It's no secret to say politics have become a dominant force in our culture. Once upon a time, we all kind of forgot about it after an election. Today, we can't go far without hearing about what President Trump tweeted. Or, more accurately, what some unhinged liberal said about what Trump tweeted.
At least for now, politics are at a fever pitch. The liberal media - along with their cohorts in Hollywood - refuse to let us forget that we elected Donald Trump. Instead of getting over it and moving on, they've opted for a scorched-earth policy. Either you repent and join their side, or they'll punish you for voting your own way.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who just want to go about their lives. But the rabid political junkies of society will not have it that way. They politicize everything. Even someone like myself, who writes about news and politics for a living, doesn't do that. These political hobbyists believe that what you think about gun control, immigration, or economics should determine your worth.
And your career.
Sometimes, it's hard not to feel that way. After all, don't you start looking at someone differently when they tell you their politics? Do you really like an outspoken conservative actor if you’re a liberal? Perhaps you loved Scarlett Johansen, until you learned she was pro-choice.
It's incredibly hard to separate the creator from their work. Some of my favorite writers, actors, and comedians have politics radically different than my own. I'll admit, I have a hard time enjoying their work, knowing that they support terrible things (in my opinion).
How should I react? Can I admit people have different opinions than my own? Should I feel like I'm betraying my values when I watch their TV shows? Is it possible that the work they produce isn't necessarily an endorsement of their political views? Maybe, just maybe, I can calm the heck down and enjoy something - without getting my undies in a twist.
Forget that, I'll just get someone I don't like fired. If I do that enough times, only people that confirm my worldview will be on TV and the Internet.
Sounds crazy? That's just what one viewer tried to do to - of all people - Mike Rowe.
Rebecca Bright writes…
"I love the show How the Universe Works, but I'm lost on how the producers and the Science Channel can allow anti-education, science doubting, ultra-right wing conservative Mike Rowe to narrate the show. There are countless scientists that should be hired for that, or actors, if you must, that believe in education and science that would sound great narrating the show, example: Morgan Freeman. Cancel this fools contract and get any of your scientists so often on the show to narrate it." (Mike Rowe on Facebook)
Pretty vicious stuff. I mean, I hate ultra-left wing liberalism, but I don't try to get Patton Oswalt fired from MST3K. There is a lot of things wrong with what Rebecca rights. She accuses Mike of numerous things – none of which are true. This is straight out of the vicious left's playbook. For years they've been accusing Trump and his supporters. Not based on actual things they say or do, but based on their own assumptions and emotions.
Here's a tip: YOU CAN'T HAVE AN ARGUMENT BASED ON YOUR IMAGINATION. Anyone who's watched or read something by Mike Rowe knows he is very much pro-education and pro-science. To my knowledge, he's never attacked science on any level. And he's only been noted as saying many young people are wasting time and money in four-year liberal arts colleges when there are millions of great trade jobs available. Trade jobs, mind you, that require training and education.
This unhinged critic is attaching things to Mike that are simply untrue. They are fabrications based on her assumptions and personal emotions. It's what we call prejudice. Because Mike Rowe is known for celebrating blue collar folks, that makes him "anti-science," "anti-education," and "ultra-right wing." I'm not even sure if he is a conservative. Rebecca is simply making this stuff up.
She goes on to demand that a major network fire Mike Rowe, based on her wild imagination. Imagine having that much hate in your heart. She wants to destroy this man's career, simply because she disagrees with him. And again, she's disagreeing with things she's assuming, not with the real man.
Mike, as is often the case, addressed Rebecca respectfully and intelligently. He thanked her for liking the show. He went on to discuss a recent episode about Black Holes.
It was called, “Are Black Holes Real?” If you didn’t see it, spoiler alert….no one knows!!!... It’s true. The existence of Black Holes has never been proven. Some cosmologists are now convinced they don’t exist at all, and the race to prove their actuality has become pretty intense. (Mike Rowe on Facebook)
He goes on to describe a time when they had to quickly rerecord a segment after a discovery came out that changed the facts. Why is Mike doing this? There is a saying in fiction writing: "show don't tell." That is, don't tell your reader what's going on, show them through action and description. Mike wasn't telling Rebecca, "Yes I do like science," he was showing her that not only does he like science, but he understands how it works. Better than she does.
He then points out the things I addressed above. Rebecca has no proof that he's anti-science or education. Mike then drops the hammer on her.
Anyway, Rebecca, my beef with your post comes down to this - if you go to my boss and ask her to fire me because you can’t stand the sound of my voice, I get it... But if you’re trying to get me fired simply because you don’t like my worldview, well then, I’m going to fight back. Partly because I like my job, and partly because you’re wrong about your assumptions, but mostly because your tactics typify a toxic blend of laziness and group-think that are all too common today – a hot mess of hashtags and intolerance that deepen the chasm currently dividing our country. (Mike Rowe on Facebook)
Mike smartly avoids using the word "liberal" when describing Rebecca. And that's probably wise. It's not just liberals who show this kind of prejudice. People across the political spectrum want to drag everything into the mud. They want to destroy all the good that we've accomplished, for the sake of their politics... and ego.
This is a wonderful object lesson for all of us. You may not like a person's politics, but that doesn't have a bearing on their work. Not necessarily. But to look past that, you have to show a little bit of understanding, a little bit of intelligence, a little bit of maturity.
In the end, that might be the hardest thing to do.