Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Jim Gaffigan: Disagree with Someone? Calling Them a Moron Won't Help

"Talk to people who are different from you. Widen your friendship circle, watch a wide range of news media; vary the sources through which you interpret the world."

One side calls the other ‘crooked elitists’, and the other fires back with ‘uneducated racists’, only this exchange rarely happens in the same room. Democrats and Republicans vent their frustrations in separate homes, separates states, and symbolically in separate worlds. Comedian (and all-round great guy) Jim Gaffigan takes issue with this. He lives in New York City, where the berating and shaming falls most heavily on Trump supporters, but he grew up in a small town in Indiana, a red state, so he has a valuable dual perspective.
He laments the absence of dialogue between Trump and Clinton supporters and – from his viewpoint within a blue state – there’s a blanket dismissiveness of the ideas from the so-called fly-over states. Many democrats, when they hear ‘Trump’ or ‘red state’ immediately think ‘moron’, and shut down any potential dialogue.
Dismissing people, or insulting their beliefs, isn’t how you convince someone that your argument is the valid one, says Gaffigan. Science journalist Michael Shermer seconds this motion, and has spoken to Big Think about how to talk to people whose beliefs oppose yours. Specifically when your position is based in science, reason, and critical thinking, and the other person’s is based in emotion.

And it’s no secret that I’m no Trump lackey. (see Donald Trump Condemns North Carolina: ‘Let transgenders use whatever bathroom they want…’ and NRA-Endorsed Donald Trump Now Wants to Ban Americans from Buying Guns…). If you need more proof of that, take a look at my mentions. But I don’t certainly hate him by any means and I think he’s a better choice than Hillary Clinton. Most importantly, I don’t begrudge or demean his supporters simply for holding an opinion. I know many very, very smart people who are the biggest Trump fanboys around. They can often be seen on my show.
There’s a reason why his supporters are as passionate and angry as they are. Jim Gaffigan understands that.

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