Arguments can be fun. Honestly, they can be. The exchange of ideas with someone whose ideas differ greatly from your own can be an enlightening act for both parties. But so many people cannot distinguish a differing opinion from the person who holds it. More commonly, people tend to tie their ideas to their sense of self and take any differing opinion as a personal attack. When this happens, they tend to lash out with personal attacks of their own rather than salient points supporting their position.
I have always been an arguer. When I have a viewpoint on any subject, I have always been willing to share that viewpoint with anyone who will listen. My mom always assumed I would enter the legal profession, since I was so quick to argue. When I was 13 or so, we were at a toy store and some lady was trying to decide on buying some toy for her child. I discussed the benefits of that particular item and sold her on its merits. She bought the toy and told me I was a natural salesman. This tendency has served me well throughout my life; primarily because I do not argue with people—I argue positions.
As a conservative voice in the liberal world, I find myself at odds with many differing viewpoints. This is not discomfiting, but rather—at least once I realized it—comforting in that I look forward to expressing my viewpoints on any number of topics with those who are uniformed or under mistaken impressions or misconceptions. I troll the blogosphere dropping pearls of wisdom on liberal blogs as I find them.
Unfortunately, others are not as receptive to differing viewpoints as I. There are those who become quite militant about their ideas and will eagerly attack anyone who disagrees with them. In this world of 6 billion people, what are the chances no one will disagree with you? So, what do you do when someone offers a viewpoint different from your own? Do you yell at them? Do you shut them up? Many people simply ignore them. If that was all they did, fine. Many people have lived quite happily content in their ignorance. But many more will attack the viewpoint as if having a differing opinion was a threat to their very existence. You can tell these people because the crux of their argument will be something along the lines of “you suck.”
While there is merit in picking one’s battles (see the previous blog) occasionally one must speak up to defend a viewpoint that is under attack. Too many in the country are apathetic and fail to speak out in the face of opposition. In fact, the most egregious will simply abandon their position rather than defend it. “It’s just not that big of a deal,” they will rationalize. “As long as it doesn’t affect me directly, I can take it or leave it.” But that begins the ending of a way of life. When no one stands for an ideal, it becomes nothing. It fades into history.
America is an idea that is under attack. People are actively arguing points that undermine the very foundations upon which this country was built. I signed up to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. I served for 9 years with a weapon and a uniform. I will continue to defend the principles of this nation by arguing against any position that would harm it. I enjoin you to join me. If America means individual rights to you, if the principles established by the founding fathers still matter, then argue for them against those who would take our rights and liberties and against those who would undermine the moral center of this nation.
Just don’t make “you suck” your opening argument.