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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Feb 14, 2021, 02:08 PM

65. We govern well

You can't reason someone out of what they were never reasoned into in the first place.

If we do a good job, people will see their lives improve. When they start realizing, "Hey, my life is a little better or at least a little less worse with this party in charge than the other one." Biden has such an opportunity here with his Covid relief bill and other matters.

We're never going to reach some critical mass of the ideological. Most people don't stand on their ideology. Most of us here probably do, because we're political types. And there are definitely millions of people out there who define themselves by their race, religion, etc. You can't just tell them, "Hey, that's wrong. Stop that." They've usually spent their whole lives building up those identities. A couple of Twitter posts aren't going to suddenly tear all that down.

But if we say, "Look, I hate what you stand for, but I want your life to be better anyway. So here's how I'm going to do that. We're all Americans and all deserve a better life, so I'm going to bring you along with me even if you hate me."

We talk a lot about a prison system, for example. And I think most liberals will agree that we should strive for the rehabilitative vs the punitive. Right now, our politics are geared towards the punitive. "I hate what you stand for, so I will get you in some way." It's part of our current hyper-partisanship at the moment.

It's just going to harden battle lines. There's no winning here. We're stuck in this country together, like or not. And if you want to win by sheer force, well, that roads leads to authoritarianism no matter how well-intentioned. We can push and we can pull, but we can't pummel. A lot of people are in pummel mode, and I absolutely get why. But it will ultimately make us worse instead of better.

I think Biden instinctively understands this. That's why you never get vitriol out of him. He kills with warmth. He's no squish. He's hard when he needs to be.

But he's not going to start a knife fight when a beer with someone would do just as well.

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