For some time I have been wondering about the social boundaries—or lack thereof—we use as we experience social changes. It seems to me that the white picket fence has been replaced by barbed wire. Discussion of issues has become replaced by wholesale relegation. And it is wearing me out.
We take great joy in assigning hideous, gross terms to those whose views we disagree with. Hitler has become a popular comparison, although no specifics are given. Just Hitler. If you don’t know what “tea bagger” or “gang banger” mean, you won’t learn it here. “Brown noser” takes on new meaning when the subject shows a hint of African American progenitors. Speaking of racism, who decides that “cracker” or “N….” is the worse slur?
Parodie and clever emails are only funny to the viewer who has decided that the derided person is worthless. That automatic consignment suggests the parodist is taking a break from our common humanity. Snopes may be of service but even that research is done by people of bias.
So I wonder…if you are not my friend on a particular issue, does that make you my enemy? And if we disagree, does that mean that you are a liar, a pervert…you can finish this list with the term you last yelled at your television newscaster. Perhaps the level you stoop to in your name calling illustrates your frustration at being powerless to effect change. It does me.
I don’t know another human being who agrees with my opinions on every subject. Proves there are many smart people. Some of my opinions and boundaries are formed on the fly, but others are built by necessity to satisfy my basic needs. My voice becomes more shrill as your positions cause me pain. And that’s a fact I need to consider as I am tempted to call you “stupid” or worse.
If you get near Springfield, Illinois, the Abraham Lincoln Springfield Museum is a must. They built a tunnel and the sound system plays many Lincoln detractors and supporters shouting at you as you pass pictures of people and events of the Lincoln presidency. Yowzer! Makes Nancy Pelosi and Ted Whatshisname sound intelligent and impartial. (Was that a slur?)
Following Nixon’s election a New York maven exclaimed to her friend, “How did this happen? I don’t know a single Republican.”
So just to let you know, I am not interested in receiving your emails describing any politician in sexual terms, denigrating a politician on anything but their issue—let me re-write that—the topic of disagreement, and I am taking a break from politics altogether until I vote in the next election. I don’t think your poems and essays are funny and I will delete them, saying a prayer for our mutual sanity until better days. Establishing this boundary makes me feel better already.