No, I DON’T Have To Respect Your Opinions, Actually

December 7, 2016

…Especially when your ideas are hateful garbage.

Boy howdy, has this election brought out the worst in people.

The same folks who told us that this election was rigged, and that they plan on rioting in the streets, are now telling us we should calmly accept the results, that this is “just the way the system works”, and that we need to accept that in a democratic society, sometimes our candidates lose. These are the people who are telling us to “just get over” the fact we lost while proudly waving confederate flags with absolutely no awareness of their own irony.

I’ve also run into a fair chunk of people on both sides of the fence saying we should just learn to respect each other’s opinions. We need to agree to disagree. They had to put up with Obama, after all, so it’s time for us to suck it up and just do better next time. It’s only four years.

Let me tell you where you can shove that piece of crap advice…

‘Agreeing to disagree’ is for things like whether cats make better pets than dogs, not for whether or not people are allowed access to their civil liberties. We can’t agree to disagree on things that should be the basic guarantees of humanity. If you honestly believe that all Muslims are terrorists, you’re both a bigot and an idiot, and I refuse to respect you. If you believe that trans folks should give up their rights – the very few they already had – so that you don’t have to pay a higher tax rate, you’re a garbage human being.

Because, see, what’s abstract to you is very, very real for a large portion of us.

You might think it’s ‘sad’ that minorities might have a tougher time, you might even disagree with the racist graffiti that’s been popping up all over the country, and the violent attacks committed in the name of Donald Trump since his election victory. But you aren’t afraid of it. Well, we are very afraid of it.

I live in Los Angeles, and while walking through one of the safest places in the country to identify as LGBT, the day after the election, a random passer-by shouted a slur at me. Compared to what a lot of people in the country are currently facing, it was a very, very mild experience, and my first thought was, ‘If that’s happening here, how bad is it in other places?’ Originally hailing from a small town in Texas, I can pretty well imagine how bad things must be.

We can agree to disagree on ways to solve our economic crisis, or how to attack global warming, or even on how to balance our budget. We can talk about how to help out immigrants in a way that won’t hurt our local economies. But you absolutely do not get to have a trash fire of an opinion like, “Trump called all Mexicans rapists, and that’s so true” and then expect me to respect your opinion. I don’t get to light your house on fire and then expect you to respect my choice when I shrug and say, “Well, I thought it looked better this way.” You don’t get to do that to me either.

Your opinion isn’t worth respecting when it makes life dangerous for other people. You don’t get to feel like a ‘good person’ right after making decisions that actually make you a pretty crappy one.

Image via weheartit.com.

Comment: Do you believe we should respect everyone’s opinions?


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