I want to recount an ongoing conversation I’ve had with a family friend on facebook regarding politics lately. He’s of the opinion that I live in a bubble and that I take in info from a very limited source, and that I’ve not yet opened my eyes. He’s given me some sources and things to read, and I’ve started looking at them at least a little. Only a little. It’s hard to challenge your beliefs and to accept information from sources that are counter to what you think.
Anyway… he and I have always challenged one another in conversation for many months on end. Since the Trump election, it’s been different. Now his ideas have won at the ballot box, and the impetus to get out of my bubble and take in more and different info has grown. And it seems more and more relevant to me to take in what he’s saying and try to listen to opinions that are different to mine.
Yet… I have the things I care about, and I confront and engage him in conversation about it. Tonight, he finally declared himself done. He said that he’s done trying to engage me and trying to change my mind. “I’ve given you the tools” he said. It’s up to me now, he implies.
I know what that feels like. That certainty that you’re right, and that history is on your side, and that your opponent is misguided. Given enough time, truth with out, and they’ll be forced to come around. The way the world works wins in the end. That attitude and mindset is why the Democrats lost. That sort of dismissive, benevolent arrogance.
There’s no need to listen when you’re right.
It’s easy to walk away when you win.
Maybe I don’t listen either, since I feel pretty right about the things that I believe in. There sure are a lot of others who do too. In the end, I firmly believe this. We literally just got done learning that dismissing the arguments of those who oppose you does not win victories in the end. I’ve always tried to be engaging and thorough in debate, and to respond and include those who respond back to me. It hurts when someone says they’re done. It hurts to be told I’m misguided. It hurts when, in the high of victory, they decide you’re not worth engaging anymore.
Maybe that’s what I need to feel, so I learn from it and know not to repeat it. Maybe I need to feel that so that I _do_ start taking in more sources of info and start changing my world view just a little. But I know and feel this deep down. The world has lots of room for all kinds and types of ideas. Dismissing one side does no one any favors, no matter how good it feels.