I seem to have stirred up a small hornets’ nest (that’s a small nest, not a nest for small hornets) with yesterday’s post. If you read this blog here at biddlesworld.wordpress.com, you didn’t see them. But when I publish this, it also shows up on my Facebook page, and that’s where the contretemps took place.
I just want to point out that when I post something here, not responding to every comment does not necessarily mean I don’t care to engage in a discussion. It just means that I don’t have the time to respond to all comments, particularly when those comments veer off the original point and make arguments against points I have not made.
I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I have a great many liberal (or if you prefer, “progressive”) friends. For many years, while I was toiling in the fields of Public Broadcasting, I pretty much kept my mouth shut in the interests of office harmony. Most folks I worked with were well aware of my political views, and I was, not surprisingly, the only one of a conservative bent at either of the stations for which I worked (WPSU in State College, and WMFE in Orlando.) I also was enjoined from any political activism at all because of the fact that I worked as a news anchor and had to remain objective. That was as it should be, and I had no problem with it.
But after five or so years of not writing editorials, becoming politically active, or otherwise speaking my mind, I found myself increasingly frustrated… particularly in these polarizing times.
I would like to reiterate that I still love my liberal friends. I do not agree with them, but I do not consider them to be intellectually flawed, morally bankrupt, stupid, or evil. Just wrong. From some of the responses I have received privately, though, I get the feeling that this willingness to accept their ideas as their ideas, and not as a character flaw, is not returned. One Facebook friend said something to the effect that she would try to continue to like me, but it might not be easy anymore. Okay, well, I’m truly sorry to have heard that, but her ideas, although I disagree strongly with them, has no effect whatsoever on how I feel about her as a person.
Also the fact that I have not heard from some of my very closest friends (liberals) since I’ve returned to State College makes me fear that they may have written me off as a friend because of my views. And my views are not radical, inflammatory, or extreme in any way, unless one lives in a left-wing echo chamber. To be fair, though, I haven’t gone out of my way yet to contact most of my friends here because I’m up to my eyeballs in writing this, doing prep for my show, and trying to make the place in which I now live, well, liveable. And it’ll only get worse, because next week I’ll add driving a taxi to that list, and my hours will be brutal.
I have been surprised to observe that (and this is, admittedly, anecdotal) by and large, conservatives find it easier to accept a person for who or what she is as a person despite a disagreement with their political beliefs than liberals do. I think we tend to accept the idea that while we may disagree, our friends have come to their conclusions through their own examinations of the issues, and we respect that. In other words, we take it for granted that they have examined the same information we have and come, honestly and through analysis and introspection, to the conclusions they have reached, as we have. We cannot understand, perhaps, how or why, but we take it for granted.
On the other hand, liberals generally tend to view conservatism as a character flaw, as evil, as stupid or intellectually indefensible. And that is closed-minded and insulting.
- Musicovery. A website that helps you find music you like by genre, mood, and a range of other criteria.
- Some excellent historic photos of New York City.
- Forget Sham-Wow! Here’s a fabulous new product: Paper Towels!
…and, of course, have a wondrous, adventure-filled day! –Steve