Transcripts are available
A few posts back, I wrote about Fascism. In the post, I included a link to a neat little Flash animation. My estranged wife had stopped by that day shortly after I had posted, and since we share similar political viewpoints, I showed it to her. She, in turn, sent it out to everyone in the address book.
Besides several hundred bounceback messages (OK, how many of YOU keep your address books updated?), I got one from a guy who had hired me for a production. His message:
Sorry, BP, we're Republican so please take us off your list.
Would you rather be blown up? Do we forget so easily?
To which I responded:
My wife sent this to everyone on my mailing list. Go ahead and put your head back in the sand, and keep telling yourself comfortable lies.
Well, it was on. We ping-ponged back and forth for several days. In his pentultimate email, he wrote:
"Take a look at the Iraqi people now. Were they better off under Saddam Hussein? End of that discussion..."
Quite frankly, I was nonplussed. I briefly wondered if I had fallen into some sort of bizarro parallel world. Then I turned into Derrek Lee looking at a hanging curve:
"You're right. End of that discussion, but not in the way you think. Let me ask you--HOW do YOU think it's better? In what way have we improved things? Let's do a side-by-side comparison
Saddam: Yes US: Yes
Innocent People Killed
Saddam: Yes US: Yes (and as far as we can tell, in about the same numbers)
Lack of adequate medical care
Saddam: Yes US: Yes, and perhaps a little bit worse (even Doctors without Borders is leaving due to the high level of danger)
Lack of food
Saddam: Yes US: Yes, but a little better
Sound infrastructure (electricity, water, roads, et c)
Saddam: Yes US: No (They blowed up real good during shock and awe)
Not looking so good, is it? At least under Saddam, they could drive to work and turn their lights on at night.
Now, let's look at one other:
TERRORIST TRAINING GROUND:
SADDAM: NO US: YES
CONGRATULATIONS, GEORGE! You managed to make yourself a bigger monster in the area than the person you displaced!"
I won. Yee-haw.
What did I get out of it? Did I convince someone with my argument? No. Did I do anything to make this world better? No. I just argued. And most likely, lost any chance of working on that sweet gig again.
So I put it to you whose brains are bigger than mine, and whose tempers are slower to flare: How do we convince people? What do we do to get them to open their eyes? How do we heal the rift?