So last week I talked briefly about our trip to Hawaii and how it was filled with more downtime than normal. Which meant a few hours of sitting together quietly watching the rain and talking. And during one of those talks I had a realization of why I have been so bugged by a part of the political discourse lately.
I've talked all around it here and on my status. That seemingly perpetual drumbeat that I need to understand them. That I somehow have to bend what I believe to match what they believe. That Trump won because I don't understand them. And it has bugged me each and every time I've heard it. And I've gone down the lists of reasons over and over again. But as Brent and I were talking about one of the latest lies our current president told and I was voicing my frustration with it all I said something that made it all finally click for me.
I am tired of pretending that being smart is a bad thing.
I am part of what is hopefully the last generation to do so, but part of the generation that told their little girls to not act as smart as they were because boys didn't like it if girls were smarter than they were. Or stronger. Or faster. Or better in any way except in possibly smelling good and looking pretty though not too pretty because you didn't want to be intimidating. Basically be less than.
I was never good at being less than.
And that's what I keep feeling over and over with the current climate. Being smart is vilified. Taking the time to learn about an issue is viewed as elitist. Understanding that your point of view isn't the only one is political correctness run amok. Using facts, fact checkers and logic is biased. Blue collar is best. Intelligence is soft. Correcting someone who is wrong is intolerance. People revel in their ignorance and celebrate the fact that they can hold their misspelled banners high knowing if I point out the fact that they want to say Their not There I am somehow the stupid one.
It's insane to me.
Science. Reason. Logic. Discussions with people you don't agree with, not to change their minds but to broaden yours. Knowing that if you always win every argument you are in, you aren't really winning and you've missed a chance to learn something. These things are important to me.
Instead now I have people telling me that facts are biased. That numbers are lies. That it only matters what you feel is right. And that it's okay to discriminate against people as long as you can justify it by saying it's your religion or they are such a small minority that it doesn't matter or because there was this guy this one time that had this one thing happen to him and so it means that all things are exactly like that one thing and you are an idiot if you don't see that my anecdotal story is more compelling than your facts and statistics.
I'm being told that my problem is I need to understand people who refuse to listen to facts and want to live in their feels.
It bugs me so much because it feels so familiar. If I would just sit back and let the minority, and it is the minority I don't care how many maps you show me where you refuse to understand that a majority of land mass does not equal a majority of people, I need to sit back and let the minority tell me what is right and what is wrong because of their feelings. They are tired of the coastal elites telling them they are dumb. But if what you are doing is dumb, and I can show you why it's dumb, then it's dumb and it's not my problem that you are dumb.
But for fuck's sake, now it is.
Because now I have to sit back and watch as protections for minorities are dismantled. I have to sit back and watch as people who deny science are put in charge of science heavy departments. I have to sit back and watch as the man who is supposed to be running our country lies and then lies again and then tweets conspiracy theories that are just more lies. And knowing the whole time that a huge swath of people think this is okay. That this is right. That facts are weapons that have been used against them for too long and by GOD they will not listen anymore. They will tear it all down and we will have to watch it happening. And they will gleefully mock us as sore losers as we watch the world burn. Yes, I am a sore loser. Sore as in angry.
Angry and disgusted and disappointed.
I have never been good at being less than.
Oh and I know that this is why Trump won. "Stop thinking you are so smart! That you know it all!" Okay, I admit, I don't know it all. There are areas where I am incredibly ignorant. There are always things to learn.
Now it's your turn...
...try being smarter.