Plain Speaking

This will probably antagonize some people. But I feel obliged to say it.

Advocating violence against people who disagree with you is WRONG.  I don’t care how ‘wrong’ the other person is, taking it to violence will not change that other person’s mind, nor make those who agree with that person reconsider their own viewpoints. Violence only becomes a justification for violent retaliation.

Yes, I’m talking about ‘punch a Nazi.’  No, I find no humor in it. It’s right up there with Kill a (fill in minority of your choice), bomb a (church, synagogue, clinic,  temple of your choice) or vandalize (school, institution of your choice.)  These sorts of slogans influence people.  Easy to say, “Oh, I didn’t mean it that way!” Harder to apologize after someone of any ilk is seriously physically injured or a ‘punch’ triggers a mob reaction.

And while I am at it, stop the childish name calling.  “Cry Babies” or “Basket of Deplorables” are both equally useless in adult discussions of politics.  So is the 3rd grade potty language name calling of politicians of any ilk.

I’m not talking about words that are genuinely informative.  Someone can be called a racist, or a communist, a liberal or a conservative, a socialist, a misongynist, etc.  Those are words that assert something about the person’s political beliefs.

I’m talking about any body shaming words, whether it relates to a woman’s level of beauty or how much hair a man has.  Please don’t try to influence my thinking by criticizing that someone wore a pant suit or has a comb over.  I’m with that dude who talked about ‘content of character’ in judging people.

Name calling and pseudo calls to violence are like Fake News.  Name calling seeks to sway an opinion while giving no substance to the argument.  Pseudo calls to violence from people of influence can trigger real violence in those who follow or admire you.

I want adult discourse. I want clearly reasoned arguments that attack issues, not personal appearance.  If you disagree with me, I hope you will attempt to reason with me or persuade me.  Not punch me or call me a childish name on social media.

Oh, and one more thing.  Lay off kids. Anyone’s kids.  No one gets to choose their parents or their parents’ politics. Take a minute and think of everything  your dad or mom ever espoused.  Do you agree with all or any of it?  Many people have parents or spouses who have shamed themselves in the public or political arena, with intolerance or adultery or texting naked pictures or being caught in lewd acts in public. Their spouses and children suffer enough without our pointing at them as if they can control another’s behavior.

It’s old fashioned good manners. Debate with our opponents.  Explode their arguments with facts and logic.  I’ll stand by and cheer for that. Let intelligent discourse return to the public arena, starting at a grassroots level.  Can we please set the example that we wish our politicians would follow?

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