Scenes From The Monkey House: Forwarding Political Emails = Technological Stupidity

A friend of mine sent me this forwarded email, which was received from a mutual acquaintance (whom we shall call “Dr. X”).  Dr. X is the chair of a science department in a local school district.  He is also the not uncommon combination of an individual who’s political leanings trend pretty far to the right and who also has the lack of technological accumen necessary to believe that the forwarding of political email messages is something that one should spend their online time pursuing.  My friend has no idea what was done to indicate that they were of a like mind to that of Dr. X.

I don’t really care about Dr. X’s politics (though I do tend to find extreme identification with any particular stripe of the political spectrum anathema to what I would consider to be a particular fidelity to science), but the email is remarkably stupid.  The Judgement that Dr. X shows in sending it to anyone suggests that he might be better off not leading anyone to do anything.

All identifying information has been removed.  I will pop in to offer my own perspective on some of the more idiotic sentiments.  We begin with what I have to imagine Dr. X felt was a pithy opening line.

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So what will you do?

Dr. X


Subject: FW: THE FENCE….. 

Which side of the fence? 

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on?

I have to admit, I haven’t.  Does anyone not know what their political feelings are? Or is this the right-wing version of “You Might Be a Liberal if…”, setting up some sort of arbitrary line in the philosophical sand by which we can oversimplify various complicated issues 

If a Conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. 
If a Liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. 

Ahh.  It’s going to be the later.  This is going to be painful.  Interesting that guns are the first priority for whoever wrote this thing.  Apparently, they didn’t teach Dr. X about the straw man in his doctoral program. 

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. 
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. 

Is this really what “Conservative” America thinks about “Liberals” (by which I assume they mean everyone who is not “Conservative”)?  If so, “Conservatives” have a very different perspective on reality than I do.  I’d love to see the “Liberals” who are spending time and effort trying to ban people from chomping on a cheeseburger while knocking off a few rounds at the shooting range (actually, eating while target shooting tends to be against the rules at many shooting ranges—shooting range owners being notoriously “Liberal”).

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. 
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. 

Up to now, I thought the email was just stupid.  Now I think it’s insulting.  Here’s a test, substitute “female”, or “black person” for “homosexual” and see if you understand why…Lousy “Liberal” homosexuals, always wanting equality.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. 
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him. 

Did you know that there has never been a “Conservative” who took advantage of Government assistance?  Not. One. Ever.

If a Conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. 
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down. 

We seem to have reached the part of the email where we just make shit up that sounds good (in truth, that part was reached well before here).  Who wants what shut down now?

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. 
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

My hyperbolic bullshit meter is too far in the red zone at this point to push any further.  But then again, I’m thoroughly godless (and by extension, I must be “Liberal”), so you’re going to hell just for reading this.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. 
A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his. 

This one almost makes sense.  Until you remember that the person who forwarded this email works in the biggest public jobs project in the country, having his health insurance and the health insurance of his family paid for by OTHER PEOPLE’S TAXES.  

If a Conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. 
A Liberal will delete it because he’s “offended”. 

Well, I forwarded it. 

Yes you did.  And really, what is funnier than perpetuating the continued political division of American society, over-simplifying issues to the point of hypocrisy and suggesting that gay people don’t deserve equal rights?  That shit is hilarious.

I have to admit, I don’t understand “Conservative” “humor”.

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Remember folks, this email was forwarded by an individual in charge of an entire science department!  

According to the crude scheme of the email as posted, I suppose I qualify as a “liberal” on many fronts.  But the point is not so much the politics (though they are certainly a particularly simplistic variant, unbecoming of anyone who considers themselves to be a competent scientist), as it is the fact that we have people in leadership positions in the educational field who still think that forwarding talking points of any particular political stripe is a good thing to do with their electronic free time.  

Perhaps we should require those who decide to pursue careers in educational administration to take some sort of test to demonstrate that they are not technologically inept before we give them the keys…