What issue most divides you from others who share your general political ideology?

We may be liberal, conservative, libertarian, or something else. But many of us find ourselves sharply at odds with the vast majority of otherwise like-minded people on at least one issue.

What’s that issue for you?

For me (conservative,) it’s the Covid pandemic. I’ve fiercely been arguing with fellow conservatives from early this year. They absolutely stick their head in the sands, embrace this nonsensical “let’s let the infection run amok until there is herd immunity,” fake news, Plandemic, virus-is-a-fraud, “the virus needs to respect our Constitutional freedoms and rights” logic.

Other issues would be: Criminal-justice reform (conservatives love severe punishment, although I’ve noticed increasingly more liberals embracing that vindictive attitude too,) gun control, and taxation of the wealthy.


As a person whose other politics mostly places me in alignment with leftish/liberal (and aggressively progressive/radical) folks, I’m often arguing against their enthusiastic embrace for psychiatric health care outreach and fully covered insurance support when it doesn’t include a political questioning of forced treatment including involuntary outpatient commitment, locked-ward incarceration, forcible medicine administration, compliance-or-no-food-or-shelter arrangements and so forth. The conservatives, with their attitude that “my home is my castle, and I have the right to be batshit insane if I’m not violating laws”, are often more supportive of one’s right to say no to the needle.


I identify these days as part of the LGBTQIA rainbow, but along with some intersex activists I distinguish between sex and gender pretty emphatically, which puts me at odds with transgender activists and their supporters, from whom the mainstream line is now that sex doesn’t exist, that it’s all gender, or at least that it’s all about how you identify and that to anchor any meaningful identity whatsoever in physiology is oppressive: “one’s gender identity is valid regardless of what’s in your underpants which is nobody’s business” and even “excuse me but if you’re saying what makes you male is that you have a penis and adam’s apple and no breasts and no clitoris and vagina, that means you’re saying that anyone who doesn’t have that configuration isn’t male, and that’s transphobic and you need to apologize or leave”.

I am not quite to the point of embracing J K Rowling and ilk who go around screaming “transgender women are MEN and they all want to rape women in women’s prisons and invade women’s sports and we are real women and so-called ‘gender identity’ is harmful ideology!”, but the litmus-testing among the LGBTQIA activists has gotten way out of hand.

Covid-19 response for me, too, but I’m a liberal. To be clear, I am not in favor of ignoring it, and I am in favor of high-yield, low-disruption public-health responses like mask mandates, testing and contact tracing, moving pretty much everything outdoors that can move outdoors, and closing particular types of businesses that cannot operate safely (by this, I mean things like dance clubs or karaoke bars). But I feel like it’s somehow turned into a litmus test where you’re supposed to show how anti-Trump you are by being maximally anti-virus, and it’s causing people I usually agree with to advocate for all sorts of things that exacerbate inequality (like saying there should be no face-to-face education for anyone, never mind that online school really only works for children who have good tech access and parents who are well-educated enough, and have enough free time, to do a lot of quasi-homeschooling). I also think that there’s a lot of magical thinking on the left that hasn’t received as much pushback as the right-wing equivalent because it’s not as immediately dangerous, but it’s going to end up being just as pernicious in the long run (stuff like believing that if we were all just virtuous and self-denying enough for long enough we would be able to socially-distance the virus out of existence, and that if we’ve failed to do so it’s because of all the bad, selfish people who keep screwing it up, and not because it isn’t actually possible to end a widespread epidemic that way in the first place).

Before the pandemic, I think it was gun control, but that’s not really something I feel strongly enough about to waste much time thinking or arguing about it.


I find the idea of “cultural appropriation //cue frothing at the mouth//” to be fucking stupid.

I find different cultures fascinating. Sometimes it’s their mode of dress, sometimes it’s the symbology they surround themselves with.

I think passing on things from one culture to another is a large part of what it means to be human, and this stupid objection is, in its own way, a very insidious form of currently-acceptable racism/tribalism.

I’m to the left of liberal in most things but as someone for whom a spiritual practice is and has always been a core part of my life (the religion has varied), I find the aggressive atheism of some liberals to be disturbing. It is also, politically speaking, extraordinarily counterproductive.

I am a hair right of center moderate swing voting nominal Republican who strongly opposes Trump. Almost all the major divisive issues separate me from most people. I have a hard time even trying to think of there being an active public voice for my general political ideology.

As we have become more partisan those issues, and recommended fixes, have become very binary. You are either with their tribe or against them. My usual answer to which side I am on for those issues is overwhelmingly C None of the Above.

As somebody who considers himself a middle-of-the-road moderate, I guess the issues that divides me the most from other people of a similar political ideology would have to be the most extreme fringe position I have. Which would probably be my support for the near complete legalization of all recreational drug use. I admit it’s a strange position for me to hold. I don’t use any illegal drugs and I have no desire to. I don’t even drink or smoke. But I see no reason why people should be forbidden to use drugs just because it’s bad for them. I would have no problem seeing heroin, meth, and crack being as legally available as alcohol and nicotine are. Drug users may have problems but I don’t feel those problems are solved by criminalization. I’d rather see law enforcement resources spent on other crimes.

It’s really the tactics I’m opposed to more than the platform. As a liberal, I’m tired of the condescending social media lectures, performative wokeness, online vigilantism, increased disdain for freedom of speech, accusations of “tone policing” to justify assholish behavior, and all that comes with that. I don’t believe most liberals are that way, but too many for my comfort. It’s like they find everything offensive and I find them so exhausting.

I also don’t enjoy the fierce alienation of possible allies, especially in the feminist movement. (I think it’s probably bad in other movements too, but I’m not about to speak for them.) I’m on board with the concept of toxic masculinity but I think #notallmen may be a justified response when people start slinging shit indiscriminately. I’m lucky to help fund a prevention education program that capitalizes on the leadership strengths of boys and young men without demonizing them. We need more of that in our public discourse when we talk about gender equality.**

(**As an aside, I’m actually being transgressive when I say I favor “equality”, because the correct thing to say in leftist circles is now “equity” - which just goes to show how exhausting this shit is.)

Liberalism in its current incarnation currently lacks leadership. I see no indication of a coherent strategy. There are no Saul Alinskys around to get things done. It’s just a frothing mass of angry people and the entire point appears to be expressing anger.

I’ve started calling myself a moderate progressive even though that’s not really true because I don’t want to be confused with this kind of liberalism.

Green/Social Democrat, but very much in favour of nuclear power.

I’m pretty solidly leftist in my views. But I think concern over political correctness has gone way overboard. I do understand the concept of micro aggressions, the power of language, and I condemn racist and offensive language. However, PC has been taken to ridiculous extremes. A recent example is a proclamation by the student council at Haverford College to sanction the wearing of “Hawaiian shirts” because they decided (though not one of them was of native Hawaiian ancestry) that it was cultural appropriation. Um, I live in Hawai’i, and (a) we don’t even call them “Hawaiian” shirts, we refer to them as “aloha” shirts; and (b) I quizzed several people with native Hawaiian backgrounds about it and they all thought it was hilarious and stupid.

Second, I don’t believe that Republicans are innately evil. Yes, I have been quite disappointed by the spinelessness of everyone around Trump - sadly, it seems that many who started out as Republicans on philosophical grounds have allowed Trump to lead them astray. But believing in what is, or at least used to be, Republican ideas does not make one automatically a bad person.

I have a friend who is a committed conservative Republican, but we get along just fine, even talking about politics. Why? Because we realized we both want the same kind of world - a prosperous, economically robust, environmentally sound landscape where personal freedoms are respected. We differ greatly on the best strategies to achieve that world, but we can listen to each other and debate. (Of course, she is a never-Trumper, so I can respect her.)

Same here… I’m also quite strongly liberal, yet I side more with Israel than with the Palestinians. (I detest Netanyahu! I just don’t want to see a Palestinian right of return, and a great many of today’s liberals do.)

I’m for giving up on banning scary black guns, and stepping back from the non-controversial ones as well. As long as they’re semiauto (no bump stocks either), the aggregate harm to society isn’t enough to justify the expensive political struggle of banning them.

This does mean we have to tolerate the occasional mass-shooting spectacle, and smug assholes performing their vice-signaling open-carry rituals. I don’t like any of that that, but I also don’t want to see the Democrats blow their political capital that would help them tackle other stuff I care about. Climate change, COVID, court reform, voting rights, ending the drug war, ending actual war, immigration justice, universal healthcare. These are existential, life-saving issues. If we can get real traction on those, I will learn to live with the occasional elementary school getting shot up (yes I have children who are now in 5th grade).

Realistic…and, besides, we don’t have the votes to make such things happen…and besides that we have a brand new Supreme Court that would undo any such progress anyway. Painful…but, yeah.

(I won’t say it really “divides” me from others, because I don’t actually know any strongly anti-gun liberals. Most I know have also just given up. If a string of mass murders won’t change America’s mind, nothing will.)

I consider myself a liberal.

My main disagreement with liberal philosophy is on how to deal with crime. I’m in favor of drastically reducing punishment / legalizing victimless offenses. Drug use, prostitution, things of that sort. At the same time, I believe violent offenses need to be punished with much longer prison sentences. My reasoning is that the majority of violent crime, especially things like murder and rape, seems to be committed by people with prior violent offenses who received short sentences.

I’ll second the “liberal for nukes” attitude. Maybe because I worked on a nuclear sub, qualified nuclear engineer officer, and know how safe a well designed/maintained/operated nuclear reactor can be.

I don’t quite know how I fit into the American political spectrum, but I’m a moderate German lefty, leaning strongly to the SPD (the German Social Democrats) and the Greens, with a big focus on environmental issues. I share most of those issues with the left, except for GMO foods, which almost all of them reject out of delusional and unscientific concerns. There is also a fringe of the left who oppose school medicine and embrace “alternative” treatments, and I just laugh at those fools.

Life long Democrat, but no gun control law in America has done squat in reducing violent crime.

I am Ok with background checks, etc, but some gun laws are just there to harass law abiding gun owners- because “guns are bad”.

I no longer have a general political ideology, so I guess the answer is everything. More than anything, I’m a pragmatist; I look at works well and then support that. Historically I’ve called myself libertarian or libertarian-leaning, but that entire crowd has rejected science completely at this point and I have no time for that shit. While some political groups are (much) better than others, all of them have giant blind spots where ideology or groupthink has overtaken evidence and pragmatism.

I guess that means I’m a meta-pragmatist at this point; I support groups that are least at odds with my own pragmatic policies.

I’m left liberal but I like guns and I think a lot of woke stuff is divisive and based on bad logic