Liberals can do better!

I sometimes get myself in trouble. I consider myself liberal, although realistically, I'm pretty middle of the road. In every election so far, I've voted Democratic, although full disclosure, if Ron Paul had gotten through the primaries, I would have voted for him.

I live in Madison, WI, a city with a reputation for being on the left. Most of the people I know and interact with are on the left.

I do, however, have friends that are Republican. I even have at least one good friend that I know voted for Donald Trump in 2016 (not sure about 2020.)

I consume news from all sides of the political spectrum.

This is where I get in trouble. When I see people on the left who have good intentions but make bad arguments, it bothers me.

For instance, when people make personal attacks on Donald Trump. Calling him a Cheeto, Orange in Chief, etc. This applies to all political figures. I'm guilty as well. I have on more than once referred to a certain U.S. Senator as a turtle. But this is not good.

I'm reminded of the following quote:

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

Margaret Thatcher

When I see a liberal make fun of the way Trump looks or stands, or the size of his hands, I think, "Wow, Trump won this one. This person doesn't have a real argument, so they are making fun of the way he looks."

This also applies with false equivalence and straw man fallacies. I think, "Come on, do better!"

Sometimes I point out the bad argument or play devil's advocate because I want them to do better. Then people attack me and make all sorts of assumptions.

This is especially true when dealing with marginalized groups. If someone from [marginalized group] says something factually wrong, or misleading, or something I can't entirely agree with, I get attacked when I point it out. "How dare you awful cis white male attack this marginalized person! Educate yourself!"

Yes, trolls are trying to stir shit up. But some people are trying to have a real conversation. How are we supposed to move forward and make meaningful changes that help marginalized groups if we're not allowed to talk about it and debate the specifics? The answer isn't to tell people to "Shut up and listen" because that's what got Trump elected in 2016 and almost reelected in 2020.

When people say "My humanity's not up for debate," you're setting yourself up for failure.

There shouldn’t be a debate. There shouldn’t be a question. There shouldn’t be a conversation. But there is. I may not like the debate, I may think it shouldn’t exist, but it’s happening. I shouldn’t have to fight for basic rights. But I do. I may not think I should have to convince people who think I don’t exist, or don’t deserve rights, but those people exist and there’s enough of them to effect me. So if I don’t convince them, I don’t get rights.

Tobias Hawke - Unfortunately, My Humanity Is Up For Debate

I want to progress, but progressives are working against their best interests by attacking people who would otherwise be their allies.

Being an educator is not only getting the truth right but there's got to be an act of persuasion in there as well. Persuasion isn't always "Here's the facts. You're either an idiot or you're not." It's "Here's the facts and here is a sensitivity to your state of mind." It's the facts plus the sensitivity when convolved together that creates impact.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

I'm really afraid that 2024 is going to be a repeat of 2016.

When you have celebrities like David Cross out there saying "Fuck that. I want blood!" I'm not sure how to react to that. Without unity, there will be blood, and guess what David, the Republicans are the ones with guns.

I'd really like for there to be a United States in 20 years, but right now I'm not sure if that's realistic.

If Donald Trump almost getting reelected, and the mass exodus of people and companies from California to Texas is any sign, liberals are losing this war.