Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Those/These People

We all know someone who is always looking for a fight. Not necessarily a physical confrontation with flying fists and elbows, but a war of words. They want to get into a debate and win an argument. The Internet has given an entirely new outlet for these people, whether it be social media or the comment sections on articles. They are called "trolls" and they only come into the discussion in order to rile people up and argue a point with little or no dialogue wanted. They want to frame an argument, belittle the other side, and claim victory or superiority.

We all know these people. We see it in the every widening chasm of partisan politics. Ideologues who intentionally and without fail will take a contrary position to anything the other side suggest. There can be no compromise, no resolution unless its total capitulation by the other side.

In terms of war, they have to have a total victory, not a conditional one. World War I is a prime example of how far this world can come when people place total victory as the only way to solve a problem. The nations of Europe killed millions of citizens on both sides of the trenches for miles or yards, all on the pretense of holding onto a complete victory. Even in the resolution to World War I, the allies forced Germany to take complete responsibility for the war, decimating them and in the very throes of victory set up the conditions that would result in World War II.

Its not hard to find people who hold to their beliefs so adamantly that they get in arguments at any point, to show how right they are. It only takes a word on politics or the economy to rile them up so much that the tenor of their voice and the pressure of their blood rise dramatically. In their minds, they have to prove themselves correct, and the other person wrong, in any and every interaction.

We see political and denominational splits. We see rallies and protests against existing businesses or governments. America, or our world, would be just great if everyone got on board with what they think or believe. Capitalism, Socialism, Anarchy, or Benevolent Dictator are systems which if we just allowed them to operate, all our problems will be solved. We just all need to see thing their way.

We all know people like this. People that rail against a problem in the world on Facebook, using memes and rhetorical picture-quotes. Never mind that they make caricatures out of the issues, others agree with them, so they share them with others. Suddenly, they think that bills must be passed to state and federal law that emphasis these stances and lord it over the other side. Nothing gets done unless everything gets resolved. Its total war in personal and societal norms.

Pundits, commentators, and paparazzi exist to feed these people. If they can sit back and critique others, they create lines and can win every argument. Standards of living are different, seeing the weaknesses and vices in others while holding to the noble intentions and virtues of themselves.

We all know these people and shake our heads. We know that there is another way, one of reconciliation or kindness. We know that if only they would calm down just a bit, peace could be had not in the winning of the argument, but in the common pursuit and life together. We want to work together for solutions, to let the common good rise up instead of rhetoric or personal self-interest. We want to make them see things our way!

Its easy to find these people that like to fight.

We all know these people.

All we have to do is look in the mirror.


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