I did it. I think. I think I found common ground with one rightwinger on Facebook.
I usually don’t take the bait, but when a friend put up photos (which I think he has since deleted) of Sandra Fluke and Sarah Palin, I took the plunge. The text read something like “TO LIBERALS” and then over Fluke’s photo it said, “NOT A SLUT” – over Palin’s it said, “SLUT.” On the bottom it said, “Yes, they are that stupid.”
Again, I usually don’t get into debates on Facebook, but I wrote something to the effect that I could not remember any liberal calling Palin a slut, just questioning her intelligence.
Vitriol ensued. Much mocking. Much diversion into whether Fluke’s testimony was 100 percent correct and whether she counted as a private citizen or not. I had a hard time turning the question back to “Hey, I’m just saying, this photo says that we said something that we didn’t, the called us stupid for saying it.”
But I was able to engage one person and we both kept the tone civil.
No great accord was reached. We did agree that no one should be called a slut, cunt, or twat for stating what they believe.
But I was proud of myself for sticking to it, and proud of my new friend for realizing that it’s not an abdication of your ideals to discuss things with the “enemy.” We will never agree on everything, nor do we have to. But I think we each admire the other and recognize another person who cares about his/her country and other human beings.
I believe it was Yitzchak Rabin who said that you don’t have to have negotiations with your friends, but talking to the enemy is the only path to peace.