Friday, October 10, 2008

What happened to talking about the weather?

Yesterday while Lara and I were sipping oolong tea in The Tipsy Teapot, an older gentleman sat down across from us.  He asked us if we were students, and we made small talk for a little bit.  Then he started shaking his head in shame for the turnout that Sarah Palin had at ECU and mentioned in a supercilious tone that she took 6 years to get a college degree and had transferred to different universities (and he claimed he was taking online classes from UCLA for some sort of religion studies).  He then leaned in and said, "Now, I'm not sure what y'all's political leanings are...but that's just not right to start bombing people and calling them evil.  That's just not right at all."  I felt like pointing out that most genocides have happened that way, and not US wars or conflicts, but it would've fallen on deaf self-righteous ears.  There was no way in hell I was going to mention to this guy that I was planning on joining the Navy because I love my country and constitution and defend his right to sit in an armchair and moan about how the country's changing for the worse.  I mean, c'mon, as soon as those geezers signed the Declaration of Independence and finalized the constitution, you know there was one person out there saying, "Dammit! I should have my own rights that cannot be violated by a federal government since all men are created equal! The states and local governments should have all the power!" and another person screaming, "This is an absolute tragedy! We shouldn't have provisions for local and state governments! We should have a strong federal government to dictate and ensure the needs of the people so that everyone's rights are not infringed upon!"
I know the idea of the country headed towards hell is not a new concept.  But still, whatever happened to polite conversations?

I wasn't moderate or conservative in my political views by any means when I arrived at UNC.  But there seems to be some sort of rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth liberal foothold in students' ideology that just doesn't mesh with the whole idea of trying to keep an open mind in institutions of education.  I got sick of hearing about why the war on drugs should be discontinued and we should all be allowed to shoot up whenever we feel like it, and have someone else pay our medical bills when we overdose or get cancer from harmful drugs, or why the war on terrorism will only create more enemies and the only way we can prevent terrorism is to somehow make friends with everybody in the entire world which will miraculously dissolve ethnic and racial disputes that have lasted for hundreds of years, or why partial birth abortions should be legalized because it's unfair to tell women what to do with their bodies, or why anarchy would be the perfect society because there wouldn't be any burdens placed on us by the government and we could all devolve and resort to hunting-gathering and use  a bartering system or whatever it is that anarchists do without some sort of national infrastructure and monetary policy.
I was sick of it.  Oh, sure, there were crazy conservatives and libertarians who voiced viewpoints I didn't agree with, but none were as vocal as those crazy liberals who seemed to be convinced that only they knew the righteous path to peace and prosperity.  They also had some sort of hearing problem too, because when I said, "I don't believe in that" they heard, "I'm an idiot. Please insult me and my intelligence for my beliefs."

What happened to simply accepting that someone else has a different viewpoint and moving on?
Granted, I'm not sure what would've happened exactly if I'd said to the man, "I'm sorry, but I don't share your views," but I'll have to remember to try that next time.

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