Stupid, like radical, extremist, hate, racist and idiot are all words I try not to use when describing another human being, unless of course it is warranted. We tend to use these words much too often and they are fair game in politics. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Biden have political philosophies that may seem extreme to me and others on the right, but does this mean they are extremists? No, they are not extremists because a large population of people around the globe supports their ideology. It certainly cannot be extreme if more than 25% of all human beings have similar philosophies. The same can be said of people on the left classifying Bush, Beck, Limbaugh, and Palin as extremists. This is simply not true. An extremist is a person who acts on their political ideology using violence and criminal acts to make their point. Hitler, Ahmadinejad, Mussolini, Husain, Bin Laden, and so forth - These are the true radicals, and comparing someone to them is simply irresponsible. Olbermann, Matthews, and Maddow may have misguided views, but that does not make them an extremist. We need to stop comparing individuals to extremists such as Hitler. This not only shows poor judgment, but it displays poor problem solving skills that only works to further the political divide in our country.
All people over the course of their lifetimes will say or do something that is stupid. It happens to the best of us, especially people that are in the public eye. I, for one, have inserted my foot in my mouth on hundreds of occasions. But does saying something stupid mean that the individual is stupid? No, especially if people sincerely apologize for their mistake and take responsibility for their actions. To err is human nature, and if we learn from those mistakes, we should become a better person in the long run. I do not agree with what Olbermann, Matthews, Maddow, and Obama have to say, but that does not mean they are idiots. Stupid and idiot are strong words that do nothing to solve our national problems. In fact; these words make it nearly impossible to solve our problems. For instance, Joe Biden says one dumb thing after another, but he is not stupid.
I too used these polarizing words with a high frequency to describe politicians, actors, peers, bosses, and subordinates. However, I had an epiphany one day when I was recalling all stupid things I said and all the dumb acts I committed. It is amazing that I lived as long as I have. I have been close to being a Darwin Award winner too many times. One sure sign that you are doing something stupid is when you show up in a stranger’s photo album. Finally, it dawned on me; maybe I am the stupid one – not the other person I want to categorize as an idiot.
I have been a risk taker my whole life and on occasion it has nearly cost me my life. At the same time, certain risks can built character and make a person stronger. Thus, doing stupid things can make us a better person if we learn from those mistakes. In order for this happen, we must be honest with ourselves and be self-aware of our actions. So the next time you want to call someone stupid or an idiot, think of all those times you ran a red light, locked yourself out of your car, put on face paint to watch a sporting event, or mixed ammonia with bleach and think – Am I really that much better? The bottom line is anyone who classifies adversaries as an extremist or a radical is more than likely making a stupid statement.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)