Ground suggestions

anywhereThere are some things in the public consciousness and discourse right now (articles, newspapers, random yawps on the social network squawkbox) that I feel compelled to comment on, because there are some ground rules about things, and we apparently need to restate them.  So please take heed:

If something happens right in front of your face and you pay it no particular heed and make no comment…and some time later, an opinion piece proclaims that thing as offensive (or whatever) – and then, and only then, you make some public pronouncement that you are offended…then you are not really offended.  You are, however, guilty of groupthink.

If you provide meaningful support to someone or something which you know is doing the wrong thing – as an example, you vote for a repugnant politician when those better were available to be voted for – then your objection to their wrongdoing after the fact is noticeably hollow.  You are not “strategic”; you are enabling.  You are not “compromising”; you are compromised.

If someone says something and does something else, then what they did was how they actually believe.  It does not matter how forcefully, elegantly, publicly, or repeatedly that the former was said.  The multitudes who go into hosannas over what that person said and ignore their later actions are either willing dupes, or unwilling dupes.

If it is wrong for “them” to do, it is also wrong for you to do.  To develop that further: if you decide whether or not something is right based on who it is doing it or saying it, then you do not have principles, and should stop pretending you do.

As a general rule: the louder and more stridently someone objects to a matter of perceived social importance, particularly if it is undertaken with the expressed purpose of preserving the moral standing of the public, the more likely that person is a rank hypocrite.

As a sort of corollary to the above: those calling for a “great public (or social) conversation” about a topic are often those least likely to engage in conversation about it.  If you object to every point brought up by the opposing side, regardless of what it is, you are not having a conversation, you are lecturing.  If you object not only to their points, but to the very idea that they are expressing them, or even the assumption that they have a right to express them, you are not having a conversation, you are haranguing.  In both cases, they aren’t the problem which requires the “great conversation” – you are, and it will only be held in your absence.

Finally, if you feel it necessary to speak out against these rules – suggestions, really – though they refer to no one directly, you’ve certainly said more about yourself than I ever could.


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