Ague, debate or tolerate by Barbara Edwards
I am an opinionated bitch. I will argue about politics, religion, ecology, economics and anything else you express an opinion on that I disagree with. I wasn’t always like this. I was nice. I debated. A debate is where each side takes time to express facts to prove their point. They do this politely. They take turns and don’t yell over the other person when they’re speaking.
OMG, I was tolerant. All on my own I understood that I didn’t have to agree with everyone else.
Then some idiot in the government said I couldn’t tell ethnic jokes in the workplace. Tolerance, yuck. This quickly became church, picnics, anywhere people gathered, I had to be careful. Someone, and I’ve never been introduced to this important someone, might have their feelings hurt by my crass tongue.
I happen to like ethnic jokes, jokes about sex, about political figures, anything that makes me laugh. So sue me. Yikes! I guess they might. Is that the same someone I’ve never been introduced to?
Sure, to make it fair, I’ve been the butt of jokes. Anyone who’s been a mother or a wife has had the tables turned on them. And I’ve been both.
The point of all this? I like to hear people argue passionately about why they think they are right. This is what caused the writing of the greatest document in the world, the United States Constitution. A dozen people didn’t sit down nicely and make a list of goody-two-shoes objectives. Our Forefathers argued for years. Wrote letters and essays and public opinion pieces then turned around and wrote arguments back to those who disagreed. The pen is a powerful tool. Even when ink was finally on paper, it wasn’t finished since they still argued and added amendments to make clear differences. They argued!
So when I hear someone say, let’s all agree, let’s all get along, let’s all tolerate each other, I want to scream, NO!
It is my right to speak my opinion. In my family, I had eight uncles who fought in WWII, cousins who were in Viet Nam, children and grandchildren in the military who gave blood and honor to insure that right. If you don’t like my opinion, then express yours. I will listen with respect, then agree or disagree.
This is the only country in the world where this right is given to all.
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