Friday, May 12, 2023

You can disagree with a person without thinking they are evil.

 by Rod Williams, April 11, 2023 - In the most recent issue of The Nashville Scene, Bill Freeman, local real estate mogul, major fund raiser for Democrat politicians, and owner of The Scene and a bunch of other local news outlets wrote an editorial on the recent tragic school shooting in Nashville. The main focus of his opinion piece was that guns are too easy to obtain, and we need more gun regulations.

While I would question some of his contentions, and while I support the Second Amendment, I would not have found Bill Freeman's article particularly offensive if he had not stooped to demagogic demonizing of people who disagree with him. Here are two examples from that editorial:

Sadly, many politicians, like U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, prioritize their relationships with the National Rifle Association over the right to life.


As long as politicians prioritize their own careers over the safety of our children, we will continue to see these devastating tragedies. 

These statements in essence say that Marsha Blackman and other politicians who do not see things the same way Bill Freeman does, do not have real convictions of supporting the Second Amendment, but base their support for the Second Amendment on campaign contributions. It says they value campaign contributions more than the lives of children. In my view, that is a despicable thing to say.  We should be able to disagree and make our case without attacking one's character or implying those who are is disagreement with our position are simply evil. 

I had my own, but much more personal, experience with this mindset myself very recently. A sibling on mine wrote on Facebook to another party this statement.

Actually, this is very misleading of my positions. I was a global warming skeptic when the issue first appeared on my radar.  And, following the "hid the decline" scandal I briefly again was a skeptic. But for almost all of the past 25 years I have accepted the predominant scientific consensus. To me however, I do not think it is the issue that trumps all other issues and I see a lot of greenwashing and approaches to the issue that are irrational, non-productive and counterproductive. 

As regards to Trump, I did not vote for Trump in 2016. However, I thought he made a pretty good president, despite thinking he is a bully and a jerk, and I voted for him in 2022. I strongly condemn his attempt to illegally hold on the power and keep Congress from certifying the election.  Anyone who reads my blog knows I am a Trump critic. 

Despite that my sibling misrepresented my positions, even if he had properly represented them, could he not think we are both honorable people with a difference of option rather than saying I am no better than a Nazi?

I know this mindset is not only a mindset of the left. Conservatives are often ready to call liberals "communist," or attribute their policy positions to evil intent. Could we not engage people with whom we disagree as simply wrong, or uninformed, or misguided rather than thinking they are evil?

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