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 by Jon Burras
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A Communication Conundrum:
Democrats Versus Republicans
      We all know that most politicians have trouble telling the truth. This can be witnessed over and over again in our political discourse. What you might not be aware of though is that political tribes (Republicans, Democrats, Independents etc.) all have a very different way of communicating and might be just as dishonest as their political leaders. The millions of members of each party often follow party lines and tell the same lies and mistruths without every waking up to the truth.
      While I am not picking sides in the matter I find it very obvious the different types of communication skills involved in political debates. I find myself voting on issues and not on party policies while not particularly aligned with any organized party. But it is hard to dismiss the fact that each party communicates quite differently.
      For instance, the Republican party is the "in your face party." These tribal members favor big business, gun freedom, religion, big militaries and world dominance. All this is good and fine but they are unabashed in their view of the world and their black or white way of viewing the world often leaves one wondering at what shade of rose colored glasses they are seeing the world. Republicans will often act as bullies and try to over power you. Their sense of the world is that they have the right answer and there can only be one right answer so everyone else must be wrong.
      Republicans tend to very rule conscious where a law is a law and you must abide by the written law. People who break a law need to be punished to the full extent. They often do not see the humanitarian side of things and are very "Biblical" in their thinking like "an eye for and eye" or "if a man steals then you must cut off his hand." A Republican is much more likely to want to fill up prisons with rule breakers and punish them as payback for their crimes while a Democrat is more likely to want to be lenient with prison sentencing and often blames the justice system for its unfairness.
      The refreshing quality about Republicans is that they do not hide from their views and will be willing to spout them off as the way things are (or should be). They are bold and defiant in their beliefs and do not hold back. They will tell you to your face how they see the world and might even go way beyond with some judgments and condemnations of other parties. Republicans are mostly honest to the core. You might not like or agree with their assessment of the world but at least they are honest about how they see things.
Democrats on the other hand are some of the sneakiest people around who almost never tell you the truth. They will lie to your face and then stab you in the back. They are more likely to speak in code and talk around issues. It is common for a Democrat to have a public opinion and another personal opinion on the same subject behind closed doors. They will seldom tell the public how they really feel about an issue. That is reserved for talk behind closed doors with their closest of friends.
      Here is how the Democrats avoid the truth. When it comes to abortion rights a Republican will say that he is "anti-abortion" while a Democrat will claim to be "Pro Choice." It is much more politically correct to favor the approach that women should have a "choice" as to what happens to their bodies then to outright claim that one is "Pro Abortion." That level of political honesty could never be accepted. Who wants to go around with the label that they are in favor of killing babies?
      It seems that the Democratic party has become so embroiled in political correctness that its DNA has become tarnished and truth telling is hard to come by. For instance, when it comes to immigration a Republican is more apt to claim that he is against illegal immigration, against amnesty of any form and favors deportation of those who are in the country illegally. Political correctness and skirting around the issues would never allow a Democrat to claim that he is in favor of illegal immigration. Instead he says that he favors a "comprehensive" solution to the immigration issue. This rhetoric implies that he is in favor of amnesty for those who are in the country illegally but he will insist that it is not "amnesty" but a "path to citizenship" (which implies some kind of light punishment or fine and then citizenship will be granted).
      A Democrat will rant against breaking up families if a family member is deported for being a criminal by being in the country illegally but they do not have the same rhetoric of keeping families together if one member of a family is sent to prison for a crime like bank robbery or car jacking. A Democrat has no ability to comprehend that a person who is in the country illegally is a thief—stealing free health care services, stealing free education, stealing citizenship for his children and often stealing public services like welfare.
      A Republican will shout out that he is against amnesty and deportation is the only answer. He is interested in just the cold hard facts. Democrats will even go so far as to say that a person cannot be "illegal" and the proper name for someone in the country illegally is not an illegal alien (as the Republicans insist) but an undocumented worker, as if the only thing missing is just the paperwork. Democrats always seem to speak in code and avoid direct communication with an issue.
      When it comes to terrorism the Republicans are bold and heavy-handed. Frequently a Republican will label an act of violence in a Western country as one that has been perpetrated by "radical Islamic terrorists." A Democrat being afraid to offend anyone will often claim that a "sick" or "disturbed" person of Middle Eastern decent committed the crime. Democrats will do everything in their power to avoid associating the Muslim religion with the terrorist act. Democrats are very sensitive to not offending anyone while Republicans are quick to label someone.
      Republicans are famous for demanding while Democrats spend their entire existence apologizing. Democrats come from a victim consciousness and are frequently blaming while Republicans take little responsibility for their actions. (Most of the protests of the last few years were from Democrats. A Republican would less likely take to the streets and protest.)
      A bomb dropped in a foreign war for Republicans might kill many innocent civilians but this is collateral damage that cannot be avoided. Democrats are more sensitive to innocent lives being lost and might not be as hasty to drop that bomb.
      Democrats might be so paranoid as to wish to avoid hurting someone's else's feelings that they over due it and never really tell the truth. Republicans are more likely to not care about anyone's feelings and live life as if they are the center of the Universe. Republicans tend to be more narcissistic and Democrats more co-dependent. Republicans will blame Democrats for being weak while Democrats will blame Republicans for being uncaring and self-serving.
      Is it any wonder why we all seem crazy? Republican's strategy for communication is the full frontal assault, to attack and to dominate, often using data, studies or "facts" to bolster their claim. They will try to over power and over run you. Democrats favor the skirting around issues approach by deception, coercion and manipulation while trying to deceive the opponent, throw them off guard by relabeling something or avoiding any facts or truths.
      In a nutshell, Republicans seem to be more like bullies and Democrats more like complainers and victims. While these analogies are not black and white they serve as a suggestion of direction more than anything. These ideas mostly represent the core values of each party and a gross generalization more than anything else.
     
What is the solution then? There are many things that can be accomplished that we are not doing. Here are some of those things.
1. Learn non-violent communication where you actually listen to what the other person is saying.
2. Clearly define the problem.
3. Find something that everyone can first agree on.
3. Substantiate all facts, data or studies.
4. Stop demonizing and name calling the opposition.
5. Put the country first before the party.

      Finally, there is one more solution if none of this works. That solution is to abolish the Republican and the Democratic parties and force everyone to become an Independent.