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Rhetoric, Spin, Slogans, Bashing


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I have come here for refuge from a Yahoo group on politics. The Co-Moderators turned out to be very Conservative and very nasty. They believe that I am even more nasty but I believe that an objective observer would clearly go for them. I have been trying to bring the Progressive message to Conservatives in that group and one other group. I have been trying to point out that I respect beliefs on the Right and the Left and the Center and would appreciate it if they would stop bashing Libs like they do. But I must admit that I can bash pretty well too and I probably deserved at least some of the wrath that I got from these 2 co-moderators. I challenged them too much and there was no trust established, no basis for friendship and mutual respect. I think I learned something. I'm 58 and sometimes I'm still so stupid. My wife points out this trait all the time!


My question for this string is: How can we find more and more common ground with people on the Right? How can we get beyond the rhetoric, the spin, the slogans, the bashing?


Maybe I am more angry at the Right than I have admitted to myself and that's why I can so easily get into the rhetoric, the spin, the slogans, the bashing. But, then, maybe some of that anger is justified and I need to learn how to channel it constructively.


I can get pretty annoyed (not really angry!) at the Left. The Left and the Right are so busy bashing each other that there is not much energy left for the development of practical solutions to our society's problems. Maybe it's not as bad as I perceive it to be. But Bill Moyers, who I admire so much, is very concerned that the government and the media are keeping America very misinformed and misguided. Any thoughts? Feelings?

Edited by mystictrek
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My adivice is to always begin by developing relationships and friendship first.

Then use a soft approach that gets them thinking instead of defending; e.g.

say "I hear what you're saying, but someone else just told me about another perspective... (describe it), and it seems like there might be some truth or sense to that view to. What do you make of that view?"


Also, I advise appealing to their mutal love for this country and it's best interests.. then with the nation's best interests in mind, encourage them to take a genuine look at all of the possible options for addressing our problems. etc.


It goes without saying that one should always avoid engaging in attacking persons (ad hominem) or using divisive words that put distance between groups. Instead, keep the conversation focused on addressing and critiquing policy and positions - not persons.


Finally, try to come across as humble and not with an "I'm right, your wrong!" attitude. Using some self-effacing humor goes along ways as well; e.g. telling a joke poking fun of quirks of the Democrats/liberals etc.


Happy conversing and may you be an effective, gentle, advocate for the progressive way! : )

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