 22k) I wasn't just hesitant to engage with people, I was actively afraid.

  75. Hi OP, I think it would be far more interesting to see a CMV where you take the opposite viewpoint and attempt to see folks argue your point to see how that goes.

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