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The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives - Shiny Things

Nov. 8th, 2008

03:19 pm - The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

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I know most of you who read this are glad that Obama got elected (so am I), but nearly half the country is terrified. They aren't just disappointed, they're scared. This TED talk, probably the best I've seen so far, helps explain why. I know it's long (about 18 minutes), but it's very much worth watching.

Getting mad at conservatives doesn't help. It enforces the same us/them thinking that makes liberals so frustrated with conservatives in the first place (effectively, we're calling all conservatives bigots: doesn't that seem hypocritical?). And by their nature they're not likely to try to bridge the gap, so it's really up to us who are more open to experience to try to do it.

On a completely different note, the funniest thing I've heard all day is Jonathan Haidt saying "Sports is to war what pornography is to sex."

Comments:

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From:princejvstin
Date:November 8th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
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I've seen maps that show that while a lot of the country voted more for the Democrats this election as compared to 2004, a swath of the nation from Arkansas up through West Virginia voted more for McCain than they did Bush in 2004.

That's where the fearful people are concentrated, but it would be a mistake to think they are the only ones. Take my county in the North Twin Cities suburbs. Not only did we re-elect Bachmann, who is an embarrassment to the county, to the Congress (heck, to her *church*), but my county in a blue state went strongly for McCain.

I am immersed in Conservatives! Simply getting mad at them wouldn't work for ME.
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From:sirvalence
Date:November 8th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Even though most of my friends are pretty liberal, I grew up on a farm in rural Indiana. I get pretty mad when people, in effect, say my parents and siblings are stupid and/or hateful. They aren't. But they do have different values and different thought patterns, and if you want to change their minds about anything, you have to understand them. Their minds can be changed.
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From:follybard
Date:November 9th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
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A couple weeks ago, one of my (free-market conservative) seniors and I had a brief political discussion that caused him to say, incredulously, "Wow, I think this must have been the calmest, most rational conversation about politics EVER." I concluded that my seniors needed a framework for continuing to have calm, rational political discussions, so the next Friday in our Senior Seminar class we talked about politics and I showed them that TED talk.

I hope my students learned something from it. Even more, after seeing some of my (even otherwise thoughtful) Christian students gang up on the single student who outed herself as an atheist (they tried to explain to her that they weren't oppressing her when they told her that she was wrong, because they were just doing it out of love and because they were obviously right... *headdesk*), I hope they learn to look at things from other perspectives than the ones with which they were raised.
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From:sirvalence
Date:November 9th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
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Yeah, evangelizing is a fundamental component of Christianity. For a devout Christian to hear someone announce that she's an atheist is, to them, not much different from someone saying she's going to go commit suicide. What Christians are supposed to do about it though is to live lives that make other people want to be Christians too. Most don't do this well, if they aren't outright driving people away.
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