When I was a young boy, my father told me to NEVER discuss religion or politics with other people. What he meant to say was NEVER discuss subjects that make other people react emotionally. If such subjects must be discussed, just don’t be inflammatory. Good Advice!
A recent blog entry was about a quote from Ross Perot about abortion, when he answered a reporter’s question with “Do I look like a woman to you? Why are you asking a man about that?” I thought that was both non-inflammatory and even mildly amusing.
A good friend challenged that such logic, asking if I would respond to a question about race with . . . “Do I look like a black man to you?”
Would I respond to a question about gay marriage with . . . “Do I look gay to you?
While I am quite opinionated about economic or market issues, I have learned to be dispassionate about cultural issues. The reason for this dissonance between business and cultural issues is twofold. First, it was the advice of my father. Second, one of the characteristics of existentialism is a heightened appreciation of absurdity. Watching people work themselves into a lather, allowing their emotions to show, is both absurd and laughable. After all, they’re still going to die anyway.
Watching Republicans work themselves in a lather about immigration is amusing to existentialists, likewise watching Democrats work themselves into a lather about abortion is equally amusing. I wish more people would also use a lighter touch on cultural issues. Just as there are too many guns in America, there are too many emotions in Americans.