Beating a Dead Mule

“When the mule dies bury it! Quit yellin’ giddy-up, it ain’t gonna pull that plow no more” – Don Miller

I’m not in an arguin’ mood so let me clarify. “Beating a dead horse” is probably used more but where I came from, mules were used more than horses. In fact, my first riding partner was a domestic equine hybrid animal named “Joe.” So there. That should avoid an argument…but won’t.

Beating a dead mule, or horse, is a sweaty, stinky endeavor that serves no purpose except to stir up copious amounts of blue bottle flies trying to lay their eggs in rotting meat, and yet, metaphorically, I find myself doing it again, and again. Convincing someone of the facts on social media is just as stinky in its own way and as I have found, serves no purpose other than to infuriate me.

Just to be clear, I’ve never beaten a dead or live mule in any way other than metaphorically. My image is also not a dead mule but a very live burro.

I am three days into an argument on my preferred social media site. A comment about a reaction to gun violence has turned into a religious argument and then back to the sacred Second Amendment argument again. Saying preferred social media site is like saying my preferred laxative and to some folk, Second Amendment arguments are religious arguments.

Along the same lines is, “I’m plowin’ over ground that has already been plowed” …over and over again. Like the “Dust Bowl” during the Great Depression, I have reploughed my drought ravished field into a fine powder. Fine particles fly around me with no substance.

How many times have you involved yourself in verbal joisting on social media and had your opponent stop you and exclaim, “Sir, you have bested me, I yield.” That would be never. It is time for me to unsaddle and get off my dead mule.

If I were the least bit knightly, I would compare myself to Don Quixote “tilting at windmills.” But alas, I am not knightly. I more resemble Sancho Panza riding an ass…or being one. I am unsure of which.

I believe people read the title of an article or blog and immediately make their minds up before reading any farther. No matter how much research is provided and cited, facts don’t matter. Facts or statistics are viewed by many as little tidbits that are meant to confuse rather than educate. Facts interfere with our deep-seated cognitive dissonance.

On my blog site I find that hash tagging the words politics, religion, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, education, and parental rights provide me with the most views…and arguments. I find myself weighing my narcissistic need for views versus the pain some of the comments bring.

What is infuriating is that most of these “discussions” are over before they begin. I get a comment “That’s bullshit” or “You ain’t nothin; but a woke, liberal, commie!” My favorite? “If you don’t like it here, move.” I never hear from them again. Really? That is all that you have to say? No citations as to why you believe my comment to be a big cow patty. Come on, give me something to work with. You might even change my mind…now you’re beating the dead mule.

No! No matter how much we beat dead mules, we are not going to change anyone’s mind. That may be the only truth I am sure of.

I live in South Carolina, a state that, according to US News ranks 42nd when comparing seventy-one metrics. What drags us down? Education (44), Public Safety (46), Equality (46), and rate of Domestic Violence (43). We rank eighth highest in gun deaths per capita.  

In all honesty few of our metrics rank in the top half of states except our economy which ranks 19th. I wonder who is getting rich? We rank eighth in the highest poverty rates. Something does not compute.

Oh, it’s not who is getting rich…it is who is getting fat. We have the third highest obesity rate for children between 10 and 17 and has an obesity rate of 22 percent, which is well above the national average of about 15 percent

Why do I point this out? Because no matter how much I and like-minded South Carolinians beat our dead mules, we ain’t changin’ nothin’. We continue to vote against our own best interests ‘cause “them ‘gubment’ people ain’t gonna tell us what to do.” We have been doing that since April 12, 1861.

Do I climb out of the saddle and drag my stead’s dead carcass into the ditch, or do I keep beating it? I’m climbing out of the saddle…for now…until the next mule dies.

For more Don Miller go to his author’s page at