With all sincerity in my soul, please, please shut the hell up.
When I see a tweet that says:
PSA: Heeding Obama's call for a more civil discourse does not mean I stop calling you out on your own hateful bullshit.Actually, sir...it does. At least in the sense that "hateful bullshit" is not really a way of phrasing your feelings as to...y'know, foster productive conversation. I understand your feelings, your anger, but, and this is very, very important for you to realize...YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.
See, because disagreement? That's not the problem. The fact that probably about 50% of the people in this country think you are wrong (no matter what your views are), and about 50% think you are right. That's not going to change unless we stop screaming at each other, and start listening to each other. When we listen, we might just find common ground with half, or more, of that 50%, and maybe, just maybe we can find a way to pull this country back from the clutches of the extremists who are defining, and obliterating, the tenor of political conversation in this country.
I'll quote from that lovely statement by Jon Stewart again, which is still the most clear and rational that's been made so far about this shooting;
It's true that others are working feverishly -- feverishly to find blame and exonerate the other.Let me ask you a simple question...Do you want to make things better, or do you want to be right?
Watching that is as predicable as it is dispiriting.
Because, let me tell you, it's quite likely that those things are not going to always be the same. It's quite likely that the best course of action for our country, moving forward into the great unknown of the future, is going to take a little from the left, a little from the right, and forge them into something that is rational, fair, economically feasible, and humane. See, because Democracy, well...here's the (in my estimation) most relevant definition:
a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free electionsThat doesn't say, "you get what you want, all the time." It doesn't say, "you by virtue of your political affiliations, have a corner on rationality and morality." Do you know why?
Because we're all human, and we're all fallible, and we're all WRONG, far more often than we would like to admit. Our problem, right now, is that we've lived so long in a self-aggrandizing, ego-stroking society, that we cannot fathom how we could ever be wrong. Them, THOSE PEOPLE, over there! THEY are the WRONG ones!
Democracy works best when divergent ideas come together and form a stronger, compromise whole. That doesn't mean that we have to give up the fight, for anything, but it does mean we can, and should, be open to solutions that don't fall within our own, personal comfort zone.
I hear a lot of my friends talking about the influence of big business, and how it's ruining the country. All I can think is this....
You know what the absolute best thing you can do to continue that kind of garbage? Keep being more concerned with turning politics into a Goddamn football game than a forum for the exchange of ideas and the offering of solutions. Turn off that idiot Beck, or that smug putz Olbermann, because they're just in the back pocket of a corporation, too. Wheeling and dancing to keep you pissed off at one side or the other, instead of looking for solutions and ideas.
And stop fucking thinking that some brilliant solution is going to drop out of the sky, fully formed and fulfilling every dream of a Utopian society you've ever had. It takes work, it takes new ideas, it takes compromise, and it takes sacrifice. Yep, sacrifice...YOU MAY HURT TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING BETTER. You may have to pay more in taxes, or you might have to pay for your own health care, or maybe you won't get a cost of living increase on your pension...Stop acting like you're the only person in the world to ever, ever shoulder these horrible burdens.
Trust me, a hell of a lot of people have had it a hell of a lot worse.
Grow up, and stop blaming others. All Christians are not bigots, all Muslims are not terrorists, gays aren't trying to undermine the morality of America, and you're not an asshole just because you're rich. Stop trying to remake everyone but yourself into a vast, faceless, inhuman and easily defined group. We're all PEOPLE, good and bad, weak and strong, petty and noble, and that doesn't have a damn thing to do with where you want to stick your penis, where you want to pray, or how much money you have in the bank.
I am not a political person. I detest it, I hate talking about it, I hate being lectured about it. Still, these last few days, I have almost come to the point where I wanted to swear off ever voting, ever again. Because so many people out there are so busy trying to take ground, cover their ass, assign blame and generally behave like assholes, I have no faith in the world, let alone America. If, and frankly, I'm starting to think it's WHEN, the whole thing comes down around your ears, oh, you'll blame somebody else, Obama or Palin or Bush or Ebaneezer Scrooge, but you'll have brought it on yourself.