I need some urgent advice

I am heading off to California and while I am at Stanford for a couple of days I expect I will see the person who I have known longer than anyone else in the whole of my life. But he is now from California and has all the political blindness that comes not just from being on the left coast, but from being right in the heart of Silicon Valley. He knows my political views, but is too obtuse to leave off. And although we are an ocean apart, he never lets up from sending me political junk mail, with the latest torrents about Donald Trump and the disaster he supposedly is. Here are the latest few:

Economic dynamism falls across the US

Donald Trump’s epic betrayal of America’s middle class

Donald Trump’s unpredictability is destabilising the world

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

One a day, sometimes two and today three. I don’t think you can open the first three, but he thoughtfully includes the entire article in the body of the emails for me to read. But you can see from their titles what I mean.

As those who read my posts will know, I am an easy going person, highly tolerant of different opinions, and especially welcome the views of leftist ideologues and economic ignoramuses. Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life, which might mean we sever this lifelong friendship. We managed to make it through eight years of George Bush Jr, eight years of Obama, including the 2008 election where his wife asked, but surely you don’t support Sarah Palin (addressed to my wife, of all things, who is the hardliner in the family). But this time it’s different, specially having written a book and all (Melbourne launch at 12:00 noon on June 6) which I have naturally never mentioned to him. Nor does he even know I blog.

Other than major trancs and a crash course in Zen, is there any advice on what I should do to get through these days?

This entry was posted in Ethics and morality. Bookmark the permalink.

144 Responses to I need some urgent advice

  1. Stephen Sasse

    California is also home to our generation’s foremost military historian and classicist. You can read his books: https://www.amazon.com/Victor-Davis-Hanson/e/B000APGQDU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1495753512&sr=1-2-ent and work your way through his blog http://victorhanson.com/wordpress/about-vdh/

    As you go through VDH, you can make little exclamations of joy and surprise at the quality of academic thought and erudition that springs from the West Coast of the US

  2. I am Spartacus

    I Steve. Suggest the “Serenity Now” strategy. See here for application – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auNAvO4NQnY

  3. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Never consort with the enemy unless you have something to gain.

    Nothing is forever. It’s time you othered him.

  4. Indolent

    Trump is doing pretty well on his first overseas tour. Perhaps there can a few minor meetings of the mind on that – so long as there’s no comparison with Obama’s disasters.

    What I find incredibly hard to understand is that it is becoming more and more obviously that Trump’s first and foremost objectives are security and jobs for Americans. How can any American argue with this?

  5. sfw

    Spartacus has the best advice

  6. pbw

    Send him an express copy of your book, with a cheery “Looking forward to seeing you!” He may–may–relaise the futility of sending you all the fake news. He may be hospitalised with apoplexy. In any case, you’ll be able to say that, for the sake of the friendship, the two of you really should not discuss politics.

    The downside is that he may pop up as a troll on the blog.

    If you like, you can get the feel of it by sending me a copy of your book first.

  7. Greg

    Lots of alcohol and drugs.

  8. RobK

    You could pretend that your real passion is remote control models and you are looking forward to your first Amazon drone delivered pizza…and other related small talk.

  9. Hydra

    Play dumb? You don’t pay attention to American politics. Or is that not a feasible option?

    When I was in the US I was doing a lot of “yes, it’s just terrible isn’t it, I don’t really quite know what is going on. I’m sure that Trump supporters had their reasons for voting for him though.” Kind of a middle ground*.

    *NB. Was there for a client and my client had people on all sides of politics. Easier to not rock the boat.

    *NB2. I’m not really a Trump fan, anyway. But prefer him to the D’rats of course.

  10. Duncan

    Although it would be easier to let him go, he sounds like a really useful resource: you always know what the enemy is thinking.

  11. Dr Fred Lenin

    Steve. Don’t forget to smile as you destroy the lies he accepts as truth,looks like the Ministry of Truth has done its job . Habitual liars tell so many they begin to believe their own crap , Have a good trip ,hope you survive the terrible Trumo Dictatorship , be understanding with your friend he can’t help being mentally deranged California has the ”

  12. Bela Bartok

    Why pretend at all? Your friend doesn’t. In fact, as with all leftists, he boasts his opinions.
    Do the same. Don’t retreat or be afraid of your opinions.
    It’s how the left wins: making us uncomfortable to say anything.
    Control the words and you control the thought.
    If the precious snowflake can’t handle it, he’s the immature one.

  13. marcus w

    Steve .. If your friend is a true leftie he will not ask about what you are up to , nor how your world is . Their self interest means that any question they ask is only to get the topic back to them .

  14. steve

    Change the subject to gerbil warming and when he is really fired up, cut off his head

  15. Andysaurus

    A useful phrase is That turns out not to be the case.

  16. RobK

    I’m with Bela on this one. He may see the funny side of it; too bad if he doesn’t.

  17. JB5

    Leftism is a mental disease. There’s nothing you can do that will change his mind. Only a close, personal encounter with, ah, diversity will change that, if he survives. And sometimes, not even then.

    My advice? Cut him loose. You don’t need the stress.

  18. Rev. Archibald

    Hate the ideology, not the person.
    Also, chose one small topic to debate, and convince him of that.
    Like unravelling a tapestry, start with pulling at a single thread.
    Don’t try to combat his whole world view.

  19. Malcolm

    As those who read my posts will know, I am an easy going person, highly tolerant of different opinions

    You really have to be kidding Steve. You are highly intolerant. You consistently insult and abuse those of us who do not agree with you on Trump.

    I recommend that you accept that on Trump you are wrong, very wrong. In any case, a friendship with this person over so many years deserves to be nurtured and you should not try and convince your friend of your cause. Best to steer the conversation to anything other than Trump.

  20. struth

    Ditch the dope.

    Sounds like he doesn’t respect you.
    Stand up for yourself and your values.
    Give it to him with both barrels.

    And throw in some colourful Australian vernacular.

  21. Hamish Marshall

    Steve, I say a couple of things to lefty associates, family members etc:
    – the 20th Century happened……
    and
    – there are 2 numbers you need to know to develop a cogent understanding of the 20th century – 100 million, and I Billion. Communists slaughtered 100 million human beings in the 20thC, and they forced 1 Billion humans into slavery at the point of a gun.
    If that doesn’t disrupt their smugness, point out that Barack Obama is the son of that totalitarian political culture.

  22. Rev. Archibald

    Find the one thing where leftist ideology most negatively impacts on him.
    And keep working, and working and working away at it. Turn every conversation back to it. If he is divorced make everything about the power the state has to take his kids off him, force him to pay alimony. How he is a sucker. Etc, etc.
    If he wants to build a house, start on about building regulations and taxes.
    Make it personal, and make him see he is a stooge and a sucker.

  23. Fergus

    Just say “You sound as though you are trying to convince yourself, why this self doubt now?”

  24. Steve, just show him this thread. Job done.

  25. Some History

    … but he thoughtfully includes the entire article in the body of the emails for me to read.

    Oh, that doesn’t sound good. AND in California. Steve, what you need is a miracle…. which do happen. Let us pray.

  26. Snoopy

    The other option is to try and out looney him from the left. Preface each with something like “I’m not sure if this is true but it seems plausible”.

    Before hooking up in person do some research and go armed with the looniest shit you can find.

    The ‘documentary’ EeUnacknowledged would be good start.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7k2QJi2g_SMVWdqYWNUdlM3ZkU/view?usp=drivesdk

    You won’t change him but it’ll be a hoot finding out what his limits are. If indeed he has any.

  27. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Play the Outsider; from an Australian perspective Trump looks a little different to the way your friend sees things, but of course, you are interested in how Australians (dump us all in it) may have a less than perfect understanding of how things are in America. Nod sagely to his explanations and don’t say much. Your ‘uninformed’ perspective and gentle probing for facts, offering those you have ‘heard about’, may make him slowly review some of his Californian groupthink (good if it does; not your problem if it doesn’t). Agree that Trump is a ‘wild card’ (that can mean anything) and something of a ‘rough diamond’ (ditto) but that the times are interesting. Talk about old times and good things – art, music, housing, making a living, travel, families. It is too late to destroy an old friendship and create bad feelings; you will regret doing that. Don’t say you blog, and rabbit on about Says Law etc. Bore him with economics (I take it he is not an economist), because politics ‘doesn’t interest’ you much these days, ‘it’s hard to know what to believe, isn’t it?’. Sow doubt. At best you will destroy some leftist certainties without losing the friendship. He will probably catch the drift that you aren’t much of a lefty now and will also join in the edging around contentious issues. The friendship is likely valuable to him too.

  28. Yohan

    Just do what all tolerant leftists do to their friends who have opposing political viewpoints; disown him and never talk to him again.

    But being evil right wing people we usually cant do that, so talk about sport and not politics.

  29. Steve, a good way to break through is to ask what he wants, then follow up by asking him how we get there. That provides you with vast points of attack to trigger cognitive dissonance by pointing out how it fails.

    It destroys the narrative. It breaks the talking point and let’s you control the conversation. This is selling 101. Control the conversation by asking the questions. Then follow up with more questions. Then destroy the answers.

    Once you get them saying the equivalent of a Miss Universe contestant stating she wants world peace, you know they have lost. And if they don’t realise it then, then a simple “you sound like a Miss Universe contestant” will trigger the “Oh, shit” moment when they realise that they sound like an idiot.

    I wish I had a lefty friend so I could do exactly that. This is an opportunity to offer the red pill.

    You know it makes sense, and this time I mean it.

  30. Pauline

    Stop thinking about how you are right; at this point, it doesn’t matter. Nothing you say or do can change either his thinking or his urge to prove that you are wrong.

    Instead, think about how you would like to reflect back, after he is dead, on your behaviour at this time. Then behave accordingly, with grace in the face of his ignorance and foibles. If you behave appropriately, you will always be able to look back on this time with personal satisfaction and no regrets.

    This does not mean capitulation, nor does it mean ‘talk about the weather’. This is one of those things easier said than done, but it can still be done. Something must have been sustaining this relationship over so many years. During this possible last visit, you would a fool to focus on the things that divide you.

  31. john constantine

    Ask him what he thinks about Australia interfering in domestic American politics when redfilth gillard bribed their clinton crime family with four hundred million dollars of borrowed money, the taxpayer has to pay back [with compound interest].

    Half a billion dollars now is the true cost and snowballing., ask him how many poor people that would help in America, and does he think that gillards dismal political tin ear might have led to hilary’s downfall?.

  32. Oh, don’t forget to ask him how Trump’s policies differ from Bill Clinton’s 30 years ago. Destroy the narratives.

  33. RobK

    It is actually a bit sneaky of you if you have left him with the false sense of security that you’re still leaning that way….perhaps he’s secretly a republican now. In any case, I think there’s humour in the situation whether the friendship persists is another matter. It will be interesting to hear how you go.

  34. Give it to him with both barrels, Steve.
    Passivity on your behalf is only encouraging him.

  35. Mark M

    It appears discussion at some point is unavoidable, as a tv will be on somewhere.
    You know the type of snowflake it is and how quick it will melt.
    You are well armed and will surprise him.
    Be gentle. : )

  36. You really have to be kidding Steve. You are highly intolerant. You consistently insult and abuse those of us who do not agree with you on Trump.

    …and Malcolm X comes back with another “I hate Steve” moment.
    Steve, maybe your friend already posts here.
    This one seems as stuck on as a dag on a sheep’s arse.

  37. You really have to be kidding Steve. You are highly intolerant. You consistently insult and abuse those of us who do not agree with you on Trump.

    I recommend that you accept that on Trump you are wrong, very wrong. In any case, a friendship with this person over so many years deserves to be nurtured and you should not try and convince your friend of your cause. Best to steer the conversation to anything other than Trump.

    Steve, I also recommend that you do the opposite of whatever this guy says.

  38. tgs

    highly tolerant of different opinions

    you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life

    lol

    In all seriousness either tell him/her to stfu about politics and just enjoy time spent together or be prepared for a full-frontal attack on everything they believe and hold dear which will inevitably lead to a falling out.

    There really isn’t a middle ground and if this person is in any way an emotionally intelligent person they’ll choose the former. Well-functioning adults should be able to put politics aside sometimes even when they have fundamental disagreements and still enjoy each others’ company and not let politics rule literally everything in their lives (which I would see as almost a form of mental illness).

  39. tgs

    not let politics rule literally everything in their lives (which I would see as almost a form of mental illness).

    To be clear, when I say this I’m not implying this about you Steve (even though we don’t always agree). More about your friend who appears to have a bit of a compulsion to push his politics down others’ throats based on your post.

  40. RobK

    I guess, with all the winnings from your new book, there’s no getting around it; you are a professional Trump supporter. Perhaps your friend will understand once he realizes there’s a quid in it. B-)

  41. Cynic of Ayr

    I’d look at it this way.
    It’s apparent that you are not keen to sever the friendship. The lack of keeness I suggest, is based solely on the longevity of the friendship. Right now, or perhaps over the last few years, there has been nothing else that supports the friendship?
    You say he is aware of your political views, which you don’t discuss with him. Why? Because you don’t want to upset this friendship. The one based on nothing other than longevity.
    In return for your tolerance and respect for this friendship, and your desire to keep it at some cost to yourself, this bloke has continually assaulted you with propaganda.
    He has done this for no other reason, than to convert you.
    There is no friendship here. There is no give and take. There is no tolerance from his side. There cannot be any of those things, because this is the way of life he has chosen on the Californian left. He is incapable of anything else. In fact, his tribe will not allow him to!
    I suspect that this bloke is far worse than you have said. I guess this on the fact that you have written about it. As you say, you have friends who disagree with you and the friendship remains. You haven’t written about them.
    I suggest some questions to yourself. If there is a flareup, mild or otherwise, will this bloke dump you in a heartbeat?
    My intense feeling is he would, and in a very distressing way. Because, as I said, that is the way of the people of his tribe, he will be pressured to dump you, and he will comply.
    Ask if it’s worth it? Do you get anything other than your obvious angst from him? I would guess not.
    I myself, am not friends with my Best Man. Because he’s a prattling fuckwit! Being Best Man entitles him to nothing. My point being that factors other than genuine liking and attraction, are the important things – not longevity.
    So, what to do? IMHO, you have two choices:
    Avoid the meeting. It WILL end badly. Of that, there is no doubt;
    Have the meeting, and enjoy watching his head explode. Invite several of his idiot mates, and watch them explode too.
    This would be a real eye-opener you, and I expect a full report here. We all read of these people, but very few of us get to meet one or more, and see for ourselves just how insane and easily led these people are. Here’s your opportunity to find out for yourself, and report back to your real friends – unknown or otherwise.
    These are all my opinions only, and are not directives in any way. Still, if you disagree, well to hell with you, mate! Take you’re damn bat and ball and go home. I’ve had it up to here with you facist right wing bastards! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  42. Goanna

    (addressed to my wife, of all things, who is the hardliner in the family)
    That’s a blessing right there.

    Use offensive language such as – bourgeois left, junk science, moral vanity, country shoppers and traitor to the country.

    Life is too short to be bothered with fools. Cut him short.

  43. Is anyone else reading between the lines and seeing that Kates is talking about his dad? It would explain so much.

  44. Indolent

    You really have to be kidding Steve. You are highly intolerant. You consistently insult and abuse those of us who do not agree with you on Trump.

    Sense of humour lacking.

  45. Peter Crossman

    There must be some enduring worth in maintaining the friendship if it has survived so far, despite the need to count to 10 fairly often. So the best approach, Steve, is to treat whatever he (and his wife) says and does as information. Whatever he says or does will not hurt or harm you, and you should concentrate on absorbing and processing the information. Never let it upset you, stay serene and when he may say something silly, mark it as silly and move on.
    Treat everything as information.

  46. mc

    Thomas Sowell has the answer:

    “I’ve often said there are three questions that would destroy most of the arguments on the left.

    The first is: ‘Compared to what?’

    The second is: ‘At what cost?’

    And the third is: ‘What hard evidence do you have?’

    Now there are very few ideas on the left that can pass all of those…”

    https://necessaryandpropergovt.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/thomas-sowell-three-questions-that-destroy-most-liberal-ideas/

  47. candy

    It’s nice Steve Kates asked for advice, a well balanced individual.

    I would say don’t mention politics yourself – at all. It won’t lead to happiness. Stick to shared experiences/good times/mutual hobbies. And if your mate does say something adverse about politics/Trump, you say something like “that’s a good point” or “you’ve thought deeply about that”. Just blandish stuff. No more, and so you can walk away afterwards knowing you did your best to keep a friendship. Even if it means you feel sad you could not share your whole personality with him. Don’t leave on bad terms.

  48. cynical1

    Stress is bad.

    Through FB, twitter, etc,etc, you find out things about friends.

    Then you distance yourself.

    Better now, than later.

    Saves time.

  49. A Lurker

    Warning – mixed metaphors ahead.

    Most people do not want to be red-pilled because their own worldview is their security blanket. The more invested they are in their worldview, the more aggressive they will be in defending it, even if their world view seems irrational and illogical. Those ‘old dogs will never learn new tricks’. If your friend is that kind of ‘old dog’ then there is no learning them – just accept that they have swallowed an entire bottle of blue pills and try to constrain your conversation to uncontroversial subjects – but before you return to Australia, tell them that when they are ready to swallow a red pill, to learn a new trick, then you will be contactable to help them along.

    There are other ‘old dogs’ who will learn new tricks, but those dogs have to get to a point where they are open to new and different ideas and ideologies and want to learn new tricks. They will be okay with taking a red pill because they are already at the doubting and questioning phase. If your ‘old dog’ is one of those, then ease them gently into the Real World because it will be a difficult time for them.

    If the ‘old dog’ is a valued member of your family then it is best to just accept them for who they are.

  50. Grumbles

    Hi Steve, If he is of any intelligence and has any sensibility, present the intentions/outcomes argument… which matters more? Consider all debates from this perspective.
    The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  51. Marcus Classis

    OK, been here done this.

    Different circumstances obviously.

    In similar circumstances I realised that (as here) there was an element of dishonesty in the relationship. In your circumstance, you are being spammed and your friend is acting as a propagandist. That’s not a friendly act if you have ever objected. If not, it’s OK.

    So be honest.

    Send him a copy of your book in terms which make it obvious that you expect congratulations for it from your friend. If he congratulates you (as he should if his own political feelings have not warped him beyond recognition) then you know that your friend is genuine – which reduces your political differences to a negligible factor.

    If he explodes/acts adversely, then your friend has been so warped by his ideology that he’s redefined your relationship. Not you.

    This is not a nice thing to think about. But at least it is honest.

  52. Bruce

    When he opens his front door to you, click your heals and give him a quick “Seig Heil!” and say it’s great to see him. But have the cab standing by so you can head straight back to your hotel.

  53. Tom

    Not only wear the T-shirt suggested by mh, but A MAGA cap is compulsory triggering material.

  54. mrwashout

    Stanford have a good college football side (that is coming out to play Rice Uni in Sydney in August).

    Maybe talk about that – he seems lost.

  55. classical_hero

    Steve, I also recommend that you do the opposite of whatever this guy says

    Don’t give Bart the card.
    Here you go. No.

    Just give as good as you get. But beer’s advice is a good start

  56. Kali Sanyal

    Keep away from reacting, rather wait to respond in time.
    If it takes ocean of time and space, so be it!
    Just for the sake of keeping the friendship, keep along.
    But if you want to change the person, you are going to lose your value.
    People don’t change, until the platform (processes and concepts) on which they
    are dancing, changes.
    Best of luck!
    Karl

  57. Exit Stage Right

    Steve, I think you are smart enough to work this small dilemma out your self. Following on from what Marcus said above, you need to be truthful about what you believe in. As Polonius said in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to thine own self be true”. Obviously your long term friendship is important and political differences of opinion should not destroy something that has endured for many years. I assume that you have remained friends all these years as you have other things in common. Ideally you should try to avoid talking politics as you both know that your thoughts on Trump et al are diametrically opposite, but that is probably not going to happen. Your friend will want confirmation from you that Trump is a maniac that wants to blow up the world. As pointed out by others on this thread, lefties are so insecure they need to seek constant affirmation of their thoughts and actions in relation to their political
    stance. In a nutshell Steve, be truthful with your friend in a measured way. If he can’t cope with a dissenting political opinion, he is probably not worth retaining as a lifelong friend. Good luck, don’t stress and be mindful that you have many more friends at the Cat and that we will be shown to be historically correct in our beliefs and principles.

  58. Helen

    You think you are correct. He thinks he is correct. Either of you could be wrong. Or you could be both half correct and half wrong. Or there is no certainty, and neither of you can really know.

    Totally ignore Cynic of Ayr’s advice: the fact that you and your friend are still friends even though you have different political views (and try and influence each other) is to your credit. If you have a political discussion, ask him ‘what evidence would change your mind?’ But, also ask yourself, and answer honestly ‘what evidence would change my mind?’

    And some advice for all those posting here: stop calling people who have different ideas from yourself leftist ideologues, economic ignoramuses, looney etc. That labelling totally devalues your opinion (this applies to both/all sides).

  59. Shy Ted

    When he’s getting something out of the fridge, push the fridge on him. Then wipe off your fingerprints. Call 911 not 000. Tell the police that if he’d only watched Q&A he’d have known the dangers.

  60. Nelson Kidd-Players

    No point hiding it – you need to give him a copy of your book!

  61. Fibro

    I have a redundant circle approach to Leftoids:

    1) Ask them what their opinion is. When they start blithering about everything else, remind them you asked for their opinion. Little to say in most cases.
    2) When they sprout a fact, ask them where did the fact come from? Careful on this one though, when caught out they will just claim the science is settled or that’s the majority opinion.
    3) Finally, what do you think is the alternate? This normally completes the loop as they refer back to 1, then move onto 2 and after a couple of circles you can talk about the family and the footy knowing they won’t bring it up again.

    If all else fails, go for the Thatcher Negus Manoeuvre and enjoy the company of others.

  62. Empire

    And some advice for all those posting here: stop calling people who have different ideas from yourself leftist ideologues, economic ignoramuses, looney etc. That labelling totally devalues your opinion (this applies to both/all sides).

    #collaborator

  63. Combine Dave

    Always, always escalate

  64. Bigpeteoz

    tel him what you think , if he takes offence then he is a snowflake. Or stupid. More probably deluded.
    Or all of the above.

  65. gbees

    You could shake hands, say Hi and then ask him why he sends you that fake news shit every day on email. That should be a big enough ice breaker.

  66. notaluvvie

    If he trots (sic) out the popular vote you mights ask two questions:

    1. Where in the US Constitution does it say anything about a popular vote as opposed to the College of Electors; and

    2. If the popular vote is so important and sacrosanct, why wasn’t Bernie Sanders the Democratic Party nominee?

  67. Andrew

    Since he knows your political views, I would use this as the explanation of why Clinton was an unacceptable choice for you:

    Well, I mean Hillary knows through the chain of command what’s going on.


    And that you’re too horrified by the broken noses handed out to the Gays for Trump in San Jose, the pepper spraying of the young lass Kiara Robles at UC Berkeley for wearing a red Bitcoin hat that looked like a MAGA hat, and the bashing of scores of innocent bystanders (men or wymminz) to contemplate another 4 years of the Kenyan.

    If he starts the “but, but” routine that T666 is worse, you have the defence of distance. “I don’t know what T666 is up to – we only get 10 sec soundbites and FakeNews from here. What I saw was a video of Crimton knowingly engaging staffers to recruit violent thugs to destroy opponents’ political rallies, and that’s fascist. I can’t endorse that.” That explains why you hold your position, all other factors in a decision to endorse being subordinate to what you saw before the election. He can’t argue with your reasons.

  68. Craig

    Fuck him off Steve, not worth the effort nor headaches he WILL cause you once he finds out about the hidden stuff.

  69. notaluvvie

    Shy Ted – very good, did make one laugh but you know what’s going to happen next. That letter of demand from Ms Guthrie which keeps on getting in the way of the letter of apology she is writing to the Australian public about her organisation failing to follow its legislative requirements.

  70. Oh come on

    How about a pre-emptive and explicit suggestion that you steer clear of issues you both know you won’t agree on? If he won’t take the suggestion, become incrementally insistent. If necessary, tell him his pigheaded insistence on raising issues that he knows will result in discord is boorish and you wish he would behave with more decorum. You came to enjoy his company, not argue.

  71. Molyneux's final argument

    What are his desires for your life: more freedom, prosperity and happiness according to your own will, or a life lived under the state-enforced dictacts according to his? He is an aspirant to be your oppressor and the oppressor of everyone like you. He sees no legitimacy in the democratic process beyond it’s utility to his ends. It is only his personal weakness of spirit and limited abilities that contain his ambitions. Were he less indigent he’d do much more than spam your inbox. Nevertheless, his object is clear: he wants your mind and your way of life involuntarily changed forever. You might well be his friend, but he is is most certainly not yours.

  72. Y

    Start with Elon Musk and the clean energy revolution to get him warmed up, then segue into how it will bankrupt the Saudis and halt the expansion of poisonous Wahabi ideology. The eyes should start swivelling at this point, so finish him off by pointing out how Texan fracking will free us from Putin’s meddling.

  73. Tom

    I feel your pain, Steve, as I also have difficult family relationships as a result of politics — Trump in particular. I guess it all comes down to whether you like this person in spite of his stupidity. I would say, however, that his continuous bombardment of you with outpourings from his tunnel-vision zombie belief system tells you: a) he’s probably sending the same shit to dozens or hundreds of other people; b) you don’t matter; c) he’s incredibly insecure.

    In other words, he hardly knows you’re there. He may be an acquaintance, but he’s not a real friend. So proceed with Plan A with gusto:

    I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life…

    Remember: lying makes you sick. Telling the truth sets you free.

  74. Stimpson J. Cat

    Other than major trancs and a crash course in Zen, is there any advice on what I should do to get through these days?

    Pretend he suffers from a number of severe mental illnesses and treat him with pity and kindness.
    And if you are staying in his house keep your mouth shut.
    Also make him pay for the strippers as punishment.

  75. Stimpson J. Cat

    Remember Steve,if he is unbearable and you decide to end your friendship you can always mail him a signed copy of your book later.

    😎

  76. The Deplorable Barking Toad

    Agree with everything and he says and, better still, see if you can “outleft” him.

    Then sit back and enjoy while your wife explodes into incandescent rage at both of you.

  77. .

    Stop being a special snowflake. This blog has become your safe space.

  78. Oh, and don’t forget to point out that the right doesn’t care about Trump remotely the same way the left does. Because only the left do the cult of personality.

    Trump is merely a flawed, but somewhat capable person who can get things done. If he responds the same way some bonehead I worked with who never spoke to me ever again when I demonstrated that Trump was in fact not an idiot, then he doesn’t deserve your friendship.

  79. min

    What is it about him that you value as a friend .? If there is not too much drop him.
    Otherwise use assertive agreement methods . yes you are possibly right . What would Hilary have done in instead and then tune out.

  80. .

    min
    #2391940, posted on May 26, 2017 at 2:06 pm
    What is it about him that you value as a friend .? If there is not too much drop him.

    This is a real loser attitude. Would you only want to be friends with people that agree with you mostly in toto?

    Sad.

  81. Tim Neilson

    Would you only want to be friends with people that agree with you mostly in toto?

    Presumably the point is whether you really want to be friends with people who will only be friends with you if you agree with them mostly in toto.

  82. .

    Treat them as pity friends?

  83. Malcolm

    Yes, Monty, it’s his father. And he should listen to his father and have an epiphany – Trump is bad. Very bad.

  84. tgs

    Oh, and don’t forget to point out that the right doesn’t care about Trump remotely the same way the left does. Because only the left do the cult of personality.

    Ehhhhhh…

  85. Tezza

    Just send him a copy of Jonathan Haidt’s ‘The righteous mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion ‘.

    He might get the message about why conservatives have a wider world view than ‘liberals’.

  86. Nov

    Elizabeth (the real one),

    I had previously thought that you were a character played for attention. Your response to Steve shows me that I was wrong. I apologise. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit pleased about a good life.

  87. My younger brother is exactly the same, thankfully not daily.

    I accuse him: “You’ve been listening to their ABC again, haven’t you? I’ve warned you about that.”

    I just keep plugging away, pointing out for each specific outrage that “it wouldn’t have got so out of hand if people were left to make their own choices, spending their own money, for better or worse”, and leave it at that.

    And sending him the link to the relevant LDP policy.

  88. Razor

    Don’t engage.
    = blank face, No committment comments, no reply.
    Do not let him/her know where you stand. This is very frustating to the indoctrinated.
    It will take a lot of fortitude to not present the conservative argument BUT Steve you will never and not in the slightest effect his/her view. Taking him/her on in debate will only give you an ulcer. When you leave you may (on getting in the taxi) indicate that you are on the opposite side of the American political scene or leave with his/her thoughts saying that he is not a political animal. And laugh out load.

  89. RCon

    Just remind yourself that Trump is simply the best of an incredibly poor bunch. His views on trade are absolutely appalling, more protectionist than Bill Shorten’s (which is quite some achievement).

    He may drain the swamp in years to come, but his crony capitalism is hardly the way you’d like to see it done.

    Contrasting it with someone you know to be worse is a tactic Swanny would be proud of – “Our debt is not as bad a Greece”. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

  90. I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

    When he complains about Trump, just laugh.

    If he asks why you’re laughing, tell him some tales of Hillary’s corruption (they are legion, you should know plenty).

    He’ll get the message.

  91. Margaret

    Whatever you dream might be the ideal response to the situation, it’s always best to act in a way consistent with your own personality. We are what we are.

  92. Felix Kruell

    When you shut yourself off from arguments made by your ideological opposites, you become no better than the ‘leftist ideologues and economic ignoramuses’

    So my suggestion – listen. Just listen. Reflect on whether it should alter your own beliefs. By all means don’t engage if you don’t want to. But don’t forget the listening bit.

  93. MickofBrisbane

    Friends usually share something in common. Focus on that. If you’re not talking about someone you consider a friend, why bother?

  94. cohenite

    Molyneux’s final argument

    #2391883, posted on May 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    What are his desires for your life: more freedom, prosperity and happiness according to your own will, or a life lived under the state-enforced dictacts according to his? He is an aspirant to be your oppressor and the oppressor of everyone like you. He sees no legitimacy in the democratic process beyond it’s utility to his ends. It is only his personal weakness of spirit and limited abilities that contain his ambitions. Were he less indigent he’d do much more than spam your inbox. Nevertheless, his object is clear: he wants your mind and your way of life involuntarily changed forever. You might well be his friend, but he is is most certainly not yours.

    The left mindset described perfectly. It deserves to be a liberty quote.

  95. Oh say can you see!

    Recommend being upbeat and joyous. What a great time to be alive! Oh how you have longed for these days. MSM of s on its final legs. Fake news is killing it. Trump is calling MSM out for fake news. Draining the swamp is a big job but he’s our man. God bless America! And start singing full throated star spangled banner. Call anything else fake news, sour grapes, left wing journalism.
    Watch head explode.

  96. Vicki

    I lost a long time friend the day after 9/11. Although she was (and still is) a committed Leftie, we had maintained a respectful relationship based on a shared belief in the sublimity of the natural world, an appreciation of the arts and literature, and similarly held values.

    But I realised that those commonalities could no longer sustain our friendship when she coldly declared on that horrific day that “the Americans had it coming”!

  97. Alexi the Conservative Russian

    Steve, face up to it, its “Con Te Partiro” and if you get melancholy start singing that other great song “The Way we were” by good old leftie Barbara Streisand.

  98. bollux

    He’s not your friend. Do as I did under similar circumstances: throw him over, He obviously isn’t smart enough to consort with. Like books, you are too old to read bad ones.

  99. Marcus Classis

    I find quite a few comments here to be frivolous, or even confrontational.

    back to the point of honesty. If both hold honest views, and both value the relationship for its own sake, then middle ground can be found as long as it’s based on honesty.

    I have been thinking about this over the day, as it is a serious matter.

    As well as my earlier point on honesty, you also have a way to separate and ‘fence off’ your point of potential conflict over piolitics.

    You are Australian.

    To a very great amount, you can simply say ‘I am not going to argue your points on Trump/politics/ whatever, as its talking past each other. My view of Trump/ politics/ whatever is very different from yours because I am not American. In South East Asia and South Pacific where we live, he is regarded on a wholly different basis of assessment from what you have’.

    Thios is also quite true. The Singaporeans, for example, are extremely happy with Trump’s policies. So is Manila, Taipei, Hanoi and Tokyo. Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur less so, but they are not unhappy.

    So you still have an enduring basis for your friendship.

    It is honesty, and that your assessments come from entirely different worldviews.

    Stress that, stress that you do not have the same worldview.

    To reinforce this, get one of these maps as a gift. Upside down map

    These are extremely useful when stressing the idea of different world-views to Americans. It knocks them out of their insularity.

  100. Marcus Classis

    This is the map you want.

    I have given away a number of these as gifts to Americans and Brits.

  101. Nerblnob

    Trump is corrupt. You don’t make a fortune in notoriously corrupt NYC real estate without being corrupt. Same for the Chicago political machine and Obama.

    Exactly what a US colleague said to my Trump-hating wife last week.

  102. Nerblnob

    Then say we could do with a Trump in Australia. The bureaucracy is out of control.

  103. Pivot

    It’s OK to outgrow the left, the West have been doing that for centuries.

    That aside – My advice would be to rock up pissed & try to out left your mates, I furkin derya!
    None of us doubt your sincerity Steve, hence the 100 posts (minus M0nty & Malcolm) & we can expect that you’ll post about the experience, so I say get radical & try some radical leftist sh^t on whilst keeping a strait face!! Hell – a logic vacumm for just for one night! What could possibly go wrong?!
    Get into costume! Wear a Hilary campaign Tshirt under your garb & as you arrive trace your finger across the arrow signifying that you are a fellow (lunatic) – do whatever it takes – that said I & others would like to read about your experience buying a Hilary campaign T-shirt.

    I have never had the pleasure of meeting you Steve, I would only encourage you to look for a reason to laugh your ass off for a change, god knows we all need it at the moment. Cheers to you sir

  104. Irreversible

    “As those who read my posts will know, I am an easy going person, highly tolerant of different opinions, and especially welcome the views of leftist ideologues and economic ignoramuses. Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life, which might mean we sever this lifelong friendship.” Kates trolls his oldest friend, openly. Weirder and weirder.

  105. Tel

    In similar circumstances I realised that (as here) there was an element of dishonesty in the relationship. In your circumstance, you are being spammed and your friend is acting as a propagandist. That’s not a friendly act if you have ever objected. If not, it’s OK.

    It may surprise you, but amongst the “Progressives” out there, constantly spamming each other with garbage propaganda is considered acceptable friendly protocol. It’s like they are all worried the brain washing might fade and they would need to face a cold and difficult world (and that ain’t fun).

    Don’t ask me how I know this…

  106. Gary

    You could borrow my T-shirt that says IM NOT ANTISOCIAL JUST ANTI STUPED.

    Good for air travel and taxi rides.

  107. Bruce

    Steve, if you’re the guest of your friend, respect his hospitality but quietly disagree with his position (through gritted teeth).
    But if you’re on neutral ground go as hard as you can, whilst you understand his derangement syndrome.

  108. Gerry

    if you two spend some LIMITED time discussing politics finish of with the SAME amount of time enjoying the things you both agree on ….

  109. Haidee

    Talk about anything but politics, even though you’ve written the book.

    I’m just back from a holiday with the person I’ve known longest in my life also – my twin.
    I had to wear being told that she once considered me intelligent, but not any longer!
    because of my admiration for President Trump.
    Had to change the subject. Would never mention it again.
    There’s lots of other things to talk about.

  110. Muddy

    Steve, this may sound a bit far fetched, but look at the interaction as a hostage negotiation. You are the negotiator, he is the hostage-taker. I’m undecided if the ‘hostage’ is your friendship. Your task is to influence him to give something away without him feeling disempowered or knowing what you are doing. The relationship between negotiator and hostage-taker may take a long time to build, but that relationship is all important. Even though you have a pre-existing relationship with this man, in your new roles of negotiator and hostage-taker, you don’t, so begin again. Set yourself some small and realistic goals (in terms of influencing behavioural changes in him). Have fun with it. Consider it research.

    If you have the opportunity, purchase “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it” by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz, to read on the way over. You can’t expect to master the practical tips it contains overnight, but it features some food-for-thought relevant to everyday life (which is one endless negotiation).

  111. Bruce of Newcastle

    It’s a tough question. I’ve allowed a long term friendship to lapse because I am a Christian righty and my friend has been drifting further into green-progressive lefty land. I thought a quiet cessation better than an angry break, since at least we can continue to think well of each other.

    The whole world is fissioning into two sides. The Green-Left religion (with allies) and everyone else. That new religion is as domineering as the Mohammedan religion. It will be difficult to retain friendships across the hardening chasm.

    The hopeful thing is the Green-Left doctrines clearly don’t work in the real world, so eventually this abomination will collapse upon itself. But much unpleasantness can be expected before then.

  112. Leo G

    Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet, along the lines of you are the stupidest, dumbest nit-f’n-wit I have ever met in my life, which might mean we sever this lifelong friendship.

    You may find that his recognition, of the welcome you have offered on account of his stupidity, is the basis of the friendship.

  113. johanna

    I daresay most Cats have faced this dilemma, as some have mentioned above. I certainly have, and it was very painful indeed.

    Someone who I had been close friends with for 30+ years and I fell out over climate alarmism, although we had been drifting apart on politics for a while. The hurtful part was that she dumped me when I fessed up to being a sceptic, even though I was fine with agreeing to disagree. She said she couldn’t be friends with a “denier.”

    After decades of close friendship, it was a serious blow. But in the end, I realised that it was broken and couldn’t be fixed. We still speak now and then, only because I have kept in touch.

    All the suggestions above about changing his/her mind using reason are a waste of time, as Scott Adams has discussed on his admirable blog. That’s not how it works.

    I got annoyed about my former friend spamming me with junk science about climate issues, which is how our conflict came to the surface. There is a point at which you are lying if you pretend that it is OK.

    Nobody in their right mind starts a fight over a minor disagreement with an old friend. But, it is not minor when the old friend hammers away at you about something you fundamentally cannot go along with. That happened to me, and it is apparently happening to you. I politely disagreed, and got the sack. Oh, well.

    Like many Cats, I have friends whose politics I don’t agree with, and we all know it. But, the rules of civil discourse prevent us from bombarding each other with propaganda or turning it into a personal affront.

    Your situation, like mine, sounds very one-sided. You are prepared to tolerate a difference of opinion, but you fear that your “friend” is not. Draw your own conclusions as to the real worth or health of that kind of relationship, however long standing.

    Good luck.

  114. rickw

    I daresay most Cats have faced this dilemma, as some have mentioned above. I certainly have, and it was very painful indeed.

    There’s little pain or grief in a face to face unfriending of a communist idiot.

    Sail your own course, if they don’t come along what difference does it really make?

  115. Will

    I think you rather urgently need new friends.

  116. Muddy

    Let me clarify my post above: I didn’t mean influence him to change his mind, for that seems unrealistic. I meant influence his behaviour so that it makes your time together more tolerable.

  117. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Well said, Johanna. I/We have friends like that. We value the past with them, and are still prepared to be with them for lunch, or for family occasions, for that. One couple have a first child who like mine has Aspergers; we continue to share that pain. Also, my Big Sis, whom I love dearly, lives now with a new man, a greenie who looks after her well and cares for her with her various needs. I actually like him a lot, but he is besotted with climate change, as she is. We just have to agree to disagree and concentrate on those things which we do have in common. It is like that with kin, and with ‘old family friends’ who are pseudo-kin. Some of my academic peers I no longer associate with; nor they with me. I don’t miss them.

  118. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    I had to wear being told that she once considered me intelligent, but not any longer!
    because of my admiration for President Trump.

    My Big Sis is outraged that Da Hairy Ape, my loving husband, whom she says is one of the most intelligent men she’s ever met (high praise from her), is a total climate denier. He has a PhD in Science too, which makes it worse for her. I won’t say it hasn’t changed our relationship, but when it comes to deaths and funerals, we all cry together still.

  119. NewChum

    Cut this guy loose.

    Life is too short. Academics spend too much time trying to convince people with calcified opinions. It’s not worth it.

    Go for a walk in some of the magnificent parts of the Bay Area. Take a tour of the computer museum.

  120. Gab

    Steve, you lovely, lovely man, my only advice is to be yourself and let go of any expectation of the outcome.

    Friends come into our lives for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime, #ZenGab.

  121. Siltstone

    Malcolm
    #2391973, posted on May 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm
    Yes, Monty, it’s his father. And he should listen to his father and have an epiphany – Trump is bad. Very bad.

    Father, uncle, brother, cousin – does not matter. Our kin are pre-determined, can’t swap them out for a new set. We select our friends, and they select us – that’s the difference. If kin, makes it far easier to tell them they are a Californian snowflake – after all, they are still kin (and if they do a dummy spit it just proves they are Californian snowflakes). Can’t lose!

  122. Rayvic

    Steve, it is surprising you did not stand up to him before.

    Pick one or more topics that he knows little about — but about which you know more — and then set about demolishing his arguments tactfully. You could give him a copy of your book as a parting gesture.

  123. Token

    Talk up Princess Chelsea’s chances in 2020. Note how only those captured by bigotry & misogyny could ignore her candicy.

    Note how the cash the Clinton Foundation is documented as receiving from all those 3rd world dictators like Erdogan in Turkey & Putin`s Russia must be ignored in the face of the evidence, because of whatever ‘ism strikes your fancy.

    As Combine Dave says – escalate.

  124. Fulcrum

    Ask you friend, if there are any symbols of security greater than a wall. Eg
    The Greatn Wall of China.
    The Iron Cutain built by the left, exemplified by the Berlin Wall.
    Fort.Knox.
    City States like Rome.
    The Wall of Silence enabled by pleading the fifth.
    Defensive walls set up by soccer teams to prevent goals being scored from dangerous positions.
    Need I say more or is your friend more than obtuse?

  125. Yohan

    It may surprise you, but amongst the “Progressives” out there, constantly spamming each other with garbage propaganda is considered acceptable friendly protocol. It’s like they are all worried the brain washing might fade and they would need to face a cold and difficult world (and that ain’t fun).

    This was a reason why I withdrew from using Facebook. Got sick of all the Socialist Alliance / Alternative spam my progressive friends were constantly pushing.

  126. Tintarella di Luna

    This was a reason why I withdrew from using Facebook. Got sick of all the Socialist Alliance / Alternative spam my progressive friends were constantly pushing.

    Me too

    I have a wonderful family member totally captured by ABFNCism and I do not broach politics at all and when it is raised I say I’d rather not talk about it. It’s the only way

  127. Kev from Canberra

    Nevertheless, I worry that I might inadvertently say something on this last time we may meet…

    As they say Steve – don’t die wondering! #MAGA

  128. Saaad

    I work in an industry where loony green-left ideology isn’t just expressed – it is an expected rite of passage to further work and many of the gatekeepers hold the keys to unlocking those work contracts.

    As such I simply nod in the right places, keep my views to myself and make sure NEVeR to wear my IPA pin in public, as these people think the IPA is akin to the Nazi party. Amongst my very small group of close friends though – none of whom are in my industry – I don’t hold back. I contribute financially to Cory Bernardi’s new party and, wherever I can be confident that my identity cannot be exposed to my colleagues, I will express my opinions.

    I don’t know if tgat’s any help to you Steve but, if your friendship is long and still worthwhile, it might be prudent to talk about the weather instead. 🙂

  129. Rob

    You might start like this –

    You – “It’s a great pity and so very sad that your American media can no longer be trusted with the truth”
    Him – “Huh?”
    You – “Well you obviously believe all the fake news that is pushed at you”

    After that you could ask for an indisputable and factual justification for impeaching Trump.

    (At this point in time no justification for impeachment exists.)

  130. Andrew

    When he complains about Trump, just laugh.

    If he asks why you’re laughing, tell him some tales of Hillary’s corruption (they are legion, you should know plenty).

    He’ll get the message.

    Leftards actually don’t believe Illary is corrupt! They think it’s a neocon conspiracy. That won’t help.

  131. Reality

    Fact1: As with all Lefties, you’ll never change his mind.
    Fact2: The man IS his ideology.
    Fact3: Let’s see how much he values your friendship once you start standing up and pushing back.

    For what it’s worth, stop agonising and move on.

  132. notaluvvie

    Here’s another vignette to discuss about political leanings.

    Mike Rowe, yes he of Dirty Jobs fame, runs a charity/foundation to help those who wish to work retrain and/or relocate. Every so often he has an auction to raise money. On one occasion he wrote to Hilary, Bernie and The Donald asking for an old autographed jacket, pants-suit and bathrobe respectively so he might auction them for a good cause. Only one responded: The Donald. Makes one assume the leftie luvvie “progressives” who want everybody to have a share of everybody else’s pie, aren’t too keen on sharing theirs. Perhaps your friend could explain that away.

  133. Anonymous

    I agree with Cynic.

    Your only basis for this ‘friendship’ is the longevity.

    It’s a bit like those people who break up with partners only to need them as ‘friends’ or still be involved in their lives in some way.

    It’s fucking pathetic. You’re focused on a timeframe not the fact your mate is a dick.

    Grow a set and move on or be the pathetic bitch furthermore.

  134. Muddy

    Further to my post about using a hostage negotiation framework for your interactions with this man, check out the website of the author of the book I mentioned for some concise tips on his blog. The annoying bit is you need to give a name and email address, but that seems par for the course these days.

  135. mark

    Listen to ‘Reasons to be cheerful’ and ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ prior to meeting. Talk about the weather.

  136. min

    Dot , I have many friends who do not have the same opinions as I do but I value their friendships for other reasons . As a trained observer of human behaviour and thinking your interpretation of my comment is very interesting.

    P

Comments are closed.