Monday, April 29, 2013

Two Sacred Cows

There are many sacred cows in this world. But lately, there are two that are causing me a little bit of trouble.

  1. Police
  2. Public school teachers

Let's start with police. Recently in a group I meet with, I was told that my offhanded comment that "police are being used for revenue generation" made somebody really angry. Apparently, this person was afraid if I made the comment again, the situation would escalate. I've been making that comment for years.

I'm not a fan of anonymous cowards. And I would welcome the fight. It would help me blow off some steam from other issues I'm dealing with. But I agreed for the sake of the group not to bring the topic up again.

One reason we have sacred cows in political or social settings is because people have irrational emotional reactions to comments. They don't think things through. Let's look at what I said:

"Police are being used for revenue generation". That's it. I did not say all police and law enforcement officers wake up in the morning and say "How much money can I pull in from pointless traffic stops today?"

I can even provide documentation for my comment. Hell, open a browser tab to Google and you can easily find your own. So I'm not lying, or being cynical. But police are a sacred cow, and cannot be talked about negatively in polite, SWPL, blue pill company. No matter how much documentation you can provide, they will not hear it.

I could give them YouTube videos after YouTube videos of police brutality, and all I'll get are (anonymous) complaints and threats of a fight.

Next are public school teachers. Most people seem to view public school as a sacrament, and public school teachers as the priests. They are holy and blameless, and cannot be discussed negatively. No matter how much evidence you can provide. No matter how much John Taylor Gatto. It won't fly. I didn't get in trouble for this one, but I almost had to duct tape my hand over my mouth at one point. I sometimes suspect I have Asperger's; at least a mild form.

I'm only picking on these two sacred cows today for convenience. So left wingers don't think I'm being fair, yes, there are sacred cows on the "right (which doesn't mean correct) wing". Try to criticize the military around a right winger, and you'll end up in the same boat I am. Same for GWB, Iraq, etc. I have spent the majority of my life either in or around the military. I know it well enough. I can take criticism of it. I can give plenty myself.

I like to consider myself a thinking man. I of course have some beliefs I hold close. But I also don't consider any criticism at all of those beliefs to void the entire belief. I wonder if those who keep sacred cows are not capable of of thinking outside their cow as a concept.

Case in point: when I was a Republican (I'm feeling much better now, and no, I am not a Demoncrat), I was listening to right wing, evangelical Christian talk radio. On one particular show, a caller called in to ask about how we could justify still being in Iraq, when the point to going into Iraq was to find WMD, and we never actually found WMD (a topic the former President and his ghostwriter admit in his recent book).

The host flipped the hell out. She screamed at the caller "How dare you question President Bush! He is a good man!"

I started thinking "But the caller is right. What does being a good man have to do with the question?" I stopped listening to that show and most talk radio after that.

My suspicion is that people who hold sacred cows have to buy in completely. Any chink in the sacred cow's armor would destroy it. Therefore, we must defend each chink.

My philosophy is simpler. I can accept a person or idea along with the understanding of imperfection. Most people are just as flawed as I am. I was a Ron Paul supporter. I disagreed with him on some points, and every now and again he'd make a statement that I didn't buy into. But I never put him on a pedestal. I can accept the flawed nature of his humanity and still respect him and disagree with him freely. He suffers from the same flawed nature I do.

It would be easiest if we just plain didn't have any sacred cows. But we always will. However, I am committing to avoid having any of my own. Will you join me? 
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