Ex-KKK member denounces hate groups one year after rallying in Charlottesville

I completely agree, and civil discourse won't work on everyone like you said. But for me the challenge is to just try to reduce the hostility as much as possible. Political discussion in general in this country has become incredibly divisive and difficult, and I find that when trying to have an honest conversation with anyone (especially on the internet) it is very easy for people to become defensive and assume the worst about the other person by either attributing ignorance or bad intentions. This usually gets the conversation nowhere and it just feels like a waste of time in the end.

But since I spend a lot of time engaging with people I disagree with, it's always my goal to at least end on a positive note if possible. And this usually means clearly demonstrating to the other person that I am genuinely attempting to understand where they're coming from even if I disagree. I try not to express my views in a dogmatic way since I am not a dogmatic person...I am always open to changing my mind and trying to challenge me currently held views. The more open the other person can sense I am, the less defensive they will usually be towards their own views. It's not about being "right"...the goal for me is just to better understand. I have no problem being wrong since I don't have an ego-attachment to my beliefs, which also means I won't bring emotion into an argument.

So I just try to approach every discussion from that perspective of trying to take something away from it for myself even if the other person takes nothing new from it. I don't want to waste my time and I don't want to just push my beliefs onto others. I want fruitful discussions. Even if that just means trying to gain new insight about the psychology behind certain people and the formation of various belief systems. Figure out more effective methods of communicating with different types of people. I just like to practice and continue improving the skill since sometimes it really does work to help open the minds of others as well as opening my own mind to new perspectives.

Appreciate the discussion. :]

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