How to engage a fanatic?

I read an opinion piece today that spurred me to write this post.

I struggle with this very question quite often. I am not one to “un-friend” someone simply because I don’t agree with them or their views. I’m quite curious by nature so I am driven to discover the roots of their views. However, most often what happens is that I am shouted down, accused of being “preachy” and/or “being out of touch with the real world” and/or my personal favorite “that’s your college education talking”. When I emphasize that I really want to understand how they reached their viewpoint I am accused of trying to bait them.

My formative years were spent on and around farms in rural Michigan. I’ve lived in a small tent in the woods while searching for work; I’ve had to choose between eating and affording the trip to work; I’ve watched the last of my food go down the kitchen sink because I didn’t own a colander to drain my spaghetti. That is my real world.

I get it that you’re angry and frustrated. You’ve got my attention so stop yelling at me and let’s talk about it.

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