Let’s Stop Calling Each Other Names

There are a great number of expressions being used in the political debate in this country that need to go. The major classifications are something like “latte-drinking liberals” or “dumb rednecks.” Underneath these headings is a whole cabal of pejoratives being used, usually accompanied by a smug, self-satisfied grin that’s more of a curl of the lip. It’s a list that’s been carefully plotted, printed, and distributed. Expressions like bizarre, pathetic, shallow, they/them, incompetent, lame, etc. They all trace their lineage back to a single source, the N-word and its like. They’re categorizing the opinions being expressed, and therefore the person saying them, as someone who is a lesser being, beneath human, one deserving of contempt.

I’ll take exception to that. These are American citizens, fellow brothers and sisters. They are that group of people who said, over two hundred years ago, “All men are created equal.” And they are equal and free to express their own opinions about the country and the government.

And in that equal and free environment we adopted the concept of, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” (By the way, I always figured that was a quote from an American patriot, like Patrick Henry. I was quite surprised to find out it was Voltaire.)

Will fellow citizens have a difference of opinion about how the government should be run? Damn Skippy we will! That’s our constitutional right! And we’ll argue our points vociferously with each other. Then we’ll shake hands and sit down to have a beer together. After all, we’re fellow Americans.

All of this name-calling stuff is lame.

 

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