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How many good friends do you have from other political tribes?

Remember back when sites like Facebook started and everyone was excited to reunite with friends and acquaintances from our past? Then, during and after the 2016 election, we had the "Great Unfriending" where it became increasing harder to be gracious when some of these "friends" posted their different political views. Since many have now limited their peer group to those who are politically aligned, it's rare for people to have friends from another political tribe.

What about you? How many good friends do you have that:

  1. love you as a person
  2. have political views significantly different from you
  3. and is happy to friendly discussion or even debate them with you

What do you think is the future of friendships and its political implications? Is it possible to mend bridges? Do you treat these good friends with opposing views differently than you treat members here with similarly different views? If so, why?

How many good friends do you have from the "other political tribe"?

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Admin 8 Jan 14
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8

Not sure the exact number, but I have family and friends and neighbors from all walks of life. Generally speaking though I don't usually mention politics, religion or social issues to them, and if any of them bring up such topics I just act like I'm paying attention, in favor of zeroing in on the topics we all would have in common. As for political tribes, don't really feel like I belong to any tribe in particular, was always content just being myself and not be too concerned over identity politics.

6

Frankly, I lost most every friend I had from other points of view years ago. They either did not like my religious views or my political views (which are largely dependent on my religious views), and we drifted apart, or they simply cut off communication with me. Rarely was the decision mine, but on some occasions it was. At any rate, the lines of division were clearly drawn between us in most cases before President Trump was elected and things got even worse.

Interesting you mention that because I have a friend who blames my political views on my faith. I tried to explain that my faith influences my values, and my political views, by necessity, must support my values.

6

I have a mix, and some won't talk politics for fear of harming the relationship. How things play out from here depends largely on the degree we allow all forms of media to shape our views. We need to recognize we are being driven apart intentionally, and acknowledge our own role in allowing that to happen. As for how I treat people, whether it's here or in person, depends on the level of mutual respect....I don't deal well with rudeness or people who presume to know what I think.

6

I can count my true friends on one hand. Of those friends, I only have one conservative friend, but we talk openly and respectfully about political views.

If I look next to my better acquaintances or more distant friends, I think about 25% of them are conservatives. So, most of my friends are probably liberals like me, but I wouldn't mind more friends with different views. That's why I'm here on Slug. I want to talk to people who have ideas that are different than mine.

@dd54 Thank you. Some ideas are hard for me to grasp, but those ideas come from somewhere and other people believe them for some reason. I appreciate your feedback!

4

The West-coast corridor from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada is about as woke as it gets. Here in Vancouver, we live under an openly socialist Mayor, a socialist (NDP) provincial government, and the federal government of woke poster boy Justin Trudeau.

I know just a handful of people who are not completely brainwashed. I try to keep most of my political opinions to myself, because I have lost friends. Progressives are completely convinced of their rightness and simply do not hear another viewpoint. On social media sites likes FB, Justin Trudeau has been off limits for criticism since Covid struck, despite his gross mismanagement of the pandemic and the economy.

People denigrate sites like this as echo chambers. For me, this site is about the only place left where I can express myself without the threat of penalty.

GeeMac Level 8 Jan 15, 2021
4

I have work friends and we don't discuss politics.

4

My actual physical contact with friends and family has been significantly less over this past year due to COVID, but we talk often. I lean right, but these last 4 years have shifted my perspective to a straight Republican ticket type.

I have a few family members that are progressive left, but no friends that are progressive left. The rest of my family and friends are a pretty good mix of Trump supporters, left leaning and right leaning. I did have one family member unfriend everyone that was on their Facebook page that was a Trump supporter. It was pretty shocking to me. I also am friends with a married couple who the wife is a die hard Trump supporter and the husband is not progressive, but a die hard Democratic voter. They, surprisingly, are still together despite the crazy. (We avoid politics around them😅)

  1. love you as a person

That would be my progressive left family members. Our relationship has been strained, but no love lost.

  1. have political views significantly different from you

Same as 1

  1. and is happy to friendly discussion or even debate them with you

Besides the aforementioned progressive family members, I've had some pretty fun and heated debates with a couple of my left leaning friends.

3

The fact that #Admin uses the word "tribe" in the question says it all. But most of the comments made so far are from the perspective of the right. So I will give one on how someone that leans left views the question. Most people on the right regard people on the left as intolerant elitists without so much as the slightest self introspection on why someone on the left might act as they do.

I will admit it has become increasingly difficult to have fruitful conversations with people on the right. The left is routinely dismayed by the constant flow of wild conspiracy theories and the diarrhea of disinformation that spews from right leaning sources and the increasing propensity of right leaning people to act on that disinformation. At first, the left responded by creating fact-checking sites in hopes of, by pointing out the inaccuracies in the information, that reasonable people would think twice about formulating views based on faulty information. But it hardly helped. The response was that the fact-checkers were biased, wrong or just plain ignored. The disinformation just kept flowing. And pretty much no one has heard of a right-leaning fact-checking site. Because of this, I'm forced to regard with great suspicion any conversation I have with someone on the right. And it is tiresome to constantly fact-check claims which I suspect have dubious merit. And when I do, more often than not, the claims made are not justified based on the facts. And when I do point this out, their reaction, not surprisingly, is one of indignation. Because of this most people on the left simply assume that any argument coming from the right is not to be taken seriously. This does a great disservice to those who make well thought out conservative arguments. They simply get lumped in with the lunatics who spew out baseless conspiracy theories, while the lunatics demand that their views receive the same consideration as a soundly based argument. Given the environment, is it any wonder that the left acts the way they do?

When I hear that someone tried to shoot up a pizza place because he heard that Hillary Clinton ran a child porn ring out of there, he acted because he believed it was fact, but was instead disinformation or when I hear that the parents of children who were massacred were actually actors and the event really didn't happen and millions of people believed this, am I not supposed to react with alarm? Now we see a bunch of right leaning people storm the Capitol building based on what they believed was massive fraud, a claim perpetrated by a lying politician who had no basis on which to make such claims accept rumor and innuendo. The courts couldn't make sense of the claims. How is this different than the pizza guy? Hillary Clinton or Al Gore, who certainly had a legitimate gripe but was stopped by SCOTUS, did not make similar claims, not because they were cowards, but because making such outlandish claims based on a wholly illogical premise would have never occurred to them and wouldn't have been supported by their base. Say what you want about BLM and ANTIFA and how they behave. No one condones the violence, but no one would say that what happened to George Floyd really didn't happen to him and that he actually is living somewhere in the Bahamas. However you feel about the BLM protests, they were based on actual events that took place, not some wild conspiracy theory of dubious merit. That a group of people could be so easily led around by the nose based on a conglomeration of inconsistent disinformation is both alarming and dangerous.

TyKC Level 7 Jan 15, 2021

@TyKC As someone who's vaguely #ThirdPosition (I identify as a Libertarian Nationalist), I agree that positions of the mainstream Right are loaded with misinformation. Oftentimes, I find myself agreeing with the Right for different reasons than the Right gives. Sometimes they're right for the wrong reasons, IMO. Other things are outright balderdash, like #QAnon, #Pizzagate, etc.

However, whereas the Right is sometimes right for the wrong reasons, I oftentimes find the Left is wrong for all the wrong reasons. For instance, I don't deny the reality of AGM, but I disagree with the Left that it's a threat to civilization and/or life on this planet. The Left has solid science to back the reality of AGM, but their conclusions don't follow from the data. Other examples include the Left's views on race and economics.

On both sides I see plenty of confirmation bias to go around. I believe both sides exaggerate and engage in reckless hyperbole. If the Right's reaction to the election results doesn't follow the evidence, it's worth noting that neither did the Left's belief in Russian collusion with Trump in the 2016 election. I'm sure we could have an interesting conversation on the woo embraced by both sides.

@dd54 Do I have to watch the whole 1hr 28mins!? I have things to do!😲

Sounds like a good episode tho, given the summary.

@dd54 The summary looks promising. I typically don't listen to podcasts.

3

I am a former long-time Libertarian and current independent who thinks of himself as a classic libertarian. You could therefore say that I have two political spectrum that I could recruit friends from, the Left and the Right.

At present, I'd say my friends are almost exclusively politically Right and do not mind that I'm not on the Right. We talk about everything and we either agree or we concede that we're not going to agree on some points and leave it alone.

I HAD friends from the political Left, but as the political situation in the US continued to deteriorate, I found that politics became a sticking point with them. That is, they either 1) stopped associating with me because of my politics - that is, I wasn't a member of their tribe, so therefore I must be "alt-Right" - or we would spend very little time together before a fight would start: basically, they'd make a pronouncement and I would question it or disagree with it, and that would set them off as if I were betraying them.

I know that it's overstated lately to say that the political Left has become an ideological cult, but I have to admit that my personal experiences back this up. Every discussion I have with someone on the Left invariable gets loud, as if them talking louder and louder at me makes them more correct. Sometimes I just fall silent so they stop making a scene, which I can only assume they interpret as me having conceded the point.

The worst part is I cannot even have a real discussion with them, because they speak as if everything they say is self-evident, that no evidence or critical thought is even required. I mean, I once had a family member jump down my throat because I brought up the incident where Antifa milkshaked Andy Ngo with some kind of caustic material in the milkshake, and their response was that Any Ngo was a liar and no one did that to him, that the video of it was faked and that no one should ever listen to anything he has to say. And when I naturally asked how he could be so certain of all of this, he got enraged, as if how dare I question that this could've possibly happened.

And that's really how things go for me insofar as the political Left is concerned. There are even Left-leaning members here on Slug that I've tried to start discourse with and have gotten nothing but insulted for my efforts. It seems like you either agree with everything they say, or you're a terrible person or a mouth-breathing idiot. The political Right seems to have a couple of these too, but I don't know any in my day-to-day life.

3

There are conversational catalysts and conversational terrorists.
Catalysts want an interesting conversation. They seek to turbocharge
the conversation and to make other people funnier.
Conversational terrorists are the opposite.

Conversation is a team sport.

The world needs interesting conversations between left and right.

Killing Parler was anti-conversation.

3

Not politics but monomania. I booted a couple of friends from FB for their continual "white man bad" crap, the phrases "change the record" or "Give it a rest" mean nothing to them or those like them. They forget that "Just fuck off and leave me alone" is within my control.

enjoy your echo chamber 🙂

@bastion

Nicetry at projection. An Echo chamber is where you hear the same unchallenged screed over and over, in a way what I am discussing here.

@CookieMonster they said things you didn't like so you said "Just fuck off and leave me alone" so you didn't have to hear it anymore and unfriended them (cancelled them)

@CookieMonster It's called word salad—kind of like the atomization of identity. I identify as an Asterix. The definition is down below.
On another note, touch-feely answers for touchy-feely subjects while the civilized world is burning around us. We can talk about it more when we meet in the soup line or at the reeducation camps.

@bastion

Again nice try, Ive got many across the spectrum. 2 got booted for repetative remarks. Ive booted others for other reasons and Ive been booted. It really isn't about your precious totolitarian beleifs.

@CookieMonster cancel culture.

@bastion

Youve kind of failed here haven't you? You just reveiled I have a broad range of friends of whom 2 I blocked for being repetative. Wereas you come across as bitter for some reason.

Anyway we are done here.

3

I used to live in NYC, where I was something of a crypto-conservative, living incognito for the most part. My friends knew my politics were “weird,” but our interactions didn’t depend on politics. Since I’ve moved to Texas, I’ve watched most of my former friends vanish, save for those few who seem compelled to leave irrelevant droppings on my lawn from time to time.

I gave it a shot. I attempted to initiate an actual dialogue with some who I’d always respected and considered intelligent. As I told one, “I think there are good arguments to be made for many positions from the left. It’s just that leftists won’t be bothered to make them.” Sarcasm, ridicule, insults and smears seem to be the extent of their efforts. And these are people with whom I once shared a host of experiences. Nothing came of it, although I gained insight into the condescension and scorn that infests the left’s worldview.

Equally dismaying has been my experience here, a site supposedly designed for the free and open exchange of ideas. Instead there’s just a process of reinforcing one’s perspective by talking to like minded folks.

You could always go to a more Left Progressive leaning site... then see how long it takes for them to gang up and attack you or ban you.
It usually doesn't take long at all and you won't have to do much thinking re debate, they don't usually debate..
Progressives cannot tolerate dissent.
Take AOC for example she'd have you listed and cancelled before you could finish a sentence. If you could even get one in that is.

Sarcasm, ridicule, insults and smears seem to be the extent of their efforts.

Nailed it!

@Lightman the fear of AOC and being "cancelled" is very strange.

I agree ...
Having lived in NYC (city and boros) for over 25 years, I was inexorably turned further and further conservative, but “Politics” wasn’t a major part of conversation among the people I knew and considered “friends” (good acquaintances)
I can’t say whether that would hold true today because the last decade has been pretty catalyzing in many ways.
The couple “Good Friends” I have are pretty far Liberal Democrat in their own eyes and our Friendship of Several Years is struggling ... we consciously avoid certain topics ... mostly Politics but it creeps in and there is no way to continue the conversation as it seems too polarizing... I try to keep an open mind but much of their discourse is almost quoted directly from MSNBC and CNN and their minds are closed to listening to anything else.
This is new ...
This is sad ...

Good Friends are so very hard to find to begin with ...

@bastion What fear dopey? You deny she has a list and wants people cancelled? You deny her politics and behaviour?

2

To me, personalities are more important than political views. I also realise that there is much more to life than politics. I think that politics is something one can afford to talk about.

Naomi Level 8 Jan 15, 2021
2

I have no one that I would or could honestly say is a good friend to me. There are a few people of whom I have become acquainted and I make a very concerted effort to avoid talking about anything related to politics.

iThink Level 9 Jan 15, 2021
2

My political views are rather strange and I have participated in politics very little until Trumps campaign in 2016. For me China was the big issue. I see U.S. hegemony as declining and no liberal democracies willing to pick up the slack to oppose some really bad Chinese behavior. China's fascist policies are going to gain influence around the world, with policies such as social credit scores effecting everyone on the planet if we are not careful. It is the only issue I discussed with friends and family because domestic policy is divisive. Now it is clear that we have our own home grown fascist in the media and tech. Still the warning about China should awaken people to the domestic problem without invoking partisan feelings. For the most part my warnings were not entertained as people are fixated on domestic issues such as the economy and wokeness. So I can't say my politics has effected any relationships because people didn't know what I was talking about.

For the most part the people I know are professional but don't understand economics at all so no reason to discuss that. The one issue I have discussed is Global Warming but again very few have actually researched it in depth. Since I don't take a hard line on it it doesn't upset many people accept a couple scientific minded relatives and friends. For the most part they just accepted the orthodoxy. I can't do that ever. Since my predictions have proven accurate I have reason to believe that my position is reasonable. That is that warming was intentionally exaggerated for personal, political and career reason by the dominate climate scientists. I also believe ignorance by scientist on economic and social issues means they have a poor grasp of policy decisions. In the end all I can really say is from a humane perspective cooling is worse than warming and we will have "a year without a summer" that will prove me right. The consequences of warming are still debatable. There are winners and losers.

So I don't think my politics has alienated me from anyone accept people on the Internet. My support for Trump was always lukewarm as he is a somewhat frightening person. Still even suggesting that you vote for him put people I know off, both liberal and conservative. The people I know just don't like him. I honestly don't think people know what they were voting for with Clinton or Biden. Of course I didn't know what I was voting for with Trump and was a bit scared of how it would turn out. I guess I'm just not a political animal. Trump derangement on the hand seems real to me. Trump had a good run but I'm not all that disappointed he lost. Better to let the world see what incompetence at a fundamental level means with Biden and Harris. Another four years of Trump could have seen his luck run out. As far as the swamp goes I always knew it was there, I have always been highly suspicious of the intelligence community, known that most elected officials are incompetent and crooked or simply dogmatic, that science isn't what people think it is, that racial relations were not what they seem, and that educational system was populated by fools.

wolfhnd Level 8 Jan 15, 2021

Intelligence community dominated by dunderheads.
Education dominated by the illiterate.
Peacemongers dominated by warmongers.
Swamp beasts complaining about systemic corruption.
Climate change advocates not knowing what the weather will be like tomorrow, let alone 20 years from now (so much for Gore's prediction that the UK would be underwater as of last year).

Yup, sounds like what I've been saying for decades now.

2

I had a wide range of friends across social media until the tech oligopoly decided to delete anyone to the right of AOMao

RitBorg Level 7 Jan 14, 2021
2

My right leaning friends can handle me taking an oposing arguement. My left leaning friends shit their pants when i opose.

1

I've lost all my left-leaning friends because they're a hazard to my livelihood. I'd like to have left-leaning acquaintances, because I abhor echo chambers, but I can't be honest about my opinions without fear of being outed by them. When I first started flirting with the #AltRight, I had friends who were willing to engage me in debate, but they and I seemed to radicalize in tandem; they went further Left, I went further Right, and I think we may have done our share of radicalizing each other.

I used to be able to share any belief with my friends, but when you don't trust them with your honest opinions, there can be no friendship. 2016 really was the breaking point. I separated from close friends who I'd shared the greatest confidences with. It wasn't just me leaving them; some of them left me. Without contrary opinions to keep one's beliefs in check, radicalization is the only path forward.

I've continued to become more radical. I assume they did as well. I'm at the point I believe a peaceful political divorce is the only solution. I don't see us ever reconciling again. That is, I don't see us ever seeing eye-to-eye on the evidence and drawing the same conclusions. Not in the near future, anyway. Maybe someday tho ... when technology advances to the point that automation makes Capitalism obsolete and genetic engineering makes race irrelevant. Unfortunately, reconciliation might be pointless in a world in which the Singularity has rendered us a global hive mind.

1

I have maybe a half dozen what I'd call good friends who are of an opposed political persuasion. I call them good friends because I think they would reach out and lend a lifesaving hand at their own personal risk despite our differences of political opinion. These are men and women who live their lives transcendent of politics.

1

I have a mix of people in my life, from mere acquaintances to close friends, who represent different ranges across the political and ideological spectrum. Most of my closest friends share similar viewpoints, as they are more liberal and secular. I do, however, have close friends, who I truly love, who are hardcore Conservatives, devout Christians, and even Trump cultists.

It can be a little harder to maintain the friendships with the Trumpists - mostly because I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around them, as almost any topic I bring up can trigger them and have them start ranting about secret cabals and deeps states and other conspiracies. As a Liberal and a Satanist, I have lost friends because they feel they can no longer associate with me - it is always them ending it. I have had a super close Trump supporter friend tell me they could no longer talk to me, because they literally needed to live in an echo chamber to maintain their happiness.

9 times out of 10 it is the other people ending friendships, because they cannot associate with someone who doesn't believe in God or doesn't worship Trump or who thinks gay people should get married and women can control their own bodies. I only end the friendships when their viewpoints get to the point that they think I should be subjugated or executed for my beliefs.

@JacksonNought Your responses on IDW are among the more rational I see, which is why I frequently like your posts, even tho I'm certain neither of us would want to live under a political system dominated by the beliefs of the other.

Actually, if you're an actual liberal, I could probably tolerate a system of homosexual Satanists, as long as free speech was preserved and it wasn't a socialist economy.

1

We used to choose friends based on things like charm, amiability, charisma, wittiness,
friendliness, benevolence, and team spirit. Some people still do, and others base friendships
on ideology. I'd rather hang out with fun people. Republicans should launch a
charm offensive. Outparty your foes. Hold Tea Parties and make funny memes.

We used to value people by their contributions to society. Today, leftists
fire great teachers if they have the wrong ideology.

In Atlas Shrugged, the Galt speech tackles this. We need a Galt speech. Martin Luther King's
speech has similar spirit. "Content of their Character".

Newt Gingrich is a history professor and he spices up his lectures with history stories. I find people who know history to be fun to chat with. We could make
the IDW secret handshake "Knowledge of history". This could used to sort
out infiltrators at MAGA rallies. Rally attendance requires passing a history test.

Let's have so many Tea Parties that the left will try to ban the word tea.

I like the way you think.

1

You can tell most of the posters don't really do "friends" by the way they vent at great length on here about their feelings at every given opportunity.

Being upset about not being listened to seems to be the biggest conservative gripe going.

bastion Level 7 Jan 15, 2021
1

I have a few, mostly within the family. But I go out of my way not to get them onto their self-righteous moralizing rants. They're the New Victorians, unwilling to tolerate anyone else living and thinking wrongly. Family ties, mostly, keep that tendency in check, but those checks would quickly fail if I pressed them. They don't want debates over ideas, they want confessions and apologies.

1

Who comes up with these questions?

Tarpon Level 7 Jan 15, 2021

@Admin don't expect answers

I guess, somebody who wants to tickle minds 😊

1

I don't have friends or family. And I like it just fine that way.

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