Political correctness is definitely my trigger phrase. I want to be mad when people use it to mock people who are just trying to be respectful of others, but I can’t. It really does go too far sometimes.
This column, if you’ve read it, is all about the little things. Find a silver lining, show love to others because you never know who’s hurting, fight through the bad times and so on. I firmly believe in respecting each other for our opinions and beliefs … mostly. Identity politics turns friends and family into enemies because of a red hat or someone else taking a knee. It’s infuriating. Where did respect go? When did we stop treating each other like people over political stances and other beliefs? We badly need a moderate influence in this country to tell us all to take a chill pill. We’re all on the same side.
I’ve sometimes failed to live up to these mantras (sorry, radio station friends, I know you’re mad at me), but I’m human. I’m trying and I’m growing, that’s what’s important.
Now that I’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, what follows is about absolutely none of that.
There are times in life when you just have to call a spade a spade. Based on our education, our logic, our reason, we have to stop being polite, stop being respectful, and call out some nonsense for what it is.
That’s not to say we should disrespect people. It’s just that some ideas are not worthy of respect. Don’t worry, ideas have no feelings to offend.
It’s my firmly held belief that part of the reason our political system has gone so crazy is because we’ve lent a voice to ideas that we should have collectively dismissed a long time ago.
So you know, if you believe Earth is flat, I respect you as a human being, but that idea is wrong. You know what? It’s not 6,000 years old either, we didn’t live at the same time as dinosaurs or use them as beasts of burden. That’s preposterous and should be dismissed at such (sorry Answers in Genesis, I know you’re already mad at me).
I could go on for a while:
Climate change is real. Our involvement in it may be up for debate, but whether it is happening is not. Thetan levels and scientology are products of a bad sci-fi writer. There is no evidence that ghosts or spirits have ever existed. I’ve talked about this before, but mediums, psychics, sooth-sayers, fortune tellers and whatever else they’re called are all fakes. Yes, Edgar Cayce, you too. Aliens might be real, but there’s no evidence they’ve ever landed on Earth (sorry Kelly community, I know you’re already mad at me). We landed on the moon, 9/11 happened because terrorists hijacked some planes, not because of a vast government conspiracy. Speaking of conspiracies, Sandy Hook/Las Vegas/(add mass shooting here) happened because someone had a gun or guns and shot people. The government was not involved, the shootings were not faked to make gun control happen (no matter how you feel about gun control). Fluoride is in the water but it isn’t making you dumb, it’s preventing cavities in your teeth. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t holding back the cure for cancer(s) for whatever reason this week, these cures just don’t exist yet. I don’t care which bathroom you use, or what your gender identity is, but biologically there are only two sexes.
Honest to goodness, this list could go on for a long, long time. I won’t go through each terrible idea, but you get the gist.
Oh, and vaccines don’t cause autism. You thought I forgot, huh?
The point of this exercise isn’t to make anyone mad. I don’t think people who believe these things are necessarily of lesser intelligence, and I’m not insulting them on a personal level.
However, we as a society are only going to continue to advance if we reject nonsense. When we entertain it, or allow it a public platform, all we do is give it the same pedestal as ideas that aren’t outright ridiculous. By saying nothing, we say those ideas are worth the same amount, and they are not.
Look, I’m not saying waltz into mom’s house, slap the phone out of her hand and tell her granny isn’t a ghost watching over her from the attic (you monster). Don’t let this column get you beat up. However, if something silly is brought up in conversation, you don’t have to go along with it. Remember, disrespecting people and disrespecting ideas are two different things. That’s this week’s small victory.
(JESSE JONES is the editor of The Eagle Post, a member of the Kentucky New Era Media Group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see his framed collection of hate mail.)