Dispossessed Americans
The Frame Game

Empathy for the GOP

Ted_cruz2I had an epiphany of sorts during a long drive today.

I have long wondered why so many Republicans can't stomach Barack Obama as president. Why do perfectly rational people seem so eager to accept accusations that he's a socialist bent on destorying our way of life?

Clearly, there's an element of racism in some of these attitudes. But some of these people are personal friends. I've worked with them for decades and I know they don't have a racist bone in their bodies.

Then, during my drive today, I heard speculation on the local NPR radio station that Ted Cruz's real agenda in opposing Obamacare (even if it drives the country into budget gridlock) is to lay the groundwork for a presidential run in 2016.

Ted Cruz as president?!?

Then it hit me -- that's exactly how most Republicans feel about Obama and for the same reasons (though erroneously).

Cruz has been a senator for less than a single term. Ditto Obama when he first ran for president.

Cruz is the darling of the far right wing of his party. Ditto Obama (though of the opposite end of his party).

Cruz seems obsessed with the Affordable Care Act. Ditto Obama (though his obsession was the war in Iraq).

Cruz is even a minority, born outside the U.S.  Okay, so Obama was born in Hawaii, but try to convince the real Obama haters. 

Now I get it. 

It doesn't solve the problem, but it increases my empathy for the other side, which is always step one.



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