Cutting Through the BS

I overheard a coworker telling another about a Stella award given for the successful lawsuit from a Winnebego owner. I didn’t hear the whole conversation, and they were talking about an email which I didn’t see. But apparently the owner sued Winnebego after he or she was injured doing something stupid. The one listening to the story asked the other something like “What kind of jury would let a guy sue for that?”. The other replied “A liberal one”.

The only reference to a Winnebego on the Stella Awards’ website is a reference to a a story that they say is bogus. Maybe he’s referring to a different story that I haven’t found. But there’s a lot of bullshit out there, enough to make him believe that some crazy bunch of fruitcakes did a crazy thing, and that means that they’re liberals.

The co-worker who told this story is pretty smart. He’s dedicated to his work and active in his community. He’s an all around good guy. For this guy to say something so wrong doesn’t mean he’s an idiot. It just shows how easily even smart people are occasionally misled.

There are many core differences between liberals and conservatives, but we can’t have an honest fight about our real differences until we cut through the bullshit.

Some of the bullshit is listed here:

http://snopes.com/politics/obama/obama.asp
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/chain-email/statements/byruling/pants-fire/

You won’t know what the other side thinks unless you do your homework. I’ve started doing my homework, and found that there’s a lot more middle ground than I thought, that there’s a lot of crazy people doing crazy things who don’t represent either Liberals or Conservatives, and that some people who disagree with me are stupid and some are really smart.

Despite the middle ground, there are still core differences. There are also extremest on both sides who give credence to the crazy stories that the other side is telling.

Cut through the lies and half truths by getting the details, at least on the most shocking and outrageous stories that you hear. Never consider a chain email as a valid source of news. Assume that not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Whether your a leftist or a rightist, people who disagree with you include scholars and saints.

For the sake of full disclosure, I don’t claim to be looking for a spot in the middle where can all come together. I personally think that most of you, if you start educating yourself, will start leaning more to the left. But that’s my opinion. Take it as a challenge.

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