Braver Angels and word policing

I posted this in my Braver Angels facebook page. We’ll be putting on workshops this Fall. Enjoy. Click on the picture to get to the article. (Not a picture of me)

“While it is important to speak from the heart and use words and phrases that feel appropriate to you, this greater awareness of how others may interpret them can go a long way in keeping our relationships alive and our conversations constructive.”

One thing that stands out in the reasons I choose to focus my energy on Braver Angels is the feeling I get when my friends, my good friends, the ones on “my side”, the ones I agree with on major issues of justice, social, economic, and the environment. Those friends. When they start railing on the “others”, it feels very nearly the same as when I am with my uncomfortable, disagreeable family and community that I’m obligated to be with, and they start railing on the things I believe.

A problem with that is, I must spend time figuring out what the person is talking about. Is it a headline, or an in-depth analysis of a serious issue? If it’s introduced as “so-and-so said”, I won’t know without further inquiry, and questions can lead to confrontations. Truth is, we all have a variety of values and beliefs, and it’s what makes us interesting. There are people who are both Christian AND Democrat, Right-Wing AND Pro-Choice, even those who sometimes drink coffee AND sometimes drink kombucha.

Braver Angels does not have secret techniques for dealing with people. Sometimes, our leaders say things that I’m not so sure are right. In a way, that tells me I’m in the right place, a place where I’m with people who are willing to help me examine where I’m uncomfortable. The article is speaking about a list of words that Braver Angels put out. Words that might be taken by others in a way you don’t intend them. Th quote above is from the introduction to that list.

Braver Conversations | Words matter in political banter

I like Braver Angels. The article basically says to be kind. That’s a good thing. I have a shirt that I wear when I jog that says Be Kind. People say, “I like your shirt!” as they walk toward me.

But I often feel that kindness requires a super-human amount of patience. I think this picture illustrates what I mean.

It does seem that way. That’s what BA is about, creating a space where patience is encouraged, and then you can practice it. With that experience, you can practice “in the wild”.

Is that person in the wheel chair being assaulted by that MAGA creep?
Looks like it to me. Anybody getting that close to my face I consider a threat!

Are you adjudicating this case from a photo?

What’s your response if you were there? Escalate the violence or try for descalation? Or the nonviolent strategy, let the red hat guy escalate it and show what a complete jerk he is and let him do something blantantly illegal with photographic proof?

The MAGA cap gives it away.

I consider that evidence of invading someone’s space. This is clearly not a friendly confrontation. Would you want someone so close in your face that his cap is pushing your head back?

In this case, the person in that wheel-chair this might be a war veteran, who Trump calls “losers” and “suckers” for being disabled.

Sounds like you choose escalating

Who is committing the aggressive action? The guy in the wheelchair?

It would be perfectly appropriate for the CNA to warn him off.
“Please, sir, you action may upset my patient. Give him some breathing room”

That person is very short. No wheel chair. But that’s also my dilemma. Do you come to the defense of the man? Or do you try kindness? How would you apply kindness here?

That elderly man is in a wheel chair and is unable to move. That is why he has CNA pushing his wheelchair. There is no need for any help.

It is up to the man bending into his face to allow personal space.
Note that the MAGA cap clearly identifies the mindset of the aggressive person.
I bet he had a gun in that backpack, if not on his hip.

Any MAGA cap sets off a red flag in my mind. It spells Trump and trouble. Trumple?

I’ll never forget this synopsis.

Trump got a deferment from military service 5 times.

Donald Trump avoided the military draft 5 times, but it wasn’t uncommon for young men from influential families to do so during the Vietnam War.

Donald Trump Avoided the Military Draft 5 Times, Which Was Common - Business Insider

Ha. That’s a short man with a MAGA woman in his face. No matter. In any case, what would you do?

No that is a man in a wheelchair pushed by his CNA (certified nursing assistant).
And the person with his face 3 inches from this elderly man, was nor a female but a male with a little pony tail. This was pure intimidation!

I know what my wife (nurse) would have told this intruder of her patient’s personal space and it would have been a warning. (see above)

If I am right what is your complaint? I am not suggesting violence. The guy with the cap is acting aggressively, from what I see.

The MAGA cap does not stand for peace and harmony. The MAGA boss is a convicted felon with a history of demeaning and insulting people.
Anybody who wears a MAGA cap is of the same mindset as the boss, no?
It would be nice to hear the verbal exchange.

It could be a woman, but even that, what difference does it make? Write4 has made a lot of assumptions, about weapons, about what could happen next, about beliefs. All of them are just that, assumptions.

I can’t answer the “what would I do” question because I’m not there. I usually go with talking and next, looking for an escape route. It’s a public place, and very few people make slow aggresive moves then escalate. Either they come out blasting, or they just want to intimidate and claim victory.

I was assaulted on a dark street. Luckily the cops showed up. This is well lit, and at least one camera.

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I know this. The very idea of MAGA is a grand LIE. The US is a great country.

If the US was not “great” compared to the rest of the world, why are people from the rest of the world trying to emigrate to the US?

I don’t see any US residents leaving the US for an other “greater” country.

When a political movement is founded on a lie, the result cannot be positive and any drastic change can only be detrimental to the “norm”.

Ask yourself, why are we scared to death of Trump regaining power and have his day as dictator? The US might no longer be a Democracy.

Well, the guy in the MAGA cap wants Trump back in power. That doesn’t scare you?

Really? Look it up.

I’m not. If I get that scared, I check my assumptions. I check reality.

You don’t think Trump voters believe that?

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No, they believe Trump and his plans.
And checking reality, have you paid any attention to what this clinical narcissist has promised when gets back in power?
Do you believe the US would remain a great country under Trump?

Trump explains his militaristic plan to deport 15-20 million people

To Germans, Hitler was a MGGA hero.
Remember how the “final solution” to the Jewish problem ended?

To Russians, Putin is a MRGA hero. And he is busy trying to conquer Europe again.
Remember Putin: “Ukraine is part of Russia”, and how that is working out?

Does any of this sound familiar? How do you think Trump’s “solution” would work out for the better?

I think we each (in this thread to this point) have the same opinion of trump and maga. And I didn’t mean to sidetrack the discussion with a picture.

Better Angels favors peaceful actions and I was just trying to point out how hard that can be.

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It’s been getting to be a drag to have to answer questions from long time members, friends really, about things I’ve talked about for years.

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First, the quote “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it” is accurately stated by American philosopher George Santayana as “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”…

And, am I asking questions or posting my perspectives on current affairs, while referencing the past?

I learned about Roy Cohn in 2003 after watching the movie “Angels in America”, and subsequently read Trump’s bio and how Cohn taught him to skirt the law.

The Final Lesson Donald Trump Never Learned From Roy Cohn


September 19, 2019

The unrepentant political hitman who taught a younger Trump how to flout the rules didn’t get away with it forever.

New members joining a forum usually do not go back years and hundreds of posts.
Repeats of old posts are often helpful to new members.

But today we are talking about current affairs, not just repetition of old stuff.