27 August 2009

Our Constantly Changing Political Orientation

I have an idea for a research grant. Send researchers off to find the one person who changed their political position as the result of an argument of any kind. You know, the conservative who suddenly said, "Oh. I get it. You are right. You can't just assume that government is always ineffective." Or the liberal who said, "You mean you can trust businesses? I guess you're right."

We don't stay away from the topics of politics and religion in conversation because they are unrevealing or because they are not fascinating. We stay away from these topics because no one ever changes their mind on these topics. Their opinions have been formed about 4 years before the discussion starts. I don't think that I've ever witnessed a person changing his opinion about a political topic during the course of an argument or discussion. And I've been in and witnessed plenty such conversations.

If the researchers can't find that person, perhaps we could just divert all the money spent on news analysis into video game development.

Just an idea.


Lifehiker said...

It's never going to be one argument. People typically make major changes in outlook when the weight evidence over time "turns them".

I was once a right of center guy who had a great friend who was well left of center. We had many arguments, each stating our "facts". Over time, we both moved more to the center, partly as a result of remembering these arguments as we watched the world work.

Anonymous said...

One of the people I admire most is Malcolm X, because he did have the courage to change his mind. He came back from Mecca and told everyone that he had some new experiences and met some new people, and that it turned out he was wrong about everything, and he wanted to share what he'd learned.

Of course, they didn't pin a medal on him. They killed him.

David said...

As for Malcolm, he came back with a dogma that says it's okay to kill people who aren't followers. Ready, aim, fire.

As for your contention Ron-O, you're wrong. John McCain changes his political position about once a month and then votes to get it on the record.

Too bad too, my grandson would have liked the video game stimulus package.