I’m totally aware of the sensitivity of this topic. Due to the title alone, I decided to not even send this to HeadStuff. because articles I’ve written in the past that have been ‘alternative-to-the-left’ have been rejected outright. Anyway, let’s get into it.
It’s important to know beforehand, the definition of what Liberal political views are defined as. I googled it. Essentially, Liberalism is preoccupied with protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual, in all aspects of life. By definition, Liberalism is awesome. It’s the good news. Liberal politic are the reason gay marriage became legal.
However, in my endeavour to figure out the discussion on abortion, I’ve come across a much more bleak, and hateful form of this pollical ideology. Everywhere online that I’ve uncovered abortion discussion. There’s been hateful, malicious words thrown at anybody who expresses the opinion which differs from the idea that abortion should be legalised.
Before you get triggered, understand that I am aware that there are two sides to this, and that for every pro-choicer that abuses a person with the opposite opinion, there is an anti-abortionist doing the same thing. The difference here is that by definition liberals are supposed to enhance individual freedom, yet appear to berate any one who holds the ‘incorrect opinion’.
Therefore, without even getting into the ins-and-outs of the abortion debate, siding with the Yes vote is already tainted for me. It would be difficult for me to side with a group of people who outwardly bully and ridicule anyone who offers an opinion that it contra to their own. The right to free speech is an important one. If I hold the opinion that abortion shouldn’t be legalised, this does not mean that I attack another person for holding the opinion that it should be legal. I’d expect the same courtesy to be reciprocated but this doesn’t seem to be the case, and I now find myself in an environment where it is scary and uncomfortable to express my now opinion, due to the threat of being verbally attacked.
Here’s how I see it. In any debate where you can have multiple opinions, there is no universally right or wrong answer. These ideas don’t exist. Just because I hold a certain opinion does not mean that my opinion is right. This is a clichéd idea that the whole world seems to have forgotten. Although we have the right to believe our opinions are the right opinions, none of us have any right to attack someone else for having a different opinion.
Hold your opinions strongly. Definitely fight for your right to hold them, too. But if someone else happens to hold a different opinion to you, don’t be a dick about it. Try to understand that everyone else’s life is just as complex as yours is, and life experience tends to lead us all to draw different conclusions. Instead of ridiculing others, acknowledge they live different lives, and continue to hold whatever beliefs and opinions you have chosen and stay in your own lane.