Back in the dark ages when I was younger, the old school rule was that there were two things you never talked about amongst polite company; religion and politics. Can you imagine? We actually lived once in a time where it was understood that family gatherings, parties, holidays, and dinners out with friends were understood to be “safe zones” away from such topics. Compare that to today where you are essentially considered a pariah if you DON’T have or express an opinion on all things political. (Side note; Thanksgiving dinner at most American households this year is going to be a hoot. I predict a record number of drunken brawls all at the hands of political discourse).
I’ve never been one to shy away from a good old fashioned, spirited, respectful discussion and/or debate about the issues of the day, regardless of the setting. In fact, thanks to the family and friends that I choose to surround myself with, spirited discussions about the issues of the days have always been a highlight for me and have even been encouraged, as they always come from a place of love and understanding. In other words, it’s ok that we disagree and we may even get heated, but we’re going to volley this back and forth, and then move on and go back to loving one another.
Sadly, in today’s climate, more and more topics are essentially becoming “off limits.” Not to most of society, but to me, thanks to the complete and total inability of anyone (including people I love dearly) to have calm, rational, logical discussions about said topics.
Ironically, it used to be abortion, for example. Good lord, 30 years ago no one would ever bring up such a topic in polite company. Today, that’s child play. An abortion conversation at the dinner table in the fall of 2017 goes something like this:
PERSON A: I’m pro choice
PERSON B: I’m pro life
PERSON A: So you’re saying that abortion should be illegal?
PERSON B: I think it’s a form of legal murder, but obviously there are exceptions
PERSON A: Like what?
PERSON B: well obviously, if rape or incest or the health of the mother is involved, these things need to be taken into account.
PERSON A: So you believe that abortion should be safe, legal and rare?
PERSON B: I understand there are times it must be considered. I just want it to be safe and rare and not used as form of birth control. And I think late term abortion is murder.
PERSON A: agreed. Wanna refresh our drinks?
That’s not how it always was. The conversation used to go more like this:
PERSON A: I’m pro choice
PERSON B: I’m pro life
Fight ensues, no facts stated, blood drawn, party over.
What has replaced what used to be the totally taboo subject of abortion are new topics of mind bending proportions. For the past decade, Climate change has ruled such asinine attempts at discourse as “the narrative” has taken over; you either acknowledge that man-made climate change is real and ruining our planet, or you are the devil. Period. Fake facts will be thrown in your face, voices will get louder, you’ll hear platitudes like “how can you deny XYZ,” when of course, there are all sorts of reasons, facts, statistics, and arguments to answer such questions, none of which will be allowed. Conversation ended, party over.
Climate change is simply not something you are allowed to discuss unless you are in a room with a group of people who agree with everything that you say.
Enter gun control; long a hot topic, no doubt, and long one (relatively speaking) that was rough to broach to begin with. But in light of the recent Las Vegas Massacre, Gun Control is the new Climate Change. There is simply no discussion allowed.
Fake facts abound across the spectrum about how Australia and the UK are sooooo safe without guns, even though nothing could be further from the truth (nor is it relevant since neither of those countries have a 2nd amendment engrained into their constitution). Which brings in people continuing to argue and redefine what the 2nd amendment is meant to mean and on and on it goes.
Gun control advocates advocate for solutions that would do nothing to prevent any of the recent mass shootings and shout “we have to do something,” even though what they’re proposing would do nothing.
Meanwhile, idiotic gun owners advocate for a “mental health,” solution, something that will end up with all of us being deemed too crazy to own guns…think long, my fellow 2nd amendment proponents….you’re setting us all up for failure.
Never mind…the point is this…chalk up guns into the same column as climate change; it’s simply not to be discussed. People will spew lies, meaningless statistics and provably untrue “facts,” and will simply shout louder than you to be right, rather than correct. And in true acts of desperation, they will Google up totally bogus charts that leave out vital intricacies just to be right, rather than correct.
Can we just talk sports? Wait…that’s filled with politics too now isn’t it…Ugh; I guess we’ll just talk about my dogs this holiday.