The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Everything Wrong With America In A Picture …
September 12, 2017, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, America, Comment, Culture, Empathy

What I find interesting living in the US is that debate is often viewed as attack.

OK, that is not exclusive to America, but in comparison to the many countries I’ve lived in – it certainly seems to be more of a trigger switch in people than I’ve experienced before.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is like that and I’m thoroughly enjoying being in the US [though I do miss China, which might sound weird to some] but it hasn’t taken me long to identify a range of subjects where you feel the tension in the room go from 0-100mph in the blink of an eye.

Religion, politics, race, wealth/poverty, abortion, healthcare and gun control are basically conversation hand grenades and yet they’re the very subjects America needs to talk about so the country can move forward rather than stand still and rip itself apart.

Now I appreciate these would be touchy subjects in any culture, but in America, the mere mention of any of these subjects results in either aggression or total shut down and frankly, I find that very disturbing, especially for a country that talks about freedom of speech.

Of course in my experience, I’ve found the people not willing to talk about certain subjects are often the ones who have something invested in keeping things exactly as they are, which is probably why the NRA continues to push weapon ownership – as the above photo demonstrates – despite huge amounts of evidence that gun ownership is contributing to gun crimes. [Which, let’s be honest, is hardly a surprise]

Perhaps the thing that bothers me most is this belief that if you give any counter argument a moment of consideration, you are seen – or made to feel – a traitor to your cause.

Not smart.

Not fair.

Not informed.

You’re a bloody traitor.

The irony of this approach is it’s been proven that when people feel they’ve been listened to, the level of aggression they feel is vastly reduced, even if the outcome remains the same.

America is a wonderful country but it’s a land of extremes.

Forward thinking yet insanely conservative.

Religious yet war loving.

Deeply patriotic yet massively divided.

If Trump really wants to make this country great again, then a good place to start might be to encourage the spirt of debate again.

Contrary to what the President may think, debate doesn’t mean the wheels keep spinning and nothing gets done … it means that before a decision is made, people have talked and discussed the situation without aggressiveness, put-downs or abuse. He might find this hard to believe, but it may even lead to better decisions … but more than that, you can’t be a nation that celebrates ‘freedom of speech’ when – as the Dixie Chicks learned – anyone who expresses their opinion finds out it has just cost them a huge amount.


20 Comments

Hilarious you think America views debate as attack when I’ve seen you respond to innocuous feedback with immediate aggression. But I do agree the subjects that are triggers here are the subjects that need the most openness of conversation. And don’t start me with the evil of the NRA.

Comment by DH

do you mean those rare fucking occasions when campbell would be actually focusing on some shit and someone would ask if he wanted a coffee and he would answer like someone just attacked his fucking collection of robot dogs but when everyone else was fucking working their asses off he thought it was ok to go out of his way to annoy the fuck out of them even more than he already annoyed the fuck out of them just because he wanted to amuse himself? do you mean that dave?

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, that one.

Comment by DH

I might be a little bit guilty of that.

Comment by Rob

Little?

Comment by DH

I’m still amazed you live here. Only beaten by the amazement that you were allowed to live here.

Comment by DH

i still think trump did it just so he can use it to prove the dangers of us fucking immigration policy.

Comment by andy@cynic

To be honest, I don’t know how it happened either.

Comment by Rob

i hate when i agree with you but you pretty much nailed the bullshit of yankland right there. still better than living in fucking luton though.

Comment by andy@cynic

Excellent read Robert. When I was studying law, my professor informed me to never trust someone who refused to listen to the views of another. With hindsight, this may be the best piece of advice I ever recieved.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yes, if only because when you listen, you hear the opposition make mistakes. Ha.

Comment by Rob

So right Rob. Interesting that even the brands that like to play in culturally provocative places tend to avoid these subjects.

Comment by George

Yep. Both smart and fearful.

Comment by Rob

youve just described every fucking brand manager.

Comment by andy@cynic

Confident yet insular.
Pioneering yet risk averse.
Complex yet simplistic.

I blame the puritans.

Comment by John

Have you learned to shoot yet?

Comment by David Terry

Bloody hell, Mr Terry – I thought you had more sense than that to come on here. To answer your question, I knew how to shoot a long time ago. In fact I was – for a few years – a master clay pigeon shooter – thanks to my Italian family having one of the largest private gun collections in the world. Maybe I was born to be in America and be your friend before I knew it.

God, I hope we can catch up soon – but no shooting – I only have 1 eye these days and I’d probably end up shooting you in the knee. Still safer than some of the “gun control” in your wonderful country.

Comment by Rob

You’re the 1% of the 1%.

Comment by DH

Well then you can be my Cheney.

Comment by David Terry

[…] A few weeks ago I wrote about everything I thought was wrong in America. […]

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