Wednesday, August 6, 2014

End of Argument? Hardly

The other day a family member, someone with whom I have a great deal of respect, pulled a uncool maneuver on me that I don't agree with. It is no secret I lean left, so does my son, so does my Uncle Garry, most of my friends and a few members of my family so when someone pulled an "end of argument" statement on me, I was 1) sorely disappointed. 2) angered that someone would attempt to shut down a conversation that way.

Today, one of my friends with whom I served in the Navy posted that someone told him to keep his opinions to himself. Frankly, I am appalled! My friend is one of the most fair-minded, middle of the road I know, leaning neither left nor right. In my experience, he has always considered all opinions and given them fair due, which is why he was such a great Navy Chief. He often gives me pause and food for thought.

First off, I cannot imagine anyone telling someone to keep their opinions to themselves. Even when I disagree with someone I enjoy the conversation and debate. Something can be learned from discussion. Too bad people don't try it more. Telling someone to shut up, keep their opinions to themselves, name-calling, end of argument, blah blah... only serves to shut down the opportunity to seek common ground... I say shame on whoever told him that.

Secondly, I may lean left but at least I am willing to give an ear to opposing thoughts. I cannot say, again in my experience, the same of some from the far right. I all too often find them condescending, smug, unyielding, always convinced they are right and all who disagree are wrong. AND yes, I can imagine some from that bent feel the same of those of us on the left.

"End of discussion," to me, reeks of someone not willing to consider motivations of what makes people tick, the "why" they do what they do. "End of discussion" means shut up.

I'm sorry, I do not accept... "go back to your corner of your room and shut up."