Doug argued that we may all talk about compromise and how important it is to getting along with the people in our lives or in shaping public policy, but we don’t practice it all that much — which to him is not a bad thing. With “we” referring to regulars on this blog, including Doug and me.
Excerpts from a couple of his emails:
Who among your most regular commenters would you say ISN’T uncompromising? Including yourself. I think we’re all of a certain age and high level of certainty about our beliefs based on our experiences. …
Of this group, which do you think could be convinced to make even a moderate change in his/her views?
bud, Kathryn, Phillip, Bryan, Silence, Mark, Karen
Anyone past the age of 40 who hasn’t got a clear view of his beliefs, principles, and view of the world is probably pretty lost.
I know that I have made some large swings in my beliefs in the past 10-15 years – I was pro-choice and am now pro-life. I was against gay marriage but now am for it. I am definitely coming around on single payer.. it beats the current alternative since we can’t go back to the former.
My take on it is that we are each a function of our experiences. You would have a hard time convincing me that you would have the same view of the military had you grown up in my house or Phillip’s. You are what you know and what you’ve seen and done….
So… bud, Kathryn, Phillip, Bryan, Silence, Mark, Karen… were your ears burning? Since we were talking about you, I thought you might want to join in.
I said he probably had a point — although a couple of y’all (maybe Mark? maybe Karen?) are perhaps slightly more open to changing your minds than the rest. I think maybe the more “malleable” people are probably shyer about posting. They are the lurkers (and you know who you are — I can see several of you out there on Google Analytics as I type this). The more, shall we say, definite people are less bashful about making statements for all to read.
And I’ve said this before, but I really don’t think I’m that hard to convince with a good argument. People used to change my mind during our debates at The State — before we took a stand on them that is, during the decision-making stage.
And from time to time, I would change my own mind in the process of writing something. I would have a thesis, and as I worked on it and collected evidence I would find that my thesis just didn’t work, and that I wanted to say something different, often very different.
I once had a candidate endorsement on the page, and the page ready to go to press, when I changed my mind (because of a single phone conversation that I had in the early evening after I thought I was done with the next day’s pages), and pulled it and endorsed her opponent.
But the things we talk about on the blog are usually things that I’ve made my mind up about over a course of years and decades of testing them against contrary arguments. Which makes my positions hard to shake.
There are plenty of issues out there, though, that I haven’t made up my mind about. There’s the ballpark at Bull Street, for instance. Y’all haven’t seen me take a strong stance on that, have you?