Why Discussion and Reasoning Have Failed

Want to know why communicating with people on the other side has become so difficult? Well, everyone focuses on the outrageous things Rush Limbaugh says, but if you listen to his show, you can see that underneath all the nonsense, what he’s doing is teaching people the dirty tricks of rhetoric and debate. He’s been showing his listeners how to trip people up with manufactured double binds, sentences crafted to allow you to believe something other than what is being communicated, gaslighting, diversion, red flags and other tactics which are used to turn communication into a weapon for dominance.

Which leads us to the core conflict that many people seem to have missed. The issue is that Trump supporters and the radical right are playing a power game, pure and simple. The rest of us are out here talking about issues, right and wrong, what’s best for the country, etc and can’t figure out why things like facts, morality and reality don’t mean anything to these people. Well, that’s because they are concerned with dominance, period, amen, end of story. Their dominance has been threatened by the rest of us and they want it back. There’s really nothing more to it than that.

Obviously, this is a big problem that we’re going to be working to change for a while, but in the meantime I for one am done playing this game where I try to reason with people whose only real concern is maintaining the dominant position. Aren’t you tired of playing the game? What’s going on in the world is not a game. We aren’t moving chess pieces on a board to determine who gets to be dominant. It’s bullshit.

If you’re tired too, just stop playing. Stop explaining every freaking thing you say, answering every objection and taking the bait for every diversionary red flag. Refuse to engage unless they are willing to do in a genuine way and not just with an eye towards domination. Because ultimately, this is how we beat their stupid, pathetic, childish game: you stop playing it with them.

Our Disgusting Government in Action

Perhaps you heard about a recent Supreme Court action on employment discrimination law.  In a case of clear cut pay discrimination, Goodyear Tire Co. was able to get out of being held responsible for their discrimination against women because the woman who filed the suit did not file the suit within 180 days of the original decision to pay her substantially less than men with the same experience were making for the same job.  Of course, since she didn’t find out how much less she was making than the men at the company until she had already been there for 19 years, it would have been impossible to file within the 180 day time frame.

The 5-4 majority in the case said they made their decision not on the basis of what they thought was right, but on their reading of the law as written.  Justice Ginsberg read a dissent from the bench calling on congress to fix the law.

Now, one would think that this is a no-brainer.  If companies are discriminating against employees on the basis of gender or race or what not, then they are breaking the law and should be held accountable.  Since companies don’t generally publish everyone’s salaries, it may well take some time for a person to realize that they are being paid less for the same work and even more time to figure out if this is a pattern.  And hopefully, we don’t all walk into the workplace trying to figure out if we were offered an appropriate salary or if we’re being screwed.  However, congress couldn’t put together a bill to fix this blazingly obvious problem with the law as it now stands.

F’ing ridiculous.  These money grubbing son-of-a-guns don’t give a rat’s behind about the people they are supposed to be representing.  They refuse to fix even the most elemental of problems.  I’m probably too cynical, but I think this might be the first presidential election of my adult life that I don’t cast a vote in.  Personally, I have just lost faith in our government.  I can think of literally dozens of examples off the top of my head where everyone from the average joe to the think-tank eggheads have a decent idea of what we ought to be doing – from farm subsidies to ethanol to money for oil companies to health insurance to torture to this sort of stuff.  But the good men and women who have been elected to represent us can’t pull their heads out of the money pots someone’s shoved up their behinds long enough to do the right things.  It has probably been a decade since congress has done one thing that mattered, much less gotten it right.

What was that old Thomas Jefferson wrote back when – “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”  So, really, how many of us have consented to this crap?  If someone could think of a way to actually clean the cesspool that is Washington DC out, I’d be on board.