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Are there any political issues, such as abortion or capital punishment, that are so fundamental to your core values that you could not respect and/or trust someone who held a contrary view?

I think this question is actually really interesting, because it gets to the heart of how I've changed over the past, I don't know. Call it a year or so.

In simplest terms: I don't put up with shit anymore. I am tired, tired to the bone of smiling politely and trying to get along with people whose views I find so fundamentally, terribly wrong. It's work--I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Calling people out, or not letting them get away with things, is really hard, and I don't always succeed in doing it. But I try, I try damn hard, and that's because it matters.

To get back to the question: I suppose I still respect people who hold opposing views on key issues (and I promise, I'll get to what those issues are). But that respect is tenuous in the extreme, and prone to being revoked. I try and get along with people, to not make waves, and I do feel that someone can hold a wrongheaded view but still be a good person, because people are complicated. But if the person holds that view with conviction, and not just through ignorance, the respect is conditional in the extreme.

And I'll never trust them. Never. Respect is one thing. Civility is one thing. But don't ask me to trust someone who has shown themselves willing to compromise on or flat-out oppose [here we go with the list] queer rights. Or women's rights. Or disability rights, or rights for people of colour. Rights for people who aren't wealthy, or for those who don't fit into the dominant religion. For people who are the "wrong" shape or size, or don't fit into an appropriately gendered box. Or anything at all that's about treating people as equals, as human beings. If you oppose any of that, I may--may--respect you, depending on the circumstance. I may--may--even like you. But I will never, never trust you.

Because if you don't believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly, without any of the weasel-words that so often accompany these problematic viewpoints (at least, when they're expressed by "liberal" people), then how can I trust you?

How can I trust you when you've shown that you believe some people are inferior?

[Crossposted to Dreamwidth]


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
This is the best response I've read to this prompt so far. A+
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Oh my god! Thank you. Coming from you, that actually means a heck of a lot.
Jan. 7th, 2010 10:54 pm (UTC)
Coming from you, that actually means a heck of a lot.


Flattery will get you everywhere, my dear.
Jan. 8th, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
This is a fabulous response. I've been debating doing this writing prompt, but I don't think I'll do it justice.

Also, Katie wants you to come back and be our bff.
Jan. 8th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
I totally will! ONE DAY, when I have money/am back in Massachusetts/wev. ONE DAY.
Jan. 8th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Well said.
Feb. 3rd, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, i agree. Well said.

I would not be able to get along with too many people of contrary opinions on topics such as animal cruelty and/or carnivorous diets.

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )