Where Do You Stand and Why?

| Mar 14, 2016
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When it comes to politics I’m often accused of being either a Dumocrat or Repubutard depending totally on the particular subject being discussed. I feel this is because of the crazy level of polarization we have reached here in the U.S. when it comes to politics, which often makes rational discussion virtually impossible. In my view as an independent, it seems like politics has almost become a sporting event with people supporting their “team” regardless of what that side is saying and either ignoring or somehow justifying that position no matter how out there it may be. There does come a point though where I have to wonder if literally anything will shake someone out of their deeply held belief. This goes for both sides.

I really want to clarify that what I mean by independent is that I hold a variety of views that would typically be assumed to be held by one side more than the other and that I don’t fall in line on one side of the political fence. For example on gun control I would definitely fall more on the typically Republican side while on women’s rights I sit strong on the Democratic side. I’ve voted for both Republican and Democratic presidents. At the state and local level I am all over the political map.

Now, after all that I have to admit that I will absolutely be voting Democrat this year no matter who wins the primary. In fact, I will be voting Democrat right down the line and encourage any LGBT person or ally or rational human being for that matter to do the same. I can no longer look at the current Republican party and consider any current candidate as a rational choice and I wonder how anyone can, let alone any LGBT person.

As I’m sure many of you do, I have hardcore conservative Republican friends on Facebook that are inexplicably also LGBT. This just boggles my mind.

Of course I can’t go too much further into this subject without mentioning Caitlyn Jenner who has publicly supported Ted Cruz despite the fact that Cruz would consider her an “abomination.” Her justification is that she thinks “We need jobs. We need a vibrant economy” because presumably we are on the brink of economic disaster that can only be fixed by Cruz’s “brilliance.”

In any case, she and other LGBT Republicans may have a more difficult time hand waving away the fact that Republicans have now added anti-trans resolutions to their national platform that target, you guessed it, bathroom and locker room usage. Worse, it targets our youth by focusing on schools. From the resolution:

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee calls on the Department of Education to rescind its interpretation of Title IX that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students;

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages State Legislatures to recognize that these Obama gender identity policies are a federal governmental overreach, a misinterpretation of Title IX policies, and an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights; and

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages state legislatures to enact laws that protect student privacy and limit the use of restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities to members of the sex to whom the facility is designated.

In reading this GOP resolution it seems as direct and potentially hurtful of any anti-trans stance to be found anywhere in the United States. How can any transperson simply ignore this blatant hate?

You might wonder who, that besides Jenner, are the transpeople that can justify supporting an organization that clearly despises them and is working against them? In my opinion and experience they are likely similar to her in that they had the benefit of living a privileged life for a long time or they still have the option to return to that privilege at will. There are exceptions for certain, but that has been my experience.

So, where does this all leave us? Do we just abandon our brothers and sisters, writing them off as a lost cause because they are entrenched in a worldview that is self-destructive? This may surprise you, but I don’t think we either should or need to. In fact, I think even someone as clearly far entrenched in their view as Caitlyn Jenner can be shown the fallacy of their thinking. I have had reasonable success with this with many different types of flawed and deeply held beliefs that people hold by using the Socratic method of reasoning.

I feel that everyone can really benefit by learning the Socratic method of dealing with people that have a deeply held belief (no matter what that is). For those not familiar, the Socratic method is basically learning to ask the right questions to get the person to figure things out for themselves. You do not counter their arguments or attempt to correct them. I won’t kid you, this can be incredibly tough to do.  Another key thing is to not be adversarial and intend to truly try to understand how they reached the beliefs that they have. If the belief is indeed flawed, they will eventually realize it themselves once you have helped them examine those beliefs.  This takes some learning and patience, but you can change virtually anyone’s belief with it over time, perhaps even Caitlyn Jenner’s.

Notes: 

Example of the Socratic method:

Jenner — “I don’t feel like they are out to get us. Every conservative guy out there believes in everyone’s rights.”

Reply — “That’s interesting, I did not know that conservatives were supportive of trans rights. Can you help me understand by pointing out a couple of examples of how conservatives have supported trans rights?”

Full GOP resolution can be read here.


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Category: Transgender Opinion, Transgender Politics

diane1962

About the Author ()

Diane was born and raised in New Jersey. She has two fully grown sons and a husband of thirteen years. Diane runs a two small businesses and in her spare time enjoys strategy board gaming.

Comments (27)

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  1. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    @lesleyann
    > If the election is between Hillary and Donald (have to use both first names so as to not belittle the female!) who gets your vote?

    Vote Trump? NFW.
    I see him as an amoral man, with no respect for the individual, no broad concept of liberty and freedom.
    Trump is very shallow man with a lot of money.
    We see people like Trump everyday, they may be poor, they may be rich, but they will never get my help.

    Vote Hillary, nah.
    I will vote for a third candidate, not Libertarian, I will vote down ballot.

  2. says:

    “Right, but what we may want is to help others which has little to no benefit to us. Is that really self-interest?”

    Absolutely, it is. Self-interest is not limited to material benefit. A person whose highest value is choosing to serve others – say a Peace Corps volunteer, or a poorly paid private-school teacher – derives immense psychological and emotional satisfaction, ie ‘reward’, from doing that work, from doing what is ‘morally right’ from their point of view. Money, or other material benefits, is of little concern to such people.

    In other words, people define their self-interest based on what they consider THEIR most important value. Lots of people, for example our service members, find honor to be way more important than money.

    But the motivation is always the same for all people, doing what they define as making their lives meaningful.

    That is the very definition of ‘self-interest’.

    • says:

      And, Diane, notice your own word choice:

      “Right, but what WE may WANT…”

      You ‘want’ to help others, he ‘wants’ to be a successful businessman, she ‘wants’ to be an astronaut.

      All are serving their self-defined self-interest, rationally, legitimately, and in perfect accord with human nature as created by the demands of evolution.

      The beauty of Western Civilization – and especially America – is that we are free to follow our ‘wants’, wherever they take us.

      • diane1962 diane1962 says:

        How exactly is helping others at your own expense in your own self-interest? I think you are attempting a false equivalency so that some people’s selfishness does not seem so bad. Sorry, but helping others is not the same as helping yourself.

      • says:

        Diane, do you get ‘anything’ from helping others?

        Let’s say you’re an unpaid volunteer in a soup kitchen, or an unpaid volunteer in a nursing home.

        Obviously there is no material benefit accruing to you, in fact you may spend your own money on gas to get to the facility. And you’re giving up that time which could be used in a hobby or another pleasurable pursuit.

        In the psycho-emotional sense, are you saying you’re not getting anything out of your effort? Not a feeling of doing good, of doing the right thing? A feeling of living up to your moral standards? A sense that you’ve contributed to the betterment of your fellow persons, made the world a little bit better?

        Self-interest is not narrowly defined as material benefit. It is whatever and however the individual defines it, whatever they want, according to their values.

        I do believe in maximum freedom for everybody consistent with moral and legal obligations to society. Fortunately we live in a nation that permits such personal liberty.

        Anyway, I’m reaching – or have already passed 🙂 – the point of repeating myself so I’ll stop belaboring the issue.

    • diane1962 diane1962 says:

      The examples I gave had nothing to do with a soup kitchen or nursing home or me in anyway actually being there to experience the effects of what happened. I understand you had to use those examples rather than mine since using what I actually said would not suit the particular spin you were trying to make.

      Additionally, it is more than a reach to try to compare a person trying to increase their personal wealth or one who wants to become an astronaut (both clearly in their own self-interest) with someone who is willing to pay a little extra for an item if the company’s employees are being paid a livable wage and have health insurance.

      Apparently you find this hard to believe, but many of us are not so focused on self-interest.

      • says:

        I don’t find it hard to believe at all. You’re doing a good act and you – as well as the recipients – are being rewarded for your altruism.

        No contradiction whatsoever.

      • says:

        IOW, it’s not a zero-sum game. 🙂

    • says:

      One last comment on one of your previous responses – evidence that I do indeed read and think about what others write 🙂 :

      “Right, but what we may want is to help others which has LITTLE to no benefit to us. Is that really self-interest?”

      Very interesting choice of words, a concession it would seem, that helping others has some benefit, no matter how ‘little’, thus proving self-interest.

      Otherwise the sentence would read, “…what we may want is to help others which has NO benefit to us.”

      I promise, no further “and one more thing…” posts from me. I look forward to future interesting articles from you, Diane, here on TG Forum.

      😀

  3. says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll simply say that if a person’s most important perceived self-interest is defined by their trans-ness, then the party of Democrats is unquestionably their natural home.

    For those who have other self-interests, they – like Caitlin – will give consideration to those issues based on their own priorities.

    Not understanding this simple fact of human nature – that the self-interest of other people might just be different from one’s own – predictably leads to the bewilderment expressed by the writer and the first commenter.

    • diane1962 diane1962 says:

      You assumption is completely wrong about me (this seems to be a reoccurring theme). I understand perfectly well that a great many people are selfish. Just because someone is behaving selfishly does not mean they are making the actual correct choices that will actually benefit them. Additionally, a person certainly does not have to consider trans rights their most important or only issue to vote Democrat. Not everyone votes or acts solely on their own self interests.

      • says:

        Diane, my comment is about people in general, not you specifically, and it’s not a criticism at all but rather an observation.

        It is impossible not to act in one’s own perceived self-interest. ‘Perceived’ is the operative word – we all know people who are pretty self-destructive one way or another and we are baffled by their irrational actions/feelings.

        Also self-interest is not the same as selfishness since the former allows for plenty of concern for others’ feelings, needs, etc.

        But let’s not kid ourselves – we all want what we want and we all want others to want what we want.

        You want others, especially those in the non-existent trans ‘community’, to vote the way you want, ie Democrat, and you make a compelling case for doing just that. Perfectly understandable and not even arguable.

        All I’m saying is that people of good-will and of reasonable intelligence can disagree with you and have values that you dislike or even abhor.

        All values are not created equal but every single one of us holds the values we do because they are in our own perceived self-interest, they reflect what we are and what we want.

        If you have an example of somebody acting in a way that’s not in their self-interest, I’d like to hear it. But remember self-interest does not exclude taking into account the interests of others, even putting them ‘first’.

      • says:

        One more point/question:

        “Not everyone votes…on their own self interests.”

        Under what circumstance would a person vote against their self interest?

        Let’s say a person is strongly pro-choice. Why would that person ever vote for a pro-life candidate? Well, they actually might if, and it’s a big IF, that candidate espoused a position/value on an issue that was even more important to the voter than abortion.

        IOW, a person’s multiple interests can conceivably be in conflict. Holding one’s nose and voting for the so-called ‘lesser of two evils’ is a good if cliched example.

        But even in such a conflicted case, the person is exercising their choice of what he/she/ze/xe considers most important, ie what they want most. But the key word is ‘want’, ie self-interest.

      • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

        You really gain nothing from trying to persuade Republican LGBTs to vote Democrat.

        What TGs need to do is show the general public they are capable of doing and speaking about more than being TG.

      • diane1962 diane1962 says:

        “All I’m saying is that people of good-will and of reasonable intelligence can disagree with you and have values that you dislike or even abhor.” I’m not sure why you would see the need to state this as I have not indicated otherwise.

        “All values are not created equal but every single one of us holds the values we do because they are in our own perceived self-interest, they reflect what we are and what we want.” Right, but what we may want is to help others which has little to no benefit to us. Is that really self-interest?

        “If you have an example of somebody acting in a way that’s not in their self-interest, I’d like to hear it. But remember self-interest does not exclude taking into account the interests of others, even putting them ‘first’. ” I feel every human should have access to things like healthcare, clear water and be paid a livable wage. These are things that I am fortunate enough to be able to take for granted. I gladly will pay a little extra for a cheeseburger if I know the employees are being paid a livable wage and have health insurance. I will donate my cash that I could spend on myself or family to support organizations that work to provide clean water and healthcare to those that don’t have it.

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      >if a person’s most important perceived self-interest is defined by their trans-ness, then the party of Democrats is unquestionably their natural home.

      Very true, and if ones self-interest is trans-ness, people will find you self centered and unpersuasive.

      By the way I’m a Rubio supporter. I have no use for Trump and will not vote for him. Jenner is an embarrassment and does not enhance the reputation of transgenders.

      • says:

        Kool, I generally agree with you on most of the issues that you’ve posted, but this:

        “…if ones self-interest is trans-ness, people will find you self centered and unpersuasive.”

        How is a transperson’s self-interest any less important than anybody’s else’s? I would say most gay people have their gayness as their most important issue and everybody accepts that.

        A LOT of Americans have a single issue that defines them, eg pro-life, pro-abortion, gun control or gun rights. People will go to the mat for their signature issue, and guess what – that is perfectly ok because it’s completely in tune with human nature.

        People always, always, always act in their own perceived self-interest. It cannot be otherwise.

        Voting for your favored candidate is a good example. Who would vote for a candidate that is against your self-defined self-interest? That would be irrational.

        Personally, I do not vote or even follow politics but I find your position interesting. If the election is between Hillary and Donald (have to use both first names so as to not belittle the female!) who gets your vote?

      • diane1962 diane1962 says:

        “Very true, and if ones self-interest is trans-ness, people will find you self centered and unpersuasive.” I think what you mean is ONLY self-interest. Otherwise you seem to be saying that because a person holds a particular view they can be dismissed out of hand because they hold that view. This seems highly illogical.

        “By the way I’m a Rubio supporter.” His campaign likely ends today so no need to even discuss it further.

        “I have no use for Trump and will not vote for him. Jenner is an embarrassment and does not enhance the reputation of transgenders.”

        I agree though I think in her heart Jenner wants to do well for the community. She is just mostly clueless on how to go about doing that or the hardships most trans people have to contend with. Perhaps some of the excellent people she has around her will be able to steer her in the right direction. Let’s hope so.

      • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

        @leslyanne
        >Kool, I generally agree with you on most of the issues that you’ve posted, but this:

        >“…if ones self-interest is trans-ness, people will find you self centered and unpersuasive.”

        Acting in your own self-interest is fine.
        When you speak and advocate about your self interest as primarily being Black, a woman, gay, Latino, Hispanic, trans, people zone out. People are more receptive to your achievement and goals to helps others.

      • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

        @diane1962
        I think what you mean is ONLY self-interest. Otherwise you seem to be saying that because a person holds a particular view they can be dismissed out of hand because they hold that view.

        >This seems highly illogical.
        Okay Spock
        Trans activists like the ones on “I am Cait” have transgenderism as their only self interest, that is why they hit such a road block with the public

      • says:

        Kool, thanks for your input. I like how you stick to the subject and don’t take things personally.

        🙂

        BUT (and there it is!):

        “Trans activists like the ones on “I am Cait” have transgenderism as their only self interest, that is why they hit such a road block with the public.”

        Here you demonstrate perfectly the main corollary to The Law Of Self-Interest© (apologies to Adam Smith), which says that human nature (more generally all living things) demands that people always act in their self-interest. That can be expressed as ‘we want what we want’ and it naturally follows that ‘we want others to want what we want, and to give it to us’.

        The corollary is this: ‘we also want others to act the way we want them to, even in their own lives, even when it has little to do with us’. IOW, we think we know best how others should live.

        In fact, we may be right – people do some crazy, self-destructive stuff – and it’s natural to assume our personal values are better than those of the masses and would benefit them, if only…

        See, I’m doing the very same thing, right now, telling you (gently) that you shouldn’t tell others how to act on their personal/group agendas.

        We’re all guilty! Of being victims of human nature. 🙂

      • says:

        Btw, Kool, did you see my question about voting for Hillary or Donald?

    • diane1962 diane1962 says:

      “You really gain nothing from trying to persuade Republican LGBTs to vote Democrat.” I like to think that people are willing to change their mind if presented with data that the belief they hold is wrong or not the entire set of facts.

      “What TGs need to do is show the general public they are capable of doing and speaking about more than being TG.”

      This I can agree with you on.

      • Babs Babs says:

        If you willfully allow others to disrespect you for what you are… even if you are merely passive and silent, how can you respect yourself?

        That is why I am a “recovering republican”

  4. Sophie Lynne Sophie Lynne says:

    I stand with my Brothers and Sisters of the LGBT. I stand for what the USA is supposed to stand for, not for GOP hate.

    Am I an extremist? According to many I am.

    Your piece is far more rational than the one I did on this topic a few weeks ago. Praise be! We’re both correct, and I’m sure you’ll get nasty comments both public and private (I sure did), but that just shows that you hit close to the mark.

    Be well!

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