Group Speak

“Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think;
Whatever you want, be sure that is what you want:
Whatever you feel, be sure that is what you feel.”

T.S. Eliot
1888/1965

I normally don’t write about politics because I believe it is a personal thing.  By that I mean that generally I don’t give a damn what you think and you could care less about what I think.  Therefore, anything I may write would simply be filtered through a paradigm of agree or disagree and then be dismissed.  My opinion would not change yours.

What bothers me however, is how politics has gripped our nation and has insinuated itself into every aspect of our lives.  You cannot escape it.  Suddenly, everyone feels an obligation to take sides and, once done, it becomes cast in stone. There is no room for discussion, reflection, or just listening to dissenting opinions. It’s my way or the highway guys, and if you don’t agree with me, I will just write you off, or hurt you.  It reminds me of the old saw “everyone is welcome to an opinion, as long as it is mine”.

Last weekend, I turned on a protest and a football game broke out.  I watched with some chagrin as players kneeled during the national anthem while others stood, arms linked in solidarity.  One team covered all bases and kneeled before the anthem and stood, arms linked during the anthem, after which, the crowd booed loudly at, I don’t know, something.  I thought “this thing has taken on a life of it’s own”.  A year ago, only one guy felt so inclined.  Then it grew a little, and more players decided to “make a statement”, whatever it was.  And now, look how far we have come.  Whole teams kneeling or remaining in the tunnel during the anthem, or standing with arms linked in a show of solidarity.  My problem is, I don’t have a clue what they are protesting or supporting.  Are they disrespecting the flag, the nation, the president, or, heaven forbid, me?    When they stand with arms linked, are they showing respect for the flag, the nation, the president, the team, or just each other.  I think the answer is probably yes, all of the above.   I think we have become a nation of group thinkers.  Our opinions are often hijacked and one group or another decides what is right, or wrong.  What is politically correct so to speak, and everyone joins ranks.  

I for one, have started tuning out the news, because it isn’t news.  It is opinion, innuendo, and spin.  Every story is scripted to not only relate an issue, but to also relate, some rather blatantly, whether it is a good thing, or a bad one, based on the bias of the publisher/broadcaster, and I am left simply to decide whether I agree or not, or if I even think it is true.  Sad.

Since, as I made clear in my opening statement that no one cares what I think,  I guess it can’t hurt to tell you what I think anyway.  When I turn on a sports presentation, it’s because I want to watch a game.  I don’t care what the players think, or feel, or want everyone to know about what they think or feel. I don’t need to be schooled by LeBron James or Colin Kapernick, or anyone else.  The playing field is not a pulpit.  They are not where they are because of what they think.  They are there because of what they do.  No more, no less.   So let’s knock off the BS before we start protesting the significance of the coin toss.  I’m sure if we look hard enough, we will find something about the Treasurer of the U.S. that at least some of us don’t like.

For the record, regardless of the issue or how popular it is, you will never see me kneel.  It’s nothing personal however.  You can brand me as you may.  I’m just afraid I won’t be able to get back up.  Just sayin.

 

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About oldmainer

I am retired and live in southern Maine with my wife and two dogs. I started Oldmainer .wordpress.com as an outlet for my occasional opinions and random observations, with some poetry thrown in. I welcome anyone that wants to kick back and join me here on the porch, exploring all the gifts we have been given and the memories collected. Thanks for stopping by.
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3 Responses to Group Speak

  1. No one cares what other people think, as long as it doesn’t affect their own lives. When the government is out of control and passing laws that impact our personal lives, take away our Constitutional rights, then opinions should be strong and there will be division among people. No one has the right to take away the rights of another person and that’s what’s happening. He is putting people in danger because of his hateful world view and his obvious alliance with white supremacy. People can die because of what’s he’s doing. He’s attacking women, their rights, gays, their rights, minorities, their rights. Either you’re for freedom or you’re not. He’s militarizing the police and stopping freedom of speech, making it a crime. If those things don’t bring out strong opinions we are dead in the water.

    Like

  2. I am totally with you on all counts, including the getting up

    Like

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