“Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
It’s a question I haven’t personally been asked much, but that I’ve heard many times. I don’t usually dig in my heels so much that I refuse to admit that I’m wrong, I have only a few hills that I will choose to die upon, and Liberal Takes has been no exception for me. I’ve deleted posts. I’ve deleted information I’ve posted I haven’t been able to thoroughly verify even when I’m 98% sure I’m correct, even when that information completes an argument I’m trying to make. I want to be right — hell, I love being right — but I’ve always chosen to be happy instead of right. Ultimately, while being right feels incredibly good, being happy makes for a much better life.
I hate outrage culture. And while what I write about in these posts gets me fired up and angry, I always know I have to leave that fury behind when I stop writing and start living my life. Being angry is not a way to live, especially being furious about politics. Yes, what I write about is real life, and it’s easy to get outraged about it — very easy. I won’t lie and say I’m entirely immune. Of course I get outraged sometimes. But I’ve learned it’s considerably more valuable to work to fix things than to stay angry. So, instead, I have spoken out, volunteered for campaigns, supported candidates and organizations I believe in, and joined Democratic groups with like-minded members. Those things keep me from being constantly outraged with the inundation of bad news, the ominous news that never stops, that will never stop.
But right now, my life is at a crossroads of sorts. My mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m just so damn angry with life. And I’ve found that I’m quicker to get outraged with the bad news that comes my way every single day. It’s a fact I’m not proud of. I’ve always prided myself on being able to put the outrage aside when I need to, but I’m simply not able to do so right now. And I’m certainly not happy. Since I’m not happy, I’ve discovered that it’s suddenly become vital that I’m always right instead.
I don’t presume I can write effective blog posts filled with authentic news and grounded opinions when I’m focused on being right more than anything else. Moreover, I cannot write worthwhile and valuable posts if I’m outraged. Outrage does not help me, and it certainly does not benefit my readers. You can easily find outrage on social media if that’s what you’re seeking, but it’s not something I was ever looking to disperse here.
If I find I can write a compelling blog post without insisting I’m correct, without staying enraged after writing it, I fully intend to post it. There is so much going on to discuss. And I don’t deny that there are things to be outraged about. However, I know in my heart that it’s not productive to stay outraged about them all of the time. And the news nowadays is making me feel that way… because I’m already outraged with the world. However, to be objective about the news, we must have safe havens for our anger. We have to be able to let it go at times.
I fully understand and even concur with the argument, “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention,” because it’s true in so many ways… but we simply cannot stay that way 24/7. Anger and outrage make us less accurate people. I cannot write 100% factual blog posts if I stay angry all of the time. Sure, I am absolutely furious with certain situations in the news. But I’m usually able to take breaks from that rage in order to stay objective. Furthermore, I’m usually forced to take breaks from that rage to do things to actually make a difference in our political world. This is not the case at the moment.
Anger makes me insistent that I’m right. Unfortunately, I’m not unique in this situation. Almost all of us become this way at least some of the time. While it’s not an attractive trait, it’s not always necessarily a character flaw; it’s sometimes simply a part of the human condition. Just consider the outraged trolls on social media who won’t reflect or consider other opinions because they’re so incensed, and therefore, so sure of their own beliefs. They dig in their heels, and they become even more confident. Even worse, they certainly won’t correct any misinformation they spread. I try not to be that kind of person on social media, even when angry, and I definitely don’t want Liberal Takes to become something written by somebody like that.
Even if I don’t like another opinion on the surface, I need to think about it, consider it, look at the other side, and understand why somebody thinks that way. If I cannot do that, my opinions are simply not worth expressing. I cannot expect people to listen to my beliefs and give them any consideration. Why should I expect you to read my blog and my opinions when I’m unable to examine all of the perspectives and ways of thinking — when I’m so sure I’m right, I refuse to look at and debate other stances and outlooks before I ask that you consider and debate my own?
If I can debate an opinion without dispersing outrage, if I can make an argument without the assertion that I’m 100% correct going into it, then I’ll happily write about it. But like I’ve explained, that’s not happening much lately. So I’ll write if I can, but if I can’t be a persuasive writer, then I refuse to do it. Sure, it’s vastly more effortless for anybody to make arguments that way, but it’s disingenuous as to why I created this blog.
I want Liberal Takes to have genuine, sincere, and authentic takes backed up with credible news sources — not enraged posts where I argue that I’m right when I’ve done no internal debating of my own. That’s why I created this blog, and I fully intend to stick to that, even if the time between posts causes me to lose readers. This is one hill that I am willing to die on.
I have a vision for Liberal Takes that I want to see come true one day. I’d prefer to follow my concept and have one reader than have Liberal Takes turn into a diatribe of why I’m correct with minimal (or even worse, questionable) news sources and without me examining all sides of an argument before posting and have thousands of readers. Unfortunately, if I am determined to post when I choose to be right instead of happy, a purposeless rant is all it will ever become. I believe that I, as a writer, am far better than that. And I absolutely have confidence that Liberal Takes is far more promising and has the potential and possibility to be more relevant, valuable, and remarkable.
I hope you also believe in my vision and are willing to stand by so I can see it through.