Sunday, February 10, 2013

Store-Bought Politics

In days gone by it was generally understood that decent people would have differing opinions when it came to things like religion, politics, and social issues.  An argument might go like this: 

Person 1:  I think this because of A, B, and C.

Person 2:  Well, I think this because of D, E, and F.

Person 1:  I understand your point of view, but I think the concerns of A, B and C outweigh the concerns of D, E and F.

Person 2:  Fair enough.

Nowadays, arguments go like this.

Person 1:  I think this.

Person 2:  Only a bigot/racist/homophobe would think that, you bigot/racist/homophobe!  You are the stupidest person alive!

No one can talk about anything without first ascribing nefarious motives to everyone who disagrees with them.  These days there are two opinions:  Mine and Evil.

If you disagree with Obama's policies, you are a racist.  If you are in favor of traditional marriage you are a bigot.  And now, thanks to the kerfuffle over Chick-fil-A last year, if you do so much as eat a chicken sandwich, you are a hateful, horrible, homophobe (not to mention a soulless chicken-killer).  Pop an Oreo in your mouth afterward and you somehow morph into a fanatical gay rights activist.

Ah, remember the good old days when going to a restaurant only meant you liked the food?  And shopping at a store meant nothing more than the fact that you liked the products and the prices?

Well, for me, it still does mean that.  Sure, I might be inclined to visit a store more often if I know the owner donates a portion of his profits to help starving children in Africa, but how exhausting would it be to have to research the personal preferences of every CEO and the charitable contributions of every company before I dig in to a box of Ding Dongs?  (Ding Dongs...  *tear*  RIP, Hostess).

Going to a particular store does not mean that I am subscribing to the owner's political or religious philosophy, nor that I am endorsing the causes they support with their profits.  (If that were the case I wouldn't be able to shop anywhere).  And that is why I will continue to eat at Chick-fil-A (because I love their shakes and cookies), I will continue to eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream (because it tastes delicious), I will shop at (because they allow me to buy stuff without having to go anywhere and they ship it to me for free in two days), I will watch the Ellen show (because she is hilarious and knows how to be funny without being vulgar or profane), and I will go to movies starring actors who are terrible people (because I'm there to see a movie, not to endorse someone's personal life).

I will also continue to make fun of PETA, because it is completely and totally ridiculous.

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