Does A Liberal Have An Open Mind?


The other day I was Facebooking with a couple of Liberals who were bashing Republicans. I made the statement that I believed as a Republican I did have an open mind. After I thought about this, I realized, maybe Liberals do not have an open mind. Maybe, just maybe they are as closed-minded as some Conservatives. Open mindedness means the person is willing to listen to the other person’s point view, consider the pros and cons of the other person’s view-point, and if the pros of the view-point outweigh the cons, be willing to adopt the other person’s view.

In most arguments with a Liberal, when a Conservative presents an opposing point of view, the Liberal will call the Conservative a racist, a woman-hater, and many other derogatory names because the Conservative opposes the Liberal view-point. When a stout Conservative is presented with an opposing view from a Liberal, the stout Conservative will present the same derogatory words. Neither is willing to stop, listen, consider, and adapt or adopt. Hence, in our government, we have a standoff with neither side willing to give. For example, if talking about abortion, the Liberal will argue that the woman should have control of her body period, paragraph, end of discussion. The Conservative will argue the unborn baby has a right to life and the woman should not kill an innocent baby. Neither is willing to see there is another choice. The first choice is yes, the woman is control of her body; therefore, if she does not want children, she should either restrain her desires or use all means necessary to prevent a pregnancy. The second choice is called adoption. The woman carries the child to full term then if she still does not want the child, she adopts the child to a family who will love and cherish the baby – no strings attached. The third choice is carrying the child to full term and then the father taking responsibility of the child. Instead of listening and working through a way to compromise, the two sides become so stuck in their personal views and the unborn child is caught in the middle of the debate.

Abortion is not the only stickler point between Conservatives and Liberals. The stickler points are numerous-Go to war, not go to war; Social Security is an entitlement, Social Security is not an entitlement; implement socialist ideas; return to capitalistic ideas; and so forth. Unfortunately, as long as politics is controlled by people who are unwilling to listen, the stickler points will never be resolved. Liberals are as closed-minded as Conservatives. Conservatives believe in family, home, country, and God (for the most part). Liberals believe in family, home, country, and God (for the most part). So, if both have the same beliefs, why can’t they get along? Because both are so blind to other point of views that they cannot see there are alternative ways to co-exist. Our politics have become as buried in the mud of belief as the Catholics and the Christians were in Ireland during the Ireland Rebellion. Neither side is willing to stop, listen, consider, and compromise.

So, what should open-minded people do? Should an open-minded person even claim to be a member of either party? Open minded does not mean the person must throw away their own personal values and beliefs to satisfy the wants of the opposition. Open minded people can exist in both parties. Open minded people can help the closed-minded people to see the truth by using non inflammatory words and actions. Open minded people founded this country. Open minded people wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of the Independence. Closed minded people have put all their work in jeopardy by not opening their eyes, their ears, and their minds to the probability that just maybe the other side has a valid point.

That is my two cents on Liberal/Conservative Open/Closed Mindedness. Please feel free to respond. I would love to hear other people’s’ point of view on the subject.

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About Elaine Rhoades

I am a 69 year old grandmother, mother, wife who earned a BS in Psychology with a 3.97 GPA at the ripe old age of 62. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix July 2012. I have begun my own business of editing for authors and writing a novel, which is currently in editing stage. If you are interested in obtaining editing services please contact me at rhoadesediting@att.net. List of editing projects: A Forever Family Series - children's books - Author Sal Edwards. UoP essays and class papers for my class teams. 40 + years as Administrative Assistant in which I edited textbooks, sales flyers, newsletters, catalogues, letters, and other office projects. Writing Projects: Novel: "I'll Cry No Tears". Short Stories: Various - not ready for publishing Poetry: One published poem 1963 Various stories for friends and family Office Newsletters: Editor of "Southside OBGYN Office News"
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3 Responses to Does A Liberal Have An Open Mind?

  1. For example, if talking about abortion, the Liberal will argue that the woman should have control of her body period, paragraph, end of discussion.

    The idea that a woman is a fully autonomous human being is very binary ideal. Either you have it all of time, like men do (along with full human status) or you do not because pregnancy negates your human rights and thus you are of a lesser status because what you want to do with your body suddenly is not a natural right anymore.

    The Conservative will argue the unborn baby has a right to life and the woman should not kill an innocent baby.

    Somehow equating fetal rights to women’s rights is inaccurate. It is a gross oversimplification of reality, but a hobby-horse the forced-birth legions continue to advocate.

    The first choice is yes, the woman is control of her body; therefore, if she does not want children, she should either restrain her desires or use all means necessary to prevent a pregnancy.

    Because contraception is 100% effective and always available, and sex is never coercive. In short, crappy stuff never happens(?).

    The second choice is called adoption. The woman carries the child to full term then if she still does not want the child, she adopts the child to a family who will love and cherish the baby – no strings attached.

    Because all children are equally desired by other people. More importantly, pregnancy can have disabling temporary and permanent side effects on the woman and thus undergoing a pregnancy might not be in her best interests.

    The third choice is carrying the child to full term and then the father taking responsibility of the child.

    See above. Laying down general prescriptions for individual women and their particular situations fails to respect women as adult human beings who have the right to make choices about their body and their family.

    Instead of listening and working through a way to compromise, the two sides become so stuck in their personal views and the unborn child is caught in the middle of the debate.

    How does one compromise with the argument that when pregnant, a woman becomes less then a fully rights bearing human being? Giving up our autonomy is not an option.

    Open mindedness means the person is willing to listen to the other person’s point view, consider the pros and cons of the other person’s view-point, and if the pros of the view-point outweigh the cons, be willing to adopt the other person’s view.

    I disagree with your definition of open mindedness.

    Open mindedness is partially about being willing to consider the other person’s point of view et cetera. But rather, the focus should be on the willingness to change your own point of view when presented with an argument that is closer to the truth of a situation despite one’s preconceived notions of what is right. It is the cornerstone of critical thought and rational thinking.

    So to contextualize this sentiment in terms of access to abortion – when an argument is presented that does not trample women’s basic human rights – I will change my views accordingly.

  2. The Arbourist, you proved my point, thank you. You became so focused on the example between how conservatives and liberals react to each other over abortion that you lost the gist of the blog. The gist was how both entities are closed-minded and lose the ability to be open-minded because they become so focused on a stickler point. Your stickler point is “How abortion affects a woman’s rights.” My point was not about abortion, but about losing focus by becoming so centrally and singularly focused that a person cannot open his or her mind to other possibilities. My definition of open-mindedness is what you described, but again you were so focused on abortion that you did not understand my point. To be open-minded is to be willing to listen, consider, adopt/adapt if the view point of the other proves to be more valid than personal view point.

  3. You became so focused on the example between how conservatives and liberals react to each other over abortion that you lost the gist of the blog.

    I like to refute the arguments put forward that hurt women when I see them. My apologies for not addressing the main point.

    My point was not about abortion, but about losing focus by becoming so centrally and singularly focused that a person cannot open his or her mind to other possibilities.

    I have considered some of the other possibilities. The platforms put forward by forced-birth advocates are unacceptable if one values women’s rights and their status as human beings. Most arguments resolve down to a woman losing her agency to another and that situation, in stark terms, is slavery. Slavery is not ever justifiable, ethically speaking.

    The opposing side of this argument has to show how denuding women of their rights is logically and ethically the better of possible worlds. This has not been demonstrated yet.

    To be open-minded is to be willing to listen, consider, adopt/adapt if the view point of the other proves to be more valid than personal view point.

    So, are Women – A: People or B: A function of their reproductive capacity.

    My argument is founded on the assumption that A is the most logical and coherent answer, and thus closest to the truth of the matter. Thus, if somehow we can maintain the idea of A in concert with anti-choice notions, then I most definitely would change my position.

    To date, this situation has not occurred.

    My point was not about abortion, but about losing focus by becoming so centrally and singularly focused that a person cannot open his or her mind to other possibilities.

    One must also consider the idea that some points of view are also inherently wrong and should necessarily be discarded.

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