All Libertarians don’t care about their fellow man.
All christians are ignorant.
All believers in conspiracy theories are delusional.
All people against gay marriage are homophobic bigots.
All Republicans are tea-baggers.
All tea-baggers are racists.
All cryptozoologists are foolish.
All gun advocates are would be militia members intent on overthrowing the government.
All psychics are intentional frauds.
All… Well you get the point.
Far too often we demonize those we disagree with. We act as if no sane, rational, honest person could EVER disagree with our views. We compare those we disagree with to Hitler, Stalin, and other villains. We dismiss anything they have to say out of hand, and ridicule them for daring to suggest anything different from our own ideas.
But let’s stop and think for a minute. Aren’t they saying the same things about us?
Aren’t they claiming all Liberals are anti-American?
Aren’t that shouting that all skeptics are debunkers?
Aren’t they proclaiming that all atheists are immoral?
Aren’t they calling all people who do not like guns, fascists intent of taking their weapons from them?
Well we know these things are not true, because we know we’re not all immoral, anti-American, debunkers out to trample of the Second Amendment…
We know that we can be part of a group and not be one of the extremists in our group.
We know that these stereotypes are nothing more than straw-man arguments, and we rightly point this out.
But we are still far to quick to use the same arguments against those we disagree with. I am as guilty, perhaps more so, as anybody at pointing out the worst of the worst in a group as representative of the whole. And I am wrong when I do this.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that not all christians are Pat Robertson types. I know that not all republicans are blissfully and willfully ignorant. I know that not all psychics are lying, cheating, intentional frauds. But I still generalize, because it’s easy…
But this must be stopped.
We must not allow ourselves to demonize the opposition. I may disagree with Republicans, christians, psychics, believers in conspiracy theories, etc, but I have to acknowledge that generally MOST people have the best of intentions in mind. Almost all people generally believe the things they say, and they are of the view that their opinions are the best. Very few people are “out to destroy the country” or truly want to “suppress free speech” or whatever the issue at hand is. Most people generally want to do what they believe is the best thing, not just for themselves, but for others.
Everybody needs to keep this in mind when discussing topics with those who hold opposing views.
Except Yankees fans, they really are just evil bastards intent on destroying the world…