Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deafening Ignorance

I'm a big fan of the First Amendment. Free speech is certainly one of our core values. So I am all for other viewpoints. Doesn't matter if I agree or not. If someone has a thoughtful comment to make, I am open to listening to it. Note the operative word there. Thoughtful. That's something I don't hear a lot of lately. Instead I hear a lot of yelling and screeching that contains no substance whatsoever.

This trend has gone ballistic over the last eight months. Take the Town Hall meetings. Might as well just stop bothering, from what I've seen. We have people bringing weapons to them, just to show everyone that they are legally allowed to do so. As if a Town Hall meeting on health reform is going to magically repeal the Second Amendment when they aren't looking. Then, it's not unusual to see those same individuals stand up and scream nonsense at the speakers about "wanting their country back" and "I'm scared of Obama." So in one fell swoop they have not only shown that they are too ignorant to actually discuss the issues, but may also be too unstable to be carrying around firearms.

I know that I'm no expert on health care reform, but I also know that getting all your info from a commercial, sponsored by one side of the debate is stupid. This also goes for relying solely on the opinion of one of the popular 'Pundits'. Most of these loud mouthed, know-it-alls, really know very little. If you're relying on Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck for your unbiased information about what healthcare reform does and does not address, then I dearly hope that you don't operate any heavy machinery. Doesn't matter if you agree with his general political outlook. That doesn't make him an expert. The only thing these individuals or those like them, on either side of the isle, are 'experts' at is their own, narrow opinion. And their 'opinion' is generally that more people should be listening to them.

And this goes for both sides of the debate. I hear a whole lot of talking points and catchy statements, but very little intelligent discussion. These are complicated issues that cannot be explained by some ex-Governor's offhand Facebook posts. I know it's easier to let other people think for you, but if you are going to get involved in the discussion, then do us all the courtesy of not pretending you know more than you do. There is nothing wrong with saying, 'Hey, what exactly does that term mean? How exactly are you proposing this be put into effect." And so on. But screaming, 'Obama scares me!' at the top of your lungs? I don't want to hear it. Not because I'm a devout Obama worshiper, but because it's the kind of thing I'd expect to hear from a 4th grader. You are an adult and should be able to control yourself enough to put a coherent thought together without resorting to grade school antics. Have some self respect, please.

And another thing. For the love of all that's good in the world, stop comparing everyone you don't like to Adolph Hitler!!!! It's enough to make my temples throb. First off, it is almost always a stupid and inappropriate comparison. Secondly, it makes you look and sound like an idiot. Same with the posters festooned with the iconic little black mustache. What this actually shows, is that you are too ignorant of history to do more than grab one of the only 'bad' historical figures you've ever heard of. Get the idea that this bothers me? Oh yes! It drives me insane. First you call Obama a Socialist, then you say he's Hitler-like or that the health reform reminds you of Nazi programs in the '30's. I don't think I'm wrong when I say that most of those who are throwing around these statements have little understanding of the terms, beyond what some pundit told them. Does anyone else watch the History Channel or read books? If you don't know the truth, don't scream it at the top of your lungs. It makes you look ignorant and does nothing to advance your agenda. Assuming you actually have one.

Look, if you have a grievance or concern, please step up and make it. But don't squander your opportunity, and everyone else's, by these infantile antics. You will sway nobody with outbursts like that. I'm sure it's very good for your ego to have a few other nut-jobs join in with your chant, but shouldn't this be more important than that?

Though, sadly, maybe that's all these individuals want. To stop any discussion on the subject. They see their narrow little world and damned if they'll let anyone change it, even to help the nation as a whole. It's that fear of change that opponents always play on. If they scare people enough with lies and half truths, then there's no need to do anything so silly as to actually discuss it. And therein lies the big truth of these campaigns. It's easier just to yell 'Fire' in a crowded theater than it is to explain to the patrons the reasons why exiting the theater might be beneficial to them. And American's respond to nothing so eagerly as 'Fear'.

1 comment:

Please let me know what you think, even if it's to disagree.