Let's Talk Politics - Sort Of

Posted by Lauren Sparks on October 14, 2013 at 8:50 PMDelete 
Unless you have been living in complete isolation with no connectivity for the past couple of weeks (then how could you be reading this?), I'm sure you have heard more complaints than you want to about our government and political parties.  Let me add to you your tired ears with a complaint of my own.  And my intention is not just to complain, but hopefully to enlighten.  First, I need to back up a bit.
Hopefully you have already heard of the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign.  If not, please go to www.r-word.org.  These folks and others are working to irradicate the word "retarded" used as an insult.  When I was a kid, the word "retarded" was practically interchangable with "stupid".  When someone made a bad decision, we said, "that's retarded".  When a friend got on our nerves, we said, "You're retarded".  And thought nothing of it.  I am so very grateful now that many people are much more sensitive to the special needs community.  There are those who would like to see the "r" word erased from vocabulary never to be used again.  Although I understand this thinking because the term as become so negative, I am not necessarily one of those people.  I am not offended by the correct use of the word.  As in, "my daughter Shelby is mentally retarded."  The definition of retarded is "less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one's age."  This is 100% true of my Shelby.  In fact, she is severely retarded in all areas.  But she is also sweet and loving and funny.  And in NO WAY stupid.  She amazes me sometimes with just how smart she is within the confines of her abilities.
Thankfully, I don't hear people using "retarded" in a derrogatory sense as much as I used to.  I have, however, heard a derivitive word emerging in the midst of our government shut down.  "Libtard".  Have you seen or heard this slur?  First, let me say of this, we are all adults.  At least I assume it's not children I hear discussing the government, so it's disappointing to see us insulting each other in the media.  I thought we learned in primary school that name-calling would never solve a problem.  And second, it offends me that anyone would think a word that accurately describes my little sunshine, would also describe a person you have no respect for.  If someone doesn't agree with you, they aren't "retarded".  They just don't agree with you.  So do me a favor and clean it up.  Show more respect not only for each other, but for those like my daughter.