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P&N members need some help

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
I recently read an article and it caused me to do some thinking. I put this post here because the people that need to see it are specific to this sub forum.
As those that post here frequently are well aware of, my post can some times come off as mean, juvenile, and as a number of other negative descriptors. This was actually done on purpose as I was hoping to shame those who ignored facts and/or reality and either make them reevaluate their beliefs or simply make it unpleasant for them to be here. For the most part I feel I have been successful as many “trolls” have stopped posting, where as , I feel, other techniques employed by other posters have been as successful.

Here’s the problem though, those people still exist. They may not be disturbing my bubble but they are affecting others and there is no hole from which they came from that they can go back to.

Why does it matter where they go if they aren’t impacting us? Because they are indeed impacting us. Whether it’s voting for “crazy” or unqualified candidates or making shopping unsafe or annoying, they impact all of us in some way. Perhaps, and even more concerning, maybe one of these people is a family member or a (former) friend who we’ve pulled away from because their “craziness” has gotten too much to handle during these times.

So what the hell is this thread about then?
I think these people need our help and seeing as that they may be a family member or a former friend at best, at the very least they are our fellow Americans. They are our neighbors, our coworkers, or someone we see in passing. The fact of the matter is, we can’t ignore them, we can’t round them all up and put them in a cell, but we can help them. We are a nation that has always strived to take care of the less fortunate, we donate more as a percent to GDP than any other country, that’s the one good metric we still rank #1 in.

So how can we help them?

Before we get to that we must understand why they now think and act the way they do.

We can blame it on right wing media but I think they simply prey and cater to them. The article I read had an example of a guy who was a former qanon believer and he recalled that he gradually became engrossed in conspiracies when he was at a particularly low point in his life and was stressed out. As I think back to other forums I visited I do remember peoples personality changing as negative current events were happening. 9/11 coupled with the Iraq war ushered in the most noticeable change but 2008 might have been worse but I didn’t notice it at the time because I think I took it as racism coming out, and of course we now have covid, a horrible president and an ineffective congress along with an uncertain economy plus the effects of climate change and I’m seeing what I saw in 2001-2006. People are stressed and understandably so. Everyone handles stress differently, some drink, some focus on a hobby, some lash out, and some retreat from society. And some find religion while others seek answers to a question they didn’t know was being asked, who or what is causing their pain or stress. That’s where conspiracies come in, they appeal to those that are desperate to find someone to blame for their stress. Of course they aren’t aware of it and they don’t realize that the distrust, pain, hate, and other emotions they feel are being caused by external factors, factors that are beyond their control.
So now that we know what has caused these people to latch on to fake news, alternative facts, and improbable theories, we can begin to figure out how to help them.
First off, as we have all witnessed, countering their conspiracies with facts, reasoning and poking holes in it is entirely useless and that makes sense when you realize that they aren’t seeking/accepting of conspiracies because they want the truth, but rather they want something that allows them to place blame. We also know that shaming them doesn’t work as they simply retreat (most likely to a safer space, possibly where others like minded individuals are).

So what does work? The guy who was once a qanon follower said that he eventually stopped believing after doing his own research and finding some inconsistencies. But what really did it for him was that he started realizing that he wasn’t any better off, his problems/stress didn’t go away, how many people distances themselves from him and how much time he wasted believing such stuff. He gained nothing.

I think that is the answer. I think instead of pointlessly responding, we should ask them what they have gained by believing such things, ask them if they are ok, ask them what stresses they are feeling, and let them know that we aren’t their enemy, we aren’t evil, we need to tell them how their beliefs have pushed people away from them including their family and their friends. They need to know that what they are pursuing won’t make them feel better it won’t result in some hidden truth freeing them from their pain.

The alternative will be a growing population of stressed out disaffected people who will impede progress and cause gridlock and half assed solutions to an ever growing list of problems we will be facing.



Admittedly, if I were to have come across such a long ass post I would have ignored it and moved on, so if you’ve read all of this then you are a better person than me. It also suggests that you might feel the same way and that you too think something should be done other than what we’ve been doing.

If we aren’t willing to help these people then I suggest the mods simply create a catch all thread for the latest conspiracies because there won’t be any point in discussing them.

 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
12,651
9,480
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I read that article earlier. There is hope for some of them but as you see from the article it has to come from inside them. That's not gonna happen for most. And some are hopeless, let's face it, there are frankly many empty vessels out there. They'd be the first to volunteer to turn on the ovens if Trump told them it was full of Marxist illegal pedophiles.

It's a war right now. We just need more numbers out there voting in crucial states.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
I read that article earlier. There is hope for some of them but as you see from the article it has to come from inside them. That's not gonna happen for most. And some are hopeless, let's face it, there are frankly many empty vessels out there. They'd be the first to volunteer to turn on the ovens if Trump told them it was full of Marxist illegal pedophiles.

It's a war right now. We just need more numbers out there voting in crucial states.
That may be true but if trump losses and even if the Dems take the senate back, these people still exist. It’s also not like the number of people going through such a crises will suddenly stop growing either, more will be added (just wait until winter when covid really hits us). The amount of stress people are facing right now is tremendous and we must understand that just because these people couldn’t cope with it in an acceptable way doesn’t mean they should be ignored.

Of course their healing has to come from within, you can’t help people that don’t want to be helped but you can show them there is a better path to take. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t enable them more because that’s what we are doing when we indulge in their conspiracies.
 

jmagg

Golden Member
Nov 21, 2001
1,849
242
106
Well bless your woke lil heart, but I thought this was already the kinder, gentler ATP&N.
When should we expect the "media we don't ascribe to" sticky?
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
12,495
3,879
136
It seems to me the palpable stress that's currently hanging over the nation is largely influenced by Trump, his need to divide the nation in order to stay in office and how his ineptitude, his total lack of awareness and/or concern outside of his personal wants and needs and his inability to lead the nation as a true leader should.

There are a multitude of reasons for why he shouldn't be allowed to stay in office and it's for those very factually proven reasons many of his supporters are conflicted and stressed over their desire to put party over country while having to deal with Trump's personality disorders and his amazing ability to incriminate himself time and again because he thinks his job allows him to get away with anything and everything his lil' authoritarian heart desires.

The best and in my mind the only avenue of assistance we can offer Trump's supporters is to vote him out of office and make sure he isn't given the ability to wage a war of retribution of which I'm sure his base would love to engage in so as to create as much havoc, dissension and dissatisfaction with the incoming Dem administration.

The Repub's only hope for taking back the power they think only they deserve in order to "Keep America Great" like it is right now (LOL) is to make the Dems look worse than they did while Trump was in office.

For many Repubs, the contrived fear and hate of their fellow citizenry that they got mind fucked into believing by the people who need to have that state of mind hammered into their constituency in order to keep power in their hands is what needs to be remedied. How? Well let's start by removing that Divider in Chief of theirs from office first and foremost and also get rid of those corrupted sycophant scum in the House and Senate that perpetuate this fear and hate in their constituency.

Geez, I could go on and on with how Trump and his lapdogs in the legislature have managed to divide the nation like no others have done, so I'll just say that the only way the nation can heal itself from the damage the Repubs have caused over these Trump years is to get them and their sponsors out of office first and then the repair work can commence, just like the Dems have done so many times before.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
It seems to me the palpable stress that's currently hanging over the nation is largely influenced by Trump, his need to divide the nation in order to stay in office and how his ineptitude, his total lack of awareness and/or concern outside of his personal wants and needs and his inability to lead the nation as a true leader should.

There are a multitude of reasons for why he shouldn't be allowed to stay in office and it's for those very factually proven reasons many of his supporters are conflicted and stressed over their desire to put party over country while having to deal with Trump's personality disorders and his amazing ability to incriminate himself time and again because he thinks his job allows him to get away with anything and everything his lil' authoritarian heart desires.

The best and in my mind the only avenue of assistance we can offer Trump's supporters is to vote him out of office and make sure he isn't given the ability to wage a war of retribution of which I'm sure his base would love to engage in so as to create as much havoc, dissension and dissatisfaction with the incoming Dem administration.

The Repub's only hope for taking back the power they think only they deserve in order to "Keep America Great" like it is right now (LOL) is to make the Dems look worse than they did while Trump was in office.

For many Repubs, the contrived fear and hate of their fellow citizenry that they got mind fucked into believing by the people who need to have that state of mind hammered into their constituency in order to keep power in their hands is what needs to be remedied. How? Well let's start by removing that Divider in Chief of theirs from office first and foremost and also get rid of those corrupted sycophant scum in the House and Senate that perpetuate this fear and hate in their constituency.

Geez, I could go on and on with how Trump and his lapdogs in the legislature have managed to divide the nation like no others have done, so I'll just say that the only way the nation can heal itself from the damage the Repubs have caused over these Trump years is to get them and their sponsors out of office first and then the repair work can commence, just like the Dems have done so many times before.
Trump is definitely gas to a fire that is made of stress. Trump and right wing media pray on people in these stressful times. They create boogeyman and tell people everyone but them is out to get them and when you are stressed and you don’t even know it, it’s easy to buy into such a narrative.

I now understand why Germans supported nazis. They were stressed from uncertainty from previous wars, their minds became susceptible to such propaganda.

But that simply reinforces the need to find a way to reach out to them or to help wake them up.

It’s not easy and it’s certainly not fun, hell, it takes a lot to not unload on the other poster right now.

Hopefully he’ll realize that pushing people away and falling down rabbit holes is just not worth it.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,607
4,242
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So how can we help them?
The answer to this is ancient, I think. But I would like to ask you first how you feel I might react to this thread. Do you see this as a theme with me and if so in what direction do you think I push in as the way to go? Sorry for the question.

I had two other comments I first thought of when I woke up an hour or so back and first read this, one, I thought rather important but have forgotten, and another which I wanted to ask while keeping my reason for asking up my sleeve. That was, "Are Boomers among those who need this kind of help?"

Ah yes I just recalled what the other thing was:

"I am the Divinely Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself."
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
The answer to this is ancient, I think. But I would like to ask you first how you feel I might react to this thread. Do you see this as a theme with me and if so in what direction do you think I push in as the way to go? Sorry for the question.

I had two other comments I first thought of when I woke up an hour or so back and first read this, one, I thought rather important but have forgotten, and another which I wanted to ask while keeping my reason for asking up my sleeve. That was, "Are Boomers among those who need this kind of help?"

Ah yes I just recalled what the other thing was:

"I am the Divinely Beloved who loves you more than you can ever love yourself."
I don’t think this is a generational issue as stress doesn’t discriminate.

I’m not sure how you would react but perhaps it may either reinforce your beliefs or possibly cause you to update them. Maybe it’s related to your overall theme of right and left ways of thinking/reacting to fear. Maybe it upends your thinking about why people are the way they are and explains the how we/they became that way.

Personally, I’ve seen how stress can change a person and how that can affect others and I don’t consider it a stretch that stress can cause one to be more susceptible to conspiracies or for that matter strongman type people.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
30,382
3,908
126
First off, as we have all witnessed, countering their conspiracies with facts, reasoning and poking holes in it is entirely useless....
Is it? That'd be an interesting thing to tell me.

Though you could argue I was never "there" in the way that they are. Raised Republican, splintered off when I saw inconsistencies, the poking of holes. That was P&N. I followed up by striving for a purity in their claimed ideals.... but following 2008 I learned enough to want something else entirely. It was no flip. No sudden realization from point A to point B. It was journey with several stops along the way. It took an effort, and an interest in participation despite the temper found here.

So what does work? The guy who was once a qanon follower said that he eventually stopped believing after doing his own research and finding some inconsistencies. But what really did it for him was that he started realizing that he wasn’t any better off, his problems/stress didn’t go away, how many people distances themselves from him and how much time he wasted believing such stuff. He gained nothing.

I think that is the answer. I think instead of pointlessly responding, we should ask them what they have gained by believing such things...
They need to be severed from the legend of bootstraps. The fake American Dream that they were indoctrinated into. Ideally that'd come from an education in economics. To learn that no man is an island, and the stress in their lives is a direct result of the Reagan Revolution and trickle down economics creating THE GAP over the past 40 years.

How are they doing? Not well. Any Democrat should be fully aware of how bad it can be in America. We are Democrats because we can see that. And we have a path forward to fight for a better future. The sales pitch needs work, and too often we may put the cart before the horse. Healthcare is in dire need, but Basic Income would convert over a lot of people - help them appreciate a safety net and help dismiss Republican dogma. It is going to take a giant leap forward to pave the way for the rest.

Ultimately it is a journey for them to take themselves on. All we can do is be there to help guide the way. To reach out and offer a path forward.

He had gone down the QAnon rabbit hole; now, having emerged from it, he had no idea what to do next.
 
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interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,625
2,275
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I expect any attempt to change someone's mind because you know better to be met with failure unless that other person was already in some process intended to change their own mind already.

Please don't take this as criticism of your post. Your post is perfectly lovely and poignant, and I imagine it took a great deal of self-reflection and willingness to look at an immense sadness to come to it.

If you can suspend your desire that they be different, someone may yet change.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
I expect any attempt to change someone's mind because you know better to be met with failure unless that other person was already in some process intended to change their own mind already.

Please don't take this as criticism of your post. Your post is perfectly lovely and poignant, and I imagine it took a great deal of self-reflection and willingness to look at an immense sadness to come to it.

If you can suspend your desire that they be different, someone may yet change.
My point wasn’t that we shouldn’t try to change their minds. I thought I was clear about that but sometimes things in my head don’t make it into the post.

Instead of trying to change their minds or dispute their claims or indulge them in any way, we should simply ask them questions, questions that are unrelated and the we don’t need answers to. For example, we can ask them how they are doing? How long have you been feeling like you do right now? How many friends and/or family members have stopped talking to you or talk to you less frequently? Since going all in with trump, how has your life personally changed? Etc.

The point isn’t to get a response but to rather have them do some reflecting. I suspect that when people do real reflecting they start piecing things together. For example, they make ask themselves, what has improved for me since going all in with trump? Has my family gotten closer to me or have they pulled away? When I do see them, are the conversations normal or do they seem short and disinterested? Are my beliefs and their behavior related? Etc.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
Is it? That'd be an interesting thing to tell me.

Though you could argue I was never "there" in the way that they are. Raised Republican, splintered off when I saw inconsistencies, the poking of holes. That was P&N. I followed up by striving for a purity in their claimed ideals.... but following 2008 I learned enough to want something else entirely. It was no flip. No sudden realization from point A to point B. It was journey with several stops along the way. It took an effort, and an interest in participation despite the temper found here.



They need to be severed from the legend of bootstraps. The fake American Dream that they were indoctrinated into. Ideally that'd come from an education in economics. To learn that no man is an island, and the stress in their lives is a direct result of the Reagan Revolution and trickle down economics creating THE GAP over the past 40 years.

How are they doing? Not well. Any Democrat should be fully aware of how bad it can be in America. We are Democrats because we can see that. And we have a path forward to fight for a better future. The sales pitch needs work, and too often we may put the cart before the horse. Healthcare is in dire need, but Basic Income would convert over a lot of people - help them appreciate a safety net and help dismiss Republican dogma. It is going to take a giant leap forward to pave the way for the rest.

Ultimately it is a journey for them to take themselves on. All we can do is be there to help guide the way. To reach out and offer a path forward.
We’ve actually had this discussion before and in it you told me that it wasn’t anyone offering counterpoints to your beliefs that made you start to question things. You said it happened by your own doing.

I suspect, and I definitely could be wrong, but I don’t think you turned into a “conservative” because of stress, my guess is that you were taught it and adopted their views because that’s what you were exposed to.

But let me know if that isn’t true. Perhaps, since you were already of the conservative mindset, when you faced stress you looked internally for answers. For you, stress meant questioning your beliefs but for others it means opening their minds to other beliefs.
Not everyone reacts the same and no ideology has a monopoly on how people are affected by stress.
 
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interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,625
2,275
136
My point wasn’t that we shouldn’t try to change their minds. I thought I was clear about that but sometimes things in my head don’t make it into the post.

Instead of trying to change their minds or dispute their claims or indulge them in any way, we should simply ask them questions, questions that are unrelated and the we don’t need answers to. For example, we can ask them how they are doing? How long have you been feeling like you do right now? How many friends and/or family members have stopped talking to you or talk to you less frequently? Since going all in with trump, how has your life personally changed? Etc.

The point isn’t to get a response but to rather have them do some reflecting. I suspect that when people do real reflecting they start piecing things together. For example, they make ask themselves, what has improved for me since going all in with trump? Has my family gotten closer to me or have they pulled away? When I do see them, are the conversations normal or do they seem short and disinterested? Are my beliefs and their behavior related? Etc.
But you are certain they are wrong and you ask them these things because you hope they will conclude the same. Is that an accurate summary?
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
But you are certain they are wrong and you ask them these things because you hope they will conclude the same. Is that an accurate summary?
Am I certain people who believe in conspiracy theories or who ignore reality are wrong? Yes.
Do I ask them these questions because I want them to see that they are wrong? No. I ask them the questions because I want them to self reflect and see that the path they have followed hasn't helped them and has caused people that cared for them to pull away. Being right or wrong isn't the issue, it's being mentally healthy and denying reality is not healthy.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
9,132
3,979
136
"we should ask them what they have gained by believing such things, ask them if they are ok, ask them what stresses they are feeling, and let them know that we aren’t their enemy, we aren’t evil "

I think that's asking far too much of a web forum.

It might work in real life, to a degree, if that's what you are talking about.

But the problem with it on a personal level is that everyone has stresses of their own to deal with, which leaves very limited energy and capacity for 'rescuing' others, even when you feel they are wandering away from you into what seems a very strange world-view. Personally, I just end up cutting off from them. I don't see there's anything else I can do.

(Sheesh, this is yet another topic where I had a lot more to say but then changed my mind because I feel uneasy saying too much personal stuff on a forum like this.)
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
"we should ask them what they have gained by believing such things, ask them if they are ok, ask them what stresses they are feeling, and let them know that we aren’t their enemy, we aren’t evil "

I think that's asking far too much of a web forum.

It might work in real life, to a degree, if that's what you are talking about.

But the problem with it on a personal level is that everyone has stresses of their own to deal with, which leaves very limited energy and capacity for 'rescuing' others, even when you feel they are wandering away from you into what seems a very strange world-view. Personally, I just end up cutting off from them. I don't see there's anything else I can do.

(Sheesh, this is yet another topic where I had a lot more to say but then changed my mind because I feel uneasy saying too much personal stuff on a forum like this.)
I think in the real world it's a lot harder to do what I've suggested, there is a lot more at stake.

On a forum though, you are anonymous and the consequences are low, responding with a few questions doesn't take any more effort than what your normal reply would have been.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,601
3,726
126
Getting into long back and forths when neither side is progressing or bringing up new points is a waste of time. Using some Socratic Questions or just stating a few Facts/Ideas on a subject then not responding if the Other doesn't respond reasonably is perfectly fine and likely more productive over the long term. The heat of a debate often reinforces peoples' positions and sometimes people are just wanting to be Outraged rather than Informed about a topic.
 

interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,625
2,275
136
Am I certain people who believe in conspiracy theories or who ignore reality are wrong? Yes.
Do I ask them these questions because I want them to see that they are wrong? No. I ask them the questions because I want them to self reflect and see that the path they have followed hasn't helped them and has caused people that cared for them to pull away. Being right or wrong isn't the issue, it's being mentally healthy and denying reality is not healthy.
As an expert on mental health, I don't agree that denial is wholly unhealthy.

I think you have the right motivation within you. I don't think you'd have come this far without it. I don't expect you to transcend your own judgment. That's impossible, or at least it's a state of enlightenment I can't see as anything I'm anywhere close to. I think you're struggling to look past that judgment consistently. Lord knows I am.

I'll speak for myself because I don't know if you are the same in this way. I miss the times when there were a lot of people I knew who wouldn't mind sparking a conversation about whatever, maybe politics, and we can fight like hell about it anyway, but in the end we'd be happy they were our friend and were willing to defend their convictions. God, I miss the time I didn't have to be so neurotic about saying the wrong thing in the wrong way. I miss connecting to real people, and all the people around me with similar political beliefs are starting to look very fake. Everything they hear that lines up with what they believe just confirms to them how much better they are than the "deplorables". I don't want to be a conceited asshole just to have "friends". And you know what? Sometimes I think they are full of shit too, and when I point it out they jump on me. Jesus man the more truth I'm able to discover the lonelier I get. I'd rather listen to someone and join their fear, their sadness, their loneliness, and believe for a minute that everything they think is true. Because it's true for them. And they are a person. And how the hell could it any different for anyone else anyway?
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
9,132
3,979
136
I think in the real world it's a lot harder to do what I've suggested, there is a lot more at stake.

On a forum though, you are anonymous and the consequences are low, responding with a few questions doesn't take any more effort than what your normal reply would have been.
Oh, I misunderstood then, I really assumed you were talking about real-world relationships. There's at least one I can think of where it would be relevant.

Well, for a forum, I guess it depends why one is on the forum in the first place. (For me, to tell the truth, it's because there's a lockdown, and I'm already in quite poor health, and it's a distraction from going completely nuts from a combination of that and the wider situation in the world 'outside'....being on a forum that is dominated by another country's issues also takes much of the emotional intensity off of discussions (though not all of it), it turns out, to be completely honest).
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
136
As an expert on mental health, I don't agree that denial is wholly unhealthy.

I think you have the right motivation within you. I don't think you'd have come this far without it. I don't expect you to transcend your own judgment. That's impossible, or at least it's a state of enlightenment I can't see as anything I'm anywhere close to. I think you're struggling to look past that judgment consistently. Lord knows I am.

I'll speak for myself because I don't know if you are the same in this way. I miss the times when there were a lot of people I knew who wouldn't mind sparking a conversation about whatever, maybe politics, and we can fight like hell about it anyway, but in the end we'd be happy they were our friend and were willing to defend their convictions. God, I miss the time I didn't have to be so neurotic about saying the wrong thing in the wrong way. I miss connecting to real people, and all the people around me with similar political beliefs are starting to look very fake. Everything they hear that lines up with what they believe just confirms to them how much better they are than the "deplorables". I don't want to be a conceited asshole just to have "friends". And you know what? Sometimes I think they are full of shit too, and when I point it out they jump on me. Jesus man the more truth I'm able to discover the lonelier I get. I'd rather listen to someone and join their fear, their sadness, their loneliness, and believe for a minute that everything they think is true. Because it's true for them. And they are a person. And how the hell could it any different for anyone else anyway?
If it was a matter of thinking that only the people who I don't agree with as the ones with the issue, then I could see your point. Unfortunately this isn't about that (because if it was then that would point to the issue as being me), as there are several posters on this forum who I agree with politically who I have witnessed go down a similar path. They were once reasonable, who's posts were tethered in reality but then over time (almost exponentially) cracks in their posts start to appear and its like watching someone slowly lose their grip with reality until, finally, they are repeating or putting forth full on conspiracies. There are several on this sub forum right now that I see who are going through such transformations and you can almost sense their rising stress levels from their posts.

The right wingers on this site, I arrogantly assume, have already completed that transition. Or perhaps they are just so crazy that I cannot fathom how a person could function and still be able to put together a comprehensible post. Maybe I'm more of an optimist then I think and instead of thinking such people can exist without having some underlying issue, I think there must be some underlying issue that can be fixed and once fixed they will be "normal".

Of course, I could be totally projecting right now or I could be naïve enough to think a forum full of strangers could help anyone. Maybe my desire to feel like us or I could help anyone is my way of dealing with these stressful times. If it is, then would I be doing more harm than good? I don't see how responding to posters with questions that may or may not get them to reflect would be worse than indulging in their conspiracies. You are the expert so you tell me.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
30,382
3,908
126
We’ve actually had this discussion before and in it you told me that it wasn’t anyone offering counterpoints to your beliefs that made you start to question things. You said it happened by your own doing.
I think the part you might remember me describing is thus: It took someone on the same "side" as me to question the Iraq war. To view the inconsistencies between actions taken and values expressed. Shattering that partisan barrier, that great divide, it became obvious some things I read here were true. An economic lesson followed 2008, slowly eroding my partisanship over the next several years. Might not have been until 2014 before I was willing to give Obama a fair shake. By 2016 I would have loved to vote for a third term.

I suspect, and I definitely could be wrong, but I don’t think you turned into a “conservative” because of stress, my guess is that you were taught it and adopted their views because that’s what you were exposed to.
Correct. Raised conservative.

However badly a person is distanced from us. We need to keep that porch light on - keep that offer open for them to come in out of the storm.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,818
10,257
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Getting into long back and forths when neither side is progressing or bringing up new points is a waste of time. Using some Socratic Questions or just stating a few Facts/Ideas on a subject then not responding if the Other doesn't respond reasonably is perfectly fine and likely more productive over the long term. The heat of a debate often reinforces peoples' positions and sometimes people are just wanting to be Outraged rather than Informed about a topic.
Studies show that in such discussions people are more likely to dig in and hardened their beliefs. I think it's a natural ego defense mechanism. The techniques to overcome that defense also seem to be along the lines of getting your "opponent" to question their beliefs on their own.
 
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Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
30,382
3,908
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If it was a matter of thinking that only the people who I don't agree with as the ones with the issue, then I could see your point. Unfortunately this isn't about that (because if it was then that would point to the issue as being me), as there are several posters on this forum who I agree with politically who I have witnessed go down a similar path. They were once reasonable, who's posts were tethered in reality but then over time (almost exponentially) cracks in their posts start to appear and its like watching someone slowly lose their grip with reality until, finally, they are repeating or putting forth full on conspiracies. There are several on this sub forum right now that I see who are going through such transformations and you can almost sense their rising stress levels from their posts
2016 sure enraged a lot of people. I mean, Inauguration on Jan 20, 2017, protests on Jan 21? I wasn't on board that train, I cautioned against such reactionary vile spewed over the election. Honestly, I also underestimated the Cheeto. America has faced a lot of tension since that moment. Yet Obama's presidency was also riddled with ridiculous opposition behavior. When you step back and think about it America is a snowball rolling down a hill. Yesterday a pebble, today a boulder, tomorrow the whole mountain comes down.

We are sliding into a place of civil unrest. Been that way for some time now, and I have posted my theory on how modern communication overwhelms the human brain. How we generally cannot cope with it and it fuels and enrages petty partisan tribalism. I do think we are afflicted in that way, and each year it seems to slowly get worse.

Enter 2020, the grand crescendo of the Trump Era. Let us hope it stops here, but I also suspect there will be acts of terrorism to follow this bitterly contested and divided election. And that's the rosy picture. I can paint a much more twisted one of what I fear may occur following November 3rd. Sure I made a post or two like that already.

You say rising stress levels, I can only look around and nod. Yup, that's America. Year by year, drip by drip.... trickle down saps the wealth out of the American worker. Our stress level rises. 24/7 cable and internet partisanship. More stress. Social media in your face day and night. Minute by minute the cell phone beeps. More conflict. More rage. More stress. Yeah, it'll break people.

I suppose now I gleam your topic is a bit different than what I first thought it was.

I mean, how do we deal with people who snapped and joined a cult? Oh dear...
 
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nickqt

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2015
6,901
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27% of the US population would gladly start murdering anyone to the left of Putin if told to by a rightful authority figure. Those people are lost, and we have to hope that they stop voting as soon as possible and live out their lives while binge watching storage wars in their Gay-Marriage shelters or whatever. Your safest bet is to slowly walk backwards whenever you get close to these individuals. No good can come from those interactions.

40% of the US population is relatively "liberal" and wouldn't scream hysterically if we decided to try a slightly-less-oligarchian economic format for "human survival" sectors of the economy. Too bad a plurality isn't enough to actually effect needed changes to prevent the breakdown of the country.

33% of the US population is scared by any words and ideas they don't actually understand, but have been trained to be scared of by their thought leaders. And most of that 33% vote in every single election.

You can chip away at the 33% now and again. But the best bet is to find members of the 33% who aren't already active voters and ask them questions to make them critically think about their beliefs. But slowly. Ever so slowly. They tend to startle easily, especially when you hold up a mirror to them.
 

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