A year ago I found myself unfriending a former teaching colleague over his political beliefs. There was zero anything moderate about his views and after several years of trying to get him to back it down some I finally decided I was wasting my time and told him to get back on the U-Boat he rode ashore on and return to his native land.
One thing that wrongly rubbed my ego was his insistence that my degree in history, political science, and almost thirty years of teaching experience didn’t trump his often unfounded opinion. I would have never challenged his input regarding a music question but was seldom given credit for my specialty.
That happens a lot to those in my profession. We teach everyone that they have an opinion but they often never hear the second part of the lesson, that your opinion is worthless if not based on provable evidence.
My wife, knowing this, recently purchased me a new t-shirt. The front of it reads, “Please, do not confuse your GOOGLE search with my degree in HISTORY.” I wore the shire during a recent fishing trip and several people got a kick out of it. Beyond seeing it as funny or cleaver I doubt many will take it serious.
I rarely, if ever, challenged the answers given by math geeks, astronomers, medical doctors, welders, coal miners, or auto mechanics. They have knowledge, skills, and experience, so who am I to question them.
My son was telling me about an art commission he’s been approached about and I asked him a technical question about how he would overcome a perceived problem. He simply looked at me and said, “That’s why I’m an artist.” l wanted to tell him to get his artistic butt out of my mini van and find a creative solution to getting home.
This presidential election cycle has been particularly difficult for me. So much of it is based on the absence of provable evidence. A sound knowledge of how American government works, what our Constitution and legal system demands of us, and what we have become as a nation and a people, no longer seems to matter.
In today’s world there are so many who seem satisfied with just being part of the angry mob that’s chasing Frankenstein through the night woods with blazing torches. Anger and emotion are all that’s required. Presented with facts and solid arguments gets one nothing but being cursed, called names, jeered, and possibly subjected to a sucker punch.
These may not be good times to go around wearing a t-shirt proclaiming yourself to be someone of knowledge. Maybe I should trade in my “history degree” t-shirt for one that reads, “I’m with those knuckle draggers and were going to a Trump rally!”