Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Political Stripes

"It is better to debate a question without settling it than it is to settle a question without debating it." -- Joseph Joubert

Today is Canada Day, or Dominion Day as it was originally called: the day in 1867 that the British North America Act was passed, which united the territories of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into the Dominion of Canada.  So I thought it appropriate to write about something political.

I was unfriended and blocked by an acquaintance on Facebook a while back (let's call her "Sherry") for no apparent reason other than I had expressed a political opinion that ran contrary to her own.

Sherry's initial status read that given the crazy weather in the U.S. at the time, Mother Nature must have wanted President Obama out of office as much as she did.  A friend of hers (I'll call her "Lori") replied: in that case, Mother Nature should have voted in the last election.  While this might very well have been a joke, the tone implied to me that it wasn't.

My first comment was that I failed to understand why so many people seem to hate President Obama so much.  From where I sit, it appears that he has been honestly trying to get the job done but he has been stonewalled at almost every turn.  Lori wrote that she didn't believe that because as far as she was concerned, everything that came out of Obama's mouth was a lie or a smokescreen.

I asked Lori for proof.  Sherry's rejoinder was, because I didn't live in the U.S. I didn't have the right to say what was or wasn't happening.  I disagreed; just because I don't live there doesn't mean I am not entitled to an opinion.  What happens in the U.S. both politically and economically has a direct impact on what happens in Canada.  Besides, I've seen enough from my own government to recognize a smokescreen when I see one.

Lori was ready to write me off, as evidenced by her final comment of "Blah blah blah."  I politely encouraged her to read another of my blog entries to learn more about the crap that English speakers have to put up with in the province of Quebec.  But then Sherry declared the matter closed and that she wanted no more political comments on her status (as if she hadn't been the one that started it).

I decided to send her a private message and apologize for taking things in that direction, only to discover that I could no longer access her profile.  Ergo, she had blocked me.

Personally, I see this as no great loss.  Sherry had been on my friends list simply because we both played the same Facebook game at one time, and I had chosen to keep her there.  But if someone initiates a debate that runs counter to their own beliefs and then they block people who express an opinion that differs from those same beliefs, they're not much of a friend anyway.

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