Can We Agree to Disagree?
I just don’t understand people who say, “don’t let politics get so personal! We can disagree without being disagreeable.”
Like… what the fuck do you even mean by that?
Maybe it’s just because I live in Oklahoma where they tried to reinstate DADT for the National Guard, declared that personhood begins the moment a sperm touches an egg, and banned Sharia law even though we have more cows than practicing Muslims, but I still feel like I need to get this point across.
Here’s a sobering dose of reality for all you “can’t we all just get along” folks - politics get personal.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s great value in being able to work together and “reach across the aisle” or whatever the fuck that means when it’s called for, but what happens when, say, North Carolina passes a measure banning gay marriage even though it was never legal there in the first place? What about Prop. 8? What about the fact that legislation protecting trans* people from hate crimes keeps getting shot down?
Am I not supposed to take those things personally? Am I just supposed to say, “hey, you know what? We can disagree without being disagreeable! I’ll just be on my merry way and allow you to continue to legislate my personal life and ensure that your boot remains safely planted on my neck.”
I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t appeal to me.
And then what about the times when conservatives are… like… objectively wrong? The right wing of this party has made it clear that they have nothing short of disdain for science and facts and true things. Evolution is still “just a belief” to them on par with creationism and they don’t believe it should be taught in schools. And global warming? That’s just a liberal hoax, another way to take down those poor oil companies who are just trying to make a decent living.
Do you want me to just sit around and entertain your wrongness? To just be like, “oh, okay, I guess we just disagree there, don’t we?”
No. You’re wrong. You are wrong today. You were wrong yesterday. The odds are good that you will be wrong tomorrow as well. You are literally asking me to play pretend with you just so I don’t come across as “hostile” and “close-minded.” Science is science with or without you, whether you want to accept it or not. Now, normally, I’d be okay with you believing in whatever the hell you want to believe, even if it’s easily proven false. The problem, however, is that the people who think the Earth is 6,000 years old and who think that global warming is something Al Gore made up for attention are the people who run this country.
So you see, these little “hot button” topics that you’d prefer not to discuss over the dinner table because they’re “too controversial” might be more than what you’ve made them out to be. I will not “agree to disagree” with you on them just to make you comfortable. They are important to me, and they are personal.
When a state approves or bans gay marriage, that is personal to me. When politicians say a woman doesn’t have a right to choose, that is personal for women. When conservatives say evolution has no place being taught in schools and that global warming is a hoax, that should be personal to us all.
Because it’s not just a wedge issue. It’s our lives that the government is trying to legislate, and I do take that very, very personally.
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