Thanks for the Kind Words… And Those Others, Too

The Threat of Anonymity      Photo: Facebook

The Threat of Anonymity Photo: Facebook

I just want to acknowlege the many kind words I’ve been receiving from people all over the world.  If you agree or at least see some value in what you read here, stop right now and share this blog with 10 friends.  There’s a reason why, which I’ll explain later. 

It’s nice to know when your thoughts, comments and opinions resonate with others.  Particularly when the “hate mail” wanes as well.  Makes me think the message is getting through.

Well, he beat me to it.  The “conservative” I was sparring with in the social media (see previous post) “defriended” me on Facebook.

This is a guy who works at one of the major media companies, and who works in New Media.   He has a habit of posting inflammatory, anti-liberal videos and posts on his profile page, which in turn showed up on mine.  I generally tried to ignore them; but occassionally one would rear its ugly head, and it was too tempting or too outrageous to resist disputing,

Because after all, the lie repeated often enough without dispute becomes the truth.

Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was his posting of a video of a home invasion – in which four heavily-armed men try to break into a Tucson, AZ house but are repelled by an armed homeowner – as a justification for gun ownership. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2009/02/11/marino.home.invasion.KVOA

Unfortunately, I can’t retrieve the exchange between us; and maybe the homeowner is a total innocent defending himself.

But I pointed out that where I live, a visit by four young males armed with assault rifles, in mid-day, in a middle-class neighborhood, is usually associated with drug trafficking, large stashes of cash, or gang violence.  And the speed with which he repelled the attackers, as well as the ready access to a loaded weapon and extensive video surveillance of his home brings into question his “innocence”.  A little extra research yielded that the homeowner was a “known person” to police, and the likelihood of gang involvement was floated.

My Facebook “friend” insisted I was missing the point, that this happens to people like you and me.  I’ve been held up at gunpoint twice and walked away without a scratch.  I don’t know anyone, or anyone who knows anyone, or anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who has experienced anything remotely like this. 

So much for six degrees of separation. 

When I was in college, I did once come home from a weekend away in San Diego to find my USC-adjacent apartment had been burglarized.  But that’s about it.

HIs last words to me were that I was not worth the words to write to.  (????)  And he didn’t have the stones to explain, or to mention he was defriending.  He just disappeared, like a thief in the night.  Or a home invader in the light of day.

That, in my estimation, is a serious problem.  When you can’t justify your arguments, when you don’t question your beliefs and assertions, when you can’t answer legitimate and obvious questions, you cut off the dialog.

On the other hand, when simple words and logical arguments trigger such a response, you know you’ve hit a nerve.  When they can’t respond other than to break off the debate, you have made your point.

I noted this defriending occurrence on my Facebook profile when it happened. 

One of the people who responded hit the nail on the head: “Okay so what’s the downside?”

Really, what is the downside when a reactionary zealot decides he cannot sustain a constructive dialog and cuts you off?  To me, not much.  To our society, it is going to be a BIG problem, considering the challenges facing our Nation and the polarized populace. 

And one of my dear (no kidding) conservative friends commented: “Just remember that not all conservatives are created equal.”

Thanks God for that.  Because at least with that attitude, we can still talk and find common ground.

As a Nation, we need to make this kind of behavior taboo.  The refusal to engage in dialogue, and blind obedience to an ideological set of values of ANY kind, will ruin us. 

Because the people who refuse to engage in civil discourse are represented, in our government and on the airwaves; and as we know, some of them are the representatives.  They cannot be allowed to hold sway simply by their intransigence.  There needs to be a penalty, a cost for blind and obstinate obstruction based on ideology.  In our society, that penalty should be extracted at the polls, and that only happens when we as citizens hold them accountable. 

We, the people who seek dialogue, who seek accomodation, who seek compromise are the majority, and we cannot be silent or acquiescent.

As a people, we have to rise up and say “This must stop.  The bickering and ideological foot-dragging cannot be allowed to stand in the way of constructive progress.”

And serious progress is earnestly needed to address the challenges facing us.  NOW!

Now, why should you share this with friends, right now?  Because any action truly worth taking is worth taking – and may only be worth taking – in the moment, in the now.

I’m here for one purpose, to put my opinions and beliefs out in order to spark dialogue.

If you agree or at least see some value in what you read here, share this blog with 10 friends, right now.  I don’t care if they agree with me.  Just do it now, before the rest of your life gets in the way.  It will take so little time and it makes a difference.  Help me get it out, because without the healthy exchange of ideas, there are dim days ahead for our democracy. 

Because civil discourse is the lifeblood of our democracy.

May the Higher Power of your choice light your path today.  And kiss your Valentine for me.

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