A Simpler Time
When I was a kid, I often ate dinner at the home of friends, who had different religious and political views than our family. If a sensitive topic came up, the other family members might chuckle, tease or just smile. As long as I was polite, I was always welcome in their house. At no time did anger develop simply from a difference of opinion or a life value.
How did this respect for our neighbors change? When did cancelling each become in vogue? Look around our country at the state of our relationships. Families are divided, long-time friendships are ended, and people lose jobs based upon their thoughts and views. We are headed down a dangerous path where people try to control what occurs inside peoples’ minds.
As an American, I can say with certainty that no one has the right to control how I think. The ability to form views and opinions from absorbing information is one of our most cherished rights as individuals and essential to any free-thinking person. Countries or groups of people who attempt to stifle free-thought and speech are playing a dangerous game and will end up on the losing side.
Recently, I had a 36-year friendship become shaky simply because I questioned the validity of the 2020 election. He acted as though I committed a moral crime due to my statistical analysis of the election. With an MBA degree and a long career in marketing research, I understand numbers and data inconsistency. The statistical issues involved in the election are numerous.
For example, diversity of data occurs naturally within a geographic area. Voting patterns historically cap out at 90% for one party in a geographic local. It is human nature. If there are 10 people in a room, they are not going to unanimously agree on a subject. One person will usually think differently from the others. Many areas are close to 50/50, and of course, places like San Francisco move towards more uniformity.
However, when voting patterns approach 95% or higher in areas where historical patterns showed far less agreement, there is a statistical red flag. These red flags do not prove anything. They are a sign that more investigation is needed. So, please explain to me why looking at data, observing inconsistency based up professional skills, and advocating for a deeper look is any kind of crime or questionable moral.
I do not expect my friend to agree with me, yet just ask to respect my opinion without making personal attacks or questioning my character. I did not treat him poorly and behave rudely. Why can we not respect individual differences without resorting to severe negative communication or pulling the cancel card?
In my value system, it is morally questionable to cancel a friendship based upon that person’s individual views. If we continually cancel relationships on the sole grounds of disagreement from our views, then what kind of society will exist in the future? We will have a fractured world of warring camps where a thinking litmus test is required for admission to the club.
That is not a place where I want to live!