If you spend much time on Facebook, you have probably seen this recent post that has been making the rounds -
Given the reaction by some of my friends to some of the things I've posted, and my reaction to some of the things some of my friends have posted, I thought it was brilliant, and promptly published it on my own FB page. I received a number of comments, many of which concerned the number of people that are now being "unfriended" because of irreconcilable political differences.
This is sad.
Within my circle of friends, I have conservatives, libertarians, liberals, gays, lesbians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, immigrants (including the legal, taxpaying one to whom I'm married), Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics, and all sorts of permutations and combinations thereof. So far, I haven't unfriended anyone because of their political views, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, or racial background.
That's not to say that I won't unfriend anyone in the future. My general philosophy of life to like everybody until they give me some really good reason to not like them. What this means is that I have a lot of friends with whom I don't agree on all topics, but we get along anyhow. There are, of course, people I don't like - among them liberals, conservatives, libertarians, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, lesbians, atheists, agnostics, and immigrants - but the reason I don't like them isn't because they're Black or White or Hispanic or Asian or liberal or conservative or libertarian or Christian or Jewish or Muslim or gay or lesbian or atheistic or agnostic or come from some other country - it's usually because they're either trying to force their beliefs on me or doing something that is blatantly illegal*.
So here's the deal ...
I'm going to keep writing this blog and expressing my opinions, which is my right under the First Amendment to the Constitution**. You are free to read or not read, as you wish. I encourage you to argue with me, and to call me out if you think I'm wrong. This is a democracy, in which we share thoughts and viewpoints in the marketplace of ideas. If you think I'm wrong, though, I expect the courtesy of a counterargument that relies on genuine facts ... not ad hominem comments or snide remarks or allusions to unproven events or clickbait articles from Breitbart.com or an equivalent left-wing website. I expect a genuine effort to understand my point of view, as I'll try to understand yours. In today's superheated environment, it's unlikely that our respective opinions will change overnight, but at least we ought to be willing to consider the validity of different points of view based on evidence, and not on the political prism through which we view them.
If you can't do that, you may end up ... well ... unfriended ...
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.
* Like coming to this country illegally and expecting everyone to think it's okay.
** Amazingly enough, there are rights guaranteed by amendments to the Constitution other than the Second.