"Here we are again," K said as she took the familiar turn off to the airport. At least it's not a red-eye this time. Two weeks home. Very nice. I'll be home for a day or two at a time until late October.
Busy is good.
The political silly season is on, and it is a showcase for tribal, monkey-brained limbic-system thinking. Very little neocortex activity is involved. If their side says it, it is evil and reprehensible; if our side says the exact same thing it is wise or the only option or...
This has been hard. I predicted a while ago that as the two major parties in the U.S. become even more similar, the rhetoric would have to get more heated. If there are no substantial differences you must emphasize the cosmetic ones to keep the tribal lines clear, after all.
I have a lot of very intelligent friends who I both admire and disagree with. If I ever agree with you on everything, the world doesn't need us both. But this election season has been ugly.
I've seen very intelligent, compassionate people indulge in something that they themselves would call bigoted hate-speech if the nouns were simply changed. Hate speech is not defined by the target, but by the manner.
I have read a best-selling author and a good man say that anyone not on his side (not the people who disagree with him, any individual who is not a member of his party) is 'stupid' and 'allergic to truth'.
One, possibly more insightful, did not want to discuss a subject because she did not want any facts shaking her beliefs.
And I have seen fine men of integrity spread lies...and no matter how much they want to believe the things they say are true, they weren't even subtle lies.
So here's some advice from the Conflict Communication model. It might be easier to grasp if you've taken the whole class.
If your monkey/tribal brain is working your human/thinking brain is not.
If you are feeling emotion, you are not thinking. That part of your brain is turned off.
If it is about who did or said it and not what was said, you are in your tribal brain.
If you label anyone, it is a tactic to put that person in another tribe specifically so that you don't have to listen to the content.
And one piece of advice not out of ConCom: People who disagree with you are rarely stupid. If you cannot effectively, compassionately and convincingly argue the other side's point of view, you are the one in your tribal brain. You are the stupid one.
Stay in the debate, but use your brain.
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