Given that I was once a liberal, I know many. I interact with them often, thankfully (they’re wonderfully decent people mostly), and we talk politics quite a bit.
And you know what I’ve realized? They don’t know a darned thing about what I believe as a conservative.
Here’s why, I think:
They listen to NPR when they get up, read articles from Nytimes.com during the day, go home and watch Rachel Maddow.
Now let’s take yours truly, shall we? Just as one example, of course.
I’m a reading fool; no one’s ever going to Katie Couric me.
I spend about 90 minutes in the morning (and about 90 minutes more throughout the day and evening before I turn in) reading Nytimes.com, Msnbc.com, Npr.org, Realclearpolitics.com, Politico.com, Economist.com, Yahoo.com, Bloomberg.com, Thenation.com, Theatlantic.com, Bbc.co.uk, Guardiannews.com, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, France24.com/en/, Egyptindependent.com, etc. My phone apps include Time and Newsweek, L.A. Times and several more.
You get the picture. I bother familiarizing myself with my opposition. That’s one of the main ways I know exactly how liberals think.
For example, I know liberals value equality more than they do liberty (better we all get bad health insurance than some of us get stellar while others of us get good health care).
I know they tend to value tribe over truth (whites are always wrong, and leave blacks alone no matter what!–even when they self destruct).
I know they believe that what’s close to a non-existent Islamophobia in the West is far worse than Islamism spreading around the world like fire.
I know a lot of things about them that they tend not to know about me.
And therein lies your problem, folks. Both sides, if for no other reason than intellectual curiosity, should know a great deal about each other. It’d help civilize and enrich our national dialogue immensely.