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Opinion

Arguments based on reason, facts better supported than on emotion

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December 3, 2009

We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. It’s said all too often without much thought or meaning, but it’s damn true. Nothing angers me more than when Americans trash talk their own country.

Overall, any man, woman or child should carry a strong sense of pride that they live in the United States. This country has gone through many changes in the past years, and plenty of different political bickering has gone about between differing parties, ideologies, etc. This column is going to basically be a giant rant of how I’m fed up and extremely annoyed with people basing arguments on emotion rather than facts and reason.

So, let me start off by saying that nothing makes me more livid than when people have no sense of individuality. Sure, we’re all influenced by something. Haven’t you ever heard that “you’re original, just like everyone else?”

One thing that seems to ring true about the common “public” is that all too often they will read a headline, or hear someone’s “take” on an issue, and automatically hold it as truth. And if that’s not the case, they get livid and make a mountain out of a molehill because it doesn’t coincide with their exact beliefs. Hence if you’re leaning left, you probably feel Fox News is spewing ignorant propaganda, and if you’re leaning right, you feel the same way about MSNBC.

Is it not fair to assume such things? I feel like so many people wrap their understandings of issues ranging from health care, immigration, “the war on terror,” into really lame, rhetorical and overall meaningless clichés. How many times have you heard “Make Love Not War.” Shut up.

I can understand if you’re anti-war because you want our troops back home safe, or something along those lines, but these kinds of “sayings” are what lead to childish, empty and pointless arguments that end in calling each other stupid like a bunch of 8-year-olds on an elementary school playground. 

Though some people are fully capable of having legitimate, intellectual political discussions, this is sadly not the case for a vast amount of people. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to over-generalize in an argument and call ideas, persons and policies “stupid,” then you should really reconsider opening your mouth.

By all means, speak out and be vocal about your passions and beliefs, but don’t do so until you can actually comprehend both sides of an argument. Ask yourself questions on why you believe certain things. Are your reasons for supporting a certain policy backed by facts, or stubborn perspective held without legitimate reason?

So often people call Obama a socialist, but when asked “what is socialism?” Often times people will answer with something along the lines of “well, um….yeah.” By definition, socialism is an economic system in which property is held in common, not individually, and relationships are governed by a political hierarchy.

Though decisions are not made collectively, individuals in positions of power make decisions for an overall “collective all-important individual.”

I welcome the political science department to tear apart this definition, but my point is that not many people give an answer even remotely close to this generic definition. I’d be surprised if you personally weren’t able to come up with a few examples of others having strong convictions with nonsensical reasons. Hell, I have a few of my own. 

When it comes to being totally “in tune” with all of the current news stories and issues of concern, I like to think that I’m decently aware. However, when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of every policy, social issue, etc, I’ll gladly admit I am not even close to knowing all the answers.

Something that’s not said enough in discussions about politics, for example, is “I don’t know.” Too many people feel the need to give you an answer when they themselves don’t have an answer, or simply don’t even understand the question. Ask “why?” Make someone explain themselves, rather than just say “she’s/he’s probably right.”

People are going to preach acceptance, tolerance, and even “change,” but all too often won’t do any themselves. I love (sarcastically) people who label themselves as “open-minded” and “tolerant,” but if you disagree with them, then in their eyes, you’re probably an idiot. 

When people with common sense realize that “political discussions” today are usually taunting sessions, they often think “why should I even care?” Understandable, but with all the things going on in the world, the last thing that people need to be is apathetic.

Don’t let people that think they are omniscient ruin things for you. We’re all human and act faultily at times, but don’t expect someone to understand where you’re coming from if you can’t do the same. 

Comments

Mike Barcalow on 04 Dec 2009: First off Great Job Matt! And good luck getting the liberal women, and the lot of limpwristed men in the Poly sci, English dept, and Art dept to agree with your argument. This is afterall the dawning of the age of aquarius, and your suppose to feel not think maaan. It's all about feelings or some BS like that. It's all about how you bend your reality to fit your viewpoint of the world. Seriously though I support what your saying just giving you a little Devils Adv. Keep up the good work your not in a Minority just made to feel like your in one. Sincerely, Mike