In Which I Rant About Rants…

I’m bound to make myself unpopular (too late!) with this post. So be it. Everyone else seems to go on these raging rants on Twitter and Face Book, spewing vitriol and expecting agreement and support. Well, here are my thoughts, as cogently and calmly delivered as possible, and I expect nothing from anyone. They’re my thoughts, posted on my blog, for my own personal gratification. I hope you read and appreciate the thoughts, even if you disagree. But I don’t ask for or expect anything of you. This was on my mind and I’m sharing it.

Oh, and for those of you expecting a post updating on my coming out to my family and my visit with Lulu over the last month…be patient, please. I’m working on it. šŸ™‚

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Despite my undergraduate degree in Political Science and my Juris Doctor degree and my 15+ year practice as an attorney, I am not a political creature. Believe it or not, I really don’t care for the angst, tension and drama surrounding American and world politics at every level like a poisonous cloud. It’s nature is anathema to my peaceful, quiet-seeking mind.

But you can never truly get away from it. Even eschewing traditional media sources that focus on political issues and commentary, it’s ubiquity is unavoidable. Looked at ESPN or FoxSports lately? Full of commentary on things unrelated to team sports in anything but the most tertiary fashion. What about prime time tv? Can’t even watch a sitcom without a dose of ‘agenda programming’ by at least one pole in the spectrum. And social media? Forget it. Scroll through your timeline on any given platform on any given day and if you don’t see posts and tweets and retweets of every political cause going, count yourself lucky.

What’s my beef with it all, you ask? It’s news and current events, don’t you want to be informed and activist for your causes?

Yes, I want to contribute to the interests that concern me or resonate with me. And no, I don’t have a problem with news reporting by anyone, or even expressing editorial or personal opinion.

What I really object to, especially in the rants I see on social media, is the critical judgement imposed on those who question, are skeptical until convinced, and probe for deeper meaning or clarity of argument. Those who don’t simply nod in agreement, jump to catch the bandwagon and fall into lockstep with the ranting professor of opinion are vilified in the cruelest way. And the base tactic of implying insanity, low intelligence, even malice or evil when stating these polarizing opinions , I find repugnant.

The latest issue to catch my eye is the fad of demonizing anyone who has more than a few dollars in their pocket and even hints at any form of conservative viewpoint. It doesn’t matter the core issue or message, if the person speaking/writing/performing is perceived to have money and has conservative opinions, they’re the devil. Even those in marginal groups. If you aren’t living from paycheck to paycheck and don’t believe in forced redistribution of wealth, your opinion on anything, even your own field of expertise, is questionable at best, and your personal value as a human is nil.

The existence of wealth of any level seems to have become a disqualifier for being valued as a person. Even if the wealth (or perception of it) is totally unrelated to the matter at hand, it’s trotted out as a reason to question the person’s motives, integrity, veracity, intelligence and humanity.

Sound familiar to anyone?

The same thing has been done relative to every form of differentiator of human condition over time. Race, creed, color, nationality, gender, sexuality, you name it, it’s been used as a foil to hold down an entire population.

But economic status is no more linked to inherent value of persons than any of those other attributes.

I don’t understand why we allow ourselves to be gulled by media and social pressure into devaluing our fellow humans on the basis of these un-related attributes and characteristics. Focusing on the words and actions of each person individually is the only way I know of to avoid the fallacy of collective, stereotypical prejudice.

Please…do have your opinion, and make it a strong one, on any issue you like. Cultivate views on every condition facing this world today and into the future. Even form preferences and affinities for or against any given thing or idea.

But please…judge your fellow humans individually on their personal merits as demonstrated in their action and speech, not collectively based on any arbitrary characteristic or attribute associated with any group or population.

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