Dishonesty is something we expect from televangelists, republicans, and Fox News hosts, but I’m sorry to say that I’ve been noticing it more and more in progressive circles as well. We all know that some people outright lie in order to give the appearance of credibility, but people who favour equality and freedom from exclusion should be holding themselves to a higher standard. Why? Because when you stand for what’s right and just, there is no reason to lie.
To my fellow allies, my fellow advocates: please start thinking before you speak. We are supposed to be proponents of change. We are the ones who are supposed to be fighting for equality, compassion, a more educated population. We stand for the downtrodden, we speak up against injustice, we believe in humanity. I would like to think that we all embrace honesty in the course of this work, but therein lies a big problem. There are a variety of ways in which people on the left are demonstrating serious dishonesty, and that has the potential to bode very badly for our causes.
Arrogance implies self-appointed superiority, and is dishonest. A closed mind is a closed mind, whether on the right or the left. Faulty logic shows weakness. Ad hominem attacks reveal a fragile resolve. Claiming a title that has not been earned (ie: ‘Doctor So and So’), is dishonest and insulting to the entire community of people who have earned the title. Claiming expertise without actual expertise is dishonest. Immediately responding with anger displays the hate and irrationality we are supposed to be fighting against. Pointing to all of these flaws in those on the right, while acting the same way ourselves, is monumentally ignorant.
Progressive views do not automatically free us from criticism, and I fear that is something people are beginning to forget. I take my worldview very seriously, and I take Outspoken Ally’s part in this fight very seriously. My reason for that is because the way I am seen by others directly affects my credibility. I am interested in changing the world, I have no desire to say or do anything that could damage the cause for social equality. We must ALL begin to think this way. When faced with a situation in which debate or rational disagreement is present, proceed honestly. Day after day, I see people on the left acting and reacting with the very same behaviour they attribute to the right. Look, we’re going to be challenged, but we have to stay calm in the course of responding. Why would you accuse a person of irrational thought, and then set up a straw man to win an argument? Why would you claim knowledge without evidence, or come to an argument unarmed with facts, yet still claim to have truth? This is not the way to do things, it’s not a path to progress. I’m tired of self-proclaimed free-thinkers citing pseudo-science articles to legitimize their points. I’ve had enough of people perpetuating the false notion that Feminism is some sort of man-hating cult. I feel ill every time people attack the bigotry of religion, with comments that prove they don’t know the first thing about religion.
I’m sorry, but this is unacceptable. I’ll admit that I’m a little slower to react when somebody on my side of the issue messes up, but enough is enough. All you’re doing is setting things back. You’re making an ass of yourself, and creating more work for the rest of us, who have to clear up questions from people who unfortunately ran into you first. If you don’t know something, the honest approach is to admit it and then go correct it. It is supremely dishonest to just make something up that you think sounds reasonable, let’s leave that up to Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. I don’t know about you, but I’m better than that. We stand for humanity, for what’s right, for what’s moral, for equality. We have no reason to lie. Make a difference the honest way.