An Appeal For Reason From the Unreasonable

“The divisiveness of our modern society is tearing us apart! Conservative versus liberal; anti-vaccine versus pro-vaccine; lovers of freedom, like me, versus the woke gestapo of the cancel culture. This polarization is ruining marriages and destroying families!”

Well, sir, I can agree with much of what you say. However, I do find your turn to this argument suspect since you, of late, have been one of the most tiresome buglers of noxious, Conservative propaganda that I know. Gun rights. Anti-vaccine. Freedom of speech as a blind for defense of Western (if not white) supremacy. You name it, you’ve spewed it. Often eloquently and from somewhat clever tangents, sure, but you have definitely not been a voice for peaceful coexistence.

When you proudly proclaim that you would kill and die to defend your very narrow notion of freedom, you cannot then claim to be a moderate voice engaged in reasonable discussion. The threat of violence is explicit in your rhetoric.

So what is this, then? This appeal for reason from a very unreasonable man. What are you up to? I suppose I should dig a little deeper into what you’ve been going on about lately. Because, after all, since you’ve been such a disagreeable asshole of late, I’ve been ignoring you completely.

Oh dear. It seems you have lost your job because of your refusal to get vaccinated. I see now. And you are very angry that the legions of people like you who believe in freedom above all else did not have the courage to stand up and stop this tyranny from taking place. But you will take a stand. You will not go quietly into that night. You are a brave man who will stand on principle no matter what.

No matter how alone and isolated it makes you.

See, here’s the thing, little buddy: You are not a member of some silent majority. You have gotten so insulated within the echo chamber you have created for yourself that you believe many more people think the way that you do than actually do. It turns out that, in reality, you are an insufferable dickhead spewing a fringe position that most people are sick and tired of hearing.

You have fallen into an understandable, but basic, trap of human consciousness. We want to believe that most other people think just the way that we do. In the face of our expression we take silence as agreement, or at least acquiescence. But this is not how people behave. When faced with a confrontation or a pontificating asshole, most people stay quiet and put up no resistance. Then they do what they can to put as much distance between themselves and the asshole as possible.

You seek a grand reckoning. A fiery showdown to demonstrate to the world what an incredible and brave individual you are. You seek this heroic stand of yours to be recognized with a slow clap from someone in the audience (digital of course) that grows into thunderous applause. These frightened people who think and feel exactly as you do but have been intimidated into silence, they will rally.

But the thing is: That’s not how it’s working out, is it? There is no stage for your hollow horn. No one wants to argue with you. No one is obliged to argue with you. No one is obliged to listen to you. And the fact that they aren’t speaks only to the hollowness of your platform. It’s boring. You are boring.

Ouch.

The isolation you are beginning to notice is not the result of censorship. It is not the result of tyranny. It is the result of the people around you putting you on mute.

So this appeal to reason, this call for everyone to work harder at getting along, this is just a mewling cry for attention.

“Come back and listen to me! I have important things I have to shout at you!”

This is the cry of a man who, for years, has taken the silence of those he preaches at as acceptance of what he says. Who believed that when he shouted down those that argued with him, he had won the argument. The last man shouting is the winner of the “debate,” right?

Not really, no.

And what of this grand stand you are making? Getting yourself fired because you wouldn’t take the vaccine. It is not quite the confrontation you were hoping for, is it? Instead of some blaze of glory moment, what you have delivered yourself is the slow grinding attrition of looming poverty and the indifference of society.

“The rats, it got your flower, bad blood it got your mare
If there’s anyone that knows, is there anyone that cares?”
– Bob Dylan, The Ballad of Hollis Brown

You should check out how that song ends, because you would seem to be on the same road as old Hollis. Be that as it may, if there’s anybody that gives a shit about your predicament, it is only to wonder why you are being such a jackass.

But what of the high principles and ideals you say inform this stand of yours? Freedom, right? The freedom you say you would die and kill to preserve. Okay, let’s unpack that.

As I have stated earlier in another post, you are free not to take the vaccine. No government agents have come to forcibly jab you with their needles of tyranny. What you are whinging about is freedom from all responsibility and accountability.

“None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.”
– John Milton.

So are you a good man who loves true freedom? Or do you simply seek license to do as you want?

If your job requires you to have a driver’s license, and you lose your license, you will then lose your job. Is that not an impingement of your freedom? Your workplace can also require drug tests of you. Are you not similarly oppressed in this?

Or, is your company not exercising its freedom to demand a certain level of responsibility from its employees? They are not, after all, obliged to give you employment no matter what you do, are they? Why, that would be socialism, and we all know what you think about that!

So you will happily submit to being licensed to drive. To stopping at stop signs when you are driving. To not smoking in restaurants. To paying the government for a passport in order to travel abroad. To pissing in a cup at random intervals for your company. And to countless other impingements on this precious freedom of yours.

But what of the freedoms of your fellow citizens? The ones that are unlike you in their circumstances? Do we find evidence that you care about them? For in this we shall find out if you are truly a good man who loves freedom heartily, or whether you only seek license for yourself. Let’s see:

Anything in all your posts about marriage equality or LGBTQ rights? No.

Anything about people having the freedom to wear whatever clothing they want regardless of their religion? No.

Anything about women’s right to choose in regards to abortion and the regulation of their own fertility? No.

Okay, then, so what freedom are you specifically so butt-hurt about here?

Ah, your freedom to own guns. That’s what you care about. Your right to own your lethal toys. This is the line in the sand that you would kill and die for.

Oh, right. And your right not to get poked by that scary needle by that mean, scary doctor or nurse. Mustn’t forget that.

And for this you would threaten violence. You would get yourself killed, or thrown in prison as a cop killer, or simply fired, when you have children to provide for. You would put your own family into that kind of uncertainty.

This call of yours for civility and reason against the divisiveness of polarization that tears families apart. What are you talking about? There is no divisiveness of polarization without human agents of factions. If your family has been torn apart by this, then I have no doubt you were one of the agents doing it.

You are like a toddler, having a tantrum. Except you are not a toddler. You are a grown man, with guns. Your actions have consequences. Isn’t this a trope you’ve loved spewing to anyone that has to suffer listening to you? Responsibility! Accountability!

Well, here you are now: where the rubber hits the road in regards to your own responsibility and accountability. There are all kinds of ways you can handle it.

My suggesting is: Grow the fuck up.

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