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Pass the pie and shut your piehole: Almost a third of Minnesotans have stopped talking to someone due to politics

"Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell
National Archives and Records Administration
"Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell
As Americans come together for Thanksgiving, they are divided: a recent Harris Poll for the Instacart Grocery Delivery Company found almost half of Americans find the canned variety of cranberries “disgusting.”

Politics has become one of the other polarizing elements of the holiday. Though most Minnesotans — about seven of every 10 — talk politics with family and friends at least once a week, over a third of have stopped talking with at least one person due to politics, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Polarization is to blame, says Paul Goren, chair of the University of Minnesota’s Political Science Department. President Donald Trump has a “unique ability to fire up Republicans and alienate Democrats,” Goren said. 

But Trump’s election is a consequence, not the cause, of such polarization, said Goren. America’s divisions have been growing wider for several decades, with politics becoming more about winning and less about solving problems, which manifests in our political conversations. Rather than having civil discussions that seek common ground or at least end with agreement to disagree, talk devolves into a competition to come out on top.


Grant Rockwood, a Republican of Minneapolis, is in that one-third. He stopped talking with his mother over their political disagreements for months. But he is joining his family for Thanksgiving in Elk River, bringing a new girlfriend and crossing his fingers that politics doesn’t make the menu. “I don’t need to go there,” he said.

The poll was conducted for the Hubbard School by Strategic Research Group, an Ohio-based strategic research firm. Results are based on 707 completed responses from a representative sample of Minnesotans who were invited to participate using an address-based approach. The responses were collected Oct. 2 through Oct. 31. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, though margins are larger when breaking down subgroups of the sample. 

According to the U survey, strong partisans were more likely to cut off communicating over politics: 44 percent compared to 27 percent among those who are not strong partisans. 

Q: Is there anyone you have stopped talking with due to disagreements about politics?
A: Yes
Note: Share of respondents shown with margin of error.
Source: University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication survey, conducted by Strategic Research Group

The survey also suggests suburban Minnesotans were less likely to have cut ties over politics than their urban and rural counterparts, though the results fell within the margins of error. Just 26 percent reported that they quit talking to someone over politics. That compares to 32 percent of rural residents and 39 percent of urbanites.

Q: Is there anyone you have stopped talking with due to disagreements about politics?
A: Yes
Note: Share of respondents shown with margin of error.
Source: University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication survey, conducted by Strategic Research Group

“There’s more churn, more diversity, and so it’s easier to find people who disagree with you in the suburbs, but because there’s more of them, maybe it’s not quite so judgmental,” Goren said. 

Democrats who responded to the survey were more likely to have stopped talking to someone than were Republicans, though the difference is also within the margin of error. 

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that “people with down-the-line ideological positions – especially conservatives – are more likely than others to say that most of their close friends share their political views.” The survey also found that “partisan animosity has increased substantially” over the previous two decades.

In Wisconsin, the Marquette Law School has been asking similar questions of registered voters for several years. In August 2018, the most recent time it was asked, 18 percent of respondents said they had stopped talking to someone because of political disagreements.

Minde Frederick, a Democrat from Minneapolis, said she tends to avoid certain people not just because it can be uncomfortable, but because “right or wrong, I don’t necessarily want to hear their opinion.” She said politics will come up on Thanksgiving Day though “because my mom and I won’t be able to help ourselves.” Then again, they tend to agree, she added.


Helping people discuss politics constructively has become a bit of a cottage industry. NBC News suggests nine tips for doing so. The New York Times has 10. Most such lists include better listening and less judging; arguing from a position of respect for the other person; and trying to understand rather than convince. 

The Better Arguments Project, created by several groups including The Aspen Institute, aims to bridge ideological divides “by teaching Americans how to have better arguments.” 

Eric Liu, executive director of the Institute’s Citizenship & American Identity program, lists three steps, and one of them is, surprisingly, to argue more. “We don’t need fewer arguments today; we need less stupid ones,” Liu wrote for The Atlantic. 

That means getting past the two-party style of debate and arguing over deeper, foundational aspirations for the country. But the first step to getting there is listening, according to Liu. “I don’t mean ‘debater’s listening,’ in which you pay only enough attention to get the gist of the other person’s point so you can prepare your rebuttal. I mean radically compassionate listening: without judgment, without response,” he wrote. 

The second step: “doing stuff together,” such as community or national service to focus on the needs of others rather than on our own differences. “ . . . Whatever it is, if it brings people together across lines of race, class, and politics, it will bring to the fore our common humanity.”

More argument isn’t what many Minnesotans will be looking for as they pass the gravy this week, however. Several said they’ll be serving up political talk only among guests with shared ideology. When company is bipartisan, they tend to dampen debate.

“I appreciate healthy dialogue,” said Annissa Ulbrich, a Democrat from Winona. “This is just kind of getting out of control crazy, and it makes it very hard to have a civil conversation.”


Still, as Ulbrich enjoys her Thanksgiving meal, she is sure politics will come up. Despite voting for Democrats his whole life, her dad supports Trump, she said. Her brother does too, and he is more opinionated. “I always think it is hard to argue or discuss politics with somebody that’s supporting this particular administration,” Ulbrich said. “It’s not technically having a conversation.”

But there are Trump supporters who are also eager to avoid the topic. Curt Kaderlik, a Republican from Owatonna, said he often calls the White House to tell Trump “what a great job he is doing.” But the 78-year-old will try to avoid the topic on Thursday even though it will just be him and his “better half.”

“She is a staunch Democrat,” he said. “We’d get world war three going here … so I don’t dare mention Trump. She hates his guts.”

Dylan Anderson is a student at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. This story and the survey cited were funded in part by an endowment in the name of the late Mitchell Charnley, a professor and expert in news reporting and broadcast journalism who died in 1991. 

Comments (81)

  1. Submitted by Misty Martin on 11/27/2019 - 11:40 am.

    I understand this article completely – I am actually dreading Thanksgiving tomorrow as I will be entering “Trump Country” among my husband’s many relatives – my own sisters live out of state and agree with me as non- Trumpers, so I am all by myself in a sea of red, and I’m not talking about cranberries here. I just pray that I can contain myself and bite my tongue, which might make eating a bit difficult, but I don’t wish to alienate myself with this family, and they support President Trump all the way! It wouldn’t matter what he did – they would still support him. If only Richard Nixon had had this kind of support, he’d never have resigned from the presidency in lieu of impeachment. Am I right?!? He’s probably turning over in his grave by now . . .

  2. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/27/2019 - 02:04 pm.

    I recently attended the 17th annual non-partisan party at a well-known attorney’s home. The party was set up by a former high ranking Democrat to bring together people of diverse political ideologies in a casual and festive atmosphere to share ideas and talk about ideas with people of other political parties. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know people of other backgrounds. I am a long-standing Democrat who shared twenty years of my life as a member of the board of directors of a DFL senate district in the Minneapolis area.

    I spoke to many Republicans, and we were able to discuss things in a civil and considerate manner. After several minutes of chatting, we either focused on our food — pizza, pie, spare ribs, and other things — or thanked the person for their conversation and moved on to the next person. I have attended ten of these parties in past years.

    When I speak and ask questions, I take the stand that others have a right to their opinion, and indulge them in conversation. If they become too combative, which rarely happens at these parties, I simply say, “I enjoyed our conversation; let’s talk later,” and get up and move on to either another conversation, or go to the food and drink area, and later sit down for a relaxing period of meditation.

    It is important to note that becoming combative is very anti-social. Tailoring one’s conversation to the likely level of comfort of the other person is very important. The adage, “It is easier to attract flies to honey rather than to vinegar,” applies. Those who have to become the center of attention by raising their voices and becoming boisterous are generally not worth anyone’s time and should consider their position as being empty.

    My conversations with Republicans show me that I have more in common with them than otherwise. I consider myself a centrist, however, and am open to those people who considerately voice their notions without being on the attack.

    Parties represented at B’s home include Socialist, Pirate, Green, Democrat, and Republican. No one has become too inebriated to remain in good stead with the host or his guests, and non-alcoholic beverages are also served — which I, myself, use not because I am a prude, but due to a medical condition which dictates that I remain free of alcohol. Since 2006, I have had just one flute of champagne, and that was at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the opening of University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. I felt that one small glass of alcohol, to toast the opening, with then President Kaler, would not compromise me, so I enjoyed, and “how sweet it was!”

    The reason the gentleman who started these parties at his private home in South Minneapolis did begin having them was because he realized that people often do not have an opportunity to get to know others from other political parties on a social level; he recognized that what often enough goes on in the legislature is a lot of posturing, and he wanted to help people talk to one another in a considerate and civil manner. His idea has worked. I have never heard an angry tone uttered in the many hours of attendance at these parties.

    Apart from the cat dander that affected my comfort (I began to sneeze a lot) while sitting in his comfortable sofa near the roaring fireplace, I had a great time this year, speaking to one Hennepin County justice and an Anoka County commissioner. State representatives and senators, commissioners, justices, and party leaders have joined these parties and added to the conversation in low key ways. Getting to know one another’s background, out of the political sphere, is enjoyable.

    Others around the Twin Cities and outstate Minnesota may want to consider having similar parties — placing an emphasis on friendly environments and low-key conversations. What works at B’s home is that people are intentionally considerate to one another. Clique groups do have their place at the party, but they are open to welcoming others into the conversation. The emphasis is on getting to know one anothers’ ideas, as well as getting to know them as people, not as targets.

    I look forward to next year, and will remember to not sit in B’s cat’s’ favorite place.

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/27/2019 - 03:56 pm.

      To add a note of the rules for B’s parties:

      No political literature may be disseminated at his parties, and no political speeches may be made. The even is low key and festive. With the fireplace roaring, and various rooms in his home available for conversation, these parties make meeting people from various ideologies and persuasions attractive.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/28/2019 - 10:49 am.

        I’m glad you had a nice time at your party. Many diplomats reported that Hitler and Goebbels could be quite charming at social gatherings. You guys are all one big happy family until it comes time to vote and run the government or even discuss consequential topics instead aside from food and sports. Yes, Fascists are people too… thanks for the report.

        • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/28/2019 - 07:35 pm.

          Paul, I’m a little distressed by your cynicism. By exposing ourselves to one another, we take with us an understanding of common values as well as values which we have developed based on our understanding and belief of what society needs.

          Without these opportunities, we cannot adequately grow and become aware of the sensitivities of both ourselves and what others from similar and dissimilar persuasions are thinking.

          As a Democrat who has read about the activities of the Watergate complex break-in, I always thought that Richard Nixon was indeed “a crook.” I looked at one series of events and relations that he had the showed criminal intent and criminal behavior by his friends and colleagues.

          It wasn’t until I began to realize that some of the Republicans were similar in viewpoints on some issues as me, leaning to the moderate-to-left-of center (if we should continue using this dichotomy as a model for our references) that I began to explore political history a little further and decided to look at what good a historic figure, such as Dick Nixon, had accomplished and how he came to his understanding of what, early in his presidential life, was ‘good’ — realizing as you must that I was aware that my dad had some sort of acquaintance or friendship with President Johnson’s vice president, Hubert Horatio Humphrey’s son, Skip, who was one of our attorney generals…and that I grew up down the block from later U.S. vice president Fritz Mondale and attended the same summer camp as Bill (“Chip”) and Ted Mondale (who I have never personally met, but am aware that my brother had a friendship or acquaintance with Eleanor and her boyfriend at First Avenue/Seventh Street Entry and elsewhere. I place them above me as they have risen to greater heights of establishment than myself, and I am naturally humble, but very talkative when I get started.

          Here, for your review, is an article about how Nixon found it necessary to begin the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (The EPA), that our current Republican president and candidate for president is trying to undue efforts by those who were later marred by their scandalous activities:

          https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/richard-nixon-and-the-rise-of-american-environmentalism

          Happy Thanksgiving, Paul.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2019 - 09:13 am.

            Happy Thanksgiving to you as well Barry,

            This is 2019, Trump is not Nixon, nor are Trump Republicans Nixon Republicans.

            We have a holiday party for my wife’s co-workers every year and several Republican’s always show up. We never come to blows. If I see someone in distress I will help them regardless of their Party affiliation, I don’t ask anyone who is stuck in a snowbank or drowning who they voted for. I wave all my neighbors and lend them my tools and assistance whenever I see them in need, I have no idea who they vote for. We don’t need to attend elite Parties to make such mundane observations or practice basic decency.

            We’re not talking about superficial social interactions or emergencies here, we’re talking about people who are literally attacking our fellow Americans. We’re talking about people who are attacking our democracy, and our rules of law. Yeah, you can talk to anyone as long as you avoid disagreements.

            • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/29/2019 - 02:53 pm.

              Paul,

              Thank you for your reply. I read today that a woman who is running against Ilhan Omar, from the Republican Party, used Twitter to post some very unsettling comments and a post suggesting that Ilhan should die. That opponent, due to her violent posts, was removed from Twitter.

              I have known Ilhan since before she went into the political arena as a candidate. I don’t agree with all of her notions, but find her to be a considerate woman.

              Please understand that people who ‘rise’ to power start at some point below what is ‘risen.’ I am currently reading a biography of Walter Mondale, and see that his early life was not so easy — nor that of his dad, Rev. Theodore Mondale. He did not start as an ‘elite.’ In fact, far from it.

              People who ‘make it’ in politics start at the bottom of the campaign and caucus life, and rise because they work their tails off and gain insight and wisdom.

              Fritz Mondale did this as a student at Macalester College, which he had to leave because his family didn’t have enough money to send him there after his third year; so, he took time off, and later returned to University of Minnesota and focused on his studies.

              His ‘elite’ status came as he showed himself to be a valuable campaign worker and fund-raiser.

              I do not consider myself to be an ‘elite’ member of society, but attend the party that I mentioned as I am interested in politics and have been involved in my precinct caucuses and was later invited to serve on the central committee and board of directors of my senate district — voting for budgets, sharing a little insight of my own with my colleagues.

              I ultimately left the board due to the inflexibility and disdain I received from mostly female members of the board when I intimated on three occasions that a) I was raped and sexually molested by three women in my 20’s (I am now in my mid-50’s and haven’t dated in three decades), b) that our district should take up this concern as one in six men and boys are raped and molested (conservatively understood, as men and boys generally do not talk about these things), and c) women have been outwardly speaking of these things for decades and received the same blowback that I received. I realized that these ‘women’ were not interested in behaving as mature adults and caring about men and boys; and that I had earlier experienced mature and caring people on the board.

              The chairwoman of the board later resigned, as did the treasurer, another woman who was incapable of correctly and professionally doing her job. I served for twenty years, and had never experienced such unprofessional behavior until after our former longtime chair left the board as he intended on moving out of the district.

              I resigned my position in both the district and am no longer considering myself a member of the DFL given their rude, unprofessional, and hypocritical treatment of me, as the DFL platform talks about treating people equally, and that they are against the kind of actions which I received from three women in my twenties. They failed to be true Democrats.

              For more information on the stories of men, please review http://www.1in6.org, which starts out with women reading the stories of men(including a military non-com’s story).

              Paul, the notion of ‘elite’ suggests that people are ‘superior.’ The folks in politics, as in any endeavor, become ‘superior’ (if they are in fact superior), because the show up, assist, and develop confidence in themselves — and sometimes they develop an arrogant sense of themselves.

              Some people in politics are extremely superior negotiators, organizers, speakers and writers, and have developed insight into what is needed for our nation to flourish. Our nation is number one in military might, but has slipped in many other indicators — including happiness as an indicator.

              Please review: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-to-move-if-you-want-to-be-happy-2018-03-15 for more information on who are the happiest people in the world, and note that the U.S., in 2018, ranked 18th.

              Having lived in Norway and Denmark for a year in the mid-1980’s, I can tell you that they are not as hung up on many of the issues that Americans consider ‘worthy’ of their time worrying over. (The kids I went to school with varied from being from working class and middle class kids to members of the Norwegian royal family; Grette, King Olav V’s second cousin, was a humorous and delightful young woman who lived her life as Grette, not as someone who felt that she was better than others. She did not behave as an ‘arrogant elite,’ as you may be concerned. She was very natural and considerate to people, and was an easy person to get along with — as opposed to a young woman whose grandfather had been prime minister of Norway and who was very selective and removed from most people.

              I attended the school for two reasons, initially: 1) during Aquatennial 1984, our family hosted a few people associated with the Norwegian marching band that performed in the Aquatennial; and those people thought that my journal, which was over 1200 pages by August, was interesting, and 2) my parents were more than happy to get rid of me and pay for the time as I was beginning to experience bipolar depression and anxiety, and was at times out of control with being talkative and needy; so they said, “Barry would LOVE to go to school in Norway.” Essentially, my wealthy parents, who rarely paid for anything that was extremely expensive, wanted to get rid of me for a year. (I will say, that my parents were kind to me over many years, and that they paid for my brother, sister, and myself to attend private Catholic high schools; although I was severely beaten at my high school and had to go to the hospital for several weeks given fear, anxiety, and depression).

              I was working as a telephone operator at the time, for Northwestern Bell Telephone, the Baby Bell which held monopoly over telecommunications in this region. I had plans to attend University of Minnesota beginning the following January — which I would pay for by myself with earned income and student loans. I earlier attended a year at Macalester College, and was invited back by classmates, friends, and professors for two more years until I went to Europe.

              I attended the school in Norway, had a great year, and invite others to attend to see Norway and other parts of Europe and Africa, as the school, full of “elite’ and non-elite students, travels to Africa, if they choose that elective, to help in villages and to see life from a vastly different perspective of needing to care for others who are wonderful people, but extremely poor.

              For information on the school, please review:

              https://elverumfhs.no/norwegian/

              So, Paul, please consider that you can become ‘elite’ if you put time into your community as I did. I do not consider myself ‘elite’ — as I’m certain most others from at least the Democratic side do not consider themselves ‘elite’ from the perspective of just caring to help make the community more comfortable.

              I am in one of the lowest income brackets — due to having bouts of depression and anxiety which earlier interrupted my work-life. I would love to learn how to work from my apartment, on the telephone and Internet, to make an income. I am currently assisting Chinese professionals with advanced degrees; they desire to learn how to effectively pronounce English and have conversations in English as a well understood person. This brings in a little cash, but not much.

              However, I know that classmates of mine with hundreds of millions of dollars among their assets do just as I do every day: read, eat, exercise, talk to friends, family, neighbors and others. I hope to find work at some point, but just don’t know how to go about it, and have found state programs to ‘assist’ to be not helpful at all.

              I am not ‘elite’ in the respect that you may have felt. I hope you now understand.

          • Submitted by Pat Terry on 11/29/2019 - 09:46 pm.

            I don’t think I need to understand why someone thinks its ok to separate immigrant children from their parents and put them in cages.

        • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 11/29/2019 - 09:42 am.

          Not all people who voted for Trump are “fascists”, and shutting down dialog and being openly hostile with anyone who doesn’t agree almost completely with your exact views, including those who are moderates or even liberal (but not liberal enough for you) is NOT the way to win people over to your ultra-leftist view.

          And IMO, that harsh, my-way-or-the-highway approach, is how elections are lost to the republican party, which holds the exact opposite of the views you’re advocating for!

          For example, I think many hardliners were upset that Hillary got the nomination instead of Bernie, so they refused to vote for her in 2016 – and in a close election we ended-up with Trump instead!

          Then many marched in ‘protest’ marches after the inauguration, protesting a president they helped elect themselves by their own actions.

          Or they don’t think Al Gore is liberal enough for them, so 3% or 4% vote for sure-to-lose Ralph Nader, to make an ultra-liberal “statement”.

          So in Florida, Gore lost by 537 votes, while 97,444 were wasted on Nader, and as a result we end-up with G.W. Bush instead, and the tragic Iraq invasion which cost countless lives, God knows how many amputated arms and legs, and many trillions of dollars and which led to the rise of ISIS as well.

          Thanks a lot for that ultra-liberals.

          And then to add insult to injury, hardliners like yourself will blame those loses on “too-moderate” candidates, instead of themselves!

          They claim that those candidates would have won if they’d been more liberal, with absolutely ZERO evidence to back up that baseless claim, in fact for all we know they might have won if they’d been a bit more conservative, especially since presidential elections are won or lost in the moderate swing states.

          Bottom line – the politics of this country are not going to change to an ultra-liberal position because of hostile, anti-social rhetoric, or my-way-or-the-highway attitudes, no matter how much you believe that is the correct approach to take IMO.

          You may despise moderate voters, as you’ve expressed over-and-over again, but their votes are NEEDED to win elections, and people in general of all political stripes are not won over by harsh, combative rhetoric IMO.

          I think there’s far more chance that someone of moderate republican views who is not a big fan of Trump is going to decide to vote democratic in 2020, by chatting with friendly, social democrats at one of these thanksgiving parties being referred to, than because they read one of your combative posts, bashing them.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2019 - 01:36 pm.

            “Not all people who voted for Trump are “fascists”, and shutting down dialog and being openly hostile with anyone who doesn’t agree almost completely with your exact views, including those who are moderates or even liberal (but not liberal enough for you) is NOT the way to win people over to your ultra-leftist view.”

            We’re not talking people we merely disagree with, and no one is saying that everyone who voted for Trump is a Fascist. But if you’re worried that Fascists are a beleaguered and oppressed minority rather than a threat to democracy and civilization, you might not the “moderate” or “conservative” you pretend to be.

            People who stand up to and against extremism aren’t “Leftist Extremists”, they just decent people of conscience who know what happened the last time people failed to take a stand against Fascists.

            Again, if the only discrimination you’re worried about is that directed at Fascists… And if you think anyone who defends their fellow citizen’s rights, safety, Constitution, and democracy are “radical” leftists… you probably look more like a someone wearing an arm band than someone wearing an: “I Like Ike” button.

            • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/29/2019 - 08:35 pm.

              Wow, I’m not even always in agreement with you, but these guys are walking, talking, bullet points, aren’t they?

            • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/29/2019 - 08:48 pm.

              Mr. Ustrand, the article to which we are responding spoke about how many people are losing comfort at holiday meals due to caustic rhetoric and conversations about politics. I am not here accusing you of being caustic, but it is very important to understand that framing comments in a manner which appears to look like a harsh attack is what is causing this rift among family and friends in our nation and around the world.

              I do not have the sensitivity to understand inferences in many people’s posts. I am wondering what you meant by stating:

              “And if you think anyone who defends their fellow citizen’s rights, safety, Constitution, and democracy are “radical” leftists… you probably look more like a someone wearing an arm band than someone wearing an: “I Like Ike” button.”

              I know that Republican general and president Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower spoke to us about being concerned about the possible disaster that will follow with the ‘industrial-military complex” (See the National Archives video of his speech on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg-jvHynP9Y).

              don’t yet understand whether or not you are aware of his concern and that Ike was hardly a fascist, but a considerate and hard working general who didn’t want to see anymore blood and limbs and lives lost than was absolutely necessary to bring about peace.

              Based on my reading of politics, history, and on various religions, I have learned that angry exhortations tend to lead a conversation into devolvement. People tend to react to anger with anger, unless they’ve been trained to take a step back.

              Based on these readings and conversations with others, I also understand that taking the middle way, a middle approach to a set of arguments or alternatives, tends to lend to eventually finding policies which are not antagonistic to either extremes of an ideology or ideologies. Moreover, friendships are formed rather than antagonistic relations.

              If you think that I came at this through immaculate or divine understanding as an elitist, I did not. Several years ago, I made a comment on one thread of another commentary platform where I compared Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak’s personality, in a vein, to Adolf Hitler, as being, in my opinion at that time, that the mayor was narcissistic . Another brighter and far more sensitive member of the community posted that when we use harsh language like this, we create ill-will and the dialogue from which we might otherwise gain falls apart. I was for a while suspended from the platform for making such a dramatic and insensitive statement.

              This, I know, is a hard lesson for many to learn. It was for me. However, as I sat back and read from others, and asked myself how I might be a better commentator, I slowly gained insight — into my forties. No one is perfect.

              I encourage you to continue sharing your perspectives; however, I also encourage you to find a less dramatic manner of sharing your opinions, with hope that you might have the sort of impact on others that will allow you to win over others.

              That you care to address issues is a great start.

              One of Minnesota’s finest law enforcement officers, who I met at University of Minnesota and who served our community as both an FBI special agent and also as both Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension superintendent and appointed by MN Governor Arne Carlson as our Commissioner of Public Safety, once commented: Barry, you’re very bright, but you’re rough around the edges. Please work on this.

              Paul’s manner was so considerate and caring that I have a longstanding respect for him as one of the kindest men I have ever met. Thirty years later, we still infrequently chat, and his spouse is also a wonderful woman who has shown great character and care and consideration for me as a person.

              I hope I have been of some assistance to you and others.

            • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 12/01/2019 - 10:30 am.

              Let’s look at the facts – you sarcastically slammed Mr. Peterson’s post which merely commented on how nice it was for democrats and republicans to get together at a party and be civil to one another, and in your post went on, ranting and raving about Hitler and Goebbels being great at parties and how “yes, fascists are people too”.

              But when I responded by saying “not every one who voted or Trump is not a fascist”, you reply with “no one is saying that everyone who voted for Trump is a fascist”.

              Well, isn’t that what you implied by slamming a party where democrats and republicans got together and were civil to each other, and comparing that to socializing with Hitler and Goebbels?

              Come on, I think you need to start owning your own harsh, I’ll blast everyone with a shotgun who doesn’t agree with me on absolutely everything posts.

              Then you went on to put words in my mouth about how I “am worried about fascists being an beleaguered and oppressed minority”.

              I never said that of course!, as you well know, since I’ve posted many times my dislike of the Trump presidency and it’s fascist tendencies, and you’ve even replied in agreement to some of those same posts!

              Let’s not just be making stuff up out of thin air Paul as you did in your last post, that’s just more of indulging your instincts to make up wild and untrue accusations to slam people, anytime someone isn’t sounding sufficenctly in agreement with you on everything.

              I want the democrats to win big in 2020 just as much as you do, and in fact based on previous posts, we probably agree 80% or 90% or more on policy issues, the difference is that we disagree on how those wins can best be achieved.

              It seems to me that you overestimate the strength of the ultra-liberal hand in 2020 and underestimate the Trump-publican hand by putting way too much faith in national polls which ignore the electoral college and a senate system which favors rural, republican states, and that you also think that blasting anyone and making up false accusations against anyone who isn’t 100% in agreement with your exact viewpoints is the way to win elections.

              I disagree, and I would be very surprised if republicans don’t try to win over moderate/centrist voters strongly with heavy ad-play and talking points addressed to them in 2020 to win, and they won’t do that by slamming and insulting those moderate/centrist voters, which is your favorite approach.

              Because of our election college and same-representation-for-all-states senate system, it’s swing state voters and moderates and centrist voters in not-so-liberal states that will decide the presidency and the senate in 2020.

              I think most election strategy professionals would probably agree that that’s just a fact, and would agree that your “I will openly and loudly despise and make up false accusations against all who are not of my exact political opinion” approach is pretty much a recipe for electoral suicide for the liberal cause.

              I’m not sure what you think you’re accomplishing by following that approach, I guess you incorrectly believe that people are won over to the liberal cause thru harsh statements and false accusations about them, but I believe you should do some thinking about whether that really helps the liberal cause or whether it hurts it.

              And if don’t care a fig about winning people over to the liberal cause, then I believe it’s just a fact that you’re hurting that cause, because especially in our current electoral system, there are absolutely and factually NOT enough ultra-liberal voters out there to win the presidency and the senate, or even to hold the house for that matter.

              • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/03/2019 - 08:35 am.

                Very well said, Henry. I’m shaking my head at those people calling others “elite” while condescendingly mocking them. Amazingly, you can scroll through these comments and see a few people who are just Lefty versions of Trump himself…no conversation, just insults.

            • Submitted by Pat Terry on 12/02/2019 - 09:34 am.

              Yeah, I’m with Paul on this one.

          • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/29/2019 - 03:17 pm.

            This is an enlightened post by Henry Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s concerns and insight are congruent with a comment that former President Barack Obama made last week, the week before Thanksgiving Week.

            Moving too far to the ‘left’ as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have gone, is certain to bring about votes for people who will absolutely not win against a man like Donald Trump.

            I recently had a conversation with an extremely bright and considerate twenty-three year old man who told me a) his generation is just waiting for “Boomers’ to die off as Boomers have, he said, attitudes which are counter the beliefs and values of his generation (this is not entirely true, although it may be true of older members of my generation, but those of us born in the 1960’s want equal rights for women, racial minorities, and we want to have clean air and fuel efficient cars).

            The young man could not bear to hear me talk about how a vote for Mr. Sanders or Ms. Warren would guaranty (which, at this time, I believe) a win for Mr. Trump. We have been friends for over a year, and he said, “Barry, I just can’t bear to hear you talk like that.” Essentially, he was like the proverbial ostrich that puts its head in the sand when perceived danger approaches.

            We should be open to understanding what ‘the lesser of two evils’ will do to bring about incremental change, as opposed to radical change. Radical change does not happen over night. I also believe that some of the folks from his generation are looking at their lives as young people who do not understand that in time, they will be able to enjoy life with greater income: until then, in Minnesota, at least, healthcare is something that our legislature and governors have made possible for all people who can fill out forms and talk to people in an intelligent manner — and among the legislature, I also include members of the Republican Party who understand that unhealthy people make it difficult for businesses to run smoothly.

            As I have been published on this commentary page several times, I will limit further comments on this post. However, I want to thank Mr. Johnson for his critical thinking skills and his ability to make a fine argument.

            • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 12/01/2019 - 11:01 am.

              Thank you very much Barry, I appreciate your compliments very much!

              I can relate to your story about the young man who just couldn’t bear to hear anything about electability being an issue to consider about their favorite candidate.

              At least he just said he couldn’t bear to hear it, instead of viciously attacking you and accusing you of being a fascist lover, which is the type of response of far too many ultra-liberals.

              The interesting things is how similar the ATTITUDE AND APPROACH of those on the far right and the far left is, despite the wide political differences.

              On both the far left and the far right, the approach seems to be that they will blast and verbally destroy anyone who is not in close to complete agreement with them, rather than seeking to persuade thru civil persuasion and debate, which I think is the approach favored by most people who are not at those extremes.

              The ultimate example is Stalin and Hitler, who had totally different political beliefs, but in their approach and actions, they were very, very, very similar.

              Both ruthlessly attacked anyone who opposed them in the slightest way, and were completely intolerant of anything but complete agreement and support of them and their policies, and both murdered millions of people (Stalin actually probably murdered even more than Hitler as I understand it).

              They both had absolute and complete power in their countries which made things far worse, but even in ours, where they don’t have that kind of power (yet anyway), the same INSTINCT to just bash, trash and verbally destroy anyone perceived to not be COMPLETELY on board with them on pretty much all matters, definitely seems to exist.

              When I look at how the republicans in congress had a mock-slash-and-trash approach to personally and unfairly attacking the witnesses testifying on the Ukraine matter, it sems very, very similar to the same slash-and-trash and let’s make up some false accusations approach used by some ultra-liberals on this board, and I’m sure in the country in general to try to verbally ‘defeat’ others not in complete agreement with them.

              For both the far right and the far left, anyone who doesn’t agree with me completely and on pretty much everything, is the ENEMY and needs to be decimated!

              No wonder our country is in so much trouble, when the diplomatically-persuade-and-debate-in-a-civil-way is out of favor by far too many in both major political parties.

  3. Submitted by Pat Terry on 11/27/2019 - 04:30 pm.

    I haven’t stopped talking to anyone because they are Republicans. I have stopped talking to racists and bigots, including those in my own family. I don’t consider that political and I’m not sorry about it.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/28/2019 - 10:50 am.

      Hear hear Pat!

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 11/28/2019 - 11:48 am.

      Pat, you are so right. Some of certain political persuasions have the tendency to assign positive human values (kindness, generosity, compassion, etc.) to themselves and attribute them to their politics and assign the opposite of those to their political opponents. And they are opponents, not just a group of people with different ideas.

      It is not productive or enjoyable engaging in a conversation with someone who has you stereotyped as a racist, etc.. before you open your mouth.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/03/2019 - 11:00 am.

        I would add to the “unproductive or unenjoyable” list those who crack wise about your political opinions being a sign of a mental disorder.

        That’s unfunny on multiple levels.

  4. Submitted by Paul Yochim on 11/27/2019 - 05:28 pm.

    I lived in Minnesota for the last 21 years. I moved there from a southern state so I was immediately labeled. The local political flavor was thrust in my face. As a conservative I found it very difficult to be around those of the other persuasion when they engaged in discussion. Not because of the fundamental disagreement about the role that government should play in one’s life but because of the constant ridicule of their political opponents. It was pretty tiring being drawn into a political discussion only to be ridiculed and labeled a knuckle dragging racist sexist xenophobic homophobic bigot. Did I leave any pejoratives out?

    I found politics to be a form of religion for some. It didn’t take long to limit my social circles to those who didn’t revere the political scene. Many of the good friendships I made were with those of the opposite political persuasion but it didn’t matter to them or to me. Friends are friends.

    I now live in northern Wyoming which is largely conservative but it isn’t thrust in my face. I have no idea of the politics of some that I deal with. Nor do I care.

  5. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 11/27/2019 - 08:35 pm.

    It is difficult to play nice with those who wholehearted endorse Donald Trump’s hateful words and cruel actions, particularly those who suggest Trump was picked by God to lead us. However, not talking is not the solution because to survive our country must get past Trump.

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 11/28/2019 - 02:56 pm.

      We survived two terms of Barack Hussein Obama. We will survive Donald John Trump.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/29/2019 - 08:59 am.

        Please tell us the major events that we were lucky to survive during Obama’s years?

        The rampant administration turn over because he failed to hire only the best people?

        An upward trending economy that has lasted from 2009 to now?

        Nobody can own guns and ammo anymore?

        His record of only being fully truthful 65% of the time?

        All of the prison time amassed by his associates?

        The simple facts of history are Obama will go down as a top ten President, Trump as the all time worst…

        • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 11/29/2019 - 12:33 pm.

          1. Apology tour
          2. Obamacare
          3. Support for the Arab Spring
          4. Rise and proliferation of ISIS
          5. The Benghazi debacle
          6. Outright disrespect for law enforcement personnel
          7. Decimation of the coal industry

          Do you want me to continue?

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/29/2019 - 05:22 pm.

            Yes!
            As would be expected you conflate reality with fantasy!
            1. Apology tour: Right wing propaganda. Seems from a biblical perspective, Humility is a virtue, how ironic that the theoretical party of , the bible thinks humility is the devils work! (So much for all men are created equal and taking responsibility for your/your countries actions.
            2. Obamacare: Healthcare for everyone is a bad thing!
            3. Support for the Arab Spring: Means what? Iraq is now a shining star as well as Libya, & Syria?
            4. Rise and proliferation of ISIS: Again meaning what? We should give Bush and the Republicans credit for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the mujahideen?
            5. The Benghazi debacle, as before meaning what Give the republicans credit for the Beirut Barracks 307 American and French (not just 4)
            6. Outright disrespect for law enforcement personnel
            7. Decimation of the coal industry, Really? Seems reality is they have been declining worse under Trump, even after he allowed them to pollute more. You have heard Murray Coal (Big-time Trump supporter and donor) just declared bankruptcy.) With that logic, Suspect Wilson was the guy responsible for the decimation of the horse and buggy industry as well.

            The point is, instead of looking for common ground to solve problems, seems there is a desire to cast blame and take no responsibility be it normal economics or global causation from innumerable sources. Red hat is 100% pure, blue hat 100% evil. Did you even read the article?

            Do you want me to continue?

            • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 12/01/2019 - 12:54 pm.

              Dennis, typical of most liberal arguments here. Nicely done. Begin with condescending ridicule, claim a high moral platform and go from there. Nice work.

              • Submitted by ian wade on 12/02/2019 - 01:23 am.

                I notice that you attempted no rebuttal of Mr. Wagner’s facts.

              • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/02/2019 - 09:09 am.

                Not sure I ridiculed anything: Terrorist acts are not funny in my opinion, nor is a line of 1 sided cherry picking accusations, Open minded, well reasoned, truth full honest, fact based discussion is what the goal should be, not Machiavellian winning at all/any costs, that is the road to civil society destruction, Seems some folks have chosen and continue the road to burn our country down, not the road to make us rise. We all get to chose.

          • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/29/2019 - 08:45 pm.

            You thought Obama’s “Apology Tour” was bad?

            Wow!

            Wait till the one recovering from Trump screwing up every relationship we have had for the last 75 years.

            I was in Canada shortly after 911 and listening to the CBC. A Canadian General who had served in NATO said he was most sympathetic to the US because in all his experiences we were a loyal, honest and humble partner to Canada and NATO. Everything one would hope for in a close ally.

            So much for that! Trump, the narcissistic, ego maniac sticking his finger in everyone’s eye for even the mildest personal slight.

            Yes, “Apology Tour II” Has a lot of work to do…

            • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/01/2019 - 03:41 pm.

              “Yes, “Apology Tour II” Has a lot of work to do…”

              Well Edward, I’m confident the Democrats will find the right person for the job, but he will have some mighty big knee-pads to fill.

              • Submitted by BK Anderson on 12/02/2019 - 09:34 am.

                Yes, indeed, Trump’s knee pads before Putin will be impossible to fill, I dare say.

                Absent his “re-election”, of course!

  6. Submitted by John Evans on 11/27/2019 - 09:36 pm.

    I don’t think we’re necessarily less capable of having civil discussions than we ever were. It’s more that we’re now operating with sets of facts and assumptions that conflict more, and overlap less than they used to. We see things differently because we’re shown things differently. Often we’re even shown completely different sets of facts.

    Those sets of facts and interpretations, (quaintly referred to as ‘journalism’) are mostly produced by a handful of media companies with different and sometimes conflicting editorial motives. So a Fox News watcher has a very different base of facts and interpretations than, for instance, someone who reads.

  7. Submitted by Roy Everson on 11/28/2019 - 02:15 am.

    In the last presidential election one candidate railed often against “political correctness” and how it was our greatest problem. He also made many comments disparaging Mexican-American judges, a Muslim US war hero, banning Muslims from coming into the country. You get the drift. He won that election even though half the voters rightfully consider him either a bigot or worse yet: an exploiter of the bigotry in others.

    This isn’t only politics, it’s values. It’s not easy when people you thought you knew for half a lifetime or more are revealed to be tolerant or even chearleaders of not only the bigotry of the leader but his odious authoritianism, vulgarity, borderline treason and lack of any unifying quality that the country might need in a crisis.

    In that cozy social setting you wonder if their warmth toward you would be possible if your name was Ali and not Everson. You find a glimmer of hope in a Trump voter who no longer follows the news and avoids politics even with fellow travelers. Our appreciation for the lumpen among us grows.

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 11/28/2019 - 06:29 pm.

      That candidate comments to his base that he is a “Good Christian.” Were he a ‘good Christian, as with others who follow him and believe they, too, are ‘good Christians,” they would know in their hearts the importance of Sermon on the Mount, and The Love Chapter of the Holy Bible — two of the most important chapters in assisting people from whatever background they believe they belong, of the importance of caring for one’s ‘lowly’ neighbors and wayfarers (migrants and immigrants in need of asylum or recognition of their value to our community — regardless of attributes that have come under the protection of our civil and human rights laws).

      Much has been written about the ‘economic’ value of of migrant and immigrant denizens and citizens to those who fear they are taking away opportunities from those who came here first.

      Having studied just one class in immigrant history under the late University of Minnesota professor, Dr. Rudy Vecoli, at his Immigration Research Center, I have learned that one immigrant group after the other has always faced the scorn of those who came before them to this nation.

      It is time that we grow up and recognize that the more people we have in our nation, the greater our economy will become — and that the use of ‘welfare” dollars is a wise investment to assist these future entrepreneurs and business executives, surgeons, police officers, dill sergeants, fighter pilots, teachers and senators land safely and with care in our nation.

      In glancing over the pie chart that tells of how U.S. taxpayer dollars are used, and the arguments which allow for military spending — which I do not find at all distressing when used ethically and wisely — I find the argument that this is necessary for the security of our nation.

      What is also important for the security of our nation, nuder our current economic model, is that our economy grows. This cannot be done given the current rate of birth in our nation without the induction of more workers who may stay at a low level of economic productivity or rise to higher levels of productivity and creativity and bring about opportunities for others to work and receive an income.

      Hence, investing in our domestic needs should not be looked upon as a bane to conservatives, but as an investment in economic and societal growth.

      Those who, like myself in earlier years, felt that welfare was for ‘goldbricks’ — a term very popular in the 1950’s to denote something that looked to be of value but was not of value — among society’s poor and outcast, must recognize that good financial fortune may blind us of the reality of what people with lesser means can offer society if adequately funded and secured.

      Given the fact that due to depression, mild anxiety, fear of finding more assault and stigmatization because my genetic heritage left me with mildly distracting mental illnesses and a form of autism, and as an outcast to my paternal line of progenitors; I now realize, as one who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (I have worked, off and on since I was eleven years old for both pay and as a volunteer in the U.S. and abroad), that various forms of ‘social nets’ are important to keep me alive, healthy, and serving society in a manner that I feel is helpful.

      The candidate in question, that Roy Everson alluded to, seems to be emotionally and intellectual, psychologically and morally unequipped to understand and even fathom this reality. As earlier told, it was my desire to become an attorney, businessman, diplomat and philanthropist in large ways, just as the newest billionaire member of the DFL presidential candidacy line-up, who came from a family as affluent — not incredibly affluent — as mine and who worked opportunities with a concern for both economic imperative as well as for moral imperative, making him, I believe, the tenth wealthiest man in the world.

      He has established himself in a far greater way that our current president, and has made mistakes but has taken responsibilities for his mistake through a humble acknowledgment of his errors to communities who he wrongfully encumbered in earlier political life. I find this appealing and can forgive him for his errors, as he has grown and more than added to the well-being of our nation through his ample investment into his philanthropic efforts and achievements — and he has not left his vendors in the lurch through five times bankrupting his companies as the candidate earlier mentioned has done.

  8. Submitted by joe smith on 11/28/2019 - 11:34 am.

    So when has hearing an opposing point of view become so painful? Who are these people willing to lose a friendship over higher taxes? I have life long friends that are die hard Democrats up here on the Range. We still walk the woods looking for grouse, we build deer stands together, fish together, help each other out with projects and disagree on politics. At the end of the day, 6 decades of friendship trumps politics, pun intended!

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/02/2019 - 11:29 am.

      Genuinely non-rhetorical question: what if one of your buddies starts believing in something that is not just different from your opinion, but completely reprehensible? What if one of your hunting buddies became a dedicated Marxist?*

      *Not entirely implausible: I’ve heard that the late Gus Hall had fond memories of deer hunting up on the Iron Range.

      • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/02/2019 - 03:16 pm.

        If one of my buddies suddenly started spouting leftist rhetoric, I’d call his family and set up an intervention; get him to Hazeltine ASAP.

        True friends stand by a friend that is suffering.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/28/2019 - 11:43 am.

    I actually had more people stop talking to me because I was supporting Sanders instead of HRC back in 2016. I don’t cultivate relationships with Fascists to begin with so nothing has changed on THAT front for me in recent years.

    I’m not sure this data actually points to a problem or a negative outcome. Decades of normalizing Republican extremism under the pretext of “bi-partisanship” has legitimized extremism to the point where Donald Trump became a viable presidential candidate. You can clearly see the trend: As “liberal Democrats” promoted a bi-partisan “we can have lunch without arguing” narrative over the decades, Republican extremist gain more and more control of their party, win more elections, and enact increasingly toxic policy. The more Democrat’s and “liberals” demonstrate their ability to get along with Fascist, the stronger Fascism becomes.

    I think the real question we should be asking isn’t who people are no longer talking to, but who if anyone they’re starting to talk to instead?

    I reject the narrative of polarization because I don’t see disintegration at work in the US, I see a majority of American coalescing around liberal agendas and policies. This is freaking “moderates” out not because the country is sliding into disarray, but because the country is sliding into liberalism, or rather; the country is sliding away from conservativism and moderate Republicanism that’s been serving the elite under the guise of bipartisanship for decades.

    What I’m seeing is that while some people may not be talking to other people, more and more people are talking about core issues like health care, living wages, diversity, equality, climate change, etc. etc. Don’t worry who people are not longer talking to, look who more and more people ARE talking to. I don’t see the fact that fewer and fewer people are trying to have normal conversations with racists, homophobe’s, sexists, and Fascists as a crises. I would just say for every one person you stop talking to, find two more you can or want to talk to.

    • Submitted by joe smith on 11/29/2019 - 09:47 am.

      Paul, So anybody who doesn’t vote Democrat is a fascist? 63 million folks voted for Trump, are they all fascists? News flash, there are many different points of view, different thinking does not make you a fascist. I suggest you find a few Republicans and have an honest talk, you may rethink all folks who gave Trump a Electoral College landslide are fascists.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2019 - 11:58 am.

        Joe, please, this isn’t a high school debate. Fascists are fascists. I haven’t seen anyone anywhere (and I know I haven’t) say that anyone and everyone who doesn’t vote for a Democrat is a Fascist. Yes, we have a diversity of viewpoints. Newsflash: Rascists, sexists, bigots, and Fascists are NOT champions of diversity and diverse opinions. The rest of us don’t have to talk to bigots and Fascists in order to prove that we’re “open” minded.

        • Submitted by joe smith on 11/29/2019 - 04:33 pm.

          Paul, you are the one claiming anybody who doesn’t vote Democrat is not worthy to talk to. Not very open minded of you, being a progressive and all.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/30/2019 - 08:19 am.

            Joe, truth is not manufactured by the repetition of falsehoods. Nowhere in anyway have I ever said no one who doesn’t vote for Democrats is worth talking to. After all, I’m responding to you am I not?

    • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 11/29/2019 - 12:16 pm.

      ” I reject the narrative of polarization because I don’t see disintegration at work in the US, I see a majority of American coalescing around liberal agendas and policies. ”

      Well, and that’s the problem, you are NOT seeing things that ARE there, and EXAGGERATING other things to try to artificially favor your point of view..

      You may “reject’ it, but clearly we DO have serious polarization, which is extremely unhealthy (whether you believe it or not), since any society can’t function well at all when too many of it’s members are so strongly at odds with each other that they can’t even work together (our current US congress and president being a perfect example of that).

      And I think most people other than a small percentage like yourself would agree that our political system in fact IS far more polarized since president Trump took office, probably more polarized than in the last 50 years or more, I believe many, if not most would say.

      Biased people “rejecting” something doesn’t wipe out it’s factual existence.

      Many Trump-publicans “reject” (as in “I just don’t buy it”) climate change, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fact, backed by simple grade school level science showing the effect of greenhouse gases on the earth’s temperature.

      As for “a majority of American coalescing around liberal agendas and policies”, a “majority’ means only 50.0001 percent or more, and is a far cry from being ‘most people’ which I think you are hoping readers will believe is the meaning when you say a ‘majority’.

      But in a political system where our presidents are elected thru the electoral college, and our senate electoral system, where Wyoming has as much representation as California and New York, 51% or 55% or even close to 60% does NOT necessarily translate into political victory and certainly not into sweeping, major new legislation being passed into law – not even close.

      Our ELECTION SYSTEM IS BIASED TOWARDS RURAL VOTERS, with both the senate and the electoral college, and the Trump-publican party is the clear winner in rural areas, so you need to persuade quite a good block of rural voters into believing in “liberal agendas and policies” before you can enact them into law!

      This is just a fact, and either one you don’t know, or that you persist in ignoring as you continue to your counter-productive attack on moderates and centrists.

      For example you have cited national polls showing ‘popular’ democratic candidates like Ellizabeth Warren doing well, but you ignore the swing state polls where she is projected to lose to president Trump.

      And without winning the swing states, she’s loses in a landslide.

      In case winning actually matters to you.

      You say a majority of Americans favor medicare-for-all and that therefore it’s a winning policy for democratic candidates to take, but in swing state polls, 62% think it’s a bad idea.

      Ignoring realities like this with wishful thinking, and continuing to bash moderates as if they were ‘the enemy’ when in fact their votes are needed to make ANY major or even modest legislative changes, is not a smart thing to do IMO, and does NOT advance the liberal cause, as I believe you think it does.

      With the attitude that “everyone who isn’t an ultra-leftist deserves to be bashed”, if these posts have any influence at all, you are probably encouraging on-the-fence people to vote Trump-publican just to “reject” the negative tone of your moderate/centrist bashing posts.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/30/2019 - 12:26 pm.

        “You may “reject’ it, but clearly we DO have serious polarization, which is extremely unhealthy (whether you believe it or not), ”

        Henry, just answer a simple question: why hasn’t decades of moderate bi-partisanship resulted in a moderate bi-partisan political landscape and climate in America? Why is it that the more you guys lean on moderation the more “polarized” we become? Obviously your moderation isn’t an antidote to the tide of rising right wing extremism.

        This paradox of “moderation” isn’t a reflection of dueling extremists, it’s a result of moderates inviting extremists into the room and then refusing to confront their extremism. We’re not “Polarized”, we’re just dealing with the extremism moderates have been accommodating and normalizing for decades. We’re not nation of extremist, we’re just a nation that’s trying to confront right wing threat to our democracy.

        Moderates can talk about how charming Fascists can be at parties if they want, but they better hope that those of use who ARE willing to confront Fascism succeed in stopping it and turning it back.

  10. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/28/2019 - 01:49 pm.

    This forum provides a great means to relieve needs to do the same with friends and relatives. Thanks for that.

    An extra happy Thanksgiving to our misguided conservative commenters who provide a valuable service to the majority left side commenters who gather here.

    As an occasional visitor to Powerline, I earned a lifetime ban for consistent contrarian comments.

    Prior to that, a comment would generate the “personal ban” where any reader could block a specific individuals comment. The internet equivalent to closing your eyes, putting your hand over your ears and shouting:

    “I can’t hear you!”
    “I can’t hear you!”
    “I can’t hear you!”

    Happy to be here…

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 11/29/2019 - 09:23 am.

      Thank you, Edward. I enjoy debating topics with loopy liberals, as well! 😉

      I’m surprised to hear you have been banned from Power line. Although I’m not a regular reader, and have never opined there, I have not seen censorship on conservative media, an do not approve of it.

      I believe that if you are confident in your worldviews and politics, you should always be ready to defend them factually and competently. I agree that those that cannot defend their views without assigning perjoritives display the weakness of their own positions.

      Cheers

  11. Submitted by Paul Yochim on 11/29/2019 - 08:48 am.

    It is nice to have this site to vent but some of the constant degradation of those whose political views fall in the minority here is uncalled for. Comparing conservatives to dictators of the past has no place in credible sources. It degrades the quality of the site. All it signals to me is that the particular person cannot carry on a factual argument and must resort to ridicule, which has no antidote.

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 11/29/2019 - 10:12 am.

      Speaking as one of the minority conservatives regularly commenting on issues here, Paul, I’m not really bothered by the incoherent raving of the few that cannot comment without invective.

      Most liberals here are capable of maintaining a civil debate, and I’m very familiar with those who cannot, and I simply do not waste my time reading their rants; they have nothing of value to say, in my opinion.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/29/2019 - 12:24 pm.

      The recognition and condemnation of Fascism isn’t ridicule, it’s necessary for survival and the preservation of our democracy. The complaint that ALL conservatives have been labeled as Fascist is simply a false claim.

      When I refer to Fascist or Neo-Fascists, I’m referring to Fascists or Neo-Fascists, not merely conservatives or Republicans. If you think that Donald Trump and his supporters are run of the mill Republicans or William F. Buckley conservatives, you’re either in denial or you might be a Fascist. That’s not an insult it’s just an observation. We’ve been through this before and pretending that Fascism is just a normal political movement didn’t end well.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/30/2019 - 06:48 pm.

      Point of clarity, folks like me don’t consider fascism something funny: 2nd point, observing understanding fascism is a process of working through the check boxes, see below, feel free to check the boxes that apply. If folks chose to make up their own definitions, (truths) it is hard to say/agree yep its a duck, nope its a buffalo!
      https://www.favreau.info/misc/14-points-fascism.php

      • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/01/2019 - 04:03 pm.

        Oddly enough, with two exceptions your 14 points fit perfectly within leftist/Communist dictatorships as well…

        “Rampant Sexism”

        Under leftist regimes, everyone suffers without regard to sex.

        “Religion and Government are Intertwined”

        Under leftist regimes, practice of religion is suppressed and clergy are usually rounded up and dissappeared.

        • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/01/2019 - 04:53 pm.

          For open minded folks they fit perfectly into Trump. Kind of tags to the heart of the article why folks can’t discuss politics, Reality vs denial.

          • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/01/2019 - 10:51 pm.

            “Reality vs denial”?

            I’m reading a lot more paranoid delusion than either of those on lefty comment threads.

            • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/02/2019 - 08:56 am.

              Well, sorry to say, but expected that type of denial/deflection response, so nothing new here folks. Same o-same-o.

  12. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/29/2019 - 03:37 pm.

    From this perspective, it is not possible to have a rationale discussion with irrational minds. If all discussions are built on conspiracy theories, false hoods, and flat out BS, where do you go from there? The education I received was about the search for truth, values, ethics, etc. (of a civilized society) If we use the same discussion irrational logic in engineering as folks use in politics, we wouldn’t have a standing bridge, a working computer or an automobile that could move. So I guess for some folks its, “how about those Vikings or Packers” the start and the end of the conversation? For folks ;like me, if you want to solve problems we need to use a value system that is not biased based on the latest conspiracy theory, political play to the base, or self serving narcissism. Choose, solve problems (win-win) or create them (win-lose, lose lose)? It isn’t all about us and it isn’t all about today, “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,”

  13. Submitted by Mark Gruben on 11/30/2019 - 10:54 am.

    I’m extremely outspoken on social media, but not so much in public, because I don’t think it’s polite. If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it. But there’s a little more to it than that. One thing I’ve found – on both sides of the aisle, but somewhat more so among Republicans – is that there is no “agree to disagree” or “let’s meet halfway.” If one can’t wholeheartedly agree with and/or support Donald Trump, then there’s no point in even discussing the matter…..because you’re a dirty liberal, a socialist, a Communist, an America-hater, a fascist, or worse.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/02/2019 - 08:05 am.

    I have to say it’s kind of funny to see a bunch of people who rally behind the like of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and a president who tweets our insults and personal attacks on a hourly basis complain about the lack of civility afforded Fascists.

  15. Submitted by Theo Kozel on 12/02/2019 - 02:25 pm.

    The ability to have meaningful conversations across the political divide is rendered all but impossible due to the ongoing partisan campaign against a shared set of facts that has been taking place in this country for the past 20 years or so.

  16. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/02/2019 - 02:27 pm.

    The conversation has devolved into why people don’t like to talk about politics. I will have one more holiday event this Wednesday, December 4, and I assure you that no one other than me will be interested in talking about the impeachment hearings, Donald Trump, or why it is important to refrain from intense and thoughtless commentary during what many hope to enjoy as a wonderful holiday gathering.

    For those of you who maintained the “middle road” toward your comments and arguments, thank you; for those who did not, I look forward to reading your future comments, hoping, as well, that you will understand that by referring to others as welcoming the company of fascists, despite our commenting on wanting to share stories of how people got along from one another and learned from one another, the conversation is lost.

    Happy Holidays!

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/02/2019 - 03:09 pm.

      Merry Christmas, Barry.

      🎄

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/07/2019 - 05:27 pm.

      Follow-up on Saturday, December 7, 2019 to the holiday party I enjoyed with my brother, sister-in-law, and mom.

      We had a nice party. My brother, who has voted Republican in years past, and I agreed on President Trump’s manner of offending people who come after him with the truth. Oddly, Ken made no effort to bitterly argue with me on points of **truth** regarding Mr. Trump’s manner. We were not talking about the theory of that political actor, but about things that are clearly seen in public about him.

      I will note that Mr. Trump has made good calls on some elements of consumerism and, oddly to say, on ecology (that some toilets, sinks, and showers which are set at low-flow rates take at least as much water to shower, wash one’s hands, and flush refuse from the toilet as those devices that are not set at low-flow rates).

      What we were finally able to learn, and to which we appear to have disciplined ourselves to in discussing politics is the following:

      1. People have a right to their opinion
      2. If we are interested in moving our level of sophistication ahead, we will listen to other people so long as they do not engage in emotional tirades which end of obscuring their general thoughts
      3. We will not counter a tirade with a tirade of our own, but move on to another activity, such as quietly eating our dinner without feeling that we have “lost” the argument if we stop talking to an over-emotional and thoughtless person
      4. We must meditate at that time or later on what was gained or lost in the conversation
      5. We must become more witting in future conversations to hold our own against either excellent counter-arguments or against thoughts tirades by people who create an annoying or upsetting engagement for us in a holiday or general conversation.

  17. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/02/2019 - 02:49 pm.

    Eric Black often presents very good articles as a frequent editor for MinnPost.. On Monday, December 2, 2019, he presented a story about what the framers of the Constitution meant by “high crimes and misdemeanors,” dedicating time to writing that as those during the 18th Century in the colonies meant something altogether different by ‘misdemeanor’ than as we in the 21st Century understand the notion.
    See:

    https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2019/12/impeachment-how-the-constitutions-framers-understood-the-term-high-crimes-and-misdemeanors/?utm_source=MinnPost+e-mail+newsletters&utm_campaign=33c79b48f4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_12_02_04_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3631302e9c-33c79b48f4-123791745

    We should read articles like this, and the book by Bowman (referenced in the article) on this subject to understand the degree of civility which the framers of the Constitution intended as they desired to design and determine the notion of a “…better and more perfect nation….”

    It appears that the concern of hyper-partisanship and becoming sycophants for a president such as we are now studying is leading to an idea or course of action which will lead to something unacceptable, wrong, or disastrous in the course of our nation’s management.

    My concern as an American, forget that I am a centrist who has voted Democrat for many years, is that the hyper-partisanship seen in Congress at this time, where many people of the Republican Party appear unwilling or incapable of disciplining themselves to neutrality and objectivity (some members of that Party in Congress acquiescing to their Constitutional role of being a moral if not political check and balance on the Executive Branch), such that they will honestly and without force of concern for their own well-being manifest judgment based on what is Constitutionally right, as opposed to what is politically right or expedient.

    Please begin to write and opine in a manner which is congruent with honest, thoughtful, and credible. Nasty comments using terms or notions which are extreme do nothing than to bring your arguments and our nation downward towards recklessness and dishonest and fraudulent action.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/02/2019 - 07:36 pm.

      Good post: and as your comments suggest, some folks aren’t looking for anything logical, rationale, ethical, objective or patriotic, they can’t be reasoned with, morally, or otherwise, they just want to burn it all down, no matter what the cost. Which leaves the other folks to do their best to prevent as well as fight those fires.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/03/2019 - 03:39 pm.

      I would suggest that if some would like to censor the content to their own desires, they might procure for themselves their own forum to do so, barring that, refrain from attempting to force any others to accede to their desires in what is a space provided for all viewpoints to intermingle.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/03/2019 - 09:22 am.

    At this point we’re just circling back to previous comments so I’ll just summarize my response.

    We clearly have a few people who like to call themselves “moderates” complaining about the loss of civility and bragging about their own ability to remain civil. We learn that if you organize a party where arguments are essentially and explicitly forbidden people won’t get into arguments. Bravo.

    Meanwhile our nation is in crises because right wing extremists and Fascists have captured political power and are pursuing an agenda that would dismantle our democracy. The fact that these extremist have been on a continual march towards power for decades betrays the fact that our so-called moderates are incapable of forming effective opposition or even recognizing the threat. If their “moderation” produces moderate political landscapes where people can talk to each other, how did this crises emerge in the first place?

    Moderation produces extreme political landscapes because it invites Fascists into the room and then refuse to confront them. This is what happens when you devote your energies to marginalizing liberal agendas instead of right wing agendas.

    I refer to these moderates as “so-called” because in many ways they’re the most dangerous extremists in the room. These moderates are so dedicated their narrow range of possibilities and status quo that they’re literally willing join forces with Fascists in condemnations and attacks on basic liberal programs and agendas. These moderates brag about their willingness to reach out to Fascists but warn about the dangers of universal health care or living wages. These are NOT liberals although they may be Democrats. They can talk to Trump, but Warren and Sanders are “extremists” who will lead us to ruin.

    I think Barry Peterson says it best:

    “…many people are losing comfort at holiday meals due to caustic rhetoric and conversations about politics.”

    These “moderates” who assume that their comfort is just as or more important than other peoples lives, freedoms, and well being are expressing an extreme level of denial and ego-centricity. This may be little more than a crises of “comfort” for some “moderates” but for millions of Americans this a life threatening attack on our Constitution, our communities, and our environment.

    The “moderate” pretense of being the adult in the room is simply delusional. The notion that those who refuse to confront Fascist are the true bastion of defense against Fascism is facile. These moderates accommodate extremists because confrontation lies outside their comfort zones. It’s not “leftists” who stand by and watch it all “burn down”, it’s “moderates” who stand back and watch rather than stand up and fight. We’ve seen this before, “moderates” who find fellowship with the “right” while denouncing the “left” are not a new phenomena. Our salvation does not lie with moderates who brag about their ability to avoid conflict with right wing reactionaries.

    Listen, if you don’t want to argue with people at party’s that you’re business. But if confronting extremists is outside your comfort zone you better hope that those who ARE willing to confront extremism succeed; because in the end Fascism won’t be as “comfortable” as you might imagine.

    Liberals in the US aren’t turning to extremism when they stop talking to Fascists. Liberals may stop talking to Fascists but we’re talking to each other and constructing an effective and coherent response to the right wing threat we all face. Again, you can complain about that if you want but you better pray it works because “moderates” are AWOL. If your “response” is to notice how charming Fascists can be at parties, you need to step aside.

    Let us not bemoan the marginalization of right wing extremists, sexists, racist, and Fascist. Let us organize a response and make that marginalization a permanent feature of our political landscape and civilization.

    I’ll close out with a quote from MLK’s response to “moderates” in his letter from the Birmingham Jail:

    “ I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” MKL, August 1963.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/03/2019 - 11:46 am.

      For the life of me Paul I don’t understand your adversity to folks that aren’t far right or far left in their thinking. In sailboat racing the road to victory is usually to stay to the middle of the course. In investing the typical risk balanced portfolio is diversified across stocks, bonds, domestic and international.High risks, (radical thinking) has big rewards if it works, but also big loses if it doesn’t, the moral of the story, life has shown that those with a balanced approach to life tend to get farther faster.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/03/2019 - 02:58 pm.

        Dennis, those who win races of any kind race to win, not stay in the middle the pack. Successful investors find hot stock, they don’t turn their portfolios over to balance managers. And in life, those that avoid risks tend may have uneventful and comfortable lives, but they’re NOT the ones that go farther and faster than everyone else. Mediocrity yields mediocrity how is this not obvious?

        Having said that, you are still completely failing to comprehend my point. I am not nor have I ever claimed that extremism is a path to salvation. I’m simply observing that many “moderates” define anything beyond their narrow perceptions and imaginations as extremist. MFA, living wages, the Green New Deal etc. are NOT extreme proposals, they’re just classified as extreme proposals by “moderates” sitting inside their comfort zones.

        When trying to solve any problem or fix any malfunction, you try to find the best possible solution. It’s not a question of right or left, or extremism vs. moderation. The problem with your version of “moderation” is that it celebrates failure as the best possible solution and classifies the best possible solutions as “extremism”. That’s not even a moderate position, it’s just messed up.

        • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 12/03/2019 - 04:03 pm.

          “I am not nor have I ever claimed that extremism is a path to salvation.”

          All evidence and impressions made to the contrary.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/03/2019 - 03:41 pm.

        Perhaps because the “middle” from which you speak has been pushed so far to the right as to be unrecognizable as such.

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/03/2019 - 06:21 pm.

      I believe one of the writers on this thread is steadfast in believing that “moderates” who speak to Republicans, who appear to all be characterized as being “Fascist” is not seeing the forest. That writer is looking at a grove of trees with thorns and poison, but not for the Republicans who may or may not be moderates.

      I mentioned attending a party in mid-November, as I thought it would be an opportunity to show that, as we have seen at the party and then in meetings after the party, that people can get along if they seek to get along.

      What the writer is doing appears to be equating anyone who is not very “left of center” — neither moderate Republicans nor moderate Democrats — as inherently “Fascist.” The writer’s beliefs are not based on reality, but on presumption and the refusal to get to know others for their own ideas. This is a dangerous path, itself: That is, ignoring reality and closing one’s eyes to truth.

      I have a friend in a southern state who is a Republican. His company, owned through two or three generations in his family, sells some kinds of cigarettes which I wish he wouldn’t sell, as they attract youth to new purchases. Yet, he is able to speak on a wide variety of topics, and mentioned being adverse to the writer’s nemesis, the “Fascist,” Donald Trump who, in my opinion doesn’t have the moral authority to be Commander in Chief of our armed forces as he doesn’t understand military order, he doesn’t understand military justice, he claimed to have “bone spurs” in his foot making him ineligible to serve in the military during Vietnam, and he has an uncanny way of working deals to his benefit — until those deals go sour, in which case he has bankrupted his company on five occasions — and has five times changed political parties.

      My Republican friend in the south, does not envision “his” president as being competent to run the nation as Chief Executive — but may well be called a “Fascist”, under the writer’s dogma, despite being a Republican who mentioned having a sour feeling every time the President opens his mouth or tweets an angry and uncontrolled tweet. This friend has a solid background in economics, and has run his family business for twenty or more years, and treats the front line staff around the nation as family, sharing that he started in the company where they are starting — washing toilets and scrubbing floors, and all.

      The writer’s thinking is not based on reality, but on presumption. Moreover, the writer has not learned from the original article writer’s awareness that 30% of people are not talking to one another at holiday parties due to the heated arguments which ensue when “the middle way” is forgotten and by right of the fact that people dig themselves in when they are personally confronted in an intense manner.

      This is why I choose the middle road when I speak or write. Certainly, some people with extreme points of views — and others who basically hero worship and/or become sycophants — toadies — of people on the extremes or who have personal characteristics which are remembered for being interesting and official-like are people of the variety of which I will listen to but become incredulous of their manner given their outright disregard for the health and safety, and temperament, of others whom they command or over which they have some other form of control or influence.

      Hence, the writer’s hyperbole becomes offensive not because they may have a good point underneath their brash comments, but because they haven’t the sensitivity to couch their words in a manner which serves to educate without being offensive — frequently, then, creating an environment where recalicitrism becomes ripe…thereby shooting themselves in the foot and undermining their very point.

      In thinking about this conversation, I believe that many of us have a considerate regard for Mr. Udstrand’s point of view; however, I do not see the point in further communicating with him as he is caught in a world where extremes present themselves and where, when extremes are so fervently mentioned, the other extreme rises.

      This in mind, I will no longer write in response to the writer of concern, but let that person speak in his own manner to the wall, if that is what they will do.

      This goes to show why the article writer spawning this comment section wrote his article. Moderation is the best alternative, as members of extreme viewpoints will do as they will do unless and until forbidden and halted by policies, laws or law enforcement or military injunction and execution.

      • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/08/2019 - 04:06 pm.

        The following article was written by a retired brigadier general who works at Rice University in a program devoted to leadership training, noting in more detail that I did, the problem with Mr. Trump interfering with military order and justice, as one who was never significantly trained and disciplined to understand military order and justice.

        Thomas Kolditz is director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and author of In Extremis Leadership. A retired brigadier general, he led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. (See link, below, for credit on the preceding statement)

        This note is not a condemnation of Republican values, which is not right for this commentary. It is a note Mr. Trump does not have the sophistication and temperament to continue leading our nation given his personality and the number of times that he has led other world leaders to discount him and wonder about his credibility as a leader, and wonder about the veracity of the wisdom of our electoral college in determining who should be president — if any of our candidates are nearing perfection as being qualified to lead our nation.

        Being able to say “You’re fired,” as he did in his reality television program, and move his arm and palm forward as a means of emphasizing his authority does not make him a good person to lead our nation. People with years of of training and experience in government and military affairs are speaking out against him, not because they are members of the “deep state” trying to undermine the president, but because they have worked in government and have a clear understanding of the needs of various departments in government to work in an orderly and consistent fashion — having learned from history what does and does not work.

        Here is the former West Point leader’s commentary, found in Fortune Magazine:

        https://fortune.com/2019/11/26/eddie-gallagher-richard-spencer-trump/

  19. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/03/2019 - 05:26 pm.

    Like I said Paul I don’t understand, the example was clear, the winners strategy is typically stay in the middle of the race course, and stock pickers are generally losing (over the long haul) vs the diversified portfolio strategy. Pro-sports teams typically play the statistics. We can go on and on, A simple last example, the term “best possible solution” is in my opinion a red herring. The best possible solution may require 10 years and $20M, but guess what you got 2 weeks and $200! That is reality, something moderates seem to get and the wingers appear not able to comprehend, and we are risk takers, probably just a lot more calculated and reasoned.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/04/2019 - 01:07 am.

      “and we are risk takers, probably just a lot more calculated and reasoned.”

      That is a pretty fair summation of the problem with centrism, one cannot BE both. One either accepts risk, to attain a greater reward, or one calculates and reasons risk away, and settles, always settles, for less than what is necessary to satisfy the needs for a stated goal. One will never fill a hole, if one stops halfway and says, “good enough!”

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/04/2019 - 09:17 am.

        Well, whatever, know lots of reasonable minded, moderate folks, and many of them are reasonably successful folks. Investors, business entrepreneurs, business managers, non-profit entrepreneurs, etc. etc. etc. The notion that risk is jumping off the ledge and hoping to survive is as most folks would say out there. Evidently folks have never heard of managed risk, or diversified risk, or hedging against risk. And yes we fill our holes because if you don’t there is a risk that some one will fall in and get injured resulting in a liability, its called risk management. And yes, we take risk we post comments out here, a risk that someone will come back with something worthwhile which is a pay off, because you learned something, or risk that folks are just going to throw mud at you because they don’t like your approach or thinking.

  20. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/04/2019 - 08:44 am.

    I can’t resist, it’s time to share a couple a couple quotes and say goodnight.

    Him Hightower’s relatively famous quip: “There’s nothing in the middle in the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos”

    I can’t verify it but Werner Herzog has tweeted:

    “Dear America: You are waking up, as Germany once did, to the awareness that 1/3 of your people would kill another 1/3, while 1/3 watches.”

    Who do you suppose that one third who’s watching is?

  21. Submitted by Paul Yochim on 12/04/2019 - 04:54 pm.

    Well, that settles it. When all has been said and done there is nothing left to say or do. A comprehensive review of how malignant obsession with politics can define and ruin friendships.

  22. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 12/04/2019 - 05:25 pm.

    Here are some statistics and a narrative regarding how wrong Democrats are in estimating the demographic background of Republicans, and of the Democrats wrongly estimating demographic features of Republicans:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-are-wrong-about-republicans-republicans-are-wrong-about-democrats/  

    Here are educational background vectors detailing the movement in and out of the Republican and Democratic parties:

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/15/educational-divide-in-vote-preferences-on-track-to-be-wider-than-in-recent-elections/  

    Here are statistics on Republicans and Democrats, taken from a Pew Research website:

    https://www.people-press.org/2016/09/13/1-the-changing-composition-of-the-political-parties/ 

    Here are statistics on trends in party affiliation from Pew Research:

    https://www.people-press.org/2018/03/20/1-trends-in-party-affiliation-among-demographic-groups/  

    Here are statistics on Religious affiliations and related demographics:
    https://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/chapter-1-the-changing-religious-composition-of-the-u-s/ 

    Here are statistics from a Pew Research investigator on who voted from Donald Trump in 2016:

    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

    Newsweek opinion piece on the changing platforms of the Republican Party since the beginning of the United States, and as Donald Trump has remade the Party into something unrecognizable to “historical Republicans”.

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-party-not-republican-party-1468758  

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