Stop it, everybody! You are being waaaay too judgmental

Stop it, everybody! You are being waaaay too judgmental

A friend recently accused me of being too judgmental. I immediately went into denial mode, smugly declaring that I wasn't judgmental at all. "You're the one who's judgmental!” I shouted defensively into the phone.

I won't go into the specifics here of who said what because my point is not for you, my much appreciated Opinionated Woman reader, to decide which one of us is right and which one is wrong.

But later, after mulling over this exchange, I realized she was right. And so was I. In fact, our conversation had given me what Oprah used to call an Aha Moment:

One of the things wrong in our country today is that we are all waaaay too judgmental.

It doesn't help that many of us are on Facebook and Twitter and yes, blogs, which cry out for us to judge, judge, judge.

And it also doesn’t help that our Twitterer-in-chief's modus operandi is to bully and call people names. In ordinary times, one would think having citizens mirroring presidential behavior would be a good thing. But these are not ordinary times.

Although Donald Trump has unofficially given permission for us to fire up our judginess, it certainly didn’t start with 45. Being judgmental is deeply ingrained in us. It's part of our DNA.

Try having a conversation without being judgmental about someone or something. Really. Try it. It’s almost impossible. Strangely, judging helps bond us to each other—as long as our judgments come to similar conclusions.

And that's part of the problem. Those on the left and on the right can't even talk to each other anymore. You have to look no further than our representatives in Congress to see the complete disregard they have for one another in order to progress their own agendas.

Many who speak out about politics now have friends and relatives who have unfriended them on Facebook or unfriended them for real—in life. Or vice versa. We are judging one other as “misinformed” or “idiots” or “racists” for not having similar points of views.

When one pal unfriended me on Facebook because, as she told me, my political blog posts were making her “blood pressure go up,” I was shocked and hurt.

Yes, I took it personally. But here’s why I find it most upsetting: I want to hear the other side. I want, I ACHE, to understand why the other side feels the way they do.

I have friends at work who were Trump supporters during the election, and, I imagine, still are. They have coined themselves “The Trumpettes,” a term of endearment, I suppose, for themselves.

I’d love to ask them what they think about Trump and the Russians, about Trump’s declaration that Obama wiretapped him and Trump’s constant tweets. But I can’t. I'm sure they have things they would like to tell me, too. But they won't.

One of the things I’ve always loved about the United States is that we Americans are a luscious stew of intriguingly different peoples, cultures, religions and yes, opinions. It, literally, used to bring tears to my eyes thinking about it.

But now things are different. We don't listen to each other. We don't talk to one another. We judge each other. Yes, I’m going to be judgmental here: This is very, very bad for our nation, indeed.

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  • One can't be "Opinionated Woman" without judgments. It is sort of like Planet Fitness being a "Judgement Free Zone" without being able to spell it. They have at least made the judgment that they won't insult someone as a fatty if they pay the $10/month.

    However, the real issue is lack of rational discussion. Whether that is even possible with Trump supporters may be questionable, as I discussed on Byrne today (and won't repeat; see right pane). The other thing I've noticed on comment boards is that someone from the alt right will post something, but then not respond in any way to defend it, so even if there were a point to discuss, they won't do it. I characterized one as "--- Hit and Run."

    My conclusion is that how much you want to discuss the topics you list, they either can't or won't. Sean Spicer tries but fails, and he knows it.

  • In reply to jack:

    You have a point there. I, obviously do make judgments as "Opinionated Woman." And, yes, why can't we have rational discussions anymore? If someone disagrees with me, that's fine. Just tell me why. And don't call me names.

  • I don't call people names and I don't bully. I don't even use Twitter because I think the 140 character limit is an invitation to just post and insult and be done with it -- a digital version of the playground bully who gives you a good hard shove and runs away. But as far as I can tell there is no way to have a rational discussion with Trumpers (or Trumpettes as you call them) because they speak in slogans that seem completely disconnected from factual content. Sunday's Meet the Press interviewed two panels of younger voters -- one panel who voted for Hillary and the other who voted for Trump. The Hillary panel made thoughtful observations about why they thought the election had turned out the way it did, especially how younger voters figured into the mix. Several of them expressed a desire to hear from Trump voters the real reasons behind their decision. The Trump panel spouted rhetoric -- "Make America Great Again," "Deonstructing the administrative state." It was as if they had not original thoughts and could only communicate by parroting what they have heard from Trump and Bannon. It was truly frightening. I thought they needed deprogramming. There's no room for rational discussion under these circumstances.

  • In reply to Carsons Mom:

    I hear you, Carson's Mom and thanks for your comments. But what is to be if we can't have a discussion? A civil war? It's quite frightening.

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    It might have been the SF chronicles great columnist Charlie McCabe that said the most civilizing thing was the nagging fear that we might be wrong...I try very hard to keep that fear.

  • In reply to Mike O’Leary:

    Good point, Mike!

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