Monday, June 25, 2012

A Note On Politics, Or If You Can't Say Something Nice

We all have different opinions.

I know. Shocker, right?

As common-sensical as that would seem, come election year, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is certain they are right about everything and anyone that disagrees with them is a bad person and a big ol' stupid-head.

Seriously, y'all. It gets "real bad."

Now, don't get me wrong. There are some people that hold beliefs I think are at best, misinformed, or at worst, positively heinous. However, just because I may disagree with someone, even if that disagreement is on a fundamental level, that doesn't usually negate that person's right to be treated respectfully. They don't deserve name-calling, insults, or other (quite frankly) uselessly demeaning behaviors directed their way.

Kids, there's a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Being assertive is standing up for what you believe in and refusing to be pushed around or overlooked. Being aggressive is attacking someone else or their beliefs. For example: Mahatma Ghandi was assertive; Osama Bin Laden was aggressive. The thing is that there is no need (generally speaking) to resort to aggressive behavior in a discussion about politics. In any discussion, for that matter. Discussions should be about talking it out. Two people or groups of people coming together and engaging in civil discourse.

Apparently, however, that is a pipe dream. It seems to me that people always want to demean or insult their opposition, attempting to argue that since that person/group is stupid/ugly/bullying/whadevah (which is really just a smoke screen; what really upsets them is that the opposition has dared to disagree), they have no merit, so their arguement has no merit.


Haven't you ever heard that "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing? Okay, so maybe you're not Christian. Doesn't mean that little gem (though it comes from a book you may not believe) contains any less wisdom.

As for me, when someone starts being disrespectful in their arguments, I stop listening. Clearly, they can't present their arguments in a rational manner, having resorted to the emotionality of name-calling, so I no longer care about their position. Also, having gone through my life (especially my time in the military) as a young, moderately attractive female, and therefore dismissed as unintelligent/uninformed/unimportant, disrespect is somewhat of a peeve of mine.

Don't misunderstand me; I understand that sometimes the only way you are going to get respect from someone is to demand it. Sometimes, you have to speak to knuckleheads in their own rude language in order for them to understand what you mean. Sometimes, it take a smack upside the head for someone to realize they've been kind of an ass.
That said, it seems like that is the default reaction anymore.
"Yeah, well, yer mom!"


Can we all, right here, right now, decide to be better than that? Can we use our own reasoning minds and decide that a logical argument should ALWAYS supersede an emotional one?

Here's the take-away: courtesy is its own reward. Those who are respectful are far more likely to get respect in turn from the people with whom they have dealings. Rise above it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment