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Dubious achievements

I expect to disagree with my friends about politics. We're not all robots built in the same factory, after all, and we all bring different experiences to the table when we make our decisions about who to vote for when the elections roll around. So for the most part I don't get bent out of shape when people on my f-list express an opinion that I don't like. I'll take the time to engage with them and see if we can come to some meeting of the minds, or at least figure out how they got to the point of view they're at. One of my liberal friends, I suspect, keeps me on her f-list for that very purpose. However, there are some things I'm not willing to put up with. One of them is deliberate personal insult regarding my faith, my family, or my politics; the other is deliberate and studied ignorance masquerading as informed political criticism.

Which is how we get to this post, written by someone no longer on my f-list. I won't bore the lot of you by demolishing this essay point by point, because he lost me at the point where he said "Bush=Hitler". By extension, this means "wombat_socho=Nazi", and as a Catholic of Jewish descent, I'm not going to put up with that. I'm also not going to bother trying to educate brithistorian on the history of the Third Reich and why it's an inappropriate comparison to, well, pretty much any point in American history*. These things are widely known to any half-competent historian (or any j-random history student with an Internet connection and the wit to use Google or the Wikipedia) and at my age I'm not willing to waste the time on pretentious little snots who think they can begin an essay on contemporary American politics with the statement "OMG my opponents are Nazis!!!11!!oneoneone!!!" and still expect to be taken seriously.

No, in cases like this, what is called for is a swat on the nose with a newspaper and the rubbing of the writer's nose in their own urine, because that is what one does with untrained puppies who make a mess on the floor. Since this isn't my dog, though, I'm just going to kick the little mutt out of my yard and lock the gate. It's somebody else's problem.

*Some people claim you can make a case for the Roosevelt Administration (FDR, not TR) but I'm not one of them.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
brithistorian
Oct. 2nd, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
While there is room in politics for people of goodwill to have honest disagreement, there comes a point when must say "This goes too far - I can stand no more." You have apparently reached this point with me, just as I have with the current administration. And so I bid you good day, sir, and wish you all the best.
geekboyonline
Oct. 2nd, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
I know the feeling
During the first Gulf War I was attending classes at the UofM. I supported our troops during this time but the other students had issues with this. I was spat upon, beat up twice and finally called "Hitler" and "Nazi Lover" because I would not sign the petition of no war for oil. The reason I was given the abuse was that I asked the apparently forbidden question of "Why should I sign?" Since I questioned this I was obviously a horrible person and a Nazi. This is the reason I don't like college very much. I have absolutly no problem with different opinions but I expect someone to actually think about why they have them.
wombat_socho
Oct. 2nd, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
Re: I know the feeling
It's one of the things that really bothers me about a lot of people on the Left these days - they seem to have substituted slogans for thought and mockery for honest debate, with an unhealthy helping of rage mixed in. None of my DFL friends are like that, thank God, but I think we both know people who are. Friends of friends - and I for one am glad to keep it that way, keep them at one remove. I'm getting a bit old and sick for street fighting, and I don't care for recreational arguing the way I did when I was younger, either.
qob
Oct. 2nd, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: I know the feeling
I was somewhat dismayed to see an LJ entry from a Dem friend who is relatively sane. He wondered if he would be drummed out of the party since he favored someone else than the anointed candidates. I think that is telling, while you might, for instance, be a pro-choice agnostic candidate in the Rep party, the pro-war religious Dems are being ridiculed and hated.
wombat_socho
Oct. 2nd, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I know the feeling
It used to be that both parties believed in the Big Tent philosophy, but of late it seems that the Democrats have been energetically purging the party of people who don't agree with the nutroots/New Left ideology. For all the talk of the libertarian/evangelical split looming in the GOP, we seem to be holding together much better than the Democrats. Go figure.
qob
Oct. 2nd, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
"Fascism is continually falling on America and landing on Europe"
I have 2 points, first I feel that there is a sadly large group of fan friends I simply cannot talk to about certain things. I have people who are shocked that I can defend anything aout GWB, While I disagree with him on certain issues, I am generally positive towards him. But I am learning to not invest a certain amount of friendship in people that I find to be irrational on this or other subjects.

The other issue is that I am almost convinced that America is constitutionally (double meaning intended) incompatible and immune to rightwing dictatorship. Leftwing dictatorship, I am more afraid of.
The elements of America that the right celebrate make it impossible (IMHO) for someone from that end enslaving us. As long as we have personal protection, there is a limit to government force. It is notable that the greatest intrusions in the last 30 years into private citizens where done on Clinton's watch.
wombat_socho
Oct. 2nd, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: "Fascism is continually falling on America and landing on Europe"
But I am learning to not invest a certain amount of friendship in people that I find to be irrational on this or other subjects.

A little bit of irrationality (or should I say eccentricity?) is okay by me, but vehement insanity is Right Out.

BTW, your comment title is one I was considering using on brithistorian to try and get his mind right before I gave up on the notion and went for the virtual swat on the nose.
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