Know Your Stuff

Tyrion and I just have SO MUCH in common. (Image source)

While we do talk about politics a fair amount in the form of Old-Timey Patriarchal Bullshit, we have yet to really discuss the current presidential race. Primarily because HOLY HELL THE VITRIOL.

Now, we’ve had to backtrack and apologize ourselves before, so we get that sometimes debates dissolve into rage and name-calling. It happens. We are human people. BUT. This presidential race is important, and as hot-and-bothered as we’re all getting (on both sides of the fence), it’s VITAL that we remain as calm and collected as possible. If we’re going to have the discussions and engage in these debates, we need to do so with calm, collected responses. Lazy, angry arguments and unfriending on Facebook isn’t going to help anything.

So… I first thought long and hard about this after having a discussion with someone I love about guns. I do not like guns. Never have. Grew up in a family of people who love guns and own guns, but since the age of itty-bitty, I’ve found them scary. That’s me. I do know, however, that there are a lot of very responsible gun owners out there who have very reasonable ideas about gun safety and common sense gun laws. So, after Orlando, I asked my loved one about AR-15s and gun laws and why this gun is legal. Now… what I found out was, I had no idea what I was talking about. And that was embarrassing.

I know a lot about how I feel and I know a lot about what I believe should and should not be allowed, but I don’t know as much about actual gun law as I thought, or even what the hell an AR-15 is. As we talked, I listened—in spite of my very strong feelings—and as a result, I learned. I learned a lot, actually, and I was reminded how important it is to stay informed when I have strong feelings about something.

And so, Smarties, as we go about our lives and engage in small (or large) political debates in real life, or on Facebook, or (for the love of the gods, be careful with this one) on Twitter, let's make sure that we can back up our assertions. Let's make sure we come armed with our concrete evidence. Remember that English teacher in the back of your head (is it me?!? Is it Christina?!? Is it Jess?!?) who always told you to provide tangible detail? Touchable text, yo. This is what we need now. Because we all have opinions (and assholes! Don’t forget!), but opinions without anything to back them up are useless. If we want to win this debate, any debate—and we do—then we need a full arsenal of information. We need to know our stuff. And we need to present said stuff calmly. Evidence-based arguments will only get us so far if we're all screaming at each other or ignoring each other all the time.

Progress requires listening and thoughtful response. Thankfully, we’re Smarty Mommies. We teach our kids how to do this every day. We know how to do this.

P.S. In case there was any doubt, we're with her. That hate-spewing man cannot be allowed to run our country. If you have to ask why, knock yourselves out.

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