The following is a heavily edited conversation I've had in the past month:
Person: "Hey, did you hear about Story A? I heard/read/saw it this morning and can't believe it. How could such a thing be allowed?"Look, I don't mind being treated like an idiot most of the time. I'd prefer that people think I'm disengaged from most serious topics. I've done the "big topic" arguments with people before. They were exhausting and I get no joy out of them.
Me: "I heard/read/saw that as well but I also heard/read/saw other stories that said Story A might not be true."
Person: "Of course it's true. The story cited a person with knowledge of the situation."
Me: "Okay. Well, I don't really care about it."
Person: "Well, you obviously cared enough to heard/read/seen more about this than I have."
But let's get something clear. If you come at me with something and I counter with additional information that you didn't previously have, don't discount me because I don't fit your narrative. Most people who know me know that I am fair. Even if I don't like something/someone, I will still get all the information I can about a story before I jump to a conclusion*.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree. I don't have a college degree. I don't read a lot of books. I'm not terribly inquisitive. But I know what I know and I know what I don't know.
And I know that I'm not naïve. If I hear/read/see something that could remotely be borderline controversial, I make sure to get more information about it. I don't stop at one report and say that it is true. Odds are that it isn't.
I also know that I will not speak blindly about any topic with which I am not familiar. I will only comment on things about which I've chosen to educate myself. If I pick a position opposite yours, it is usually not because I'm trying to be difficult or play devil's advocate (although some cases I do). Usually, I am pointing out that, maybe perhaps, you have not devoted enough time to your statement.
* This isn't always the case. I have been known on rare occasions to jump to a conclusion without all the information. Chalk it up to Sporadic Momentary Intellectual Laziness Syndrome.