Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

Discussions about politics and goings on around the world. (Please keep discussions civil!)
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edwardmurphy
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Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#1

Post by edwardmurphy » Wed May 01, 2019 5:48 pm

I saw this on Quora and thought that it was really accurate. To be clear, I didn't write it.

Anyway, I'm curious what others think.
What is the biggest difference between White Republicans and White Democrats?

I’ve been mulling this over for a couple of days. Thought of a half dozen things that I discarded for being either trite, snide, or obvious.

I feel like I should be able to give some insight on this; my family and a lot of the people I grew up with in North Carolina are mostly white Republicans, and most of my friends in New York and from college are Democrats.

But after all that, here’s the best I’ve come up with. And, yes, “not all”. This is a generalization, and there are plenty of exceptions on both sides. And I’m going to try very hard not to make this a value judgment. Please don’t take this as me saying that Republicans are “wrong” because of these observations; they’re different, and it’s not that Democrats don’t have our own flaws, we just have different ones. And a lot of these traits are bad things sometimes, and good things at other times.

1. Shades of gray

2. Direct effect

3. Person vs. action

The people from “back home” I interact with are just like they were when I was growing up there. They like things in black and white (not a racial comment). That’s not to say that they’re simple, or stupid. They just want certainty. They want to think that the world follows a set of rules and things can be judged by those rules. And the rules don’t change, or at least don’t change quickly. Faulkner said of the South — and this is largely true because the area is so conservative — that the past isn’t dead; it’s not even past. Change happens among Republicans at a generational pace. I look at my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews and I see change across generations, but not much within a generation. And when there is change, it often seems to be because of personal effect. If a Republican’s attitudes toward, say, gay or trans people changes, it’s likely to be because someone they know personally has come out as gay or trans. Which leads into #3; in my experience, Republicans tend to decide that someone is good or bad, and interpret their actions from then on in that light. That’s why someone they know (and have already decided is “good”) coming out to them changes their attitude. Having decided that that person was “good”, they are willing to consider that being gay is at least not all bad because a “good” person is gay. It shows up in the alternative in the crusade against Hillary Clinton. They’ve decided that she is “bad”, so everything she does must be “bad”. But at the same time, they can be extremely loyal (which is often, but not always, a good thing). There is value to maintaining traditions.

Most of the Democrats I know are much more comfortable with uncertainty, with the idea that there simply aren’t rules that define life and morality in a clear way. They’re willing to live with shades of gray. They’re more open to change, more likely to have moved away from the place where they grew up, to be open to a variety of new experiences. When they travel, they’re more likely to try to “go native” because their sense of who they are isn’t as bound up with a set of rules (expectations). They look at other people differently, and realize that good people sometimes do bad things (and vice versa). We can take this to extremes, and find reasons to be offended that are sometimes pretty ridiculous. But at our best, we have a strong empathy for other people even if we haven’t personally experienced their pains. We do sometimes lead with our feelings instead of our brains, and can get a brutal comeuppance from the law of unintended consequences. We’re generally more prone to the “We must do something! This is something, therefore we must do it!” syndrome. We’re much more willing to throw our own under the bus (Al Franken, anyone?).

An example of the difference hit me after Elizabeth Warren proposed student loan forgiveness and I saw several conservatives criticizing the proposal on Twitter; they were all similar, and the one I remember best said that the program was a “slap in the face to people who have already paid off their loans.” I spent ten years paying off loans back in the 80s/90s, and I know it’s worse now for a lot of people. And my thought was the exact opposite. And it struck me that the Republican attitude to this kind of situation is “If I had to go through this misery, by God everybody else should have to,” while the Democratic attitude is “I had to go through this misery, and I think we should keep as many other people as possible from having to go through it.”
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Fliegender (Wed May 01, 2019 6:36 pm)
If you're accustomed to privilege equality may feel like oppression.

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu May 02, 2019 8:30 am

That's a racist question.

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#3

Post by Philip » Thu May 02, 2019 2:23 pm

Ed, there are a tremendous amount of Southern Republicans who are evangelical or Christian, and what they do is make value judgments upon whatever they think is morally right or wrong per a politicians policies, bent or history. But many are also realists, in that, they know that things aren't always easy to discern, between their personal sense of what is best or right, and the policies and actions of a particular politician. This same type of Christian often does not view themselves as aligning with the Republican Party, but tend to see no Democratic candidates they feel comfortable with. They are also often pragmatists, in that, they know that sometimes they must choose between really crappy choices, and so they see a difference between a flawed (and sometimes VERY flawed) candidate and one much more problematic. As for Southern Republicans who see things in much more black or white, they tend to be less educated or from small towns or rural areas.

BTW, I go to a whole church that includes a LOT of minorities - black, asian, hispanic - and I'd say our values line of very closely. And we don't all see eye to eye on politics.

I also happen to spend a lot of time up in MA, CT and RI - and I see a lot of the over 55 crowd becoming more conservative as they see many politicians leaning much further left. Many Democrats of the '70s, '80s and early '90s no longer feel much affection for the party they grew up with. This is why I don't think Biden can win his nomination.

And many voters on all sides of the aisle don't seem to understand the connections between important stances of politicians they favor.
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edwardmurphy (Thu May 02, 2019 6:07 pm)

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#4

Post by Kurieuo » Thu May 02, 2019 4:58 pm

Ed, I think it might do you good to drop politics for a year or two. As someone once told me, thinking-thinking can be unhealthy, and I think you overthink and it does your head in. It doesn't help US media is 95% about politics, which goads people into dividing political across various issues.

The way I feel, as things feel quite a lost cause in Australia right now to me (which I imagine is how many anti-Trump/anti-Republicans feel), start with things more in your more immediate power to make a difference. Most people worry about things they cannot change (or which would require them dedicating their lives to such to make a change), and end up ignore the more immediate things they can make positive differences on such as themselves, their family, homes...
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#5

Post by Philip » Thu May 02, 2019 6:06 pm

I agree with K. Just to add, people that place all of their hope in political solutions to make positive changes in society - well, that will ultimately and constantly have you in emotional upheaval. People tend to think, "If we just elected this person or that group, and got rid of this guy, that guy, and those people, passed this or that legislation, then we could start making some positive progress." After the election, I pretty much shut the TV talking heads off and monitor just enough to stay informed - cause listening to all of that relentless and irritating din will put me in a really foul mood!

And from a Christian perspective, I notice that Jesus and the apostles didn't talk a whole lot about political solutions - as instead, they emphasized changed hearts and minds, and seeking God. Because they knew, REAL change must begin within human hearts. Funny, their political silence came amidst horrific oppression by both the Romans and the Jewish religious authorities. Practicing kindness, respect and grace can begin with your own political boss (the guy in your mirror!).

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#6

Post by edwardmurphy » Fri May 03, 2019 11:07 am

The thing is, there are things that are going to happen whether I'm paying attention or not. My life and the lives of my children will be affected whether I pay attention or not. The only thing that I'll accomplish by ignoring politics is to yield the floor to people whose views and methods I find appalling.
If you're accustomed to privilege equality may feel like oppression.

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#7

Post by Philip » Fri May 03, 2019 2:23 pm

Ed: The only thing that I'll accomplish by ignoring politics is to yield the floor to people whose views and methods I find appalling.
There's a big difference between ignoring politics and obsessing over it. There is a line that many have emotionally crossed that is simply not healthy!

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#8

Post by edwardmurphy » Fri May 03, 2019 3:09 pm

Granted, but I don't think I've approached that line, much less crossed it.
If you're accustomed to privilege equality may feel like oppression.

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#9

Post by Fliegender » Fri May 03, 2019 6:35 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 11:07 am
... The only thing that I'll accomplish by ignoring politics is to yield the floor to people whose views and methods I find appalling.
By ignoring politics you could become a Trump supporter and your whole family could wear those cute red MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN baseball caps. You could drive around in a jalopy spitting out blue smoke from the tailpipe and not worry at all.

What's your problem anyway?
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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#10

Post by Philip » Fri May 03, 2019 7:22 pm

Ed: Granted, but I don't think I've approached that line, much less crossed it.
I dunno, Ed, you have now posted over 1,800 posts, and 91% of them have been in the "Politics and World Event's" forum. y:-? That's a record in that section. I'm getting a little concerned about you. :lol:

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Re: Interesting question on Quora (which is a great site):

#11

Post by edwardmurphy » Sat May 04, 2019 7:37 am

I'm not concerned. It's only an average of 1 post per day. Rick averages 6. I think we need to have an intervention.
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Philip (Sat May 04, 2019 6:04 pm)
If you're accustomed to privilege equality may feel like oppression.

Before you ask why ask if.

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction and the distinction between true and false no longer exist.

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