how do you argue with an ignorant person determined to remain ignorant?

A while back, I attempted to reason with somebody who had acted unreasonably, as it seemed to me. This took place in the blogosphere and (as far as I know) is still documented, though I'm not interested in airing dirty laundry by sharing links.

The background.

I'd been reading this woman's blog because I thought she was interesting. I came across it via RVABlogs, which by the way is awesome. I subscribed to the feed because I thought there were things I could learn from her. We're in different life stages, we're from different parts of the country, we have different cultural backgrounds, and our opinions didn't always line up. Opportunities for insight, humor, and growth, I figured. Plus I'm just curious - my favorite blogs are those 'life' blogs. So I stuck the feed in my Google Reader and went along my merry way.

The story.

Months later, I felt moved to speak up. She'd put up a post with two parts - one part was a complaint against how many people make all kinds of wrong assumptions about her. It was during election season - assumptions about, and complaints are due. Part 2 is what got me. She'd posted the text of an email 'joke' that's been passed around for years. It perpetuates all kinds of extremely negative stereotypes associated with red states (I've also seen North vs. South) and uses a lot of 'facts' and statistics that look pretty dubious to me, though I never investigated them. I never once thought the joke was funny, and I found it particularly UNfunny when posted as part 2 to a rant against people who make false assumptions.
Am I the only one who sees the irony?
So, never one to bypass a chance to call out a double standard, I labored over a response that I felt was respectful (everyone deserves respect), nonpartisan (I specifically didn't want to be labeled a conservative, because I'm NOT), and provocative (because what's the point of de-lurking if what you say isn't compelling?). I went over my argument with my husband and he seemed to agree that it was logical. I also gave my handle, correct email, and link to MY website because I had no interest in hiding behind 'anonymous.'

The response.

She, however, was not impressed. She responded with a pissed off flaming reply, which did a pretty good job of cementing her ignorance.
She assumed I was 'a conservative' and addressed me as such (imagine that! someone making assumptions!). She said that the 'joke' is funny because it's 'true' but then again it's 'ok' because "not all Republicans like NASCAR." Perhaps my favorite part of the retort went something along the lines of 'if you actually read my blog like you say you do, than you'd know that I'm my own worst critic so the last thing I need is someone else challenging me.'
I'd like to point out that there is a difference between a challenge and a criticism. I'd also like to point out that no one on this good earth can afford to ignore those who challenge a set mode of thinking. NO ONE. You'll never grow as a person if you only consider viewpoints identical to your own. You'll become stunted as a human being. Ignorant, naive, and foolish may also apply.
Oh, and then she told me to eff off, in not so many words. Funny thing about liberals (not an assumption, she makes it clear) is that their 'openness' and 'acceptance' only applies people who agree with them.

The conclusion.

I don't know what I was thinking. OF COURSE anyone who would propagate that crap would come up with the response she did. I was an idiot for saying something and hoping it would bring some balance. Fiercely ignorant people abound in all quadrants of life, and trying to bring reason and rationale is almost always a waste of time.
I prefer ignorant conservatives because they'll tell you up front that they don't accept a lot of things. They aren't any less frustrating, but at least what you see is what you get. The double standards aren't as rampant as they are with ignorant liberals. And conservatives tend to be less belligerent and less prone to whining and hyperventilation (excluding the fundamentalist/evangelical crowds).

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