Regrettably, I often find it appropriate to call most conservatives with whom I converse “ignorant,” “a tool,” or “a drone.” (More sadly, liberals too, on occasion. Good news: odds are it will never happen to those of you reading here at this early date. *laughing*) Sure, sure… Whaaatever. On the face of it, according to usual standards of discourse, such words might seem rude or insulting, but odds are, they’re the nicest thing I can say. That anyone could say, given the facts in evidence.
Semantics? Perhaps. Bear with me.
I deeply respect the dignity and worth of every person (Liberal. Hellooo.). I rarely jump to the conclusion that others are irretrievably stupid, cruel, or inhuman. Annoying? Oh, yeah. Coarse, inconsiderate, lazy, hasty, rude, thoughtless, selfish, momentarily dickish? Certainly! Moments that suggest such qualities are part of civilization and its discontents, the price we pay for companionship, mutual aid. I might show any of those qualities at stressful moments myself, and will readily apologize for them. They’re fleeting. Unimportant in the big scheme of things.
But if I abruptly halt the pitched battle of politics, policy, and society, look a conversational partner dead in the eye and directly state that he is uninformed? Misinformed? An enthusiastic consumer and distributor of high-octane bullshit? Even “a tool” (in the metaphorical sense meaning “an object used for a given purpose” rather than the informal “douche” connotation)?
Anyone at the receiving end of such expressions from me has obviously not yet brought his “A game” in my estimation. As such, our conversation is either terminated or moving into a triple-overtime pop quiz on some details blithely vaulted by said new friend without regard to credibility. I offer the benefit of the doubt, in terms of character and intellect. I am always optimistic that any potential buddy is not an evil, twisted brain-dead mofo eager to stupidly endanger his fellow citizens or the entire planet as long as he still has pork rinds or edamame available while plopped down to consume the television program of his choice.
Ignorance matters. And it’s critical to identify it and root it out whenever possible, or we don’t make rational decisions based on facts. Perilous business, ignorance. Call me Doña Quixote.
When I call someone an ignorant fool without the sense of a goat, I’m stating that he can’t possibly be in full possession and comprehension of history, current conditions, or the extensive writings of great thinkers and experienced practitioners in the pertinent subject area. That he cannot possibly have considered the complexities and very real end-result of his espoused position. That he — innocent, doe-eyed, and trusting of those he views as authorities — has likely fallen victim to the rampant jingoism and rah-rah spirit permeating today’s political discourse. That it’s terrifyingly sweet that he cares so very much as to parrot nonsense and play extended “Buzz Word Bingo” games with himself and others. I’m even saying that his obvious passion and caring almost, but not quite, redeem his being far off-base, led astray by very motivated and powerful forces of which he is quite clearly unaware.
I care deeply about others’ feelings, so if I eventually sling the aforementioned terms at you, try not to take it personally. Consider my engagement a tribute, an expression of faith that hope exists yet for you to get a clue, perhaps at a not-too-distant moment. Hear my words as deep appreciation of your interest, even if said appreciation is tempered by a soul-shattering weariness, anguish and disgust at your poorly-reasoned and -established conclusions. Sometimes, such words even indicate a sad acknowledgment of how badly education has served you, since they show such short-sightedness with regard to actually achieving the objectives which you claim to hold.
So yes, “ignorant tool” is, within this little world, my world, a salute to another’s humanity and good intentions, however badly he may represent either one.
Say something nice or don’t say anything at all? I am saying something nice! Want me to be nicer yet? Earn it. Convince me. Let’s learn together.
Spectators are welcome. Bleacher seating is available at both left and right, and refreshments are available at the concessions stand. ;-)