Thursday, December 18, 2014

THINK, Dammit!

     Most politicans and a sadly-high proportion of leader-type "activists" are scam or con artists of some stripes.  They deserve to be argued with, debated, questioned severely.  But your neighbors -- even that [INSERT NAME OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OR PARTY HERE] you keep running into at the grocery or hairdresser's/barber shop -- are largely sincere.

    I saw an interesting bumper sticker yesterday evening, a U.S. flag-like graphic with the stars in the blue field replaced by the word "Think" and below the stripes, the phase continues, "it's patriotic."

      A quick check online shows it being marketed to the liberal/Democrat folks, but really-- I know it's fun to claim one's political opponent are unthinking, lock-step fools and dupes, but that's utter BS. "The science is clear..." "Anyone with half a brain will realize..." No. There are some smart cookies out there who have -- at least by their lights -- thought things through and yet they came to conclusions utterly at odds with your own.

     We all like to think we're clever, smartest rats in the maze; and if there's a thing or two you're especially good at, you might be, at least with regard to those things. On everything else, you're just like the rest of us nekkid apes: you've got some information and you are making your very best guess.

     Surprise, we don't all guess -- pardon me, reason -- our way to the same place. It's not necessarily due to stupidity, or conformity or lack of trying. It sure doesn't mean you shouldn't think.

     Think -- and realize the other bozos on the bus are thinking too, at least as often as not. Think, and understand that even with the best will in the world and the greatest determination to be guided by fact, we still don't all end up with the same notions on anything more complicated than which way is down. And that's okay; we've got centuries of working out how to get along in a nation and world full of disagreement.

     Think. It really is patriotic. It beats the alternative.


Old NFO said...

That it does, and you make a good point!

Mike Doyle said...

Yes, indeed. One of many things I dislike about this so-called "Modern Age" is the tendency to redefine "someone who disagrees with your opinion" as "opponent", then assume that your opponent is either a mendacious villain or a gullible imbecile. I find such unreasoning to be offensive to the point of infuriating.

The worst part is that this unreasoning demonization is actually contagious. I find myself turning off the idiot box and avoiding discussion lest I be targeted, and, in turn, respond in kind. I find that, if I yield to the temptation, I don't like myself very much afterwards, so I'm averse to entering controversial topics. Ultimately, this is probably a mistake, since it leaves breathtaking stupidity and vitriol unanswered, which leaves the undecided tipping towards unreason because any reasonable people didn't show up.

Query: what's a viable way to deal with this sort of thing?

Roberta X said...

Avoiding discussion with those who wallow in it; attempting to counter it by pointing out that persons of goodwill can, in fact, disagree without either one of them being an idiot or evil or even a willing tool of evil.

But it's difficult. Our species is wired to to pick sides and fight, over issues of genuine pith and moment no less readily than what hindsight reveals as utter trivia. Sometimes it's a useful trait -- a lot of times, it's not.

Dave In Indiana said...

A nice smart assed reply to the org. sponsoring the bumper sticker might be something like, "we did this time. That's why you lost majority status in the Senate. Thanks for recognizing our patriotism."

Joseph said...