Being unpleasant to opponents in discussions of controversial topics is never a good idea if your position really matters to you
 Being unpleasant to opponents in discussions of controversial topics is never a good idea if your position really matters to you stories
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I have been on both sides of the political spectrum throughout my adult life. I was conservative at first, thanks to absorbing years of right wing talk radio around my super conservative dad. I absorbed not just the viewpoints but also the combative and insulting delivery of those viewpoints.
By beard_meat https://www.reddit.com/r/...

Being unpleasant to opponents in discussions of controversial topics is never a good idea if your position really matters to you

by beard_meat

I have been on both sides of the political spectrum throughout my adult life. I was conservative at first, thanks to absorbing years of right wing talk radio around my super conservative dad.

I absorbed not just the viewpoints but also the combative and insulting delivery of those viewpoints.

So, when later introduced to the Internet and its swamps of political discourse, I dove right in and acted just like a Swamp creature towards commies and libtards and the like.

I did, eventually, change just about all my views. Went from W. Bush to Bernie Sanders, where I presently feel most comfortable, politically speaking.

It wasn't any ugly liberal invective which changed me but life experience. What didn't change was my propensity to engage opponents from a bad place.

People who had views exactly like those I once had were now enemies to be defeated.

And there is a visceral kind of thrill when you actually do manage to shut such a person down with the right amount of bile and, what seems on the surface, a well-reasoned rhetorical thrust.

You really can't find many better examples of a worthless victory.

If I affected any change in anybody doing this, it was to make myself look like an asshole to anybody who isn't doing exactly the same thing I am doing, and for sure,

my 'enemy' has only entrenched further into beliefs I find abhorrent.

It is easy to insult a person and it does provide a base thrill. It does satisfy something animal in the heart.

It also contributes to the erosion of intelligent discourse and the dehumanization of people who are mostly like you but for differing views. And it only hurts whatever cause you want to promote.

Ask questions. Give a person the benefit of the doubt. Having a bad opinion doesn't mean the person is bad or wants to make others suffer.

Learn about what makes them afraid and you will learn why it makes them angry. Share your experiences and empathize.

And if it doesn't work, move on.

Edit: looks like I made someone feel gilty. Thanks, you.

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