I’m Okay, You’re Okay (Two Cheeks of the Same Ass)

January 6, 2016

Republicans are idiots and Democrats are morons. By my calculations, that makes most of us pretty stupid — and, more importantly, pretty similar.

You can’t scroll through social media (not to mention turn on a TV) without being bombarded by hateful, politically-fueled messages. These missiles are fired from both sides of the aisle, and there is apparently no shortage of ammunition. Pick a topic of debate, and there will be numerous memes or quotes just a few clicks away that will do a wonderful job of pissing someone off. I try to ignore most of it, but I get so tired of lies or gross exaggerations being displayed as facts. Sadly, I think most of the people who make these posts assume that they are spreading worthwhile, truthful information. This is a problem, and it is slowly causing a greater divide between many of us. A divide that doesn’t need to be more than a small fracture. I don’t like getting involved in political discussions, let alone rhetoric, but I also feel like we need to speak up.

By “us” and “we,” I’m referring to most of us. Not the people constantly tweeting about their favorite presidential candidate, but the Average Joes who really just want Americans (and the rest of the world) to get along and be generally happy. You don’t hear from us often because we may not have a lot to say. Many of us are looking at Facebook so we don’t miss the pictures of our nephew’s soccer game, not so we can get into a debate about deporting illegal immigrants. In a word, maybe we are boring. People on the fringes are typically not boring. They may be certifiably nuts, but they get peoples’ attention — right or wrong — and that’s what gets spread around by social and news media outlets. No one is interested in reading or hearing about some fella saying “I believe responsible gun ownership should certainly be allowed, and that thorough background checks should also be required.” Yeah, it’s mundane to many people. Probably because most of us think that way to begin with.

You could say we are boring, but maybe a better word is rational. Sure, we have opinions, but we also know that others are entitled to their opinions, too. The last time I checked, differing opinions and mutual respect was what made this country great. The writer Dean Jackson said, “There can be disagreement without disrespect.” I know we will always have different mentalities on some topics, but I hope for the most part that we can agree to disagree in a respectful way. I truly believe that the vast majority of Americans have each others’ backs. If someone is disrespectful to you, feel good knowing that most Americans at least wouldn’t agree with their tactics.

If you are someone who feels compelled to share opinionated posts, I’m glad you have the freedom to do so. However, do everyone a favor by checking the validity of your post before putting it out there for everyone and your grandmother to see (and judge). Nothing makes a person — who is simultaneously trying to prove a point and annoy others — look worse than to spew false information. It’s dangerous and irresponsible. Especially if it’s done in a hateful way. There is never an excuse for being hateful to anyone.

Unfortunately there will always be a small segment of our population who are overly extreme in their beliefs and refuse to compromise. They are also the people who will inhibit positive change from occurring. We are all Americans and we are all human. Don’t get caught up in the trash you see on social media. Most Republicans don’t think all Muslims are terrorists, and most Democrats don’t want capitalism to cease to exist. Mostly, please don’t spread lies or hate. Let’s hang on to our dignity by always remaining respectful.

I guess I can only speak for myself, but my family and friends are both Republicans and Democrats — and I appreciate hearing their different opinions. We don’t agree on everything, but that’s okay. We all make some good points worth considering, and while we aren’t always brilliant, we are rarely idiots or morons (although everyone is entitled to an occasional bad day). Truth be told, we are all really quite similar. 


2 Responses to “I’m Okay, You’re Okay (Two Cheeks of the Same Ass)”

  1. Virginia Brunk Says:

    Nice post Brad. I love what you have to say and I particularly like the quote from Dean Jackson, “there can be disagreement without disrespect.” I suspect though, that some, if not many of us, do not have the skills to implement this point. It’s a finer skill that families and schools should be teaching, demonstrating and refining for all of our children. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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