The Right-Fighter Syndrome

I wrote this a few years back regarding “right fighters.” For a while, they all seemed to calm down, but they are definitely on the rise again.


So what exactly is a right fighter? This is the description I found: “A rightfighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people do not agree with them and their opinions or beliefs. A rightfighter is someone who insists on having the last word in an argument or refuses to back down no matter what.”

Does anyone remember the old SciFi movie, “*The Day of the Triffids?” Basically, the triffid plants start killing people. It may just be me, but it seems that we are quickly devolving into a triffidish country of a new species: the Day of the Right Fighters.

Now, I’ve always said that opinions are like anal sphincters; everyone has one. This does not mean that everyone has to agree on the same things, however. As has been said before, I do not talk politics or religion with anyone except the Crankee Yankee. Years of experience taught me that no good comes from conversations about either subject. At best, you end up hot and sweaty from trying to defend your own views, which could possibly lead to a stroke or heart attack. At worse, you lose friends and mark yourself for bullying and heckling. Seriously, who needs either?

Look, we are not all alike. We do not always march to the same drummer. I understand that we all have our cherished opinions and that is our right as human beings. That said, there should be absolutely no reason for people to harrass other people, yell obscenities at them, throw things at them, bully them, embarrass them, haunt them on social media, or threaten their lives. Seriously, would they like being treated that way?

This is not the country I grew up in. What happened to “live and let live?” What happened to the The Golden Rule: “treat others as you would like to be treated”? We are a country where freedom of speech is the right of each and every citizen. Of course there will be arguments and disagreements; we don’t all march to the same drummer.

It saddens me that we seem to have become haters and harrassers instead of listeners and thinkers. One of the major things my dad taught me as I was growing up was that, if you lose your temper, you lose the fight, your credibility, and possibly, your life. Over and over again we have seen throughout history that riots can turn deadly in an instant.

Is this really how we want to be remembered? Is it so important to get our way at the expense and possible harm to others who don’t agree? It’s a lot like that old phrase from the hippies: “fighting for peace is like f***ing for chastity.”

We are better than this. We are more than a mob mentality, we are people who are privileged to live in a free country. With that freedom comes the realization that not everyone is going to think or do as we think or do. I hope that we can come to some middle ground where we agree to disagree without bloodshed.

In the not-so-distant past, we fought for our freedom and liberty. It was a hard-won battle but we came out of it with a free country, something many people around the world do not have.

How about we think first before drinking that big old glass of haterade?

*Per Wikipedia, “the movie, “The Day of the Triffids,” is a 1951 post-apocalyptic novel by the English science fiction author John Wyndham. After most people in the world are blinded by an apparent meteor shower, an aggressive species of plant starts killing people.”

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