Stop the Planet, I Want Off

I’m so tired of hate speech and bigotry. So tired of having to explain over and over that no, I’m not making this chronic pain thing up, and yes, I can have an opinion in spite of being a fat, middle-aged female. I’m so tired of people who respond to any kind of coherent argument with insults. I’m exhausted with the notion that if you’re not with me, you’re against me, and I am going to beat the snot out of you verbally, and if I get the chance, physically.

Regardless which faith you follow, I’ll bet you that there is a core tenet that goes something like, ‘don’t be a dick’. I wish we could live by that, regardless of whether we consider ourselves Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Buddhist, Shinto, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or any other label.

It’s okay to admit that you don’t know everything. It’s okay to change your opinion when you learn facts that you were not aware of previously. Being able to read and evaluate is not something to be embarrassed about. Getting your political opinion from Facebook memes and voting for dead gorillas as some kind of social protest, that’s something to be embarrassed about.

Do I like Trump? Oh hell no. Clinton? Oh hell no. If you were to put me in an American voting … station? thing? They apparently don’t have secret voting boots over there, according to a photo circulating of Trump leaning over to make sure his wife votes right. Anyhow. Put me in one of those and I would be hard pressed to choose between two evils. I’d have gone with Hillary in the end because I honestly fear the idea of a commander in chief with Trump’s temper. But I’d still feel like I’d been choosing between hanging or drowning.

Maybe if the political circus was not largely a circus, actual politics would matter. Votes should not be decided by tweets and 9gag posts.

And that’s just American politics. The problem is everywhere, though. People just don’t… respect each other. They are failing hard at the ‘don’t be a dick’ thing. From video gamers who cry ‘tits or gtfo’ and threaten to rape female game developers to teach them their place, to real world politics and scare tactics.

Don’t be a dick. Listen. Evaluate. Admit that you can be wrong. Allow others the right to be wrong. In the words of pop culture icons from my mis-spent youth, start being excellent to each other.

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