I feel like a lot of attempts at convincing conservatives that larger social safety nets and state-funded healthcare are good things are like… fundamentally failing to engage with their basic concerns.
Like, guys, I have literally been asked questions along the lines of “what are your plans for when the economy collapses and all of our currency becomes worthless” by multiple family members in the past month. If people keep yelling WHY DO YOU HATE THE POORS at them, then I think they’re going to feel roughly the same as a conservationist who keeps hearing WHY DO YOU HATE POOR PEOPLE IN THE CONGO WHO CUT DOWN THE RAIN FOREST FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES
like, you don’t. you don’t hate those people. maybe you hate people much more powerful than them who cut down many more trees, but the people who clear four acres so they have some land to grow crops to feed their families? nah, you don’t hate those people. if you object to their actions, it’s because you’re afraid that those people might accidentally be hastening the end of the world as we know it. And if you think the debate is Person In The Congo Would Like To Clear Some Rain Forest To Feed His Family, Please vs This Will Bring About The End Of The World, you might reasonably conclude that we are just not gonna be able to compromise on the end of the world thing.
There are a lot of conservatives who seem to be every bit as concerned about government spending as liberals are about climate change and extinction rates. And like–you might think that’s dumb. You might think they’re tilting at windmills while ignoring the hurricane right behind the windmills. But as long as they think that the windmills are an imminent threat to everything they know and love and hold dear–as long as they turn to me and say “bard, I’m so sorry we couldn’t defeat those windmills for you, I’m so sorry that you’re the one who’s going to have to live in a world where their reign of terror seems impossible to escape”–like, at that point, you gotta engage with their concern about the windmills. You gotta try to convince them that your proposed policies are not going to destroy everything they care about.
Yelling at them to have compassion doesn’t solve that problem. They have compassion. That’s why they’re so worried about the killer windmills.