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Monday, August 22, 2011

How is a Ron Paul supporter like an Obama supporter? (it's not what you think)

I have received the same accusation from two very different groups of people, and I find it somewhat disconcerting. The accusation is simple - that I am uneducated. Now, granted, depending on the subject, that may or may not be true. For example: calculus? You'd better ask my husband. But in all of these cases, the subject in question was current politics. The problem here is that I am a full time student on the Montgomery GI Bill, and I am studying to earn a degree in political science. I study political theory and current politics because in a way it is my job to do so.

But it is the way that the accusation was phrased that was the most disturbing. In all cases it was pretty much the same:

The only reason you see things the way that you do is that you're listening to the media and not the actual person.

The only reason you think that is that you don't really understand the subject.

You wouldn't believe that if you had read all the information that I have.

Basically, they were all saying that if I only had better information, a better education, or a more correct method of research, I would obviously agree with them. The implication was that since their education and research had brought them to a certain conclusion, anyone who reached a different conclusion could only do so by using faulty logic. The problem is that even if they happened to be correct in their position, advocating it by insulting my intelligence is not likely to gain them any ground in terms of debate. I found the conversations to be quite condescending, and what's more, none of the people in question offered any actual factual information to back up their positions - the only arguments they presented were the ones that attacked my education rather than my position on the issue.

So I'm sure you're dying to know: who were the two groups of people leveling said accusations?

Half of them were Obama supporters, explaining policies like the healthcare bill by saying that if I could only gain a better understanding of his vision I would support him as well.

The other half were Ron Paul supporters, explaining that I, with ten years of military experience and the benefit of an intensive three month course on foreign policy, could only find Ron Paul's foreign policy lacking if I was not properly educated.

So for those of you who disagree with me - I expect disagreement. I have said so many times. I do not expect to win friends with my political views. What I expect is respect for my opinions, and a debate that is based on facts, logic and issues rather than ad hominem attacks.

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