There Have to Be Softer Walls
I was commenting on a couple of posts about the Ground Zero (not)Mosque and Glen Beck’s upcoming gathering on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Now my first mistake was doing this on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers forum. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been on two separate Bucs message boards and both were filled with some of the most incredibly right-leaning people I’ve seen outside of a professional motorcycle race. I guess the good ol’ Southern boy football mentality goes arm-in-arm with the good ol’ Southern boy USA #1 mentality.
Anyway, wisdom of my choice of venue aside, I posted what I thought were a couple of pretty well thought out posts: one saying that if it was the intent to build some secret Islamic incursion headquarters in the middle of New York, there were probably better spots than a few blocks from Ground Zero where people couldn’t help but notice it was being built, and the other saying that Glenn Beck is fully entitled to hold his rally whenever and wherever he wants, but don’t tell me he’s not deliberately and calculatedly using that date and venue for a reason.
And the response, respectively, was “LOL” and “You truly are clueless.”
That’s it. No attempt to explain why I might be wrong. No attempt to explain why they might be right. Just casual dismissal of the other side of the argument as a being unworthy of comment, the message board equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears.
I know I’ve talked about not backing down from stupidity in this climate, about fighting the good fight. But now no one even wants to fight anymore. They’ve declared themselves victorious, and any bit of information that doesn’t fit into their cemented opinion can just be safely disregarded, without even expending the effort to discredit it. Just laugh and ignore it and you’ve turned a reasoned argument into a joke, and, what’s more, made it not a threat.
That’s the level of political debate in this country. No opinions supported by facts, but opinions supported by knee-jerk emotion. No shades of gray, but black and white where America is unfailingly white (and in ways they’ll never admit to) and can never ever be held even remotely responsible for anything bad that happens to it. A land of jingoistic, flag-waving morons who can no more explain the history of the flag they wave and the document it represents than why it is they’re waving it.
And yet it’s this “majority” we’re supposed to listen to when deciding what’s right and what’s wrong. Just because 75% of the country gets their info from sound bite journalism, we’re supposed to start limiting people’s rights based on what might hurt other people’s feelings. But it’s okay, because it’s just a bunch of Muslims, and their religion is mean. Like telling people they’ll go to Hell because of who they choose to love. Oh wait.
So I just turned my back on that forum. Done. I’m not even going to bother posting about football there anymore, because honestly, they’re just as confused about that as they are about politics. And if I’m going to bang my head against the wall, well, there have to be softer walls out there.