Author Topic: Influencing state representatives other than your own  (Read 4313 times)

shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #50 on: July 05, 2017, 09:00:22 AM »
If there were truly a majority why wouldn't the traditional political process work?  The issues mentioned above were definitely NOT majority-favored views at one time.

History is written by the winners so things seem obvious now. But couldn't "bad" ideals just as easily prevail? 

Civil disobedience (MLK style) is a far cry from a trash can through a window.


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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2017, 09:28:38 AM »
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If there were truly a majority why wouldn't the traditional political process work?

I wish it would, but I genuinely see this not to be the case in many issues, unfortunately. This is why people consider other means.

The system doesn't work well to respresent what even a majority cares about. I think the standard system works well to represent what powerful people care about, and what lobbyists with the most money care about, or what the powers feel outnumbered in, etc. But not necessarily what a majority care about. (Consider even the US federal voting system. Who becomes president isn't always based on what the majority of individuals inside the country wanted, but where a given number of votes took place. So, not majority and not an outcome reflecting one vote per person.)

So after these kinds of weightings are accounted for, people seek a way to balance the power, to have the other view also represented.

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The issues mentioned above were definitely NOT majority-favored views at one time.

I think this is true in several instances, yes. Though I think there is more to it.

This is where that "critical mass" point comes in. Once enough people have come out of the closet as living contrary to what social norms urge, the shift begins.

Often people quietly live as though they believe in the current law, so that they can feel safe in their community. i.e., The people first breaking the law to smoke pot in order to live seizure-free and go to work every day, did not tell their neighbours, their congressman, their local police department they were doing so. Only after enough of them found each other did they find the strength in numbers to stand.

Many people were horrified at slavery, or at people being forced to sit here vs there on a bus, but said nothing not because they shared the law's view, but because they were afraid to take a stand. Until a few people weren't.

In these cases, what was the majority view? The one people were living, or the one people were thinking but were afraid to stand for? The view I held before discovering my favourite neighbour is gay or had an abortion, or the view I developed after my neighbour had sufficient safety that I could learn this information?

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But couldn't "bad" ideals just as easily prevail?"

Absolutely.

And they often do (whether brought about lawfully or unlawfully, just like ideals for increased tolerance, etc).

This is the tricky part, and the part that's most challenging about humans living in community.

shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2017, 09:51:26 AM »
OK but in which of those cases did a trash can through a window help?

Civil disobedience, I get.  It's overt.  It's nonviolent.  It's specifically meant to cause people to to think about policy.

The trashcan through the window (or destruction of private property generally) I don't get.  Cheating (lying about being a constituent) I don't get.  Neither are meant to persuade, they are meant to intimidate through violence or to just plain cheat. 

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2017, 09:53:03 AM »
As usual for political discussions, most folks just said what they thought without engaging with any of the ideas or arguments presented by the other side (me). But I didn't want to ignore your posts directed at me. Unfortunately I wasn't able to grasp your point.

I think this is a very telling post. Not only does it sort of describe the way the other side feels(me), but it also shows how both sides have a hard time relating to each other.
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Gin1984

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2017, 10:00:35 AM »
OK but in which of those cases did a trash can through a window help?

Civil disobedience, I get.  It's overt.  It's nonviolent.  It's specifically meant to cause people to to think about policy.

The trashcan through the window (or destruction of private property generally) I don't get.  Cheating (lying about being a constituent) I don't get.  Neither are meant to persuade, they are meant to intimidate through violence or to just plain cheat.
Do you think people would have listen to MLK as much as they did, if Malcolm X had not been the other choice?

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2017, 10:05:01 AM »
OK but in which of those cases did a trash can through a window help?

Civil disobedience, I get.  It's overt.  It's nonviolent.  It's specifically meant to cause people to to think about policy.

The trashcan through the window (or destruction of private property generally) I don't get.  Cheating (lying about being a constituent) I don't get.  Neither are meant to persuade, they are meant to intimidate through violence or to just plain cheat. 

Right, and the comment about the LGTQ community being accepted because of a riot I think is an incorrect assessment of what actually happened.

I would argue that LGTQ being integrated into Hollywood culture and likeable characters being portrayed in different hit TV shows had a bigger influence on changing the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans than any protest or riot had.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2017, 10:11:03 AM »
shawndoggy, I'm generally with you re: destruction of property, lying, or cheating. I'm not into those things. I prefer going through the system to change a law, peaceful protest, nonviolent action, etc.

I view some things -spying, destruction of property- as a degree of warfare. I don't like warfare. I would try pretty much anything to prevent warfare and to not engage in it. I think it's that dangerous and destructive.

At the same time, I see that some people/groups/causes refuse to listen short of it. Then what? I see that some peeople/groups/causes become willing to listen only after violence. Then what? How much time do we give to peaceful protest? One year? One decade? One generation? Again, tough call for me, for sure.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2017, 10:15:13 AM »
Do you think people would have listen to MLK as much as they did, if Malcolm X had not been the other choice?

Yes, and conversely if MLK had not been the other choice, Malcolm X alone would have had a negative impact on civil rights.

You cant win friends and influence people by breaking the very peoples property you seek to influence. I would argue that when you break someone's window, you create at least 30 to 50(probably a lot more) new enemies against whatever you are trying to change.
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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2017, 10:17:44 AM »
At the same time, I see that some people/groups/causes refuse to listen short of it. Then what? I see that some peeople/groups/causes become willing to listen only after violence. Then what? How much time do we give to peaceful protest? One year? One decade? One generation? Again, tough call for me, for sure.

Can you give an example of when this actually worked, AND didn't lead to a break down in civility or lead to war? Anyone?

It would be interested to take a look at a specific example where one side thinks this actually worked.
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shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2017, 10:20:35 AM »
Do you think people would have listen to MLK as much as they did, if Malcolm X had not been the other choice?

That's hard for me to say because it was before my lifetime.

I do think that violent jack knobs ostensibly on "my" side of the argument tend to weaken my resolve.  I'm sympathetic to environmental causes, but Earth First'ers burning down a hummer dealership makes me want to distance myself.  While I strongly sympathize with BLM's political points, Xavier Johnson's shooting five police officers last year certainly turned me off.  Dreadlocked trustafarians destroying starbucks at WTO meetings... do they even have a point?

Nothing gives me a patriotic warm fuzzy feeling like a protest march.  So quintessentially American!  But destruction of property "just because?" gross.

Is there an example of destruction of private property being actually persuasive and successful to change minds?

As for cheating (lying about being a constituent), where do you draw the line?  What about voting out of district?  Voting twice?   

What good is a "win" in a system that cannot be won without cheating?  What do you win?  You can't say "well once we win then all cheating will stop," because your opponents will use the same tactics against you.  It undermines the entire system.

shawndoggy

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #60 on: July 05, 2017, 10:23:11 AM »
I would argue that LGTQ being integrated into Hollywood culture and likeable characters being portrayed in different hit TV shows had a bigger influence on changing the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans than any protest or riot had.

Totally.  But I do get the argument that there never woulda been a Will and Grace without a Stonewall.  Stonewall didn't persuade, but it was arguably the spark for advocacy in general.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #61 on: July 05, 2017, 10:34:42 AM »
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Can you give an example of when this actually worked, AND didn't lead to a break down in civility or lead to war? Anyone?

I would want to break this out further, because I think a breakdown in civility can be okay (uncomfortable, but okay) but war as horrible.

I'm not directly familiar enough with history and politics to know whether there is or is not an example on a community level. I can think of several instances in the nonfamous (local) realm. Violent (in words or action)? Yes. Effective? Yes. Resulting in breakdown or war? No.

These examples, though, were smaller scale -individual vs community, so perhaps they don't really fit. In case they do: Think of an abused child who finally holds a gun to the parent, or reaches age 14 and is able to pummel the neighbour. Why did the abuser not listen until that point? Why did the abuser suddenly care about the child's POV or experience and "get it?" Why did the abuser become committed to changing their perspective, ideas, and/or actions?

It's highly disturbing to me that some people can't or won't listen to anything short of direct threat to themselves, but it seems to me to be the case. I wish it weren't -I wish everyone listened to words, willingly engaged in challenging discourse, pondered another's experience. What does one do when friends, police, and judges do nothing, over something that really really matters?

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #62 on: July 05, 2017, 10:55:16 AM »
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Can you give an example of when this actually worked, AND didn't lead to a break down in civility or lead to war? Anyone?

I would want to break this out further, because I think a breakdown in civility can be okay (uncomfortable, but okay) but war as horrible.

I'm not directly familiar enough with history and politics to know whether there is or is not an example on a community level. I can think of several instances in the nonfamous (local) realm. Violent (in words or action)? Yes. Effective? Yes. Resulting in breakdown or war? No.

These examples, though, were smaller scale -individual vs community, so perhaps they don't really fit. In case they do: Think of an abused child who finally holds a gun to the parent, or reaches age 14 and is able to pummel the neighbour. Why did the abuser not listen until that point? Why did the abuser suddenly care about the child's POV or experience and "get it?" Why did the abuser become committed to changing their perspective, ideas, and/or actions?

I'm not sure this example demonstrates the same thing as to what would occur on a much larger scale. Also, abuse is illegal, and for good reason. I think this is a good example of showing how violence or threat changes a persons perspective.

It's highly disturbing to me that some people can't or won't listen to anything short of direct threat to themselves, but it seems to me to be the case. I wish it weren't -I wish everyone listened to words, willingly engaged in challenging discourse, pondered another's experience. What does one do when friends, police, and judges do nothing, over something that really really matters?

I'm not sure that is entirely true, I believe people listen to both sticks and carrots (so to speak).

Are you guys on the other side just arguing that when a cause is just enough it is ok to do something, even if it outrageous or causes destruction, to in affect wake people up and talk about the issue? Just something to draw attention to the issue, Is that what I'm hearing?
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #63 on: July 05, 2017, 11:08:14 AM »
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I believe people listen to both sticks and carrots (so to speak).

In my experience, some people do. And some people don't. That's the part that distresses/concerns me -that some aren't compelled by carrots, pleas, appeals, morality, etc. Where that's the case, I'm at a loss...and can see how some would resort to "any means." And, as peaceful a person as I am, I support that in specific instances.

So, I would put myself in the category of those supporting "any means" (to wake people up, yes), IF a bunch of steps had been completed first. The latter is critical, though.

And when someone is acting out at me, my first question is, "Whoa, has this person already used a bunch of steps to call me on this?" Except with super weird people, the answer has invariably been "yes." If I ignored the first five steps of their communication over a valid issue, I -not their last resort step- am the problem.

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2017, 11:20:38 AM »
And when someone is acting out at me, my first question is, "Whoa, has this person already used a bunch of steps to call me on this?" Except with super weird people, the answer has invariably been "yes." If I ignored the first five steps of their communication over a valid issue, I -not their last resort step- am the problem.
I believe that is true with normal rational people, but not when you throw hormones or chemical imbalances in the brain or psychological persuasion or misinformation or anything else that causes people to get all emotional and stop thinking rational.

A funny(not really funny) trick that politicians play today is to try and get people to believe that those reasonable rational courses of action have already taken place, even if they have not. But even if they have in another part of the country, some people skip doing all the rational things locally and automatically resort to irrational responses all based on hearsay. My sister in law comes to mind, no cat in the fight or real affect on her life, but swears she has been victimized and must do something about it.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Influencing state representatives other than your own
« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:28 AM »
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I believe that is true with normal rational people, but not when you throw hormones or chemical imbalances in the brain or psychological persuasion or misinformation or anything else that causes people to get all emotional and stop thinking rational.

Agreed.

Related to psychological persuasion and misinformation: In the last minutes, while puttering and working, I was wondering, "Who really has one vote? Does the person whose vote is outweighed by the vote in another location really have one vote? Does the person who is pressured by friends to vote this way vs that really voting? Does the person so disallusioned or disenfranchised by numerous policies have a vote? Does the person whose ability to feed their child depends on this policy vs that really have a vote? Does the person with an intellectual disability who is influenced by their care worker or sister really have a vote? Does the person whose vote will be split really have a vote?" Democracy has so much imperfection.

And I'm a person who started in the emotional activitism role and over time moved to a different place. e.g., As a teen, I stood on a roadside holding anti-abortion placards, because of the teachings I had been exposed to. Then a 14 year old friend asked me to walk with her through a tragic process, and I moved into a different place on that count.

And yes re: misinformation. Through direct experience, I learned to disregard the majority of what media (even reputable media) reports. It's too inaccurate and too biased. I tend to speak on matters I have direct engagement with. So, if I *see* a law play out this way with a client, I become willing to take the steps to change the law. If I see one person stay in jail because she doesn't have release money, and that one walk because she does, I donate release money. Short of direct observation, in context, I'm cautious. Not inactive -because I believe that can be a form of violence too- but cautious, methodical, etc.