NOTE: This article was written as a response to another, originally published in “The Bollard” on April 5th. It can be read here.
A guy wrote once that, although debate and compromise are valuable things in the right place, there are some positions that are completely, flatly wrong. These, because they’re just so obviously invalid, are no longer worth discussing, and compromise with them is plain dumb.
This seems to make sense at first, but if you look hard at it, the lines start to blur a little.
The article I linked at the top is thoughtful, well-written, and persuasive. It champions the idea that, because some people are just so very wrong, they’re not worth talking to. These people are called “Republicans”, and the writer wonders why they still exist.
Here’s the thing: You know and I know that (insert Republican politician’s name here) is an ignorant blowhard. He — because it’s always a “he”, am I right? — anyway, he’s trading on prejudice and bias in order to get votes, and suddenly you realize that hate speech is winning him an election. You’re disgusted, and rightly so. I mean, he said that?! and the Republicans are voting for him?!?
So all Republicans must be evil, right? More than half of ’em, anyway, in order to elect LeP– …uh, Tru– …uh, whoever. Either that or they’re incurably ignorant, or hateful bigots, or too narrow-minded to see what’s really going on, what life is really all about. So obviously they’re not worth talking to; anyone that prejudiced is a waste of time.
Stop a second and think about that.
If we follow the rule we started with, and if Republicans truly are the party of ignorance, oppression, exclusion, hate, intolerance, and violence, they’re now unworthy of any efforts for compromise or even dialogue.
Funny thing about this is, I’ve asked some backwoods redneck Republicans, and that’s just exactly their opinion about Democrats — not every Democrat, but definitely a lot of ’em and certainly my brother-in-law. (Everyone’s got a blowhard brother-in-law or intolerable aunt or step-cousin-once-removed. In my family, it’s probably me, but I’m only saying that because the rest of the family is reading this.)
Let me give you some examples:
- Democrats want free health care. People dying because they’re poor is wrong.
- Republicans want lower taxes. People being poor in the first place is wrong. Stop taking my money.
- Democrats want to take your handguns. Mass shootings are wrong.
- Republicans want more handguns. Just try a mass shooting, buddy.
- Democrats think the above is a great reason to outlaw handguns.
- Republicans think the above is a great reason to outlaw Democrats.
- Republicans think an influx of Syrian refugees would be a threat to national security.
- Democrats think that attitude is likely to piss off a bunch of Muslims with nothing left to lose.
- Democrats think that police violence needs to be protested.
- Republicans think that riots are an ironic response to police violence.
- Democrats think Republicans are all still bigots. That’s why we need laws protecting ME.
- Republicans think Democrats are all becoming bigots. That’s why we need laws protecting ME.
So are Republicans and Democrats each right about the other party? Is the country filling up with narrow-minded, oppressive, bigoted, prejudiced nitwits, some wearing blue and others red?
Well, I guess that depends on the answer to this question:
Do YOU think some people are just too narrow-minded, ignorant, or just damn-fool wrong to talk politics with?
(And I don’t mean your brother-in-law. I know him; he’s just plain contrary. Don’t waste your time.)
The writer wants you to know that he’s not a Republican and he’s not a Democrat, mainly because he couldn’t decide between who to vote against in the Primaries.