On the EDge: Everybody is wrong

Stock illustration, St. George News

OPINION – I don’t care which political mantle you wear these days, you are wrong.

You are wrong if you don’t smack down Johnny Depp for saying: ““When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

Depp called it a clumsy joke that did “not come out as intended” and that he “intended no malice.”

This wasn’t performance art, this wasn’t political dialog or even political commentary, it was inflammatory language and although his intent, as he said, was to “amuse, not to harm anyone,” there are too many whack jobs out there who could take his words to heart.

You are wrong if you don’t put the screws to Congress for hiding a very important piece of proposed legislation from the voters, keeping a health care bill from public view while muscling party members to support its passage.

There is a reason why we have checks and balances in our government, a reason why transparency is vital to our continuance as a free nation. Sooner or later, all secrets are told and all you are left with is well-placed suspicion, disappointment and doubt. If those who crafted this health care bill were so afraid it would not be passed that they couldn’t share it with the public perhaps they wrote a bad bill.

You are wrong if you refer to the President as a “Cheeto with a bad comb-over” and dismiss him as a “reality TV star gone bad.” You’ve got to have tangible reasons for your opposition to be credible in standing against or speaking out. Question his agenda, his intelligence, his character, but don’t simply dismiss him with a snarky slur.

You are wrong if you use the B-word as your go-to description of Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Get specific with why you don’t like her politics. You need a better reason than the fact that she is a liberal, a woman, from California, otherwise you sound like a misogynistic fool.

And, you are out of your mind if you think a so-called “2nd Amendment Solution,” such as the recent attack on a group of Republican members of Congress, is viable. Violence is never the answer, whether from the liberal or conservative side.

We are dead wrong on so many things for so many reasons.

Is anybody truly doing their due diligence and looking into the depth of the issues of the day or are they falling prey to the junk appearing on social media?

Hardly.

Is it honest to write off the legitimate sources of our information as fake news just because the facts don’t support your particular political stance?

No.

We are making valorous attempts to end bullying in our schools and workplace sites, but what are we doing about the bullying we are being subjected to by our elected leaders?

Most of all, this springs from a boiling over rage that seems to have overtaken us, caused us to lash out at each other for simply expressing our ideas, resulting in the deepest chasm between us since the Civil War.

I have seen people I don’t know, have never spoken to, have never been in my presence take potshots with crass, mean-spirited, hateful remarks.

Is this what we have evolved into?

Do we think so little of our fellow human beings that we believe it to be acceptable behavior to write or make despicably loathsome comments about them thinking we are saying something clever?

Anger, as Albert Einstein said, “dwells in the bosom of fools.”

But, anger is fed by fear, which breeds the kind of insecurity that puts us in such contention.

The seeds of those fears is, I think, a general feeling of hopelessness, a despair that we are powerless; that we may be wrong in our assessments of life or life’s encumbrances, and we certainly cannot accommodate the thought that we may be wrong because that implies weakness. To mask that weakness we often employ anger to reassert our strength.

We also fear not being part of some special little group. Standing alone, appreciating one’s own self-worth, seems to be too difficult for those incapable of living within their own skin.

The fanaticism that follows leads to serious departures from civility in the manner of name-calling, bullying, threats, unchecked egos and uncalled-for hostility.

So, we are wrong, we are all wrong if we take a group and demonize them just because they are conservative or liberal or any other flavor trying to find favor with the masses.

We are all wrong when we make assumptions not based in fact.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had readers assume I had a particular stance on an issue that is nowhere near how I feel. They’ve never met me, never looked me in the eye, but by God, they know exactly where I stand on everything.

Except they don’t because I have never expressed an opinion on some issues.

Besides, it is too easy to get angry.

It is too easy to make it up on the fly.

It is too easy be lazy or selfish and not take the time to consider somebody else’s position or feelings.

It’s why I try to keep a healthy distance between me and others because I just don’t need that kind of aggravation or disappointment.

This displacement with humanity is becoming more and more common because of the pummeling we all take, in one way or another, from those who don’t quite understand the concept of treating each other with respect and dignity; of those who are so swept up in their own egos and lives that they are unable to consider that there just may be other viable thoughts and hopes and dreams out there; that we all matter.

I read recently that Ted Nugent said he is going to tone down his vehement rhetoric, which is a good thing.

But, I certainly don’t expect him to tone down his criticism of the liberal viewpoint or his support for conservative issues.

I fully expect him to continue to be a strident voice, a bit less shrill, but strident nonetheless, and hope that Nugent and his conservative friends continue to ask questions, pose credible criticism and join the dialog instead of simply shouting down those who differ with disrespectful names.

I think his reaching out that way is commendable, purposeful and prudent. Especially if there is any truth to the buzz that he is pointing at a Senate run in the near future.

And, I expect no less from the left, which can be as obnoxious and disrespectful of its friends on the conservative side.

But, until that really, truly happens, the left and right are wrong.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

No bad days!

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Columnists, Opinion / Columns / ShowsTagged , , , , , ,

13 Comments

  • youcandoit June 27, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Well said Ed. I agree with you

  • NotSoFast June 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I think your spot on (for a change) on this one Ed. Continue your therapy.

  • Proud Rebel June 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

    “The seeds of those fears is, I think, a general feeling of hopelessness, a despair that we are powerless; ”
    And this sad statement pretty well sums up where most of us are at.
    I believe that most people are sick of being lied to, and manipulated. We are lied to from cradle to grave. We are lied to by the government. We are lied to by politicians, we are lied to by so called “religious leaders.”
    We are lied to by the so called “news media,” when they claim to be impartial in their dissemination of what they consider worth talking about. We are bombarded with lying commercials hundreds of times a day, whether radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, bill boards and at the movies.
    We are lied to by our employers, (particularly by the employer’s HR recruiters.) We are lied to by sales people, store clerks and managers.
    Sometimes, we are lied to by friends and/or relatives, and worst of all, we lie to ourselves!
    Is it any wonder that people are angry and depressed?
    This was a good article, Ed.

  • Paul June 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Ed. NIce work. Spot on.

  • Foxyheart June 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Well, Ed, why is it that the Dems get a pass at their concocting the Obamacare bill with no one knowing what was in it, (even those who had to vote on it, for or against) while the Repubs do not? The bill was done without anyone knowing what was inside “You have to pass it to see what is in it”……… But that is OK because the Dems did it. They did not do it out in the open. Let’s see how many of the Dems will actually work WITH the Repubs in making a new HealthCare bill. I would guess practically none of them.

    • DRT June 28, 2017 at 9:54 am

      I believe that what is happening here is that prior to “Obamacare,” nobody knew what they did not have. Now that people are used to yet another government handout, they are terrified of losing it.

  • comments June 27, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    As much as I hate the republican party and the die-hard trumpites I have a lot of respect for actual conservatives– real, reasonable, thinking conservatives, not these trump-worshiping hard-right clowns, loons, and nutters. My views have a lot more in common with genuine conservatives than with those on the extreme-left (they are just another flavor of nutters and loons). All that said, you can’t reason with people who are lazily or willfully ignorant, don’t deal in facts, and blame everything on “the libruls”. Until all of us “peasants”, who are ruled over by the billionaire elitists, wake the hell up and realize who the true enemies are it’ll just be a nonstop circus of ridiculous arguments over non-facts and nonsense.

    • DRT June 28, 2017 at 9:56 am

      There really doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between the die hards from both parties. Republicrat or Democan, they are all about what is good for them, and to hell with America.

  • dodgers June 28, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Finally, Ed writes an opinion without a partisan bashing of the right. Perhaps previous reader comments have yielded some success. Whether it continues, I’m betting it will be back to business, in short order. Only time will tell.

  • commonsense June 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I agree with you Ed. It’s time to tone down the rhetoric on both sides.
    During the campaign Democrats called Trump supporters “haters”. Now the I find Dems are the haters. The responder calling himself “Comments” is particularly hateful of Republicans stereotyping them as “elitists”. Let’s not forget that working Americans elected Pres Trump.
    They were tired of fringe groups getting all breaks at the expense of tax paying workers.

    • comments June 28, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      And your beloved donald is turning out to be a complete liar. He’s doing the opposite of cleaning up the political system. He’s turning out to be just as corrupt as the worst of them. He talked real pretty and told folks what they wanted to hear while campaigning–all lies, as we can see now. I just hope folks start to wake up from the lies and realize what he really is. Some will be too dumb to ever catch on. I think you’re ignorant enough to think everyone in the R-party are “the good guys” and all the D-party are “evil libruls” –pure ignorance and naivety on your part. cheers 😉

  • commonsense June 28, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Ed, your comment about avoiding people is interesting. Your photo shows a guy very atypical of Utah and your dialogue supports that. Why do you suffer amongst us? Really, you could go to California and fit right in. Life is short. Grow where you’re planted.

    • comments June 28, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      In other words “if you don’t like it, leave!”. I’d tell u to go join the clown circus, clown.

Leave a Reply