Author Topic: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?  (Read 5303 times)

Syonyk

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2018, 06:53:04 PM »
I think you are proving the point of a lot of people in this thread.

How?  You said "you couldn't understand how someone could..." and I offered an explanation from their point of view about why they might value doing that.
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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2018, 07:06:16 PM »
Did you mean to post this on a religious forum somewhere?

Nope.  It was quite directed at you.

You said, "To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me."

I explained why someone might think it makes sense.

That quote shows why evangelists would want to spend time with heathens. It does not explain why a heathen, the one being judged, would want to spend time with the evangelist. Especially if the evangelist isn't sincerely trying to save their soul, just judge them and vote for people who will discriminate against them.

I would stay friends with someone despite them having very different opinions about things than me and speaking out about them.  I don't care if they are a left wing nut jobs or a radical right wingers as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, unethical, or otherwise not respecting me and the friendship.  I will voice my own opinion as well.  I haven't ever had a friendship end under the circumstances discussed in this thread.

As a bi, agnostic, Jewish woman, the friend OP described would not respect me in multiple ways, due to their beliefs and actions. That's the point. Maybe you fall into the acceptable category for people who want to discriminate, maybe you have a very thick skin, maybe you enjoy arguing. But I would take the constant bashing of women, non-Christians, and LGBTQ people as "not respecting me and the friendship." Even though you do not have a problem with it, can you understand how someone else would?

MasterStache

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2018, 07:43:34 PM »
I think you are proving the point of a lot of people in this thread.

How?  You said "you couldn't understand how someone could..." and I offered an explanation from their point of view about why they might value doing that.

They "might" value doing it based on some religious text which not coincidentally is also the justification for suggesting they burn in eternity. Sounds like a friendship based on circumstance rather than choice.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #53 on: April 14, 2018, 08:45:12 PM »
I would stay friends with someone despite them having very different opinions about things than me and speaking out about them.  I don't care if they are a left wing nut jobs or a radical right wingers as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, unethical, or otherwise not respecting me and the friendship.  I will voice my own opinion as well.  I haven't ever had a friendship end under the circumstances discussed in this thread.

As a bi, agnostic, Jewish woman, the friend OP described would not respect me in multiple ways, due to their beliefs and actions. That's the point. Maybe you fall into the acceptable category for people who want to discriminate, maybe you have a very thick skin, maybe you enjoy arguing. But I would take the constant bashing of women, non-Christians, and LGBTQ people as "not respecting me and the friendship." Even though you do not have a problem with it, can you understand how someone else would?

We're in agreement, it sounds like, just as you emphasized my comment about disrespecting.  I haven't experienced that personally, but of course, I understand.

Abe

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #54 on: April 14, 2018, 09:51:11 PM »
I think it depends on what the beliefs are and how strongly you and the friend hold them.

Example: I was friends with someone who had certain beliefs that superficially seemed quite different from mine, but we hung out because both of us didn't feel too strongly about politics. Over time we realized our beliefs were quite similar in many respects. Time passed and he moved to a different state and we stayed in touch over the internet. Then, around the time of the last presidential elections heating up, he became very anti-immigration (I'm an immigrant). I stayed out of it because frankly agreed with some of his arguments. At any rate, he became more virulently anti-immigrant and essentially delved into racism. At that point I figured we couldn't be friends anymore because of his belief in white superiority, by definition, prevented him from respecting me as a person. It kind of sucked, but people drift apart. I feel bad for him that he's gotten sucked into this vortex of hate, but we were never close enough for me to devote that much effort to helping him with whatever issues were driving these feelings. I guess in the end we weren't friends after all, since neither of us helped the other out.

There are lines of disrespect that can end a friendship. But anything before that I think is fair game, as long as you all are civil towards each other. Also, people change and that's life. If you are good friends, make the effort to reconcile your beliefs and friendship as two separate things. If you can't, your friendship wasn't that strong in the first place.


Mezzie

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2018, 03:14:36 AM »
My like-minded friends certainly outnumber my friends who believe things uncomfortable for me, but I think it's important to have friends -- and not just superficial ones -- that challenge my beliefs and opinions. Living in an echo chamber is a barrier to positive change and reflection.

I'll give one example. I am a bleeding-heart, godless liberal union rep. My good friend is a conservative gun-toting, confederate-loving evangelist. What a pair!

The thing is, we have both grown and changed over the past 14 or so years because we didn't give up on our friendship despite some major differences in opinion. He has realized that being anti-gay is stupid (his words); I've realized the gun issue in our country is way more complex than my political groups like to say; he's realized that some celebrations that seem innocuous to him as a white male can cause real harm to others; I've realized that not every Trump supporter is an idiot or racist (that one is tough!).

We still butt heads on plenty of issues, but we are absolutely dedicated friends. We trust each other, confide in each other, and are there for each other. The fact that he is an example of someone who should be my political enemy and yet is someone incredibly dear to me keeps me from painting half of America with too broad a brush. If more people could do this, I think we could do some real healing in our country. It worries me how few friends I have of his persuasion; I am definitely part of the problem when it comes to division in America.
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Dabnasty

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2018, 02:29:31 PM »
I think you are proving the point of a lot of people in this thread.

How?  You said "you couldn't understand how someone could..." and I offered an explanation from their point of view about why they might value doing that.

Did you read "To spend time with people who think you're going to hell" as "To spend time with people who you think are going to hell"?

Very different statements

Dabnasty

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2018, 02:59:38 PM »
Quote
Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
This is a question that, of all Western countries, would only be asked in the USA.

First, not true. Most of your US bashing is fair but people are people everywhere.

The title of this thread may have been a little off point but I hope you've taken the time to read through OP's whole question and some of the responses to further define what is being asked. It's not as simple as person A thinks x and person B thinks y so they're incompatible. If you break up over your tax policy disagreement, you might be a shallow person. But the way OP described the person in question makes it sound like they just don't have much to talk about anymore.

Maybe we should think about it from the other direction, why do we choose to be friends with the people we're friends with?

SwordGuy

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2018, 03:25:00 PM »
Back after one of the Obama presidential victories (forget which one), one of my more conservative friends started posting stuff related to secession.  Apparently other conservatives here in NC were also mouthing off about it as well.

I wrote to him and said that if folks seceded over Obama's election, I would do everything in my power to make Sherman's march to the sea look like a Sunday school outing.

He said then we couldn't be friends anymore.

I told him, "If you participate in secession, we can still be friends.  Friendship has nothing to do with that.  When they put the rope around your traitor's neck and I pull the lever that hangs you for the traitor you've become, we'll still be friends."

He said that worked for him.

We're still friends.

Syonyk

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2018, 04:17:14 PM »
Did you read "To spend time with people who think you're going to hell" as "To spend time with people who you think are going to hell"?

Very different statements

... yes.  Apparently I did.  Apologies around, ignore that little sidetrack.
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ender

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2018, 04:28:58 PM »

We still butt heads on plenty of issues, but we are absolutely dedicated friends. We trust each other, confide in each other, and are there for each other. The fact that he is an example of someone who should be my political enemy and yet is someone incredibly dear to me keeps me from painting half of America with too broad a brush. If more people could do this, I think we could do some real healing in our country. It worries me how few friends I have of his persuasion; I am definitely part of the problem when it comes to division in America.

If you want real fun, tell people you didn't vote for Trump OR Clinton.

Then both parties have cause to consider you a terrible human being.

Syonyk

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2018, 05:39:04 PM »
If you want real fun, tell people you didn't vote for Trump OR Clinton.

Then both parties have cause to consider you a terrible human being.

No, then you get accused of helping Trump win.
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expatartist

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2018, 11:02:44 PM »
My dad always refused to tell us whom he voted for, though he participated in 70s war protests so it would've been easy to guess. In addition to believing it impolite, he was a public figure in our community and genuinely felt his personal beliefs were no one else's business.

With social media many formerly taboo topics are out in the open and it's debatable whether our societies are better for it. Topics can easily devolve into interrogation / name-calling territory and benefit no one.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2018, 10:19:19 AM »
I have very very good friends who have very very very different political beliefs than I do [I'm the die-hard liberal embarrassment to the family].   We don't talk about politics.

I know that one of them is dating a guy who is a virulent open-carry advocate (I know this because she told me and asked if it was okay to bring him to my house; I said sure as long as his gun stayed locked in the car because we have young kids and no way to secure guns in the house).  I declined his request to be friends on Facebook, because that would make it much harder to be friends in real life.

I have other friends who have very different political beliefs, and we do discuss them - to find common ground, to understand, and to give each other a hard time. 

All of us share the same core values, and all of us are committed to respect each other.  I would not be okay being friends with some who displayed anti-semitism, racism, or anti-LGBT attitudes.   I'm not okay with people who advocate violence.  Those people get cut out of my life.  I haven't encountered anyone who is blatantly anti-woman (not wanting women to vote????), but that would be a deal-breaker too.

I've been dropped by a lot more friends, mostly online ones although including extended family and neighbors, who decided their line in the sand was for anyone to question their narrative about either people of color or guns. 
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Kris

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2018, 11:15:12 AM »
I have very very good friends who have very very very different political beliefs than I do [I'm the die-hard liberal embarrassment to the family].   We don't talk about politics.

I know that one of them is dating a guy who is a virulent open-carry advocate (I know this because she told me and asked if it was okay to bring him to my house; I said sure as long as his gun stayed locked in the car because we have young kids and no way to secure guns in the house).  I declined his request to be friends on Facebook, because that would make it much harder to be friends in real life.

I have other friends who have very different political beliefs, and we do discuss them - to find common ground, to understand, and to give each other a hard time. 

All of us share the same core values, and all of us are committed to respect each other.  I would not be okay being friends with some who displayed anti-semitism, racism, or anti-LGBT attitudes.   I'm not okay with people who advocate violence.  Those people get cut out of my life.  I haven't encountered anyone who is blatantly anti-woman (not wanting women to vote????), but that would be a deal-breaker too.

I've been dropped by a lot more friends, mostly online ones although including extended family and neighbors, who decided their line in the sand was for anyone to question their narrative about either people of color or guns.

Iíve had a number of conservative ďfriendsĒ unfriend me on FB. I never unfriend people, short of actual harassment of myself or a friend. I believe in the whole time Iíve been on FB Iíve unfriended or blocked exactly three people. But I get unfriended quite often by conservatives when they post some fake nonsense in a meme and I respond with a source that corrects their facts.

I can think of one real-life example of me removing myself from a friendship based on political beliefs. It was a woman I went to high school with, in my core group of friends, though she thought of me as more of a close friend than I did her. I was even her maid of honor at her wedding.

She got more conservative as she got older, and post-9/11 started espousing a lot of opinions I didnít enjoy, but when necessary I would either just flat-out tell her I disagreed or ask her to agree to disagree and drop the matter. But then she and her husband got married... Iím pretty sure that my high school friends and I were some of the only people on the left that he knew, and he took great glee in saying shitty things to us whenever we were together, insulting our beliefs, etc. It got worse and worse the longer they were together. Eventually, one day when I was hanging out with them, he said some things that were so mean and insulting ó with his wife simply nodding along ó that I just couldnít take it anymore. I had a very frank conversation with the two of them, saying that it was honestly extremely insulting and off-putting and asking him to please be respectful of our beliefs, and we would be respectful of his. He seemed to back off a bit, and I thought Iíd gotten through to him.

The next time I saw him was at another friendís wedding. I mostly managed to avoid this guy during the event. But the next day, a bunch of us got together at a restaurant. He was so awful that day ó just plain mean. Thereís no other way to put it. And once again, his wife (my friend) was not at all bothered by anything he was saying, and basically implied that we were all just way too sensitive. When we left the restaurant, I told my fiancť that I couldnít handle that guy anymore and that I couldnít invite them to our wedding. Coincidentally, on the way home, we ran into another couple who had been there who were getting married a month before we were. They said the exact same thing: they were done. Finito.

This was ten years ago. I havenít seen my ex-friend or her husband since. And frankly, my life is better for it.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 11:35:18 AM by Kris »
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

gentmach

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2018, 11:31:00 AM »
Depends on your friends. As the libertarian type in my group I'm low man on the totem pole. (I agree with my liberal friends, I just think that everyone is going to have to take personal responsibility to ensure the programs work. I also don't think getting blackout drunk on weekends is a revolutionary activity.)

The "working class" liberals can understand the practicality of my politics.

The "college educated" liberals seem to believe that us peasants need to shut up and listen to their betters.

Unfortunately they are all entangled together making life difficult.
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Dabnasty

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #66 on: April 16, 2018, 12:15:04 PM »
It seems most of the responses giving examples have really been about losing friendships over people who act like jerks rather than because they disagree on political issues. Disagreeing on the best course of action for the government to take is politics. Calling people names and making assumptions about their motives is something else.

I think the line gets blurred when a political stance relates to marginalizing a group of people. A number of "friends" who've been discussed in this thread openly denigrate groups of people and that makes them jerks. In other cases they may support policy which to them is fair, but to someone else is racist because it disproportionately effects a specific race, such as drug laws.

And one other issue that I don't think has been discussed yet, I have trouble being friends even with someone who agrees with my political views when they have strong opinions that they can't back up. I've got no problem at all if someone wants to abstain from consuming news media and be indifferent, but when you shout it from the rooftops and get all worked up about that thing that just happened, you really ought to have some understanding of what you're talking about.

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #67 on: April 16, 2018, 12:30:21 PM »
In my personal experience, I think extremists in general have a tendency of being monothematic which is boring at best, so I avoid those types that can't hold a conversation without turning it into a manifesto. Does that count? Is that a reflexion of the belief or the person or just of his/her unpleasentness?

Also, I think it's pretty ok not wanting to be friends with a actual nazi, for example. There are beliefs that are just too toxic to be comfortable around, even if you're not the target.

OccamsPhaco

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #68 on: April 16, 2018, 01:37:53 PM »
I wish it was as easy to make friends as it was in grade school and middle school. Nobody had any real opinions about religion or politics, and nobody was interested in the opposite sex just yet. That probably removes 90% of all reasons for adult conflict right there.

gentmach

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #69 on: April 16, 2018, 03:08:58 PM »
It seems most of the responses giving examples have really been about losing friendships over people who act like jerks rather than because they disagree on political issues. Disagreeing on the best course of action for the government to take is politics. Calling people names and making assumptions about their motives is something else.

I think the line gets blurred when a political stance relates to marginalizing a group of people. A number of "friends" who've been discussed in this thread openly denigrate groups of people and that makes them jerks. In other cases they may support policy which to them is fair, but to someone else is racist because it disproportionately effects a specific race, such as drug laws.

And one other issue that I don't think has been discussed yet, I have trouble being friends even with someone who agrees with my political views when they have strong opinions that they can't back up. I've got no problem at all if someone wants to abstain from consuming news media and be indifferent, but when you shout it from the rooftops and get all worked up about that thing that just happened, you really ought to have some understanding of what you're talking about.

This actually. People refuse to realize that their political platform isn't just their pet cause. It comes bundled with a bunch of other things. People act like you are supposed to act against your interests to promote theirs. Then they are outraged that you would act in your own interests.

I wish it was as easy to make friends as it was in grade school and middle school. Nobody had any real opinions about religion or politics, and nobody was interested in the opposite sex just yet. That probably removes 90% of all reasons for adult conflict right there.

It can be that simple. People have to learn to set politics aside to accomplish things.

And yes, things didn't get bad til the opposite sex got involved. Then it was Jerry Springer all the way down.
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NorCal

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #70 on: April 16, 2018, 06:31:33 PM »
One simple thing that will help you get along with everyone:  Unfollow everyone on social media that posts political stuff.  Particularly the people you AGREE with.  The entire purpose of political social media posts is to generate outrage at those evil "other" people.

If one of your information filters is a feed of things to be outraged about, you will become a less happy person.

In the context of Facebook, you don't have to unfriend them, just unfollow them.

I did this during the election, and it made a material difference in my outlook on the world.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2018, 08:02:52 AM »
I agree with others about jerkiness being a big issue, but let's be honest, there's no 'nice' way to spouse certain beliefs. I mean, can you really be a 'nice' racist or a 'nice' misogynist? I suppose you can be polite on the outside, but that ugliness in your heart is going to show itself sooner or later.

I also agree about some areas of disagreement being more personal and more likely to lead to losing friendships. Viewing people as inferior because of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc., is just wrong on every basic level. It's a human rights and respect thing. But yeah I can see more give and take on things like taxes, foreign policy, business regulations, etc.

Pigeon

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2018, 12:28:05 PM »
I have found it's increasingly difficult, in a way that it wasn't maybe 15 years ago.  I have a sister who is on the other end of the political spectrum.  I've gotten to the point that the only way we can communicate is via email, where I can simply ignore certain things.  On the rare occasion we're together, there are a handful of topics that we can talk about, and then it's pretty much awkward silence or going into another room.

I have an old friend from childhood who is also very politically different.  We were raised in the same church and I left long ago.  Despite reminders, she wants to assume that I share her opinions about religion and most political issues and seems genuinely surprised when I disagree about things.  I think it boils down to whether or not you have enough in common or of mutual interest to enjoy spending time together.  At some point, it can get to be a chore if your worldviews are incompatible.

babybug

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I agree with others about jerkiness being a big issue, but let's be honest, there's no 'nice' way to spouse certain beliefs. I mean, can you really be a 'nice' racist or a 'nice' misogynist? I suppose you can be polite on the outside, but that ugliness in your heart is going to show itself sooner or later.

I also agree about some areas of disagreement being more personal and more likely to lead to losing friendships. Viewing people as inferior because of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc., is just wrong on every basic level. It's a human rights and respect thing. But yeah I can see more give and take on things like taxes, foreign policy, business regulations, etc.
This view is unfortunately not too helpful. What do you define as 'racist?' 'misogynist' or 'jerky'? Are these not vague, subjective terms?

The problem with this decidedly far-left MMM forum is this right here. No one can have conservative views or they suck, and to prove it we have all these anecdotal examples from our  conservative religious relatives who also suck.

I have very good long time friends with vastly different political views. We love and respect one another.

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I also love the implied assumption throughout this thread that only Republicans are racists & misogynists

Kris

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I also love the implied assumption throughout this thread that only Republicans are racists & misogynists

I very much doubt that many people think that. Racism and sexism are structural problems in society. They are much larger than any one person. Most, if not all, of us have been acculturated to have certain racist/sexist beliefs, that one has to actually fight consciously and persistently to resist/remove from one's thought/unconscious belief system. Almost all of us is guilty of having said and done sexist or racist things.

Deliberately hateful -- even proud -- acts of sexism and racism are another thing.

And I will say, it has been quite a long time since I've seen an American spew deliberately vile, racist speech who isn't today a proud Trump supporter. Sadly.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

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+1 @Kris

And just to add, even if a Trump supporter doesn't consider themselves to be racist, misogynistic or homophobic, voting for #45 shows that those things are not off the table. Seriously just seeing the clip of him mocking the disabled reporter is so inhumane and embarrassing.


sui generis

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+1 to @calimom and seconded @Kris.

I am finding it much harder to be friends with people of significantly different political beliefs because I spend so much of my time now in political activism.  Therefore, a lot of what I learn, experience and engage with physically and intellectually is about that political activism.  With an acquaintance, I can engage in discussions on other topics, but to really be friends with someone, I want them to be able to share and I want to be able to share much more of our lives and thoughts and experiences.  I want to be willing and enthusiastic to be vulnerable.  That doesn't happen with people with significantly different political beliefs for me.  The country is too polarized and sharing information about each other's views just entrenches each person further in their own beliefs, so even if I wasn't looking for just interpersonal engagement, but thought this person and I might be doing something valuable for society, it would be a waste of time.  All the conversations I've seen where people try to be nice and engage and end up "well, thanks for this civil conversation and I know we may have differences of opinion, but I appreciate we all just want what's best for the country" end up with the people complaining about the asshole later behind the other person's back (including the "other side" - I see this when I lurk on their forums or end up unintentionally overhearing when people don't realize I'm not on their side) so from everything I've seen those "conversations" are pretty fake and just make the people hate each other more.  I honestly think absence makes the heart grow fonder here and many of us will do less damage to ourselves, each other, and society if we avoid each other/those topics with each other.  And that means not a true friendship.

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I also love the implied assumption throughout this thread that only Republicans are racists & misogynists

Interestingly enough, in my personal experience, while both Republicans and Democrats are racist and misogynist, it shows up does differently. I see Republicans being more "traditional" in those views, so the stereotypical n-word and gender roles, etc. Democrats still have problems with racism and misogyny, but it tends to be much subtler. It really just shows how ingrained these things are in our culture.

Before anyone jumps down my throat - this is just based on the people I know.

Nick_Miller

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I also love the implied assumption throughout this thread that only Republicans are racists & misogynists

Modifiers like "only" or "all" rarely stand up to scrutiny, no?

That being said, just consider Trump's MAGI slogan. "Make America Great...Again." That implies that America was greater at some unspecified time in the past. As compared to present times, when were things "greater" for women? For PoC? For gay folks? For non-religious folks?

Point me to that magical time where things were "greater" for them.

My point is that I hear "MAGI" as a dog whistle for "Make America Great Again for Straight White Christian Men, Because We Are Slowly Losing Our Stranglehold On Power."

I know some (many?) may disagree with this analysis, but it's the way I see things. And it makes me ill.

sui generis

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My point is that I hear "MAGI" as a dog whistle for "Make America Great Again for Straight White Christian Men, Because We Are Slowly Losing Our Stranglehold On Power."

I know some (many?) may disagree with this analysis, but it's the way I see things. And it makes me ill.
Some may disagree, but research is showing this is correct.  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/18/1718155115

GuitarStv

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My point is that I hear "MAGI" as a dog whistle for "Make America Great Again for Straight White Christian Men, Because We Are Slowly Losing Our Stranglehold On Power."

I know some (many?) may disagree with this analysis, but it's the way I see things. And it makes me ill.
Some may disagree, but research is showing this is correct.  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/18/1718155115

Might also go some way in explaining why every Trump fanboi on this forum is a straight white male.

mm1970

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+1 @Kris

And just to add, even if a Trump supporter doesn't consider themselves to be racist, misogynistic or homophobic, voting for #45 shows that those things are not off the table. Seriously just seeing the clip of him mocking the disabled reporter is so inhumane and embarrassing.
I think you can be friends with people of the opposite political spectrum...but I also prefer people who aren't radical on either side, because life is nuanced.

As someone who used to be in the Navy, and who has relatives in a red area of a blue state, I know me some Trump supporters.  And Trump voters.

I am still able to respect people who held their nose when they voted for him - especially some who are still in the government industry who maybe had actual reasons to not want to have Hillary as president.  Even if I don't agree with their reasons, they weren't dumb reasons.

I am unable to respect the people who love love love everything that Trump is doing...but when asked to say why, point out things that he's not doing, or hasn't done.  Like they aren't even trying to be educated on the topic.
I am unable to respect the obvious racists. (ahem, family - loss of status and all that).
I am unable to respect people who do nothing but bash Obama with random rants about how he did this and that, but essentially cherry pick.  Why do people cherry pick?  Why aren't people able to dig up ALL the facts?

I mean, there are still Trump supporters out there who go on and on about Benghazi and ignore the fact that they voted against additional $$ for embassy protection, and caused multiple govt shutdowns, and deny that a sequester even happened!  Denying it to friends of mine that work for the effing government and had to quit work, or take a pay cut.  Like, what??

So, stupidity.  I don't like stupidity.  And polarization. 

Like homelessness:
"Can't afford to live here, leave.  You don't belong here.  Go."
"It's our duty to take care of every living being in every way."


Nick_Miller

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My point is that I hear "MAGI" as a dog whistle for "Make America Great Again for Straight White Christian Men, Because We Are Slowly Losing Our Stranglehold On Power."

I know some (many?) may disagree with this analysis, but it's the way I see things. And it makes me ill.
Some may disagree, but research is showing this is correct.  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/18/1718155115

Might also go some way in explaining why every Trump fanboi on this forum is a straight white male.

True.

Now being a fellow straight white male, it's not like I hate "our kind" or anything. Some of the most awesome people I know are straight white males. But I don't think many SWMs, especially those age 40+, want to acknowledge that we have been VERY privileged for a VERY long time, at the expense of women, PoC, gay folks, etc. I mean, just take a look at a book of US presidents. I don't really have to say more than that.



Syonyk

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I am finding it much harder to be friends with people of significantly different political beliefs because I spend so much of my time now in political activism.

How useful is "political activism" if you're actively isolating yourself from anyone who thinks differently?
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sui generis

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I am finding it much harder to be friends with people of significantly different political beliefs because I spend so much of my time now in political activism.

How useful is "political activism" if you're actively isolating yourself from anyone who thinks differently?

Super useful! My goal in being politically active is not to engage with people who think differently, but to help and encourage those who are already generally aligned to make their voices heard more effectively. Research shows that engagement doesn't change people's minds very effectively (in fact, it can be more effective in only further entrenching them) so if I was trying to engage with the other side my political activism is likely to be significantly less useful than if I do isolate myself to like minded folks.

Milizard

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I try to be tolerant, as I'm pretty moderate, but lean more one way in modern times. However, some of the stupidity that I perceive makes it really hard to be Facebook friends with some people.

valsecito

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So my bigger question is, are you really "friends" with someone when you share virtually no common values?
Two of my uncles:
* uncle A: youngest uncle, anarcho socialist hippie atheist divorced, 1.95m, 150kg old beater van, folk musician. If you ask him what he does for work, he answers "As little as possible." He sells second hand books at fairs to survive.
* uncle B: oldest, Stanford PhD, 65kg, 1.65m, long distance runner, religious, tesla, electronics engineer. If you ask him what he does for work, he'll explain about specific high tech at the company he's taken public.

They're much much much closer than one would expect. They both 100% trust eachother to do the right thing when push comes to shove, and they're right about it. As a silly example, uncle A heard of a friend of his gf's being beaten by her husband. He didn't hesitate for a sec to organise for her to move to a safe place, up to the point of physically helping her to move out. Uncle B regularly works with disadvantaged Latino youth.

My point being... If you look at what people actually _do_ when confronted with a real world situation, it will tell you a lot about them.

Think of my grandmother, devout catholic, learning that her daugther is being beaten by her son-in-law. Suddenly, she realises she has to make a 180į turn in her point of view on divorce, and tries to support her daughter in any way she can. Same thing when her favourite granddaughter turns out to love women more than men. When things get really close, good people will have the mental flexibility to do what's right. You can't always feel who will be able to make that u-turn, but very often you'll be able to guess correctly....

I have a real friend who happens to be a Trump supporter. But! My friend isn't a narcissistic sociopath. Other things that distinguish him from Trump are things like politeness, friendliness, humbleness, and respect for all including poor, colored, LGBT, and atheist people. Again, if push comes to shove, I know my friend will do the right thing.

Distrust people who make a lot of headless chicken noise. But very often you can trust the ones that honestly follow their conscience without making much noise. Or, as an old Latvian proverb says: "Tuköa muca tālu skan". An empty barrel will sound very far.

FenderStrat

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I struggle with this. On the one hand it's hard for me to sit and have a beer with someone who buys into the fear, anger, racism, misogyny that now defines the right wing. On the other hand, these people are old friends and family who I know to be good people otherwise. And I keep coming back to the idea that they are just good people who have been lied to by the right, and ignored by the left. I mostly just avoid sensitive topics, and they appear to do the same. So we good for now... but I am conscious of the fact that we can never be super close.

MonkeyJenga

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I have a real friend who happens to be a Trump supporter. But! My friend isn't a narcissistic sociopath. Other things that distinguish him from Trump are things like politeness, friendliness, humbleness, and respect for all including poor, colored, LGBT, and atheist people. Again, if push comes to shove, I know my friend will do the right thing.

What are your friend's reasons for supporting him?

I'm sure they have nothing to do with hating poor people or gay people, and he may not discriminate against people he meets on a daily basis. But why should push coming to shove apply only to relatives or friends? What about everyone else in the country who would be harmed by the politicians he supports? If he supports a person who promotes discriminatory policies and anti-X sentiment, how does he square that with his personal beliefs?

I'm honestly curious.

Btw, I would avoid using the term "colored" people, especially in conversations where you're advocating for someone not being racist. It's not as bad as some other terms, but it's antiquated and many do see it as offensive.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 02:45:16 PM by MonkeyJenga »

Plina

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For me it would depend on if we could have normal conversations about the different views or if it was just listening to someone rant or push their political or religious views on me. I like to debate but if all the person is talking is (inser subject) it would soon get boring. I have relatives with views that I donít share. I can live with those opionions because they only show up sometimes. Then I have relatives that I donít like so I do my best to avoid them and limit my exposure to them.

I have unfollowed, not unfriended, most of my FB contacts because I realised I didnít need to know all that crap about people I donít really care about. I am only following about ten people that are relatives or people who I really like.

valsecito

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I have a real friend who happens to be a Trump supporter. But! My friend isn't a narcissistic sociopath. Other things that distinguish him from Trump are things like politeness, friendliness, humbleness, and respect for all including poor, colored, LGBT, and atheist people. Again, if push comes to shove, I know my friend will do the right thing.

Quote
What are your friend's reasons for supporting him?
Something to do with religion and Pence I suppose. Plus a lack of thorough understanding of the situation in the US (not living in the US, not a US citizen), and a large influence from religious right acquaintances in the US .

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I'm sure they have nothing to do with hating poor people or gay people, and he may not discriminate against people he meets on a daily basis. But why should push coming to shove apply only to relatives or friends?
It's not just them. Just I've observed that real life challenges to long held beliefs can be really effective eye openers. Think Dick Cheney's position on gay marriage for another example...

Quote
What about everyone else in the country who would be harmed by the politicians he supports?
He's got no US voting rights. Not sure about his voting preferences in his native country.

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If he supports a person who promotes discriminatory policies and anti-X sentiment, how does he square that with his personal beliefs?
Like everybody else who isn't very critical, on whatever side of the political spectrum. He focuses on the bits aligned with his beliefs, and doesn't strongly notice the rest.

Quote
Btw, I would avoid using the term "colored" people, especially in conversations where you're advocating for someone not being racist. It's not as bad as some other terms, but it's antiquated and many do see it as offensive.
....within the US/anglo saxon cultural sphere. Noted. What other word would you suggest? "non-white"?

It's sometimes difficult to navigate these cultural sensitivities protruding so deeply into the language space. It makes me wonder how people in the US should get started speaking about this. There's not even a shared vocabulary...

CindyBS

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I think part of the ability to remain friends with someone depends on your situation. 

Many people I know are middle to upper middle class and may not like the current government and current situation, but the reality is, their lives have not changed dramatically because of it.  Then it is more of "I disagree with you" type thing.

For us it is a different story.  Without the protections of the ACA, most especially the prohibition on lifetime caps on insurance, we would be financially ruined.  We have had more than $2 Million in medical expenses in the past 20 months - more than our pre-ACA lifetime limit.   Republicans did not offer a plan that included these protections when they voted on it last.  Same thing with Betsy DeVos saying the IDEA (individuals with disabilities in Education Act, which guarantees all kids with disabilities a public education) should be optional and left up to the state. 

If you advocate for taking my critically ill child's health insurance away or think it is ok to jeopardize my child's right to an education - then it has gone way past an "I disagree with you" thing and no, we cannot be friends.  It is made even worse when we explain how important the ACA is to us and what sort of bills we get, and the person still doesn't change their minds.   We have severed contact with several people over this issue.     

I am ok with not liking the ACA, it certainly is a flawed law.  But if you support full repeal without a replacement that includes prohibiting lifetime caps, I cannot be friends with you and you certainly will have no contact with my child.  It shows that your belief is more important that us, and more important that my critically ill kid.

TheOldestYoungMan

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@OP your question is more getting at the roots of friendship and love.  Take a look at how people become friends, and there's seemingly limitless ways, but if you start breaking them down, a common way male friendship works is through a shared hardship at some point in the past.

So often times if you look at a particular group of male high school friends, you'll find out they all had class with a particularly sexist history or math teacher at some point, and while they attribute their friendship to other things, that initial experience is what forced them to initially rely on each other, and that they could rely on each other gave them trust, and that is all that was needed.

There are men out there in the world I haven't spoken to in twenty years, but if you were in Mrs. Dunphy's class in seventh grade, you are welcome to sleep on my couch anytime, sort of thing.  We didn't recognize that was why it was happening, and over the intervening years there were incompatibilities surfaced that fractured the group, but that core trust is still there.

So there's two things here, two ideas to think about:

1.  Losing touch with people is a natural part of life.

Perhaps the least healthy thing about things like facebook is that it artificially prolongs relationships that had run their due course, and died of natural causes.  You may be losing touch with this friend, and its up to you to decide if they are worth keeping in your life.  It's up to you to decide if you can be adults that agree to disagree, if people are more than their beliefs.  If you aren't particularly good friends, maybe its no great loss.  But if they're a "help you move a body" type friend maybe you can tolerate a little bigotry.

2.  Every argument is a choice you made.  If the primary gripe is that you don't want to argue, stop arguing.  Let them be wrong in their wrongness and get over thinking its your responsibility to engage.

The last bit I'll add is that my best friend and I agree on almost nothing.  The one thing that keeps us going as friends is that we both have our shit together, which is a helluva lot more rare than either of us expected, so we can afford to meet and have a drink and not be doing something horribly irresponsible, and almost none of the other people we know have that luxury.  I show up when he really needs help, and he shows up when I really need help.  About the only thing we agree on is that we both really enjoy well crafted jokes about our own race.  We disagree on religion, politics, some finer points of history.  We enjoy discussions, not arguments.  He and his wife will invite me over for dinner when there's been some particularly distressing spin put out by liberals on how conservatives have run amok, to hear my take on it, because I offer a perspective they don't get from their liberal friends.  We don't agree, but they are reasonable thinking people, and we're able to lay out and dissect which points we don't agree.  And for the most part, that willingness to really get down into the details, with that foundation of reliance and trust, such that the discussion doesn't turn to personal attacks questioning motivations for the argument, that's constructive.

I am better at everything else I do because of the interaction I have with them, and I have learned far more from them than from anyone who agrees with me.

Neither of us is particularly authoritarian though, so that helps.  It might be different if they were more militant liberals, wanting to force their shit on me, or if I was a more militant conservative.  My personal brand of Christianity includes a healthy dose of humility and non violence so I'm free to judge your wanton sinfulness but am not particularly required to make up laws about that shit.

Find common ground, focus on that.  Avoid the mines, behave like adults when they come up.  If either can't, especially if neither can't, better a former friend that an eventual prison sentence.
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sui generis

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So often times if you look at a particular group of male high school friends, you'll find out they all had class with a particularly sexist history or math teacher at some point, and while they attribute their friendship to other things, that initial experience is what forced them to initially rely on each other, and that they could rely on each other gave them trust, and that is all that was needed.

Often times?  Really?  That sounds like a very specific experience that happened to you.  Is there some reason to think this is something very common for high school males throughout America?  I've never heard of it being "a thing" before.

GuitarStv

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So often times if you look at a particular group of male high school friends, you'll find out they all had class with a particularly sexist history or math teacher at some point, and while they attribute their friendship to other things, that initial experience is what forced them to initially rely on each other, and that they could rely on each other gave them trust, and that is all that was needed.

Often times?  Really?  That sounds like a very specific experience that happened to you.  Is there some reason to think this is something very common for high school males throughout America?  I've never heard of it being "a thing" before.

Not the specific example of course, but I'd agree that a shared hardship is a very common way to make a lasting friendship.

NorCal

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I have a real friend who happens to be a Trump supporter. But! My friend isn't a narcissistic sociopath. Other things that distinguish him from Trump are things like politeness, friendliness, humbleness, and respect for all including poor, colored, LGBT, and atheist people. Again, if push comes to shove, I know my friend will do the right thing.

What are your friend's reasons for supporting him?

I'm sure they have nothing to do with hating poor people or gay people, and he may not discriminate against people he meets on a daily basis. But why should push coming to shove apply only to relatives or friends? What about everyone else in the country who would be harmed by the politicians he supports? If he supports a person who promotes discriminatory policies and anti-X sentiment, how does he square that with his personal beliefs?

I'm honestly curious.

Btw, I would avoid using the term "colored" people, especially in conversations where you're advocating for someone not being racist. It's not as bad as some other terms, but it's antiquated and many do see it as offensive.

As a Trump supporter, I have to admit I have some general problems with this line of thinking.  I am answering this in good faith due to your general curiosity, and I really really do not want to open the whole can-of-worms of political nastiness.

Why do you assume that all Trump supporters automatically hate poor people or gay people?  Why do you assume a Trump supporter will discriminate unless proven otherwise?  I'm a Trump supporter and I've never thought that way.  Of all the Trump supporters I've met, none have been racist, hated poor people or hated gay people.

Syonyk

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Why do you assume that all Trump supporters automatically hate poor people or gay people?  Why do you assume a Trump supporter will discriminate unless proven otherwise?  I'm a Trump supporter and I've never thought that way.  Of all the Trump supporters I've met, none have been racist, hated poor people or hated gay people.

The usual argument from the left is that, well, even if a Trump supporter isn't one of those things (and they probably secretly are), they're OK voting for someone who is clearly all of those things.  And that's just as bad as being one of those yourself.  For all variety of snarl words hurled.  "Racist-bigot-sexist-homophobic-transphobic..." (you can fill in the list here, it changes weekly).  Trump is, of course, self-evidently all those things because all those things are evil and Trump is Evilly Evil, so clearly he has to support all that stuff.  Bonus points for taking things he says out of context to prove the point.

"Hates poor people" takes a bit more work, but if you start from the perspective that the best thing for poor people is clearly Democrat policies (despite them not working in nearly any large city that's been controlled by Democrats for a long time), then anyone who is poor and votes Trump is "voting against their own best interests."  And, logically, since Trump is not a Democrat (well, don't look back too far in time...), his policies are opposite those of Democrats, so clearly poor people will be worse off under his policies.  The opinion of anyone poor who doesn't hate Trump is obviously wrong, since they're deluded.

And you go on like that to prove that anyone who doesn't spend all their time Hating Trump is clearly in favor of him.  Look at the attacks on the Bernie supporters coming from the left!
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Sailor Sam

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I have a real friend who happens to be a Trump supporter. But! My friend isn't a narcissistic sociopath. Other things that distinguish him from Trump are things like politeness, friendliness, humbleness, and respect for all including poor, colored, LGBT, and atheist people. Again, if push comes to shove, I know my friend will do the right thing.

What are your friend's reasons for supporting him?

I'm sure they have nothing to do with hating poor people or gay people, and he may not discriminate against people he meets on a daily basis. But why should push coming to shove apply only to relatives or friends? What about everyone else in the country who would be harmed by the politicians he supports? If he supports a person who promotes discriminatory policies and anti-X sentiment, how does he square that with his personal beliefs?

I'm honestly curious.

Btw, I would avoid using the term "colored" people, especially in conversations where you're advocating for someone not being racist. It's not as bad as some other terms, but it's antiquated and many do see it as offensive.

As a Trump supporter, I have to admit I have some general problems with this line of thinking.  I am answering this in good faith due to your general curiosity, and I really really do not want to open the whole can-of-worms of political nastiness.

Why do you assume that all Trump supporters automatically hate poor people or gay people?  Why do you assume a Trump supporter will discriminate unless proven otherwise?  I'm a Trump supporter and I've never thought that way.  Of all the Trump supporters I've met, none have been racist, hated poor people or hated gay people.

I'm not @MonkeyJenga, but I'll take a stab at answering in my own way since this is something I think about fairly often. Politically I lean left, but I exist inside a fairly conservative world people like to call the US military. I know many Trump supporters, and I fully, wholeheartedly, without reservation or purpose of evasion agree with you; being a supporter of Trump does not automatically make a person racist bigots who hate poor people and gay people. You and I are on solid ground, my brother!

Here's the caveat though. I'm gay. The night Trump was elected I felt real and genuine fear. Trump was sworn in, and he signed EO 13769, aka: the travel ban. People started talking about making lists of Islamics. I thought about the lead up to the holocaust, and the way frogs are boiled slowly. I asked people, without a scrap of irony or attempt at humor, if they were the type who would hide me under their floorboards should push come to shove. I am not neutral towards the president. I am afraid of him.

I fully believe that many, many good people voted for Trump. From what I've been told by Trump supporters, most voted for him out of a genuine hope to force America out of what feels like an endless political morass. No doubt their enthusiasm for the man himself varies. Ranging from hold-your-nose-and-swallow-quick, to true excitement. And that's cool. You chose your man, and I believe you chose him for reasons that have nothing to do with being a racist, homophobic, etc, etc, jerk. But the fact remains; I am gay, and I am afraid. I fully believe you hold no malice towards me, but I'm also aware that you don't care about my fear.

Edit: clarity
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 07:27:27 PM by Sailor Sam »

Syonyk

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Here's the caveat though. I'm gay. The night Trump was elected I felt real and genuine fear.

Why?  I'm genuinely curious what Trump did during the campaign that made you feel he was a real threat to your existence.
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