24 votes

Dear Dad, please don’t vote for Donald Trump this time

24 comments

  1. [23]
    thundergolfer
    Link
    This article captures the amazing privilege of the wealthy white young people whose parents embrace awful politics. Ryan is not himself exposed to the terrors of Republican party politics, so for...

    This article captures the amazing privilege of the wealthy white young people whose parents embrace awful politics. Ryan is not himself exposed to the terrors of Republican party politics, so for him a father that promotes conservative politics is an inconvenience and an awkwardness. When conservative politics leads to mass death and Fascism, inconvenience becomes interpersonal suffering, as Ryan has to reckon with the seeming contradictions of his love for the father and terribleness of that father.

    Reading this I don't believe Ryan really cares about the great harms of the politics his father promotes. I don't believe he understands the political divide, nor what's happened to his father's politics. This letter is full of saccharine appeals to American greatness that are themselves part of the problem. There's also this:

    This is someone who helped put Trump in office and wants to keep him there, but we’re still friends.

    Yeah, Ryan doesn't really care about all this that much.

    19 votes
    1. [3]
      tesseractcat
      Link Parent
      Seeing how easy it is to become indoctrinated by right-wing propaganda, I think this response is a bit insensitive. You can't expect everyone to cut ties or despise their parents when they start...

      Seeing how easy it is to become indoctrinated by right-wing propaganda, I think this response is a bit insensitive. You can't expect everyone to cut ties or despise their parents when they start voting republican.

      49 votes
      1. [2]
        thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        Did I give the impression that I recommend cutting ties with a far right-wing parent? I didn't mean to. I also don't think you should despise your parents, that's not a healthy or useful reaction....

        everyone to cut ties or despise their parents

        Did I give the impression that I recommend cutting ties with a far right-wing parent? I didn't mean to. I also don't think you should despise your parents, that's not a healthy or useful reaction.

        The thrust of my comment I hope is that rich white young people should take the terrible politics of their parents more seriously, as it's literally life and death for people less privileged and powerful than them. Adult children have power in their relationship with their elderly parents, and they shouldn't shirk their responsibility to fight awful right-wing politics because that politics is living at home.

        Yes, your parents might actually be bad people for holding and promoting flagrantly immoral politics, and yes, it is your responsibility to deal with that.

        15 votes
        1. vegai
          Link Parent
          I wonder what do you suggest? People are not usually keen on being educated on their opinions by someone who is 20 years younger than them. Especially if said education lacks respect.

          Yes, your parents might actually be bad people for holding and promoting flagrantly immoral politics, and yes, it is your responsibility to deal with that.

          I wonder what do you suggest? People are not usually keen on being educated on their opinions by someone who is 20 years younger than them. Especially if said education lacks respect.

          18 votes
    2. [8]
      JackA
      Link Parent
      I don't want to live in a world where I can't be friends with half of my country without being shamed by hyper partisans. There's more to life than can be gained by isolating myself from anyone...

      I don't want to live in a world where I can't be friends with half of my country without being shamed by hyper partisans. There's more to life than can be gained by isolating myself from anyone with flaws.

      Cutting people off as friends or designating half of America as "terrible" people regardless of how into politics they are reeks of a mindset that spends more time stressing over politics than living their live.

      Isolating people you disagree with and calling them names only reenforces their beliefs. You have the moral highground here if your only goal is to purify yourself as much as possible, but it's not a feasible way to live in a society.

      You can argue that we shouldn't "cut them off" but there's no way to relentlessly attack someones ideology and still remain in a close relationship. You either learn to stop talking about it as often with them, or the relationship dies.

      28 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. JackA
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'm an atheist, I'm used to the majority of the population believing in something that condemns me to eternal damnation. If I followed that line of logical abstraction there would be very few...

          I'm an atheist, I'm used to the majority of the population believing in something that condemns me to eternal damnation. If I followed that line of logical abstraction there would be very few people who I could genuinely be around in good faith.

          At some point I've come to term with the fact that for most people what they "believe" or who they support have very little to do with who they actually are on a day to day basis. If they want to have a reasonable discussion about it I love to contribute, but most people don't, and nobody likes the guy who constantly brings it up. I'm not going to hold myself responsible for the thoughts of others and go on a crusade against every opinion I disagree with, especially if it's at the detriment to our day to day relationship.

          Yes there are dangers to letting certain ideas (especially some peddled by the right) become normalized among the population, but if I want to be able to maintain the relationships needed to change those opinions in people I can't constantly be engaged in a Kantian struggle against them.

          I'm not really trying to make any points here, it might not even be aimed at you, just fleshing out my thoughts.

          13 votes
      2. [6]
        thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        Generally I think your comment is minimising the extent to which far-right people cause or support harm, and not acknowledging how abnormal and dangerous it is support Fascist politicians. Who...

        There's more to life than can be gained by isolating myself from anyone with flaws.

        Generally I think your comment is minimising the extent to which far-right people cause or support harm, and not acknowledging how abnormal and dangerous it is support Fascist politicians.

        Isolating people you disagree with and calling them names only reenforces their beliefs.

        Who said anything about doing this?

        10 votes
        1. [5]
          Grzmot
          Link Parent
          I don't want to accuse you of anything, but your replies in this thread very much give off the vibe of a bitter and dissatisfied person. I think Trump, with his actions, has very much earned those...
          • Exemplary

          I don't want to accuse you of anything, but your replies in this thread very much give off the vibe of a bitter and dissatisfied person. I think Trump, with his actions, has very much earned those feelings, but the way you write implies that you are not interested in communicating with the people who vote for him or a sympathetic to him in some way.

          20 votes
          1. [4]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [3]
              LukeZaz
              Link Parent
              It's not really that cut and dry, though. There are a lot of people lying on behalf of Trump, and there are lots of people who believe those lies. Combine that with such high political...

              It's not really that cut and dry, though. There are a lot of people lying on behalf of Trump, and there are lots of people who believe those lies. Combine that with such high political divisiveness making conversation so difficult and you get a lot of very good people voting for him under the genuine belief that he's a good choice.

              13 votes
              1. [3]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. LukeZaz
                  Link Parent
                  They are seeking the truth though, and they think they've found it. It's not helpful to blame victims for falling prey to a highly organized con; doing that just makes it harder to get at the...

                  They are seeking the truth though, and they think they've found it. It's not helpful to blame victims for falling prey to a highly organized con; doing that just makes it harder to get at the people who're actually responsible.

                  15 votes
                2. mrbig
                  Link Parent
                  I believe that is overly simplistic. The are smart people using powerful tools to deceive the public, and not everyone is able to counter that. There is such a thing as well meaning ignorance....

                  I believe that is overly simplistic. The are smart people using powerful tools to deceive the public, and not everyone is able to counter that. There is such a thing as well meaning ignorance. This is not equivalent to say such ignorance is harmless.

                  3 votes
          2. thundergolfer
            Link Parent
            No worries, accuse away. I'm have strong utopian leanings, so "dissatisfied" goes only part of the way to describing my disappointment with the USA. My writing is this thread has focused on Ryan...

            No worries, accuse away. I'm have strong utopian leanings, so "dissatisfied" goes only part of the way to describing my disappointment with the USA.

            My writing is this thread has focused on Ryan and his father, who are highly privileged. It's not about the entire group that is "people who vote for him or a sympathetic to him in some way."

            I'm genuinely interested which part of my comments makes you think I would think not communicating with any Trump supporter is reasonable.

            4 votes
    3. [3]
      skybrian
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It seems to me that maintaining good relationships with family and friends is much more important than getting an actual vote here? After all, he could convince someone else to vote for Biden and...

      It seems to me that maintaining good relationships with family and friends is much more important than getting an actual vote here? After all, he could convince someone else to vote for Biden and it counts just as much. We don’t even know if his father is in a swing state.

      If winning is important to you, forget about anyone who isn’t going to change their mind and go to work for the Biden campaign getting votes that are gettable. Increasing turnout is important too. But one vote by a specific person hardly matters at all here. It’s a numbers game.

      Edit: come to think of it, he’s doing what he can to influence others by posting this article to his blog. Is this really about communicating with his father at all? It seems more like a sales tactic.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        Talking about this as if it's a mere vote at stake is ignoring so much about is wrong with his father's politics. His father's politics and belief system cause harm in the social, economic, and...

        Talking about this as if it's a mere vote at stake is ignoring so much about is wrong with his father's politics. His father's politics and belief system cause harm in the social, economic, and political spheres long before and long after this particular election is done.

        10 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          I don’t have a lot of experience here, but what I have seen is that the most you can do to change a mind is to occasionally nudge it in the right direction. That means maintaining a good...

          I don’t have a lot of experience here, but what I have seen is that the most you can do to change a mind is to occasionally nudge it in the right direction. That means maintaining a good relationship. I don’t think that’s necessarily anyone’s responsibility, though. People are free to shelter themselves from toxicity.

          5 votes
    4. [7]
      daltonlp
      Link Parent
      Ryan is the author of a good book called Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. That's true. You're reading the thoughts of a conservative who feels embarrassed by Trump, but...

      Ryan is the author of a good book called Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.

      Reading this I don't believe Ryan really cares about the great harms of the politics his father promotes.

      That's true. You're reading the thoughts of a conservative who feels embarrassed by Trump, but would be A-ok with Reagan or Bushes 1 or 2. Much like George Will.

      This happened with Nixon. He was transparently corrupt. But 6 years after he quit the office in disgrace, the country elected Reagan. There's a great book about that: The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

      I expect this cycle to repeat. Trump is defeated. The republican party's next candidate will be the most mass-appeal person they can find. Imagine Tom Hanks, with Joe Rogan as VP.

      10 votes
      1. [6]
        thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        I agree, which is why I find the liberals that are already working to rehabilitate the Republican Party to be really frustrating and harmful. An example is Ezra Klein hosting multiple guests who...

        I agree, which is why I find the liberals that are already working to rehabilitate the Republican Party to be really frustrating and harmful.

        An example is Ezra Klein hosting multiple guests who want to 'rebuild the Republican Party' post-Trump.

        9 votes
        1. [5]
          JakeTheDog
          Link Parent
          Why wouldn't you want to have a rehabilitated Republican Party? Would you rather only have the Democratic party? Or only "liberal" parties?

          Why wouldn't you want to have a rehabilitated Republican Party? Would you rather only have the Democratic party? Or only "liberal" parties?

          8 votes
          1. spctrvl
            Link Parent
            Personally, I don't think that anything to the right of corporate Democrats is really compatible with democracy in the long run, and that's being rather generous. From what I've seen, most efforts...

            Personally, I don't think that anything to the right of corporate Democrats is really compatible with democracy in the long run, and that's being rather generous. From what I've seen, most efforts to 'rehabilitate' the Republican party seem to be focused on just making them less overtly racist and contemptuous towards democracy without touching the elephant in the room that is their dogshit policies that wouldn't sell if it weren't bundled with that racism and voter suppression. Trump is Z, and they're just talking about backing the Republicans up to W or X.

            What I'd prefer is the Republican party disintegrating, Democrats absorb the conservative votes with blue dog style candidates, and the DSA or whoever spins off as the new left party. The Republican party is quite likely beyond reform at this point, the rot is too fundamental.

            14 votes
          2. [3]
            moocow1452
            Link Parent
            Speaking for myself, there's the argument that the Republicans are now the party of white patriarchs and shit flingers and that any effort spent in reformation is going against the party's...

            Why wouldn't you want to have a rehabilitated Republican Party? Would you rather only have the Democratic party? Or only "liberal" parties?

            Speaking for myself, there's the argument that the Republicans are now the party of white patriarchs and shit flingers and that any effort spent in reformation is going against the party's interests, with the effort better being spent bringing leftism to the Democrats, but politicians gonna politician.

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [2]
                moocow1452
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                They tried that in 2012, and they were about as successful as the Cocoa Puffs bird at going cold turkey, going with the angriest white guy they could find and were rewarded with the White House,...

                They tried that in 2012, and they were about as successful as the Cocoa Puffs bird at going cold turkey, going with the angriest white guy they could find and were rewarded with the White House, Congress, and enough justices to shape law for a generation. I don't think the will is there for de-escalation.

                8 votes
                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. moocow1452
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    I think we're in agreement on that, I'm saying that they have no reason to go peacefully, and will gladly disregard any new reasons that come along. (Edit: I think that the Republicans would...

                    If the Republicans don't start reaching out to at least one "minority" demographic in the next few decades they will die. The writing was on the wall in 2012 but the population wasn't yet there.

                    I think we're in agreement on that, I'm saying that they have no reason to go peacefully, and will gladly disregard any new reasons that come along.

                    (Edit: I think that the Republicans would rather torch the room than moderate a little because there are too many true believers in the base and the ranks.)

                    3 votes
    5. Good_Apollo
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It’s possible for things to be a bit nuanced. My dad is a great guy, hardworking, compassionate, easy going. He’s not your typical picture of a red-faced screaming conservative who follows QAnon...

      It’s possible for things to be a bit nuanced. My dad is a great guy, hardworking, compassionate, easy going.

      He’s not your typical picture of a red-faced screaming conservative who follows QAnon podcasts and he’s never screaming about “the Mexicans and gays are ruining the country!”

      What he is though is sadly brainwashed by watching fox 24/7 and attending the biggest mega church in the country.

      It’s total cognitive dissonance that he just doesn’t recognize because he’s basically in a cult. You wouldn’t know it talking to him that he votes this way, unless you started to talk politics specifically. When you consider all his actual beliefs, the things he taught me and how I was raised, his political leanings just don’t make any sense. It’s weird man. He was always a self described “moderate independent” until the Trump cult thing happened after his election. My dad initially thought his presidential run was a joke and he voted for someone else in the primaries. He was that “TV guy” but after he won he was suddenly “the best president ever and fulfilling biblical prophecy”.

      The other night I went to their house and was surprised to see that Fox News was not playing on the TV like it always was, he was watching Stephen Colbert roast the ever living fuck out of Trump. I was very confused and he didn’t look angry but had this kinda strange look on his face like half amused half confused. We don’t talk politics anymore but I wonder if he’s changing his mind.

      8 votes
  2. wycy
    (edited )
    Link
    My brother and I made a valiant attempt to talk some sense into my parents for this election cycle. Total bust. They're deep in the Fox News cult. They think Democrats are "scum" and otherwise...

    My brother and I made a valiant attempt to talk some sense into my parents for this election cycle. Total bust. They're deep in the Fox News cult. They think Democrats are "scum" and otherwise refused to continue talking about it. They're white, but college-educated and entirely non-religious. My dad has a masters in engineering and business. Still a total bust.

    12 votes