Sunday, August 9, 2009


I am puzzled by a willingness that strangers show to assume that my political, religious, or social beliefs are exactly the same as mine. Total strangers will assume that I hold any one of a variety of stances. Yesterday, I was siting next to a complete stranger, who began to tell me how President Obama was trying to destroy the second amendment and take all our guns. Then he went on to property rights, health care, and all the things that you hear on the nut-case radio shows.
But I want to be even handed in this. Whenever I attend a gathering of liberals, one of them sooner or later will begin to lament the deficiencies of the "local culture" and the backwardness of the Utah legislature.
What is the point of discussion here is not that liberals think the Utah legislature consists of a bunch of Neanderthals, or that conservatives think Obama wants our guns. I mean, Duh! What is the issue is sort of twofold. First, it's that people are willing to air their opinions without asking if I am willing to hear them. In a way, this is a good move for them, because if they asked, I'd say no. Second, it's that people feel free to not only give me their opinions and to state them as facts, but they manage to get in nasty personal cracks at whomever they are unhappy with. President Obama is not only wrong, he as (put in your own slur here). The legislature is not only wrong it's (ditto the slur).
I don't like it. 'm trying to formulate a policy that doesn't involve me being as rude as they are, but I'm having trouble.

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