How to tell if someone is lying:
The old answer about politicians is, “If their lips are moving.” Funny, and often true, but how can you tell if someone is lying in print, especially here on Facebook. Another political axiom springs to mind, namely: “If you don’t like the question you’re asked, answer a different one you do like.”
In another post on my wall, some friends have gotten into a ‘spirited’ discussion on a scientific/political issue. I asked a question of one of the people on the opposite side of the issue. He has now ducked my question at least four times, trying to evade the question by changing the subject. I know why. To answer my question means he would have to expose one of the leaders of his side as a fraud, or at the very least, a raging hypocrite.
Now, I am NOT calling my Liberal friend a liar. But he IS being intellectually dishonest.
Over my time here on the planet, I’ve learned that absolutes are easy to comprehend, but don’t work very well in the real world. Truth, as they say, usually lies somewhere in the middle. I don’t pretend that Conservatism has ALL the answers. (Although, I do believe that Conservatives are more right – or correct – than they are wrong.) But I think one of the reasons we are so divided as a country is that so many people insist that, not only are they right, but anyone who disagrees is wrong. How can we ever hope to agree on anything, when we believe that those who disagree are wrong, no matter what? That sets up a situation where we are talking AT others, not WITH others. In the real world, nobody wants to be lectured to, nor do we enjoy facing a determined prosecutor, dead set on proving you 100% wrong.
What I think we ALL need to do is to admit we don’t have all the answers. Then we need to look for places (even small, insignificant things) where we can agree.
I tried a little experiment recently. I was faced with someone who was virulently anti-Trump, and who excoriated me for my support of the former President. He questioned my patriotism, my intelligence, and my reasons for believing in anything other than his ideology. Instead of getting upset, defensive, or accusatory, I tried a different tack. I set forth a few items on which I was certain we could agree, and asked if we could agree to agree on them. They were pretty broad things – I mentioned, “I think we can agree that we both love America,” and “I believe we both hate that media confusing opinion with facts is bad.” Seemed like obvious stuff, and I was hoping we could agree, even if we approached these from diametrically-opposed points of view. Nope. He is so filled with hatred for Trump and the Right that he couldn’t even agree that we both loved our country, and both hated biased media.
I withdrew from the conversation, citing that there’s nothing to be gained from talking AT someone, when you are not willing to seek commonality.
So I encourage each of you to look at yourself and how you express yourself online. Even if you believe in an issue passionately, and believe the other side is 100% wrong, there is something you should be able to find about those on the other side on which you can stake out some commonality. If you can’t find some kind of humanity to relate to within a conversation in social media, you might just be part of the polarization problem.