New DP participants may need some time.....Submitted by elviejo on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 15:33
I have noticed a trend lately and I don't know whether anyone else has as well.
There seem to be many new participants in our forum who are taken aback by what they find here. It is quite possible that many are "trolls", especially since there is a growing hysteria on the right that the libertarian faction is "taking over the party"... Therefore the idea that DP would suddenly become infiltrated in large numbers by "troublemakers" makes sense.
BUT, there is another possibility (and it is probably a combination of the two), and that is that some of these new people are "conservatives" that are starting to have doubts about many of the old policies. They catch an interview with Dr Paul and suddenly think they have found their new "Reagan". They are starting to think of themselves as libertarian in many specific AREAS, but they haven't yet figured out that the philosophy of freedom encompasses ALL areas - financial - personal - foreign policy - drugs, etc.
So they come here thinking that they have the philosophy and are ready to join a group of "like minded" people. Then they get here, and the philosophy, when carried through to areas that are "hot buttons" for them is STARTLING. They become emotional and hang on tight to their own preconceived ideas.... and try to show us where we are going wrong. They have been "taught" for so long that, for example.... anyone who is against the middle east wars is a LIBERAL. So when they see ANY wording against the wars they cannot make sense of it in light of some of the other topics that they agree with. They lose their bearings and fight to hang on to something familiar.. and to those of us who have been here a while, their statements are startling and unexpected.
I say this because I have an aunt who recently told me that she took a "test" in a magazine and it showed her that she is DEFINITELY libertarian. Now, I know for a fact that she is absolutely clueless about what that means when carried to it's logical conclusion in ALL areas. She hasn't thought about foreign policy in this light, or the drug war, or same sex marriage, or ANY of the multitudinous issues we discuss. She would fall over in a dead faint, and then run for the hills when she revived if she jumped onto DP right now. This is because RUSH has told her for so long that anyone who talks about the issues as we do must be a Liberal Democrat..... there is no other option.
I guess my point is that with new people getting "on board" we need to try to remember where they are coming from, and realize that they may not have thought the whole thing out yet. They are AFRAID to let go of their old "anchors" and it will take some calm and loving discussion on our parts, in an effort to ease their fears and open their minds.
CHANGE IS SCARY. Philosophical change requires re-thinking everything you ever believed.... sometimes some moral repentence... sometimes makes you feel like a fool for having believed all the lies for so long. These are NOT comfortable feelings, so tempers flare.
Heated arguments are many times pointless. There is too much yelling and screaming going on in the world as it is. The only way to change minds is to change hearts, and that takes patience and consistency.
Let's all try to engage in knowledgeable discussion, and explain the logic and philosophical reasons for our outlook without sharing in the SAME fear of newcomers that they have of us. As someone here once said.... it's a big sandwich, and sometimes people can only take one bite at a time.