You know that sinking feeling you get when you realize you’re losing an argument? That “oh crap … I’ve either got to spin my way out of this or admit defeat or I’m going to look stupid …” feeling?
I had that happen the other day, over Apple iPhone headphones of all things.
Long story short, I was arguing that the headphones that came with our latest iPhones were newer versions; my husband was pointing out that they’ve been updated for a couple generations now. I’m stubborn, so I kept arguing.
(I was wrong, for the record).
Slowly I began realizing that he was right, so I kind of grumbled something in annoyance—and whatever. I dropped it, but so often what is it that we human beings tend to do? We hate being wrong; we hate losing—so we do whatever we have to do to make sure we’re never accused of having suffered either, even if it means we have to claw our way over the truth and build a mountain of distractions and/or lies in order to stay in the game. You’ll latch on to anything to distract from your failure, or even bring your opponent down.
Maybe we’re not all habitual sore losers and liars who are out for blood in every argument we’re in, but think about it for a second. Isn’t that where your brain goes first the minute you begin realizing you *might* be wrong? “Quick, how do I turn this around in my favor??”
We, as Thomas More wrote about all the way back in 1534, grasp at straws.
Pivot with me, if you would, to sunny Florida.
Congressman Ron DeSantis is running for governor against the leftist mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum. DeSantis said this of the potential effects of Gillum’s policies on the state of Florida:
“The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”
Hold onto that thought for a second, and let me throw a few definitions at you. First, from Merriam Webster:
“Monkey up,” therefore, suggests actions that are wasteful, unserious, or sabotaging. Kind of like what you’d say about a guy whose politics stands in stark contrast to Ron DeSantis—who doesn’t want those failed socialist views to “monkey up” the entire state.
Things like the boondoggle “city contract program that flopped after costing taxpayers up to $320,000 and was forced to shut down amid concerns from ethics officials” that Andrew Gillum pushed as a Tallahassee city commissioner, prior to serving as mayor.
Things like calling for the abolishment of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Oh, did I mention that Andrew Gillum is black?
(insert screeching brakes sound effect here)
Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Obviously DeSantis didn’t mean Gillum’s socialist policies would sabotage a successful state. Obviously DeSantis did not mean that Gillum’s tired left-wing ideology would waste Floridians’ time and money.
Obviously DeSantis’ use of the word “monkey” in the context of his opponent who happens to be black is a “barely concealed attempt to stoke racism in the Republican base.”
AH—a straw. Remember the straws? Remember the grasping of those straws? Ladies and gentlemen, we have a straw. We. Have. A. Straw.
Yes, YES—let’s all breathlessly write wildly misleading headlines that make a concerted effort to link DeSantis’ comments to the fact that Gillum is black:
Ok so here’s the deal: Donald Trump remains very popular (even higher than Barack Obama in the same point of his presidency), and “so far all but two of the 37 candidates endorsed by the president in state races have won.”
Ron DeSantis has that endorsement.
And you on the American Left aren’t about to let another one get through. So, you’ll make idiotic claims about something that wasn’t even in the same ZIP code as racism—because that’s a straw you can ride all the way to the polls—or so you hope.
Ron DeSantis isn’t racist and you know it. Ron DeSantis is a decent man who has served honorably in our military, in our government, and in the service of his Floridian constituents—and you know it. He just so happens to have views that don’t perfectly align with yours (read: they aren’t yours), and this is your shot to bring him down come hell or high water.
If we’re looking at this holistically, this is part of a larger trend to shut up ANYONE and ANYTHING that poses a threat to your all-powerful ideology.
You bully restaurant owners into submission. You threaten to “annul” the presidency because you just can’t get over the fact that your horrendous candidate and everything she stood for, lost. You boycott a fast food chain that chose to given some of its own money to the GOP. You bully teenagers for supporting the President of the United States. You beat someone up for waving an American flag (someone who ironically happened to be one of you!). You advocate violence against Trump cabinet members and Trump supporters.
And on … and on … and on.
You want to know who’s dividing the country?
Get a mirror.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree