11 November 2009

Why, oh why

do I do this to myself? I am fascinated by politics and history, and how one feeds the other. So, naturally I'm drawn to political websites, news discussion boards and the like. And being who I am, I can't usually keep my mouth shut for very long. So I join in the online conversation/debate from time to time.

I guess I'm just too thin-skinned to debate much of anything, because I just don't get the need to state your case and then heap insults on top of your well thought out and well stated argument. You know, people lay out this whole researched and clearly elaborated position and then they call you a ****ing idiot and soulless pig who should burn in Hell because you disagree. I got into a discussion about the health care reform bill and whether or not it is fair and/or right to have a public health care option that includes abortion coverage. Now, I don't want to debate abortion. My problem is using taxpayer funds to pay for them. Many, many of said taxpayers do not support abortion and would not knowingly pay for one under any circumstances. But see, if they pass a reform that includes a public option, and that public option includes abortion coverage, guess what? We the people, are paying for abortions. No matter what President Obama tries to tell us about how they are not using federal funds for abortion.

Anyway, I jumped into the discussion and was promptly told to "keep my opinions to myself" because abortion is a "sacred and private affair" that is a legal procedure, and my objection gets us nowhere. I spoke my piece respectfully and calmly, then was called a "religious zealot" and a "fanatic." Never mind the fact that I had not once used the word God, faith, Bible, religion or anything of the sort. I HATE ugly debate. Hate it. How does calling anyone names and insulting their mother get us any further than my saying I oppose abortion and I don't want to pay for it?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I continued my discussion with the gentleman and he retracted his comment where he called me a zealot and a fanatic. But that debate goes there, so frequently and so easily, is just stupid. When you start swearing and calling people names, it means you have run out of intelligent things to say. You need to step away from the keyboard and take a deep breath.

So, even though I didn't swear at or insult anyone, I'm going to take my own advice, or at least try to. I'm still going to read it all because you can still learn something and sometimes gain a new insight, but I am going to try to step away from the keyboard and stop beating my head against a brick wall. No matter how good it feels when I stop.

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