I grew up in a small, rural, farm town in the southwest part of Oklahoma. I loved it, for the most part. Believe it or not I loved that everyone knew you and you knew everyone. That everyone in town looked out for each other in their times of need, for the most part. I loved that I only graduated with 34 students and I grew up with the vast majority of them. I loved that my teachers taught my mother. I loved that all the my friends hung out at the Sonic or the school parking lot. I loved that I was able to drive across town and have lunch with my grandma anytime I wanted to. I love my little town.
While growing up there was easy, moving away was much harder. When I went to college I became more educated, more aware of my place on this planet, and more aware of what is happening in our country and our world. That’s what college is for. College is for you to learn, grow, and become an educated citizen. That’s not to say people in my home town were not, it’s just to say that you move away and broaden your perspective, your world views, and your understanding of life. That means you might change some of the views and opinions you had or were raised to believe. What I was not expecting however, was the major backlash.
I’m unapologetically progressive. I believe in universal health care. I believe in a higher minimum wage of at least $15. I believe in free college for every citizen. I believe in the legalization of marijuana. I believe in a 100% renewable future. I believe that our politicians are bought and are corrupted by massive corporations. I believe in pay equality for women and her right to choice what she does with her body. I believe that the LGBTQ community should marry whom ever they please and have the same right as heterosexual people. I believe that we need massive criminal justice reform and the end to the slaughtering of innocent black lives every day. I believe the war on immigration, especially refugees, is immoral. I believe that richest people and corporations should pay a higher taxes than the middle and low class. I believe that we shouldn’t be in endless wars all over the world. I believe that indigenous people are grossly mistreated and misrepresented in the country that we stole from them.
What I don’t understand is the inability to have a civil, educated, discussion on issues. Everything I said I believe in above are all major issues facing our country right now. What is flabbergasting is that when someone mentions any of these issues or challenges right wing ideology, you immediately become this evil socialist/communist/left wing nut job. (Oh, and yes I am a socialist. Shout out to DSA.) We have the first amendment for a reason, so that we can voice and share our own views, beliefs, and values without being thrown into jail. This is America. In America we can voice our views as loudly, and freely, as we want. If that offends you then I’m sorry but you can either engage in a discussion with me or you can unfollow me. It’s really not that hard, you click on my profile and hit “unfollow.” It’s quite easy.
What I also don’t understand is how new facts, and evidence is not taken into any consideration of a persons previous preconceived notions, or beliefs. I can understand having a philosophical debate over an issue, but when data, facts, and evidence are presented and you dismiss such material as “fake news” or “liberal gibberish” then yeah, I get mad because you are not living in the real world. And your inability to cope with facts and the reality of different issues is a problem. It’s a problem because you are prohibiting others from “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I’m not a crazy man, I’m not an evil man, I’m not even a violent man. I’m an American that’s pissed off that our country is in turmoil and there is a huge percent of people that will ignore ANY facts, ANY criticism, ANY opinion other than their own. There are 320 some odd million people in the U.S., there is going to be a vast range of opinions, views, and beliefs, and guess what? THAT’S OKAY. That’s what is suppose to make America, America. You can have your opinion and I can have mine, if they contradict each other then let’s talk, discuss, and debate our ideas. That’s how a civil society of free thought works.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”