I know this will confuse some folks out there, but if you were to meet me, I’m genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I’m not mean and nasty to people who deserve to have someone put a foot up their ass. If any of you knew what has happened to me recently, you’d probably urge me to sue certain people, but that’s unlikely, because I wish them well, especially their little girl.
Also, the passion you see on this blog is real. I want to leave my son and my eventual grandchildren, as well as my nieces and nephews, a world that is progressive and accepts everyone without exception. I live by the King ideal, where people are judged based on “the content of their character,” because I taught myself to do that. I truly believe this country can be better and that we, as a people working together, can do anything we really want to do. That said, as nice as I am and as non-violent as I try to be, I truly believe that we sometimes have to bust some heads, rhetorically speaking. We have to stop letting things lie. That doesn’t mean we have to respond in kind to everything someone says or does; but when someone says something profoundly stupid or wrong, we should correct the facts.
Along those lines, I also have to admit that I have little patience with stupidity. I can handle ignorance, but when that ignorance becomes willful, it’s a lot harder to take. But as long as you stick to facts, even if I disagree with you, I will do so politely.
However, as nice as I am, nearly every day I am told by someone else what a horrible person I am. If you think it bothers me, you can stop thinking, because it doesn’t. Spend 20 years online discussing politics, and you learn to let it bounce off after awhile. But I admit to being puzzled by it. Has our discourse become so eroded that mere disagreement is seen as impolite or some such nonsense? Most of those who complain about me claim they are doing so because I’m not “civil.” Apparently, their definition requires that I accept whatever they say and politely ignore it if it’s completely untrue. To them, apparently, it’s “civil” to spread lies and innuendo about anyone you disagree with, and it’s uncivil for anyone to point out that what you’re saying is wrong. If it’s embarrassing to you to be called out for lying, then the solution is simple; don’t lie. Make sure you know something is true before you repeat it. I personally think it’s borderline evil for people to knowingly spread falsehoods, especially about important issues.
I usually politely call “bullshit” when they say something that is demonstrably untrue. And yes, I feel it’s possible to say “bullshit” and still be civil and nice. I’m not calling the person who spouted the bullshit a name, I’m calling what they said what it is. I name-call their ideas, not them. And if they can’t see the difference, that’s on them, not me. If what they say can’t pass a simple smell test, how is it “civil” for them to spread it anyway, but “uncivil” for me to note that it’s pure fertilizer?
This is the key reason the level of discourse in this country is so horrible. We too often allow people to disseminate lies, while those of us who don’t are called out for doing so. Hell; we have an entire cable network devoted to disseminating bullshit; that’s how bad we’ve gotten. And to those of you who constantly assert “everyone’s entitled to their opinion” as their rationale for allowing this crap, I’d say the “opinion” allowance goes both ways. Certainly, if one person has the right to spout an opinion based on bullshit, everyone else is entitled to their opinion that it’s bullshit, right? And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no one is entitled to make up an alternate set of facts to support it. Yet, people are allowed to do that on a regular basis, especially when they spout some sort of bigoted opinion and claim such opinion is based on their religion.
My favorite is the so-called “Christian” arguments against equal rights for gays. Almost every one of these arguments includes an alleged demand from God that they discriminate. What’s wrong, exactly, with pointing out that nowhere in their religious text does Jesus command them to take away the rights of anyone because they imagine said people are sinning in some way. I have asked many times for these “Christians” to show me where in their Bible Jesus instructed them to deny homosexuals the right to marry, or the right to a tax break, or a right to make end-of-life decisions for their chosen partners, because you imagine they are engaging in homosexual sex. No one has been able to do that to date. They mention Leviticus, but they have never actually read it because, if they had, they’d realize they can’t buy cheap Walmart clothing, they can’t have an anniversary dinner at Red Lobster, and they would pretty much have to kill their children for talking back to them. Yet, they never do that. Apparently, homosexuality is the only sin mentioned in the Bible that they are never allowed to forgive, and which they are required to judge people for.
So, the question is, why are people like this allowed to tell everyone that Jesus commands them to condemn homosexuals and deny them their civil rights with impunity, while people like me are not allowed to call them out on it? How is this attitude in any way helpful?
Just this morning, someone responded to my post about the 47 Republican Senators who undermined American foreign policy and put us all in danger by writing a letter to the “leadership of Iran” yesterday by telling me pointedly that “both parties are the problem.” And he was offended when I pointed out something that should be obvious to anyone who is actually paying attention – “both parties” are not equally responsible for this abomination, and while saying that makes some people feel edgy and politically astute, the opposite is actually true. Seriously, was I actually supposed to let that lie slide? Why? What’s the advantage to not publicly calling people out for stuff like that? A lot of people read this blog. A lot of people look at what I do; don’t I have a responsibility to them to clear up the debate and focus it on facts?
For that matter, don’t ALL OF US?
Too often these days, progressives choose to tilt at windmills rather than take part in the process and make sure people know what they’re voting for. It may seem clever and “smart” to blame everything on everyone, but the fact of the matter is, it’s pure stupidity and dishonesty to even insinuate that both parties are equal in any way. I’ll get into this more in a separate post later today, but it’s just bullshit. Democrats don’t pose a problem for anyone right now, and all of the problems we can point to are either caused or exacerbated by Republicans right now. And no ones actual religion requires that they discriminate against any group.
In addition, few people are paying significantly more for their health insurance under Obamacare (it’s not even called “Obamacare”), there are no “death panels,” Obama is not a communist, or a socialist, or a Kenyan, or a Muslim. Likewise, Harry Reid didn’t drop the ball on the filibuster, and Alison Grimes didn’t lose because she dissed Obama. All of the above are lies, and they should be dumped by anyone who values the truth in public discourse. And failing that, progressives should actively call out the lies and perpetrate truth in their place.
Facts have a liberal bias, and we’re all better off if we use them. Always. Please. I just call them as I see them. If that offends some people, too bad.