I have written a post about the optics of the ongoing differences among both the factions within the GOP and the conservative movement, but also the left and the Democrats.

In that post I discussed how the way we present our points of view, can and will affect how those points are received by those we seek and need to convert to our way of seeing things, or at least encourage them to listen to us and our views on how to solve the pressing issues of the day.

I may have written the wrong post first, however, I will now attempt to discuss what happens when we actually attempt to have a dialog.

On several of my recent post, it has been demonstrated what happens when people hear ideas that they see as being diametrically opposed to their own. Including the fore mentioned post titled, “Optics”.  People were so caught up in the issue that I used as an example, that they were unable, or unwilling to see the true message of the post. This was again demonstrated when I wrote a post about an issue that has always caused people on both sides of the issue to become both emotional and irrational.

The problem that we are having in the world today in solving the larger problems facing our society, is not a lack of good ideas and hard-working people to put them into motion, no, the problem is that far too many people are too busy talking, and unwilling to listen. In other words there is no real dialog.

The first step to solving any problem that involves a large number of people is coming to a conclusion on how best to serve the needs of the many. (No that was not a Star Trek reference.)

In too many cases people on either side of an issue are unwilling to first listen to the other side, before they condemn that other side to being wrong at best, and if not just wrong, they will accuse them of all sort of conspiratorial and personal motives for putting forth the views that they do. In the minds of some people there is never the possibility that there can actually be two different points of view, and that possibly both sides could be right, but coming from two different places to arrive at the same destination.

The reason some people cannot come to this conclusion is that they  have decided that by simply being  a member of a certain political party, or for holding a differing view on a separate issue, then these people cannot be trusted or believed on any issue or topic. And I have to admit that sometimes that is the case. There are ideologues. I am one myself to a certain extent. I believe the things I believe. I am convinced that I am correct in my beliefs. I hold true to my values and principles, and will not compromise them.

However, I have learned that there is a difference between compromising principles, and finding a compromise to solving a problem. The two our not inseparable.

This is what is currently holding back both the GOP and the conservative movement. There are far too many people on both sides of any debate, who are unwilling to find that compromise to a problem, because they see that as compromising their principles and values.

This is not a characteristic of the GOP only, there is a good deal of it within the liberal movement and the Democrat party. The difference being, that within the Democrat party, the more reasonable  faction has been beaten down to the point of silence by a more radicalized faction.  They have done this by labeling anyone who steps outside of the prescribed rhetoric and talking points as  being crazy, or racist, or homophobic, or any number of other things that will frighten the more reasonable members into silence. The discussion within their party has come to a near stand still, with a certain faction running the party through fear tactics. The more radicalized faction of the Democrat Party is now seen as the voice and the face of that party. It is felt that if you want to deal with the Democrat Party, then you must appease that faction that hold the more radical views on issues.  This makes it hard for the Republicans to make any compromise simply because any deal with any Democrat, on any issue will be seen as dealing with that element within the Democrat Party.

We in the Republican Party are going through the growing pains of the same type of movement. When the TEA movement came on the scene, it was seen as a grass-roots movement that  was able to motivate large numbers of people to become involved, and that is exactly what it did. The problem for the GOP is the same as for the Democrat Party. How to first deal with creating a dialog within your own party? So as to be able to have a dialog with the opposition.

The Republican Party is struggling right now to find its identity. Who it is, and what it will be.  The national GOP has announced that it will be seeking new ways to deliver the conservative message. The Delaware state GOP has echoed this message. The problem, both the national, and state party leadership will face is that many of the rank and file voters and the activist among them, will not understand the need, and will equate this with compromising on principles.  The more reasonable Republicans will see the need, the more radicalized will scream that the party is moving left.

As I said, the Republican Party has the same problem that the Democrats have, in the GOP, the TEA movement and its splinter groups here in Delaware such as the 9/12 Delaware Patriots, have taken to shouting down any view-point that is not lockstep with their own. They have done such a great job at being the loudest voice, if not the most informed voice, that they have become the voice and the face of the Republican Party here in Delaware, and are painted as such across the nation. Again, the more radicalized element of a party seems to be the true voice of the party, so the opposition cannot or will not be seen as compromising with that element, for fear of losing the base and majority of the reasonable members of their own party. So I ask the question once again, how does the GOP first find a way to bring the differing factions within the party together and have a dialog, so that we can then have a reasonable dialog with the opposition.

With marquee members of the GOP, like Rand Paul and Sarah Palin even recognizing that the party must change its tactics and its delivery style of messaging, will the rank and file members see and understand the need?

Let us look first at the idea of changing the hardline stance on immigration by the GOP.  In the past any compromise has been seen as amnesty. It is a pretty good bet that now that the party leadership of the GOP is calling for some new form of reform, that a large number of rank and file members will label this as amnesty.  This will happen with little or no understanding of what the reform will actually look like, it will happen long before any real roadmap is drawn up. It will happen without any attempt at a dialog.

We in this nation are deteriorating into smaller and smaller sub factions of ideology, unwilling to honestly debate ideas, let alone work to find compromise. The very word compromise has taken on a negative meaning to some. To speak of compromise is to open yourself up to ridicule and accusations of being a sellout.  The real problem for the parties, is that as they segregate themselves into these small sub factions, they lose their ability to win elections, then they lose the ability to govern, for if you cannot win, you cannot govern. The they lose the ability to lead, for if you cannot win, you cannot govern, and you cannot lead. And if you cannot lead, you are doomed to follow.

Currently in Delaware, the Democrats are in control of the government for the most part. This has been possible, both because they have bullied their members into submission, and because the Delaware GOP has been lazy and weak. It has allowed a sub faction to work at its overthrow. I have to admit that I played my part in this, though I did not see the end results of my efforts, and I honestly never intended to push anyone else out of the party. But that is where we are, we are weak because certain factions within the party refuse to have even a dialog with the rest of the party, they seek to shut the other factions out completely. This is true on both, or multiple side of any issue.  There are more moderate members that will not recognize the need to hear and listen to the social conservatives, there are the constitutional conservatives that will listen to no one on any issue that does not agree with them on their hot button issues. There are social liberals within the GOP that label the more conservative in the party as crazy and will not seek compromise.

The bottom line is, until we learn to stop shouting at each other within the party, and work together, we are doomed to never win, never govern, never lead. We will be doomed to simply follow.

17 Comments on "Dialog"

  1. Dave says:

    I would be more encouraged if the reason that they appear to have some energy to do something about immigration is because it is necessary and the right thing to do versus what I see as the real reason – because if they don’t they can’t win.

    I know half a loaf and glass half full and all that, but woudn’t it be nice if just once they did something that was in the nation’s best interests and not just because they would like to regain the White House?

  2. Doug Beatty says:

    When you ask ‘questions’ that imply that Sheriff Christopher is neglecting his duties when in fact he is clearing the backlog he inherited, do you ever consider your own “Optics”?

    Trashing 9/12, candidates you don’t agree with…

    Dissent is good, diversity is a strength and that includes diversity of ideals.

    Ad hominem attacks “… is an embarrassment to Christians and conservatives…” for example is not conducive to reducing this infighting you are referencing. Neither is gleefully participating in it because you back another candidate.

    Instead you could write ” I prefer so and so’s opponent because… ” But you didn’t.

    Marc ‘the animal’ MacYoung has written a series of books on street fighting. One of them contains a gem for all exchanges in life not limited to pugilistic conflict. The concept of ‘de-escalation’.

    Basically if an angry emotional adversary is not in your best interest, then don’t contribute to making one.

    Put more simply, if pissed off people aren’t going to solve the problem stop pissing.

    As we were fond of saying in certain parts of the Nation’s Capitol, “Don’t start none, wont’ be none”.

    Misinformation such as implying that Sheriff Christopher is derelict in his duty is not conducive to reaching consensus, and why shouldn’t people get angry when you post garbage like that?

    All you have to do is call the man and ask him the question. He will tell you the truth and that can be verified. Propaganda to the contrary is part of the problem, please stop.

    Your standard defense of “well it was a question mark so I wasn’t stating anything” or “it’s humor/sarcasm” doesn’t cut it.

    In summary your making some very valid points in this post, it’s coherent and logical.

    You have an opportunity here to lead by example, on line and in ‘the real world’. I sincerely hope you take advantage of that opportunity.

    Until such time as the advice given here is taken to heart by the author, said author should expect to get as good as he gives, at a minimum..

  3. Fred says:

    Nice try, Frank, but the Alinsky tactic doesn’t work here. 9/12 has never shut down anyone’s opinion in my lengthy experience with them. Doug Beatty and John Atkins are two good examples of what I say. If the Republican Party wants to “Renew, Grow and Win,” they had better pay attention to the Tea Party which are overwhelmingly Republican voters.

  4. Doug Beatty says:

    Good point Fred, I find the 9/12 among the most tolerant to opposing views of the various groups I’ve contacted around the state.

    To believe in nine principles and twelve values doesn’t mean that we will agree on everything, but patriots do seem in general to respect other people’s rights to their opinions.

    Nobody shouted me down at Kent or Sussex even though I expressed views that were almost universally disagreed with by the assembled.

    Might be one reason I keep coming back.

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    Fred, and Doug, let me say that the organization of the 9/12 Delaware Patriots run a very smooth and respectful meeting. The few I have attended have been open to all and the speakers are always shown respect, even when putting forth views that the body of the organization may not approve of.
    What I was speaking of above, about shouting down opposition, was my opinion of individual members that have no tolerance for opposing view points, outside of the organization’s formal meetings. And not just members of the 9/12 Patriots, but people who self identify as being a part of the TEA movement.
    Simply look at how I am treated here for posting my opposing view on the sheriff issue.
    Mr. Beatty reads many things into my writing that have no basis in the actual post. He is so dedicated to a single issue that he is blinded, and almost incapable of an honest debate of the issue. This is exactly what I am talking about in this post.
    I understand that you are coming to defend your own backyard, but again, it is that defensiveness that makes it difficult to have a dialog with those we oppose.
    Did either of you notice that I pointed out the same problem on the left? Did you notice that I pointed out that I myself suffer from this problem also?
    No, you simply become defensive as soon as you feel threated, or fearful. You didn’t come here to have a dialog about the way to grow the GOP and move conservatism forward, you simply came here to defend your own special interest. That is what is wrong with the political debate today. People are only interested in their own small special interest, instead of seeing the bigger picture.
    This is the knee jerk reaction that we must learn to avoid, if we are going to be able to compromise in order to win elections and restore a balanced government to Delaware. The idea that you can grow the GOP, or any party by boiling off the impurities, by boiling down to the purest form, is a negative, positive. The idea of purity will leave the GOP unable to win even a school board election.
    It is the knee jerk reaction of anger that causes the party to be seen as the “angry party”.

  6. Doug Beatty says:

    No need to address me as mister. Everybody calls me Doug unless they are looking to get messed with then they call me Douggie or worse. Doug is fine. Or not, your call.

    You did ask leading questions implying that there was dereliction of duty on the part of the Sheriff and you did write that E.B. was an embarrassment to Christians and conservatives.

    You did imply imply that the 9/12 patriots were not well informed among conservatives

    You could have stated that in your opinion the Sheriff shouldn’t try to do what the citizens elected him to do according to his platform and should simply serve papers.

    You could have pointed out the issues you disagreed with Eric on. You didn’t.

    You could have simply pointed out that due to their visibility 9/12 is often taken as representative of all republicans or conservatives when they might not be..

    :Words to the effect of ‘not necessarily the best informed’ was a slam and in a post on constructive dialogue that kind of irony won’t pass unnoticed. Rules of the road, the information superhighway is a busy street. Caution when crossing is advisable.

    The issue I was addressing, in case I was being too subtle, is that you are one of the leading providers of factional conflict by your actions online and in real life, including in this very post.

    Now for pointing it out I’m blinded? To top it off you’re going to accuse me of being incapable of honest debate? When and where and what issue?

    I’m fearful? Of what? Psychologists might call that projection, denial, and reaction formation. Normal defense mechanisms to be sure. I don’t take it personal because you don’t know enough about me to know what scares me.

    I did give you credit for making some logical and coherent points.

    If you want to further prove my point that you’re only making the problem of faction fighting worse with the post under discussion by piling on after the fact that’s your right.

  7. Mike Protack says:

    There is no Delaware GOP hence there are no factions. We have feckless leaders who could not lead a Kindergarten class to a water fountain.

    In NCC 40% of the county has no functioning RD chair or team and yet we have empty suit John Rollins as the NCC chair and NOTHING changes.

  8. Bruce K Fitzgerald says:

    You summed it up well–YOU ARE part of the problem. You did not do your homework, you bad mouthed too many folks, I also was one who was abused by you & your CROWD of so self righteous, missing the mark. Now you carry on as the balance? If you claim to stand with Jesus, HIS mark was PEACE, not fear. To say that 912 folks YELL DOWN–forget not from whence you have come & the dirty games you played– is an out & out LIE. So does that make you a LIAR? In your old ways, you would have been the first to call that type of person a LIAR. I think not that you are a liar. So let your actions speak louder the the written & spoken words. For GOD so loved the WORLD.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    Mr. Protack, from your comment, I can see that you clearly have a grasp of the problems facing the NCC wing of the state GOP. So as you say, the first thing to do in NCC would seem to be to find RDs and EDs to fill the committees, then and only then should you start to look for candidates. You first need the RDs in place to help vet the candidates for the districts, so we don’t end up with candidates that don’t represent the people of the separate districts and thus are unelectable.
    Doug, I stand behind every word I use and every question I asked. You say I ask leading questions that imply something. Okay. Do you really think I am the only person asking these questions? Of course not, so you simply label anyone who does as a liberal or leftist. If you are not asking the people you support the hard questions, then you are blinded. As for my statement that E B was an embarrassment to conservatives and Christians, again I stand by that statement. At the time I made those claims he was making, in my opinion, bizarre comments about just about everything, all the while touting his Christianity and conservatism. When someone represents themselves as this ot that, and then makes a fool of themselves, then they are linked to that which they claim to represent. In my opinion. I am welcome to my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree with it.
    As for my statement about the 9/12 Patriots, as I said above, I was speaking of the members more than the organization. There are members that have no tolerance for opposing ideas, and in my opinion that intolerance stems from being uninformed.
    As for myself being a part of the factionalism within the GOP, I again point you back to the original post where I admitted that I like many have a problem with dialog, I used the royal we when calling on others to attempt to restrain the knee jerk reaction of anger and defensiveness. I recognize that it is a human condition, but it is one that can be altered if one wishes to.

  10. Frank Knotts says:

    Mr. Fitzgerald, not following your comment so well. But yes I made choices in the past, and I stand by them. I have also come to understand certain political realitites that I did not understand before. It is he who does not learn that is doomed to fail. I am quite capable of introspection, and have done quite a bit of it over my life.
    As for your comment of my faith, well sir, you, nor no man gets to judge that, for I judge not myself, only God shall judge me.

  11. bruce says:

    AS you said..” I have also come to understand certain political realitites that I did not understand before.”
    Even a fool appears wise when he keeps his mouth shut. So then you have admitted, you have been a fool and a LIAR.. and as for ” my faith, well sir, you, nor no man gets to judge that, for I judge not myself, only God shall judge me.” NOT EVER did I JUDGE as said ..” So let your actions speak louder the the written & spoken words. For GOD so loved the WORLD.” Your words twist so I must think you know NOT the WORD.. For it is written in 2 Corinthians 13:5 EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YOU BE IN THE FAITH; PROVE your own selves…” So Frank as for you lack of knowledge, your actions of that of a fool, and a liar, maybe best to take a LONG LONG look back to what you have said..” I am quite capable of introspection” Suggest you read the BIBLE– get on your knees and for the so many many you have caused harm to with you foolish actions & harsh words, MAKE AMENDS..& yes we know that GOD so loved the world, how about YOU ? REPENT & the rest of 2 Corinthians 13:5…” Know you not your own selves??? HOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU, EXCEPT you be a reprate? ” THink on these things. & Rejoice that all is forgiven as JESUS rose again on the 3rd day.

  12. Harry Whittington says:

    The Tea Party was really “tolerant” in 2010 when they were spreading lies about Mike Castle so they could get Christine O’Donnell elected. (Castle being gay is a lie, BTW).

    I witnesssed Tea Partiers at a Sussex GOP meeting shortly after the 2010 general election try to yell down someone they didn’t agree with. I’m sure Frank recalls the meeting I’m talking about, and the venom directed by 200 Tea Partiers at one lone person standing up to speak out.

  13. Frank Knotts says:

    Harry, yes I do. And to be completely honest I was most likely one of them. We felt that we had come so close and failed. Many were looking to lay blame. I can only say that I have grown since that time, which if a person is honest and has followed my writing they would have to agree. I have made peace with many of the people I once felt were my opposition, including Ron Sams, for whom I stood up at a recent meeting and argued that his name be considered for an ED position. I have been labeled a sell out for this, I care little. Some like Bruce seem unable to allow me this growth and seems to hold a grudge as well as some those he condemns.
    Bruce, let me address you, you come here in the cloak of Christianity. Then you attack my personal faith. Is that your idea of Christianity?
    You challenge me to read the Bible, how presumptuous of you to assume that I haven’t. you put me in the position of vanity by touting the number of times I have read the Book front to back, I will not play the, whose the better Christian game with you. I was paraphrasing above, but here is the actual quote,
    ” But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
    For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-4
    You are no better than the fools that presume that theirs is the final word on the Constitution.
    You call me a liar, when I have been nothing but honest about my role in Sussex and Delaware politics.
    You quote the Bible to me as if you would be my judge, caution, vanity will be your downfall.
    And all of this from a man that went running around the meeting of the Sussex GOP while be chased by the Sargent of Arms after being called out of order.

  14. bruce says:

    Again you twisted the words. Also what happen to the post form the DE News Journal ?? that was atop of my post ? Let me guess ??
    ..About jason330

    Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don’t tell anybody.

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  15. Frank Knotts says:

    Bruce, I don’t know what you are talking about when you ask about a post from the News Journal, if you attempted to post a link it did not come through. I did not edit your comment in any way, when I edit, I sign it with a reason why. If you would like to post a link, please do, but limit it to one per comment or it goes to spam automatically.
    Not sure what words you think I twisted. Calm down and try to put a reasonable thought together so we can discuss what is bothering you.
    You brought up Jason 330’s comments about the article I wrote, I posted a link to that article. You seem to be using an attack piece on that article to make your point, rather than speaking about the actual article. Have you even read it? Or does that not serve your purpose?

  16. Jon Moseley says:

    What if people have already heard all of the arguments on all sides extensively and have made up their mind? You are assuming that when you enter the picture, nothing has happened before you entered the discussion.

    it is one scenario if people have not heard and discussed all of the arguments on all sides.

    It is another scenario if a person has already had an extensive survey of all the issues and made up their mind.

    If someone has fully reviewed all the arguments and made up their mind, would you suggest that they cannot ever make up their mind because there is always someone somewhere they could talk to all over again about the same topics

  17. Jon Moseley says:

    Of course as to the main point that how we say things matters, of course. Understanding how the audience receives what we are trying to say, of course. Knowing how to communicate effectively with epople and with each group of people is of course valuable and necessary. There is no doubt that these points are correct, true, and important. In fact, just so it doesn’t seem like pandering, I wrote similar points.

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