Did you just double dip that chip?

The thing that bothers me the most about politics is the way people attack others for their choice of candidate to support.  It gets so ugly and hateful.  I can’t wrap my head around hating someone solely for favoring a candidate that I find unappealing.  They have their reasons for choosing whomever they pick, and aren’t obligated to share them with me.  Their differing opinion is not  sufficient to merit being attacked.  I don’t expect anyone to have experienced my life, and the things that shape my thoughts.  I’m aware that life is a different journey for everyone.  We’re all influenced by our experiences, and the people we’ve encountered.  We all have things we value more than others.

If we all agreed on everything, we would have no reason to communicate.  It would mean we were all living the same lives.  That would be tragic in my view.  Like a grey rainbow.  Diversity among human beings is what makes us interesting.  It’s what makes us individuals.  I choose to embrace it, and enjoy learning of the experiences of others.  They interest me, help me grow, and help shape my world.  I spend a great deal of time reading speculative fiction novels.  It brings me joy to experience a world created in the mind of it’s author.  It provides color to my rainbows.  It frees me from being aware only of my personal experiences.  It’s like water, earth, and sunshine to a seed.

So when I see someone belittling another because they think differently, and choose based on their own experiences, it sickens me.  It’s vulgar.  If you think your thoughts and opinions are so great that they give you license to abuse those who differ, you’re a bully.  It’s never okay to abuse someone who has caused you no harm.  Harboring hatred has consequences.  It’s so much easier to live and let live.  Agree or disagree, but do no harm.  Accept that we’re all sentient beings with varying thoughts and experiences, and refrain from attacking others.  It doesn’t cause anyone to change who they are in order to appease such unreasonableness.  It only magnifies your own insecurities.

3 thoughts on “Did you just double dip that chip?

  • I agree with your observations, and especially your attitude of inclusivity. I have a theory about something that contributes to the kind of hostility you are writing about. I’m 62. I’ve seen a rise in what I would call “apocalyptic thinking” since the 1980s. This is where folks increasingly believe (without rational evidence) the end of civilization is rapidly approaching. It affects other areas of life and culture of course, but when applied to politics and voting preferences it artificially elevates the importance of making a “right choice”, because the nation is (in their perception) on the edge of societal collapse.

    If you are influenced by that kind of fear-based thinking, it generates anger at those who are “making the wrong choice”. How could they let our beloved country succumb to the forces of ultimate darkness? Can’t they see this is THE most important choice they will EVER make??!!

  • I find abusive outbursts intolerable. I think it’s inexcusable. I live in a society which claims to embrace the individual right to personal opinion, yet one which sees many cast judgement on those who voice it. The irony is not lost on me.

    I also agree with Invisible Mikey… There seems to be a sense of panic in those who are intolerant of those who do not share their political views especially around election time.

    This is the only way I know how to try to make sense of those behaviours – I look inward; I personally note that when I feel vulnerable my emotions drive my interactions to a greater extent. Sometimes I might not realise that I feel vulnerable or threatened immediately. I know that this is a throw back to other times when I have been under greater and real threat in my life. I hate it. It’s a flaw I am always trying to notice and overcome. I strive to be a better person and on the few occasions I have witnessed myself in this situation I have tried to learn from it. I do not like me when I am reactive rather than logical. But I cannot deny it to be true occasionally. At those times I don’t abuse, I don’t call people names or attack them for their opinions. Instead I am rubbish at listening, and noticing, and hearing. I also start to over talk. I don’t always back down and just shut up! I also know and understand that this is also a throw back to times in the past when I have been under real threat – times when my only defence was to try to talk my way around it, rationalise out loud my way through it. Sometimes it’s automatic and I don’t notice I’m doing it – when I do notice I kick myself so hard it hurts.

    I am especially guilty of this when I perceive that somebody is trying to force me to do something I don’t feel safe or secure about. They may not be trying to force me but in that moment I feel vulnerable, emotional, threatened. They are big and raw feelings to process. They can be overwhelming. The more I think about it as I write this, the more I realise that potentially in those moments I sometimes shut down, I melt in my own way.

    When I see prejudice, intolerance and bias – that is exactly what I see. A person driven by their fear. I have no idea if people get a glimpse of it for themselves when they are venting their self righteous intolerance … Perhaps they are too blinded by that fear to see the power it has over them… But I am sure it is fear just the same. I’m not excusing them here on any level. Intolerance is inexcusable. I guess personally, I need to be able to rationalise it because I have to share a planet with them, for now 🙂

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