I recently became part of a debate on Facebook, with a friend of mine, over a video that was posted.  Well, not really a DEBATE, but a discussion.

The issue came up over this video that was posted on Twitter:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/9/7/1696774/-Young-girl-flips-off-Infowars-interviewer-instantly-becomes-a-Twitter-favorite

I would like to point out that I have no fondness or dislike for Info Wars, personally I am pretty apathetic about them and the people they have working for them.  So this is not in defense of them in any way.   Personally all these pop-up “News” providers can disappear and I would be perfectly happy.

The issue came up when a friend of mine on FB posted this and praised the girl for he stand.  My issue was not even with her “stand”, if you could even call it that.  It was with the way she presented it.

When the “Reporter” approached her and made a snarky comment, she responded with vulgarity and flipped him off.  When asked who taught her to talk like that, she stated that it was her mother.

I am all for people’s First Amendment rights to free speech, but I was also brought up with the understanding that if you have to resort to profanity, then you have lost your argument.  You are now trying to defend your point with ignorance and not intelligence.  I sort of see this as another form of Godwin’s Law, but without the man in the mustache.

If you are able to stand toe to toe with someone and have an intelligent discussion/argument without the need to call names and cuss, then I have every respect for you and will appreciate your effort, even if I think it is wrong.  But if you have to resort to name calling or profanity, then my first thought it that you do not know enough about what you are defending to state your point with any intellect and may not even know what you are talking about or defending in the first place.

But the root of this issue for me is respect.   The argument was made to me that this “Reporter” show her no respect so she was not obligated to show him any and it was also said that respect is earned, not given.  I would argue the opposite on two points.  First, yes… respect is earned, but there are different types of respect at play here.   Should she respect him as a reporter?  Maybe not, that is not my place to say.  But should she BE respectful?  Yes, by all means.  We should all be respectful to people, especially those we do not know.

Granted, in some cultures here in our United States, profanity is something common, even used as a greeting (for anyone that has been to Brooklyn.) But if someone comes to you and challenges your ideals or beliefs, then the proper response would be to discuss, use your knowledge on the topic as a weapon against the person questioning or challenging you.

I wonder if this girl had stopped what she was doing and politely asked, “Can you explain what you mean?”   I get the feeling that it would have disarmed the “Reporter” and caused him to actually carry out a dialogue with the gal and that would have allowed him, and her, to better understand each others stance and point.

And I think that is what a lot of what is going on right now.  People like this learning from their parents or peers that they do not need to be respectful of others.  We need to get that back.  Remember, these are the people that will be running, or ruining, the country one day.  Do we really want someone in office that thinks the first proper response to a challenge is to fly off the handle and show the bird?

Samuel Wright
Writer / Father / Listener / Philosopher
I am a starving writer living in the backwater of California, in a place known mostly for Buck Owens and Valley Fever called Bakersfield.

This site is my release. A place for me to talk about things that annoy, please, or excite me.