Liberal/Radical vs. Conservative - Two Very Different Perspectives - How (or Can) Our Differences Be Lessoned?
We: white, male, Jewish, het, married, upper-middle-class, near/in Evanston, IL
Me: liberal-radical, voted for Joe Biden/Kamala Harris
He: “conservative”, presumably voted for Trump/Pence
Me: 10/29/2020: I believe that Donald Trump is dangerous and I want him defeated in the election. I do not see him dealing with Covid-19 in a serious way. I see many, many more people dying if he is re-elected. I do not see Trump working on racism seriously as an issue. I see encouragement of the status quo in some situations and a "reactionary" push in other ways. I believe that serious police reform is important. I do not want the police to be "abolished". I do want some of their roles moved to professionals such as social workers, to deal with issues that often have little to do with the law. I think that subconscious racism is common, and blatant racism is more than token, both in the police and elsewhere.
I believe that the economy needs to be dramatically dealt with in different ways than has occurred recently. I can see, for example, bailing out the airline industry, but NOT - as part of a general bailout of huge businesses, while small businesses die out, as is already happening. I do not see a viable economic recovery that does not help both poor and middle class people, who need assistance. One man in my men's group owns some rental property. He may face a second loss of rental income, if something doesn't change drastically soon. Restaurants, theaters, those who drive Ubers/Lyfts/taxicabs, hotels and much more are drastically affected.
Do I see Joe Biden as "the answer". Not at all! I see Biden as being perhaps 60% decent (if that high), 20% bad, and 20% terrible. I could also argue that the 60% is 40%, but it isn't 10%. Bernie Sanders is terrible. I don't think that Biden will be a "real good" president, if elected. I see him as the only viable option.
I am scared that regardless of the results 5 days from now and beyond, there will be trouble in this country.
IF Donald Trump is elected, I see a continued rise of the super-rich and a continued depression for those who are poor and lower-middle class. I don't see myself personally being financially hurt. I do feel, however, that my trans step-child will face a much greater likelihood of being killed in the next several years if Trump is re-elected. Black trans people currently have a life expectancy of about 35 years.
I see my wife, a Black woman, facing indignities and further poor treatment in informal ways in the coming years if Trump is reelected.
I see abortion being illegal in at least 20-30 states, which in my mind is a travesty if Trump is re-elected.
I see continued poor treatment of social services, work with cities (and suburbs and rural areas), where wealthy interests are helped, those who are moderately well off are treated "well" and those below this status doing poorly to very poorly.
Assume instead that Biden is elected. I think that there is a big danger of militia actions resisting him being in office and/or doing anything. It is hard for me to imagine how this will play out. I am unclear if the Republican Party would/will then repudiate Trump and really change, or will be resistant to anything that Biden will try to do.
I also believe that if Biden is elected, the unity of the Democrats will dissipate fairly quickly. There will be a big split between "pragmatists" and the liberal-radical left (where I find myself). I think that there will be a lot of pressure to deal with racism issues quickly, and this will not work consistently in positive ways. I don't believe that the Democratic Party establishment is particularly insightful in seeing the depth of issues and he needs to work with long-range, well-thought out plans.
I don't believe that policies related to Israel-Palestine (a big concern of both of us in opposite ways) will be dramatically changed if Biden is elected.
I also see the possibility of election results being contested. I see attempts to suppress results from Republicans. Voting fraud is a minor issue, generally. I see much more potential for voter fraud from the right, rather than the left in the coming weeks. I do not have complete faith in anyone related to the results being treated fairly, though I don't see where the Democrats can do very much to cheat.
I'd appreciate hearing a response from you -not responding to my points, but speaking honestly of how you see things today. I know that your views will be very different from mine. I accept that. I am not concerned if your response is long or short, though I'd prefer that you use more than 50-100 or so words in responding, giving a little detail.
He: 10/29/2020: Yes, we sure do see the world through different lenses. Your sources of information are vastly different than mine. I suspect that you've never listened to conservative talk radio or heard Rush Limbaugh, Ben Shapiro, Larry Elder, or other conservative thinkers.
I'm in the process of writing my 'I Believe' manifesto and will share it with you when I'm done. I'm trying to summarize my beliefs so as not to bore the reader.
I think it's horrible what's happening to our country. This vicious hatred towards the values which have allowed dissent and progress to be made is coming from the universities, the media, and certainly the Left. And once the useful idiots have succeeded, they will be the first ones to be eliminated by those who take over. Who would have thought that after the fall and discrediting of the USSR that the Left would rise again? And in this country for that matter! But I have to hand it to these deranged, ungrateful people. They have a dogged determination to radically change the country and they seem to be succeeding. And obviously, not all change is good.
I'll send you my beliefs in a few days.
Me: 11/14/2020: When will your writing be out approximately?
He: 11/14/2020: I don't think I'll be sharing that, as in the future political environment, with maniacs like Cortez suggesting that Trump supporters should be sent to re-education camps or otherwise punished, I'm going to play things close to my belt for now. I don't expect things to get that bad, but I'm not going to provide tinder for the oncoming fire if Biden assumes office and the Senate races in Georgia are stolen as the presidential election was.
Me: I am disappointed in your decision to not state what you said you would put together. I am most disappointed in your concern of a lack of safety in making such a decision. I have read - the writing you referenced - and don't (within it) see any serious threat, but I would never want to say where one should or shouldn't feel afraid of one's safety. That is more important than anything else.
Him: If you don't find any problem with this excerpt from the article, then it sounds like you'll go along with going after Trump supporters, as they would do in a third world country Here's what the paper reported about her saying:
Following the oxymoronic sophistry of these two contradictory sentences, the manifesto goes on to name three types who should be punished economically. First, those who elected Trump by working on his campaign. Second, those who staffed his government. And third, those who funded him.
That may not go far enough, though. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks people need to collate information on anyone who might ever have said anything positive about Trump — lest such people scrub their records and try to pretend they were critical of Trump all along.
Me: I am somewhat mystified - at the extreme divide that exists between us - related to sources and core beliefs.
He: Not sure how you can be mystified about the 'extreme divide' that is present when cheating has occurred in an unfair process. Republican judges being bared from watching the ballot counting, stopping the count in the middle of the night and all of a sudden, Biden is ahead, voting machine irregularities (to say the least), ballot harvesting, sending out mailin ballots to dead people and others who shouldn't have received them,etc. I know. 'No problem here!'
Me: It isn't just with you that I feel both a concern and some confusion. With you, however, it feels "more relevant" - because I know that you are intelligent, you live within a community (Evanston) which is not a "conservative" community, and I can see no direct way that you fit in clearly with a path best shown - by Arlie Russell Hochshild - see: http://georgesworldonthewater.blogspot.com/2019/07/arlie-russell-hochschild-anger-and.html - my review of her book - relevant to the - "conservative right" - which I see you as a part of.
He: Regarding my living on the North Shore which has many Biden and Black lives matter signs on their lawns, yes, it is alienating for me. However, I have more tolerance than those on the Left who would vandalize my home if I dared display a Trump sign. Frankly, though I'll stay in the area for the next couple of years, I can't wait to leave and escape the (so far) quiet fascism that exists.
Me: I simply don't understand "the conspiracy" - that you clearly see. I see Rush Limbaugh as being very similar to many - people like say Joe Scarborough - on MSNBC - in that both are "corporate media" focused - and in my mind - pawns of their respective media outlets.
He: Have you ever listened to Rush's program? I suspect not! How about Ben Shapiro? Both on WLS am. He's definitely not a part of the corporate media.
Me: Fox - used to seem to be a part of "The Right" and now, they seem to have jumped ship - becoming a "mixed entity" - that says a lot that opposes your conspiracy theory.
He: What conspiracy theory? Companies like Fox always seem to go to the left, as they are tired of being vilified and attacked. I'm not aware of any news outlet that goes from the Left to the Right. Individuals do, but not corporations who are in it for the money or social approval.
Me: In my world - there are not - two - simple sides.
I will give a simple example:
I would find myself allied - on a percentage basis perhaps
Joe Biden - 40-60
Bernie Sanders - 30-40
AOC - 60-80
where 100 - is top.
I would rank - a number of Republicans or former Republicans - such as Colin Powell - as probably 40-50 or so.
AOC - I have a lot of respect for. I remain skeptical of parts of her.
I wish that I would see - politicians or other political figures - that I would rank: higher.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg - 90-100% - but she wasn't a politician
He: She wasn't a politician but was a political hack who always voted liberally.
John Lewis - 90-95% - but I doubt that would hold up if I knew more about him.
He: I'd give these people you support a zero politically because anyone who denigrates the US and supports our enemies and acts against the interest of the American people is a traitor.
Me: Mitch McConnell - 0 to minus - if there could be a minus. He cares only about himself. He is not even a "true conservative". He looks for where he gets a benefit. His marriage to Elaine Chao - opened up getting rich - and ties to China for him. He is as corrupt as they come!
He: You think he married Elaine Chao to get close to China? She's an anti-communist. I'd give Mitch an 8+. How is he corrupt?
Me: Most national politicians - Democrat and Republican - strongly - Not "Clean" - in that they are a part of the "quid pro quo" - political univere - you support my cause (e.g. CT - the insurance industry) or I won't support your cause (e.g. Iowa - corporate farming interests).
He: Yes, politics is a dirty game. People make compromises and trade favors to get things done. Not sure how to get away from that reality unless everyone thinks alike, which is the world the Left would like to live in.
Me: I KNOW - that you don't identify - as a "Republican" - but I can not - see - how you don't see how MONEY - and class interests - hurt Americans - most Americans - not all olf them of course.
He: I agree. Money and class interests seem to reside in the Democrat party. Tech giants, top politicians, and billionaires are not for the working class, who are increasingly represented in the Republican party. Stires, Bloomberg, Soros, Pelosi, Obama, and countless other millionaire Democrats work against the interests of the average citizen. Jack Dorsey for instance revealed how out of touch he was or just a plain liar when he said that Twitter doesn't have the power to affect elections. Bloomberg spends 100 million against Trump in Florida. 100 million is spent against Lindsey Graham. Where is this money coming from? Not $5 donations from poor black people. That's for sure.
Me: Donald Trump - and most Republican political leaders - strongly support -
Monopolistic - Oligopolistic - Capitalism - which supports: Amazon (even though Trump Demonizes Bezos), Facebook, and other corporations - who buy out their major opposition - Microsoft and Apple are part of this.
He: Trump is rich enough not to feel any need to kiss up Amazon and others. That's one reason they hate him. He won't play the decadent game that politicians generally play. He can't be bought. That's what pisses them off so much.
Me: See: Joseph Stiglitz - http://georgesworldonthewater.blogspot.com/2019/06/people-power-and-profits-joseph.html -
He totally blasts - Donald Trump. He also blasts Barack Obama - because he did not go after prosecuting bankers - related to the 2008-2009 - depression/recession - almost collapse of the U.S. economy.
Stiglitz believes in capitalism - much more than I do! He believes in competition - and much stronger regulations - of monopolistic - corporations - such as what I noted above.
I DO NOT believe - that most Democratic Party Politicians - are free of monied interests (either) - but I believe that some of them - push for a little more accountability.
He: These days, that's just a silly thing to say. Democrats want war to support the military-industrial complex for instance. They definitely represent the monied interests.
Me: Donald Trump - would have been reelected - if he had NOT made Covid-19 a political issue by his failures to deal with it over this year! You would have "won" - easily - if not for Trump's failures.
He: He did the best he could given the rotten advice he got and the scarcity of knowledge on the part of EVERYONE at the time. No one knew what to do. Thank goodness he banned flights from China and Europe in spite of Democrats and the Left calling him a racist. At first, Democrats belittled Trump's efforts, telling everyone to enjoy life, go to China Town, etc. If Trump for it, they were against it. Simple as that. And the media gleefully played along.
Me: If you see Covid-19 - as NOT being a public health emergency - and do not see the failures of Trump in this area, I feel that you are both "ignorant" and "living in a cave".
He: It's an emergency that needs to be addressed. Biden would have done no better! He would have allowed the CCP to send more people here with Covid and infect millions of others. If you don't realize that, then you're willfully ignorant of the things that Cuomo did for instance, which led to the infection and death of many seniors in New York.
Me: I believe - that you can be "conservative" and you can be: "Anti-Biden" - Anti-Most - Democrats - etc. - and could have had what would have been a total, total disaster - for me, my wife, my step-children, and nearly everyone I care dearly about - IF not for - HOW - Trump dealt with Covid-19.
That scares me a lot!
He: See my previous comments
Me:I would appreciate - it if you could at least - tell me where I am wrong - related to Covid-19 and Trump and the 2020 election.
I know that you see a conspiracy - and you feel that you had the election "stolen". Is Covid-19 - part of the conspiracy?
He: On the part of China, yes. Now the Democrats are not letting a 'crisis go to waste' by continuing to exert control, shut down the economy, cause more harm than good, increase suicides, keep children out of school, and attempt to have taxpayers pay the debts of states who squandered their money for big union contracts/ pensions, etc. The Democrat leadership are political opportunists who don't give a damn about people. They use blacks and Latinos to their political advantage and then abandon them after the elections are over. They want to keep people poor and dependent on them. People like me want to raise people up and not have them play the victim game. Hand up. Not a handout. Self-responsibility, not dependence.
Me: Are doctors and nurses - exploiting Covid-19 for their own profit as Trump alleged?
Hospitals get money for treating Covid cases. There's a difference between dying WITH Covid and FROM Covid. The numbers have been jacked up to make Trump look bad. It's political and you know it. If it was Obama, and had he done the same thing as Trump, he'd be called a hero.
Me: Is - the current state of 49 of the 50 states having recent increases in Covid cases a lie?
He: It's flu season. Also, maybe people shouldn't have been on the streets rioting, demonstrating, and celebrating Biden's fake victory with nothing said.
I have tried - to understand and to communicate honestly and directly with this man. It is clear to me that further attempts at dialog are simply not worth any effort.
We live in “different worlds”! I see perhaps inaccurately in his view, a world, where we white men are treated unfairly and where our individual efforts are forever limited by the unfairness of others. I see a world of “others” -hampering a “seemingly innocent” man.
In my world things are extremely different. I do not see the conspiracies that this man sees. I see a lot of privilege that I have: as a white person, as a man, being upper-middle class, being primarily heterosexual.
I see a world where some wealthy people manipulate others and clearly succeed in reaching them.
I also see a world where the media: CNN, MSNBC and others work for a profit, and really do not dig deeply into important issues, superficially supporting some that I support.
I see a lot of well-meaning people who are currently being bullied by “machodom”, by hatred, by manipulation of many - creating fear.
Racism - is used as a weapon among many, who do not see their own racism.
I see a lot of people who are victimized by the many people who either see things similarly to this man, or who otherwise are convinced by perceived (often real) financial benefits they get.
It is sad! I’m not happy with this! Thanks!