Last week I (Mike) traveled to North Carolina to visit friends and clients that I have not seen since the China Flu hit. Of course, politics came up in discussions with my many friends. Most of us are fairly conservative or at least what I would call reasonable. However, there are still some odd ideas that float around in our heads.
During a conversation with a friend who does not normally talk politics, he brought up the subject. My buddy John leans a bit left. In the past he has mentioned his views on the environment are more closely aligned with Dems. At the same time, he is a guy with a concealed carry permit and owns a small food business.
When I know I’m talking to someone from the other side of the political spectrum I like to concede a point or two. This puts many people at ease. Nobody likes a bigot. The word bigot is defined as “a person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.”
While I am far from a bigot it is important to understand people who hold an opposing view often see their opponents as unreasonable or bigoted. I tend to see people as brainwashed or persuaded by false narratives rather than as bigots. These are generalities and as Mac often says “all generalities are false including this one.”
When you realize that you are going to see things one way and your friend or opponent is going to be obstinately stuck in their position what do you do? One technique I use is to ask a question based on the understanding that we see things differently. Here is a real example that just happend:
My buddy John believes that the 2020 elections were “the most secure ever!”. I believe there were a lot of things that went on that might have been shady due to COVID. Rather than argue the merits on either side I asked a bigger question that we could both agree on. It went like this:
Since we will never agree on the election can we at least agree that close to half the country believes the elections were not the most secure ever? My friend John answered that yes, we could agree to that. Then I asked him if he would want to have those people feel more secure about the election? He said yes again. So, I asked what is the solution? Would you agree that we should have voter I.D. like most of Europe, Canada, and many U.S. states? He had no objection. I then asked if we should only mail out ballots to those citizens requesting them rather than a mass mail as some states did. He agreed.
There is how you arrive at a reasonable conclusion about a very contentious subject. That will not work all the time in all debates but it is worth a try, don’t you think?