Saturday, February 25, 2017
I impulsively posted a meme on the koobecaf last night. I thought it was uproariously funny, because it illustrated how getting a simple fact wrong can utterly kill an argument and make a person look like a real doofus.
It's doubly funny to me because there's simply no way to count all the times I've made a similar mistake. I'm a wold champion doofus! It's part of being human. Sometimes I overlook important details and draw incorrect conclusions. When I do that, other than kicking myself and feeling like a complete boob (that's dood in the mirror, BTW), it's no harm, no foul. Just as long as I'm willing to be wrong, change my conclusions to fit the real version of reality, learn from my error, and drive on.
Anyway, here's the meme. See if you spot the same problem that I spotted.
So anyway, I posted this and got a pretty much immediate response in the form of a lecture about how awesome one political party is when compared to the other. And the lecture made some good points. But it completely missed the belly laugh-inducing irony of the fundamental problem with the meme.
Before we go any farther let's take a page from the Richard Feynman playbook and see if we can spot another problem with the meme. I'll just cut to the chase. This was posted up on the koobecaf, and although the poster I stole it from is identified by their koobecaf handle, they were clearly reposting it to point out the irony. With enough time and effort I might have been able to track down the origin of the meme, but that wouldn't give me anything but a name. I wouldn't know anything about the OP (as the kool kids say), including whether they might be from the other party and trying to make "occupy democrats" look stupid.
So the irony is great, and if you think it through, it helps to point out how very important it is for Americans embrace and live the First Principle.
Just as a refresher, in the very first document published by our infant nation, the founders outlined the basis of our national moral and ethical underpinning.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
So we don't know if the OP was a troll or a person who believes that the meme is an accurate representation of reality. It seems like there are plenty of folks who could fit into both categories. I wouldn't bash the first because I don't know the person or their motives, because I'd be liable -- with my sense of humor -- to take a similar approach, and because the meme is pretty darned useful.
I wouldn't want to bash the second, either. I'd point out the historical inaccuracy, but I wouldn't want to dehumanize them as a "stupid" person from "the other side." If I did that I'd be violating the First Principle, and I'd be a hypocrite as well.
There's a chance that the OP and I would never be able to agree on the topic, but the moment I began to view them as anything other than a full and complete human being, equal in every way to me and equally endowed with unalienable natural rights, well, that's the moment I would become a monster.
None of us are perfect. Each of us misspeaks, makes mistakes, hurts feelings. That's okay though, because each of us do wonderful, selfless things too. It's part of being human. We Americans are incredibly lucky to live in a nation which declared itself via the First Principle on day one. If we don't try very hard to live that principle, we're falling short of our responsibility as sovereign American people.
I love Dakota Meyer's take on this.