It’s a War Against Women, a War Against Christmas, a War Against some part of the Constitution. Why does stoked up emotion and failed attempts at reason always have to be a war? Why do we want to be angry so much? What is the thrill of cranking up drama and emotion over disagreements that could be worked through by talking always have to be blown up and called a War?
War has no winners, only losers and heartbreak. How about a peace of something? No one is waging a war against women. There may be a legislators making up rules that are unnecessary, but that’s what civil disobedience, voting, and speaking up are for. But it’s hardly a war.
Not only was there never a war against Christmas, but the concept is silly. How would we arm ourselves? With ornaments? And our prisoners of war? Would we drip hot wax on them? Poke them with pine needles? Is one celebration better than another? Do we want one group of people to be wrong about a holiday?
I’m surprised at how many people are behaving a lot more like Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner that human beings. There’s a lot of ground between blind anger and ignoring problems. Let’s find some.
The language we use is important. When a group starts to call confusion or anger by the word “War,” it justifies bad behavior, escalation of emotions, name calling, harsh accusations. We can join in or we can refuse. We can refuse to be cruel, mean, and hateful. We can choose the words we use to be neutral. Not every discussion is a slur against your core values.
My first boss used to say, “Keep your words soft and sweet. You never know when you will have to eat them.” Good idea.
—Quinn McDonald is tired of high dudgeon. She thinks a lowering of dudgeon is called for.