Saturday, November 20, 2010

Us v. Them

I read the letters to the editor in the newspaper. I don’t know why. Maybe because I enjoy being in a high state of piss-off. Honestly, there is just so much blistering bullshit. And while some of the ridiculous, erroneous claims are amusing, mostly they’re childish, I’m-not-getting-my-way rants about why the paper, a columnist/editor, an article or another letter is a liberal/conservative conspiracy taking over (and destroying) the country.
What makes it annoying is that the letters themselves, whether I agree with their sentiment or not, tend to be biased and ill-informed. They talk about “liberal takeovers” “conservative bent” and other classification of the people they disagree with. It’s always some group (i.e. Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, pro-life, pro-choice, etc.) whose evil is destroying and/or brainwashing America.

And I’m sick of it.

Stop pigeonholing everyone who disagrees with you into categories. They are people, with opinions and ideas of their own. Someone’s opinion doesn’t make them blind to reality. It just means they see it differently than you do.

I know. Shocking. But if two people look at Van Gogh’s Starry Night, you’re going to get two different opinions every time. One might notice the thick brush strokes. One might notice the hues. Another could be amazed at the shading. And someone might just feel peaceful looking at it. Each of these people are seeing the same thing, but in a different way. 

Same goes for everything else in life. Please respect it and stop labeling, and dehumanizing, those who disagree with you. Because the truth is, there isn’t a “them.” Them is for paranoid people who believe the world is out to get them because David Letterman wore the wrong tie.

There is only us.


  1. I also read letters to the editor. Sometimes I do get outraged and other times, I applaud them for their cander.

  2. I love this post, it reflects my views. I can't stand labels, perhaps because I had enough of those as a child. I've never fitted neatly into a category and as the years went by, I've realised it's ok to be yourself, not to fit into a mould. I do not want to be limited by boundaries. I'm a mum, I homeschool, I'm a novelist and so much more.
    People make assumptions whatever you do, it seems.

  3. I read these letters, too, and I don't really know why! Mostly they just humor me, I guess.

  4. Labeling is just another way to hate.

  5. I don't read the letters, nor do I watch political shows too much. I dislike the labeling and bashing. It seems unproductive.

  6. I think politics is the only arena where things are more subjective than writing. And while politics can get people pretty wound up, I've never understood the "haters" in the writing world - that hate on a publisher, or agent or book/author. Just really? I'm much more for the peace, love and understanding! :)


Please validate me.