Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How Politics Brings out the Worst in Us

First, it was my homeschool group. Then it was a southern friend's homeschool group. Then it was a northern friend's homeschool group. What is it about homeschoolers that makes us particularly ferocious about politics? I don't know. I guess because our legal right to homeschool always feels like it's on the line.

Then another group I belong to succumbed to vicious attacks and political arguments. Then another.

Why is it that everyone assumes that if you belong to the same group, you all think the same way? And even though they assume we all think they same way, they continuously preach to the choir anyway (as if their "same way" is better than your "same way"?) And why is it no one knows how to have a decent argument anymore?

One thread resorted to name calling, people criticizing other people's spelling and grammatical mistakes (I guess they lost the thread of the argument there), questioning people's religious orthodoxy, questioning people's sanity and finally, their ability to think at all.

Another thread threatened to split, with one kind of thinker forming one group, and the so-called dark side of the force (those who did not want to split but fell on the wrong side of someone's Orthodoxy-o-meter) calmly remaining to clean up the spilt milk.

I know that the election will not cause all of this to go away. It will just go back down to a level where we all sort of pretend we don't have these kinds of disagreements.

But if I hear "Let's agree to disagree" one more time, I'm gonna scream. I do not agree to disagree. I want to duke it out in a real verbal argument. But, alas, there are very few able to do that. No one listens. Everybody talks. And talks. And talks.


  1. I know what you mean...my dad just can't seem to stop commenting when my friends talk about McCain (my dad likes Chuck Baldwin). Sometimes I just want to say to him "Don't you realize you aren't doing anything?"

    And oh yes...Happy election day.

  2. *raises hand to second the plea for more decent arguments and fewer pissing matches*

    I love a good argument, where I can walk away thinking well of the other person's mindpower, even if I disagree.

  3. Almost over, Nancy, then we begin the recovery effort, healing and apologies. Confession lines might be long this weekend.

  4. I almost got dragged into a "my emotional baggage is heavier than your emotional baggage" digression, but I ended up apologizing and backing off. Who would want to win that fight anyway?

    OOOh. The word verification for this comment is "truce". A sign?

  5. I wish I thought the quarrel would be over now that the election is over. I doubt that it will be. I continue to be saddened by the discord between Christians. It was probably the hardest election of my adult life. I voted for only one candidate I truly liked (our lieutenant governor). I know a lot of people who voted third party because they simply couldn't stomach either presidential choice. Interestingly, in my life there were people who were willing to duke it out in a real verbal argument, and actually even change their minds. It didn't really make a difference in the final tally, but it made me feel better that we could really have a reasoned discourse (always arguing and never quarreling as GKC would say).

    The time for arguing is over for the moment. The time for concerted prayer continues.

  6. But if I hear "Let's agree to disagree" one more time, I'm gonna scream.

    I freaking hate that cliche too. People who use that deserve to be punched in the nose.


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