Tag Archives: opinions

A political blogger’s pledge

10 Jan

This is courtesy of GreenGeekGirl:

The pledge:

As a responsible citizen, I pledge to avoid all inflammatory rhetoric and propaganda, including violent rhetoric, unfair comparison of people with whom I do not agree to atrocities such as the Holocaust simply because we do not agree (unless, such as in the case of the Arizona laws where immigrants have to carry their “papers” at all times, such a parallel is historically warranted), immature and childish name-calling, and to use a minimum of unnecessary sarcasm.

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.  Instead, I will focus on ideas and not make mass generalizations about groups of people.

As a blogger and a writer, I pledge to do my best to try to see both sides of an argument, even if I initially think that the other side isn’t worth considering (and even if this conclusion persists through exploration).

As a friend and neighbor, I pledge not to let differences in ideology interfere with my ability to see other people as human beings, even when we disagree or when they start name-calling, using unnecessary sarcasm, or using bad logic.

As a person, I pledge to be as compassionate as I can.

I am human and humans are prone to making mistakes and forgetting pledges.  To anybody who is reading, if I break this pledge, I want you to call me out on it (but as Wil Wheaton says, don’t be a dick).

We may differ politically, but you are not my enemy.”

Overall I like this pledge, hence why I’m following GGG’s lead and taking it on my blog, though I do have a reservation. I’m really not sure how to say this, because I feel it will make people instantly think I’m a bad person, which upsets me, but I’m not sure I entirely agree with the bit:

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.  Instead, I will focus on ideas and not make mass generalizations about groups of people.”

I understand the sentiment, especially the second half about not making mass generalizations, though in practice avoiding generalizations is extremely hard to do. I think there are varying degrees of generalizations, some more appropriate than others. For example, the generalization “All republicans want to install a theocracy” would be very over reaching and inappropriate. Sure faith and religion are on average more central to republicans (that’s an ok generalization), however there is a very specific, albeit very large and powerful, group within the republican party that wants a theocracy. The rest of the republicans don’t.

I mentioned the problems with generalizations in an earlier post here, though that post was focused on religious generalizations. In order not to be paralyzed by precision, some degree of generalization is required. So can I in good faith pledge to avoid generalizations? I cannot. I can, however, pledge to try and not making unnecessarily over reaching generalizations.

Now on to the first part of the bit I have a reservation about:

As an American, I pledge not to center my political blogs around conservative vs. liberal in order to avoid deepening the divide between political groups.

Again, I lament that people might think me a bad person for saying this, but I honestly cannot agree to this. It is my firm conviction that liberals and conservatives are two groups with irreconcilable ways of perceiving the world. Now before you judge and condemn me, understand that I do NOT mean that liberals and conservatives can’t live together peacefully. I do NOT mean that one group of people is evil. I do NOT mean that there are no circumstances under which conservatives and liberals can work together.

All that I mean by that is conservatives and liberals put different priorities on different values. We both are capable of love and compassion, just as we are both capable of fear and hate. We both want our friends and family to live in a better world, however, we have fundamentally opposing ideas of what that “better world” is or how to get there. Liberals and conservatives have fundamentally different views on the role of government, the importance and deference to place on certain types of authority, how the constitution should be interpreted, personal and economic freedoms, etc.

While these views are incompatible, we by no means should we ever resort to violence as a way of settling the disputes, and that is the main sentiment of this pledge that I whole-heartedly agree with. While I may fiercely disagree with someone, I will never allow that to take away their humanity.

It’s bad to have an opinion, worse to have a strong one.

28 Apr

If there is one thing I’ve learned from people, it’s that having an opinion is a bad thing. It’s even worse if you have a strong opinion. The stronger the opinion, the worse it is. Apathy is what’s cool. Not giving a shit is what’s cool. Hey man, it’s all good, relax, just go with the flow, why bother? Fuck that and fuck you. Go ahead, float through life without a care in the world, just take whatever injustice comes your way lying down. You can’t be bothered to care. As long as you’re entertained you’re happy, no matter what they do to you or your rights. Well guess what buddy, you sir are a slave to people who do care. It is people who actually give a fuck and will get off their ass that control the world. If you don’t mind people fucking you over, then don’t complain. You disgust me.

Grow thicker skin

26 Oct

Every child is born with enemies. There are people in this world who will dislike you for every conceivable aspect of you. Born in America? There are people who will dislike you for that. Born in Mexico? There are people who will dislike you for that too. People will dislike you for the color of your skin, the clothes you wear, the friends you have, the games you play, where you went to school, what your parents do for a living, the car you drive, everything.

I once read an easy 2 step guide for being offended. Step 1, have an opinion, Step 2, post that opinion on the internet. One of the sad things about the internet is that it opens you up to all kinds of people who will attack you for just about anything. Sometimes your mere existence will irate them. This can be really hard for thin skinned people, people who are care about what other people think about them. I’m having this problem. Often I get really mean comments left on my blog. Comments that don’t make any constructed arguments, just attempts to attack and degrade me.

While I delete these comments, they often sour my day and I’m left hurt and thinking about them for the rest of the evening. I know I should ignore these people, but it’s just hard.

What would you fight for?

1 May

Lately I’ve been getting the vibe that people feel having a strongly held opinion is uncool. The idea that you feel extremely passionately about something sorta scares them and turns them off. At least, I’ve noticed this within my religions class.

This really irks me. There is nothing wrong with feeling strongly about something. There is something wrong with not feeling strongly about anything. I can’t stand the people who are totally apathetic, the people who don’t really care about anything and what happens. These people deserve whatever outcome they get for their apathy.

I won’t say they don’t deserve their rights, because they are human beings and those rights are inalienable, but come on. I would fight and die for my rights, would you? The thing is, I’d fight and die for other people’s rights too.

The topic of abortion came up in my religion class the other day. This is a topic I feel extremely passionate about. For me, it’s an issue of a human being’s sovereignty over their own body. I’m not a woman, but I would fight and die to make sure women retained the right to control their own bodies.

I tried not to let my anger get out too much. I didn’t want to seem insane, but the other people in the class were like “meh, whatever.” The really religious people in the class who were anti-choice talked about their beliefs and the bible, and how they felt abortion was wrong, even in all cases. I tried to point out to them that believing that was fine, but nowhere do they have the right to take those beliefs and forcefully apply it to the population at large. They didn’t seem to understand this….

The professor asked if there was any way we could make the two sides happy, to which I replied “Yes, if you’re against abortion, then don’t have one. The religious can live their lives the way they wish, and the people who don’t necessarily believe the same thing can live their lives the way they wish. No matter what, the religious do NOT have the right to forcefully rob a woman of sovereignty over her own body.”

This kind of shocked people that I was being forceful. I wanted to tell them not to fuck with me, because this was an issue that I would fight tooth and nail over. I think that would have scared them. I can respect the people who feel just as passionate as me yet with the opposite view, but I have the utmost disdain for those who just don’t care. They’re just the blind, deaf, and dumb masses floating through life going with whichever way the current pulls them. They have no principles to stand by.