Today I realized something. I don’t like stupid. And if you have a halfway decent IQ, it’s really inexcusable. When it comes to opinions, I often wonder if people want to be right, or want to be heard ? Maybe a bit of both ?
I’m happy to listen to anyone with an opposing view. As long as they’re willing to listen to me. I’m willing to have a healthy debate. The key word is healthy, and what I mean by that, is not talking over each other, no constant interrupting, no yelling and no hitting. The latter is a joke. I hope.
Here’s the thing. I am a fact checker. Big time. It’s from my former, hard hitting reporting days, when fact checking was a given, not an anomaly.
Today, it seems like reporters can say anything they want and no one challenges them. What happened ? The sad truth, is that most people think they are accurate. They think these reporters and news stations are checking facts. They’re not, except for the exception of local stories, where reporters can be on the scene firsthand and the pictures tell their own story.
For the rest of the nation, the world and most things outside their immediate turf, I’m pretty doubtful. I have found this to be the greatest downfall of news, the greatest sell-out of all time. With the exception of 60 minutes, still my favorite show, where the journalists can stay on a story for several weeks to several months, all the while, digging into sources, checking facts, then more facts until all sides of the story are exhausted, will they proceed.
Not until they siphon every piece of information and have depleted every source, will they air the story. They are the last bastion of news. Real news. The Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite kind of news.
I never check one source. I’m not whimsical about it. I don’t get my information from TV because as I said, there’s not a whole lot of it there anymore. Reporters, talking heads and talk show hosts can say whatever they want. It’s probably better for ratings.
So when I’m on a subject I know well and have researched, I can spew more facts, history and quotes, better than most people I know. When someone makes a blanket statement on an important issue or a candidate, I want the source. I usually don’t get one because they don’t have one. They are going on here say.
From where I stand, that makes them stupid. If you want to disagree with my position, that’s fine. It’s your right. If you have an entirely different opinion than I do, it’s your decision. If you give me reputable data, containing facts and actual information, I can hear it, but if you’re only mud-slinging and parroting some other person’s words, who can’t verify their statement either, then I have little respect for the information you’re pedaling and you.
I may not agree with a person and they may not agree with me. However, If we’ve both done some research, have data to back up our statements, instead of thinking someone else did it, then I can accept that.
Honestly, I’d probably be disappointed that they didn’t see the light, but I’d understand. And I’d be respectful of that. I would see that they had the good sense and intelligence to have probed hard enough into the background needed, in order to make an intelligent decision. I may still think they’re crazy for thinking like that. But I won’t think them stupid. And as Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is, what stupid does.”
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First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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