I’ve been glued to all my sources of information lately… TV, newspapers, magazines, Facebook, twitter. I’ve been reading and listening and looking and watching — from the outside, because I don’t like to just jump right into heated conversations — especially ones that I don’t know all the specifics to. But, some of you do.
I watched Rachel Maddow last night.
I watched her after a few days of being inundated with screaming insulting arguments from people who think they are right. She, as usual, was a wonderful refreshing breath of fresh air.
I read an insult on twitter by someone I think is actually a nice person, unfortunately, this person used a term that rattled my senses and left me sad and mad and worried that we, as a people, really don’t have much patience or understanding for each other. The term was “libtard”.
The term didn’t bother me because I’m a liberal-minded woman, it bothered me on an entirely different level. I don’t like the term “retard”, it’s insulting… horrific. It’s used on people who have an inability to be clearly heard in our world and it’s used by people who think the only way they can be heard is to speak louder and use more insulting phrases than the person standing next to them. I spend a large majority of my professional life making sure that the people who have been insulted by such terms as “retard” have a voice. And then… like most horrific catch phrases, a term like “libtard” is born.
Terms like “libtard” are used in an attempt to shame someone out of expressing their views, to quiet them, to push them back so they can not be heard. I’m sure we aren’t going to, as a society, change the way we talk to one another or discuss gun control or rationalize a political figure who uses gun sights and loud words to confuse people. But… I’d say we should all be sad today — I’d say we should all start by using intelligent words in intelligent conversations. Calling me a “libtard” doesn’t quiet me… it just quiets me to you.
So, I guess I’m a “libtard”… but I’m the same “libtard” who made you cry when you read that poem and made you think when you read that post. And I’m the same person who will be here to do it all over again — and I think, you’ll be back here too.