Pick Your Battle

Pick Your Battle

By: Josh Cameron  |  Our Voice Contributor

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

-Winston Churchill

We find ourselves, in this year 2020, where there is a lot of crying out about internet meanies because, well, they’re mean I suppose. I wonder though, of the critiques that these people are mean, are these serious and honest?

For instance, I, Joshua Cameron, tweeted that I won’t be fooled by what I see as Democratic party shenanigans and posted a picture of me with Dr. Jill Stein, who I proudly voted for in 2016. I was told I was a Trump supporter.

Well that’s strange. I am an anti-war activist and someone who had to liquidate his 401k because I was arrested at a Mia Love (Utah GOP Congresswoman) political rally for calling out to “save babies from cages” when she was introduced as someone here to “save babies.” Not very MAGA if I say so myself.

Are we truly setting ourselves up for success if we alienate criticism? Is the only purpose in communicating, to be right, even if we’re not correct? No matter how we forge our beliefs, with or without evidence, is the only purpose of beliefs to get us to fold our arms in satisfaction and claim victory?

Shouldn’t we thoughtfully respond to political divides with policy and not only emotion? I find Leftists to often be loud, energetic, and excitable. This can come across as rude. With the seeming rudeness, though, I find specific policies that are being thwarted which incites their “rudeness”. Say someone with crippling medical debt freaking out that Joe Biden would veto a Medicare for All bill, even if it passed both chambers of congress.

If I come off as rude with a specific policy idea or a specific critique of an idea, is that to be treated as someone making completely asinine claims that can’t be backed up with objective evidence? Is this the world we want to live in? I also see the same people who claim that internet meanies are the end of civilized society, are crying out that Trump is the second coming of Hitler. They claim that we need to be nice so the Nazi’s don’t take over. I wonder, were Jews not nice to the Nazi’s? Did they not try that tactic?

If Trump really is the second coming of Hitler and he really is ushering in a new age of Nazism, do you want someone who comes to the fight with puppies? Or, perhaps, would you want someone who shows an equal level of excitement but focuses on human rights policies? Do we think we’re playing a game of Red Rover and if we just hold hands the Nazis can’t break our ranks? That our Care Bear stare will stop them in their tracks?

Does this appear to be an effective strategy? As someone who has been to hundreds of political rallies, marches, protests, I find the most excitable and loudest people are those who feel they are not being heard. If you are trying to calm what appears to be anger, perhaps start by hearing what’s being said.

All I ask is that we take the time to consider where someone is coming from. If you don’t feel the need to walk back the aggression, that is perfectly within your rights. I simply ask that you consider if there are any consequences to your strategy no matter who you support.

Are we here to defeat internet meanies or are we here to defeat Nazis?

  “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


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