Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Behind The Scenes
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 Where We Live
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Meet The Staff
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Why don’t we all just shut up?

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Yesterday, I took a shot — again — at liberals. Today, I’m aiming right, left, and center.

As with yesterday’s post, this appeared in The Boston Globe’s Uncommon Knowledge section Sunday.

Take my advice and do the perfect thing

Our political discourse seems to be dominated by back-seat drivers and Monday-morning quarterbacks — pundits, analysts, strategists, lobbyists, and activists who spew advice without having to follow it. But there’s the rub: What we’d advise others to do turns out to be substantially different than what we’d do ourselves. In several experiments, people were asked to contemplate various choices, either as an adviser or as the chooser. As advisers, people were more idealistic than pragmatic, focusing more on the why than the how, even to the point of being hypocritical. For example, advisers would advise others to spend a lot of time volunteering but were much less generous in volunteering themselves. Putting advisers in a how (vs. why) or imagine-making-the-decision-yourself mind-set was enough to bring them back to reality.

Danziger, S. et al., “Idealistic Advice and Pragmatic Choice: A Psychological Distance Account,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (forthcoming).

Politics, and most of the rest of life, is seriously overcrowded with “do as I say, not as I do” folks. Though [clears throat] hard-pressed to think of an off-hand example, I’m sure that group occasionally included this humble blogger. But for me, it is not a way of life, as it is with some.

I don’t really care how you live your life as long as how you live it does not hurt others. I don’t care what you do to yourself or to other consenting adults but I do care if you try to use the law to force me to accept it and/or subsidize or pay for it.

I know there are many others like me, but we seem to be a great minority.

Leaf through some law books (or use a forklift to pick up the whole set) and you’ll find them chock-full of laws that regulate and criminalize personal behavior. Each and every one had its genesis with some busybody who did not like something someone else was doing. Busybodies are legion, they always have been, and so are the folks who’ve run afoul of their indignation and have been punished for their effrontery.

Oddly enough, it is often the busybodies who are most vocal, most insistent that everyone do as they say who turn out to be the most serious offenders of their own self-righteous commands. We could probably fill a book just with examples of hypocritical preachers and politicians, starting with Jim Bakker and Al Gore.

Thankfully, I have a solution. Why don’t we all just shut up, stop trying to inflict our opinions on others, and mind our own business?

I think it’s a great solution, a near perfect one. I bet most you reading this will support the idea. But how do we get everyone else to see the light?

I know!

Let’s get a law passed.

 

What do you think? Good idea or bad?

Would you vote for the “Shut up and leave everyone else alone” law?

And who are your favorite hypocrites?

3 Responses to “Why don’t we all just shut up?”

  1. Matt, another Says:

    We need to stop telling each other what to do.

    Already in place, one way or another. 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. You could throw in the Supreme Court Miranda decision for good measure. Since it is a violation of Federal law to lie to a Federal LEO and they use it to get convictions (Martha Stewart) when the rest of the case fails, that would be another law that says shut the hell up. There is a great quiet movement called, “don’t talk to the police, ever” as well.

  2. TGAH Says:

    RE: We need to stop telling each other what to do.

    While I agree – that’s what “democracy” is all about, and why the people that designed this experiment in humanity decided not to go that route.

    Wait … Someone already put it to paper ;)

    Every stupid law, policy, rule or regulation, was put in place by your neighbors.

    In the incredibly unlikely event that everyone were to just shut up, the world would be a much better place.

  3. Tawnya Says:

    I would vote for it! Sounds like a great law!
    I don’t have a favorite hypocrite, as I can’t stand them, but it seems to me ALOT of so called “religious leaders” tend to fill a huge spot on the list….Definatly taking advantage of people who follow them faithfully.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.