I feel compelled to write this post based on an exchange I had earlier this evening. A long time acquaintance and I got into a political debate which quickly devolved into an argument. A quite serious argument – one with personal attacks, insults, the whole nine. You might be wondering what started this exchange, but really that information is irrelevant. Attempting to justify an argument based on what started it isn’t the right way to go about things.
It got heated. And taking a step back now, I don’t know why. It could have been born out of arrogance, maybe. Or that we both knew our own stances so intimately, that an opposing view point couldn’t possibly be right. Either way, the original point of contention was lost many comments earlier. Before it had turned into a shitshow.
After 10 minutes of attempting to write a rebuttal, I got a chat notification. It was from the person on the other side of the argument. In its simplest form, it was an apology for letting things get out of hand on their part. But once I reread it a few more times, it became a lot more than that. It made me stop and consider my own actions up to that point. I had just as much of a reason to apologize as he did – maybe even more so – but I didn’t. The thought never even entered my mind.
Why didn’t it?
It got me thinking. Have I been here before? Are there times I should have apologized for taking things too far, but never did? Maybe I’m too set in my political beliefs to realize when I’m being a dick? Fuck. That’s some heavy shit to consider.
It’s not so much whether either of us were right or wrong, it was about recognizing when its time to step back and consider how you’re handling yourself. Too many times when it comes to politics, derogatory terms are thrown about – libtard, cuck, liberal, conservative, etc. Honestly that tends to happen whenever there are any two competing lines of thought. It escalates beyond the discussion and enters the realm of insult and argument. In politics’ case, it does nothing except further this divide the country is experiencing.
Seeing that apology made me realize what a piece of shit I was being at that moment. There will always be debate when it comes to politics, that’s how things have to be. But that doesn’t mean respect for our opponents goes out the window. We all belong to this country, and this country belongs to all of us. It’s time to start remembering that more often.