It’s a War Against . . . Something

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.


13 thoughts on “It’s a War Against . . . Something

  1. Another word so over used it’s losing it’s gravity. But I wonder if it’s a war for the same reason that people will say they were devastated over some small mishap . . . or in New Zealand, they’re gutted. Ugh! Or perhaps for the same reason that swearing is so prevalent in some quarters . . . a simple lack of imagination and vocabulary.

    Yes, lower the dudgeon levels. (Big smile, loving the concept)

  2. I really liked your post. It does seem like people choose to look for something to hate. We each have a right to our own opinion, but to force it on others doesn’t seem right to me. We each have a choice, be happy or sad… kind or mean….loving or hateful. To many of us are making the wrong choices any more.

  3. I have been pretty much there with you, a very peaceful person. And would have totally agreed with your post. That is until I was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. It made me mad and I now am engaged in a War with cancer. I did not ask for this war, but I will fight to the end. The word “war” keeps me from being the victim or an invalid. It makes me feel like fighting to keep a good attitude, fighting to help my medical team, fighting to rest, letting others help me fight by praying, wishing me well, and sending good thoughts. To me this is really a war. Yes the word may be overused, but sometimes it is the only word.

  4. I love this post for so many reasons! I am with you…I’m so tired of the “War on Everything” mentality. Yes, people can have a difference of opinion and then hopefully an ensuing, thoughtful discussion. Maybe then thoughts and opinions can change. That’s one of the things I love most about you, Quinn….you and I often have differing opinions but we share ideas and viewpoints, no war whatsoever.

    • The “war on everything” also devalues the devastation of war. Look what we’ve done to “awesome” and exclamation points. We are two very different people, Traci, but the real reason we get along is we are curious about the world and people in it. And we respect each others lunch choices.

  5. Thanks, Quinn, for another well-thought-out post. I’ll stop before I re-post some War Against . .. meme, and consider lowering the dudgeon!

    • I love a good, heartfelt discussion about almost anything, but the whole “war” labeling is making me weak. We now have a “war against the library” and a “war against moving the library” (both the same idea). In a state that allows open carry, I’d think calling things “disagreements,” “difference of opinion,” or even “quarrels” is a better level of engagement.

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