Author of a new Lincoln book, the longtime NPR host puts our moment into historical perspective
It's really hard to have respectful conversations with people who don't think I have the right to make decisions about my body, think people of color are not equal to other people or don't care that kids were separated from their parents at the border often with little paperwork to track them. But, I do try. I have way too many examples, but here is one. I posted something on my FB page about how we need to pass commonsense gun legislation. There was a really good discussion. Then, my 19 year old male cousin who has barely been out of his 2000 people town in rural KY tells me that I don't understand the different between machine guns and automatic rifles. He said, "Let me explain this to you like you're a kid because you're a dumb liberal who doesn't understand how the world works."
I think there are differences of opinion and then there are differences in values. I know a lot of people who think very differently from me. And, there are other people who are so extreme that I just don't need that vibe in my life. I wish I knew what a better answer was. I don't know how this will get better any time soon.
I have deep respect for Steve and his expertise, and I remember a time when his approach was sound advice...but I think the Civil War isn't useful context for this moment. It seems more relevant to study democracies that teetered yet stayed free, and I would love to hear Brian Klaas' thoughts, or Ruth Ben-Ghiat's (further) ideas, on how democracies recover from a near-death experience. I also think we should draw lessons from why and how people leave cult movements, since today's GOP is both an anti-democracy movement and a personality cult. And I have to add an "atta-girl!" to Margaret for asking the right questions of Steve in a respectful way.
This was another interesting interview, but I can't say that I totally share Steve's perspective (and I'm guessing that we can both be Ok with that).
I would agree with 95% of what he was saying, but he doesn't seem to put any daylight between a differing opinion and an obnoxious manipulating lie.
I frequently find myself doing a check on my own possible bias, but there are certain people that I refuse to waste any more of my energy on.