Friday, April 27, 2012

Ordinary misinterpretation

Hard to be neutral without coming across as partial and perhaps even disloyal. I remember in 2008 my father asking me “Bill, who do you think will be the next president ..?” I interpreted this as a request for information and, thinking back to some poll results, replied “Looks like Obama” He reacted with disgust and terminated our conversation. Since then he looks at me with suspicion and considers me an Obama fan with liberal views. He swiftly ends our discussions with “I know exactly where you’re coming from, Bill” and calls me a “behaviorist” ..which is a polite way of calling me a “socialist”. I’ve been an independent all my life. I think I see where I went wrong though. He wasn’t asking for an independent assessment my answer appeared more like a preference than an forecast. He’s been that way all his life. When he asks me which team I think will win a football game ..he’s never looking for the answer that an odds-maker would give. Today I’m reading where Obama’s adversaries are accusing him of “appeasement to Iran” in response to his handling of Israel’s saber rattling. I may be going out on a limb here but I think I’m beginning to see a built-in tendency to interpret straightforward answers as prejudice bordering on disloyalty.

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