Ender

Tearing Families Apart

  
By:  Ender  •  Advice  •  2 weeks ago  •  84 comments

Tearing Families Apart

I was reading around today and came across this. It is an ongoing advice column that I would normally avoid. The headline caught my attention.


My Sister-in-Law Says I’m “a Communist Who Wants to Kill Babies”



So I Read it and it seemed all too real.


Dear Prudence,

My sister-in-law and I have very different political views. Actually, my entire family and I have very different political views: I’m liberal, and they aren’t. My parents and I had a very intense argument before the last election, such that we’ve mostly avoided discussing politics ever since. I usually only see my sister-in-law with my parents, as we’re not very close. During the most recent election, my brother told me that my sister-in-law and my mother spent a lot of time sharing conspiracy theories. She left our family group text and unfriended all Democrats on Facebook. She told my brother and mother that she wants nothing to do with me because I am “a communist who wants to kill babies.”

My brother says she has lost her mind and told her that I am no such thing. My mother, to her credit, told her to get a grip. If it were just my brother, I could deal with avoiding my sister-in-law and be fine. However, they have an 18-month-old daughter, whom I love as if she were my own. I have no children, and I am her only aunt. I would be devastated if my sister-in-law prevented me from seeing my niece. My brother wants me to “talk to” my SIL. I’m at a loss. She is already pretty irrational, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Should I try to talk with her? What in the world can I say? I know there is a real possibility that she wouldn’t even speak to me, much less listen to what I have to say.



—Not a Communist




That was my first concern, too : You say your brother wants you to talk to his wife, but it’s not at all clear that she shares that desire. It certainly wouldn’t do your relationship any good if you tried to foist a conversation on her that she didn’t want to have. I’m also not too sure you should be giving your mother much credit here. She apparently drew the line at calling you an infanticidal communist (a low bar to clear, but one she cleared nonetheless), but up to that moment had been a regular confidante for your sister-in-law, encouraging her to invest in various conspiracy theories and to demonize people like you. She’s more than a little responsible for this situation, even if she finds its current iteration slightly distasteful.

If you want to maintain a relationship with your niece, I think your present strategy is probably the best one. Give your sister-in-law a wide berth, be polite when interactions are unavoidable, focus on your niece, and decline any suggestions that you give her a call to say, “Hey, just so you know, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party.” That’s no guarantee that she won’t ever try to keep you from seeing your niece, I’m afraid, but there’s nothing you can do to guarantee that. Hopefully, in such a case, your brother would be willing to do more than say, “Hey, you’re nuts” to her and ask you to try to fix the situation. But I think you should prepare yourself for continued volatility on her part, and continued cravenness on your brother’s, sorry as I am to have to make such a prediction.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/02/dear-prudence-sister-in-law-says-im-communist-kill-babies.html

It made me wonder how many families are dealing with something similar. As polarized as we are, it seems to be hitting the homefront. Creating animosity and even distance as some family members will not even speak to each other over political bend.

It seems we have gone so extreme that we would allow politicians and their rhetoric destroy family units.

In my humble opinion, it is time to tell the devise politicians to pound sand.

We have seen with donald how hateful rhetoric and demonizing opposition can create actual hatred. If anything all of this should be teaching us to come together against the kind of extremes we are seeing yet it persists.

I heard just yesterday someone say that if so and so is elected or gets power it will be the end of the US as we know it.

That is the kind of hyperbole we should rise up against and let it be known it is not acceptable to rational thinking adults.






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Ender
PhD Principal
1  author  Ender    2 weeks ago

Advice seemed pretty straight forward.

I think it is sad that we would allow the 'us vs them' mentality to invade family lives and take over.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @1    2 weeks ago

It seems to me that we've become more polarized probably since the end of the Bush (Jr.) administration.  After the patriotism following 9-11 wore off, we started fighting internally over whether we should be at war with Iraq, and then there was the TEA Party, and the 2008 election, and we haven't even tried to see eye-to-eye ever since.  That's our political leaders and John Q. Public, alike.

We became a nation of rampant conspiracy theorists - 9-11 "Truthers", Sandy Hook "Truthers", birthers, Seth Rich "Truthers", anti-vaxxers, Qanonymous followers.  And I'm not sure there is a reliable way to bridge the gap between those folks and the real world, unfortunately.  It's sad, but I've found that trying to reason with the Qanoners in my own family just ends up with them deriding me and heading further down the rabbit hole.  They're sure there really was a pedo ring in the basement of a pizzeria with no basement, and that Tom Hanks is a murderer.  So I don't try anymore.  I can only hope those folks never achieve majority status in our nation.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
1.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    2 weeks ago

Also, yeah, the advice was good.  The brother was a bit spineless in this one.  He seems to want the letter writer to volunteer to be cannon fodder to a crazy person.  No dice.  Crazy SIL has to stop acting crazy, and the letter writer can't make her do that, nor is it her place to try.  Bro, grow a pair.  Either tell your wife to knock it off and respect your sister, or, if you don't have the testicular fortitude to do that, at least don't bother your sister and try to make it her job to fix your crazy wife.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
1.1.2  author  Ender  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

I agree with the not denying the part her Mother played in all of it.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
1.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

That, too.  Unfortunately, it sounds like the letter writer is considered to be a black sheep by her family, and that her family is intentionally stirring up trouble in an already tense relationship by telling tales on each other.  Not a healthy dynamic.  She might have to find herself a new "family", and keep the blood relatives at arms' length.  They've earned it.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.1.4  pat wilson  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    2 weeks ago
I can only hope those folks never achieve majority status in our nation.

That's my fear too, and I don't think we are far from it.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    2 weeks ago
I can only hope those folks never achieve majority status in our nation.

It's not complicated. The next time the Republican American Fascist Party gets control, they will keep it permanently. That's what they have demonstrated since November.

America may not be finished... but its path to survival is hard to see.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.5    2 weeks ago

You are JUST a little late with the American Fascist Party.

Here ya go:

Fascist Party of America | Historica Wiki | Fandom

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

Oh... OK.

The Republican New American Fascist Party.

Do you agree now?

I understand your discomfort...

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.7    2 weeks ago
Do you agree now?

No, sorry, I can't bring myself to condone such blatant nonsense and misinformation.

I do get that others have no problems with it......................and are completely comfortable with it.

 
 
 
devangelical
Masters Expert
1.1.9  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    2 weeks ago

half my family has gone quiet on social media, which thankfully has eliminated almost all the political bullshit. when it starts up again, after their extended mourning period, I'll be reminding all the super patriots they truly have no remaining moral high ground to stand on. a wasted effort on my part, since a large portion are still fighting the civil war.  

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
1.1.10  SteevieGee  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

From your link:

The party shared many of the same views as the Southern Democrats , although it pushed its nativism even further; instead of attempting to block citizenship for immigrants, it proposed to completely end the naturalization process for all immigrants. The Fascist Party's views also included shielding America's markets from foreign competition, the state controlling the national economy, ensuring that Protestantism was the only legal religion, and that America would pursue an aggressive and nationalistic foreign policy.

Sounds a lot like the Trump party platform to me.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
1.1.11  Thomas  replied to  SteevieGee @1.1.10    2 weeks ago

Sounds like North Korea to me

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.12  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    2 weeks ago

Do you not agree that Trump is an authoritarian?

Do you not agree that Trump is a xenophobe?

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.13  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.12    2 weeks ago

Man, you jump from fascists to Trump pretty easily.

And no, I don't agree with you.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.14  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.13    2 weeks ago

My questions are perfectly straightforward:

  • Do you not agree that Trump is an authoritarian?
  • Do you not agree that Trump is a xenophobe?

I'm not suggesting you agree with me. That would surely be unthinkable.

I'm asking if you agree or disagree with two perfectly straightforward propositions.

Alternatively, do you contend that Trump is a democrat - a believer in

  • inalienable rights,
  • equality of opportunity, and 
  • rule of law.
 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.15  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.14    2 weeks ago
My questions are perfectly straightforward:

Didn't ever claim they weren't, just noted you made one hell of a jump.

I'm not suggesting you agree withme.

If you didn't think he was you wouldn't have asked.

I'm asking if you agree or disagree with two perfectly straightforward propositions.

Already asked and answered.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.16  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.15    2 weeks ago

Gee, Tex!

Your tricks for avoiding ever saying what you think are s-o-o-o clever!

You really do impress us all!

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.17  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.16    2 weeks ago

Gee, Bob, I am always amazed at your ability to make things up out of whole cloth!

Amazed, but never impressed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.18  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.17    2 weeks ago

Oh!? Did I misunderstand? That happens all the time...

Would you be so kind as to clarify?

Is Trump

  • an authoritarian?
  • a xenophobe?
  • a Fascist?

Would you please answer each question by ''yes'' or ''no''? Otherwise, I'll get confused again, and will probably have to ask you again... and again... and again...

Thanks ever so much for your kind assistance!

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.19  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.18    2 weeks ago
Would you please answer each question by ''yes'' or ''no''?

No. No. No.

Otherwise, I'll get confused again, and will probably have to ask you again... and again... and again.

Asked and answered, and your confusion is no concern of mine.

And you're welcome!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.20  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.19    2 weeks ago

That seems clear enough.

Please allow me to recapitulate :

Texan1211 believes that Donald Trump is not an authoritarian.

Texan1211 believes that Donald Trump is not a xenophobe.

Texan1211 believes that Donald Trump is not a Fascist.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.21  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.20    2 weeks ago

By Jove, I think you actually read what I wrote!!

Wowza!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.21    2 weeks ago
you actually read what I wrote!!

Yes!

And it must be about the stupidest pile of crap I have ever read!

... at least it is straightforward...

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.23  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.22    2 weeks ago
Yes!

I was surprised you had done so, especially in light of the fact you felt you needed to reiterate what I had just written quite plainly to you and that I had already answered.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
1.1.24  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.23    2 weeks ago

I was so surprised to get a straight answer that I felt a need to get it repeated. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.1.25  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.24    2 weeks ago

I'm happy for you.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
1.1.26  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.3    2 weeks ago
She might have to find herself a new "family", and keep the blood relatives at arms' length.  They've earned it.

Exactly. I've had to do that; albeit not over politics, but still had to do that. 

The last time I saw any of my nephews, they were 3 [he's now 19], 5 [he's 12], and I only met the oldest one once, but that was for another reason altogether... long story, my brother is an idiot. The last two are from the same brother; the first nephew mentioned is from another brother who picked a fight with me and my husband at MY grandmother's funeral. For clarification, they're technically stepbrothers, but we grew up together, in the same house.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
1.1.27  Kathleen  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @1.1.26    2 weeks ago

I call my SIL the drifter. She was divorced 2 times , lived with a guy then he passed away, lived with another guy, did not work out, now living with a new guy. She has no kids. I am the only one out of my sister and my husbands sister that had a child. She is a wild one, we were never close. but got along somewhat okay. 

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
1.1.28  SteevieGee  replied to  Thomas @1.1.11    2 weeks ago

Yep.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
1.1.29  sandy-2021492  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @1.1.26    2 weeks ago

It's sad when that happens, but it's not right to expect family members who have been attacked to submit to further emotional abuse just to keep the peace.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
1.1.30  dennis smith  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.19    2 weeks ago

You are spot on Texan1211

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
1.1.31  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.29    2 weeks ago

Agreed. 

My brother in law (hubby's brother) and his wife made a big issue about how the relationship between my husband and I started. Not that it was any of their business. It has taken 13 years for them to be more cordial with us. I promised my mother in law that I wouldn't make waves and that I would always be a part of their family functions (we even always invited BIL and his wife to our house), but that I wouldn't be more than polite. Both said and did some rotten things about my husband and I, but for my mother in law, we decided that we needed to at least be polite.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
1.2  cjcold  replied to  Ender @1    2 weeks ago

This independent, progressive, liberal, atheist, centrist was also raised in a home where my parents and siblings were/are hard core Christian republicans. 

The dinner table discussions could get tense and heated at times.

We eventually came to a mutual agreement to not talk politics or religion . 

Our family reunions and get-togethers are now much more pleasant and stress free.

There are many more interesting and less controversial topics to converse upon.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

That's a very appropriate article to bring to the fore these days.  IMO she can forget about having a decent relationship with her niece because her sister-in-law is bound to poison the child's mind, and her husband doesn't, as Sandy has indicated, have the balls to set his wife straight - I'd say HE wears the skirt in that family. 

The point of this article applies not just to biological families, but to the NT family as well.  There are conspiracy theorists and those who support such theories right here on this site.  It doesn't matter how many times I've made that suggested statement, "I am not now and have never been a member of the Communist Party", I'm accused quite often of being one because I don't agree with the falsehoods and conspiracy theories harboured by some of the members of this site, and so because of that I'm labelled a shill for Xi Jinping or a "commie" or called "Comrade".  The funny thing is that I've been a supporter of the Canada and Ontario Conservative Parties for the past 4 decades, although as a Canadian I support Canada's universal healthcare, abortion rights, strict gun controls (about to become even stricter) and ban on capital punishment, all of which are liberal ideals.  At least the government members of the Conservative Parties in Canada have principles and integrity - something that appears to be missing in most of the Republican Party. 

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1  cjcold  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    2 weeks ago

Was called a commie back in the 60s because I protested the lies that got us into Nam.

Know many Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos who taught me their martial art systems and welcomed this white Kansas boy into their homes. Travelled extensively in my youth searching out knowledge. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  cjcold @2.1    2 weeks ago

 A number of "nam draft dodgers were among my friends.  I created a business in Toronto in partnership with two of them.  They were not cowards, they had priciples, certainly a lot more principles than most of the Republican Senators. 

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Spent some time in Mexico back in the day after publicly burning my draft card. 

Never much cared for cold Canadian winters.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.3  cjcold  replied to  cjcold @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

Speaking of cold, my water pipes are frozen, electricity comes and goes and am still alive thanks to a cast iron stove and a new load of hedge wood. It is now -12 F outside.

Currently using a chemical camping toilet and am glad to have it. Bought it years ago and saved it just for a time like this. 

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
2.1.4  charger 383  replied to  cjcold @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

Stay warm and good luck

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.5  cjcold  replied to  charger 383 @2.1.4    2 weeks ago

Right back at ya.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.6  cjcold  replied to  charger 383 @2.1.4    2 weeks ago

Can't stress strongly enough how important a few flashlights and a butt load of batteries can be at a time like this! Luckily I am a flashaholic.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1.7  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  cjcold @2.1.6    2 weeks ago
Luckily I am a flashaholic.

Taken out of context, that could be quite funny. jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
2.1.8  author  Ender  replied to  cjcold @2.1.6    2 weeks ago

Leaned that one from hurricanes. I need to get a good tactical one. My old mag light finally bit the dust.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
2.1.9  cjcold  replied to  Ender @2.1.8    2 weeks ago

Found a company called Nitecore that makes amazingly bright flashlights.

From the smallest to the largest they are now my favorite flashlights.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
3  Bob Nelson    2 weeks ago
Communist Who Wants To Kill Babies

Let's observe the absurdity of that. 

Can there be any ''compromise'' with that? Could the author meet the sister-in-law halfway, with something like ''social democrat who wants to break babies' legs''??

Of course not. The sister-in-law's attack is crazy. Insane. 

So... stay polite but firm. ''No, that is wrong. Would you like to talk?''

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4  Hal A. Lujah    2 weeks ago

I read a similar long article yesterday about the number of adults who are losing their parents to QAnon.  The more they try to convince them that these conspiracy theories are not only untrue but ridiculously unbelievable, the further the parents remove them from their lives.  When they finally make the decision that it is no longer healthy for the grandchildren to be exposed to the grandparents because of what they have become, the response is that it’s no longer heathy for the grandparents to be exposed to their own kids who refuse to accept their reality.  It’s so sad but cutting the cord becomes the only solution.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    2 weeks ago
It’s so sad but cutting the cord becomes the only solution.

Yes.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
5  Thomas    2 weeks ago

Well, i wouldn't write off the whole relationship just yet. She could try finding a totally unrelated subject , some mutual point of interest to connect on.   That is where I would start. 

Confrontation seldom changes hearts and minds but it sure can raise ires. If her niece is that important, than she should at least choke back her bile for her SIL and give it a try. It would be far better, from my perspective, to be the bigger person and continue to see the niece, than to just throw up her hands and walk away. Might be a good idea if this were started on neutral ground at a family gathering.... People are such drama kings and queens!

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
5.1  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  Thomas @5    2 weeks ago

I tend to agree if for no one else but the niece. 

Sometimes it only takes one voice of reason to make a difference in a person's whole life. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
5.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thomas @5    2 weeks ago

I can see continuing to go to family gatherings, and interacting politely with SIL there, if SIL chooses to be present, which seems doubtful.  But to seek out a conversation to try to mend fences, as brother suggests?  No.  There is no way this fence can be mended from one side.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
5.2.1  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5.2    2 weeks ago

If one does not try to reach an objective, then one has failed to reach that objective, by definition. Or, as Yoda said, "There is no try. Only do." Have to start somewhere. 

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
5.2.2  Freewill  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5.2    2 weeks ago
There is no way this fence can be mended from one side.

Indeed!

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
5.2.3  Freewill  replied to  Thomas @5.2.1    2 weeks ago
Or, as Yoda said, "There is no try. Only do." Have to start somewhere. 

Or as the Great One Wayne Gretzky says, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
6  zuksam    2 weeks ago

Any Family that can't get past Political differences or a least put them aside for the sake of harmony would likely be fighting over something or other anyway. Some Families just can't get along that's why you always see cop cars at the ready on Thanksgiving it's one of the busiest days of the year for domestic calls. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
6.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  zuksam @6    2 weeks ago

Sometimes people just go so far off the deep end you don't even recognize them anymore. 

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
7  charger 383    2 weeks ago

My family thinks I am too liberal, but we get along 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
7.1  author  Ender  replied to  charger 383 @7    2 weeks ago

Feels good doesn't it...Haha

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
8  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Haven't spoken to my uncle in over a year after he and my dad brought up Trump and I tore them both a new asshole. 

My mother, brother, and sister have all agreed that we will not talk politics with my father because we don't want to give that cocksucker Trump the victory of ruining our family. My mother has already flat out told him politics is off limits as far as conversation goes. 

I was able to have real discussions with that man, but now it is just a bunch of "well maybe" and "I don't know..." bullshit giving credence to some of the most retarded conspiracies of all time. 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
8.1  author  Ender  replied to  Thrawn 31 @8    2 weeks ago

My Uncle that just passed was a trump supporter. He loved fox news.

I just ignored it and didn't talk politics with him.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Senior Guide
8.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Ender @8.1    2 weeks ago

Best approach I think. My dad and I always got pretty heated when talking politics, Trump made it even worse. I damn near knocked his teeth out a couple of times, That is when my mom stepped in and we agreed to the detante' 

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
9  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

Interesting subject.  I have been disowned by two cousins because I will not believe or accept that Donald J. Trump is ordained by God.

And through all of this I believe Putin and the rest of the World's autocracies and dictators are very pleased that their years of 'propaganda' has success in weakening America's and the other democracies cohesive fabric and national resolve.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10  Freewill    2 weeks ago

My family is a mixed bag of Democrats, Republicans and Independents and we get along fine.  The reason is because we don't ask each other loaded questions like the following example lifted from comments in this very article, and then insist on yes or no answers as though every political position is binary with no room for discussion.  We are reasonable people who can discuss such things rationally as I describe below the quoted bits.

Is Trump
  • an authoritarian?
  • a xenophobe?
  • a Fascist?

Would you please answer each question by ''yes'' or ''no''? Otherwise, I'll get confused again, and will probably have to ask you again... and again... and again...

Alternatively, do you contend that Trump is a democrat - a believer in

  • inalienable rights,
  • equality of opportunity, and 
  • rule of law.

This example is unfortunately all about Trump who we are thankfully rid of, but I'm working with what was written above in the comments of this article. The concept applies to language and tactics used by both entrenched partisan camps.

If Trump were an authoritarian he would still be president despite the results of the election.  He would have governed like Stalin or Kim Jong Un and silenced or killed those who disagreed with his authority.  Did he do that?  No.  So he is not an authoritarian by the standard definition of that word in this context.  Did he have some tendencies?  Maybe.  He certainly used the executive order quite a bit, but not as much as some before him, and even the current president seems to be enjoying that ability thus far. 

Is he a xenophobe?  Well president Biden certainly thought so and said so when Trump called for closing down travel from China at the outset of the pandemic to try and head off the virus transmission to the States.  Some could argue correctly that there may have been other reasons for that besides xenophobia.  The language he used in talking about the reasons for better enforcing federal immigration laws along our southern border could certainly be fodder for considering him a xenophobe.  Or it could be that his third grade vocabulary simply couldn't allow him to be clear that he was talking about only the criminal elements that had come across the border when he engaged in statements about dangerous immigrants.  

A fascist?  Please!  Godwin's law much?

As for the propositions regarding whether he was a Democrat;

 - Not all Democrats believe in equality of opportunity.  Certainly not those who shut down, or support those who shut down, speech or block certain speakers at colleges, universities and other venues. Certainly not those who favor policies that stifle small business.

 - Do ALL Democrats really believe in the rule of law?  There were quite a few who certainly didn't believe in that last summer.

My point being of course that using partisan language like the quoted bits above, and as illustrated in Ender's seeded article, and not being willing to even discuss the gray areas is what drives people apart and destroys families.  Be honest and don't insist on absolutes, or extreme positions, and nobody needs to hate each other.  And for God’s sake don’t describe an entire group of people as “communists who want to kill babies”.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freewill @10    2 weeks ago

You should cite your sources. I have been ticketed for not doing so.

But hey!

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10.1.1  Freewill  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1    2 weeks ago
You should cite your sources.

Why?  The originator of the quotes I high-lighted didn't cite any sources, just provided loaded questions as though his extreme opinion was fact beyond contestation.  That is part of the problem and the general point I was making.

I have been ticketed for not doing so.

Yeah I seriously doubt that, but hey, if you make sweeping generalizations and unsupported outrageous claims don't be surprised at being called out for it.  If you make such claims in an effort to personally insult another member, then don't be surprised if you are flagged or ticketed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freewill @10.1.1    2 weeks ago

You're the latest incarnation of He Who Must Not Be Named, aren't you?

I should have recognized you sooner. 

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10.1.3  Freewill  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.2    2 weeks ago
You're the latest incarnation of He Who Must Not Be Named, aren't you?

Lord Voldemort?  No...  so sorry to disappoint.  My nose is far more pronounced, and his hideous dark aquamarine vestments are not even in my color wheel.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freewill @10.1.3    2 weeks ago

... a previous Moderator who often used his situation in... odd... ways. No one could ever understand why he was a Mod. He disappeared a while back... a bit before you appeared...

His methods and language were like yours.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10.1.5  Freewill  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.4    2 weeks ago

I see.  Well, sorry to disappoint again Bob, I'm not that guy either.  I "appeared" here well over 4 years ago, and I have known many people here as far back as the early days of Newsvine.  I'm sure you can find several here who will corroborate my history if it is really that important to you.  

In this thread I am not speaking in my capacity as a mod (no purple here).  These are my opinions and my experiences in talking politics with my family and with others here at NT and before that at NV.   I'm not speaking for NT or the other mods.  Not sure if they even agree with me on this or not, nor do I expect them to. 

I have no intention of using my "situation" here in "odd ways".  I prefer an open mind and honesty to partisan exaggeration and hyperbole, and rational and reasonable discussion to petty bickering, name-calling and generalizations about people.  I love long walks on the beach, and prefer bourbon poured slowly over a single large ice cube to beer. 

But enough about me Bob...  Tell us a little about yourself...

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
10.1.6  author  Ender  replied to  Freewill @10.1.5    2 weeks ago

Isn't it hard to pour the bourbon and walk on the beach at the same time...

I have some of those big round ice cube molds. Don't think I have ever used them though.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.1.7  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freewill @10.1.5    2 weeks ago

That's too bad... I kinda miss Bf...

If you've been here for four years, you surely know all about me.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.4    2 weeks ago

I have known Freewill since probably 2009 on Newsvine.   He is absolutely NOT the individual you suspect.    And his style is substantially different (humor for fun rather than to poke).

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.8    2 weeks ago

OK... my bad.

It's weird. I spent years fighting Bf... and now I miss him!

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
10.1.10  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.4    2 weeks ago
He disappeared a while back... a bit before you appeared...

Wrong. BF departed end of Oct. Freewill has been here for years.

His methods and language were like yours.

Not in the least.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
10.1.11  author  Ender  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.9    2 weeks ago

I kinda miss him too.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.9    2 weeks ago

Well let's just hope that missing thing does not start applying to Trump.   If both you and (our resident principle Trump sycophant) start pining for Trump in 2024 I might start thinking I am in a Twilight Zone episode.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10.1.13  Freewill  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.7    2 weeks ago
That's too bad... I kinda miss Bf...

Me too.  I thought he had a pretty good sense of humor until unfortunately he didn't.  I miss a lot of the old Newsvine folk like Cobalt Blue, Fireryone, Greg, Enoch,  Suz, Chloe, Father Guido, BD, Cory Spencer, Truth Sleuth, and so many others.

If you've been here for four years, you surely know all about me.

Well, I've heard a little... only the good stuff though my friend... only the good stuff...  (-:

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
10.1.14  JBB  replied to  Freewill @10.1.13    2 weeks ago

Not very long ago Soph got word to Perrie that Laird of the North had passed away...

BF here was greg of the DA's of Olde on NV.

 
 
 
Freewill
Sophomore Guide
10.1.15  Freewill  replied to  JBB @10.1.14    2 weeks ago

I had heard about Laird.  Very sad.  He is certainly another who I miss.

I’m not so sure about BF being Greg from NV JBB.  I don’t think so.  But I could be wrong.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10.1.16  TᵢG  replied to  JBB @10.1.14    2 weeks ago
BF here was greg of the DA's of Olde on NV.

Nope

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
10.1.17  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Freewill @10.1.15    2 weeks ago

BF was BF on NV, too.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
10.2  Texan1211  replied to  Freewill @10    2 weeks ago

Much too reasoned and sane to be taken seriously by those who need to read it the most.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
10.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Freewill @10    2 weeks ago

At the start of 2011, Donald Trump wanted to run for president in 2012, as a Republican. His biggest problem by far was that he did not have a political base. He tried to figure out how to carve out that base and settled on the idea that he would be the lead "birther" in America and campaign against the legitimacy of America's first non white president. Trump didnt invent birtherism which went back a few years earlier than 2011, but Trump was the first and only person who thought he could use it as a way to create a sufficient enough following to be a viable presidential candidate. 

The key thing about analyzing Trump's political beliefs is not if he is a fascist, authoritarian or xenophobe, but if he is a white griever. And the answer is that Trump owes his entire political career to his appeal to white people who were sick and tired of "the others" making inroads into white's centuries old dominance of this society. 

Trump's political career was based on promoting birtherism in 2011. It failed that year because Obama called his bluff and produced his long form birth certificate, humiliating Trump and ending his hopes for the nomination. Trump dropped out of the race shortly after Obama showed his birth certificate.  And then came back a few years later with many of the same themes of white grievance. 

"White grievance" is Trump's main political brand, and always has been. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
10.3.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @10.3    2 weeks ago

Racism is America's expression of xenophobia.