Yesterday Judith Weiss commented on a New York Times article describing the devolution of political discourse in interpersonal relations. Judith made the point that she long ago discovered that discussing politics with her liberal friends was impossible:
Everyone is buzzing about this article in yesterday's NYTimes which tells it like it is for me and all my Liberal Hawk/disgruntled Democrat/Republican/conservative friends. Everything we had been complaining about since 2003, acknowledged in ink on newsprint, by the former Paper of Record :
FOR years, Sheri Langham looked at the Republican politics of her parents as a tolerable quirk, one she could roll her eyes at and turn away from when the disagreements grew a bit deep. But earlier this year, Ms. Langham, 37, an ardent Democrat, found herself suddenly unable even to speak to her 65-year-old mother, a retiree in Arizona who, as an enthusiastic supporter of President Bush, “became the face of the enemy,” she said.
“Things were getting to me, and it became such a moral litmus test that all I could think about was, ‘How can she support these people?’ ” said Ms. Langham, a stay-at-home mother in suburban Virginia. The mother and daughter had been close, but suddenly they stopped talking and exchanging e-mail messages. The freeze lasted almost a month. “Finally, it hit me that if one of us got hit by a bus tomorrow, I don’t want my final thought to be, ‘She supports George Bush,’ ” Ms. Langham said.
This woman is a 37-year-old adult with a child, and she freezes out her child's grandmother over politics. 'Nuff said. (Maybe if she actually asks her mother about her views, and listens, her question will be answered.)
This situation is probably familiar to any apostate liberal who has had the temerity to re-examine his own positions and actually change his mind.
In the past I have commented on the difficulty in discussing politics with people who use their political postures to support their self esteem. A liberal who believes that liberals are smarter, more caring, and just generally better people than conservatives, who by comparison are evil or supporters of evil, is a person who will have trouble giving any credence to opposing view points.