Discussing "The 'Other Side' is not Dumb"

This entry is my comment regarding The "Other Side" is not Dumb

That's a really good article, and it does have some good points. I can relate to some of it, like my tendency to have a knee-jerk judgement of people who are big fans of "Duck Dynasty". Also, if I go someplace that has a waiting room with Fox News playing on the TV, I probably won't go back. I do read and watch LOTS of news, just not stuff like Fox. I also try to ask questions of people who express opposing viewpoints, especially if it's something I haven't encountered before, or if I think that asking questions will get THEM to really examine their viewpoint. HOWEVER - when discussing issues with conservative people, I find that in the great majority of cases their facts really are just wrong. Often, what it comes down to is that I end up arguing facts, while they are arguing feelings.

There really is a completely different approach to issues on the left and the right. Having outlets like Fox "News", the Wall Street Journal, conservative talk radio, and some conservative web sites has made the problem much worse, since they are pumping out MIS-information on a continuous basis. When you dig down deep enough, though, you usually find that "facts" don't carry nearly as much weight on the right. Most Conservatives get their "news" from just one or two official sources, but they get most of their "facts" from other Conservatives. For most of them, what they've heard from other people carries much more weight than any news source. Things stay in the grapevine that have long been debunked officially. It's very frustrating to try to discuss anything with people who don't even know where they heard something, or why it may or may not be true. They just KNOW it. They don't like to question what they believe they know. They believe the first thing they've heard that fits into their worldview, and they usually have a strong aversion to anything that questions that.

I know I start to sound smug and dismissive of Conservative viewpoints, but that's because often it's the same viewpoint I've heard a dozen times, that I already know is based on some erroneous information that's still floating around on the right. While I do change my mind about issues all the time, based on new information, it's very difficult to convince people of that who believe that facts are things that never change. It's even more frustrating to try to discuss things with people who only use "facts" to justify something they already believe, but who aren't going to change what they believe whether the "facts" are true or not.

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