No one will deny that things are pretty polarized in this country. There is an inherent need to be right and no one wants to admit to being on the wrong side of history. Because of that, some people are “ride or die” with their candidate or philosophy. What we need to do is allow for the phrase “this is where you lost me.”
This is very simple, it allows for someone to have a belief, even a strong one, but not take it too far. It will support a good belief system, but not take it to the point where defending it makes you evil. I’ll start you off easy.
- Pizza is good.
- Pizza is a great meal.
- Pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping.
- Hawaiian is the best pizza.
- No other pizza than Hawaiian should be served.
- People should be punished for eating any other topping on their pizza.
So, the question is; where did I lose you?
Some people might not like pizza and are not on board from the start. There is a huge debate about pineapple on pizza, so some people are out at number three. There may be a handful of people out there that stick it out until the end and really believe that all other pizza toppings should be banned. I think we can all agree that hose people are not reasonable.
For me, I agreed with the first point, even the second. I like pizza and at times it really hits the spot. While pineapple isn’t something I would put on my pizza, I don’t have a problem with other people eating it. I disagree with the fourth point, but I’m all about viewpoint diversity, so if you love Hawaiian pizza, you do you. But you lost me at the fifth point. And number six is going too far.
Let’s kick it up a notch. The Russians pull out of Afghanistan left a huge power vacuum. Tribal leaders who had weapons and fighters started fighting among themselves for power and control. Mujaheddin quickly went from freedom fighters to warlords. A scrappy holy man said that they were all students of Islam and should not be fighting so if you supported him, he would put an end to it so everyone could go back to farming. A lot of people supported that rhetoric and supported him and his movement. His name; Mullah Omar and his group was called the Taliban. Talib, in Arabic, means “student” so the plural form of student is Taliban.
When I was in Afghanistan, I spoke with a man who said he was Taliban. The operative word is “was.” He was no longer Taliban. For him, he liked the message or no more fighting, and supported the Taliban in that. But once Omar took Kabul, they instituted a bunch of new laws. Women had to wear burkhas and stay in the home, girls couldn’t go to school and could only learn the Quran at home. Music and dancing were considered useless indulgences and the only thing you could yell at a soccer game was “God is great.” There were men walking around enforcing these rules by whipping offenders.
The man I talked to was on board with the fledgling Taliban when they said they were going to stop the fighting. He was all in for going back to farming and living a life of peace. Everything else is where the Taliban lost him. Maybe he didn’t have hard feelings on the burkha, but he supported education for all children. He for sure was against Afghanistan becoming a heaven for terrorist. In the end, instead of putting down his rifle for good, he had to use it to fight the Taliban. The group that he had been convinced was good for the country, turned out to be the worst for it. He was actually happy to see American soldiers because it meant he could go back to farming again.
You can support a person, organization, or cause and still question it. Being all in doesn’t have to mean all in for life. You aren’t a bad person for supporting a person that turns out to be evil, you are a bad person for continuing to support them because you don’t want to admit you were wrong.
This is another advantage of the phrase “this is where you lost me.” It makes you on the right side again. It means you can be critical of the side you once supported. Like the former Taliban, he was all for peace in the country, but they lost him with their extreme views and he stopped from going down the wrong path with them and got to be on the right side again. “This is where you lost me” means you can be a good person for supporting values, but not the actions of a person or group.
You can say, “I wholeheartedly support the police, but when an individual shoots an unarmed kid in the back, that is where they lose me. Not the entire industry, but that individual.”
Or try, “I support the First Amendment and the right to protest, but when protestors start destroying property, that is where they lose me.”
“I support the Second Amendment and the right of a person to defend themselves, but they lost me at a bunch of randos in body armor, or a handing a child an AR-15 and letting him wander around alone after curfew fitting the definition of a well-regulated militia.”
“I think it is great that a 17-year-old kid supports law enforcement. It is awesome that he is community minded and wants to help clean up graffiti after protests. But when an adult committed a felony by handing him, a minor, a loaded rifle, that is where you lost me. You really lost me when they let a child wander off on his own, illegally carrying a rifle. You completely lost me when the unsupervised child was in a position to shoot and kill people.”
See how easy that is?
What boggles my mind is how far people let the president go without questioning it. Remember, it isn’t about not liking a position, it is about not letting it get too far. You can support strong borders, but be against locking up children for long periods of time. You want money for your wall? I’ll bet sending those kids home and closing the facility will free up a bunch of cash.
You can be pro-life, but you should question it when the president says they are executing babies after they are born. That is not the thought of a rational mind. I am going to back up because a lot of people skim read and or are feeling attacked so they are on the defensive. The President. Said that babies and being executed. After they are born. AFTER THEY ARE BORN! Even if you believe in a media conspiracy, there is no way that story would not be told. Baby executions! Even if every retweet and quote of his tweet is countering that lie, still more people “liked” it.
You can support your president, but when he openly talks about circumventing the election process, and therefore the Constitution, that is where he should lose you. When a person in power starts speaking like a king, you, as an American, are supposed to question it. It is literally what the founding fathers would want you to do and exactly why the Second Amendment was written. Not to fight people exercising their First Amendment rights, but the only trying to take them away.
It is one thing to be a soldier, fighting for your country on Omaha Beach, it is another thing to be the one turning on the gas chamber in Auschwitz. There is a point where you can say this is where he lost me and you can be on the right side. But if you stay on the bandwagon long enough, it is going to take you to a place where you can’t come back from. ‘This is where he lost me” is your out.
When someone calls you a racist for voting for Trump the first time, you can counter with, “I supported strong borders and draining the swamp, but he lost me at burning the Constitution and using his position to pad his family’s pockets” or something along those lines. If you vote for him in November, you won’t have that out.