Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Little Respect Goes a Long Way


Here is a tirade (can’t think of a better word right now) that Dave posted on Facebook today in response to the way that Glenn Beck was treated in New York City recently.

It is a good discussion about treating people with respect, no matter your political differences.

”This may come as a surprise to some, seeing as I'm a liberal and all, but I really like Glenn Beck. I've listened to his show for years and find him to be very entertaining and while he and I disagree on a lot of things, there are things that we agree upon. Heck I even called his show once, got on the air, and had a very pleasant conversation with the man. To me he's always come off as a nice person who happens to be a vocal conservative talk show host. (Side note: Not all right wing talk shows are the same. Granted most simply ape Rush Limbaugh--see Sean Hannity, Monica Crowley, and Tammy Bruce--but Beck is one of a few that really does his own thing--the others being Jerry Doyle, Neal Boortz, and Michael Savage. Often I find that those on the left that criticize conservative talk radio have never actually listened to any beyond a sound bite posted online or on a news program. There are certainly things to criticize these commentators for but often the criticism they do receive is based on assumptions and not an actual critique of their words or ideas. But I digress...)

No matter what his politics may be, he doesn't deserve to be treated like garbage. I have many friends who are strong conservatives, we disagree on nearly everything but we get along great. Why should it be any different for someone like Beck? Unless he came into the place of business and acted like a complete ass-hat, then he should have been treated well. If you disagree with the man's political or religious views, fine but what does that have to do with treating another human being with dignity and respect? Nothing. Disagreeing with someone's views does not give anyone the right to treat that person like dirt. Would you want to be treated like that simply because of your beliefs? I suspect the answer to that question would be no, so why in the hell is something like this okay? Of all of the talk show hosts to go off on, Beck probably deserves it less than anyone, but even if he did deserve it, does that make it right?

Thanks to the internet and the even deteriorating rhetoric on television and the radio, people seem to think it is okay to be complete cock-bags to those they disagree with. Well let me let you in on a little secret...it's not. An asshole is an asshole whether they are posting anonymously online, talking to millions on the radio, or hosting late night talk shows. It's not right when folks like Limbaugh besmirch and throw mud and it's just as wrong when folks like Michael Moore or Keith Olberman do it. Wrong is wrong. But then there are those who will say "hey the other guy is doing it so I've got to retaliate in kind." I'm sorry but that total bullshit. As a parent would you let you children get away with that as an excuse? Hell no you wouldn't. I understand that often debates get passionate and heated and that is okay. Treating each other like garbage isn't.

Personally when I interact with someone I am far less concerned with his/her political and/or religious beliefs than I am with how they treat me. Are they kind? Respectful? That is what matters. How are we as a society ever going to face the tribulations coming our way if we can't hold civil conversations? If you can answer that question, you are probably much smarter than me. So the next time some numb-nut goes off online (you can see many examples of this in the Socrates on Facebook group) be the bigger man/woman. Treat that person the way that you would want to be treated. Yes it's not always easy but it is the right thing to do. If everyone would take a few deep breaths and try to be nicer to one another, I suspect the world would be a better place.

Dave and I have known each other for years (around 13 if I remember correctly). We do not hold the same religious beliefs and, for the most part, we do not hold the same political beliefs. But never once in the entire 13 years have any of our conversations gotten ugly or demeaning to each other. This just goes to show you that people can have civil disagreements.

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