Ever hear the expression, “Stop knocking down what you don’t like and start lifting up what you love.” I say this all the time to liberals and anti-gun bullies who try to tear down my support of conservative policies or the Second Amendment. It’s the equivalent of asking my children, “don’t you have anything better to do?” when they start to bicker.
This rather small, misinformed group of people just loves to attack anyone who has a different opinion than they do, touting their love of diversity, claiming tolerance and global acceptance of everyone even as they attack. What they are looking to accomplish with their all out assault on those who dare to disagree with them is pretty clear; by polarizing and intimidating their opponent, they believe they can silence anyone with the audacity to challenge them.
I’ve seen them degrade women, throw ignorant stereotypes, sling disgusting language, belittle careers, assume a lack of education, social standing or psychological health limits their opponent’s ability to discuss facts or worthiness to discuss the topic at hand with any semblance of intelligence. I’ve seen death threats, the wish of gross bodily harm and even disturbing, heinous wishes toward their opponents loved ones, children and pets.
Alinsky would eat it up with a spoon.
While the juvenile insults and absurd assumptions can be entertaining in some instances, we’ve gotten to the point now where I feel the country is so divided that a more than generous portion of the other side is not only unwilling to discuss issues, but rather are unable to. I admit that I have been in that boat a time or two on a few issues. Abortion is a hot button topic for me for very personal reasons, so when pro-choice proponents argue my pro-life points, I have a hard time keeping my cool because it physically pains me to think of those sweet little babies being ripped to death. I know when to cut my losses and don’t continue to waste my time with people who I feel aren’t even listening to me. I know I can only pray they find clarity.
When debating political viewpoints, defending the second amendment or my right to carry, my pro-life beliefs or a number of other topics, I am finding more and more instances, on social media especially, of Cognitive Dissonance but more specifically Belief Disconfirmation Paradigm. Belief Disconfirmation Paradigm occurs when an individual is presented with information that directly contradicts their beliefs. If the individual is unable to change their beliefs, the internal conflict experienced can result in the rejection or denial of the information, even if it is proven as factual and true. A person unable to resolve the conflict will seek others sharing a similar belief to restore the agreements of their beliefs. Sound familiar?
I have to admit, while batting these little mice around like a hungry cat can be fun for a bit, it serves no purpose in furthering our side’s cause. 100% of the time, it’s my opponent coming onto my post to attack me on whatever comment I’ve made, meme posted or article shared to provide facts to support my beliefs. Even with sports! For example, I have never gone on anyone else’s post rooting for their team to jab a “GO PACKERS!!” or “YOU SUCK!”, yet every week some unsportsmanlike dipshit will come on my posts to go full on fanatic for their team and start a fight with me. Note to other sports fans: I don’t care. When the Packers play the Seahawks and I post “Alright, it’s almost game time! Got meatballs in the crockpot and a beer in my hand, so GO PACK GO!!”, I cannot tell you how hard I roll my eyes when some moron pips up and writes something idiotic in response like “BEAR DOWN!!”. Worse yet, this happened yesterday:
People; you do not EVER insult a woman from Wisconsin about their knowledge of sports, much less make the horrendously ignorant statement that 100% of women don’t understand games can be played well without the team winning by score.
If you see a post and don’t have anything nice to say, how about you just don’t say anything at all? Didn’t everybody learn that in kindergarten? (obviously not)
So insults, team rivalries and glib assumptions aside, what if we chose to respectfully and joyfully promote things we believe in rather than being hateful and disrespectfully trying to tear down things and people we may not agree with? Obviously I’m not saying we should stop working to gain more support for causes we believe in, but just imagine if everyone would focus a little more effort on promoting their own causes?
This week, take a little extra time to search out some new facts to support what’s most important to you and share that with people. Find an article a day and post it to social media. Read up on what foundations, societies, or groups are posting. Search for recent news articles, find different websites, try to connect with others in your area who share in your beliefs. Pretend you know nothing about the subject and start from square one, then post all you find for others to read. Do this for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference in advancing your cause to others.
We can all stand to brush up a bit. At the very least, with the additional time spent on finding new facts and ways to promote your causes, think of how much better you’ll be prepared the next time the opposition challenges you. Now get at it!