Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Debate Demeanor

A salesman for one of my suppliers, a great guy with whom I do a substantial amount of business, decided to go on a bit of a diatribe about politics.

As I'm prone to do, I let him go through his proclamations & opinions without interruption. (You learn more when you listen.) This lasted about 10 minutes or so. When I had 'my turn', I smiled & disagreed with him on every single point, providing very concise explanations for my positions - no preaching, no condescension, no 'attytood'. His face turned beet red, the vein in his neck was popping out, his teeth were clenched & his tone changed to almost a screech. He was furious, confused & lost for words. The dude was actually tongue tied. (In the world of debating, that's called a TKO in the first round.) It was funny as hell.

Needless to say he left in a quite a poor state of mind. Probably ran home to practice his 'speech' again in front of a mirror. Me, I didn't get upset at all. Calm, pleasant, totally under control. If I disagree with someone - that doesn't make either of us idiots - well, it certainly doesn't make me an idiot. Now I would get aggravated during a debate if it became a personal attack. If that happened, all bets would be off. My good nature has limits. I'm no less passionate about my political views than many others, probably more than most, but what the heck, I'm not going to have an aneurysm over it or turn into some meanspirited nutcase.

My beliefs are what they are but I still manage to respect the opinions of others. I pay attention to the issues & do more than my fair share of homework. There's no pied piper out there getting my vote because they look or sound good - let's see their track record & their plan - then I'll decide based on how my thinking meshes with theirs. In this country, we have the freedom to have & express our views & opinions. Some of us just happen to be right more often than others.

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