There are people that need defending. Just for starters, the poor and downtrodden, unborn babies, the mentally disabled… We should always speak up for those that can’t speak up for themselves. That’s the… human thing to do.
What I hate is when people defend those that don’t need and/or deserve it.
If you are in love with a dumb person, for example, you can’t spend all your time trying to convince people that they’re smart, or people will start to assume YOU’RE dumb. If you raised a child who is now an adult that can’t fend for themselves, you can’t convince people that they’re something they aren’t… people aren’t blaming you… adults are responsible for themselves. If you have a child that is jailed for doing something illegal, you won’t be able to convince people he was falsely accused or caught up with the wrong people.
So if the only possible outcome from you being defensive and making excuses for someone is that people assume you’re dumb, why are you doing it?
AND, (here’s where I put my foot in my mouth) perhaps, for example, if your child is a chucklehead that you insist on defending – maybe that very attribute is what trained them to BE a chucklehead in the first place! Life has natural consequences for chuckleheaded behavior, and if you don’t let those consequences happen, people will never learn to stop being one. My favorite example of this is a thing I saw on Discovery. This guy was 950 pounds, couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t even roll over, and his mother was bringing him pizzas and cheeseburgers 24 hours a day. She cried as she was interviewed because she “didn’t know what to do – and this disease is killing her boy.” WTF lady?! Stop taking him CHEESEBURGERS!!! It’s not like he can get his own!
But I digress.
If a person is old enough to understand what they should be doing, don’t defend them when they don’t do it. It’s annoying, it’s disingenuous, and it makes you look like a dope. If your husband punches you, don’t tell people you fell down the stairs, or that he’s really a great guy and it’s your fault he gets mad. He punches you because he’s an a-hole. Everyone you make excuses to knows that.
Defend the defenseless. People who are profiled because they look a certain way. People who are wrongly accused. People who literally can’t fend for themselves. Like the Down’s boy that was badly beaten by police because he “wouldn’t comply” even though he was crying and a neighbor was screaming that he was mentally handicapped. That’s who we should be defending.
If someone is blatantly stupid, no amount of defending will ever convince anyone otherwise.