Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Conversation with an Informed Citizen - Part Three

The final (and surprisingly short) installment in this trilogy:

i read half your email, dude. im not gonna keep this going with you, you cant go two emails without pulling out offensive and overused names to describe me and anyone else who thinks differently from you. i dont have time for belittlement. its people like you who fuck this stuff up, because in your own mind you have all the answers already. nice talking to you

I won't deny that my letter was insulting, but I must protest when you say that I "pulled out offensive and overused names" to describe you. In actuality, I can't think of one time when I called you a name, although I do find plenty of examples of me taking your assertions, identifying their flaws, and pointing them out to you in a manner that identified their ridiculousness and/or moral bankruptcy. You, on the other hand, referred to Obama (and by inference those who support his policies) as a "socialist/communist"; if anything, I could have ended this debate in a tiff on the grounds that YOU were guilty of name-calling.
As for the fact that my letter was insulting - sorry to say it, but you brought this on yourself. It is one thing to look at a set of facts and, using logical methodologies, come to a different point-of-view than your neighbor; people who do that are indeed entitled to respect, for regardless of whether I agree or disagree with their opinions, they have come to them in an intellectually honest and sound manner. On the other hand, people who claim that falsehoods are facts, and then proceed to base their arguments on the fiction, do America a terrible disservice. No good is done by having truth and lies occupy the same rhetoric ground, and forcing them to compete with each other for survival; the lies will always have an unfair edge, for they can mutate in form and substance any time they want and perform all sorts of nifty sneak attacks that truth - which by its very nature pursues an honorable course - cannot. Truth will then inevitably be taken advantage of, to the detriment of both itself and its natural corollary, justice. We are likely to see this happen with health care reform, as there are signs that President Obama is planning to drop the public option from consideration, and as history has shown, it happens on countless other occasions with endless issues.
When all is said and done, you are guilty of promoting ignorance (of truth), irrationality (in interpreting said truth), intolerance (toward the economically disadvantaged), and injustice (once again toward the economically disadvantaged). I am guilty of insulting you for these things. Frankly, we aren't anywhere close to even in our transgressions.

I have to thank my close friend Brian Davis for pointing out that (and these are his exact words) "Being nice doesn't excuse beliefs that are morally devoid. Being nice DOES, however, deserve reciprocation." He was right, and I decided that I needed to mend fences, so I wrote this to Bob:

Upon further reflection, I realize that I was indeed very condescending in my responses. While I still stand by everything I said, the way in which I said it was belittling, and undeserved. For this I am sorry.

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