Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Why do you assume I think like you?

Posted by Lissa on March 16, 2011

“Can you believe that situation in Wisconsin??”

I look up warily — this could be going in either direction. I sneak a peek at the computer screen … CNN.com. So that probably means …

“Can you believe they’re trying to stomp all over the unions’ rights? It’s unbelievable!”

Well, that’s clearly what YOU believe is happening. So it can’t really be *unbelievable*, can it?


Now, I just came from Boston. I’m quite used to people on the opposite side of the political spectrum assuming that everyone shares their views — statistically, just about everyone does.

But this is FLORIDA. It’s a classic swing state. Why assume that your audience has the same political outlook?

Due to my locational history, I’m used to liberals assuming I agree with them. Has anyone experienced it the other way? A conservative / small gov / 2nd Amendment-er / Republican / right-leaning person assuming (wrongly) that his or her audience shares the same political framework?

6 Responses to “Why do you assume I think like you?”

  1. bluesun said

    As a small-l-libertarian, I assume that no one agrees with me, and that if I start talking politics they’ll just get angry. It’s always a pleasant surprise when they don’t.

  2. Brad K. said

    Um, ‘union rights’ sounds wrong to me. Something provided as a contracted-for expectation? that sounds more like a privilege or expectation.

    Right to due process, right to be armed against tyrants, and right to enjoy freedom from quartering (having armed troops assigned to live in your home at your expense, with authority over everything you say and do). Those are rights. A reasonable expectation of privacy and freedom from fear of armed aggression? Um, employers seldom get that from organized criminals . . oops, meant to say, organized labor. (Funny how those two phrases look alike, isn’t it?)

    Not that I have any strong opinions. It just seems to me that labor unions impose a tax on business that the community and citizen don’t get to vote on, authorize, or regulate. And, in general, I don’t see unions actually improving a business’ ability to do business. Instead I see increased costs of doing business, union businesses folding and laying off people, and moving jobs overseas. If union bosses knew anything about doing business – why wouldn’t they put their nickel on the table, and compete with the big boys? As for any workers protections, OSHA and private attorneys seem to do that pretty well.

    Lissa, there is an old saw, about not discussing politics or religion in public, as a matter of courtesy. Because such topics, including labor unions and other forms of organized terrorism, are generally ‘religiously’ held beliefs – that is, the holder is seldom able to get past their own beliefs and perceptions to get to actual values and evaluations. That is, they are able to proselytize at the drop of a hat, and never notice they aren’t engaging in actual debate or discourse. So, be polite, and don’t respond to rude (political and religious) topics. That way you avoid wrestling with the pig – which would get you both muddy, but the pig likes it.

  3. Ruth said

    I just tell folks I was raised that its not polite to discuss politics in public (which I was) and go back to what I was doing, I learn lots from the next reaction they have, it ranges from “oh, sorry” with a wander off, to “well you need to consider….” and off they go on a rant. I generally make a point not to spend time talking with the latter on any subject after that, if they can’t take a hint then the last thing I want to do is debate their religion with them!

  4. Terence said

    I’ve found it happens all over the world on all sides of the political spectrum. If you talk politics at a gun range, people tend to assume other folks have a similar point of view. Same goes for NYC coffee houses. I find most people want to hear agreement, not have a discussion.

  5. Me not you said

    I read that headline as ‘Why do you assume to think I like you?’, so I was confuzzled until read the whole thing.

  6. Tam said

    Yup. At the gun show or shooting range, I’ve had people assume I was a “big C” Conservative, all about keeping myself barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen; getting prayer back into public schools; passing a constitutional amendment against hippies burning flags; stamping out gay cooties; and bombing foreigners ’til they show some respect.

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