Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on December 23, 2007 By Draginol In Blogging

I have a confession to make. I generally enjoy the company of left-wingers to right-wingers. It's true.  I love to have lively debates but the main observation I have about left-wingers is that they tend to at least think about things more so than the average person.  Sure, most of their opinions are poorly thought out (grin) but I enjoy talking to people who have thought about more than what they've eaten today, what they hope to eat tomorrow, and what they've eaten in the past which seems an increasingly common topic with people as I get older.

When you get together with your families this week for Christmas, observe how much of the conversation focuses around tactical living issues (food, clothing, shelter, children). You may find it depressing. 

That isn't to say that left wingers in general make interesting friends. There are plenty of left wingers who simply hate Bush for no particular reason.  And if pressed get into mindless regurgitation (Haliburton, Iraq, Big Oil, Kyoto).  But as a broad generalization, I just find talking to left wingers slightly more interesting.  Though admittedly, many left wingers don't like their beliefs held up to scrutiny and get physically angry at the idea that people might disagree with them (global warming being a particular topic that will set some left wingers off).

In my family, the left right spectrum is pretty evenly split. We've got people who make Col Gene look like a libertarian and people who make Gideon look like a communist.  It's all over the board which makes family get togethers lively with a common phrase being "How can someone as educated as you believe that X is true?"

And I'm the dumb one in my family.

on Dec 23, 2007
I like a broad spectrum of friends, but I have to say I'm growing less and less patient with far left liberals. I like honest people, and I find far more honesty among my friends on the right (although NOT among politicians so aligned!)
on Dec 23, 2007

  (L O L) you're reminding me a bit of the time frame around election 2000 (the year that Florida held the country hostage!)

My liberal leaning parents children are all conservative, some more so than others, but all of us lean conservative.  I'm probably the most politically inspired/involved of the bunch and got the most upset at all of the crap that happened then.  The joke of watching the divining of votes was so irritating to me that I could barely stomach it.

Well, Thanksgiving rolled around and we were all supposed to get together at my grandmother's home.  The only problem was that political discussion had long since been ruled out at family get togethers, but invariably such discussions creep up, and given the times, it was going to be inevitable.

I threatened to hold out and not go to the family get together.  My mother wouldn't hear of that, but of course she worked hard on guilting everyone in coming to the family get together.  She was not happy at the thought that I wasn't going to come (nor my family with me) to Thanksgiving.  I wasn't happy at the idea of sitting there with news of 'missing' votes and phantom votes being found down in Florida, and I really didn't like the idea of having to hold my tongue if grandma (who was a bit kooky in her liberal leanings... and yes, probably made Gene look somewhat sane) offered up some stupid comment about Bush stealing the election.

For the most part, we continue to avoid political discussion when we get together.  Talking about it won't change anyone's mind.  The conservatives (my generation) aren't interested in being liberal and the liberals (my parents) aren't interested in being conservatives.

Like you, I've got friends, co-workers, and acquaintances that are liberal.  Some much more so than others.  We don't discuss it that much and instead talk about other things (like TV shows, movies, etc.)  Much less fighting that way.

on Dec 23, 2007

I like a broad spectrum of friends, but I have to say I'm growing less and less patient with far left liberals. I like honest people, and I find far more honesty among my friends on the right (although NOT among politicians so aligned!)

at this too.  Yeah, I'm that way too.  The liberal mindset does get on my nerves, and yes, I too find them much less honest in their motivations and desires for the world.  They claim they want a better place and a better world, but they sure seem to be taking the worst path to getting there (if they would even ever be able to get there on that path....)

on Dec 23, 2007
I generally enjoy the company of left-wingers to right-wingers

Naturally of course. Opposites Attract

This is generally the case with me too. What is soooo interesting in debating with people who agree with you?

That is why i stick around at JU ..... most people here are righties and some are even far-righties ..... but i stay with them. May be deep-down i think i can "reform" them . Wishful thinking of course ..... but hey ..... i can dream, can't I? that is what makes it interesting. .... I think. may be you have the same ambitions too i.e. to "reform" the lefty friends
on Dec 24, 2007
who have thought about more than what they've eaten today,

Nothing as of yet. But typically my breakfast would be toast and fried eggs or toast with cheese. We have a canteen.

what they hope to eat tomorrow

Everything will be closed so I bought some bread and chicken and cheese, as well as chicken bits and mashes potatoes and greens.

and what they've eaten in the past

Yesterday I brought home food from KFC. I often have three chicken subs from Subways in the evenings. I rarely cook myself or even make sandwiches, as I can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work.

I once spent two thirds of a job interview asking about the canteen. I got the job.

on Dec 24, 2007
I too find them much less honest in their motivations and desires for the world.

It seems to me like they usually want to do something to change the world that doesn't involve them. Examples include making other people pay more taxes or (and this is particularly common among liberal Christians) asking others to love their enemies instead of fighting them. (No liberal would ever support that his own side love their enemy rather than fight him.)

The second common type of liberal is more annoying. They are those who want to change the world and do something themselves, usually something that doesn't help. These people range from recyclers to, at the remote end, people who sell weapons to terrorists to promote peace. (They believe that there would be peace if the terrorists are able to reach their goal. Once their goal is reached they will stop fighting and their victims don't count anyway, since they are not a threat to peace.)

I like many liberal positions, including socialist ones. But I don't like liberals.
on Dec 24, 2007
"How can someone as educated as you believe that X is true?"

I always wonder if they ever take into account that maybe X is true and that that is why someone educated believes it?

Do liberals worry about the fact that CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to the rest of them and that a) reducing CO2 emissions will not help and the countries that signed Kyoto have increased their emissions at a greater rate than the US?

That's another thing that I find annoying about liberals. They have a strong belief that saying something means doing something. Signing Kyoto apparently saves earth. It doesn't matter whether the treaty actually forces countries to do something useful (it doesn't) or whether the countries that signed it have to implement it (many don't) or whether the countries that do have to implement it actually do implement it (they can't). The important thing is _signing_ the treaty. That will save the earth, all right.

And then there is the issue of catchphrase logic. That's when you use a word to describe a situation and then argue logically from the previous meaning of the word rather than the situation it is now used to describe.


"American Imperialism". When America invades a country and allows people in it to elect a new government, this is the American equivalent of empire-building. An empire consists of one person or group giving orders and others following them. Hence America is really giving orders to other people. QED. Proof by using existing names.

"Poverty". When somebody makes less than others based on averages, we call him "poor". Many poor in Africa are hungry; poverty is clearly a huge problem. Hence the "poor" in America are just as deserving of and needing help as the world's hungry. QED. Proof by using existing names.

"Nazis". When a group starts a war and loses, the nation will be in a situation worse than before they started the war and worse than the winners'. The same thing happened to the victims of Germany in World War II. Germany was run by Nazis, hence the losing group is in the same situation as Nazi victims. Hence Israel is a Nazi state since its enemies are in the same situation as Nazi victims. QED. Proof by using existing names.
on Dec 24, 2007

Aw, recycling's useless Lis. Once the Sun burns out, this planet is doomed. You're just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products.

There's the Bart Simpson take on global warming.  Just had to share.  I sometimes am amazed at how many people just don't know or care what's going on in the world.  I don't understand how people can just check out and not ever watch the news or read a newspaper or at least glance at the headlines on their homepages.  I think it's more interesting to talk to people who care what's going on even if they don't agree with me. 

on Dec 24, 2007
"I don't understand how people can just check out and not ever watch the news or read a newspaper or at least glance at the headlines on their homepages. "

Ehm, context?
on Dec 24, 2007

I don't understand how people can just check out and not ever watch the news or read a newspaper or at least glance at the headlines on their homepages.

While that is a good start, it is hardly the answer.  As Gideon pointed out today, and we have seen countless times (Rathergate anyone?), they do make mistakes.  Sometimes honest, sometimes when trying to prove their preconceived prejudices.

Start with the news, and then do your own research.  It sure beats looking like a fool holding up a document printed in the 21st century and claiming it was from the last one.

on Dec 24, 2007
Indeed. We constantly hear about global warming on the news and yet no one has bothered to note that the mean temperature of the Earth has not changed since 1998 despite CO2 still going through the roof in its growth.
on Dec 24, 2007

I have an ultra-conservative friend with whom there is a weekly ritual that involves beer, wings and hockey on the big screen at the bar. The night starts out well enough, we get into the usual topics, current events, politics. After a few hours and several pitchers later we're practically yelling at each other (games over by this point). He's threatening to turn me in as a terrorist and I counter that I'm going to have him and his entire family sent to re-education camps once the glorious communist revolution has come to pass...I always tell him that it's gonna be just like Red Dawn, as all true conservatives seem to have that movie burned into memory pretty good  I really shouldn't be so mean but it's like poking a hornets nest and once you get him all fired up then the real entertainment begins. Once we touch on the middle east, the night is pretty close to being done...or us getting thrown out, although it hasn't happened yet because we're regulars.

By this point in the evening the conversation is highly intellectual. He's saying that papa bush'll do the right thing and turn the entire middle east into a sea of glass "nuke em all!!!! 'ats all you can do, jus nuke em all!" and how all the traitorous liberals should be rounded up and shot. I'm telling him how south and central america will coalesce into an alliance that's going to invade the states and take over, with Hugo Chavez as the "provisional president of the people's states of america", soon to be followed by the war-crimes trials of Bush and most of the congress and senate (and english will be forbidden in spoken or written form, so much so that everyone will have to change their last name to something hispanic) This really gets him going and is the fait d'accompli of the night.

But come next week, we're both back at the watering hole, ready to exercise our God given right to get drunk and tell someone they're a f****ng idiot. It really is constructive dialogue, once you get past the finger jabbing and raised voices (and occasional raised chair, though disapointingly it's never gone to fisticuffs. Alas maybe one day!)

on Dec 24, 2007

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family, Brad!

on Dec 26, 2007
I enjoy JU because of the variety of people we have here from all sides of the political spectrum. From the modest, to the firm believers to the far sides. I like listening to all points of view. I would like to have more discussions with other people but the average person tends to get offended really easily now a days and so I stick to websites where arguments, while very heated, don't usually lead to killing each other or hating each other for long periods of time.
on Dec 27, 2007
I've always found that being able to disagree with your friends about politics is always a good thing. Being naturally contrarian it's a gift I have with everyone - those left of me are dirty hippies who wash in tiedie and eat their own filth and those right of me are one jackboot away from Pol Pot.

Disagreements are fun, and the advantage of disagreeing with your mates is that you'll inevitably make up as soon as you stop arguing, so that's always a bonus. So much better than arguing with strangers. It's the only reason I stay here. Very few people on this site take the politics personally.

Dunno if there's a left-right thing going on, but I've never had any trouble arguing the opposite tack to whoever I'm speaking to so maybe I'm just not picking it up.