Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When Political Worlds Collide... But Refuse to Meet

You've got to admit that when you see an opinion you disagree with, the natural tendancy is to try and dispute it with our knowledge. Will extreme right wingers ever convince extreme left wingers or vice versa? Or do they immediately determine the angle of the opinion and filter in the Peanuts teacher voice? Or simply feel compelled to reply since there's a history of opposing views?

So where does that leave us in the big picture of our country? We've got polar opposites all across this country who will seemingly never see eye to eye but then you'll even get two republicans together and they might hate each other because one is a Palin "right" backward thinking, holding on to the past conservative, and one is a McCain "right" sympathizing sell out. And then when an election comes, it typically breaks down to blind allegiance regardless of the issues. Or the centrists could go either way. But most people see an R or a D and we vote for what our party is.

Is it a good attribute to be set in your ways? Black and white and no exceptions? Even when you're significantly in the minority? And if you're vocal and articulate about your minority view- like many tv and radio news figures, what is the end result of sticking to your guns- especially right after you lose? Is Ann Coulter really going to spend the next 4 years at the intensity level she's at?

Every once in a while someone blows around out of obscurity to rise to a significant leadership position. He's not the same old. He promises change and perhaps he has a history of doing just that. And perhaps the nation is ready to embrace that sort of change since they voted to increase his purchasing power by giving him a higher credit limit in the form of congressional allies. And perhaps that guy is Obama.

So, let's assume that we all love our country, its principles and our superiority to any other country (and if you don't like what i just said, then i appreciate you talking about your hatred for america yet how you continue to live here instead of your favorite non-american country) And say you love the fact that we do have the right to democratically vote for who we want, vote to get rid of who we don't want and actually have a voice in our livelihood, social issues and how our government spends our money.

And lets assume that you (like I) don't like certain things about our country- like poverty, and potholes, and intollerance, and healthcare, and morals, and war, and frivilous lawsuits, and hatred of american by both foreigners AND "americans", and injustice, and broken families, and crime and all sorts of other things.

How does continuing to polarize our opposing views on how things should be fixed give our elected officials any real chance at making changes. Is it the method or the result that is more important? Or would you rather have no acceptance of the proposed method and no change because nobody can agree on a method, which seems to often be the reality of it all. Is flat out hatred for those with the opposite view part of the solution? I find it hard to believe that even the God hating atheists would disagree with the teachings of Jesus whether you believe in Him or not. No, not the teachings of the church and not the examples of "Christians" you may know.

Guess what all you God haters, everyone- even the dude up front doing the preaching, has sinned and continues to sin. And if you haven't already put the Peanuts teacher filter on me since I mentioned God AND Jesus in the same sentence, why don't you pick up a bible and specifically read Matthew 5 through Matthew 7- and get yourself a New International version or Living Bible version so the language doesn't put you to sleep. And heck, you can even filter out every mention of God or Jesus and just read it like that. And I'm sure the God haters could even cite something similar that was written by "secular" philosophers that they might enjoy.

It is sort of fulfilling when you have banter with someone you disagree with. And if you are well versed, and they are well versed and you are respectful people then it can be fun. But hopefully it doesn't come down to personal attacks on each other for your beliefs. We just want people to see things our way. But if we want people to see things our way without keeping an open mind to "their" way, then we are not ever going to get any more unified as Americans. Are we scared of being "turned" their way so we blindly defend our views and don't even listen to theirs? Could we perhaps be wrong in some of our views or perhaps find a compromising viewpoint that we can both agree on? Expand our microcosm on a message board or blog or whatever, to a national level and that's what I'm talking about. What's it going to take to get the far left and the far right on not necessarily the same page, but at least within the same book? And if you say it will never happen, that it's that exact attitude that is destructive instead of constructive.

I love America and believe in democracy. Of course moderates will agree with what I'm saying, but for the extemes- tell me what you believe needs to be done to help unite our country or at least our own digital community. Tell me why you can't listen and consider the opposite view and instead of simply blindly hating it and citing the past, how bout offering a solution and a look forward?

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