October 6, 2007
Why I No Longer Have Many Liberal Friends
I realized a little bit ago that I used to have a lot of liberal friends -- we disagreed on politics, but we still kicked around and hung out. But now I have virtually none: They all departed, either by drifting away or more explosively.
I found out the same thing happened to several other Republican friends of mine; perhaps some of you have noticed this effect too. For years, I wondered why; but back when I was guest-blogging at Patterico's Pontifications, I had an epiphany (which I didn't write about at the time, I don't think). Let me illustrate with a more recent personal reminiscence...
A few months ago, I realized I hadn't talked to my two former housemates from UC Santa Cruz, J. and A., for several years. Since I like to keep in touch, I tried contacting them.
I tracked down J. first, via e-mail; I discovered that, notwithstanding his major in PoliSci, he had become a computer programmer! So I sent him a friendly e-mail saying that was pretty strange, as he'd had no interest whatsoever in computers back at UCSC. I was hoping to open a conversation in which he would tell the story of how he changed from a politics guy to a computer guy.
Instead, I received a one-word reply: "Indeed." J. made it blunt that the conversation was over before it even began.
Blinking, I called or e-mailed A. (I honestly cannot remember which I did). A. and I had always been somewhat closer. He condescended to respond... but only on grounds that this would not become an ongoing conversation. A. tersely updated me on J. and several other mutual friends... then told me never to contact him again.
I'm still a bit stunned by this. It's not like we had a fight; we literally hadn't spoken since the 1990s. Nor had we had any unpleasantness back then; I went up and visited Santa Cruz, met J. and A. and some other mutual acquaintences (A. had relocated to Berkeley, where he lives now with wife and child), and we kicked around for a while, chatting about the G.O.Ds of the early 1980s. We parted amiably.
Since then, we've had no contact by phone, e-mail, or in person. We're not on any bulletin boards together; I haven't published any articles or suchlike that could have ticked them off; and there was nothing remotely contentious about my contact e-mail and/or call.
I can think of only one event that intervened that could have changed them so thoroughly: The election of George W. Bush in 2000.
I lost three other liberal friends when that happened, one of them reasonably close; that last (from SFWA, not UCSC) was railing against Bush and denouncing him throughout the campaign. Then after the long count, when Bush was declared the victor, he demanded that I "admit" that Bush had "stolen the election" -- or he would never speak to me again.
I refused, of course; I don't react well to extortion. True to his word, we have never spoken since.
The other two became moodier and more sullen after the election (though they did not put it quite so starkly). Within a year or so, both drifted out of my orbit, and we don't speak anymore.
But all three first became noticibly hostile towards me immediately following the 2000 election... although my politics were identical before and after; the break occurred because of Bush's election, not 9/11, the Afghan war, or the Iraq war.
In 2005, I finally had my "epiphany": Back in 2000, after eight years of Bill Clinton skunking the Republicans and weaseling his way out of being removed from office, the Left -- broadly defined, from liberal to socialist to Green to Naderite to Communist -- decided that the presidency was theirs by right. And more specifically, sometime back in August or September of 2000, they literally came to believe they had already won the election -- and the actual vote was a mere formality, rubber-stamping what "the people" had already decided.
This was not based on polls, which all showed Bush leading narrowly; Democrats disdained polls that summer, dismissing them as nonsense. Rather, the election of Algore was an integral part of what Thomas Sowell calls "the Vision of the Anointed."
When the confirming vote was held, and it appeared as though Bush had somehow won (and by a handful of votes in Florida), Democrats, liberals, and the rest of the Left reacted the way Cain did when Abel "stole" his birthright.
[This is, as commenter Jauhara Al-Kafirah notes, a complete mishmash: Cain did kill Abel (so they say), but it had nothing to do with a birthright; that was Esau and Jacob, and nobody killed anybody in that story. I can only plead early-onset dementia... but you get the general idea: Cain and Abel meets Esau and Jacob and Ted and Alice, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye. -- the Mgt.]
This, in my earnest opinion, is why Gore tried to sue his way into the White House: He, too, believed that he had already won, and Rethuglicans had criminally deprived him of what was rightfully his. Thus, he forced the long count to recover his stolen property.
Nationally, the Democrats took their lead from Rantin' Al: The only way that George W. Bush could be sitting in la Casa Blanca in January was that he had stolen the presidency from them. Like Cain, they did their best to slay President-Select Abel... not literally but by character assassination.
And then, the reckoning with the minions began. Democrats turned on their Republican friends with the ferocity that you would turn on your best mate, if you found out he had aided and abetted a burglar to break into your house and ransack the joint. Democrats felt doubly betrayed: first by the American electoral system, and then by their Republican friends, who inconceivably defended that betrayal -- thus outing themselves as unindicted co-conspirators.
And that explains, in my nasty, brutish, and short-sighted opinion, why J. and A. -- both "men of the Left" -- had no further interest in speaking to me. It's a sad state of affairs, similar in structure (though not violent effect) to the Civil War, when friend broke with friend and brother fought brother. But unlike that national crisis, this one originates entirely in the delusions of the Democratic Party.
They've yet to recover or even heal. I'm afraid that even the election of Hillary Clinton (God forbid) wouldn't mollify them; they would see it instead as vindication, their final triumph over the wretched betrayers.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 6, 2007, at the time of 3:16 PM
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» While we're on the subject... from Not Exactly Rocket Science
Dafydd laments the loss of honest debate and cross-party friendships. You might disagree with his theories, but you have to admit that a lot of conservatives have lost a LOT of liberal friends to BDS over the last 7+ years....... [Read More]
Tracked on October 9, 2007 4:39 PM
The following hissed in response by: JimK
I have had the exact same experience. People that I was fairly close to in the 90's turned on me - in some cases with a viciousness that I couldn't believe - while others simply stopped talking to me. Plus my wife got seriously sick, and that prompted me to withdraw at the same time everyone was pulling away. No one save for a tiny handful stayed in touch.
The above hissed in response by: JimK at October 6, 2007 3:56 PM
The following hissed in response by: ben
I can't attribute the loss of friends to the 2000 election, as I don't keep many friends closely to begin with. I did make some new (liberal) friends after that, but similarly those friendships ended within weeks of Bush winning 2004.
I never linked the two events, but it might make sense.
The above hissed in response by: ben at October 6, 2007 4:23 PM
The following hissed in response by: Tregonsee
I am reminded of that faux Letterman list about how to tell conservatives from liberals. The relevant one: Conservatives are firmly convinced they should be running things. Liberals are firmly convinced they are entitled to run things.
While I have never had any of my liberal friends refuse to communicate with me, in several cases it has become impossible due to an inability to agree on the most basic, objective matters. For instance, that the Democrat Party went to court in Florida to block absentee ballots for approximately 35,000 service members. When given links to the various court papers and dockets, it is as if they literally cannont process the data.
Ironically, there was a brief, a very brief period after 9/11 when the situation was better. One of the odd aspects is that those with the greatest educations are often, but not always, the most likely to be this way.
The following hissed in response by: xennady
I had a somewhat similar experience with my former supervisor. Since I refused to admit that Chimpybushitler was pure evil then I obviously was pure evil as well. This disagreement culminated in long screaming matches and a clumsy attempt to get me fired. Also, there was another co-worker who would frequently greet me with various politically motivated insults after he discovered my rethuglican affiliation. Experiences such as these- and others online- have pretty much convinced me that there is no point in engaging leftists in debate. They are no more receptive to rational argument than a nazi would be if the argument came from a jew. In other words, they are insane with hatred and rage.
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
While I haven't noticed any friends turning away, I have noticed a change in that they frequently refuse to accept facts. They will deny things said by liberals before the election of Bush as though it could not have happened no matter how much documentation I present. I have finally given up on that and we no longer mention anything to do with politics. To me they no longer appear to be willing to reason and will even go so far as to deny the meaning of words. Suddenly words mean only what they wish them to mean even though all dictionaries say they mean something else. Therefore, being wrong is automatically a lie when applied to a Republican, whereas a Democrat is only being nuanced when he makes statements that are factually wrong. It is if all reasoning and logic has abandoned them. To put it differently, they no longer appear rational on things political. They change opinions and declare such things as how great Carter was when only a few years ago they ran around telling me how bad he was and how much he had hurt the Democrats. So as I said, I no longer mention anything which could be taken as political in any way.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
So as I said, I no longer mention anything which could be taken as political in any way.
That's the most normal and social response; you keep your friends, but you lose entire areas of discussion.
I used to do that; for years, I walked on egg creams around various liberals, trying to avoid setting them off. But it always smacked of extortion: Don't talk about these various ordinary topics of conversation, or I'll become hysterical, fall to the floor, and begin chewing the carpet!
I felt like the Guy White character from the Half Hour News Hour on Fox News (who didn't exist yet)... and eventually, I just decided not to hold back anymore.
Nowadays, I don't initiate political conversations with known liberals in person; but if they start one, I won't back away.
And on a public forum, such as a bulletin board or when speaking on a panel at a convention, I will sometimes make a political point (in a political topic) if I feel like it and it's in context; but I'll always stand up to any liberal (or conservative) who picks a fight with me.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at October 6, 2007 6:29 PM
The following hissed in response by: nk
Are you sure A and J weren't jerks to begin with?
The above hissed in response by: nk at October 6, 2007 8:21 PM
The following hissed in response by: Jauhara Al-Kafirah
Did you mean Esau and Jacob?
When the confirming vote was held, and it appeared as though Bush had somehow won (and by a handful of votes in Florida), Democrats, liberals, and the rest of the Left reacted the way Cain did when Abel "stole" his birthright. This, in my earnest opinion, is why Gore tried to sue his way into the White House: He, too, believed that he had already won, and Rethuglicans had criminally deprived him of what was rightfully his. Thus, he forced the long count to recover his stolen property.
The above hissed in response by: Jauhara Al-Kafirah at October 6, 2007 10:23 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Did you mean Esau and Jacob?
I think the mgt. corrected the situation...
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at October 7, 2007 1:29 AM
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
Dafydd, I agree that it is a form of extortion and I don't particularly like it, but most of those people have been my friends for many years. Outside of that one quirk in their thinking, they are nice people and would gladly come to my assistance should I need it, just as I would rush to their assistance should they need it. So we have reached an understanding where I don't mention politics and they don't mention politics.
Part of it may stem from the fact that I live in a small rural area and with fewer people we perhaps tend to value each other more. The little town I live just outside of has grown little since I was in school over forty years ago and still numbers less than three hundred. Living in such a rural area has meant that we needed to help each other more than is common in more urban areas and that helping each other has caused us to be more tolerant of each other. They know that if they bring politics up, I will challenge them to back up their ideas and opinions, and until recently that normally produced a reasonable discussion, but for the last ten years or so it has changed to where it is not worth it to bring the subject up owing to the anger generated. And it isn't that I become angry, but they are no longer willing to accept that I have come to different conclusions on some subjects. So in my little area it has become easier to not discuss certain subjects unless you are speaking with people who come closer to agreeing with you. I find that a poor answer, but better than the alternative.
I miss those discussions as they forced me to sharpen my arguments. I well remember quaffing a few beers and holding long and loud debates over various subjects and when we finished we laughed and parted as friends, but now that is getting much harder to do. The liberals no longer seem willing to accept that people of goodwill can disagree. The really silly part is that in many cases we agree on the problem and only disagree on the solution.
What I find the hardest to accept is once reasonable people are no longer willing to admit that words have specific meanings. When someone who leans right makes a statement that turns out to be incorrect, to them that is automatically a lie, but if someone on the left makes a similar statement, that is not a lie but is nuance. By their new standards it is impossible for someone on the right to simply be wrong about something, and they also believe that they cannot possibly be wrong on anything. If someone on the right makes a misstatement it is a lie and was intended, but if someone on the left makes a similar misstatement it is the fault of those on the right for not understanding what that person wanted to say. Well sorry, but I'm not a mind reader and so I can only go by the words they said. I'm willing to allow them to explain statements they did not intend to make, but they should allow me the same right. They love to lift out of context, but they are not willing to allow me to do the same. For what it is worth, I don't like lifting out of context as I consider it dishonest, but sometimes I don't have the complete statement to refer to until I've had time to research it. I only do it to show them what they are doing.
Now I have picked on the left in this reply, but there are some on the right who are equally unreasonable. However, they do not seem to be as widespread nor as many, and they do not have as much access to the media. I would be happy if both of those extremes were more willing to debate in an honest manner. My opinions can and have been swayed, but it takes a sound argument and some facts to do so. Illogical arguments will not move me. And I am perfectly willing to admit that I do not always like all the results of my beliefs, but until someone can show me something better I'll stick with them. For example, I believe in free speech even though that means that people will say things I wish they wouldn't and that I consider hateful. Anymore my liberal friends seem to feel that free speech is only for them and anyone they disagree with should be silenced. It was not that way when I was young. So as I said, we no longer discuss certain subjects and both sides are poorer for that.
The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman
The only way that George W. Bush could be sitting in la Casa Blanca in January was that he had stolen the presidency from them.
It's a little more than just theft Daffyd, like the militant Muslims who believe the reason the West is so powerful is because we are in league with Shaitan, there are some far off the edge Liberals who put the reason Bush ended up as President to the same root cause.
Evil Republican Magi used mind control to influence the elections!
I am NOT making this up, I wrote a couple of posts on my blog about this subject and I truly wish I HAD created it, But they are serious if you can use the term in this case. ;-)
Some people claim that the outcome of the last General Election in 2004 was influenced by sinister and magical forces.
Evil Republican Magi
What wasn't expected was that once I filtered out all that background noise, I started hearing a calm, resonable, and powerful head-voice saying things like "Kerry doesn't have the experience we need in these troubled times." and "Give Bush a chance to make it better."
Anyone who knows me KNOWS these are not my thoughts!
And besides, I voted last week. No, there's no way in Hades these are my thoughts.
The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman at October 7, 2007 8:23 AM
The following hissed in response by: levi from queens
I have not lost a single liberal friend since the 2000 election. I did visit an old friend once where we agreed not to discuss politics, but I really have not had the sorts of experiences people mention here. FWIW, I live near the center of NYC.
The following hissed in response by: AMR
My relatives and I have reached a compromise. We both ignore politics, because they know that I WILL NOT back off if they are overtaken by their BDS impulses. Works for me.
The following hissed in response by: DrMalaka
Right on about Sowell's Vision Of The Anointed, left wingers are certain that their ideas are correct and that it is impossible for anyone to actually disagree with them. This of course comes from the fact that their beliefs are not based on facts but rather emotional convictions. That is why you get all the cognitive dissonance from them.
Facts to liberals and progressives are like a bull in a china shop, they will just destroy everything they have.
I never had many liberal friends because I always found it hard to have a close relationship with anyone whose command of logic is non existent. Everything progressives believe in can be summed up in Dan Rather's "Fake But Accurate." Sure the documents that prove my point may be fake but my premise is rock solid and correct regardless because it supports what I believe.
I remember being at a Party the weekend after the '04 election in NYC and surrounded by rabid liberals who talked so openly and freely about how "STUPID" the rest of the country is. Now the truth is that these were native NYC people who had never been to the heartland and did not know anyone they labeled stupid, but the fact remained, anyone who did not side with them was stupid. That is your Vision Of The Anointed, the belief that they are superior because of their beliefs based on their emotions, and since their emotions are genuine and caring they can not be wrong. Anyone who challenges that has no heart, thus is evil, and accordingly is not worthy of respect.
The following hissed in response by: dcat
No liberal friends?! OH NO! LOL
NO loss...I don't have any either I wish they would disappear all together!
The above hissed in response by: dcat at October 7, 2007 1:10 PM
The following hissed in response by: qrstuv
When it became apparent that Bush had won in '04, I received email from a friend of a friend, who had sent out a message to, apparently, everyone he knew. He wanted to tell everyone that it would be good if we all just ended friendships with anyone who voted Republicans.
Mind you, this wasn't even anyone I had ever met. I said that I was very offended and why was this person I'd never met sending me abusive email. We had a couple of rounds and I deleted his last message without reading or responding.
I checked with our mutual friend later, and he said we were cool, but later he changed his email address without giving me his new one.
No loss, I guess.
It was very disturbing at the time, though.
The following hissed in response by: RattlerGator
Good responses, all. Now, if you will, consider Kanye West and his "George Bush hates black people" thing. Welcome to my world, where a refusal to obsess about a juvenile delinquent in Florida (Martin Lee Anderson) dying from abuse in an ill-considered juvenile boot camp program (or the so-called Jena 6, for that matter) transforms me into a sellout who doesn't give a damn about black youth or black people in toto.
Heaven forbid that I am simply tired of jumping when told to jump or emoting when told to emote once given the signal from an anointed icon. People don't seem to know how to accept that both stories can be disturbing to me (they are) but also deemed to be more complicated than a 90-second video can convey.
I have come to realize that, for me, living a life of personal responsibility could not be obtained while simultaneously excusing obvious deviancy in the black community for social, historical or cultural reasons. This is proving to be more difficult than I originally thought for reasons far too personal to get into here.
It was September 11, 2001 that started the process of my political switch. I didn't fully make the change until I registered as a Republican in 2004. Unlike you, Dafydd, with the 2000 election of Dubya, I knew what was coming after that 2004 re-election -- but, like you, I'm still stunned by it all.
The sheer inability to comprehend politics as something other than a team sport and the complete refusal to give America her props is a general left-wing problem, to be sure, but a true disgrace in much of African America. Over and over and over again, all you get is a constant, "yeah, but" situation.
Richard Fernandez (Wretchard the Cat) has a great post up on his Belmont Club blog where he writes:
Unless a man can know home and recognize family, he can never be your brother. A person who loves only his vision of the future can only love himself.
There's the central problem, I do believe. I can't expand on it here but I feel compelled to say it isn't (in my opinion) a multicultural problem, per se, but that is an undeniable component of the problem.
In our community, did you know that you can't get permission to leave "the plantation?" Was this your transgression, Dafydd? Were you once rolling with the Democrats when you first made these friends who have shunned you?
In African America, they/we (as black people) insist on viewing the political world (for many folks, the entirety of existence) through an all-encompassing plantation prism. For me, that is more than a little bit problematic, especially from folks who can't even consider the possibility that if a plantation exists, it is an open question as to who remains firmly enslaved on it and who has exercised their God-given free will to leave it.
A better question, of course, is why even employ a plantation analysis model?
Thanks, Dafydd. This is a timely and thought-provoking post.
The above hissed in response by: RattlerGator at October 7, 2007 5:00 PM
The following hissed in response by: hunter
And how many of these politically driven fanatics are also involved with the idea that 911 was an 'inside job'? Or that the war was a deliberate fraud perpetrated by W?
I recall being yelled at by a stranger in a parking lot because I mentioned that while I drive a volvo, I am a Republican.
The side of the aisle that regularly asserts their tolerance and acceptance have become narrow self-absorbed delusional bigots.
And don't even get me started about that over rated racist, Kane West.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Was this your transgression, Dafydd? Were you once rolling with the Democrats when you first made these friends who have shunned you?
Oh no, definitely not! I have worn many political skins in my life, but "liberal" was never one of them. My first political consciousness was as a conservative; then in high school (mid-70s), I was exposed to libertarianism through hanging out with David "son o'Milton" Friedman.
I was pretty standard libertarian-capitalist at UCLA; but then I read the Illuminatus! trilogy, which led to the Principia Discordia and Discordianism. By the time I hit Santa Cruz, I was calling myself "politically non-Euclidean," aping my idol, Robert Anton Wilson.
(I still call myself that, though Wilson developed distinctly clay-like pedal appendages at the end of his life, sliding back to the "Hugh-Hefner liberal" he was in the 1960s.)
I became somewhat more hawkish after university, but still sort of libertarian-conservative, politically non-Euclidean. But now, with the degeneration of most libertarians into "liberals for tax cuts" -- which is rather like "Jews for Jesus" -- I don't call myself libertarian... it's too embarassing.
But I was never a liberal; back in Ucksuck days, A. and J. were simply more tolerant than they appear to be today... we disagreed and argued, but they were still willing to be friends.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at October 8, 2007 12:11 AM
The following hissed in response by: Davod
I think the Democrats were shocked when Bush fought them over the votes in Florida. Remember that Nixon could have contested the vote when Kennedy was elected but he didn't - for the good of the country. They expected Bush to fold - for the good of the country. When he didn't the party aparatcheks went on the warpath and it is this that created the BDS. The Democrats have been campaigning against Bush in th most vile fashion since 2001.
On a related matter. We all talk about the MSM and its disinformation campaigns. Well, in recent times, on two occasions, I have talked with people who agreed that the MSM was not truthfull in their commentary. However, they were adamant that the MSM was covering up for Bush and hiding the truth about 9-11. Neither would listren to my arguments to the contrary. It all depends upon which end of the ideological spctrum you are coming from.
The following hissed in response by: Robin Sizemore
I've never been the sort to make a lot of friends, so I can't think of any liberal friends that I lost when Bush was elected. On the other hand, one new friend I made a couple of years ago went from thinking I was a nice guy to believing that I was a "disgusting, evil, misanthropic [expletive deleted]" simply because she learned I voted for George Bush over John Kerry.
Fortunately, my girlfriend, despite being liberal, isn't a sufferer from BDS, and we do very well with agreeing to disagree.
The above hissed in response by: Robin Sizemore at October 8, 2007 5:46 AM
The following hissed in response by: MarkJM
To 'agree' not to discuss politics is pure bull and offensive censorship. THAT is what is wrong with over 80% of the elected Republicans. If my friends (liberal or not) can't handle reasonable debate using facts and logic, they can't really be considered 'friends'. It is always the liberal that immediately resorts to ad hominem personal attacks. I hold my factual grounds, and they end up looking like foolish children. To eliminate political discussion is to grant tantruming 2-year olds victory. Is that who you want 'controlling' your lives? Get a backbone.
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Thanks to Dafydd and the commentators for my personal moment of self affirmation. The perfect answer to "Is it just me, or..."
Anyone else notice that liberal friends like to go one and on about the "poisoned atmosphere" and how they are no longer able to just say anything they please? All the while insisting anyone who votes Republican is a certified idiot. This is equivalent to saying "I'm not sure why people don't like me, you ugly jerk."
I urge conservatives - Do whatever it takes but keep your liberal friends. For the good of the country they must be educated.
I find betting to be a good liberal tonic. When they make bizarre pronouncements (Gore REALLY won Florida, Bush will declare martial law this year, etc.) make a friendly wager. Not too much (I generally go for <$10). Make the terms very plain. You can make a few bucks and educate at the same time. It also serves to cool the insanity, at least a little. I frequently don't collect on the bets (Or I settle for a cup of coffee), but I'm sure to remind them that the bet was made and they lost. Even the dullest liberal will eventually catch on.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
I began to move away from the Democrats when Bill Clinton wagged his finger at me.... but I was still hanging in there. Then came the election of 2000 and when I saw Democrats act like a bunch of cry babies when they did not get their way, I decided there was something seriously wrong with the party.
I have had liberal friends who stopped talking to me, but then again I have to admit I was the one who stopped talking to some of my liberal friends. It was a sort of mutual disengagement.
I consider myself an Independent. I am center right in my politics.
Since I am one of the 47% of the population who consider themselves moderates I have had the experience of being called an open border anarchist and traitor and typical leftist by some more rabid people on the right, as well as a fascist, war monger and chicken hawk by rabid people on the left.
So, I do not think that the problem is just that the left is not logical. I think that extremes meet. Buchannan and Kuccinich have more in common with each other than either of them would have with me. If you catch my drift.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at October 8, 2007 11:17 AM
The following hissed in response by: Big D
Hey my post was cut off in mid-sentence! Ah well, nothing by mindless drivel after that.
One thing not said here - I do blame Bush for some of the current liberal mental malfunction. He manages to simultaneously project the smirking Yalie elitism and the Texas evangelical cowboy at the same time. Listening to him speak, I get what he means, and usually agree, but I'm still troubled by his poor communication style.
A better president might have been able to prevent the loyal opposition from becoming the perpetually deranged opposition. And I think this transformation has had deleterious impact on the war against Al Qaeda.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Your comment got cut off because you typed the "<" character; since that's how HTML commands begin, Movable Type tried to interpret everything that followed as a command... which it couldn't understand, so it ignored.
In the future, please use "<" instead; that's the HTML code for the less-than symbol (to point the other way, type >, of course). And note the semicolon (;) at the end; that's a critical part of the code.
But you'll have to retype that code in place of the < if you hit Preview, because the system will replace it with the actual character.
I'll fix your previous comment so that the rest of it will show.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at October 8, 2007 2:56 PM
The following hissed in response by: Bookworm
It's also very difficult to talk to those on the Left. Mr. Bookworm rather unfortunately outed me to a neighbor who had just gone on a 3 or 4 minute, foam coming out of his mouth rant about how Bush is a complete criminal breaking every law known to man. Not being a confrontational sort, I'd kept my mouth shut. After being outed, though, my neighbor instantly (and, I must say, in very friendly tones), said that he never gets a chance to speak politics with Republicans. They just won't engage with him. In his mind, they're cowards who can't defend themselves. In my mind, they're polite and rational people, much like myself, who simply do not know where to begin after someone has completed a completely fact free rant about the President and the "administration." It's like trying to punch your way through swamp gas or bat off a swarm of gnats.
He also recommended strongly that I read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," by John Perkins, which he assured would explain to me why everyone in the world hates Americans. I've got it on reserve at the library. I somehow doubt I'll get the same message from the book that he did, especially since I read this and this first, both of which fly warning flags about some of Perkins more egregious factual errors.
So, as for me, I don't shun my liberal friends, since I'd be very lonely in my neck of the woods if I did. I just try really hard not to talk politics with them.
The above hissed in response by: Bookworm at October 8, 2007 9:31 PM
The following hissed in response by: Carbonel
A 'net friend of mine (H. Mark) quoted his mentor to me once:
You cannot carry a 200lb load of truth across a 1/2 inch thick plank of loveI have a good friend who is a Red. A frakkin' pinko-socialist. Two of my best friends, whilst being good Catholics, are pretty left-wing: In the way only a certain variety of Catholics (God bless 'em) can manage.
As long as all the reins of power (media, congress, and yes, the presidency) are controlled by their co-believers, left-wingers can quite safely indulge their neanderthal friends who believe appalling things: what harm could it do, really?
It's insane to imagine that people with political and social aims diametrically opposed to yours, will want to be your friends absent Love.
But with Love, all things are possible.
The above hissed in response by: Carbonel at October 8, 2007 10:01 PM
The following hissed in response by: Photo Onion
I have the opposite problem, I let friendships with liberals drift. When it is clear to me that their opinions are resultant in a threat to myself, my country, my way of life, my culture, my race, my heritage and my future. Then friendship with a scumball like that loses out in importance.
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