October 25, 2013

Intolerant of the Intolerant

This post has been germinating for awhile. I think it started when I was at work a couple weeks ago and my boss and I both had our chairs at the doors of our cubes and something was said about politics and I just went into this long winded stream of consciousness, not realizing what I was doing, just... venting a sad, when I realized that everyone around me had stopped what they were doing and was listening.

I am sad.

I am sad for our country.

I am sad for our people.

For over 250 years members of my family have been fighting for our freedom in some way.

Every war.

My family came to this country, in some cases in the 1600s and some in the 1700s. I have 15 members in my family tree that participated in the Revolutionary War.

I have a woman in my tree that gave supplies to the Colonists... while her husband was off fighting with the Red Coats. He was permanently exiled. She lived with her father after that... she and her children. Great sadness, great Hope for better.

But they came to this country for a better life, to be able to pray the way they wanted to pray, to be able to be independent in this new great country that was forming.

And our country has prided itself in our immigrants coming from all walks of life, black, white, Asian, Indian... all skin colors and religions.

We are Americans and we have been through some crappy times, the Civil War probably being the worst of the worst, but we have come through. We may be scuffed... but we come through.

And so it breaks my hearts that we Americans are so hateful to each other because of beliefs.

I hate you because you believe in gay marriage.
I hate you because you don't believe in gay marriage.
I hate you because you believe in abortion.
I hate you because you don't believe in abortion.
I hate you because you are conservative.
I hate you because you are liberal.
I hate you because you want to take my guns.
I hate you because you want to have guns.
I hate you because you drive a prius.
I hate you because you drive an SUV.
I hate you because you don't believe in God.
I hate you because you do believe in God.
I hate you because you don't believe in God the way I believe in God.
I hate you because you're on welfare.
I hate you because you're rich.
I hate you because you have more than me.
I hate you because you have less than me.
I hate you because you're a white.
I hate you because you're black.
I hate you because of how you dress.
I hate you because of what you do.
I hate you because of where you live.
I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. And I'm going to call you mean names because I hate you.

Did I leave anything out? I'm sure I did... because there is SO much hatred... SO much intolerance, that there is no way I covered it all.

Everyone has walked in different shoes. I have a friend who has a son that is so developmentally handicapped, he is curled up in a wheelchair and talks through pressing buttons on a computer. I don't have that in my family, her life is not one I could imagine. But I grew up in a military family, work with the military, and have been to places she can't imagine.

Will we vote the same way on the same issue? No. We won't. I will vote based on my personal experiences and what *I* feel are important to me and to my country and she will vote based on her personal experiences and what SHE feels are important to her and to our country.

And I love her dearly.

I don't care how she votes nor does she care how I vote.

My patriots fought for the right for us to vote. Women died for the right for women to vote.

Yet we have come to a place in our country, where people hate each other because of the WAY others vote. There is a constant barrage of name calling that leaves me at a loss.

Why are we labeling people based on their personal beliefs? Why is there a constant condescension?

And it's coming from BOTH sides. My husband has turned on some guy named Moyers. I don't know why he watches it. It has to be one of the most hate filled shows I have ever listened to. I have to leave the room. Mean spirited and hateful to anyone who doesn't see as he does... and then there is this guy named Hannity, that I have to leave as well. Some of the things I hear come from the other room makes me walk in and say, "did I hear that?"

But this is what we have come to.

We Americans are getting off on hating each other. The modicum of civility has been lost.

And it makes me sad.

And I think my 15 Patriots must be rolling in their graves. This isn't what they fought for. This isn't want they supported.

This isn't what they envisioned. I feel certain.

I guess that's my political rant of the year.

Posted by Boudicca at October 25, 2013 11:09 PM

Wow. I'm breathless. That is the most perfectly said analysis of the need to put hamity back into society I have read for a while.

Thank you. You've made me look at life differently today. xxx

Posted by: Shaz at October 26, 2013 12:19 AM


Posted by: Shaz at October 26, 2013 12:19 AM

It is a sad trend; we're descending to a place where we shouldn't go and we know it, in our bones we know it.

That was spot on.

Posted by: pam at October 26, 2013 04:38 AM

Absolutely spot on, Bou. I've felt the exact same....but wasn't as eloquent as you in saying it. Maybe that's part of the problem. Many of us aren't nearly so erudite...so we turn to disparaging and haranguing those that don't believe the same way we do?

Posted by: Pammy at October 26, 2013 09:12 AM

I don't know, Pam. America has sunk into this cesspool of hatred and negativism. We complain about how our children act at school, but what are they witnessing with their parents? What type of behaviour are they being taught to emulate?

My grandmother on my Mom's side was an uneducated woman. Her grammar would make me grin by the time I truly understood proper diction and grammar. She was never eloquent.

But my Nana was kind and cared about her fellow neighbor. She might scream and curse at the TV during football, but you'd not hear her denigrate other Americans like we're hearing today... so I don't think it has anything to do with well written or well spoken... but what is coming from inside.

I could be wrong. I am just sad.

Posted by: Bou at October 26, 2013 09:54 AM

You are spot on with this! The mean-spirited hateful diatribes are horrendous. The extreme lack of respect for the ideas and beliefs of others is mind-boggling.

The tenents of civility, politeness, and respect for others - EVEN when visiting in other peoples homes is being lost or shuffled aside so 'no one makes waves'.

Respect and Honor and Courtesy should be the NORM - not the exception.

Posted by: Nina at October 26, 2013 12:08 PM

Bou, this made me cry. You really have hit this on the head. If your political rants are like this, feel free to have more. Now, one question...is it okay with you if I share this link on facebook? Or do you not want to deal with what might result? I just think others need to read this.

Posted by: Peggy K at October 26, 2013 12:32 PM

You put it beautifully. I feel a lot like you do!
Our culture and public education are influences that create changes in our social and political transactions that can help our country or degrade it horribly.
Bits of this have split this Rattler's tribe; it is sad.
But, we continue to carry on with a bit of grace and respect for the others.
(keyboard:the letter after L, and before N does not work, so I will keep this short.)

Posted by: Tiny Rattler at October 26, 2013 02:26 PM

Peggy K- No problem. Feel free.

Tiny Rattler- I think we will see more of an upswing in homeschooling than we already do as we try to protect our children from things within our schools we don't believe in.

I have two kids that went to a private high school. I've busted my butt to send them there... they got a superb education (my eldest in college is surprised as to how he compares to others) and for the most part they were immersed in a good value system there, although we had to have some heart to hearts when MY value system and the school's did not coincide.

My youngest is in a fantastic public school, it fits him. Every child is different. But I do see a time we'll have to have some heart to hearts in some of his classes and/or when his teachers try to push THEIR belief system upon him. It happens. I wish it it did not. Our schools should be apolitical... but they are not.

Posted by: Bou at October 26, 2013 03:10 PM

As the song goes in South Pacific "You have to be carefully taught!"

Posted by: The Thomas at October 27, 2013 10:04 PM

I feel exactly the same way. I see the commercials for all these reality shows(I don't watch them) and I wonder when it became okay to be rude and mean. I read the comments under news articles and see so many mean, hateful comments. It truly makes me sad. What happened to "walking a mile in another man's shoes" before you pass judgement? What happened to trying to be the best person you can be? What happened to doing onto others as you would have others do unto you? Just, what happened?

Posted by: Sticks at October 28, 2013 04:31 PM

The worst thing to happen to us has been 24 hour news. Once they had to fill 24 hours it was bound to devolve into total nonsense. I refuse to listen or watch it. Then came the internet and people having a soapbox but no need to put themselves physically front and center and the world devolved yet more into the morass of hatred. I stepped back. I have opinions, but I won't read the bile coming from the self-righteous anymore... I can't.

I don't know where we are headed, it's hard to say. Change is with us always. It could be good or bad, but I will actively look for the good things. It's all I can do. It's a choice. Some people will hate me for that saying I should "stand up for my choices". I will, in the voting booth, until they take that from me. Otherwise, I want nothing to do with the vitriol. Life is for living with joy, not for constant anger, angst, and fear.

Posted by: Teresa at October 28, 2013 05:44 PM

As Ben Franklin once said, we all have to hang together or, most assuredly, we will hang separately.

Great post.

Posted by: Elisson at October 29, 2013 09:18 AM

Must share on Facebook. This is IT! I am glad there are great writers who can articulate what others feel but cannot say.

Posted by: Kim at October 29, 2013 07:25 PM