Some time ago, I attended a wedding in Detroit where one half came from very wealthy origins. And I was seated at a table next to a very wealthy, well traveled man who was kind enough to engage me in conversation. He hailed from Europe and I asked him if he intended on traveling around the States while he was in for the wedding. And he advised me after the wedding, he was going to Brazil to meet with his friend, Jimmy Carter, to discuss their joint bio-diesel interests in that country. I must have looked a bit stunned because he followed up by clarifying that Carter was our former president. And I said that I understood that but was taken a bit by surprise by his answer. So we discussed he and Carter’s interests in Brazil and then he told me where else he was headed after and it was clear he did a lot of global hopping regarding his business. He then asked me where I’d be traveling. I noted other than local vacations, not far from Michigan. And he said, “I guess your employment and career choice is what prevents you from seeing the world.” And then he went about sipping his wine.
Now some could take something like that as an insult but he was absolutely correct. He might have been blunt but he was factual. And ever since, it has made me understand that my own life choices led me to my current standing.
Yesterday, Jeff Bezos and friends flew to the edge of space, hung out a few minutes, then came back down to earth. And while a lot of us cheered the efforts and saw where it could lead to private peoples eventually going into space, others complained that Bezos was a robber baron and thief and non-ethical in his business practices.
I tweeted the following:
And boy howdy, did the trolls come out to tell me I was a bootlicker, among other insults.
My usual reply was to ask the troll to spend more time on their own lives, look at their own choices and figure out why they weren’t as successful instead of being full of jealousy and hate. I also clarified that Bezos did “rightfully earn” his money; in that, everything he’s done has been within the tax code and legal. These replies, of course, failed to convert anyone. I’m still being called a bootlicker.
Yesterday I thought a lot about that wealthy business man at the wedding who was quite blunt with me. And I did that regarding Bezos’ Most Excellent Adventure on Twitter yesterday. And yet as of this morning, I’m still a bootlicker. Apparently, most people aren’t willing to reflect on their own life choices but wish to blame others for not giving up more from their better choices.
The other thing I thought about yesterday as I bounced between sarcastic and honest replies to the trolls was this…
Every time I open my mouth or keyboard to speak on politics, I gotta remind myself to be more like Harry Browne.
It was Harry who brought me into the Libertarian Party and I’ve been involved ever since. Harry had a way of selling libertarian solutions. Instead of arguing with someone and being aggressive, Harry would try to find out what was important to the person he was talking to then home in on a libertarian solution. In other words, he wasn’t going to talk about guns when the person he was talking to was interested in education. Or healthcare. Or other.
Maybe I’ll leave the swarmy, sarcasm behind in the future. But only for those willing to engage in actual conversation, not quick jabs and insults. Perhaps in the future, those people will be better just placed on mute.