Will we witness the compassion of a nation?

post by kithpendragon · 2021-01-10T11:10:07.879Z · LW · GW · 27 comments

What is it that Trump has done, when looked at through the lens of compassion?

Trump has nurtured a paranoid false reality in which people are helpless victims of a Hostile and Malevolent State. He has maintained and occupied this Alternative reality for enough time, and convincingly enough to drag other people into paranoia with him. Trump has, for four years, held the biggest megaphone in the world. As a result, he has been able to convince most of the people who could be so convinced. These people now number possibly in the millions.

Do they react when he points to the source of their imagined dangers? Are they scared of the people he tells them are dangerous? Of course! It doesn’t matter what else you think of them, they are a terrified group on the brink of panic.

To be clear, panicking groups are extremely dangerous! And this one has been driven to the exact sort of extreme reactive state that you would expect from any panicking group. What we have in this nation is a crisis, manufactured on the foundation of people’s own fears. There are at least thousands of people who have been made so scared they are willing to risk the violent response we saw from the police all last year on nothing more than an indication from Trump that they might possibly be able to do some non-specific thing about the imaginary Evil State.

This fear has been building for many years now; the only thing Trump did was to make it salient enough that people might actually act on it. The panic recently reached a peak on January 6th. It ends when we identify the real fears and concerns that allowed Trump to take advantage, and we solve or dissolve them.

The State will not do this work for us. It will be too concerned with protecting itself against the insurrection; working against the possibility of another event like the one that desecrated one of its most sacred spaces and threatened the safety of its members. It will act to punish somebody - anybody - as an example of what happens to Traitors and Insurrectionists, though its ability to act against Trump himself is extremely limited. We cannot depend on the State to cure this disease of fear.

Corporations have begun to help. Finally acting after years of pressure from people who have noticed the problem and worried about its spread, Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to protect the general population from Trump's dangerous delusions, such as they are able. The State cannot take such actions, bound as it is to respect Freedom of Speech. We are lucky in this case that corporations have no such principles, though they failed to act early enough to prevent tragedy.

If we continue to allow events to take their course, we may find ourselves in a civil war. There are two fronts on which we must act to prevent this.

To the State, we must make it clear that we expect compassion for those who have been driven to violence by Trump's paranoid delusion. Write your representatives in Congress (both House and Senate) and demand a tempered response to the failed coup. They should act to defend the State, of course. And they must also remember that they are dealing with people who are terrified that the State is a Hostile and Malevolent Force that will stop at nothing to crush it's enemies. Those whom the State labels Insurrectionist are by others labeled Patriot. That last will become Martyr if these people are not handled with the most obvious possible care and consideration for their humanity. Even Trump deserves this much! The State often refers to us as Constituents. Since we constitute a part of the state, we are partly responsible for its actions. Work to make sure you can be proud of that.

To our neighbors, many of whom had a bad 2020, many of whom have long been frightened of the Corrupted State, many of whom are shocked and appalled by what happened on January 6th, many of whom found that event hopeful... To all our neighbors, we must listen. Learn what they love and value. Learn what upsets and frightens them. Learn what makes them angry: anger is a tough front for softer feelings of distress, usually fear. Fear can only grow alongside love (clarification [LW(p) · GW(p)]). Don't tell them they are wrong when you disagree with their conclusions! Tell them you "hadn't thought about it like that", or "always saw that a bit differently" and ask if you can share your honest and thoughtful view on the topic. Tell them that you "can totally see where they're coming from" when that becomes true. Use "yes, and" more than you use "but" or “no”. Show them that you value their opinion, their perspective, even if it differs strongly from yours. Show them that you value them as people, neighbors, friends, and even allies.

Then the healing can begin.


This post came to me after consideration of another [LW · GW]. Thank you, Impassionata.

27 comments

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comment by Pattern · 2021-01-14T06:14:25.855Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Fear can only grow alongside love.

This part didn't sound quite right.


Great piece, btw. There were parts I disagreed with, but it was interesting to read your perspective.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-14T10:17:52.052Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks, Pattern!

Yeah, that sentence came out a bit poetic. I feel like it would have broken the tone to say something like, "In neurotypical situations, fear comes from clinging to an object that someone holds dear, and anticipating that object's loss", though. Maybe there's a middle-ground way to express it?

comment by Pattern · 2021-01-15T21:41:31.912Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

With that explanation, it makes sense. So you could link to your comment above, or perhaps something like:

"Fear can only grow alongside love. (We fear losing what we love, after all.)"

comment by ChristianKl · 2021-01-10T14:24:16.639Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't believe that a substantial portion of Trump supporters would see people who are put into prison because of being charged with treason for attacking the United States Capitol as martyrs or heros. There's room for a bipartisan consensus that attacking the United States Capitol is wrong and should be punished by law.

The rule of law should be the prime driver of the reaction towards violence whether it comes from Trump supporters or Antifa.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-10T15:04:47.466Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I mostly agree! I just don't have an awful lot of confidence that the state won't over-react and do something stupid to these people. Their fears there are not entirely unjustified, I'm afraid: the US has a history of messing up criminal justice pretty badly.

I have already heard people "in the wild" referring to those who broke into the Capitol as Patriots, though. That's just one step from Hero.

comment by Impassionata · 2021-01-10T20:06:55.781Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Solid work.  

I think that there is one implicit assumption of yours to examine closer, and that is that the State will be especially vengeful or overly punitive.  Most of the punishments that will befall the various rioters are described in advance by law.  

The State in America is a lot more thoughtful and powerful than to make martyrs so casually.  

Those whom the State labels Insurrectionist are by others labeled Patriot.

From a certain point of view this (false) label is the Foreign State.  

Trump will likely be jailed for life.  Without Trump the alternative reality will collapse and subside.  Those who believed in it will stay quiet for two years and then pretend nothing of 2016-2020 ever happened.  

Healing won't happen through conversation, for the most part, because people aren't that good at admitting they were wrong.  Primarily this is done just by dropping the subject.  

The State will pave over this entire thing so deftly it will be as if it never happened.  That is the total power of the State, because the State operates through a much longer timeframe than individual humans.  

---

To be clearer, I agree with the spirit of your words urging healing, but I believe that the reality is that none of us on the Internet have the neighbors that matter.  I certainly don't.  Even the Trump supporting contacts we do have are likely somewhat atypical!  

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-11T00:49:02.175Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If you think there won't be bipartisan support for whatever revenge comes after the indignity of the little people showing the politicians they're not invulnerable then you're kidding yourself. 

I am of the understanding that sedition, treason, and terrorism all have the potential to carry the death penalty. Any one of them has the potential to have you carted off to a black site for gruesome torture too.

Trump didn't make this dissent, how did he get elected in the first place if the will wasn't there? 

Half of the voting electorate is utterly disenfranchised right now. We know what that looks like on the left with half the pressure and no covid because we've had four years of non-stop histrionics from them over it. Now we get to see what that looks like on the right, only with ten times the ambient stress levels, and a lot more trigger discipline.

I see no reason to believe anything other than a continuing escalation of the trend of riots and civil discord. Nothing has been altered about the underlying issues so why would their surface presentation get any better?

As for the neighbours, if you renege on the social contract that has logical consequences. If the capital can be breached then so can wherever you live. You'd think that wouldn't need to be spelled out to adults but this is the world we find ourselves in.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-11T01:16:38.344Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

if you renege on the social contract that has logical consequences

I'm not sure what you think I'm getting at here, but I was talking about being friendly and opening a dialogue with the people around us with different political alignments. I'd hardly call being a friendly and compassionate neighbor "reneging on the social contract"!

If you think there won't be bipartisan support for whatever revenge comes...

Of course there will be support! We need to urge restraint to reduce the chances of something terrible happening to these human beings!

Trump didn't make this dissent, how did he get elected in the first place if the will wasn't there?

Agreed. That's why, even in the event that the State outright disappears him off the face of the planet, we still have work to do.

Nothing has been altered about the underlying issues so why would their surface presentation get any better?

They won't if we don't have the will or the courage to do anything about it. Reach across that divide!

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-11T21:17:39.224Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not sure what you think I'm getting at here, but I was talking about being friendly and opening a dialogue with the people around us with different political alignments. I'd hardly call being a friendly and compassionate neighbor "reneging on the social contract"!

Firstly, I'm replying to a comment by Impassionata, who I consider antisocial at best. Her position erodes the social fabric necessary to maintain democracy. She either hasn't considered where it leads, or simply doesn't care about the causalities (presumably with a side of it won't happen to me).

My attitude is simple: discourse frequently sucks but it sucks so much less than the alternative. I think you have a moral obligation to pursue it in good faith. Compassion is irrelevant here, what matters is commitment to principle. You must sit down at the table with people you hate and always will, because the alternative is that you both draw your swords.

Secondly, I'm no more immune to a negativity bias than anyone else. Of course I'm going to pay more attention to the people in a tribe that have openly expressed a desire to kill me and mine, remove our ability to speak and work, put us in struggle sessions, send us off to the gulag, etc. The "No, no! It's all good now" people aren't going to counteract that whilst we are still in the middle of members of their tribe baying for blood. I'm not faulting you for your good intentions, I'm just aware that they are going to be drowned out by the ill intentions of your peers.

I've read plenty of history, and I'm not the kind of idiot that does that and thinks "That will never happen again". History is cyclical and human nature is ancient. Perhaps my negativity bias is unwarranted or premature here, but the entire reason we have it has a species is that overreacting is cheap and underreacting gets you killed. If someone tells me that they hate me and want me to suffer and die (and more importantly, want to do that to people I care about) then I will not only take them at their word, I'll be prepping to mitigate the threat first. If an idiot telegraphs their attack plan you take full advantage of that.

You don't get to spend four years calling people traitors and Nazis and then expect that to vanish overnight just because your tribe gets the throne. The inverse is true also. Everyone knows how much the other absolutely hates them. There's no ambiguity in what they've threatened. You tell me what the logical conclusions should be here?

Of course there will be support! We need to urge restraint to reduce the chances of something terrible happening to these human beings!

If you think that politicians do anything but file your concerns in the trash when it comes to what they and their patrons want, let alone when their house has been tossed and they were scared, then I really admire your sunny attitude to the world. 

I am old enough to have seen the pattern repeatedly. There's a good reason you're still being molested twenty years later at the airport despite it being provable that it is nothing more than security theatre. Whatever is implemented here in the name of the greater good will still be around in twenty years from now. Whatever you allow today is a legacy to your children and grandchildren.

I can't fault people for not being old, but I can fault them for not reading and considering history that is freely available to them.

I think what's going to happen here is that the Office, and the Senate and House will be secured (not that they'd need to be given the self serving nature of the members thereof) and then some truly egregious legislation will be pushed through. I don't know what that will be, but I know it will be horrible. I fully expect that there will be impositions on internet communications, including encryption, access to services like banking, the right to employment or to conducting business, the right to freedom of assembly and association, attempts to disarm everyone, etc. Basically a mix of the usual things they want plus measures to stomp on all the freedoms the internet accidently gave people whilst they weren't watching. Remember how pivotal social media was in Trump's campaign? They aren't going to let that happen again, and by giving Silicon Valley and payment processors full rights to cut you off they'll get what they want. It will basically be the Chinese social credit system in all but name.

Agreed. That's why, even in the event that the State outright disappears him off the face of the planet, we still have work to do.

If you want to eliminate the other rapidly then the only way you can do that is via the sword. Otherwise this would be a multi-generational project (much like what Yuri Bezmenov so clearly laid out 40 years ago, and that had been going on for long before that).

It is trivial to raise issues that are opposed and irreconcilable in the factions here. There are multiple issues that people are prepared to die over, so getting from here to a point where even half the population is roughly ideologically aligned is going to be a herculean effort (assuming such a thing is even possible at all).

There is no simple answer here. The point where this was manageable by non-violent means is passed IMO. There's inertia here and the elements were set on their trajectories long ago. Even if all the problems were solved tomorrow there are a bunch of people whose lives have been destroyed by government they hate and who hates them right back. People don't just forgive that, even if it would make sense to.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-12T10:33:24.739Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Firstly, I'm replying to a comment by Impassionata...

I could make a similar claim, but this is a public forum last I checked.

... who I consider antisocial at best.

I'll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself regarding my other interlocutors.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-13T13:50:35.940Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I could make a similar claim, but this is a public forum last I checked.

This is a public forum, but it is also threaded. I don't think it is reasonable to ignore that context simply when convenient. Did I suggest that you regened on the social contract? No I didn't. I said she did. I don't think you have.

If you can tell me why regening on social contract isn't anti-social then I'm listening. If you want to tell me why you disagree with my position on that in regards to Impassionata's writings then I'm listening too. If you want me to clarify anything I've written, I can do that. All of those are entirely valid options here. 

I'll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself regarding my other interlocutors.

I don't know her and I never will. I'm talking about her position, not her. Anti-social isn't an insult in this context. If I wanted to insult her then believe me when I say anti-social isn't what I'd run with.

Do opposing parties have to like each other to reach solutions that avert or reduce violence (which is what happens when people won't talk)? No, they don't. In fact, the most important thing is reaching agreement in spite of animus.

In light of that, explain to me why I should care about anyone's feelings and esteem in preference to having a discussion, let alone a discussion about how to get people that hate each other not to kill each other?

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-14T20:50:02.297Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

explain to me why I should care about anyone's feelings and esteem

Because doing so aligns with a principle of avoiding unnecessary harm, for a start. Also because it facilitates better communication when you are making an effort to avoid creating more animosity.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-15T15:48:03.574Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Because doing so aligns with a principle of avoiding unnecessary harm, for a start.

Words are not magic spells. You don't just say something and magically change a person's psyche. Magic isn't real (but tricks can be).

There is literally nothing I could ever say to you that will cause you tangible harm. Furthermore, I can't cause you offence because that's a voluntary choice (or at least one that can be made so with mindfulness).

Also because it facilitates better communication when you are making an effort to avoid creating more animosity.

Ignoring that animosity is a fundamental aspect of this particular conversation regarding how to deal with negotiation in the presence of that very thing, what makes you think I can deceive you that well?

My mantra on LW seems to be we are not friends, nor will we ever be. I don't think I can successfully lie about that, furthermore I don't think I should have to lie about that, both for my own benefit as a matter of honesty, and for you because I don't think lying to people is a good way to have good faith conversations. 

You and I are very different. Probably neurobiologically, now that I think about it. You seem like you have a fully functioning limbic system, I probably don't (as a result of mental illness and medication for the same). I say I don't care, but an interesting question is whether I even can care in the way you do. 

The fastest way to end animosity is to resolve the causes rather than focus on the animosity itself. I have been in many situations where people want to tell me how they feel and their life story when it is a situation that can be fixed without reference to that and they can be sent on their way. I can appreciate why not everyone would favour that, but it has worked many times for me. That being said, I'm mentally ill and I'm very used to my emotions having nothing to do with reality. As such, I place very little value in them.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-15T16:14:57.861Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is literally nothing I could ever say to you that will cause you tangible harm.

You, who have read so much history, believe that words cannot cause harm? That's an interesting conclusion.

Ignoring that animosity is a fundamental aspect of this particular conversation

I don't think existing animosity should be ignored. It's very important to acknowledge all the conditions when participating in any conversation, if at all possible. Rather, we should work to avoid creating new animosity, partly for the sake of communication and partly to avoid being even partly responsible for the harms that come to others as a result of our words. We likely won't be successful all the time, because wise speech is hard to do. But, like with everything else, the surest way to fail is to not try at all.

Moreover, I find that the exchange of ideas meets less friction when I try to not antagonize others. That's the goal of conversation, is it not?

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-18T00:15:43.421Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You, who have read so much history, believe that words cannot cause harm? That's an interesting conclusion.

Lots of things cause tangible harm but speech isn't one of them. Even if speech could cause tangible harm then its utility in preventing the same would far outweigh any cost incurred by that. The public forum must be open to so-called harmful speech because the solution to that is more speech. You kill bad ideas with good ideas, not with censorship.

Now, if you are talking about speech as a (mistaken) synonym of persuasion and indoctrination that's a different story. It's not the tool that is the problem here. The words don't matter nearly as much as you'd think. What matters is psychology married with malignant intent. This is something I have had done to me. I know how to do to others, and won't, even to the smallest degree and even though it would benefit me greatly. I do not invite evil into my own house.

It's very important to acknowledge all the conditions when participating in any conversation, if at all possible.

Irreconcilable differences and permanent animus are the conditions here. This is about how to negotiate with others when tolerating their evil within your tribe is never going to be on the table.

I don't know what the most hostile negotiation you've ever been involved in consisted of, but mine wasn't at a table and it lasted less than a couple of minutes. When you credibly tell someone "Go ahead and I'll fucking kill you" and that ends without homicide then that's a successful negotiation between parties with fundamentally irreconcilable differences. They wanted to hurt me, I told them I'd hurt them far more, neither party ended up hurting either. All fangs get bared more than used for a very good reason.

Rather, we should work to avoid creating new animosity, partly for the sake of communication and partly to avoid being even partly responsible for the harms that come to others as a result of our words. 

In this context, it's too late. 

When you know your opponents want to harm you (as demonstrated by concrete actions like silencing your speech, denying your access to basic market services like banking, constant fighting words from their talking heads, etc.) then when someone comes along on that side and says "I don't think animosity helps" then my response to that is "Roll back your harms immediately and I'll respect your claim of good intent". 

You show good faith with action, not empty lip service. It would be trivial for team blue to create peace on the spot: 

  1. Mandate certain public facing companies (social media, financial services, etc.) over a certain size to be subject to offering compelled service. 

    You cannot cast out people for having beliefs you don't agree with and then be surprised when they form their own groups and go on to represent a credible threat to you.
  2. No proceedings against their enemies and immediate pardons for everyone they've gone after already.

    Taking a one time hit on 'justice' is preferable to creating martyrs and eroding faith in your leadership and your office.

Everything else can be squabbled over afterwards, you just need to give people enough of a crumb that they can at least see the possibility of working this out without violence.

I find that the exchange of ideas meets less friction when I try to not antagonize others. That's the goal of conversation, is it not?

Not here. It's too late for civility when you're already in the middle of a war. 

This is about organising the breakup of America. You can do that amicably or violently, but it's a divorce either way.

Peace isn't a product of liking others, or agreement, peace is a product of having alternatives to killing people you hate. Peace doesn't require concord, only armistice.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-14T18:36:46.795Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is a public forum, but it is also threaded

You're right; I hit reply from the notification without checking. My bad.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-11T21:54:24.998Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I missed a bit.

They won't if we don't have the will or the courage to do anything about it. Reach across that divide!

Again, fundamental ideological differences will prevent that.

The most fundamental difference of all is the most critical: Do you believe that your principles and views should be voluntary for others, and that they should only apply to the extent to which they consent? 

Clearly some law and custom must be universal, but what should that be? Simply teasing out that question between you and I would likely reveal an ideological gulf that is hard to conceive of bridging. I don't have any problem with that discussion but I'm also not going to have realistic expectations about outcomes.

Neither of us are dumb, and neither of us have ill intent. Both of us likely have far more exposure to the ideological underpinnings of what we'd be talking about. So if we cannot reach a concord then what hope do ordinary people with so much less to work with have?

This is really hard. Quite possibly too hard. Again, it's the word or the sword, but neither of us gets to decide that for everyone (or even ourselves).

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-11T00:16:35.750Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Without Trump the alternative reality will collapse and subside.

I hope you're right about that! And I hope the State will treat its citizens better than others it labels Terrorist. I've heard Guantanamo isn't a great place to be. That aside, Trump only used and amplified existing fears and divisions, he didn't have to invent any of it. Those long term issues are what we need to work on.

Healing won't happen through conversation... the State operates through a much longer timeframe than individual humans.

We can operate on longer time frames by getting better at conversation, at admitting when we're wrong, and by acting as though our actions can have a small but lasting cumulative effect. If we don't even try, then you're definitely right. If we do try, there's a chance we could do better.

The State will pave over this entire thing so deftly it will be as if it never happened.

Here, I think we fully agree. I can't wait to see how history books treat this in a decade or two!

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-10T23:18:13.539Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

What is it that Trump has done, when looked at through the lens of compassion?

What is it that Trump has done, when looked at through other lenses? 

The people who supported Trump did so because they're not driven by care based morality, but by justice based morality. This is a typical left/right split. This is the difference between the swaddling mother and the protection of the patriarch.

Not everyone is like you. Nor are they wrong, stupid, or evil for not being you.

Trump has nurtured a paranoid false reality in which people are helpless victims of a Hostile and Malevolent State.

Did Russian interference happen? Were they really mostly peaceful protestors? How many insurrections are carried out by unarmed people (including a viking) that mess up some offices and post to social media instead of burning the building to the ground?

Tell me how many fascist dictators get slandered and censored in their own countries by private companies and do nothing about that?

There's what people see and there's what people think they see. 

It ends when we identify the real fears and concerns that allowed Trump to take advantage, and we solve or dissolve them.

That isn't going to happen, the worldviews are irreconcilable at this point. 

What is the element of unity which all can centre around? It's not going to be patriotism, religion, or culture, so what will it be? Even nationality has been devalued to the point of meaningless. You talk about neighbours, but your neighbours are likely ideological carbon copies of you. You could probably drive thirty minutes outside your socio-economic bubble and into a neighbourhood where everyone hates you and everything you stand for. Hell, you can go places in the US where English is the foreign language.

If we continue to allow events to take their course, we may find ourselves in a civil war.

It's already begun. The only question is how hot it gets.

The thing about history is that people think that just because it takes five minutes to read it took five minutes to write. All those civil wars in the past? Look up the start and end dates, and then understand that those dates were the start and end of open hostilities and not when people were beginning to be unserved by their governments.

working against the possibility of another event like the one that desecrated one of its most sacred spaces and threatened the safety of its members.

It's not a church and nor should it be treated like one. The demos in democracy literally means people, not subservient flock. I don't agree with what went down, but I'm not about to pretend it was heresy.

As for the safety of its members, considering that the military declined requests for troops and the DC police chief issued a hands off I'd be looking more at them. That being said, given how hated America is I would have expected a building like that to have fully armed rapid reaction squads. Where were they? The whole thing stinks of unanswered questions at this point.

Corporations have begun to help.

Out of the goodness of their hearts, no doubt. 

Remember how I said there is more than one reality?

The State cannot take such actions, bound as it is to respect Freedom of Speech. We are lucky in this case that corporations have no such principles, though they failed to act early enough to prevent tragedy.

There's a reason that safe harbour is an ongoing bone of contention. The only way that carriers get safe harbour is if they don't editorialise (of which censorship is a part).

As for preventing tragedy, you do understand that algorithmic engagement is driven most effectively by anger, right? Silicon Valley gets rich off catering to that. They know that they'll never be able to shut all dissent down, and they're glad - as long as there's enough discord to keep the wheels turning the money keeps flowing.

To the State, we must make it clear that we expect compassion for those who have been driven to violence by Trump's paranoid delusion.

Oh please. We've already seen open calls for struggle sessions and gulags, and even Biden has dropped the token conciliatory (or rather surrender) narrative from his speeches. This shit is about to get very ugly.

comment by Impassionata · 2021-01-11T06:57:52.181Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Remember how I said there is more than one reality?

If you believe there is more than one reality I think you have become confused.  Notice your confusion.  

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-11T22:20:45.473Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I wrote a nice long reply and then I remembered Plato's Cave exists.

If you believe that there's only one way of seeing things, that corresponds to actual reality perfectly, and that you understand that in a way that is infallible then I think you need to be at least twenty years older than you are.

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-12T10:28:47.053Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The Cave explains that there is only one reality, but that your perception is limited. I actually think that is an extremely apt parable.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-13T14:25:58.591Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Well, that's not an ambiguous statement at all. /s

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-11T01:34:16.825Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The people who supported Trump did so because they're not driven by care based morality, but by justice based morality. This is a typical left/right split. This is the difference between the swaddling mother and the protection of the patriarch.

the worldviews are irreconcilable at this point

Remember how I said there is more than one reality?

"Correspondence bias [? · GW] (also known as the fundamental attribution error) is the tendency to overestimate the the contribution of lasting traits and dispositions in determining people's behavior, as compared to situational effects. We might see someone kicking a vending machine, and conclude they're an inherently angry person. But maybe they just failed a test, had their driving license revoked, and had the machine eat their money for the third time this week. We think of the other person as an evil mutant and ourselves as righteous actors."

They're still people, Stuart. They still deserve as much dignity and respect as you and I. These happen to be scared people. There are ways to handle scared. If we don't even try to de-escalate, then we've already failed.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-12T02:40:20.969Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't have to worry about bias here when it comes to my own ideological framework. I can tell you what I believe and why, and how that aligns more closely with what Trump captures than with establishment politics. From your perspective I am a Trump supporter, although that is something of a misnomer because I support the ideas rather than the individual. Someone better than Trump comes along with similar politics then I'm happy to get behind them instead.

So, Trump supporters are not scared, they're angry. They're sick of being spat on, transparently lied to, economically hollowed out, and expected to go along quietly with all of that. They are sick of being told their values are garbage, their country is worthless, and that they are deplorable

Why do you think Make America Great Again resonated with so many? There's a vast swath of people that reject the negative messaging of the left. They don't share those values, they think those values are what fucked the country up. 

They still deserve as much dignity and respect as you and I. 

From where I'm sitting there's a steady diet of denigration from politicians and the media that has been going on for four years now, and will not stop. Nazi, white supremacist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, a basket of deplorables ... where have I heard that before? 

Actions speak louder than words. So, what has the heir apparent and his court done to bring conciliation? What could he even do if he were so inclined?

If we don't even try to de-escalate, then we've already failed.

It's already happened. It happened at least four years ago, probably more. That was the impact, this is the shockwave.

As for de-escalation, tell me what you're willing to give up and we'll start with that. Otherwise what do you have to offer to bring people to the table?

Furthermore, if you can't tell me what's wrong for these people then good luck trying to offer them anything to remedy that. Assuming I'm correct in my claims about this being about anger, what do you think is the genesis of that anger and how would you go about resolving it? 

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-01-12T10:27:39.506Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't have to worry about bias here when it comes to my own ideological framework.

That's an extremely worrying statement. I strongly suggest you examine it closely.

comment by Stuart Anderson (stuart-anderson) · 2021-01-13T14:34:50.698Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

All political views are biases by definition. 

All I'm saying here is that I can explain my politics clearly if necessary, in and this example how that might broadly relate to Trump supporters as a group.

Don't read any more into it than that.