Why I will not discuss politics with you

Thursday, July 5, 2012
You know, I like living in an adversarial political system. I think it works. I think it's the best available system. But it also means I don't always get my way. I didn't want George W. Bush to get a second term. But he did. And I survived. Just as conservatives will survive the Presidency of Barack Obama. I'm okay with both those things, although naturally I'd prefer my own point of view to prevail.

But I've come to a point where I just don't want to hear from people on political matters unless they've taken at least a modicum of interest in finding out the facts surrounding the policy under discussion. Even a small effort would be appreciated, because really - I don't want an aneurysm, and the willful ignorance out there is starting to push me over the edge. And let's make no mistake - it's a bipartisan problem. There are just as many dumbass liberals out there as dumbass conservatives, and I don't want to talk to any of them, although I have a natural tendency to be more tolerant of the dumbass liberals. I suppose that's only natural, in spite of my efforts to guard against confirmation bias.

So here are my rules for political discussion. If any of these apply to you, I would prefer to discuss something other than politics with you. Like shoes, or tasty recipes for mac-n-cheese, for example. But not politics.
  1. You think that saying "Obama is DUMB!" is a cutting argument, worthy of consideration in a debate surrounding policy. Really? That's the insult you think clinches the argument when discussing a Columbia graduate, the former Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a Constitutional Law Professor? Oh, honey, no.
  2. You think that Fox News would only provide the most accurate and truthful interpretation of public policy. 
  3. You think that MSNBC News would only provide the most accurate and truthful interpretation of public policy.
  4. You think that Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper and the Log Cabin Republicans have nothing to offer to the public discourse because they are members of the LGBT community and don't give a good goddamn if you approve or not.
  5. You make sweeping statements like "No liberals will criticize the President" or "All conservatives are racists." Aristotle is your friend. He will help you, if you let him.
  6. Bigoted language or imagery - of any kind - doesn't bother you because you can count the number of people you know personally that could be considered members of a protected class on one hand. Privilege is a blinding bitch, you know?
  7. The last book, newspaper, or news magazine you read was assigned by your high school teacher or your college professor. 
  8. You think Sarah Palin is the epitome of critical thought in political discourse. Here's the thing. Conservatives are not stupid. They are not uneducated. There are many, many public figures who choose a conservative point of view who can only be described as stunningly intelligent. So why choose the one who has a demonstrable lack of understanding as it relates to the issues of the day as your hero?
  9. You think the single biggest reason to oppose the candidacy of Mitt Romney is the fact that he's a member of the LDS Church. Really? If you're liberal, this is the "issue" that matters most to you?
  10. You think the single biggest reason to oppose the candidacy of Barack Obama is the fact that he's black. Really? If you're conservative, this is the "issue" that matters most to you?
Thanks. I feel better now.

8 comments:

The Mechanicky Gal said...

May I add: Just because I am retired Navy I am not automatically a staunch conservative. And I thank you for not assuming that. If you look a little closer, you may find out that the pesky health - and birth control issues are very important to me.

vince said...

Well said!

Janiece said...

Oooo...I forgot about the veteran = conservative fallacy. Thanks, MG.

IllanoyGal said...

Well, you don't have to talk politics with me if you'd rather not. Actually, I'd rather talk about the beautiful pictures of flowers that you post or the latest update on how Boogie is doing. Frankly, I've been exhausted by this whole political season since my birthday in March. The thought of the next four-and-a-half months leaves me almost in tears. So please, how are things going with your new job, is Boogie able to work up some enthusiasm for a walk, and do you have a really good recipe for mac-and-cheese?

Warner said...

#7 pretty much includes the others.

Nathan said...

Chicken!

Tom said...

I love those reasons. But, damnit, somehow I continue to try to intelligently argue with those who fit the profile. Will I ever learn?

beatrice in Paris said...

Rachel Maddock rocks. I saw her on TV for the first time during my visit home two weeks ago. She gives me hope for the country.