In the above video, Ana Kasparian and Mike Figueredo of The Young Turks agree with Meghan McCain’s comment that she can’t have a constructive conversation with those who insist that she must agree 100 percent with what they believe. Kasparian and Figueredo comment that when rigid ideologues have these stringent ideological purity tests that they try to impose on others, it shuts off constructive debate on issues and we aren’t able to test out the strengths and weaknesses of ideas or proposals. If you demonize and disdain anyone who doesn’t agree 100% with you, how will you be able to persuade people to support the things you believe in?
I fully agree with McCain, Kasparian, and Figueredo on this. Over the past few decades, the people who have caused the most problems in my life have been people who are intolerant of differing points of view and attacked me for having the audacity to express my views. I’ve had some crazy conflicts with conservative Christians these past few years that I still struggle with. But I’ve encountered this on the Left too. In 2016, I had to leave a few Filipino facebook pages because I got into these crazy debates with leftists who were trying to justify Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial killings. That same year, I had some bad experiences with some Bernie Sanders supporters, even though I tried to tell them that I liked Bernie Sanders and have a deep respect for his integrity.
I don’t judge a friendship based on political affiliation or whether someone agrees with me 100% on my politics. I’m willing to be friends with people of diverse political affiliations of the Left or the Right so long as it is a healthy friendship and not a toxic relationship.
Do I enjoy being in this person’s company? Am I able to relax and be myself, laugh, and express my thoughts freely? Is there honesty, respect and mutual care in my interactions with these individuals, even when we disagree?
Or am I constantly being put down on and personally attacked for having my own tastes and point of view? Do I feel manipulated and harassed, and does that person constantly try to impose their beliefs on me? Am I always walking on egg shells when I’m around this person?
I’ve learned the hard way how damaging it is to my self esteem to be in a toxic friendship or a cult-like group. I strong believe that we can fight for what we believe in while still treating with respect and decency those that we disagree with.